Chile Tourism: Home > Destination Tours >Atacama Desert & Altiplano

ATACAMA DESERT & ALTIPLANO
   (9 DAYS)

A cultural experience combined with geographical wonders in the driest place on the Earth, the Atacama desert: mysterious and extreme.

The journey begins with a tour in one of the safest and most modern cities in Latin America, Santiago, where you can see a combined city with colonial buildings of French and Spanish style, contrasting with modern skyscrapers. Also, visit Valparaiso, a natural bay surrounded by a mountain range where the sea washes the coastline, here you can hike along its colorful mountains and see the Pacific Ocean

Then, you will explore in the midst of vast landscapes, San Pedro de Atacama, where the desert and sky become one. You may enter to the impressive Atacama Salt Lake, where the air is extraordinarily dry giving a perfect transparency, allowing you to observe the other side of the lake; is habitat of unique flamingos and variety of migratory birds. Also, visits to geographical wonders are included like geyser fields and natural hot springs.

Come and discover the joy to explore nature.

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Day 1: ... / Santiago

Transfer from the Airport to the Hotel. Private Service.

Overnight at Eurotel Providencia Hotel.

Meals included: Breakfast.

Day 2: Santiago

PANORAMIC TOUR WITH CERRO SAN CRISTÓBAL:

Departing from our hotel, we drive to the civic center of Santiago to visit the Government Palace of La Moneda. We continue through the financial area and then we visit the heart of Santiago and the center of social life, the Main Square (Plaza de Armas) which is surrounded by historical buildings such as the Metropolitan Cathedral, the main post office, and the National Historical Museum. Afterwards we will drive through the Barrio Bellavista with its many cultural activities, art galleries, theaters, restaurants and dance halls proceeding to the Cerro San Cristóbal, a very well-known recreational area with a fantastic view of the city. Shared Service.

Overnight at Eurotel Providencia Hotel.

Meals included: Breakfast.

Day 3: Santiago

VALPARAISO AND VIÑA DEL MAR WITHOUT LUNCH

Departure in the early morning from Santiago, you will pass through the beautiful Casablanca Valley to reach the magical port of Valparaíso dubbed a World Heritage site by UNESCO. You will continue your tour to cerro Alegre. Then, visit the Open Sky Museum with walls and stairways of murals painted by local artists. You will continue your tour along the coast to Viña del Mar to enjoy a panoramic view of the city. Return to Santiago. Shared Service.

Overnight at Eurotel Providencia Hotel.

Meals Included: Breakfast.

Day 4: Santiago

Transfer from the Hotel to the Airport (without guide). Private Service.

Air ticket Santiago - Calama.

Calama

Transfer from the Airport to the hotel located at San Pedro de Atacama. (1 hour ride aprox.) Private Service.

San Pedro de Atacama

Overnight at the Lodge Terrantai.

Meals included: Breakfast.

Day 5: San Pedro de Atacama

A TRIP TO THE PAST, THE QUITOR ARCHEOLOGICAL VILLAGE:

Transport yourself back in time as this three-hour guided tour traces the history of Chile to over 2,800 years! Both informative and fun, this archaeological tour from San Pedro de Atacama will be enjoyed by the whole family. This is a great sightseeing tour for those wanting to discover the ancient beginnings of this amazing place! Visit the indigenous fortress of Quitor, a defensive site where the first shepherds of this civilization once lived. Continue on to one of the 'ayllus' or settlements which reflect the social system and communal aspects of this subsistent society. Return to San Pedro. Private Service.

SHAPES OF THE DAWN, VALLE DE LA LUNA:

Visit a place with beautiful shapes and colors located at 8km from San Pedro de Atacama, where you will walk and enjoy a great geological spectacle that has been repeatedly compared with the surface of the moon, with its angular geology and rocks sculpted by millenniums of erosion. Visit the salt caverns before climbing the mayor sand dune where you can marvel at the kaleidoscope of colors that appear over the Andes at sunset. Return to Hotel. Shared Service.
Overnight at the Lodge Terrantai.

Meals included: Breakfast.

Day 6: San Pedro de Atacama

ATACAMA SALTFLAT & ALTIPLANIC LAGOONS:

You will start early in the morning to visit the town of Toconao, a 600 inhabitants town who make their living through agriculture and handcrafts. You will look at typical handcrafts made of llama wool, cactus wood, volcanic rock and alpaca wool. You will visit the Tower of San Lucas, which is a National Monument and symbol of the town. The houses of Toconao are constructed mostly from liparita, a very white stone extracted from the nearby quarry. You will continue the trip to see the Salar de Atacama (salt lake) and enter the National Flamingo Reserve at Chaxa Lagoon sector. This National Reserve is formed by a gigantic depression of more than 3.500km2, located at 2.300 m.a.s.l. The Salar is the biggest salt field in Chile and its large quantities of salt make the surface white and rough. The dryness and altitude of the salt field allow an excellent panoramic view of the area. The bottom of the salt field is composed of an enormous lake, which receives water from mountain, rivers and melting snow. As it has no runoff, several small lagoons have formed, where you can observe the three types of flamingos living in the area, the English, the Andean and the Chilean. You will continue towards the Altiplano. You will stop at Socaire village at 3.300 m.a.s.l.  to acclimatize and photograph the small church of San Bartolomé. It is the last village of Lican Antai or Atacameño culture for the travelers on their way to Salta in Argentina, along the Sico Pass international road. You will continue your trip to Miscanti and Miñique lagoons of crystalline water and intense blue color at 4.350 and 4.100 m.a.s.l. Surrounded by numerous volcanoes and mountains, they are a habitat for a variety of species, such as the Chilean flamingo, the small parina, the playero and the horned crane, among others. In the surrounding scenery, the hills of Miscanti and Meñiques can be seen, and the area is part of the Los Flamencos National Reserve. Return to San Pedro de Atacama. Private Service.

Overnight at the Lodge Terrantai.

Meals included: Breakfast & Lunch.

Day 7: San Pedro de Atacama

EL TATIO GEYSERS & PURITAMA HOT SPRINGS:

You will leave the hotel at 04.00 am to arrive at 07.00 am. To see the Tatio Geysers at 4.320 m.a.s.l. The geysers are located 90 km Northwest of San Pedro. They are shaped by a series of fumaroles that erupt water and steam of volcanic origin. You will see this spectacle at dawn in its entire splendor. After Tatio, you will visit the old village of Caspana and its church. Caspana lies in a fertile valley in a deep gorge. Caspana has a large cultivated area of approximately 46 ha. in terraced style (Inca style) and extensive fields of flowers and vegetables in the riverbeds. All this makes Caspana a mystical Andean village. After visiting the “El Tatio Geysers”, you will visit the Puritama hot springs, a native name meaning "hot water". The place is located in the middle of the desert, a little more than 30 kilometers north of San Pedro de Atacama, 3.475 meters above sea level. For the past years they have been managed by the Counsel of Pueblos Atacameños who take care of maintaining the installations and facilities. These springs were known for centuries by the locals, but only some years ago were opened to the public and tourism, which is why they still they preserve their purity and original charm. Surrounded by desert, the Baños de Puritama possess modern installations and adequate comfort for those who want to enjoy nature and the imposing desert landscape. The waters are tepid, refreshing and revitalizing. They flow from the subterranean nappe to a temperature close to the 33ºC. The waters of the Baños de Puritama are sulphurous and said to alleviate rheumatic illnesses, exhaustion and the stress. The zone that surrounds the Baños de Puritama is famous around the world for its archaeological deposits, especially San Pedro of Atacama. Private Service.

Overnight at the Lodge Terrantai.

Meals included: Breakfast.

Day 8: San Pedro de Atacama / Calama / Santiago

Transfer from the selected hotel to the hotel at Calama. Private Service.

Calama

Air ticket to Santiago de Chile

Santiago

Transfer from the Airport to the Hotel. Private Service.

Overnight at Eurotel Providencia Hotel.

Meals included: Breakfast.

Day 9: Santiago / ...

Transfer from the Hotel to the Airport (without guide). Private Service.

International Departure.

Meals included: Breakfast.

 

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