Chile 2012: Atacama Desert, Cejar Lagoon

by | Apr 15, 2012 | International Travel, Travel

Our flight didn’t leave until the early evening on our last day, so we were able to take a quick trip over to the Cejar Lagoon for a soak in some very salty water.

The guide took us the scenic way over sand-covered roads and we even stopped briefly for a taste of a certain nut common to the area. It tasted a bit like brown sugar, very delicious.

a tree!

Once we arrived at the lagoon, our guide set up two chairs, snacks and a large container of fresh water to rinse off once we exited from the water. While there were a few groups on the other side of the lagoon, we had this area all to ourselves.

Cejas Lagoon

Water in this lagoon is approximately 14% salt; for comparison, sea water is ~3% salt, and the Dead Sea is ~33%. Since getting the water in your eyes would be painful, it was much easier (according to Eric) to enter the lagoon butt-first. As soon as I sat in the water my knees and feet floated to the surface and I was simply floating! The water was chilly and the experience of having to force your legs into the water was strange, though the backstroke was easier than normal.

enjoying the salt water
there are no foam noodles holding us up – scouts honor!

As soon as we got out of the lagoon we rinsed off with the freshwater the guide had brought for us. Apparently Eric and I both missed a few spots on our clothes as we noticed several small solid white patches an hour or so later. :)

After drying off a bit we walked to the neighboring lagoon that is closed to bathing and consequently frequented by water fowl and flamingos. Eric loved the fact that we could walk right up to the edge and see the salt shoreline as we were prohibited from doing so at the Altiplanic lagoons the day before. Our photographs don’t do it justice, as the shoreline glittered with the bright sunshine bouncing off white salt crystals.


salty shoreline

walking back to the car

We arrived back at the resort with plenty of time to finish packing and enjoy lunch before our flight back to Santiago.

Our Itinerary

2023 Trips

San Diego (Jan)
Orlando (Feb)
Richmond, VA (Apr)
Northern Italy (Apr)
NC Mountains (May)
Long Island (Jul)
Wisconsin (Aug)
Chicago (Aug)
Bordeaux (Sep)
Rugby World Cup (Sep)

Castile and León (Sep)
Seychelles (Nov)

Willamette Valley (Dec)

2022 Trips

Florida (Feb)
NC Mountains (Apr)
Washington DC (Apr)
Valencia, Spain (May)
Hilton Head, SC (May)
Pacific NW (Jun)
Long Island (Jul)
Florida (Sept)
Chicago (Sept)
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