Atacama Desert Explorer

San Pedro de Atacama
Trip Length: 4 Days
Group Size: 1 - 10
Difficulty
From: 860 USD
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Prepare to have your mind boggled by the immense, surreal, and beautiful terrains of the Atacama Desert. It's the driest desert on the planet!

Take in the raw beauty of the Atacama Desert and admire its unworldly salt plains, geysers, volcanoes, and cultural history on this superb exploration.

NOR022 _ Atacama _ San Pedro Church

 

Highlights

Highlights

  • Stroll through the Atacama Salt Flats.
  • Visit Miscanti and Miñiques Lagoons.
  • Explore San Pedro town.
  • See the Tatio Geysers in action.
  • Discover the magical Moon Valley.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival to Atacama.

San Pedro de Atacama, Chile.

We arrive at Calama Airport and are driven straight to San Pedro de Atacama, past the impressive rock formations of the Cordillera de la Sal (Salt Mountains). Upon arrival, you will receive the itinerary for the upcoming days. We take the first day of the trip to relax and for example wander around the village, visit its handicraft shops church on our own.

Please choose a flight that arrives before 12:00 pm (midday).

 

Overnight at Hotel Kimal, San Pedro de Atacama (3-star accommodation).

Day 2: Altiplanic Lagoons & traditional wool manufacturing of Socaire.

San Pedro de Atacama, Chile.

After breakfast, we’ll start our adventure by travelling south toward the "Puna" or Highlands/Altiplanic, to marvel at its landscapes with unique lagoons and salt flats filled with wildlife and vegetation. Here, Miscanti Lagoon (the largest in the region) will surely catch your eye to impress you.

Later, we will visit the Village of Socaire, where the local indigenous community still preserves part of their traditional lifestyle.

Overnight at Hotel Kimal, San Pedro de Atacama (3-star accommodation).

Day 3: Tatio Geysers (6 am).

San Pedro de Atacama, Chile.

Prepare for an early wake-up call to see the amazing Tatio Geysers in action. From almost 900 meters below the earth, boiling steam bursts up to 40 meters over the surface of the earth.

We will heat toward one of the entries to the Andean highlands, passing through important altitude ecosystems of extremely rich biodiversity such as the wetlands of Machuca and Putana. We make a stop at Machuca, a little farmer´s village, to then continue towards an overwhelming spectacle of nature: the geyser field ´El Tatio´. Before returning to San Pedro we explore yet another mighty gift of the earth, known as the “Geyser Blanco” (White Geyser), where the ones who have the heart can get into the thermal waters in the middle of the river trough.

Overnight at Hotel Kimal, San Pedro de Atacama (3-star accommodation).

Day 4: AM Moon Valley and Goodbye Atacama!

San Pedro de Atacama, Chile.

We will start the journey from the hotel close to 6:30 AM* to head toward the majestic and serene beauty of the Salt Mountain Range to have breakfast while watching the sunrise. Then we will head into our last hike in the vast and amazing Valle de la Luna. We walk beside sand dunes until we reach the viewpoint from where we will witness one of the world's most beautiful and rare landscapes, intensified by the warm colors throughout the Valley.

*Exact pick up time will be advised on the arrival day.

Later, we will share with two Ayllus (local families) of San Pedro and taste typical Atacameñan products. We will also get to know the history, culture and challenges of San Pedro de Atacama.*

*This excursion could be changed for a visit to a local Ceramic Workshop.

To end this day, we will take a semi private transfer that will drive us to the Calama airport, from which we'll be able to continue with our next adventure!

Please choose a flight that departs after 5:00 PM.

We recommend a flight departing from Calama (CJC) after 5:00 PM, as the transfer to the airport must depart with enough time.

Accommodation

Hotel Kimal 3*, standard room (nights 1-3)

Located in the the historical center and magic splendor of the archaeological capital, San Pedro de Atacama desert area in northern Chile,  Hotel Kimal invites you to enjoy its warm hospitality with the full range of services in a setting of traditional local architecture. Offering pool and outdoor hot-tub, bar and restaurant open all day, wellness therapies, different room capacities they have one of the very best location to roam around town, just a few steps from the emblematic Caracoles Street.

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

Optional: Upgrade to Hotel Altiplanico, Superior Room (Nights 1-3) (4 star hotel).

Included

Included

  • All ground transport as indicated in the itinerary.
  • 3 nights in Hotel Kimal (3-star accommodation) *
  • Daily shared excursions as specified in the itinerary.
  • 1 English speaking guide on excursions.
  • Entrance fees to national reserves and indigenous communities visited.
  • Meals:
    • Day 1: --
    • Day 2: Breakfast, Lunch
    • Day 3: Breakfast
    • Day 4: Breakfast

*Optional upgrade at Hotel Altiplanico (4-star accommodation)

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 are available every day on request. Excursions are subject to availability and the opening of the indigenous communities to carry them out. Alternatives will be informed in case the activities described in the itinerary are not available. Upon arrival, you will receive the itinerary for the upcoming dates. Tours will be as described in the itinerary (the order might vary).

During the last week of the year bookings are available only on request and with higher rates due the low availability of excursions and accomodation options in the area.

Flights

Flights in and out of Calama must be between 8AM and 8 PM, transfers for flights outside these time frame must be booked in private, with an additional cost.

Starting / finishing point

The trip starts in the morning at Calama Airport.  Please book any flight arriving before midday. The trip finishes at Calama Airport and we recommend booking an afternoon flight.

Group size & guiding staff

20 maximum, plus staff.

Physical demands

This trip does not demand physical activity other than walking at a normal pace over rather a 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 or altitude sickness may occur.  Guides will have oxygen tanks every day at disposition if someone feels sick during the tours.

Weather

In the Atacama region, there are hot days and cold nights. The Atacama Desert is considered the driest place on earth and rain is rare most times of the year. However, it should be noted that between December and March, Bolivia's wet winter weather can sometimes cause unexpected rainfall in the Atacama. 

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

 

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.

Altitudes

Maximum altitudes reached each tour day:

  • Day 1: San Pedro de Atacama: 2,400 meters / 7,900 feet
  • Day 2: Altiplanic Lagoons: 4,300 meters / 14,108 feet
  • Day 3: Tatio Geysers: 4,200 meters / 13,780 feet
  • Day 4: San Pedro de Atacama:  2.400 meters / 7,900 feet

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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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