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San Pedro de Atacama, home to the driest desert in the world, will transport you to a dream world of waterfalls and snow-capped volcanoes. The region’s landscapes are so varied and stunning that each new spot will leave you in amazement. From valleys that look like the moon, to expansive salt flats and colorful mountains, San Pedro has so much to offer any visitor. The charm of San Pedro doesn't end with the stunning landscapes; during this trip, you'll ascend to over 14,000 feet (higher than Cusco, Peru) to experience an environment unlike any other. Your Local Guide Gabriele will be with you the entire way to help you find the most beautiful places in this expansive desert, and he's designed the perfect program with a gradual ascent that will reduce any side effects of the high altitude so you can maximally enjoy the landscapes. Each of your four days in San Pedro will be an entirely new adventure!
Day 1: The Moon Valley and Stargazing
Your Local Guide Gabriele will pick you up at the airport. You’ll be able to check in and unpack before heading out on an excursion to the Moon Valley. The Moon Valley might be the closest most people will get to the moon. This rugged landscape of craters and rock formations will leave you feeling like an astronaut. You will arrive at the Valle de la Luna just in time for sunset where you’ll watch the beautiful changing colors as the sun sets over the unique landscape of the valley. After the sun sets, you will embark on a stargazing and astronomy adventure led by a different guide. The Atacama desert is one of the best places in the world for stargazing due to the hole in the ozone layer. During this 2.5-hour group stargazing experience you'll say hello to Saturn, take photos of the moon’s surface and end the night with a cup of hot cocoa. The guide of this tour will teach you how to read a sky map and recognize the important stars. He’ll even use a green laser pointer to make sure everyone can see the various constellations.
Day 2: Explore the Atacama Salt Flat
You’ll spend the full day exploring the Atacama Salt Flat, the largest salt flat of Chile with a surface of 3,000 square kms. It’s also the natural habitat of three different beautiful flamingo species. You’ll first go to the highland lagoons of Miscanti and Miñiques. From here, you’ll have a spectacular view of the high plateaus and can appreciate the contrast of in the Atacama Desert, the blue sky, the yellow tones of the vegetation, reddish and black rocks, snowy volcano tops and the blue lagoons with their white mineral boarders. After appreciating this beauty you’ll head back to your accommodations in San Pedro. You’ll be provided with lunch during this excursion.
Day 3: Explore the Mountains of the Atacama Desert
Today you’ll trek for 2-3 hours through the Salty Mountain Range, where you’ll see all sorts of curious geological formations, caves, gorges and ridges. You’ll then head through the Domeyko Mountain Range to the archaeological site of Hierbas Buenas where you can view petroglyphs, or rock carvings. From there, you’re close to the Rainbow Valley. You’ll head into the Rainbow Valley and immediately see the colorful mountains that give the valley its name. After walking through the valley’s unique sculptures, you’ll return to San Pedro for the night.
Day 4: Tatio Geysers and leaving San Pedro
For your final day, you’ll leave early in the morning from San Pedro to the Tatio geysers. These geysers are fumaroles, holes in the ground letting out smoke from a volcano.The geysers can reach a height of 7m at this geyser field situated in the Andes Range at the foot of the Tatio and Linzor volcanoes. Here, you’ll be able to have a picnic lunch before you swim in the natural hot springs. After a dip in the springs, your Local Guide Gabriele will drive you up to Calama Airport to head on to your next destination. On the way you’ll make quick visits to Caspana, Chiu-Chiu, Lasana Fortress and the petroglyphs of Loa River.
This tour is easily accessible to people of all ages and physical abilities; please inform your local guide if you need accommodations.
The order of the tours is subject to change depending on the climate and which day is most suitable for each tour.
Born in Genoa, Italy to Italian and Chilean parents, I have been exposed to different cultures at an early age. As a child, I lived in Panama for a few years and then later in Miami for another 10 years of my life. I took each move as an adventure and loved every second of learning the ins and outs of my new homes.
I studied business and marketing in school, but it wasn’t until I decided to follow my passion and try working in the outdoor tourism industry that I truly knew I was in the right place. I decided to follow my roots back to Chile to begin giving outdoor tours. I loved being in the mountains and the deserts. The beauty of the landscapes amazes me every time I go out there with a new tour group. I love showing visitors the unique frontier that is Chile. Between the deserts, mountains, and valleys that look like the moon, views of Chile always impress its visitors.
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