Travel Guide

BEST Things To Do Within The Atacama

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The Atacama desert is an unimaginable place the presents the breathtaking surroundings, weird panorama, distinctive ecosystem and superb alternatives for journey fanatics to discover a few of the desert’s hidden gems in a novel approach. On this put up, we tried to divide issues to do within the Atacama desert in line with their sort and the best way they are often finished – with a tour (rental automotive) or independently.

When planning a go to to the Atacama desert it’s necessary to resolve what you wish to see and to do there. A lot of the sights are usually not accessible by public transport and are too far to stroll or cycle there from San Pedro. To get the very best out of your Atacama go to and never to spend so much we’d counsel to mix unbiased actions and excursions. All close by pure wonders just like the Moon Valley or the Demise Valley could be visited independently by bike and even strolling from the city. A lot of the lagoons and volcanoes are fairly removed from San Pedro de Atacama you’ll want a car to get there. It’s fairly costly to lease a automotive right here however in case you’re a few folks (two and extra) it is perhaps cheaper to lease a automotive for a few days and go to some faraway places than to do a tour and pay per individual. 

One other necessary factor to bear in mind is the place you’re coming from or going to after the Atacama. Should you’re heading to/coming from Uyuni Salt flats in Bolivia you don’t wish to see comparable sights, fairly one thing totally different that you just don’t see in Uyuni. For instance, we got here from Uyuni and through our 3-day tour received to see many colourful lakes, salt flats, many flamingoes and a few geysers although these are smaller than those within the Atacama. Out of many sights within the Atacama, we weren’t too inquisitive about visiting lakes (besides these the place you possibly can float in salt water) and flamingos however we did wish to see extra volcanoes, geysers, and archeological websites. Should you’re not going to Uyuni after the Atacama then attempt to diversify the sights you go to and the actions you do as a lot as you possibly can and go to the primary ones in every class; lakes, volcanoes, valleys, and so on. 

Urged Chile & South America excursions

Finest time to go to the Atacama 

Regardless of being a desert there are three seasons within the Atacama; Could to September – winter when the times are good and nice however the nights are chilly, the evening temperature typically goes under 0°C. Summer time months (December to March) are sizzling, day temperatures are round 30°C, at evening it cools all the way down to 20°C. Essentially the most rainfalls happen between January and March and typically if it rains lots it may end up in the sights being closed. In the beginning of February 2019, many of the excursions within the Atacama had been canceled as a result of heavy rainfall (yeh, how loopy it’s!). Possibly February will not be the very best time to go to the Atacama, examine the discussions in TripAdvisor. In shoulder season (April, October, and November) the times are usually not as sizzling as in the summertime and the nights are usually not as chilly as within the winter. 

We had been within the Atacama in December, simply earlier than Christmas, it was very popular and busy in case you resolve to come back right here on the finish of the 12 months be certain to e book lodging and transport beforehand. We hitchhiked out of San Pedro all the best way to La Serena however we heard from different vacationers that it was tough to purchase a bus ticket as every part was bought out. December and January is the busiest time for touring Chile.

A Christmas Tree on the main square of San Pedro de Atacama
A Christmas Tree in San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

The place to remain in San Pedro

There are many lodging choices within the city from tenting and staying in a dormitory to luxurious lodges and cabins. 

Tenting

    • Bosque Los Perales, CLP 5500-8500/US$8-12 per individual (value varies relying on the season)
  • Tenting Los Chañares, CLP5000/US$7 per individual 

Funds lodging | The Inexperienced Home AtacamaRey Lagarto HostelCasa CampestreThe Inexperienced Home AtacamaRefugio Don Natu |

Center value | Visitor Home Diaguitas | Hostal ChapurHostal Casa GredaCasa Lascar |

LuxuriousHostal Alto YalíLodge Jardin AtacamaNaturalis LodgeCasita La Brea |

We determined to divide the issues to do within the Atacama first, in line with if they are often finished independently and with out renting a automotive or solely with a tour (automotive choice).

Let’s begin with the actions and sights that don’t want a tour which implies you are able to do them independently (actions) or get to them (sights) strolling or biking from San Pedro de Atacama. These are essentially the most price range issues within the space.

Fortunately there are fairly a number of of them so in case you’re on a extremely tight price range you continue to will be capable of see some superb issues within the Atacama.

Issues to do and not using a tour

Outside actions

Biking. It’s necessary to keep in mind that it will get very popular on the market within the afternoon so the very best time for biking is early morning and night. Don’t overlook to take sufficient water, to placed on sunscreen and to put on a cap or a hat. Renting a bicycle is essentially the most price range strategy to do sightseeing round San Pedro de Atacama this manner you will get to the Moon Valley, the Demise Valley, Satan’s Throat, and so on. There are a number of locations within the city the place you possibly can lease a bicycle simply be sure you get a bicycle lock and a light-weight (in case you’ll resolve to remain within the Valley for the sundown and can cycle again at nighttime).

We liked biking by means of the desert stopping on the best way to take images and to benefit from the surroundings. To lease a motorcycle in San Pedro prices CLP 3000/US$4,5 for half of a day. 

Alya cycling through the desert in the Moon Valley, Atacama.
Alya biking by means of the Moon Valle (Valle de la Luna). It was among the best issues we’ve finished within the Atacama

Mountaineering within the desert. Sounds loopy, doesn’t it?! It is perhaps apparent however you’ll have to hold lots of water you get actually thirsty on the market. As for the climbing route we went by means of the Demise Valley we truly mixed two actions; climbing and tenting so it took us some time to search out the best spot for pitching a tent. The following morning on the best way again we walked by means of the Satan’s Throat and truly received a bit misplaced within the maze. Usually, the climbing expertise was nice, there have been only a few folks we noticed largely locals strolling previous small villages. Should you’re not planning to camp and simply wish to go for a stroll within the desert the Demise Valley might be the most suitable choice.

Campbell walking the a backpack in the Devil's Throat canyon, Atacama
Campbell climbing by means of the Satan’s Throat within the Atacama

Tenting within the desert. Should you resolve to expertise tenting within the driest place on Earth be certain to take sufficient water that may final you for the best way to and again. We walked round within the desert for fairly some time earlier than we discovered an appropriate place for pitching our tent. The bottom could be very rocky and it’s tough to discover a flat sandy spot. We pitched the tent and didn’t see someone’s round however someday in the course of the evening we began listening to folks’s voices and music as we came upon later there was a celebration in one of many native villages and after it completed locals went again residence and our tent was on the best way to a different village. We didn’t have any downside no person bothered us it was simply uncomfortable to sit down within the tent and listen to strangers passing by at nighttime. 

The evening (earlier than the evening’s hustle) within the desert was superb, we introduced a tenting cooking set, made dinner and had been sitting exterior consuming and searching on the sky, it will get fairly chilly at evening be certain to have sleeping baggage or blankets with. The following morning was great as nicely we awakened early simply earlier than the dawn, made espresso, packed our stuff and began heading again earlier than it received too sizzling, visiting on the best way the Satan’s Throat gorge. We arrived within the city earlier than noon.

Early morning our tent pitched in the Atacama desert.
Tenting within the desert was a fantastic expertise within the Atacama. Waking up in a tent within the morning was superb.

Pure wonders

Two highlights and essentially the most accessible pure sights within the Atacama are the Demise Valley (Valle de la Muerte) and the Moon Valley (Valle de la Luna). Each valleys are positioned simply km from the city you possibly can mainly stroll there however I’d counsel going by bicycle (as we did) the realm inside is sort of huge and to get an opportunity to see it you’ll want some sort of transport. Should you’re actually on a good price range these two positively are ought to be in your bucket listing.

As we advise in our 3-day itinerary it’s greatest to go go to the valleys within the morning or within the night due to the warmth. The weird panorama of the Moon Valley does offer you a sense of being on one other planet. You probably have time we’d counsel to discover it extensively and to cycle all the best way to Tres Marias (Three Marys) – pure rock formations that stand out on the plain. The sundown from Piedra del Coyote within the Moon Valley is gorgeous however put together to see many individuals within the valley this time of the day. If you wish to go to the Valley with out crowds, the morning is a greater time. The doorway to the Valley is about 6km away from San Pedro de Atacama city, biking it’s nothing. Entrance value CLP3000/US$4,5.

The Demise Valley has much more weird panorama with much less sand and salt and extra clay formations that had been formed by the wind and the water for 1000’s of years. The panorama reminds a labyrinth it’s good to stroll round and discover the realm. We visited the place within the morning and there have been only a few folks, plus it was good and funky. The doorway is simply 3km from the city you possibly can mainly stroll there. Entrance charge CLP1000/US$1,5.  

Alya on the top of the mountain in the Death Valley, Atacama desert
Alya on the viewpoint observing the weird panorama of the Demise Valley

Satan’s Throat & El Túnel. Each locations are positioned shut to one another, about 500 m away. One of the simplest ways to go to them is to lease a bicycle in San Pedro de Atacama, it’s about 6-7 km a technique. It’s potential to achieve each locations strolling however you’ll must stroll alongside the highway for more often than not however the highway will not be very busy, primarily vacationer automobiles driving by. We visited each as part of our climbing/tenting journey within the Atacama however biking could be positively higher. 

After the Satan’s Throat, you possibly can cycle/stroll for 500m to get to El Túnel, a tunnel within the mountain constructed within the 30th, you possibly can cycle by means of it.  

Cultural expertise 

Pukará de Quitor, an archeological website of the Pre-Colombian interval positioned simply Three km exterior of San Pedro on the gravel highway. Right here you possibly can see the stays of an historical fortress constructed by native tribes within the 12th century. We extremely suggest to stroll to the point of view, about 700m and a steep ascent to the highest, from there you’ll get among the best views of Demise Valley. Entrance charge CLP 5000/US$7. You may stroll right here and again from the city or go by bike which is quicker and offers you an opportunity to go to extra sights positioned close by. 

Tulor – another archeological website within the Atacama accessible by bike. Tulor is positioned about 9 km south of the city on the gravel highway. Tulor is an historical village that consists of greater than 20 constructions from homes to boreholes and even human stays. The origins of the settlement date again 2500 years. Entrance charge CLP 5000/US$7 per individual.

Should you suppose biking to each locations is an excessive amount of of a mission you possibly can be part of a tour San Pedro de Atacama: Pukara de Quitor and Tulor Village

Strolling across the city. San Pedro de Atacama will not be a giant city however there are some good issues to see just like the Sq. (Plaza de San Pedro de Atacama), the church, the meteorite museum. There are a lot of good espresso outlets and eating places within the city the place you possibly can sit back between the excursions. 

One of the small streets of San Pedro de Atacama with typical local houses
Cozy streets of San Pedro de Atacama.

Issues to do within the Atacama with a tour

Journey actions

Sizzling air balloon journey. It’s all the time an unimaginable expertise to look at a pure surprise like a desert or a lake from the air. The weird panorama of Atacama is a superb place to do a journey. The excursions depart very early within the morning, 5am-5.30am with a view to make it for the dawn. Simply think about the waste desert of the Atacama with the solar rising over the horizon. Excursions run 12 months spherical, value CLP 215 000/US$315 per individual.

Climbing Cerro Toco. Cerro Toco is an actual big, 5600m mountain near the border with Bolivia. Resulting from its accessibility, it’s essentially the most climbed mountain within the Andes. Not like many 5000m peaks the place you begin the climb from 2000m or 3000m and steadily stroll up for a few days, right here you will get by automotive all the best way to 5000m and stroll the remainder 600m up in a few hours. Essential to keep in mind that going that top requires good acclimatization, be certain to remain for a few days across the Atacama earlier than making an attempt to summit. It takes half a day to get to Cerro Toco from San Pedro de Atacama, climb to the highest and get again to the city. Excursions depart early within the morning. Worth round 100US$ per individual together with information, transport, breakfast and lunch, oxygen (in case). 

Mountaineering Zapaleri Volcano. One other native big, 50m increased than the earlier peak, a 5650m volcano that marks the triple border level between Chile, Argentina and Bolivia. The climb begins at about 5000m until there you will get by automotive however you’ll want a 4×Four car, the highway could be very rocky and bumpy. It’s advisable to do the climb with a information. This hike requires correct acclimatization as nicely. 

Sandboarding. You probably have by no means tried sandboarding do it within the Atacama, there are some fairly spectacular dunes to slip down. A lot of the sandboarding excursions happen in Demise Valley there are a number of appropriate dunes of various sizes and slopes’ inclinations. Taking place standing will not be as straightforward because it appears and it’s not precisely like snowboarding, you mainly go down straight. My favourite was taking place an even bigger dune laying on the board on my abdomen or sitting on the board, it was quick and thrilling vs sluggish and clumsy standing descend.

Be sure that to carry water and sunscreen. I’d counsel as nicely sporting a protracted sleeve shirt and lengthy pants in case you fall to flee stretches and for additional solar safety. Some corporations provide even evening sandboarding excursions unsure the way it feels however I assume there will probably be considerably fewer folks. Worth from CLP 20 000/US$30 per individual, together with gear (a board and a helmet), transport and a information. 

Many sand boards next to a shop in the Atacama desert, one of the coolest things to do for adventure lovers
One of many outlets in San Pedro de Atacama presents sand boarding routs.

Pure wonders

These are most likely the primary motive vacationers come to the Atacama therefor in case you don’t have a lot time or your price range will not be excessive sufficient to tour across the desert for days we’d counsel doing one or two excursions that cowl numerous sights; lakes, geysers, and volcanoes, and so on. 

Unimaginable lakes and lagoons of Atacama

There are a lot of of them, totally different colours, with flamingos, for swimming, with volcanoes on the background, and so on. which one to decide on is as much as you however we’d positively suggest visiting Laguna Cejar or much less touristy Laguna Baltinache the place you possibly can float within the salt water like within the Useless Sea. Each lakes are gorgeous, Laguna Cejar is simply 18 km away from San Pedro de Atacama which explains its reputation, Laguna Baltinache is 57 km away, it’s smaller and attracts fewer folks. 

Urged excursions

If you wish to see flamingos go to stunning Laguna Chaxa ought to be in your bucket listing, in the summertime you possibly can see many flamingos there. The lake is positioned within the Flamencos Nationwide Reserve, in the course of the Salar de Atacama. 

Urged excursions

Three pink flamingos in the Laguna Chaxa, Atacama desert, Chile
Flamingos within the Laguna Chaxa, Atacama, Chile

Well-known Lagunas Altiplanicas is one other widespread sights to go to within the Atacama, two lakes Miscanti Lake and Laguna Miñiques are price go to. We didn’t go there we thought we noticed lots of lakes in Uyuni however these lakes do look stunning within the images particularly within the winter surrounded by snow. The lakes are positioned subsequent to one another, about 110km south from San Pedro de Atacama, the identical highway that goes to Laguna Chaxa and the Salar. On the best way to the Lagunas Altiplanicas, there’s salt lake – Lejia Lake. 

Urged excursions

As for the lake with essentially the most spectacular turquoise colour, I feel Laguna Verde (Inexperienced Lake) is the winner right here, it does look inexperienced sure time of the day. Surrounded by the volcanoes and mountains this lake appears gorgeous on a pleasant sunny day. 

Turquoise water of the Laguna Verde and volcanoes around.
Turquoise water of the Laguna Verde, some of the stunning lakes within the Atacama

Volcanoes

Chile is known for its a number of volcanoes and the Atacama space will not be an exclusion, right here you possibly can see some sleeping big like Licancabur and Láscar volcanos. Lincancabur might be essentially the most iconic volcano within the Atacama, it’s nearly 6000m excessive (5916m). Lincancabur volcano is positioned 60km east from San Pedro it may be seen from the city. Lincancabur has an ideal cone form – a fantastic spot for taking images, particularly in winter when its peak coated in snow. For individuals who like journey, we’d suggest climbing to the crater of the volcano. We didn’t learn about it in any other case would have positively gone, it doesn’t occur usually you can in a comparatively straightforward strategy to get to 6000m. 

Láscar is one other huge volcano close to San Pedro de Atacama, about km south. It’s slightly bit smaller than the earlier one, 5592m excessive, however far more energetic, in truth, Lascar is essentially the most energetic volcano within the area. Although it’s an energetic volcano it’s potential to climb to its prime as nicely which is in a approach much more thrilling as you climb to the crater of the energetic volcano. These two peaks are positively in our bucket listing, subsequent time we’re within the space we’ll do it very first thing. To e book a tour store round within the city, there are a number of corporations that provide the climb.  

A huge perfectly cone-shaped Lincancabur volcano, Atacama desert
Excellent cone-shaped Lincancabur volcano, Atacama desert, Chile

Geysers & sizzling springs

Antofagasta area in Chile has one of many highest focus of geysers on the planet after the Yellowstone within the US and the Geysers Valley in Kamchatka, Russia. El Tatio geyser discipline consists of greater than 60 geysers, positioned at 4320m it’s the very best geyser discipline on the planet. So for us seeing El Tatio within the Atacama was a must-do exercise although we did see a few geysers in Uyuni as nicely they weren’t as many and as huge as right here. Sizzling springs within the valley are another excuse to go to El Tatio you possibly can soak of their sizzling waters having fun with the gorgeous surroundings round. It’s higher to come back right here within the morning when it’s chilly exterior through the day it’s sizzling sufficient until you come right here in winter. 

For individuals who like extra of a tranquil and enjoyable bathtub expertise, Termas de Puritama is an ideal choice, the system of swimming pools positioned in a picturesque canyon. There are eight swimming pools, the water temperature within the swimming pools varies between 28 and 30C. There are bathrooms and altering rooms on the pool. As a way to make the expertise enjoyable and pleasant, the variety of folks allowed within the swimming pools on the identical time is restricted. Entrance from CLP 9000/US$13. 

Urged excursions

Many steaming geysers in El Tatio geyser field, Atacama desert
El Tatio geyser discipline boasts one of many highest focus of geysers on the planet

Valles & salt flats

To be trustworthy we fully skipped this half as a result of we simply got here from a 3-day tour in Uyuni and felt like we’ve seen sufficient salt flats, deserts, and weird rock formations. I don’t wish to see that these within the Atacama look identical to the as soon as in Uyuni by no means and if we had extra time and better price range we want to go and go to all of them however we had to decide on and determined to see one thing else. Pedras Rojas (Pink Stones) and Salar de Tara are essentially the most visited sights on this class. As you possibly can guess from the title, the Valley is roofed with big reddish boulders, the colour is the results of the oxidation of iron. The purple stones distinction with the blue-white colour of the close by salar (salt flat) and lake, a fantastic spot for images lovers. Piedras Rojas valley is positioned about 150km away from San Pedro.  

As for Salar de Tara in case you’ve been to Uyuni in Bolivia or Salina Grandes in Argentina I wouldn’t suggest visiting this one as nicely, sure, it’s much less touristy however for my part much less spectacular as nicely in comparison with the opposite two, right here and there you possibly can see patches of salt but it surely’s not like the entire space is roofed in it. You probably have by no means seen a salt flat go for it, it’ll be fascinating and weird. 

Urged excursions

Dry land with patches of salt here and there and some bizarre shaped rocks, Salar de Tara, Atacama
Salar de Tara within the Atacama desert is an fascinating place to go to but it surely’s not as spectacular as Uyuni.

If you wish to see well-known Cardones (gigantic cactuses) that develop within the north of Argentina and Chile and in Uyuni head to the Cactus Valley. A few of the cacti are 5-7m excessive, which implies they’re very previous, contemplating that they develop a few centimeters per 12 months, a few of them are over 300 years previous. Locals use cacti as a constructing materials and make some components of their homes (home windows, doorways) utilizing it.  Once more, in case you’re coming from Uyuni you’ve already seen with 1000’s of those cactus and possibly took tons of of images as nicely. It’s potential to do an hour hike (4km) by means of the valley to benefit from the surroundings.  

Urged excursions

A door of the house in San Pedro de Atacama made of cacti
A small door in San Pedro de Atacama made from cacti.

One other fascinating valley to go to within the Atacama is the Rainbow Valley as you possibly can guess from the title it boasts totally different colours (not precisely the rainbow colours however nonetheless fairly spectacular for a desert). Rocks and the bottom listed below are coloured in reddish, brownish, greenish and whitish colours. The valley is positioned 90km from San Pedro, it’s a brief 3-hour tour.  

Urged excursions

Stargazing within the desert

For us it was one other spotlight of Atacama or truly any desert, the sky there’s simply completely gorgeous, I’ve by no means seen so many stars and constellations in my life (not, truly I did see it as soon as once more in Namibia), think about how a lot you possibly can see on the market with a telescope. The stargazing tour could be very fascinating and academic. Simply bear in mind, near the complete Moon you gained’t be capable of see a lot, the Moon is simply too brilliant. 

Urged excursions

Cultural expertise

You’ll be shocked what number of fascinating villages, city, and archeological websites are hidden within the vasts of Atacama desert. A lot of the cities could be visited as part of a tour and are often mixed with visits to some pure sights like lakes and geysers. Don’t anticipate native villages and ruins being as spectacular as Machu Picchu these are extra of a pleasing place to cease for lunch or to purchase souvenirs sort of locations.

Yerbas Buenas Petroglyphs. In all probability some of the fascinating archeological websites within the Atacama desert. Yerbas Buenas is positioned 50km away from San Pedro de Atacama, it’s lower than an hour drive. There are tons of of petroglyphs within the space. They date 10 000 years again and had been created by the Atacamaño individuals who inhabited the area at the moment. To get extra out of the go to we’d counsel coming right here with a information that may present some fascinating information in regards to the petroglyphs and the historical past of the area. The petroglyphs are often visited as part of a tour to the Rainbow Valley. Entrance charge CLP 3000/US$Four per individual. 

Urged excursions

Chacabuco village. One of many a number of deserted nitrate cities within the area, most likely the best-preserved one. The city was based in 1924 through the nitrate increase in Chile however after the invention of the artificial analog, all of the mines had been shut down by the tip of the 30th. Not like the opposite mine cities, Chacabuco historical past continued within the second half of the 20th century when it was used as a focus camp for political prisoners of the Pinochet regime. We love visiting ghost cities within the desert like this one among Kolmanskop in Namibia. Chacabuco is an fascinating place the one downside is the situation, it’s fairly removed from San Pedro, about 200km however like different websites that may be visited as part of a tour.

Toconao village. The title of the city from the Kunza (a local language spoken by the indigenous) means “place of stone” referring to the volcanic rocks liparite the fabric that was used within the development of the city’s buildings. The primary sights of the village are the church, one of many oldest in Chile, and the bell tower. Toconao is positioned 37km south from San Pedro, it’s a well-liked cease on the best way to the Atacama salt flat. There’s a small valley Valle de Jere close to the city, it’s a small inexperienced oasis subsequent to the river, only a good shortstop on the best way. 

Socaire city. A small village 100km south from San Pedro, one other cease on the best way to the Atacama salt flat. A small church and native handicrafts are the primary highlights of the city. Many buses and tour cease right here on the best way to the salar. We wouldn’t suggest driving that far simply to see the village but it surely’s a pleasant cease in case you’re going that approach. 

Machuca village. The closest to San Pedro, solely 44km away, this small village with solely 20 homes represents a standard native village of the area. All homes have an identical development, one-story stone buildings similar to the homes you keep in Uyuni. Machuca is often visited on the best way to Tatio geyser. It’s a comparatively new vacationer vacation spot however in the previous couple of years, locals opened right here a number of lodges and eating places in case you lease a automotive it is perhaps a great place to remain in a single day to expertise the native tradition. 

A tiny village of Machuca surrounded by the desert, Atacama, Chile
Machuca village, Atacama desert, Chile

Helpful objects to take with to the Atacama

    • LifeStraw or every other water filter or purifying tablets we drank faucet water in Chile in most locations however we had been advised in San Pedro that native faucet water will not be excellent so having a filter will prevent some cash plus it’s environmental-friendly.
  • map, we usually used Maps.me app, it has all the primary sights in it.

Should you’re planning to camp within the desert, you’ll want;

Day 1. Biking within the desert

Morning

Hire a bicycle in San Pedro and cycle to the Demise Valley first, earlier than it will get too sizzling, discover it, cease for images. From the city, you’ll must cycle alongside the highway but it surely’s solely Three km from the city to the doorway. 

From there return to the highway and cycle in the direction of the Satan’s Throat. The highway that approach has considerably much less site visitors. 

On the best way cease at Pukará de Quitor, about 2 km from the Demise Valley entrance. To get to the point of view you’ll must stroll for 1,5 km. 

Proceed to the Satan’s Throat, about Four km. You may cycle within the canyon or depart your bike and discover it strolling.

Go to El Túnel, one other 600 m. 

As soon as finished cycle all the best way again to San Pedro, 7 km.

Whole biking distance – 16 km + the space you’re going to cycle/stroll contained in the parks. 

Afternoon

Going out for lunch and resting in your resort once more earlier than the night biking mission. It’s nice to remain in a spot with a pool at the moment of the day you simply wish to sit there endlessly. 

Night

Take a motorcycle and cycle to the Moon Valley, it’s about 7 km to the doorway. From there you possibly can cycle contained in the park there are lots of fascinating issues to see or in case you’re drained or don’t have a lot time simply go straight to Piedra del Coyote (a viewpoint) that’s simply 1 km away to see the sundown. 

Rock formations called Tres Marias, Valle de la Luna, Atacama
Tres Marias within the Moon Valley of the Atacama desert.

Day 2. Be a part of a tour/lease a automotive

Morning/afternoon

After the intensive biking day becoming a member of a tour and simply sitting in a automotive will not be a nasty concept. The day past there was lots of desert, sand, and rocks so why to not go to one of many lakes or geysers for a change. 

Urged excursions & actions

Night/evening

An ideal strategy to end the day is to do stargazing within the desert. To get an opportunity to look at the evening sky and be taught lots about constellations, planets and the photo voltaic system on the whole, the most suitable choice is to affix the Astronomical tour, the place you’ll get an opportunity to have a look at the evening sky by means of a telescope. For individuals who are on a good price range simply strolling out of the city away from electrical lights is an efficient various.

Crystal clear blue water of the Miscanti lake, Lagunas Altiplanicas, Atacama
Miscanti lake one of many Altiplanic lagoons lakes within the Atacama

Day 3. Mountaineering & tenting within the desert

Morning

You are able to do a tour within the morning and go to some archeological websites within the Atacama;

Late afternoon/night

I’d counsel combining each actions as a result of to discover a respectable tenting spot you’ll must stroll out of the city anyway which implies each actions could be finished within the second half of the day. You would begin within the morning however to spend all the day within the desert you’ll want lots of water, plus sitting within the tent within the afternoon warmth is insufferable. At evening you’ll get one other likelihood to admire the evening sky coated in billions of stars. 

Day 4. Mountaineering again to San Pedro

Morning

Get up early to benefit from the dawn within the desert, make breakfast, pack your tent and begin heading again to the city.  

Campbell with a backpack ready for hiking and camping in the Atacama desert
Mountaineering and tenting within the Atacama desert was lots of enjoyable!

As for renting a automotive we didn’t do it in San Pedro, we checked round and for the 2 of us it labored out dearer per day than becoming a member of a tour. I assume in case you’re extra folks or lease for a few days it is perhaps price it. 

Meals in San Pedro

There are a lot of eating places and cafes within the city, all costly. Breakfast choices from CLP 2500/$3,5, set lunch from  CLP 3500/$5, household pizza CLP 10 000/$15, huge sandwich CLP 2300/$3,3, espresso from CLP 1000/$1,5, and so on.

Cooking will save some huge cash, attempt to discover a resort/hostel with a kitchen. There aren’t any supermarkets in San Pedro, solely small outlets the place you should purchase just about every part you want for cooking. Costs in outlets for a similar issues are totally different don’t be lazy and store round a bit to search out the very best. We purchased many of the stuff in SYS minimarket at Calle (road) Caracoles.

Advisable books & guidebooks

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Hey! A bit about us - we’re John & Maria and we're a couple that loves to travel the world and document our adventures! We enjoy writing, blogging, exploring and sharing our adventures. We’re always embarking on new journeys and here you’ll find articles covering many travel destinations, and topics, such as culture, history, art and cuisine. Our goal and mission is to present compelling stories, photography and personal opinions, as well as serve as an online resource for anyone who wishes to plan their own trips and visit the destinations we've been to. We genuinely love meeting new people, mingling with locals, listening to their amazing stories and trying new travel experiences.

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