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Highlights of the Atacama

Take in the stunning scenery of the Atacama – the world's driest desert. Explore its other-worldly valleys and rock formations, shimmering high altitude lagoons, vast salt flats that reflect the sky and geothermal fields with geysers spouting steam from the depths of the earth. This is a great add-on to any trip to Chile at any time of year.

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Highlights of the Atacama

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Trip type

Private

Trip length

4 Days

From

$1,186

Location

Other

Highlights of the Atacama - 4 - $1,186

Trip Summary and Itinerary Map

Day 1: Transfer to San Pedro de Atacama

Day 2: Atacama Salt Flat and Altiplanic Lagoons

Day 3: El Tatio Geysers

Day 4: Moon Valley; Transfer to Calama Airport

Start from Calama and end at Calama

Landmarks visited on Highlights of the Atacama

Operator's Itinerary

Day 1: Transfer to San Pedro de Atacama

After arriving at Calama Airport, you'll be taken by a shared transfer to your hotel in the colourful village of San Pedro de Atacama, passing the impressive rock formations of the Cordillera de la Sal (Salt Mountains) on the way. San Pedro is located 2,440m above sea level in the middle of a vast Andean plain.

You'll be free this afternoon to enjoy the village on your own, soaking up the relaxed atmosphere in Bohemian San Pedro. The town has many wonderful restaurants to choose from.

Accommodation: Hotel in San Pedro


Day 2: Atacama Salt Flat and Altiplanic Lagoons

This full day starts with you heading towards the Atacama Salt Flat, the 3rd largest in the world, where you can see two or three different pink species of flamingos at the Chaxa Lagoons. You'll then visit the stunning Miscanti and Miñiques Altiplanic Lagoons at an altitude of 4,200m. Their intensely blue-coloured waters contrast strikingly with the volcanoes that tower above them.

You'll have lunch in a local restaurant and a stroll around the charming town of Socaire, famous for its agricultural terraces.

Excursion: Full day excursion with a private guide

Meals: Breakfast, lunch

Accommodation: Hotel in San Pedro


Day 3: El Tatio Geysers

Before dawn, your guide will collect you to head north, about 1.5hrs along a dirt road, to the famous El Tatio Geysers – a geothermal field flanked by soaring peaks. El Tatio is situated at 4,300m above sea level on the Bolivian border and is the highest geothermal field in the world. It's just about as 'in the middle of nowhere' as you can get.

On the way there, we'll stop at the farming village of Machuca - an historic resting place for llama caravans that traveled the Inca Highway.

At the El Tatio geyser field, you'll be able to watch the geyser erupt and the brilliant salt crystals reflect around the steaming pools. We'll also visit Geyser Blanco where some hardy souls even try to dip in the cooler pools.

We'll then return to San Pedro de Atacama before lunch and enjoy the afternoon at leisure.

Excursion: Half day excursion with a private guide

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Hotel in San Pedro


Day 4: Moon Valley; Transfer to Calama Airport

Around 6.30am we'll head to the beautiful Salt Mountain Range where we'll have breakfast while watching the sunrise. We'll then embark on our final hike, into the vast Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley). Here we'll walk beside sand dunes until we reach a viewpoint from where we'll have stunning views of the unique landscapes, intensified by the morning sun.

On the way back to the hotel, we'll stop to spend some time with two local families for a taste of typical Atacameñan products and learn about the history, culture and challenges of San Pedro de Atacama.

In the afternoon you'll take a shared transfer from your hotel in San Pedro de Atacama to Calama Airport, ready for departure or onward travel.

We recommend a flight departing after 5pm.

Meals: Breakfast

Customer review background image

What our customers think of Highlights of the Atacama

Highlights of the Atacama trips scored 4.6/5 from 6 reviews

There were many memorable moments, but the stay at Patagonia Camp was idyllic. The accommodations were unique and comfortable, the scenery breath taking, and the staff welcoming , gracious , helpful and kind.

Travelled: January 2022

Jerry -

Reaching the base of the Towers on a bad weather day and having the sun come out just as we arrived at the moraine lake

Travelled: December 2019

John -

Hiking the amazing trails in Patagonia! The views were amazing!!!!

Travelled: January 2022

Ken -

Viewing Southern Right Whales from the cliffs between Puerto Montt and Puerto Piramedes

Travelled: December 2022

Mary -

Can't zero it down to one. If I had to choose, I'd say the iceberg braking off in-front of us while we're on a kayak.

Travelled: February 2020

Adam -

Wulaia and Easter Island moais

Travelled: February 2023

Petter -

Review:

Prices, Departures and Inclusions

Prices for the 2023/24 season for two people sharing a standard hotel room are from USD $1,186 per person.

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Please contact us to discuss your preferred dates.

Additional Notes

Final trip price – This will depend on the exchange rate on the day of booking.

Accommodation – The accommodation on this itinerary can be modified. Please see our guide to Atacama hotels for more information.

Single supplementPlease enquire.

Excursions – The excursions are run on a small-group basis with a maximum of 10 people per group.

Private trip – This trip can be run privately if required. Please get in touch for more information about this option.

Includes

  • Meals: 3 breakfasts, 1 lunch
  • Accommodation: 3 nights in hotel in San Pedro
  • Shared airport transfer, with guide, from Calama Airport to San Pedro de Atacama
  • Shared airport transfer, driver only, from San Pedro de Atacama to Calama Airport
  • English-speaking guide for excursions
  • Entrance fees

Excludes

  • Meals not indicated in itinerary
  • Drinks during lunch or dinner
  • Any extra/optional excursions
  • Personal equipment (see our recommended kit list)
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Gratuities/tips
  • International and domestic/in-country flights
  • Any visa, passport and vaccination expenses

Questions about this Trip?