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Sandboarding San Pedro de Atacama (3.5 Hour Day Tour)

Experience the thrill and physical challenge of sandboarding down 120 meter dunes in Death Valley!

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93.85% of buyers said they were satisfied.
4.69 out of 5 based on 26 customer ratings
(26 customer reviews)
USD $45.00USD $80.00

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Sandboarding in San Pedro de Atacama (3.5 Hour Day Tour)

Description

Experience the thrill and physical challenge of sandboarding down 120 meter dunes in Death Valley! On this 3.5 hour trip, you will meet your local guides in San Pedro for a quick safety briefing and then proceed by van on a short drive to the mysterious and desolate Death Valley. Here, you will receive sandboarding boots and a board and follow your guide up the dune for a brief lesson. After that, you are free to sandboard the dune as much as you want! Your driver will also film the experience and upload it online in case your camera is not sand proof!

Potential Times

09:00am – 12:30pm

15:00pm – 18:30pm

Night Sandboarding

Every Saturday, you can go sandboarding at night! This tour runs from 21:00pm – 12:30am (30 minutes past midnight). Note that during Chilean winter (~April-October), night time sandboarding might be prohibitively cold. Please email us at info@keteka.com if you want to double-check the current conditions in San Pedro de Atacama.

What’s Included

  • Local guide
  • Sandboard
  • Sandboarding boots
  • Goggles
  • Transport
  • Access to a video of your adventure

What’s Not Included

  • The price does not include entrance to the park, which is $5,000 pesos, paid in cash to the park rangers. (Note that we do not include the park entrance fee in the price at the request of the tour operator – they prefer that customers bring their own cash for this fee, instead of being responsible for bringing sufficient cash for the group)

What to Bring

  • Water (at least 1 liter)
  • A bandana (for the sand)
  • Long socks (for the boots)
  • Protection from the sun
  • $5.000 chilean pesos in cash (to pay the park entrance fee)

Important Notes

For the day trips, you will be sandboarding in the sun, so be prepared with a hat and sunscreen and/or long sleeves. Note that during Chilean winter (~April-October), night time sandboarding might be prohibitively cold. Please email us at info@keteka.com if you want to double-check the current conditions in San Pedro de Atacama.

Map

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Death Valley, San Pedro de Atacama

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Death Valley, San Pedro de Atacama -22.908707, -68.199716

History of Sandboarding

It has been wildly proven that for centuries people have been practicing sandboarding, even though it has only more recently become more of a developed sport. Though there is agreement that sandboarding dates back to ancient civilizations, there is dispute over which group is the exact founder. Many people believe the claim belongs to the Ancient Egyptians, however there is evidence supporting the possibility that ancient civilizations of either Brazil or the Arabian Peninsula could’ve founded it before them.

Regardless of when exactly it was invented, it has only become more of a sport in the past handful of decades, following on the heels of the further development of surfing and snowboarding. Due to the more remote locations where this sport often tends to be more popular, it often doesn’t get the same level of recognition. However, there are competitions throughout the world from the Western United States to Australia to Japan to Namibia to Dubai to Chile.

History of the Region

The Atacama Desert has been inhabited for over 10,000 years, though the first organized tribes began to wander the area as hunter-gatherers roughly 7,000 years ago. The Loa River is the main water source of the desert with sustained agricultural and llama-herding villages scattered around it and San Pedro de Atacama since about 900 BC. Near Lake Titicaca, the Tiwanaku culture rose to power, and its influence is still seen today in the region’s textile iconography. As this culture began to fade, the Atacamenos took control in the desert  in 1000 BC by developing a system to transport goods from the coast to the Andes. Then, the 15th was marked by the rise of the Inca Empire.

Tales of gold somewhere south of the Inca Empire was what first led Europeans to the Atacama Desert, and so Spanish conquistador Diego de Almagro first set foot in the region. From there, the Spanish invaded and brought the downfall of the Incas and Atacamenos, who had so far resisted European rule. The Atacamenos were massacred before they signed an agreement to remain subjects of the Spanish.

Chile claimed the Atacama Desert as part of its territory following the War of the Pacific (1879-1883), and labeled the indigenous groups in the area as Chilean nationals. Tribes were torn apart as the national borders between Chile, Peru and Bolivia broke ties. Many Atacamenos engaged in silver nitrate and copper mining in the 19th century until the silver nitrate industry collapsed in the early 20th century, which led to an economic crisis. In 1933, the government finally acknowledged the Atacamenos as one of nine indigenous groups in Chile. However, the state failed to redistribute the tribe’s ancestral land, which they view as sacred.

Recently, tourism has created new economic opportunities for indigenous groups and other peoples in Atacama. Cultural tourism acts as a critical source of income for locals in tiny villages that practice llama herding or mining, and some find they no longer need to migrate to larger cities such as Calama to support themselves and their families.

  1. 5 out of 5

    :

    We went for the morning sand boarding tour and all had a blast. My kids had never done snowboarding or sandboarding before and the staff helped them a lot, holding hands until they felt comfortable enough. In some sense it is easier than snowboarding as it goes slowly and it’s easier to keep your balance. After 2 kids wanted to continue event though they were tired. The best part in my opinion is the view of the Death Valley. I would recommend the morning or afternoon tour more than the evening one if you want to see the views.

  2. 5 out of 5

    :

    If someone likes extreme sports or just trying new great things it is must do in Chile! Great instructors speaking English and Spanish are doing amazing work to teach how to sandboard. Since I tried I’m in love with that sport 🙂

  3. 4 out of 5

    :

    Heaps of fun. Guide was friendly, and spoke english as well as spanish. Because he had to say everything twice (once is english once in Spanish) the instructions took a long time. He did offer anyone with snow board experience to get started before rest of tour.
    Good value for money, well worth giving it a go

  4. 5 out of 5

    :

    None of us actually stood on a board before but that really is no problem 🙂 We were a small group that had an amazing guide who gave great instructions. At the end of the lessons and after first two rides under his supervision you have plenty of time to ride as much as you want (before you get tired). We did around 7-8 rides all together which was more than enough to enjoy and have a great experience. I recommend this agency to anybody who wants to do something a bit more physical in the desert or just wants to try something new!

  5. 5 out of 5

    :

    If you have time in San Pedro – DO it! It was an amazing evening sandboarding on a dune in Death Valley! They will drive you to the Death Valley and provide you with all the equipment for sandboarding. You have about 2 hours to sandboard which is more than enough! Trust me, it is hot out there! They also record a video and post it on their website for free! We had so much fun! Be ready to have sand EVERYWHERE!!! They also do a night sandboarding but I think this was a great option! I would definitely recommend them!

  6. 5 out of 5

    :

    Had a blast sandboarding for the first time! Organisational professional, good equipment, good first aid (little accident, due to a person to enthousiastic 🙂 ) and very well explanaition for first time boarders! Recommended!!

  7. 5 out of 5

    :

    Experienced a half day sand boarding with this company & had great fun. The trip was well run, all equipment provided & got a short lesson at start. The guide spoke excellent English. It was only a 15 minute drive from San Pedro so easy to get there. Take some water as it gets hot & long socks. I wore shorts which was fine but you do get covered in sand!

  8. 5 out of 5

    :

    I ve been wanting to try sand boarding since a very long time and it was truly an unforgettable experience. Do no be afraid that you will heart yourself – you really have to be an expert rider to catch some speed on the sand. The climbing back up on the hill can be exhausting some times and the boots lack some serious cleaning:) but do NOT miss this experience.

  9. 5 out of 5

    :

    Easy trip. The equipment was pretty good although some of the boots were trashed. Paolo told us just enough for us to go off on our own and play. Lots of fun. One thing that could be improved is the camera angle for the recording. The video looks like we’re not moving or we green screened it.

  10. 4 out of 5

    :

    Fun even as a total beginner but the walk back up the dune is exhausting, especially in the daytime heat, so be prepared. Bring lots of water and sunscreen. The sand is soft, which is good since you’ll likely be tumbling around in it!

  11. 4 out of 5

    :

    INFO Afternoon session What to wear Shorts Thick/padded socks IMPORTANT Buy a big bottle of water. YOU WILL NEED IT. The walks may kill you, but you can do it! Bottomline Worth to experience (no more than once for me…)

  12. 4 out of 5

    :

    It was the first time sandboarding for me. After arriving to the dunes we got the material (board, helmet, boots) and walked up the dunes to receive a couple of minutes introduction and off we went. The strenuous part is walking up the dunes everytime, almost a bit frustrating as you spend about 10 times as much time getting up there as it takes you to get down. But still fun. Only criticism, the boots were very worn out and half broken.

  13. 4 out of 5

    :

    My first time and a really good experience. The staff were really friendly with a good level of English. You start with an info talk at the top of the dunes and then head down. As a beginner even I was standing and riding down easily after a couple of attempts. Like others have said the walk back up is tiring but worth it. I would recommend the morning session its a little cooler – bring water, long socks and sun cream!

  14. 5 out of 5

    :

    Sandboarding is a must for everyone of any ability! Not often you get a chance to head down a massive sand dune in the middle of a desert! Even if you’re not that into the adrenaline rush the views from the top of the dune are incredible! It was an easy choice to book this through Keteka- excellent choice of equipment and safety. There’s also fantastic videos of you afterwards!

  15. 2 out of 5

    :

    We took the morning Tour out tot the Sand dunes. We got helmets at the shop, shoes and Board werde given in the dunes.
    First thing: there weren’t enough shoes in the size 40 so that some had to wear shoes that were actually to big for them. Maybe it would help to already try them on at the store and have some extra…
    Then wie climbed down,had a short,smokey introduction and off wie went… But not just us, but also the two guides. They were sitting on the other hill, smoking, on the phone etc. more hints inbetween out tries would’ve been very helpful, instead we tried to help us ourselves. Not at all what I expect of a tour guide

  16. 5 out of 5

    :

    Every tour operator in town books you through this place. They give you a helmet board and boots…bring your own socks, sun block, water, and dress as if you’ll be rolling in the sand. The hardest part is walking up the dunes with your gear. The owner and instructors are funny and helpful. Would highly recommend!

  17. 5 out of 5

    :

    Having read Heather’s review about the weather we sacrificed a small chicken sandwich before embarking on this tour – it worked perfectly. We had lots of sand to play with and a great time.

    We missed our booked morning session due to issues with a local taxi. The agency were really helpful and allowed us to join in the afternoon tour.

    Once at the sand dunes our guide enquired about everyone’s level of experience (ranging from no experience to snowboarding experts) and worked with everyone to go at their own pace.

    Experienced boarders set off and were given helpful hints whilst novices were given a quick lesson.

    The added bonus with this agency is that they film and load to both YouTube and their website your session so that you have a record of your experience.

    We highly recommend this as the best tour in San Pedro.

  18. 5 out of 5

    :

    I can’t say nothing else than big thanks for such great opportunity! I was scared to death to try sandboarding but it was all worth it! Amazing guidance by Simon made me not only braver but also happier that I had decided to join this activity. Everything went smooth, everybody got approppriate equipment and the atmosphere was priceless. Highly recommended!

  19. 5 out of 5

    :

    Forst time sandboarding. Best thing I have done in SPA. Great guide, music during the event, lots of fun

  20. 5 out of 5

    :

    Did an afternoon trip. Diego was excellent as a guide. At least when you fall over you don’t get hurt, unlike snowboarding. Hot so take plenty of water and sunscreen.

  21. 5 out of 5

    :

    I took the afternoon session which was guided by the instructor named George. He spoke good English and he gave clear instructions and guided each and every one of us! He may be a bit strict if you still can’t get it after a few tries but to me it is a good thing because it will make you try to learn it well.
    The tour was from 3pm until about 6.30pm but i can tell you, you won’t get enough of it! The video they posted was a long video with everyone in the group (unfortunately my friend appeared only once but i appeared a few times though) so if you want a solo video of yourself, get a sports cam or get someone to record it for you.
    i would like to thank the staff for replying my emails and requests in a very timely manner. The staff in the office were very and i mean veryyyy friendly!

  22. 5 out of 5

    :

    This tour is so fun! I had no experience with snow boarding or sand boarding, but the guide walked us through everything and I was able to make it down the dune with no problems. They played fun music from the van while we sand boarded, and they sent us a free video at the end. The view from the top of the dune is amazing. I went with my friends from college, but this tour is also suitable for families with younger kids, couples, etc. I would definitely do this again!

  23. 5 out of 5

    :

    Probably my favorite part of my time in Atacama. Sandboarding was actually pretty easy to pick up with a very helpful tutorial from our guide, who was super friendly and helpful. At one point he told us we had twenty minutes left but even after that time was most certainly up he looked at us and asked if we were going to go for one last ride, and didn’t rush us one bit through it

  24. 5 out of 5

    :

    Sandboarding is a must!! We went for the morning tour and us was great. The guides are very helpful and it was pretty easy to pick up on. It was hot so I would bring lots of water and be ready for a workout. They also make a video of everyone going so that was pretty cool to watch.

  25. 5 out of 5

    :

    A ton of fun! I snowboard, so I was able to pick this up really quickly. I went with friends without any kind of boarding experience and they were able to pick it up quickly and have a great time. Personally, I would recommend this over many of the other tours!

  26. 5 out of 5

    (verified owner):

    DEFINITELY A MUST! Even if you have no experience with any board sport, you have to try this. I have attempted snowboarding time and time again and could never get it, but during this tour, I didn’t fall one time! I went with friends that had a lot of experience, and friends that had none and we all had a blast. The tour guide definitely made it worth it! We were watching other tours that were barely taught anything and spent hours falling down the hill over and over again. Our guide took a lot of time explaining techniques and helped us all go down the first time one at a time to ensure we got the most out of our experience and didn’t repeatedly fall down! They even provided a free video at the end of our experience. It is warm during the day, so wear layers and bring a lot of water! Overall highly recommended!

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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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