View sparkling lakes, the eerily beautiful Valley of the Moon, astonishing geysers, ancient ruins, and more in this 4 day, 3 night San Pedro tour package!
Visiting the Atacama Desert can be like going to another planet, or back in time. It is globally recognized as the best place in the world to go stargazing – even without a telescope you can simply look up and see the curve of the earth, as well as the Milky Way. It is also the driest place in the world, and boasts some incredible geological formations, including beautiful lakes, the world’s third largest geysers, and oases that stand in stark contrast with the endless desert around them.
Traces of the ancient culture of the Likan-Antay also occupy the landscape. There are three species of flamingos and other fauna found only here, as well as geysers, salt caves, volcanoes, canyons, valleys, deserted mines, ingenious agriculture, rich history and legends. In the blink of an eye, you will feel the world has transformed around you. This Atacama Desert and San Pedro tour package showcases the best of this area.
Day 1 – Arrival in San Pedro de Atacama
Your local guide will pick you up at Calama airport and you will cross part of the Atacama Desert. On the way, you’ll view salt sculptures created by the wind, and hills that change color depending on the time of the day, as well as the snow-capped Andes mountain range hailing travelers from far away. The drive takes about one hour, and your guide will drop you off at your hotel to check in. You will have time to have dinner and explore the quaint town on your own.
Day 2 – Laguna Chaxa, Lagunas Altiplanicas, Toconao and Socaire Villages
After breakfast the next day, you’ll visit the Chaxa Lagoon, located in the middle of the Atacama Salt Flat. It harbors a variety of native birds, among them, three species of flamingos, whose pink hues contrast with the white salt crystals and blue waters.
You will enjoy lunch at Socaire, a small village built on a hillside, famous for its houses with no windows and the ancient farming terraces that are the base of its economy. Then the guide will take you to the twin lakes of Miscanti and Miñiques at 13779 ft (4200 m). It is believed that an old eruption formed both the lakes and the lava streak that divides them.
On the drive back to San Pedro, you will visit Toconao Village. The town is an oasis and its bell tower and church are both National Monuments. You can check out some of the local handcrafts, made out of volcanic stone and alpaca wool. The guide will then return you to the hotel, around 6 p.m.
Day 3 – Tatio Geysers, Machuca Village, Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley)
Today, you’ll travel to Tatio Geysers, named for the Quechua word for “oven.” They are the highest in the world at 14,173 ft (4,320 m), and at sunrise, the water and steam burst up to six meters (20 feet) high. You’ll wake up at 4:30 a.m. to enjoy breakfast while admiring the impressive spectacle at the best hour. The waters fall on a rustic pool, where you can enjoy a relaxing bath in a completely natural environment.
On the way back to San Pedro, you’ll stop at another small village, Machuca, where it things seems to have halted in time centuries ago. The beautiful houses have straw-covered roofs, and the small local church seems to have remained the same for ages. Machuca’s people have bred llamas for their meat and wool since old times. Traditionally, the village’s inhabitants have also been collectors of llareta, an evergreen tree that looks as if it came straight from prehistory. Now, the community also offers some local appetizers as part of their local economy. We will return to San Pedro at around midday.
In the afternoon, you’ll will depart for Valle de la Luna (The Moon Valley), named after the satellite it so closely resembles. It is a truly other-worldly landscape composed of abrupt cliffs, drifted sand, a variety of craters, and rocks naturally sculpted by the wind. This uncannily beautiful valley is noiseless but for the occasional cracking of the salt crusts. Here you will witness one of the world’s most beautiful sunsets in one of the most unique places you will encounter in your life. Then the group will back to the hotel.
Day 4 – Explore San Pedro and Depart
On the fourth day, depending on the time of your flight, you may have time to stroll around San Pedro de Atacama. San Pedro has great options for everyone: from the famous Le Paige Archeological Museum to sand boarding and trekking on the surrounding dunes. There is also the beautiful local church, the Inca House, which is the oldest building in town, and only four kilometers away, a Pukara (fortress) dating from the twelfth century. At a prearranged time, the van will pick you up at the hotel and drive you to Calama airport for your flight.
Final day options, depending on time (not included in the package, but your guide can help you arrange these activities):
These hotels are consistently available at the prices listed on this page.
The prices of these hotels vary considerably depending on the season. If you would like to book the package to include these hotels, please contact us and we will check availability!
Born in Santiago, I’ve been a tour guide since 2010, specializing in tours in the Andes, as well as tours in the Central Valley, the coast, and the city itself. I also have a lot of experience doing private tours, custom itineraries, and leading sporting trips in archery, snowboarding, scuba diving, trekking, and rock climbing!
-Mountain rescue, with WFR Ecomed certification
-Martial arts instructor
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.