Atacama Desert

From San Pedro de Atacama
  • Chile
  • Wildlife and Nature
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Tour Description

The Atacama desert is one of the most serene and beautiful places on earth. Surprisingly, whilst it owns title of the driest desert on the planet, it is also home to a rich variety of wildlife and spectacular landscapes. 

Base yourself in the small oasis town of San Pedro de Atacama for 4 days and explore the magic of this region. Visit local settlements, discover ancient history, including the Tulor village, the oldest archeological human establishment of the entire region. Witness the stunning landscapes of the Cordillera de la Sal (Salt Mountain Range), the beautiful Valley of the Moon, visit enormous salt flats and lagoons. Look out for wildlife including the three types of flamingos that inhabit Chile; Andean, Chilean and James. Be wowed by erupting geysers, and relax in thermal hot springs. At night, the Atacama offers spectular skies for star gazing. 

This programme is the perfect side trip from Santiago, a short flight to Calama, then transfer to San Pedro de Atacama. Or if you are after more spectular landscapes, continue over the border into Bolivia to discover the Salt Flats of Uyuni!

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Tour Itinerary

Customisable ? This tour can be customised to suit your tastes and timing. Enquire here for more information.
Day 1
Arrival San Pedro de Atacama

Upon arrival into Calama airport you will be met and transferred to your hotel in San Pedro de Atacama.

The small oasis town of San Pedro de Atacama lies on an arid high plateau in the Andes Mountains in the heart of some of northern Chile’s most spectacular scenery. Overlooking the Licancabur Volcano, its dramatic surrounding landscape ranges from desert, salt flats, steaming geysers and hot springs to fascinating rock formations. The church, dating back to 1774 and featuring adobe, cactus wood and leather-bound beams and the Archaeological Museum are both worth a visit.

Overnight in Atacama

Day 2
Archaeological Quitor & Tulor Tour, Moon Valley

Archaeological Quitor & Tulor Tour
This morning you will be collected from your hotel for a tour of San Pedro de Atacama, the archaeological capital of Chile. The small oasis town is one of the main cultural settlements in Atacama located near the mouth of the main river that feeds the salt flat. It lies on an arid high plateau in the Andes Mountains in the heart of some of northern Chile’s most spectacular scenery. During this excursion, visit the most important archaeological sites of San Pedro de Atacama. In the XII century aborigines built the fortress of Quitor to defend their people to the attack of enemies, foreigners or border natives. Tulor village is the oldest archeological human establishment of the entire region and it was occupied between 300BC and 500AC. Also visit the Ayllus De Coyo, most important part of the archaeological route. There you will find circulars constructions, antiques Lickanantay’s residences and can appreciate the original fauna and flora. On completion of the tour, you will be taken to your hotel. Please note this is a small group tour.

Moon Valley Tour
This afternoon, you will be collected from your hotel to travel across Cordillera de la Sal (Salt Mountain Range) to reach the Valle de la Luna (Valley of the Moon), one of the main attractions of this region. Located 19km from San Pedro de Atacama, the valley's landscape resembles the surface of the moon with small but sharp crested hills created by the wind. This tour is available only in the afternoon when the setting sun brings out the best of the valley's incredible colours. On completion of this tour, you will be taken to your hotel. Please note this is a small group tour.

Overnight in Atacama

Day 3
Atacama Salt Lake & Toconao Tour

This afternoon you will be collected from your hotel to visit the Salar de Atacama, one of the world’s largest salt lakes and the most important lithium reserves in the world. At Chaxa Lagoon, we will be able to enjoy watching a variety of bird species, including the three types of flamingos that inhabit Chile -Andean, Chilean and James’- and the pink color of their feathers. The deep blue of the Atacama sky, the altitudes of the Andean volcanos and the red sunset will bid us farewell before returning to San Pedro de Atacama. En route to the Salt Lake, visit the town of Toconao. The houses in this small picturesque village are built from bricks of white volcanic stone and its friendly inhabitants are famous for their fine wool knitting skills. On completion of the tour you will be taken to your hotel. Please note this is a small group tour.

Overnight in Atacama

Day 4
Atacama Tatio Geyers Depart San Pedro de Atacama

Atacama Tatio Geyers
Early this morning you will be collected from your hotel for your full day tour to the Tatio Geysers. Located 90 km northwest of San Pedro, the Tatio Geysers sit at an altitude of 4,320 metres above sea level and are said to be the highest geothermal field in the world. See the 100 geysers erupt water and let off steam to heights of up to 50 metres. Surrounded by spurts of water and vapor, enjoy the beauty of the Andes in its natural scenery. Then visit “Pozón Rústico”, where you will delight in the thermal waters the mountain range provides. On the way back to your hotel, drive downhill through a wonderful landscape where you can spot guanacos, vicuñas, flamingos and other wildlife. Please note this is a small group tour

Later this afternoon you will be taken to the airport for your onward flight.

What’s Included

Accommodation
  • Included Copy 31 Upgrade to superior or deluxe accommodation
  • Included Copy 20 Accommodation in standard hotels
Food
  • Included Copy 20 Breakfast daily, and other meals as outlined in the included sightseeing tours
Fees & Services
  • Included Copy 20 Private airport transfers
  • Included Copy 20 Sightseeing on a shared basis as outlined in the tour itinerary with English speaking guides
  • Included Copy 7 International Flights, Visa and reciprocity fees (if applicable), tips, travel insurance
Transportation
Land, Air, Ship, Train ...

Activities

  • Included Witness awe-inspiring landscapes including salt flats, deserts, geysers and incredible mountain back
  • Included Learn about the historical and cultural heritage of the Andean people.
  • Included Visit the Tatio Geysers to see the 100 geysers erupt water up to 50 meters.
  • Included Relax in the beautiful small oasis town of San Pedro de Atacama
  • Included Explore explore a moon-like landscape, at the Valley of Moon
  • Included Look for three types of flamingos that inhabit Chile; Andean, Chilean and James’
  • Included Visit the Salar de Atacama, one of the world’s largest salt lakes
Click here for dates & prices
Duration

4 days

Price from

$1,517 USD

Per person, sharing

Daily departures