February 1, 2007—Few people would ask why someone would be
searching for water in the desert.
Kayaking, however, is not usually the answer. But that's what explorer Jon Bowermaster and his team wanted to do during their 2003 trip to the arid altiplano region of South America.
Millions of years ago the altiplano was covered by oceans. Today scattered salt lakes dotted with flamingoes and other assorted wildlife are the only remnants of water in the high plain that is known as one of the driest places on Earth.
Watch Bowermaster and his team as they haul their sea kayaks past volcanos and across salt beds in an expedition to paddle kaleidoscopic mountain lakes and reconnect with the desert's watery past.
Jon Bowermaster received funding from the National Geographic Society's Expeditions Council for this project. National Geographic News is part of the National Geographic Society.