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East from San Pedro de Atacama on the Altiplano (High Plateau), Tara Salt Flat is located in the biggest caldera of South America, La Pakana. This means you’ll actually walk inside a huge crater. A large amount of flamingos and llamas can be spotted on site.
It is recommended that you bring winter clothing and comfortable trekking shoes. Please note that this excursion takes you to more than 4,000 meters (over 13,000 feet) above sea level, so it will be important to remain hydrated. It is also recommended to avoid alcoholic drinks the night before this trip. If you commonly suffer from altitude sickness, we recommend taking this tour after passing a few days in Atacama in order to acclimate. This excursion is not recommended for people who suffer from high blood pressure or heart disease. Pregnant women and children younger than 4 years old should not take this tour.
RULES AND REGULATIONS: Tara Salt Flat is part of the Flamingos National Reserve. Drinking alcohol, smoking, and collecting rocks is strictly prohibited. Visitors are prohibited from walking in restricted areas. Stay on trails. In this area there is no access to bathroom facilities. IMPORTANT: In this area there is no phone reception. However, we count with a satellite phone for emergencies.
This guide offers regular tours for groups of 4 to 15 people. Your reservation admits you to be a part of one of these groups. If you are interested in organizing a private tour for yourself or for a group, contact us in the chat box in the bottom right corner, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
San Pedro rests at 2,407 meters, which is just over the threshold for altitude sickness. At high altitudes, the air pressure drops, and with each breath you take, there is less oxygen than at sea level entering your blood. The effect of this reduced blood oxygen level varies depending on the person, but people commonly report symptoms of dizziness, nausea, shortness of breath, headaches, tiredness and loss of appetite. Fittingly, altitude sickness has been described as being like a very bad hangover. Some people also nd they have trouble sleeping at altitude, due to “periodic breathing” (your body alternating between deep and shallow breaths). Your breathing might even pause completely, making you wake up with a gasp. This is called an “apnoea,” and is nothing too serious to worry about.
Your body will naturally adapt to the lower oxygen level by making more blood cells to carry oxygen around, and by taking deeper, more frequent breaths. Acclimatization typically takes three to ve days, after which time you should stop feeling the effects of altitude.
The best defense against altitude sickness is a gradual ascent. If you start feeling altitude sickness the best thing to do is to descend. But if your itinerary doesn’t allow for that, stay where you are. In other words, if you start feeling any symptoms of altitude sickness, don’t climb any higher. Drinking water before and during your travel can also help. Dehydration is one of the main causes of altitude sickness. You will naturally breathe more frequently at a high altitude to get more oxygen into your blood, but because the air is also dry you will lose more water from exhaling than you’re gaining from breathing in. Aim for 2-3 liters of water a day before you travel to pre- hydrate your body. Keep this going once you’re at the high altitude. You can also ask your doctor about altitude sickness remedies. Some doctors will prescribe Diamox / Acetazolamide, which you should start taking a couple of days before arriving at altitude and continue for 48 hours after arrival. One alternative to Diamox is Exedrin Migraine, which just treats the headache side of altitude sickness. When you arrive in Atacama, eat a high-carb, low protein diet, avoid alcohol and coffee, and drink coca tea, for which you can buy the leaves in many San Pedro convenience stores. However, most people only feel the effects of altitude very mildly, so you shouldn’t let concerns about altitude ruin your upcoming trip.
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.