Pica Oasis Street Vendor
Street vendor selling locally-grown citrus.
Pica's main plaza
Local architecture

It lies four kilometers southwest of the oasis town of Pica.

- Matilla

The town lies four kilometers to the northeast of the oasis village of Matilla.

- Pica, Chile

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Alpha

The technology of the Qanats of Iran is similar to that used for the puquios of Peru.

Puquios

Puquios (from Quechua pukyu meaning source, spring, or water well) are ancient systems of subterranean aqueducts which allow water to be transported over long distances in hot dry climates without loss of much of the water to evaporation.

Puquios (from Quechua pukyu meaning source, spring, or water well) are ancient systems of subterranean aqueducts which allow water to be transported over long distances in hot dry climates without loss of much of the water to evaporation.

The technology of the Qanats of Iran is similar to that used for the puquios of Peru.
The Cantalloc puquios near Nazca, Peru. The cork-screwing funnels are for access to the underground aqueduct.
An aqueduct emerges from an underground or gallery puquios into a trench which supplies water for irrigation and domestic uses.
Except for river valleys where irrigation is possible, the desert of the Nazca Region is barren. The Pan American Highway is in the distance.

In the 21st century, puquios, in various states of use and decay, still exist in the valleys of Azapa and Sibaya and the oases of La Calera, Pica-Matilla and Puquio de Núñez.

Atacama by NASA World Wind

Atacama Desert

Desert plateau in South America covering a 1,600 km (990 mi) strip of land on the Pacific coast, west of the Andes Mountains.

Desert plateau in South America covering a 1,600 km (990 mi) strip of land on the Pacific coast, west of the Andes Mountains.

Atacama by NASA World Wind
Snow in Paranal Observatory at 2,600 masl
A flat area of the Atacama Desert between Antofagasta and Taltal
Feral donkey in the Atacama desert
The lack of humidity, rain, and light pollution together produce a dusty, rocky landscape.
Rare rainfall events cause the flowering desert phenomenon in the southern Atacama Desert.
Vegetation in Pan de Azúcar National Park on the coast of the Atacama Desert
Andean flamingos in Salar de Atacama
Liolaemus nitidus, a lizard native to the southern reaches of the Atacama Desert
View of Chuquicamata, a large, state-owned copper mine
View of a forest in Pampa del Tamarugal from Chile Route 5. These forests were once devastated by the demand of firewood associated with saltpeter mining.
ALMA and the center of the Milky Way
Patagonia-Atacama Rally in 2007
Icy Penitents by moonlight
Tara Cathedrals (left) and Tara salt flat
Valle de la Luna, near San Pedro de Atacama
Laguna Verde
Valley in Atacama
Salt evaporation ponds in the Atacama Desert
Desert bloom (desierto florido)
Llamas
Valley of Death
Machuca chapel
Paranal Observatory
Chajnantor Plateau in the Chilean Andes, home to the ESO/NAOJ/NRAO ALMA
The Milky Way streaking across the skies above the Chilean Atacama Desert

The oasis settlement of Pica has Pre-hispanic origins and served as an important stopover for transit between the coast and the Altiplano during the time of the Inca Empire.

Puquios are known from the valleys of Azapa and Sibaya and the oases of La Calera, Pica-Matilla and Puquio de Núñez.

View of Pica town and oasis in the foreground from the southeast. In the background the flat land of Pampa del Tamarugal can be seen.

Pica Aquifer

One of the most important aquifers of Atacama Desert.

One of the most important aquifers of Atacama Desert.

View of Pica town and oasis in the foreground from the southeast. In the background the flat land of Pampa del Tamarugal can be seen.

The water of the aquifer is tapped by a system of underground aqueducts known as puquios to irrigate the oases of Pica and Matilla.