Atacama Hiking Cultural Journey

Atacama Desert
Trip Length: 5 Days
Group Size: 1-10
Difficulty
From: 2,320 USD
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Discover the hidden cultural treasures of the Atacama Desert, unlocking the vault to a long and vast history of civilization and gods.

The Atacama desert is home to some of Chile’s most fascinating history and culture, left behind by the indigenous tribes who called the arid high desert home. Walk along hidden trails, visit archeological and nature sites, and learn more about the natural and cultural heritage of the region on this enriching 5-day tour!

NOR023 _ Atacama _ Tatio Geysers

 

Highlights

Highlights

  • Explore San Pedro de Atacama.
  • Walk on hidden desert trails.
  • Enjoy sunset at Moon Valley.
  • Examine ancient petroglyphs and various other archaeological sites.
  • See the Tatio Geysers.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival and Moon Valley

The 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). Once in San Pedro, we will check in to our hotel, have lunch and then depart for the first excursion, in the vast desert ripples of Moon Valley! A 15-minute drive takes us to a viewpoint looking out over the majestic Cordillera de la Sal. From here we begin our moderate hike (3.5 km, approx 1 hour 45 mins) along a narrow trail over a gully before walking down across a small sand dune to cross into the Kari canyon, (at 2,600 meters above sea level) an old dried riverbed with beautiful rocks, grottos, and caverns.

From here we will witness one of the world's most beautiful sunsets, over Moon Valley, intensified by the warm colors of the sand dunes stretching out in the horizon. This evening we will have a welcome dinner, which is a great opportunity to get to know your guides and traveling companions.

Overnight at Hotel Altiplanico in the Superior room (4 star accommodation)

Day 2: Yerbas Buenas and Valle del Arcoiris Walk

The Atacama Desert, Chile

Today we visit the archaeological site of Yerbas Buenas, home to ancient petroglyphs that date back approximately 10,000 years. These ancient drawings are an amazing relic of the Atacameno people. We will leave San Pedro at 8:30 AM and drive for about an hour until we reach Yerbas Buenas. ere we will walk around the site for around an hour before heading to Valle del Arcoiris (Rainbow Valley). Rainbow Valley is aptly named, as the mineral-rich rocks create shades of green, blue and red across the valley’s cliffs and hills. We will hike around the valley for around an hour and a half before driving back to San Pedro for lunch at around 1:30 PM. This afternoon will be at your leisure.

Overnight at Hotel Altiplanico in the Superior room (4 star accommodation)

Day 3: AM - Archaeological hike at Tulor dunes; PM Gatchi Gorge

The Atacama Desert, Chile

We leave the hotel on foot at 8:30 AM through the oasis of San Pedro until we reach the Tulor sector. En route to this ancient village dating back to 800 BC, there are various archaeological artifacts to learn about the Atacamenian lifestyle - in both its antiquity and present. This area is not frequented by tourists so you will be able to gain a more genuine insight into the culture. Additionally, there is a small museum which you can visit by donating a small fee to the village. lunch is included and you will be able to eat typical Chilean Atacama food in Aillu Coyo. After lunch, we will return to San Pedro to relax before our afternoon activities.

At 4:00 PM (3:00 PM in winter), we will depart San Pedro to walk along the canyon of the Vilama river and see the Cardon Cactus. This cactus is famous for its outrageously slow growth, taking 300 years to grow just 3 meters! There is a wealth of other plants and wildlife to observe in this area.

Overnight at Hotel Altiplanico in the Superior room (4 star accommodation)

Day 4: AM Tatio Geyser & PM Las Cornisas & Death Valley

The Atacama Desert, Chile

In the early morning, we will depart for a 100 km drive to the Tatio Geysers, arriving just after the vast sunrise crowds have dispersed and the Geysers can be appreciated in the sunlight at a more relaxed pace and pleasant temperature. The geothermic field is truly incredible, from almost 900 meters below ground, boiling steam bursts up to 40 meters over the surface of the earth.

After lunch, you will be picked up from your hotel and after a half-hour drive along the old road connecting San Pedro and Calama, we will reach a tunnel. There are stunning views of the region’s volcanoes and we will visit the archaeological sites of Quitor and Tambo Inca. From here we begin the hike up to 2600 m. Once we have reached the summit, we will descend down the biggest dunes in Death Valley, entering into a mysterious landscape that invokes contemplation in many guests.

Overnight at Hotel Altiplanico in the Superior room (4 star accommodation)

Day 5: Goodbye Atacama!

The Atacama Desert, Chile

On the final day, we will relax and wander around the village, visiting the handicraft shops, church and museum. In the afternoon we will drive to the Calama Airport to catch a flight back to the capital... Adiós Atacama!

Accommodation

Hotel Altiplánico Atacama

Tucked away on a gentle stretch of land in the outskirts of San Pedro de Atacama, surrounded by the quiet presence of the Andes, Altiplanico San Pedro faces the impressive Licancabur Volcano, with a unique design inspired in the style of an Altiplano village. Enjoy the famous Atacama sunsets and relax from the smoldering sun in the fresh covers of our private terraces and beautiful swimming pool after a day exploring the driest desert in the world. The hotel was developed following the concept of visual silence, the eye registers the hotel in its totality included in the immensity of the Atacama desert.

Included

Included

  • All ground transport as indicated in the itinerary4 nights at a hotel in San Pedro de Atacama.
  • Daily private excursions as specified in the itinerary.
  • 1 English speaking guide on excursions.
  • Entrance fees to the museum, national parks, and indigenous communities visited.
  • Meals:
    • Day 1: Dinner.
    • Day 2: Breakfast.
    • Day 3: Breakfast, 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

Private departure are available every day on request.

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.

Physical demands

This is trip is moderately active and involves walking at a normal pace over flat to semi-steep terrain on days 2 and 3. As you will be touring at high altitude, 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 to be 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.

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Destinations | Chile

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