BIKE AND HIKE TOUR ATACAMA DESERT (8D-7N)

San Pedro de Atacama

8 days and 7 nights

This bike & hike itinerary in the Atacama Desert can be the perfect way to discover this stunning zone of Chile. Enjoy daily the activities inside nature and breathe only calmness.

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Day 1 – Calama Airport – San Pedro de Atacama

Arrival at Calama Airport and private transfer to San Pedro de Atacama. Only driver service. Accomodation: Hotel Casa de Don Tomás 4* or similar.

Included:  bedroom and breakfasttransport

Day 2 – Bike Ayllus and Likan Antay Experience – Hike Kari Gorge – Stargazing

On our first day, you will meet your team of local professional guides at the Hotel at 9 am. They will go over all logistic details and help you fit your bike to your satisfaction.

Morning Ride: Today we will have a great introductory experience to the Likan Antay culture and its way of living. We will leave the hotel by bike and ride through different ayllus. The Ayllu is an ancient type of organization and land management. Created by the Altiplano people who inhabited these desert sites, it was this that allowed for the settlement and development of these cultures, managing the landscape to survive in the most complex conditions of this isolated place, in the middle of the driest desert in the world. We will pass by Solcor, Sequitor & Tulor. Here we will make our first stop in order to visit the Tulor archaeological site, one of the oldest archaeological sites in northern Chile. Then we will meet Wildo and his family at the ayllu of Coyo and share with his family some daily activities and ancestral cosmovision. We will enjoy lunch at a local restaurant in Coyo tasting typical food prepared with local products. Finally, we will bike back to the hotel, rest from the sun and get prepared for our PM excursion. Distance by Bike: 30 Km

Elevation: 2.400 Meters above sea level.

Afternoon Hike: During the afternoon we’ll head toward the Salt Mountain Range, which forms a natural barrier between the Pacific Ocean and the Atacama Salt Flat. The hike starts at the Coyote rock, a strange rock formation and gets deep into the mountain range and its geologic forms. We’ll hike for 2 hours by the Kari George located in the Moon Valley, admiring beautiful views of Atacama. The Moon is well-known due to its statuesque and rocky formations. Salt emerges to the surface, covering the surface with a dry, whitish layer that gives the place a lunar aspect. Distance Hiking: 8 Km. Elevation: 2.400 Meters above sea level.

Evening activity: At night we will enjoy an amazing astronomy outing. We’ll spend 2 hours that starts with an astronomy lecture in a specially equipped room, followed by a naked eye star-gazing and finally, a celestial bodies telescopic observation.

Accomodation: Hotel Casa de Don Tomás 4* or similar.

Included:  Bike and helmetentrance feesexcursionbilingual local guideinsurancebedroom and breakfastsnack.

 

Day 3 – Hike Guatin and Puritama Hotspring – Bike Toconao and Chaxa Lagoon

Morning Hike: After breakfast departure from your hotel by van (30 min.) on the road towards the North-East. The excursion starts out by ascending from the Guatín settlement. The hike begins climbing along an 820ft slope towards the Puritama hot springs. The trail passes through ancient settlements and hundred-year-old cactus; the terrain is rocky at times. Once we reach the hot springs we will relax in mineral hot water and enjoy snacks. Return to San Pedro de Atacama; lunch in the village on your own. Distance Hiking: 6.8 km Elevation: 3.600 Meters above sea level.

Afternoon Ride: In the afternoon we will bike from San Pedro to the town of Toconao. Once here we will visit the Main Plaza, the Church and the historic Belltower,  historic symbols of this town all of them.

Accommodation: Hotel Casa de Don Tomás 4* or similar.

Later, we will visit some vegetable gardens and sample some local wine. After we will continue biking towards “Reserva Nacional Los Flamencos”, where the Atacama Salt Flat is located and bird watching is amazing. This National Reserve is formed by a gigantic depression of more than 3.500km2, located 2.300m. high. The Atacama salt flat is the biggest salt field in Chile and its large quantities of salt make the surface white and rough. The dryness and altitude of the salt field allow an excellent panoramic view of the area. The bottom of the salt field is composed of an enormous lake, which receives water from mountain rivers and melting snow. As it has no runoff, several small lagoons have formed, where we can observe the three species of flamingos living in the area: Puna, Andean and the Chilean flamingo. Here we will wait until sunset and then head back by van to our hotel in San Pedro and spend the night (in summer sunset is around 9 pm and in winter around 6 pm). Distance by Bike: 63,7 Km. Elevation: 2.400 Meters above sea level.

Included:  Bike and helmetentrance feesexcursionbilingual local guideinsurancebedroom and breakfast.

 

Day 4 – Bike Tebenquinche and Cejar Lagoon – Bike Piedra de la Coca and Mars Valley

Morning Ride: Today we’ll bike towards Ojos del Salar, Tebinquiche & The Cejar Lagoonwhere you’ll get the chance to swim, enjoying the gravitational effect caused by the amount of salt condensed, floating very easily. Your eyes will be amazed by the beautiful turquoise colour of the lagoon. Lunch on your own. Distance by Bike: 40 Km. Elevation: 2.400 Meters above sea level.

Afternoon Ride: After lunch, we leave by bicycle to Catarpe through a road that goes up to Salt Ridge. We go through an ancient tunnel before starting a descent that will take us to the Piedra de la Coca, a site with petroglyphs. We continue our trip to the Paciencia plains through stony grounds and on our way back we pass through the Mars Valley. Return to San Pedro de Atacama overnight. Distance by Bike: 36 Km. Elevation: 2.400 Meters above sea level.

Accommodation: La Casa de Don Tomas 4* or similar.

Included:  Bike and helmetentrance feesexcursionbilingual local guideinsurancebedroom and breakfast

Day 5 – Bike and Hike Guatin – Machuca and Rio Grande (Full Day)

Today we will experience a full-day excursion combining biking & hiking. We will leave the hotel by van until we reach the Guatin Valley. Here we will start biking toward Machuca Village. Starting at 3.600 meters over the sea level we will go biking uphill passing by the intermediate gorges, and rock formations until we get to the high flats where Machuca is located. Here we will enjoy the wetlands and we will be able to appreciate different bird species. We will have time for a rest and get prepared to start hiking. We will hike along a creek to the Grande River. In this exploration, we can see fauna and typical Andean farming terraces. The path is an old caravan trail and goes alongside the river. We will stop for lunch at Peñaliri, an abandoned village and continue hiking until we reach Rio Grande, a very charming and authentic village. The path is an old caravan trail and goes alongside the river. Finally, we’ll head back to the village and stay overnight, dinner is on your own. Distance by Bike: 22 Km. Distance Hiking: 16 Km. Elevation: 3.600 -4.000 Meters above sea level. Accommodation: La Casa de Don Tomas 4* or similar.

Included:  Bike and helmetbox lunchentrance feesexcursionbilingual local guideinsurancebedroom and breakfast.

 

Day 6 – Hike Tatio Geysers (Full Day)

Today we will enjoy a hike at the geothermal field. We will hike through abandoned shelters and native wildlife. This hike around the Copa Coya Hill to the Tatio Geysers provides unforgettable moments. The red-hued rock that the wider valley is known for turns to a dusty grey or pale orange throughout this excursion, which begins on the trails surrounding Copa Coya Hill. Despite its elevation and apparent isolation, the route is known to attract its fair share of on looking wildlife as you hike, including native Vizcachas, Vicuñas and an abundance of llareta plants, longest-living in the world. We will enjoy lunch at the geothermal field with the chance to take a bath at the thermal pools. Later, we’ll return to San Pedro de Atacama and enjoy dinner together with your local guides. Distance Hiking: 9 Km. Elevation: 4.400 Meters above sea level. Accommodation: La Casa de Don Tomas 4* or similar.

Included:  Bike and helmetbox lunchdinnerentrance feesexcursionbilingual local guideinsurancebedroom, and breakfast.

Day 7 – Bike Andean Villages – Alto Loa (Full Day)

Today we will leave the town of San Pedro de Atacama to discover beautiful and charming towns at the Alto Loa. We will drive for about 1 hour from San Pedro towards the area of Tocorpuri, passing some wetlands and long plateaus. We will start biking at 4.000 meters on a paved road. The road has rolling hills and amazing views of volcanoes and ravines. We will bike for about 40 KM descending the famous Cuesta de la Chita until we reach the town of Caspana which is developed in an environment of agricultural crops and small livestock, it has the permanent irrigation of the Caspana River, which favours the agricultural cultivation in terraces. Here we will enjoy lunch.

Afterwards, we will continue biking alongside the Alto Loa area to get to the Ayquina village and the isolated Turi Pukara which is a residential and ceremonial of the Atacama culture, dating from the year 1250. Here we will take our vans and drive to Calama where we will stay overnight and enjoy our farewell dinner together. Distance Biking: 89 Km. Elevation: 4.400 Meters above sea level. Accommodation: Noi Borde Loa Hotel in Calama 4* or similar.

Included:  Bike and helmetbox lunchdinnerentrance feesexcursionbilingual local guideinsurancebedroom and breakfast.

 

Day 8 – Bike Chiu Chiu, Lasana Valley and Pre Inca Fortress – Transfer to Calama Airport

After breakfast, we will drive from the hotel toward the Town of Chiu Chiu. This village is located in an oasis that in pre-Hispanic times had a large concentration of Likan Antay population and was part of the Inca Trail. From here we will start biking through the Lasana Valley until we arrive at Lasana Pukara, a well-preserved 12th-century fortress where more than 100 buildings were built in stone: We will have the chance to visit this archaeological site and bike back to Chiu Chiu. Here we will take the vans back to the hotel and get prepared to drive to the airport in Calama. End of our services. Distance Biking: 20 Km. Elevation: 2.700 Meters above sea level. Please book your flight in the afternoon from 3 PM.

Included:  bilingual local guideinsurancetransport.

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