Atacama Desert Expedition Tour

Covering a long strip of land in the far north of Chile, west of the Andes Mountains, lays the Atacama Desert. Virtually rainless and arguably the driest desert in the world, this is no ordinary notorious desert scenery but is made up of unusual rock formations, deep valleys, boiling geysers and extensive salt flats like the Salar de Atacama, dotted with flamingos, llama, sheep and goats. High up in the Andes mountains at 2400m, it offers a spectacular scenery with an oasis, old mines and deserted mining towns.

Duration
4 days
Options
Group basis, Escorted
Start your journey

Trip highlights

  • Extensive salt flats
  • Boiling geysers
  • Unusual rock formations
  • Stunning desert scenery

Meet on arrival at Calama Airport and transfer to your hotel for three nights. Rest of day at leisure to explore the town of San Pedro.

Start your tour visiting the huge Atacama Salt Lake, an inland sea dating back millions of years and the driest desert in the world, where flatness and emptiness are overwhelming. Proceed in the direction to Argentina and you will get to know the Lagunas Miscanti & Meniques, set at the base of two immense volcanoes, fringed by salt deposits, and surrounded by brilliantly coloured clumps of "paja brava", creating a singular visual experience.

Afterwards, continue to the small Indian village of Toconao, whose inhabitants produce small sculptures out of a white volcanic stone that can be found in a quarry near the village.

If you choose to take this optional excursion to the Tatio Geysers, you will have an early departure. The geysers are best observed before 8am, when they are at their peak and streams can easily reach heights of 10 metres. Afterwards visit the Pozón Rústico, here you can enjoy the thermal spring waters. On your way back to San Pedro, you will travel through some beautiful landscapes. On the way stop off in the village of Machuca, a truly atacameño village of just 20 houses built from clay, straw and cactus wood.

At leisure before being transferred to Calama airport for your onward flight.

Included

  • English speaking local guide.
  • All entrance fees as appropriate.
  • Air-conditioned transportation.
  • Meals included as detailed.

Not included

  • International and domestic flights.
  • Optional excursions.
  • Tips for the guide and driver.