Flying over the Alto Loa Valley, the view of Cerro Sirawe is stunning, its two-color sands appearing as a great eye moved by the wind. Sirawe’s gaze watches over the legendary Cuestecilla pampa, whose landscape is interrupted by an enormous fissure—the Loa River canyon.

Sixty meters below, the river’s waters wind their way down like a giant snake, bringing life to the desert. On the verdant riverbanks, the humidity is notable in the midst of the hyperaridity. There, bubbling up from ancient aquifers, the warm waters of 16 springs nourish the dense grasslands that the llamas here delight in. A few meters away is Alero Taira and its rock art.