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The amazing contrast between northern and southern Chile never ceases to impress me and the breadth of flora in particular is as good as anywhere in the world. This trip to the north encountered some amazing alstroemerias, cacti and high alpines set among incredible colourful mountains. The highlights for me were the amazing coastal garden we found with hundreds of waxy Alstroemeria pelegrina among tall stands of Cistanthe, the stands of Alstroemeria magnifica near La Serena, everything at Paso Laguna Negra, the superb domes of cacti at Llanos de Challe and the wonderful close views of vizcachas at Parque Nacional Lauca. Chris Gardner.