the Andes, Chile - Argentina
The ocean coastline and Chile in the west, Argentina in the east and the snow-capped Andes in the middle make for a colourful and contrast-rich wintertime scene, captured by PROBA-V in August last year. Particularly striking are the narrow valeys and canyons carved out of the mountains by rivers like Elqui (centre of the image) and Huasco (north) that flow westward towards the Pacific. The original name for Huasco river and its fruitful valley, that is nicknamed the Garden of Atacama, is likely derived from Quichua to mean “narrow valley through which water flows” or “gold river”, reminescant of the gold mining in ancient times. On the map, Rio Huasco is formed by Rio El Tránsito and Rio del Carmen, previously known as “river of the naturals” and “river of the Spanish” respectively. The valley of Rio Elqui, on the other hand, is well-known for the production of wine.