Llano Chajnantor

Llano Chajnantor, one of the highest roads of Chile

Llano Chajnantor is a high mountain plateau at an elevation of 5.042m (16,541ft) above the sea level, located in the Atacama desert of Chile. The zone has an exceptionally arid climate, inhospitable to humans. It's one of the highest mountain roads of Chile. 

Located in northern Chile, the road is gravel. This trail passes through remote areas, so you need to be prepared. It’s a truly unique and unusual place on a lunar landscape. Due to its otherworldly appearance, the area has been used as a location for filming Mars scenes. Do not travel this road in severe weather conditions. Llano de Chajnantor is at the same latitude as deserts in southern Africa and central Australia.
Do not take this drive if you have respiratory problems or any type of heart condition. Notorius lack of oxygen that tests the organisms and a high degree of steepness. Most people feel altitude sickness at around 2,500-2,800 meters. Extremely low oxygen for engine combustion. A major hazard of altitude is the sickness that can indiscriminately affect anyone regardless of age or fitness. The summit has about 40% less oxygen than at sea level, thus breathing is more difficult. Your pulse rate will increase and movement will be more laborious at the summit. The high elevation with its risk of altitude sickness, weather concerns, steep road grade, and overall inaccessibility make the pass dangerous and summit trips difficult.

Make sure you get your vehicle and yourself well-prepared before driving this road. Never underestimate this track! The plateau is the base of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), an astronomical interferometer of radio telescopes. It’s the world's most powerful observatory for studying the universe at the long-wavelength millimeter and submillimeter range of light. This route is not suitable for normal cars. Atacama desert is considered as one of the driest places on Earth. The extremely dry conditions, where the air is too thin for humans to work without oxygen, is the ideal location for the array because it limits environmental and other factors that would interfere with the antenna’s operation if it were closer to sea level. The are almost every night is clear of clouds and free of light-distorting moisture.



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