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San Pedro, El Loa (Atacama desert), Chile

  San Pedro, El Loa (Atacama desert), Chile

San Pedro de Atacama is located in Chile´s II region in the driest desert in the world, specifically on the northern side of the Atacama Salt Flat which has 30% of the world´s Lithium reserves; at the foot of the Licancabur Volcano, part of the Andes Mountains.

It is the archaeological capital of Chile, since in its surrounding areas are full of archaeologically important sites like Pukará de Quitor, Aldea de Tulor, among others. Various archaeological artifacts of the Atacama people can be seen at the San Pedro de Atacama museum.

Sights:

Aldea de Tulor
Pre-colombian village dating back to 2800 BC. At the time, about 200 inhabitants lived here whose livelihood was based on ceramics works, weaving, agriculture and livestock. The architecture is made up of circular buildings made of mud. These building were fixed to one another, interconnected by patios and passages between them.

Atacama salt flats

Atacama Salt Flat (Chaxa Lake): A plateau made up of smaller salt lakes whose waters vary from blues, turquoises, pinks and greys, and surrounded by streams that rise up from the ground between the Andean, Domeyco, and Salt mountain ranges.
The Chaxa Lake is where flamingoes eat the food that gives them their distinctive pink color.

Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley

This valley, so-called because of its resemblance to a lunar valley, is located along the Salt Mountain range and bordered by the Atacama Salt Flat.

Tatio Geyser

A geothermic field of volcanic origins, where water and vapor are violently expulsed from the earth. The geysers are most active between 5:30 AM and 7:00 AM when the plumes easily reach a height of 30 meters. A spectacle not to be missed. There are naturally formed thermal pools near the geysers where you may bathe.

Package tours into the region:

Full exprerience San Pedro de Atacama (4 days)

This program invites you to experience San Pedro, its main attractions include the Valley of the Moon, Tatio Geysers, the Atacama salt flats and high altitude lakes and an Archelogical day tour.


Touching Nature at Chile and Bolivia altiplano (11 days)

Visit the Chilean-Bolivian Altiplano, a large region whose average height is 4000 meters, in the heart of South America. Be surprised with landscapes that look like moles, the world's largest salt flat, colored lakes, green hills, lakes, ridges appear to offer the unique vision of an extreme nature and secluded as any other in the world.



Package tours into the region:

Trekking in the Atacama desert and San Pedro de Atacama area in Chile

Altos de Catarpe

Aguas Calientes, Salt Flats, Tuyayito Lagoon and buffet lunch.
Pickup/Dropoff: Your hotel In San Pedro.
Type: Half day
Duration: 2,5 hours
Nights of acclimatization needed: 0
Distance: 5 kms / 3 miles
Max. altitude: 3,500 meters / 11.200 feet

Copacoya

Panoramic views of the volcanoes, wind eroded rocks, El Tatio Geothermal Fields, geysers, picnic lunch
Pickup/Dropoff: Your hotel In San Pedro.
Type: Full day
Duration: 4,5 to 5 hours
Nights of acclimatization needed: 2
Distance: 7 kms / 4,3 miles
Max. altitude: 4,500 meters / 14,400 feet
Note! This is one of the acclimatization hikes required for high mountain ascents.

Cornisas

Panoramic views of the oasis, Atacama Salt Flat, Valle de la Muerte Dunes
Pickup/Dropoff: Your hotel In San Pedro.
Type: Half day
Duration: 2 to 2,5 hours
Nights of acclimatization needed: 0
Distance: 4,2 kms / 2,5 miles
Max. altitude: 3,000 meters / 9,600 feet
Note! Family recommended

Cuchabrache Heights

Cordillera de la Sal, panoramic views, volcanoes
Pickup/Dropoff: Your hotel In San Pedro.
Type: Half day
Duration: 2,5 to 3,0 hours
Nights of acclimatization needed: 0
Distance: 6,5 kms / 3,9 miles
Max. altitude: 3,000 meters / 9,600 feet

Guatín – Punta del Inca

Vilama River, local flora, waterfalls, birdwatching, panoramic views
Pickup/Dropoff: Your hotel In San Pedro.
Type: Half day
Duration: 2 to 2,5 hours
Nights of acclimatization needed: 0
Distance: 4,2 kms / 2,5 miles
Max. altitude: 3,000 meters / 9,600 feet
Note! Family recommended

Guatín – Puritama

Ancient cacti gardens, Puritama Hot Springs
Pickup/Dropoff: Your hotel In San Pedro.
Type: Half day
Duration: 2 to 2,5 hours
Nights of acclimatization needed: 1
Distance: 5 kms / 3 miles
Max. altitude: 3,500 meters / 11,200 feet
Note! Family recommended

Kamur

Valle de la Luna, Cordillera de la Sal landscapes, panoramic views
Pickup/Dropoff: Your hotel In San Pedro.
Type: Half day
Duration: 3,5 hours
Nights of acclimatization needed: 0
Distance: 9 kms / 5,4 miles
Max. altitude: 3,000 meters / 9,600 feet

Kari

Kari Ravine Canyon, salt walls
Pickup/Dropoff: Your hotel In San Pedro.
Type: Half day
Duration: 2 to 2,5 hours
Nights of acclimatization needed: 0
Distance: 5,5 kms / 3,3 miles
Max. altitude: 3,000 meters / 9,600 feet
Note! Family recommended

Kulamar

Salt flats, salar de Aguas Calientes, panoramic views, picnic lunch
Pickup/Dropoff: Your hotel In San Pedro.
Type: Full day
Duration: 4,5 hours
Nights of acclimatization needed: 2
Distance: 10 kms / 6 miles
Max. altitude: 4,200 meters / 13,440 feet

Machuca Río Grande

Machuca, riverbed hike, picnic lunch
Pickup/Dropoff: Your hotel In San Pedro.
Type: Full day
Duration: 4,5 to 5,5 hours
Nights of acclimatization needed: 2
Distance: 16 kms / 9,6 miles
Max. altitude: 4,000 meters / 12,800 feet

Salar de Atacama

Orchards of Toconao, laguna Chaxa, Salar de Atacama, bird watching, sunset
Pickup/Dropoff: Your hotel In San Pedro.
Type: Half day
Duration: 1 hour
Nights of acclimatization needed: 0
Distance: 2 kms / 1,2 miles
Max. altitude: 2,500 meters / 8,000 feet

Salar del Altiplano

Aguas Calientes Salt Flat, Tuyayito Lagoon, buffet lunch
Pickup/Dropoff: Your hotel In San Pedro.
Type: Full day
Duration: 1 hour
Nights of acclimatization needed: 2
Distance: 3 kms / 1,8 miles
Max. altitude: 4,500 meters / 14,400 feet
Note! Family recommended

Salar de Tara

Licancabur Volcano, Cerro Toco, Quipiaco Lagoon, salt flats, panoramic views, picnic lunch
Pickup/Dropoff: Your hotel In San Pedro.
Type: Full day
Duration: 1,5 hours
Nights of acclimatization needed: 2
Distance: 2,5 kms / 1,5 miles
Max. altitude: 4,500 meters / 14,400 feet

Yerbas Buenas – Valle del Arcoiris

Yerbas Buenas petroglyphs, colored rock walls
Pickup/Dropoff: Your hotel In San Pedro.
Type: Half day
Duration: 2 hours
Nights of acclimatization needed: 1
Distance: 2 kms / 1,2 miles
Max. altitude: 3,000 meters / 9,600 feet

Package tours into the region:

Traditional trips in the Atacama desert and San Pedro de Atacama area

Salar de Atacama and Laguna Chaxa (Atacama Salt Flat and Chaxa Lagoon)

Our exploration will go towards South and after almost 30 minutes we will stop at the little village of Toconao where we will see its square, church and craftsmanship. Then we will go on our exploration to reach one of the areas of Los Flamencos National Reserve located in Atacama Salt Flat. Here we can gaze at different kinds of flamingos in their habitat.
This is a pm exploration because the sunset is amazing.
Pickup/Dropoff: Your hotel In San Pedro.
Duration: 4 to 4.5 hours. Difficulty: easy

Géiseres del Tatio (Tatio Geysers)

At 4.300 meters above sea level we can see Tatio Geysers which is an impressive geothermal field and it is linked to all the geothermal activity of this zone. In this place we can see 12 meters high steam columns which emerge from little pools of boiling water. Here we will have breakfast after sunrise.
On the way back we will be able to see vicunas and if we are lucky we might see foxes, ñandúes and vizcachas. We will also stop at the little village of Machuca which is a shepherds village and it is surrounded by a unique landscape where you can see llamas and birds as well as its traditional architecture made of stones and straw used in houses and church. Besides you will also see the area full of Cactaceas.
Pickup/Dropoff: Your hotel In San Pedro.
Difficulty: Easy, but there must be a previous altitude acclimatization.
Duration: 6 to 7 hours

Lagunas Altiplánicas (Altiplanic Lagoons Miscanti and Meñiques)

We will set off from San Pedro de Atacama towards Miscanti and Meñiques lagoons which are located at 4.200 meters above sea level. The landscapes are perfect to stop for a while to watch how beautiful their mountains, colors and contrasts are. We will visit Chaxa Lagoon which is located in a national reserve called Los Flamencos.
Here you will be able to watch the different kinds of birds such as flamingos and others. This exploration includes lunch in a homely restaurant in the village of Socaire.
Pickup/Dropoff: Your hotel In San Pedro.
Duration: 6 to 8 hours. Difficulty: easy

Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley)

Enjoy the surrealist landscape of Moon Valley at 2.500 meters above sea level located in The Salty Mountain chain South East of San Pedro de Atacama. Here you will be able to see beautiful and strange rocky formations which are the result of fluvial erosion, wind, rain and extreme temperatures.
We will walk through certain areas of this place watching unique landscapes and will be an unforgettable experience.
Pickup/Dropoff: Your hotel In San Pedro.
Duration: 4 to 4.5 hours. Difficulty: easy

Salar de Tara (Tara Salt Flats)

This route goes to the East and you will able to see interesting views of the volcanoes including the incredible Licancabur volcano and Tutelar mount. We will continue going up to the highest point of the route (4.700 meters above sea level). Here besides the colors and contrasts we will be able to see birds, salt flats and wetlands.
When the paved route finishes we will encounter the amazing rocky formations called Monjes de la Packana (Packana Monks). In this point the route which leads to Tara Salt Flat begins. Tara Salt Flat is a lonely and beautiful place where we will be able to enjoy an absolute silence and mystic atmosphere.
Pickup/Dropoff: Your hotel In San Pedro.
Duration: 6 to 8 hours. Difficulty: easy

Lagunas Altiplánicas: (Altiplanic Lagoons: )Aguas Calientes & Tuyajto

If you are one of those travelers who prefer to be in touch with nature and away from crowded cities then we have a new route for you to enjoy the beauty of Altiplanic Lagoons and their spiritual silence. At more than 4.000 meter above sea level we will take to the far Aguas Calientes (hot water) and Tuyajto Lagoons where you will be able to see the breathtaking landscapes.
It is a full day exploration which allows enjoying the peace of the desert as well as its salt flats, contrasts and colors. In this exploration you will also visit an area called Piedras Rojas (red stones) with impressive rocky formations which seem to be from other planet. If the weather is good we will have lunch in Tuyajto to watch its incredible landscape. After visiting this amazing place we will have lunch in a homely restaurant in the village of Socaire to taste its flavors.
Pickup/Dropoff: Your hotel In San Pedro.
Duration: 6 to 8 hours. Difficulty: easy

Termas de Puritama (Puritama hot springs)

Thought to be an experience of pleasure and relaxation where you will feel peace. It is located at the green bottom of a ravine and it is divided into 8 ponds of thermal water at 35 Celsius degrees and it is at 3.500 meters above sea level.
Pickup/Dropoff: Your hotel In San Pedro.
Duration: 3 hours. Difficulty: easy


Accommodation in San Pedro de Atacama:

Hotel & Spa Cumbres in San Pedro (Atacama), Chile

Perfectly situated two kilometers from the village of San Pedro de Atacama, at the edge of the worlds driest desert, Hotel Cumbres stands as a tranquil oasis. It isa special place, where the ancient architecture of Atacameos Ayllu blends with modern style and sensibility. Amidst native wood and stone design elements, guests are filled with a deep sense of connection to their surroundings.



Rent a Car in San Pedro de Atacama:

Category A:
City cars for rent in Chile
Kia Morning or similar city car
Day Week Month
US$ 49 US$ 320 US$ 1.150

Category B:
City cars for rent in Chile
Suzuki Swift or similar subcompact
Day Week Month
US$ 59 US$ 354 US$ 1.350

Category C:
City cars for rent in Chile
Nissan Versa, or similar compact sedan.
Day Week Month
US$ 78 US$ 468 US$ 1.590

Category D:
City cars for rent in Chile
Chevrolet Cruze or similar
Day Week Month
US$ 118 US$ 708 US$ 2.350

Category E:
City cars for rent in Chile
VAN
Day Week Month
US$ 175 US$ 1.050 US$ 3.090

Category F:
City cars for rent in Chile
Double cabin, four doors pickup truck (4x2)
Day Week Month
US$ 99 US$ 594 US$ 1.730

Category G:
City cars for rent in Chile
Double cabin (4 doors) pickup truck (4x4)
Day Week Month
US$ 145 US$ 870 US$ 2.500

Category H:
City cars for rent in Chile
Suzuki Vitara 1.600cc, 4x4, 3 doors jeep
Day Week Month
US$ 89 US$ 490 US$ 1.730

Category I:
City cars for rent in Chile
SUV4x4 (Toyota 4 Runner or similar)
Day Week Month
US$ 175 US$ 1.050 US$ 3.090






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