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Atacama Desert Tour, Horseback Riding in Atacama (Full Day)

Two unforgettable full day rides and one once-in-a-lifetime overnight experience! These itineraries include Moon Valley, Death Valley, Beter Village, Pukara de Quitor, and much more!

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Atacama Desert Tour, Horseback Riding in Atacama (Full Day)

Overview

There are three potential itineraries that give you a full day ride in the Atacama Desert: Moon Valley full day ride, Coca Stone full day ride, or Night of a Thousand Stars afternoon ride + overnight camping + morning ride. Below, we describe the three potential itineraries in more detail!

Itineraries

Moon Valley Full Day Ride

You begin the tour by heading south out into the wide open desert. You will cross the Salt Chain and enter the famous Moon Valley – a terrain that honestly looks like something you would find on another planet! After winding through the valley, you will pass the Main Dune and come upon an exceptional view of Moon Valley. Take some time to enjoy the view here, and then you will pass through a small dune and enjoy a picnic. From there, you will go through a maze of small canyons, which zigzag their way into the heart of the Salt Chain. After navigating the maze, you will arrive at a large canyon – the Quebrada Honde de Kari. From the bottom of the canyon, you will begin ascending to the San Pedro Plain, passing up and down dunes, and finally cresting up to the plain, and arriving back at the town of San Pedro.

Duration: 7-8 hours

Start Time: 09:15 at the guide’s office in San Pedro

Pukara de Quitor, Coca Stone, and Death Valley

Heading north, your first stop is at the foot of the Pukara de Quitor pre-Inca fortress – ancient ruins built into the side of the mountain. From there, you will enter the San Pedro river canyon, and then head through the Paso de los Toros, a XIXth century route. Here, the landscape opens, and you begin to descend through small canyons, navigating ancient cattle tracks, until you arrive at Coca Stone. Coca Stone is an indigenous Atacamenian ceremonial stone, which contains artifacts of life in the area hundreds of years ago. Here, you will picnic, before riding uphill again to lookout from the top of a cliff. From up here, you have excellent views of the Salt Chain, San Pedro Plain, and the Andes mountains. To get back to the Plain, you will descend huge dunes, enter the Death Valley Canyon, and cross the Plain back into San Pedro de Atacama.

Duration: 7-8 hours

Start Time: 09:15 at the guide’s office in San Pedro

Night of a Thousand Stars – Afternoon Ride, Camping Under the Star, Morning Ride

You will set out north in the afternoon for the Quitor Oasis, passing the foot of the Pukara de Quitor pre-Inca fortress – ancient ruins built into the side of the mountain. From there, you will head through the Time Valley canyon to get out into the open desert. You will cross an oasis from west to east, reenter the desert, and ride until you reach the Beter Oasis, where you will set up camp for the night. Enjoy a dinner around the campfire and then a night with the most incredible stargazing you have ever experienced!

After breakfast the next morning, you will head to a Beter Village, an ancient colonial village that has been battered for hundreds of years by desert winds and almost swallowed by the dunes. You will then cross to a protected Tulor archeological village, where you will have a chance to stop and engage with the region’s ancient history once more. You will return to San Pedro through the Coyo Oasis and the Main Oasis, arriving back to the town around midday.

Important Notes

  • This tour requires a minimum of 2 people – please email us if you are traveling solo and we will try to get you in with a group! Also please note that in order to reserve this tour, we need to pay the operator immediately, so all bookings are final. If you have any questions before booking or want to confirm a certain date, please email us at info@keteka.com.
  • This experience must be booked and paid for in advance. Refunds will not be issued once the tour is confirmed with the guide. If you are unable to make your scheduled tour, please email info@keteka.com.
  • There is a weight limit for the horses of 95 kg (210 lbs) – if you weigh more than this but are interested in the tour, please email us at info@keteka.com and we will see if the tour operator can make it happen!

Map

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San Pedro de Atacama

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Moon Valley: -22.925764, -68.287993
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Moon Valley
Valle de la Luna, San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    (verified owner):

    One of the highlights of our trip! The views are breathtaking and it was just me and my husband with the guide (early September) The guide was a real cowboy. After quickly establishing that we were experienced riders, we got to gallop through the desert with endless views and no person, vehicle or building to be seen, true one-of-a-kind experience! Horses and gear were in decent condition (could be improved, but I guess this is what is manageable at a small-scale organization like this). The owners were very nice and involved. We did the night-under-the-stars tour and the owners made sure all camping equipment and food was taken to the location when we arrived with the horses. Basic but incredibly memorable!

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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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