The Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley in english) is located in the heart of the Salt Mountain Range in the Atacama Desert in Northern Chile. 13 km west from San Pedro de Atacama small Town. It is accessible by road from this same city, however the non-paved road won’t take you to the famous lookouts in the area.
The wind and the water erosion over thousands of years have molded the salt, sand and plaster until it formed strange formations, that remind us to the pictures we have seen from the moon. This rock formations combined with giant sand dunes, make you feel you are not in planet earth.
El Valle de la Luna is huge, and the optimal time to spend there will depend on how are you visiting it. If you have time, we always recommend a full day horseback riding, to discover unknown corners for the people that visit it by food or on a van tour. However, if that’s the case and you want to visit it on a half day tour with a local guide on his van, the best time to do so is on the afternoon, so you will be able to enjoy the sunset views, that highlights the white and red colours of the arid soil of the Cordillera de la Sal.
The main natural attractions of this valley are the so called, Major dune a big sand dune trapped in between two mountains (check the 360 view of the dune below), the ‘Anfiteatro‘, a cliff formation with the shape of an amphitheater, the ‘Tres Marias‘ Rocks, three strange rocks in the middle of a white salt plateau, and the sunset view from the top of the Mountain Range, (check the 360 view below), that along the Major Dune, are probably the most memorable ones.
Sunset views from Cordillera de la Sal:
El Valle de la Luna in Chile offers a wide range of activities besides the regular touristy tours to see the highlights we just mentioned in the section above. It is always a challenge to ride your bike from San Pedro de Atacama, but is totally doable, throughout the years, many extreme MTB races has taken place in this desert, all you need is a good bike with suspension, a helmet, water and a few snacks.