Refugio Atacama is a high mountain refuge at an elevation of 5.256m (17,244ft) above the sea level, located in the Atacama Region of Chile, near the Argentinian border.
The road to the hut, located south of the Atacama Desert, is sandy and rocky. 4x4 vehicle required. The high elevation with its risk of altitude sickness, weather concerns, steep road grade and overall inaccessibility make the travel dangerous and difficult. Given the arid, desert conditions from its location, there is rarely snow on the zone except during the winter months. It’s a very remote area and obtaining medical assistance for any problem is a slow process, likely to take a day or more. There is almost no chance of a helicopter rescue. This rough and dusty 4x4 road across a difficult terrain is used by climbers to Ojos del Salado volcano. The hut, also known as Refugio Rojas, is a big container with a ranger who lives here during the ‘season', and some temporary tents from several national and international expeditions.
Pic: paola catuzzo