Some people would consider deserts unforgiving terrain. The harsh sands, the lack of moisture, dune upon dune of emptiness, lack of wildlife. Well, deserts do present difficult living conditions, but they also are a sight to see. Here we have compiled the top 5 driest places on earth.

Should you visit them, do ensure you pack significant amounts of water, sunshades, sunglasses, linen clothes, and of course, the most important accessory- your camera.

The top 5 Driest Places on Earth
The top 5 Driest Places on Earth

Valley of the Moon, Chile

Located in the North, Atacama Desert and Valley of the Moon is a magical place of geysers, minerlized lakes, and incredible natural hot springs.

Riddled with various natural rock formations and sculptures evolved through natural erosion, Moon Valley has carved itself into the world as a must-see desert oasis. The desert lakes within the valley have dried up through the centuries with the salt deposits causing a white film atop the rocks.

 

Valley of the moon Sunset
Valley of the moon Sunset

At sunset, the rocks create such photogenic shadows and colours ideal for that quintessential pic to make National Geographic swoon.

Since 1982 this desert was designated a global sanctuary thanks to its lunar landscapes and purple coloured skies at dusk.

As rain is scarce, with not a single drop received in hundreds of years, this desert region made the list without hesitation.

Rajesthan, India

The Northern region of India, the vast deserts make up quite a bit of this brilliant country’s kaleidoscope of culture and colour. Nicknamed the Rajesthan Desert, This Indian region is in the top 20 largest deserts in the world. Shared with Pakistan, this desert spans 32,000 km and boasts a landscape of rich sand dunes and very little precipitation. It is also the most densely populated of all deserts in the world.

As the amount of rain is minimal here, this desert made it into the top five by a landslide.

Rajesthan Desert
Rajesthan Desert

 

Rajesthan Desert
Rajesthan Desert, in the top 5 driest areas in the world

Death Valley, California, USA

Death Valley, one of the hottest places on the planet is located in the Northeast area of California. Death Valley’s has been deemed one of the driest and most arid places in the world and is the home of Furnace Creek as it holds the record for the hottest air temperature in such a small geographical area.

At 3000 square miles in size, surprisingly due to its very harsh climate,Death Valley is home to a small population of wildflowers, birds, sheep, and burros. These animals and plants do make the most of such a difficult environment with such a small amount of rainfall recorded every year.

 

Death Valley California
Death Valley California

 

Death Valley California
Death Valley California, one of the driest deserts in the world

Skeleton Coast, Namibia

This span of desert is located at the Namibia/Angola border  and was nicknamed by Portuguese sailors as the “Gates of Hell.” The eerie Skeleton Coast has been deemed one of the driest areas in the world and one of the creepiest due to the haunting skeletons found within its sands and shores.

With strange findings scattered all around its area, including a number of mysterious, unexplained shipwrecks found off the coast, Skeleton Coast remains a destination worth exploring for answers. The sparse amount of wildlife makes this area of the country quite unforgiving, though life still manages to survive.

Should you travel to the southern coast of the desert, you will be welcomed with gravel-type grounds and dominating sand dunes in your path. Like Sand boarding? Well, if you do, this place is definitely for you.

Skeleton Coast Namibia
Skeleton Coast Namibia

 

Skeleton Coast Namibia

McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica

What these valleys have in their favour is their location – Antarctica. A pristine continent of the least amount of human contact, the McMurdo Dry Valleys are some of the most beautiful nearly untouched areas on the planet.

Surprisingly snow-free considering they are in the South Pole, the McMurdo Dry Valleys receive very little precipitation and are some of the least humid of all regions in the world. As such, it has been named one of the most extreme areas in the world, hence its place in the top five driest areas in the world.

Should you be able to travel to the McMurdo Dry Valleys, be sure to dress warmly and bring as much water as you can. The valleys are harsh, dry and very unforgiving to human life with its temperature and lack of moisture.

Plan accordingly and savour the moment of visiting a place so few get the opportunity to explore!

McMurdo Dry Valleys - Courtesy of YouTube
McMurdo Dry Valleys – Courtesy of YouTube

There you have the top 5 harshest and driest areas in all the world. Take care when travelling and ensure you pack accordingly!

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Hoping to get to Antarctica? Do read here about how to plan for this incredible expedition of a lifetime.