Atacama Desert 7 Day Trek US$2,420

Highlights: 
  • Explore the World’s Oldest Desert
  • Puritama Hot Springs
  • Miscanti and Miñiques Lagoons
  • Visit Local Indigenous Villages
  • Enjoy Starry Skies
  • Pre-Columbian Ruins and Geoglyphs
  • Atacama Salt Flat
  • Superb Off the Beaten Path Trekking
Brief Itinerary: 
Day 1: Calama, Valle de la Luna, San Pedro
Day 2: Visit Quitor, trek to San Bartolo, camp
Day 3: Full day desert trek Rio Grande, camp
Day 4: Full day desert trek to Machuca, camp
Day 5: Full day trek to Tatio Geysers & Copa Coya, San Pedro
Day 6: Drive to Salt Flat, lagoons, San Pedro
Day 7: Transfer to Calama Airport.
 
For more details about trek distance and walking time, check out our Trekking Chart in Prices & Facts.

 

Day 1, The Adventure Starts!
Arrival in San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
 
We arrive at Calama Airport and go straight to San Pedro de Atacama, driving past the impressive rock formations of the Cordillera de la Sal (Salt mountains). Once in San Pedro we receive a briefing over lunch about the upcoming days and in the afternoon we do our first hike in the vast amazing Valle de la Luna. We walk over sand dunes until we reach the viewpoint from where we will witness one of the world's most beautiful sunsets, intensified by the warm colours throughout the Valley. We come back to town and stay overnight in San Pedro. 
  • Overnight Hotel Poblado Kimal 3*, San Pedro de Atacama
     
Day 2, San Pedro to San Bartolo
Atacama Desert, Chile
After breakfast we drive to the Fortress of Quitor and set off on a walk to the mouth of the San Pedro river, exploring its small canyons along the way. The path crosses the river at various points and there are strange geological formations. Finally we come to a small valley and the ghost town of San Bartolo - a former mining enclave, now abandoned. We camp in this wonderfully isolated spot and enjoy a night under the starry Atacama sky.
  • Overnight Camping San Bartolo
     

Day 3, San Bartolo to Rio Grande
Atacama Desert, Chile

We start the day with a demanding trek, climbing up to a higher altitude as we leave the river bed and move towards the plateau. We have a great view of the abandoned mines, home to many legends. 

The trail continues through the river canyon and giant cacti emerge, in the midst of the arid barren desert. There are some areas of the valley that are so dry that scientists have not found life, or even bacteria. After crossing a section of the canyon we finally arrive at Río Grande Village, one of the few remaining indigenous communities of the Atacameño people, where we set up camp on the river banks.

  • Overnight Camping Rio Grande
     
Day 4, Rio Grande to Machuca    
Atacama Desert, Chile
 
Today is the most physically challenging day of the trek, as we walk towards Machuca Village. The trail continues alongside small streams in narrow, beautiful valleys inhabited by indigenous locals and their llama herds. We continue climbing up steep desert canyons, gaining altitude, until we reach the wetlands of Machuca, full of local wildlife. From here we have an amazing view of Licancabur Volcano, the sacred mountain of the Atacameño people. At this point we are at 4,000 m (13,000 ft) above sea level, and we spend the evening relaxing and acclimatizing in our campsite next to a big 'bofedal' - wetlands where llamas graze.
  • Overnight Camping Machuca
     
Day 5, Machuca to Puritama*
Atacama Desert, Chile
 
After a hearty breakfast we leave the Machuca wetlands and start our descent through the canyon. It's a long journey, although easier than previous days as we're going downhill! We finally arrive at the natural Puritama hot Springs, where we enjoy a well-deserved bathing session after all our trekking. Soaking in the hot, natural pools is a wonderfully relaxing experience. Afterwards we drive back to San Pedro.
  • Overnight Hotel Poblado Kimal 3*, San Pedro de Atacama

*Please note, that Puritama Is closed till end of August 2012 and will be replaced by a similar activity.

 
Day 6, Atacama Salt Flat & Lagoons
Atacama, Chile
 
We get up feeling refreshed and with the satisfaction of having crossed the heart of Atacama with the same explorer spirit of its first inhabitants. Today we drive to the amazing Salar de Atacama, home to astonishing birds like the Chilean Pink Flamingos. Then we continue driving towards the marvelous Miscanti and Miñiques Lagoons, full of turquoise waters that beautifully contrast with the autumnal colours of the Altiplanic lands. A truly incredible landscape! We spend our final night in San Pedro.
  • Overnight Hotel Poblado Kimal 3*, San Pedro de Atacama

Day 7, Adios Atacama
San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

We take the final day of the trip to relax and wander around the village, visiting its handicraft shops, church and museum. 

There is an optional morning trip to the Tatio Geysers for those who want (see prices and facts). The very early wake-up call from the hotel will be well worth it when we arrive at the amazing Geysers of Tatio and see them in action. From almost 900 meters below the earth, boiling steam bursts up to 40 meters over the surface of these spectacular geysers. A scrumptious breakfast will be served upon arrival before we walk through the geothermal fields with the geysers erupting nearby. As we drive back, there is a magnificent view of the Tocopurri and Sairecabur volcanoes.

In the afternoon we go to Calama’s Airport to take our flight back to Santiago...Adios Atacama

Accommodation

Hotel
Our first option will be 3 star Hotel Poblado Kimal, in San Pedro de Atacama
 
Camping
The tents arranged for this program are typical mountain tents with enough room for 2 people overnight in comfortable conditions. We provide all the camping gear, but you have to bring your own mat and sleeping bag. Our team will be responsible for setting up the tents in the camping site. There will be also a big and comfortable dining tent for enjoying breakfast and dinner.

Included
  • One expert English-speaking guide
  • All ground private transportation as indicated in the itinerary
  • 3 nights in 3 star hotel in San Pedro
  • 3 nights camping
  • Meals:
day 1: L, D
day 2: B, BL, D
day 3: B, BL, D
day 4: B, BL, D
day 5: B, BL, D
day 6: B, BL, D
day 7: B
B: breakfast, L: lunch, BL: box lunch, D: dinner.
 
Not Included
  • Domestic flight tickets
  • Insurance (it is mandatory you purchase appropriate insurance for this trip).
  • Voluntary tipping of guides and staff
  • Sleeping bags and mats
  • Items of personal nature

 


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