• Atacama Desert

Atacama Desert Expedition Tour Chile

Our tour of the Atacama Desert begins when you land in the city of Calama. From there, you will be transferred to your hotel in San Pedro de Atacama, a quaint little town nestled in the Andes Mountain range and known for its classic Chilean charm and dusty streets.

Here, we will explore the Atacama Salt Flats which extend across 62 miles in total and promise magnificent views of the region’s natural wonders. You’ll visit the traditional colonial village of Toconao where you’ll observe the rustic splendour of the San Lucas Church bell tower and mingle with the locals in the main square. Shop for souvenirs before heading to Jerez Gorge where you can pick succulent local fruit. 

Moon Valley, located in the Salt Mountain range, is another important stop. The valley offers vistas of a unique landscape, which has been masterfully moulded by water and wind over millions of years. 

You will also have the option to embark upon an excursion to El Tatio to view the Tatio Geysers, boasting an altitude of 4.321m. Next, we’ll spend a few hours in Baños de Puritama, where you can hop into the infamous hot spring water pools for some well deserved R&R. 

 

Duration
4 days
Best time to go
November to March
Options
Private basis, Escorted
Start your journey
a snow covered mountain

Trip highlights

  • Enjoy star gazing at its finest in the Atacama Desert’s dryness, altitude and clear skies
  • Set your sights on the myriad of unique rock formations throughout the desert landscape
  • Savour the views of the Salt Flats, extending across 62 miles in total
  • Witness the untouched natural beauty of Moon Valley, masterfully moulded by water and wind
a canyon with a mountain in the background

You will land in the traditional city of Calama before being transferred to San Pedro de Atacama. This quaint little town is nestled in the Andes Mountain range and known for its classic Chilean charm and dusty streets. 

Upon your arrival, make an effort to meet the locals, explore your surroundings, and, of course, be sure to sample some local cuisine. We recommend patasca – a tasty stew made using potatoes, pork, beef, onions and white capia, which is a type of corn native to the area.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel Casa Atacama
a beach with Laguna Verde in the background

The morning begins with adventures in the Atacama Salt Flats. These lengthy, arid landscapes extend across 62 miles in total and promise magnificent views of the region’s natural wonders. One of the most magical sights to look forward to is that of the sparkling Chaxa Lagoon, with Andean and James flamingos elegantly embellishing its shores. 

Our next stop will be the traditional colonial village of Toconao, where you will have the chance to explore some incredible architecture made out of volcanic rock. Take in the rustic splendour of the San Lucas Church bell tower before exploring the main square and shopping for souvenirs. Take your pick from a wide array of stunning crafts and memorabilia, including alpaca textiles and volcanic rock mini bell towers. Don’t forget to pluck some fresh fruit growing abundantly at Jerez Gorge. You won’t be able to get enough of the juicy quinces and supple apricots.

We’ll make our way to Moon Valley just before the sun sets. Located in the Salt Mountain range, the valley is home to a unique landscape, which has been moulded by water and wind over millions of years.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel Casa Atacama
a man riding on top of a mountain

Spend the day at your leisure or enjoy an optional excursion to El Tatio and Baños de Puritama. We’ll get up before sunrise to savour a scenic drive 78 miles northeast to visit the Tatio Geysers, boasting an altitude of 4.321m. 

The geysers are at their most impressive between 6:30 – 8:30 am. On your way back to San Pedro, we’ll stop at the Baños de Puritama, where you can take a dip in the famous hot spring water pools and relax for a few hours before lunch. 

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel Casa Atacama
Atacama Desert

Make the most of your final meal in San Pedro de Atacama ahead of your departure flight out of Calama’s El Loa airport. 

Included

  • Cost of accommodation (double room based on two people sharing) for a total of 3 nights (alternative but similar accommodation may be used at certain times of the year)
  • Assistance and porterage: meeting and assistance on arrival/departure at airports and hotels
  • English-speaking local guides for all guided excursions as illustrated in the itinerary
  • Entrance fees (excluding video camera fee) for monuments and palaces and entertainment, and park fees for all guided excursions as illustrated in the itinerary
  • Taxes
  • Breakfast and lunch where indicated

Not included

  • International flights and airfare taxes
  • Visa arrangements and fees
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses, such as alcoholic beverages, telephone calls, laundry, camera fees, spa and business facilities in the hotel
  • Video and professional still camera fees during excursions
  • Gratuities for drivers, tour directors, local guides, naturalists and hotel staff
  • Meals (unless specified)
  • Optional attractions and excursions (unless specified)
  • Car hire and insurance