Ancestral Atacama Adventure

Atacama Desert
Trip Length: 5 Days
Group Size: 1-10
Difficulty
From: 1,130 USD
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Perfect for adventurers and culture buffs, this 4-day immersion into the past and present of the Atacama takes you deep into the heart of the desert.

We delve into the diverse world of geysers, valleys, and lagoons to learn about the worldview of the original altiplano people and explore their culture through unique food tastings.

Stars in the Atacama Desert (2)

 

Highlights

Highlights

  • Immerse yourself in the culture.
  • Explore local agriculture.
  • Go on an astronomical tour.
  • Visit Miscanti and Miñiques Lagoons.
  • See the Tatio Geysers in action.
  • Discover the magical Moon Valley.

Itinerary

Day 1: Atacama Arrival and free afternoon

Atacama Desert, Chile

We’ll arrive at Calama Airport and drive straight to San Pedro de Atacama, passing the impressive rock formations of the Cordillera de la Sal (Salt Mountains). The afternoon is free for you to explore the little town of San Pedro.

Overnight at Hotel Casa Don Tomas (3-star accommodation)

Day 2: Moon Valley at Dawn & Local Food Tasting

Atacama Desert, Chile

We’ll be picked up at around 6 AM (exact time will vary depending on the season) to experience an unforgettable sunrise in front of the Andes mountains. We’ll then stop by a traditional ayllu, an ancient self-sustaining unit of land developed by the altiplano people. Here we will taste traditional food specialties from the region and learn about their history. Everything here is locally produced - right down to the cups and bowls - which allows us to better understand the culture. We then head back to the hotel for lunch at around 11 AM.

Afterward, at around 2:30 PM, we’ll start our journey to the northwest of San Pedro. We’ll walk through the picturesque town of Río Grande to learn about its unique architecture and traditional agriculture followed by a geological exploration of the Rainbow Valley where we will uncover million-year-old rocks.

We’ll take in the sunset from Death Valley, an amazing spot with views of the Cordillera de la Sal and the Andes Mountains.

 Overnight at Hotel Casa Don Tomas (3-star accommodation)

Day 3: Altiplanic lagoons, traditional agriculture, and culture

Atacama Desert, Chile

We’ll travel south towards the high area of the desert to Laguna Miscanti, the biggest lagoon in the region and home to wild vicuñas. Following this, we will stop in the town of Socaire. Here we will learn about the ancient Atacameño weaving culture that is still preserved by the local community before returning to the hotel around 5 PM. Once the sun has set, it is time to make our way to the best spot in the Atacama Desert to observe the stars and see for ourselves why this area is said to have one of the clearest skies on Earth. We’ll observe the beauty of the celestial bodies and discover the ancient cosmovision of the Andean people, ancient astronomers who were discovering the heavens long before the first telescope ever existed.

 Overnight at Hotel Casa Don Tomas (3-star accommodation)

Day 4: Tatio Geysers & local cultural experience

Atacama Desert, Chile

This morning we’ll make our way into the Andean altiplano just as the first rays of sunlight begin to shine. We’ll arrive first at the Machuca and Putana wetlands, where we will contemplate the important ecosystems we encounter, and then discover the little town of Machuca known for its history with llamas. At around 9:30 AM, we’ll arrive in time for breakfast at the world-famous Tatio Geysers - 4,320 meters above sea level - followed by a visit to ‘Geyser Blanco’ where the more intrepid can go for a soak in the middle of the river.

We’ll be back at the hotel by 3:00 PM, and after lunch (not included) we’ll head out around 4 PM for an afternoon of cultural fun to learn about the local Atacameño culture, their beliefs, and their history.

 Overnight at Hotel Casa Don Tomas (3-star accommodation)

Day 5: Goodbye San Pedro

Atacama Desert, Chile

After breakfast, we will drive to the Calama Airport to take our flight back to the capital... Adiós Atacama!

Accommodation

Hotel La Casa de Don Tomas 3*, superior room (nights 1-3)

Located in the magic splendor of the archeologically capital, San Pedro de Atacama desert area in northern Chile, Hotel La Casa de Don Tomas offers its guests the best in comfort and ambiance. Spacious rooms with private baths are complemented by the best in service. Here the earth -colors of the world´s driest desert appear like a shimmering mosaic.

The shining green of the valley cuts through the arid landscape, leading to the mountainous terrain, the deep blue sky and an infinity of stars. The hotel is decorated with rustic furniture made of willow trees and features both rooms and cabanas. The patio and swimming pool offer an incredible view of the surrounding mountains and the imposing Licancabur volcano.

If this hotel is not available, a similar alternative will be offered.

Included

Included

  • 4 nights accommodation at a 3-star hotel.
  • Daily excursions as indicated in the itinerary.
  • All ground transport as indicated in the itinerary.
  • Entrance fees to national reserves and indigenous communities visited.
  • English speaking guide during excursions.
  • Meals:
    • Day 1: -
    • Day 2: Breakfast and Appetizer.
    • Day 3: Breakfast and Lunch.
    • Day 4: Breakfast.
    • Day 5: Breakfast.

Not included

  • Flight tickets.
  • Insurance. (it is mandatory you purchase appropriate insurance for this trip)
  • Voluntary tipping to guides and staff.
  • Personal items.

Facts

Departures

Regular Departures with 3* accommodation.

Every day on request.

Starting / finishing point

This trip starts and ends at the Calama Airport.

Physical demands

This trip does not demand physical activity other than walking at a normal pace over rather flat terrain. Nevertheless, as you will be touring in high altitudes (the highest point reached on the fourth day at Miñiques Lagoon is 4,300 meters / 14,108 feet) oxygen deprivation - altitude sickness - will affect everyone to some extent. Guides will have oxygen tanks every day at disposition if someone feels sick during the tour.

Altitudes

Maximum altitudes reached each tour day:

  • Day 2: Rainbow Valley: 3,200 meters / 10,500 feet.
  • Day 3: Miñiques Lagoons: 4,300 meters / 14,108 feet.
  • Day 4: Tatio Geysers: 4,200 meters / 13,780 feet.

Group size & guiding staff

Minimum 2 passengers.

Maximum 10 passengers per group.

Transport

We use 4x4 vehicles that sit up to 4 people.

For larger group sizes we use an H1 Hyundai van or a Sprinter.

Weather

In the Atacama region, the weather follows a typical desert pattern of hot days and cold nights. The Atacama Desert is considered to be the driest place on earth and rain is rare at any time of year!

  • Spring-Summer (October to March): Daytime temperatures usually range between 20°C - 24°C (68-77 F). Nighttime temperatures will most likely range from 5°C - 0°C (41 - 32 F)
  • Autumn-Winter (April to September): Daytime temperatures range from 15°C -20°C (59-68 F). Nighttime temperatures will most likely be -10°C - 0°C (14 - 32F)

What you need to bring

Once you book the trip we will send you a pre-trip Information booklet with useful and detailed information about your trip with us.

Itinerary modifications

We reserve the right to change the order of the days in any itinerary at the discretion of the trip guide and based on operational considerations. The trip guide can modify, change or eliminate part of the itinerary based on safety/weather considerations.

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We are a Chilean owned adventure tour operator, based in Santiago de Chile, operating adventure tours in Chile, Argentina and Bolivia. Our base prices are in Chilean Pesos (CLP), but we charge prices in USD based on the exchange rate valid on the day of payment.

Destinations | Chile

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