Ruta 1, a coastal road surrounded by a lunarlike depression
Located in northern Chile, Ruta 1 is one of the most stunning coastal drives in the world. The drive runs for 438 km (272 miles) along the South Pacific Ocean.
Ruta 1 starts at Iquique, a coastal city to the west of the Atacama Desert and ends near Antofagasta, a port city capital of Antofagasta Province and Antofagasta Region. The road is paved. Its dramatic surrouding landscape incorporates desert, salt flats, volcanoes, geysers and hot springs. The road is surrounded by a lunarlike depression with unusual rock formations, a huge sand dune and pink-streaked mountains.
The surface of the road is perfect, but expect some closures after bad weather due to rock slides and washouts. This drive passes through remote areas, so you need to be prepared. Expect very little traffic at the southern part. Due to the views on the coast and the Pacific, this is absolutely the road to be taken by tourists.