The Flamencos National Reserve in San Pedro de Atacama is aptly named, as this area shelters and feeds three distinct species of flamingos: the Andean, Chilean and James flamingos. But 180,000 acres of preserved land is not just a home for flamingos; there are seven areas of interest for eco-tourists. The most isolated part of the reserve is located 15,000 feet above sea level and includes the Salar (salt lake) de Pujsa, as well as the two salt lakes of Tara and Aguas Calientes. The Atacama Salt Lake is also part of this reserve and serves as the largest of all the salt lakes in the area.
Other than bodies of water, Los Flamencos is also the home of the Altiplanic Lakes, Miscanti and Miñique, which are at 13,500 feet above sea level. These lakes and their bright blue water provide a striking visual contrast against the altiplano landscape of blowing yellow grasses and the distant snow-capped mountains.
Other areas of note are Moon Valley (Valle de La Luna), a spot with sand dunes often visited at sunset for sandboarding, and the Tambillo area, which is home to the rare 400-acre forest of tamarugo trees.
Wildlife sightings are often early in the morning or late in the afternoon. The flamingos at Laguna Chaxa (part of the Atacama Salt Lake) are a near sure-thing, though the sector of Tambillo has a greater variety of animals to see.