El Tatio, Chile

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El Tatio is a geyser field located within the Andes Mountains of northern Chile at 4,320 meters above mean sea level. Its name comes from the Quechua word for oven. It is among the highest-elevation geyser fields in the world.

El Tatio has over 80 active geysers, making it the largest geyser field in the southern hemisphere and the third largest in the world. Its geysers erupt to an average height of about 75 centimetres, with the highest eruption observed being around 6 metres.

The site is a major tourist attraction. Visitors generally arrive at sunrise when each geyser is surmounted by a column of steam that condenses in the cold air. The steam plumes disappear as the air warms up. It is also possible to bathe in the hot geyser water in a small pool.

There is wreckage at the site from an old project for harnessing geothermal power. The idea has recently been revived by the Chilean government and is meeting with heavy public resistance due to the touristic value the geyser field represents.

Read 460 times Last modified on Monday, 07 November 2016 16:39
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