Amazing Atacama

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Availability : Daily, All Year

Amazing Atacama

Highlights Include:

  • Experiencing the unique splendor of the highest and driest desert on Earth
  • Visits to landscapes resembling the moon and Mars
  • Stargazing like nowhere else on the planet
  • Visit village ruins dating back almost 3,000 years
  • Seeing geysers and hot springs
Tour Details

From: $3,660 per person | Single supplement on request

6 days

2019 Departures:  Daily, All Year

The Atacama is truly unlike any other place on Earth. The landscape lends itself more to the Moon or even Mars. It is also one of the best places to view the vastness of space with the clearest skies you can find anywhere. There’s a lot of history here as well with remnants of villages and petroglyphs that date back nearly 3,000 years. The natural beauty is beyond expectation!  You can see flamingos, condors, geysers, hot springs, and oases in this stark yet beautiful landscape.

This is a sample semi-independent itinerary. Travel will be independent with guided tours and activities along the way. Our Destination Specialists will work with you to create an itinerary to meet your preferences.

Day 1Arrive Santiago, Chile

Upon your arrival, walk to the airport hotel, check in, and rest for tomorrow’s morning flight to Calama. Overnight in Santiago

Day 2Fly to Calama & Experience Valle de la Luna | Meals: B L D

Take a morning flight to the city of Calama. At 7400 feet in elevation, it is considered one of the driest cities in the world and is located in the region of Antofagasta. From here, travel by car to the village of San Pedro de Atacama at 7900 feet. During a scenic drive, stop to enjoy the view of the “Cordillera de la Sal” (Salt Mountain Range) and also the amazing view of the Licancabur Volcano. In the afternoon, visit the Valley of the Moon, located in the Cordillera de la Sal, 8 miles west of San Pedro. Here you will find sand and stones carved by water and famous because of its extraordinary resemblance to the surface of the moon. The Valley of the Moon has dry lakes where its salt composition leaves a beautiful white mantle and escarpments of green, blue, red, and yellow colors during different times of the day. Overnight in San Pedro

Day 3Salar de Atacama and Toconado | Meals: B L D

After breakfast, visit the Fort of Quitor or “Pukara de Quitor”, 1.2 miles from San Pedro, a 12th century fortress built by the native Atacameño people to defend themselves from other South American groups. Then you will visit the Tulor Ruins. This archeological site is a former village where the settlements remain and are distributed along one mile. On the way back to San Pedro, stop by the Ayllu Sequitor, the remains of a small Atacameño community with intricate and long passages and very tall trees that cover the sky. These form natural tunnels and offering a unique view of the Salt Range. After lunch, travel towards the Salar de Atacama and visit the little town of Toconao, the Liparita stone quarry of the Jerez Valley, where some giant and peculiar petroglyphs can be seen. The final stop of the day is at Lake Chaxa to see flamingos and watch an amazing sunset. Overnight in San Pedro

Day 4Tara Salt Flats | Meals: B L D

After an early breakfast at the hotel, leave for the Tara Salt Flats, one of the most beautiful sites in the northern region of Chile. The drive to the “salar” (salt flat) will take you through astonishing landscapes and geological formations. You will also visit the Los Flamingos National Reserve and the Tara Cathedrals, magnificent rock formations, “protecting” the salt flats. Overnight in San Pedro

Day 5Rainbow Valley and Yerbas Buenas Petroglyphs | Meals: B

Check out of hotel and head east for another off-the-beaten-path adventure in Rainbow Valley. Colorful hills resulting from the mud and diverse minerals found in the soil will captivate you. Then drive to Yerbas Buenas where you will find pre-Columbian ruins and mysterious petroglyphs. After the tour, transfer to Calama for your flight to Santiago. Overnight in Santiago

Day 6Departure to US

Catch your flight back to the US or extend your stay in South America!

  • Five nights’ accommodation
  • Transfers as indicated
  • Meals as indicated (B-Breakfast, L-Lunch, D-Dinner)
  • Water and snacks during tours
  • Tours of Valle de la Luna, Salar de Atacama, Toconado, Tara Salt Flats, Rainbow Valley, and Yerbas Buenas Petroglyphs
Not Included
  • All flights and related taxes and surcharges
  • Airline fees including meals, seat reservations, luggage costs
  • Travel insurance, recommended
  • Fees for passports
  • Transfers, sightseeing, activities, meals, and beverages not specified
  • Luggage handling at airports and hotels
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry, spa services, internet, phone, etc.
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