Chile: San Pedro de Atacama blooms in spring7 days / 6 nights
All year round.
Day 1 Calama - San Pedro de Atacama, at last the adventure begins! Finally, we are already in Chile and we want to start our journey through the desert as soon as possible.
We pick up our Holiday Rent camper in Calama, the closest city to San Pedro de Atacama with airport. We drive on Route 23 CH for 100 kilometers to our destination of the day, a trip that takes about an hour and a half.
We arrived! It is time to park our camper in one of the hotels or camping centers that allow the parking of this type of vehicle, for example, the Takha Takha hotel that has an electrical connection and water use. There are also campsites where they allow the parking of our vehicle, such as Andes Nomads.
Our campers are fully equipped to provide a comfortable experience in the desert climate.
Day 2 and 3 San Pedro de Atacama, a zoom to the town
This day we will dedicate to travel this mystical place. It is a small town, with narrow dirt roads and old adobe buildings. Let yourself be enchanted by the impressive gastronomy of the area; There are dozens of restaurants around the central plaza. Unmissable destinations are the Church and the Archaeological Museum located 20 meters from the square, and the craft shops that fill the streets. This area has banks, ATMs, Copec gas station, internet centers and tourist information.
You can rent bicycles to freely explore the town and its surroundings. At night we return our camper and we prepare ourselves for a new day of adventures.
The Valley of the Moon and Valley of Death are two places to go, and they will make you feel that you are already in the driest desert on the planet. If you want a picture postcard, we recommend you watch the sunset from the top of the sand dunes of the Valley of the Moon. If you want to avoid the crowd, go during the day. Ideally you should go up with appropriate shoes for sand. If you want to try a new sport, in the village they rent sandboard that you can try in the Valley of Death.
These last two places can also be accessed by 4x4 vehicles, such as our camper, leaving it in the designated parking area and then walking.
Day 4 Tatio Geiser, a hidden wonder
Today we have to get up early! To be the first to be there in the morning, you can leave in the afternoon the day before, when you will have the complete landscape for you. If you prefer to stay in the city, today it will be a early wake up to start the 95 km trip at 04:30 - 05:00 AM on route B-245 and climb to 4,320 meters above sea level to witness the sunrise in one of the highest geothermal fields in the world.
The geysers' impressive activity and fumaroles begin at 5:30 in the morning and end around 7:30. You cannot miss the show at dawn when there are vicuñas, vizcachas and birds that inhabit the place
Our campers are 4x4 and are able to get to the geisers. On the way back you will pass through the Puritma hot springs. An excellent option to rest and relax in natural pools of water of different temperatures.
The night can be an excellent time to go to the observatories of the place and marvel at the clearness of the desert sky.
Day 5 Toconao, Laguna Chaxa, Miscanti and Miñiques Lagoons, and Salar de Atacama
We take our camper to start a new day of adventures. Leaving from San Pedro de Atacama to the southeast, we drive for 36 kilometers in a straight line along route 23. We find the magical town of Toconao, characteristic for its volcanic stone constructions. You can take a walk through the church, the square and the camp of San Lucas
We continue our way along route 23 to Laguna Chaxa, 7 km from Toconao. It is an oasis that is part of the Los Flamencos National Reserve. We are surrounded by volcanoes, mountains and mountain ranges, and if we are lucky we could see dozens of pink flamingos. We remind you that this lagoon is not suitable for bathing.
We continue our journey to the lagoons of Miscanti and Miñiques. A show of intense colors, flora and fauna unique to the desert at an altitude of 4,300 meters.
In the afternoon we drive to the Salar de Atacama, the largest salt deposit in the country where you will find the Tulor Village, an amazing archaeological site with more than 2,500 years of history.
Day 6 Eyes of the Salar
Again on route 23 we continue in the direction of Tocopilla to marvel at the beautiful Cejar and Tebinquinche lagoons, located in Ojos del Salar, 30 km from San Pedro de Atacama.
Day 7 Arica
After six beautiful days in San Pedro, we return our Holiday Rent camper in Calama.
There are still many landscapes to explore ... we hope to return to San Pedro de Atacama.
Northern Chile Routes
Northern Chile Attractions
Putre & Lauca national parkPutre means “murmur of the water” due to its abundance of water.
Between the mountains and the high plateau, Putre is situated at an altitude of 3.500 m and is the vantage point for excursion into the national park Lauca and the national reserve Vicuña, where you will find 80% of the Chilean fauna in an astonishing natural surrounding. The national park Lauca is a biosphere reserve of the UNESCO with more than 130 different species such as Vicuñas, Vizachas und Condors.
Salar de TaraHere you can explore the Centinales de Pakana, a formation of rocky pillow-like structures that
At the Quepaico River you will be able to see large herds of Lamas and Vicuñas, drinking its salty waters.
The Monjes de Pacana is another geological curiosity: Huge hills that are dispersed among the plain.
Tatio GeysersThe geysers constitute a geothermic field of volcanic origins, where water and vapor are violently expulsed from the earth.
This is definitely a spectacle not to be missed. There are naturally formed thermal pools near the geysers where you may bathe.
Los pueblos del altiplano de AtacamaGet to know Chiu-Chiu, a place situated 30 km from Calama. It is a little village founded by the
About 84 km from Calama you will find Caspana, which is surrounded by a fertile valley made from terraced cultivated areas. This village also stands out due to its architecture of pumice and adobe roofs. It is populated by a powerfully organized society that lives off the flower and vegetable production for the market in Calama.
Socaire is located about 90 km from San Pedro de Atacama. With is Spanish background is it much more than just a village, it is a sequence of terraced cultivated areas on a broad slope, which use the inclination of this area. Here you will find beautiful houses made of stone and in the rear part of the village a small church watches over the place, and sports a stone tower with is sung to every year on August 24 (Fiesta San Bartolomé).
Salar de AtacamaA plateau made up of smaller salt lakes whose waters vary from blues, turquoises, pinks and greys, and surrounded by
The Chaxa Lake is where flamingoes eat the food that gives them their distinctive pink color.