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Atacama Salt Flats Tour: Flamingo National Reserve & Pueblos

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Discover Chile’s vibrant natural and cultural heritage, tucked away in the driest desert on Earth. Encounter teal-blue salt water lakes, observe flamingos, and explore small, colonial pueblos.

USD $72.00

Per Person
1

Discover Traditional Pueblos & Spectacular Wildlife

On this full-day Atacama salt flats tour, discover Chile’s vibrant natural and cultural heritage, tucked away in the driest desert on Earth. Encounter stunning, teal-blue salt water lagoons,  home to endemic wildlife found nowhere else on the planet. Explore Los Flamencos National Reserve and observe the world’s largest population of Andean flamingos. Visit small, colonial pueblos for a look at historic national monuments and Chilean artisanal goods, crafed from volcanic rock.

Highlights

  • Check out brilliant high-altitude Miscanti and Meñiques Lagoons
  • Observe hundreds of Andean flamingos, and learn how these stunning pink animals survive and thrive in the world’s driest desert.
  • Discover the highly unique ecosystem of the Atacama salt flats, and encounter endemic wildlife found nowhere else on Earth
  • Explore the colonial pueblo of Toconao, famous for its preservation of colonial architecture and traditional handicrafts
  • Explore the pueblo of Socaire to discover ancestral farming techniques

Tour Information

Duration: 6:30 am – 14:00 pm

Start/End Location: Hotel pick-up/drop-off in San Pedro de Atacama

Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate. Light walking at high altitudes (13,850 feet/4,220 meters)

Itinerary

Begin your adventure in Los Flamencos National Reserve. Extending 60 miles (100 kilometers) from north to south, the arid and seemingly barren Atacama salt flats are a surprising nesting place for the largest population of Andean flamingos on the planet. Observe hundreds of vibrant pink flamingos in their natural habitat, and learn how these striking animals survive and thrive in such a barren landscape.

Here, check out Miscanti and Meñiques Lagoons. These spectacular saltwater Altiplane Lakes reflect the clear blue sky and take on a stunning shade of teal. Though it may not seem like it, these unique bodies of water are home to abundant wildlife. including the yellow carpets of paja brava that cover the lake-bottom, and endemic species of animals found nowhere else on Earth.

From the National Reserve, set out to discover the small colonial pueblo of Toconao. Toconao is famous for its colonial architecture, and boasts the San Lucas Church and National Monument. The stunning church includes an iconic adobe bell tower, dating back to the early colonial period. In Toconao, stop by local markets for traditional handicrafts and hand-crafted souvenirs.

End you Atacama salt flats tour at Socaire. Here, the community upholds ancestral agricultural techniques, and you’ll get a glimpse at how the world’s driest desert has supported life for millennia. Enjoy regional cuisine and drinks in Socaire, and enjoy the flavors of Chile’s Atacama.

What’s Included

  • Hotel pick-up/drop-off and round-trip transportation
  • Local food and drink tastings: including wine or pisco sour, cheese, local breakfast
  • Atacama salt flats tour with bilingual guide

What’s Not Included

  • National Reserve entrance fee: $6,000 CLP per person (~$10.00 USD)

What to Bring

  • Multiple clothing layers (due to extremely low humidity, temperature changes significantly throughout the day)
  • Bottle of water
  • Close-toed shoes
  • Sunscreen

Map

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San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

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San Pedro de Atacama, Chile -22.910800, -68.200100

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What Happens After I Book?

After you book your experience, you will receive a confirmation email from us confirming that your payment went through. You will then be connected directly to the tour operator, in case you have any further questions. We are also happy to answer any questions about the tour, or travel in general in your country of destination.

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