The flowering desert is a climatic phenomenon that occurs in the Atacama Desert and nowhere else on earth. It consists of a great variety of flowers blooming in this barren desert-scape, apparently so inhospitable to life. This can happen in the months of September to November. These native species paint the dry sandy ground with intense violet, pink, and yellow tones.
The sheer natural beauty of a gigantic multicoloured floral garden, contrasting with the habitual arid desert, turns this into an important draw for visitors who wish to capture the mix of strange and wonderful geography and flora.
The flowering desert occurs with most intensity in the coastal area of the Atacama Region, 800 km north of Santiago, from the city of Vallenar to the south and up to the city of Copiapó in the north.
When precipitation levels exceed normal winter levels, more than 200 species, most of them endemic, draw in the surplus of water and flower in the spring, to the thrill of thousands of visitors and nature lovers. The strong rains and unusual snowfalls that fell this year in northern Chile make us predict an intense flowering desert this 2011.