Greatest Issues to do in San Pedro de Atacama

From the Andes Mountains to excessive desert lagoons, these are the perfect issues to do in San Pedro de Atacama. The Atacama Desert was our favourite place to go to in Chile. Positioned in northern Chile, the Atacama Desert is the driest non-polar desert on this planet and plenty of vacationers make their method to the city of San Pedro de Atacama to take pleasure in the entire wonderful excursions on this extraordinary vacation spot. We visited the Atacama Desert with Exodus Travels and found all of the highlights with the assistance of our trusty information, Alex.

Issues to do in San Pedro de Atacama

The Atacama Desert is the best and dryest non-polar desert on this planet. It’s recognized for its lunar panorama and pure magnificence. With quite a lot of terrains together with salt flats, geysers, and lagoons, Salar de Atacama is without doubt one of the most hanging locations we’ve ever visited.

Excursions and journeys might be booked to the desert from San Pedro de Atacama, and whereas visiting this area of Chile, additionally, you will have the prospect to immerse in its tradition as it’s a middle for indigenous communities. The city is a well-liked vacation spot for backpackers and intrepid vacationers who’re keen on journey, nature, and historical past, and there are numerous issues to do within the space. Listed below are some ideas for issues to do in San Pedro de Atacama.

The place is San Pedro de Atacama

The Atacama Desert is situated within the northern half of Chile between the Pacific Ocean, to the west, and the Andes Mountains, to the east. This 1,000-mile strip of desert, is the best non-polar desert plateau on this planet. (Antarctica is the driest place on earth if you’re questioning) and San Pedro de Atacama is a small city situated within the coronary heart of it close to the Bolivian Border. San Pedro de Atacama is the place everybody makes a base to do desert excursions and this cool city is a vacation spot in its personal proper. With eating places, resorts, tour corporations, and outlets, it makes for a incredible base to see all the pieces in Salar de Atacama.

Particular Supply: Save $100 off your personal Exodus Travels Trip by utilizing the code PLANETD100 if you take a look at. Browse adventures right here.

1. Laguna Chaxa

Seeing the flamingoes of Chaxa Lagoon was the primary cease on our tour and it was a great one! As a part of the Los Flamencos Nationwide Reserve, Chaxa Lagoon is the perfect place to see flamingoes. Three species of flamingoes frequent the salt swimming pools to feed on brine shrimp. The setting is what makes this cease so extraordinary.

Rocky paths weave by salt lagoons surrounded by layers of colours resulting in the Andes Mountains. Flamingoes fly from one pool to a different after which slowly saunter within the nonetheless waters with their reflections dazzling within the backdrop of the encompassing volcanoes. From the white salt deposits to the pink hues of the desert, it is a place you’ll need to pull out your digital camera.

There are three major lagoons in Sector Soncor with the Chaxa lagoon being the perfect place to identify Andean and Chilean Flamingoes. The lagoons are situated at a excessive elevation of  2300 meters (over 7500 toes)

Chaxa Lagoon is 2 hours from San Pedro de Atacama and also you’ll spend not less than an hour having fun with the strolling trails that weave by the lagoons. 

2. Go to the Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley)

The Valle de la Luna is a novel panorama that’s situated simply 13 km (8 miles) exterior of San Pedro de Atacama. It’s known as the Moon Valley due to its similarity to the floor of the moon however is absolutely appears extra just like the floor of Mars. With its rocky terrain and strange rock formations. The truth is, NASA examined its Mars Rover within the Atacama due to its related panorama and local weather.

3. Hike Duna Mayor

The valley is a good place to go mountaineering, and there are a number of trails that lead by the realm. You can too go to the valley at sundown for some stunning views of the encompassing mountains. Climbing Duna Mayor is a superb brief hike to unimaginable vistas. The hike is about 20 minutes out and takes you alongside a slender path overlooking excessive dunes and out-of-this-world rock formations.

Essentially the most spectacular sight was the Moon Valley Amphitheatre. We had the clearest view of it strolling again alongside the excessive trip on the Duna Mayor hike. It reminded us a lot of Wilpena Pound in South Australia.

4. Mirador Lickan-Antai

There are a number of miradors to observe the sundown in Valle de La Luna and we made certain to pop into all of them for the perfect views. With Exodus Travels we had been spoiled and loved a glass of wine with cheese as we neglected the extraordinary views from Mirador Lickan Antai. This can be a beautiful cease off the facet of the street if you’re biking, self-driving or have employed a information. You may hike out for higher views of the desert landscapes.

5. Las Tres Marias Valle de La Luna

If you’re on the lookout for these photographs that seize the Salar de Atacama, a cease at Las Tres Marías is the place you’ll view the well-known rock formations of the Atacama Desert. The Atacama Desert is way completely different from the Bolivian Salt Flats. Since it’s such a dry desert (some locations solely see rain each 100 years!) you don’t get the glass-like views and trick-of-the-eye photographs as you do in Bolivia, however that is the place the place you’ll be able to play with scale and scope a bit of bit. The path is a brief 15-minute stroll

6. Sundown from Mirador de Kari Piedra del Coyote

The most effective issues to do in San Pedro de Atacama is to observe the sundown from Mirador de Kari Piedra del Coyote. Positioned exterior Valle de La Luna, that is the perfect place for sundown as a result of it is advisable be out of the valley by a sure time. Since you can not keep within the Valle de la Luna after sundown, this mirador has the majority of vacationers watching the solar go down within the Atacama Desert.

It’s a stunning view with the solar creating shadows and depth on the rocky valley ground because the excessive mountains twinkle with colour surrounding the huge desert.

7. Go to the El Tatio geysers

The El Tatio geysers are a gaggle of geothermal springs which might be the best geothermal space on this planet. A go to to the geysers occurs at daybreak, and whereas it’s an early and chilly tour, that is one place within the Atacama Desert that you simply don’t need to miss.

The El Tatio Geysers are a few two-hour drive from San Pedro de Atacama. We had been picked up nicely earlier than dawn and hopped within the van for a nap earlier than getting out within the brisk air. It was -13 levels Celcius on the geysers so you’ll want to layer up with gloves and a hat. The geysers are most lively at daybreak when the water is at its hottest (and air at its coldest), and so they produce steam and scorching water that may attain temperatures of as much as 100°C.

It takes about 90 minutes to stroll across the geysers alongside the designated stone paths and whereas not fairly as spectacular on the Geysers of Yellowstone, these are the third largest geothermal areas on earth so they need to not be missed!

8. Lagunas Miscanti and Miñiques

Have you ever ever questioned what it was prefer to stroll at excessive altitudes however don’t need to hike for days to get there? Properly, a go to to the high-altitude lakes (The Lagunas Altiplanicas) of Miscanti and Miñiques will do the trick. We drove on to an elevation of over 4000 meters (13,000 toes) to stroll from the picturesque lakes of Miscanti and Miniques.

Often, you would want to trek for days to get to this elevation. The nonetheless deep blue waters are hanging and it’s surprising to be standing at 4000 meters with the 2 excessive volcanoes towering overhead. It was onerous to imagine that the Volcano proper earlier than our eyes was greater than Mount Kilimanjaro. The 2 volcanoes that body the lagoons are (5,622 meters (18,445 ft)) and Cerro Miñiques (5,910 meters (19,390 ft))

9. Vicuñas

The lagoons are related by a path of rocks and also you’ll have the ability to see wild vicunas roaming the panorama. These animals are associated to the llama and el paca households and at the moment are protected. These vicunas are not possible to cultivate so to get their in-demand wool, they spherical them as much as shave them solely as soon as each three years. 

10. Go stargazing

San Pedro de Atacama is situated in an space with little or no gentle air pollution or precipitation, which makes it a perfect place for stargazing and excursions might be booked for round $50 to see the night time skies throughout San Pedro de Atacama. There are a number of corporations that provide stargazing excursions within the space which you can ebook in San Pedro de Atacama. Our tour was an add on with Exodus Travels.

The clear, dry air of the Atacama Desert permits for wonderful visibility of the celebs, planets, and the Milky Means. Due to the low humidity, excessive altitude, and low gentle air pollution, it’s a scorching spot for astronomers to review the skies, and plenty of corporations from around the globe have scientists learning its darkish skies. San Pedro de Atacama is standard for Astro-tourism and you can not miss doing this tour. I actually didn’t assume I’d be impressed, however I liked listening to the tales of our information as he identified constellations earlier than having us look into the large telescopes at Saturn, Mars, and Pluto. 

We regarded by these huge telescopes at stars and planets till the wee hours of the morning. Our information was so gung ho that lengthy after different excursions left, we stayed wanting into the night time till 2 am!

No cell telephones or cameras are allowed, however Dave went off on his personal to take some night time photographs and the corporate we went with was type sufficient to provide photographs of our expertise. This is without doubt one of the hottest excursions within the Atacama Desert. 

You can too go to the ALMA Observatory, which is situated about 50 kilometers exterior of San Pedro de Atacama. The observatory is residence to the most important array of radio telescopes on this planet, and

11. Stand on the Tropic of Capricorn

There’s something particular about crossing one of many 5 main circles of the earth. For instance, when taking a cruise, every passenger will get a certificates that they crossed the equator. When visiting the Atacama Desert, we had the prospect to face on the Tropic of Capricorn. The Tropic of Capricorn is about 60 km from San Pedro de Atacama. It’s a small and brief cease, however very cool to face on the place that’s the most southerly latitude the place the solar can seem instantly overhead at excessive midday. Cool eh?

12. Go to the Village of Tocanao

Moreover San Pedro de Atacama, there are a number of villages within the Atacama Desert. If you wish to do some purchasing, the village of Tocanao is an effective cease. We purchased some jewellery and baggage for only a few {dollars}. Positioned 38 km from San Pedro de Atacama, most excursions will cease right here for not less than half-hour to an hour to assist the local people.

Essentially the most notable constructing within the village is the bell tower which was inbuilt 1750.

13. Church of Socaire

Socaire is one other cease within the Atacama Desert that may be a sensible choice for lunch. Our information known as forward to order conventional stew. The principle attraction on this city is the Church of Socaire. This rustic church with a thatched roof is situated in a picturesque setting simply off the facet of the street.

14. San Pedro de Atacama

Properly, this complete article is in regards to the excursions from San Pedro de Atacama, so let’s cease and speak about this sprawling desert city situated in northern Chile. San Pedro de Atacama has that typical backpacker vibe with loads of eating places and outlets. There are a number of resorts on the town and it’s a good spot for eating. You may ebook any day journey you need from city and it has a cool laid-back vibe that makes it excellent for chilling out for a number of days.

There are a number of issues to do in San Pedro de Atacama with out leaving city.

  • Meteorite Museum – Whereas strolling round San Pedro de Atacama, make a cease on the Meteorite Museum which helps you to really contact stones from out of this world,
  • R. P. Gustavo Le Paige Archaeological Museum – t is devoted to the archaeology and historical past of the Atacama Desert. The museum has a group of artifacts and displays that showcase the indigenous cultures of the area, together with the Atacamenian, Inca, and Mapuche cultures.
  • Purchasing – This can be a incredible city for purchasing. The artist’s group of Pueblo de Artesanos is an effective place to select up Andean souvenirs from ponchos to blankets.

Learn how to Get to San Pedro de Atacama

By air: The closest airport to San Pedro de Atacama is the El Loa Airport, which is situated within the metropolis of Calama. The airport is served by a number of main airways, together with LATAM and Sky Airline, and there are flights to and from Santiago in addition to different cities within the area. From the airport, you’ll be able to take a taxi or a bus to San Pedro de Atacama, which is a few 45-minute drive from the airport.

By bus: There are a number of bus corporations that function common service to San Pedro de Atacama from main cities in Chile. The bus journey from Santiago to San Pedro de Atacama takes about 23 hours, and there are a number of completely different courses of service obtainable, together with semi-cama (semi-bed), cama (mattress), and VIP. The buses depart from the Terminal Alameda in Santiago, and tickets might be bought on-line or on the terminal.

By automobile: If you happen to desire to journey by automobile, you’ll be able to drive to San Pedro de Atacama from Santiago or different cities within the area. The drive from Santiago to San Pedro de Atacama takes about 22 hours, and it’s endorsed to take a 4×4 automobile because of the tough terrain of the Atacama Desert. You can too hire a automobile in Santiago or Calama, and there are a number of automobile rental corporations that function within the area. Take a look at automobile rental costs right here.

By tour: If you happen to desire to journey with a guided tour, there are a number of corporations that provide excursions to San Pedro de Atacama from Santiago and different cities in Chile. The excursions normally embody transportation, lodging, and actions, and they’re a great possibility for vacationers who need to see as a lot of the area as potential.

Regardless of the way you select to get to San Pedro de Atacama, you will need to plan your journey upfront and to be ready for the distinctive situations of the Atacama Desert. The city has a dry, arid local weather, and you will need to carry loads of water and solar safety with you if you go to.

The place to Keep in San Pedro de Atacama

San Pedro de Atacama is the principle hub to discover the Atacama Desert of Chile. There are a number of choices for lodging. Listed below are some ideas for the place to remain in San Pedro de Atacama:

  1. Resorts: San Pedro de Atacama has quite a lot of resorts to select from, starting from price range to luxurious. We stayed at Resort Diego Del Almagro which has top-of-the-line areas in San Pedro de Atacama. The lodge rooms are primary, however you’ll be able to’t be the placement. Positioned proper within the middle of the town, it was inside strolling distance to all the pieces. If you’re driving, it has free parking for visitors and a swimming pool. 
    • Another standard choices embody Resort de Larache, Resort Atacama, and Resort Casa de Don Tomas. These resorts provide a spread of facilities, together with swimming pools, eating places, and spas, and they’re situated within the middle of the city, close to the principle sq. and the principle vacationer points of interest.
  2. Hostels: If you’re touring on a price range, there are a number of hostels in San Pedro de Atacama that provide inexpensive lodging. Some standard choices embody Hostal La Casona, Hostal Atacama, and Hostal El Descanso del Viajero. These hostels provide shared dorms and personal rooms, and so they normally have widespread areas, resembling kitchens and dwelling rooms, the place you’ll be able to socialize with different vacationers.
  3. Tenting: If you happen to desire a extra outside expertise, there are a number of campsites in and round San Pedro de Atacama. Some standard choices embody Tenting San Pedro de Atacama, Tenting La Duna, and Tenting El Molle. These campsites provide primary amenities, resembling bathrooms and showers, and they’re a great possibility for vacationers who need to be near nature.
  4. Renting a trip residence: If you’re touring with a gaggle or need extra space and privateness, you’ll be able to think about renting a trip residence in San Pedro de Atacama. There are a number of choices obtainable, starting from residences to homes, and you could find trip leases on web sites resembling Airbnb or Vrbo. Renting a trip residence is usually a good possibility if you wish to have your personal kitchen and dwelling area, and it will also be extra economical if you’re touring with a gaggle.

Discover the Salar de Atacama

The Salar de Atacama is a big salt flat situated within the Atacama Desert. It’s the third largest salt flat on this planet, and it’s residence to quite a lot of plant and animal life. The salar is a good place to go for a drive, as there are a number of grime roads that lead by the realm. You can too go to the salt flats on a tour, which is able to take you to a few of the finest spots for images and sightseeing.

Regardless of the place you select to remain in San Pedro de Atacama, you will need to ebook your lodging upfront, particularly through the excessive season, which runs from November to March. The city can get very busy throughout this time, and it’s best to ebook your lodging as early as potential to make sure that you have got a spot to remain. It is usually a good suggestion to analysis the placement of your lodging, as some locations could also be farther from the middle of the city or the principle vacationer points of interest.

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