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San Pedro de Atacama is a small town oasis in the heart of the Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on earth. Despite its arid landscape, the region is rich in natural wonders, cultural heritage, and adventure activities, making it a destination for travellers seeking a unique and unforgettable experience. The town itself has a rich history, with evidence of human settlement dating back over 11,000 years. Select amongst Chile’s finest hotels for an incredible experience: Awasi, Explora, Tierra, Cumbres or Nayara.
Day 1: Arrival and exploration of San Pedro de Atacama
Upon arrival at Calama Airport, you’ll be greeted by your hotel representative and driven to San Pedro de Atacama. The drive takes approximately one hour, and along the way, you’ll witness the stunning landscapes of the Atacama Desert.
Once you arrive at your chosen hotel, check-in and, if you arrive early, enjoy a delicious brunch. After it, take a guided walking tour of the town to learn about its rich history, cultural heritage, and daily life. Visit the main square and local handicraft markets, where you can purchase souvenirs made by the local people of the region.
After the walking tour, you can choose to relax and enjoy the amenities of your hotel or take part in additional activities, such as:
Day 2: Geysers del Tatio and Machuca Village
After an early morning departure from your hotel, you’ll visit the Geysers del Tatio, one of the world’s highest geothermal fields. This natural wonder is at an altitude of 4,320 meters above sea level and features many geysers, hot springs, and fumaroles. You’ll witness the sunrise over the geysers, making for a truly unforgettable experience.
After visiting the Geysers del Tatio, you’ll travel to the nearby village of Machuca, where you’ll learn about the traditional way of life of the Atacameño people. You’ll also taste traditional Chilean food, including empanadas, made with freshly harvested ingredients.
In the afternoon, return to your hotel and spend the rest of the day relaxing or taking part in additional activities offered by your hotel.
Day 3: Moon Valley, Salt Flats, and Altiplanic Lagoons
Today, you’ll visit some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the Atacama Desert. After breakfast, depart from your hotel and head to the Moon Valley, named for its lunar-like landscape, eroded over millions of years by wind and water. You’ll explore the area on foot and witness stunning views of the Andes Mountains.
Next, you’ll visit the Salares (Salt Flats), a vast expanse of white salt that stretches for miles. You’ll learn about the unique geological formations and the wildlife that inhabit the area.
Finally, you’ll travel to the Altiplanic Lagoons, at an altitude of over 4,000 meters above sea level. These lagoons are known for their crystal-clear waters and vibrant colours, which are caused by the high concentration of minerals in the water. You’ll also spot local wildlife, including flamingos and other bird species.
In the evening, return to your hotel and enjoy a farewell dinner featuring traditional Chilean cuisine.
Day 4: Departure
After breakfast, say goodbye to the Atacama Desert and transfer to Calama Airport for your onward flight.