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UNKNOWN ATACAMA – PRIVATE TRIP

US$ 2,450 / 5 days

What can I expect?

  • Visit the high plateau lagoons of Miñiques, Miscanti, Chaxa and Piedras Rojas
  • Explore the Andean villages of Socaire and Toconao
  • See the Yerbas Buenas petroglyphs or cave paintings
  • Visit the Tara salt flat and the Centilelas de Pakana rock formations
  • Observe local wildlife such as flamingos and South American camelids
  • Enjoy a dip in the Puritama hot springs
  • Marvel at the colorful Rainbow Valley

Itinerary Summary

As part of the Unknown Atacama programme, you’ll explore stunning parts of the Atacama Desert, located at the northern tip of the country and 3,000 meters above sea level. The region has one of the most fragile, inhospitable ecosystems of the Andes thanks to its low temperatures and extreme dryness – but there is an oasis in the middle of the desert, and its name is San Pedro de Atacama. You will be staying in this town and will visit it some of the most remote surrounding areas such as the high plateau lagoons, the Tara salt flat, the Rainbow Valley, the Yerbas Buenas petroglyphs and the Puritamas hot springs.

During your time there, you will be able to explore beautiful panoramic attractions, sample delicious local food, and learn about the Atacama culture

DAY PLACE HIGHLIGHTS HOTEL OPTIONS
1 Santiago Airport and San Pedro de Atacama Atacama arrival Casa Don Tomás, Altiplanico San Pedro Hotel or Noi Casa Atacama
2 San Pedro Raimbow Valley, Petroglifos of Yerbas Buenas and Puritama Hot Springs Casa Don Tomás, Altiplanico San Pedro Hotel or Noi Casa Atacama
3 San Pedro Chaxa, Meñique, Miscanti and Piedras Rojas Altiplanic Lagoons, Salt Flat of Atacama and Toconao Town Casa Don Tomás, Altiplanico San Pedro Hotel or Noi Casa Atacama
4 San Pedro Tara Salt and Centinelas of the Pakana Casa Don Tomás, Altiplanico San Pedro Hotel or Noi Casa Atacama
5 San Pedro de Atacama and Santiago Airport Santiago arrival .

Itinerary Details

DAY 1:
SANTIAGO AIRPORT - CALAMA / SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA

The first day of the programme will begin when you reach Calama airport, where a local guide and driver will be waiting for you at a previously agreed time. Once you are in the van, you’ll head for the town of San Pedro de Atacama, chosen for its rich historic and cultural value. On the way, you will enjoy views of the Atacama Desert, color-changing hills, beautiful landscapes and the sensation of utter silence!. When you arrive in the town, your driver will drop you at your hotel, where you’ll check in and then have some free time to explore the town and surrounding areas, rest, and enjoy the area’s delicious cuisine.

 

Hotel Options
Casa Don Tomás
ROOM Double - Twin
MEALS Breakfast
CATEGORY 3 Stars
STYLE Standard
DAY 2:
SAN PEDRO - RAIMBOW VALLEY AND PURITAMA HOT SPRINGS

Please Note: Itinerary may vary according to weather and road conditions, however, we will endeavor to make your guided tour as comfortable and timely as possible.

PART 1: RAINBOW VALLEY AND YERBAS BUENAS PETROGLYPHS

The day will start with a half-day private tour towards Rainbow Valley. There, you’ll see a collection of hills and hillocks of varying sizes and colors, produced by wind and water erosion and concentrations of different minerals.

That morning, you will also visit the Yerbas Buenas petroglyphs; drawings on rock formations considered to be the main cave art attraction of the San Pedro area. You’ll get to learn some of the history behind each drawing, as well as about the old llama caravans that ferried goods between the salt flat and coastal zone; it was the riders who left behind these amazing paintings. Finally, the tour will end with your return to San Pedro around midday.

PART 2: PURITAMA HOT SPRINGS

After lunch, your second private tour – to the Puritama hot springs – will begin. These are located in the middle of the high plateaus of Chile among rock ravines 35km outside San Pedro. You will be able to reap the benefits of eight thermal pools, with temperatures fluctuating between 28 and 31 degrees and containing minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and sodium, which can help with stress, arthritis, fatigue and other ailments. There are also facilities to make your stay there an enjoyable and comfortable one.

Once you have finished relaxing in this amazing desert setting, a guide will be waiting to take you back to your hotel.

Hotel Options
Casa Don Tomás
ROOM Double - Twin
MEALS Breakfast
CATEGORY 3 Stars
STYLE Standard
DAY 3:
SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA – HIGH PLATEAU LAGOONS AND SALT FLAT OF ATACAMA

After breakfast, you’ll begin your journey towards the Chaxa high plateau lagoon in the middle of the Atacama salt flats on the Los Flamencos national reserve. Its shallowness makes it the perfect place to view flamingos and parinas whose bright pink color stands out against the backdrop. Once you’ve explored, you will stop off for lunch in the town of Socaire, a hillside village famous for its historic heritage church.

When you have had lunch, your journey will continue towards the high plateau lagoons of Miñiques and Miscanti, located at 4,200 meters above sea level and at the foot of two towering volcanoes. Here, the landscape is a melange of mountains, lagoons, desert and ice caps, due to the area’s low temperatures. The last lagoon you visit will be the pristine, unique Piedras Rojas, known for its turquoise waters and reddish hills, stained rust by iron.

Finally, you will visit the colonial town of Toconao, built from volcanic rock and offering up the perfect agricultural conditions and rich Andean handicrafts. This incredible journey will round off with your return to your hotel at around 6 pm.

Hotel Options
Casa Don Tomás
ROOM Double - Twin
MEALS Breakfast
CATEGORY 3 Stars
STYLE Standard
DAY 4:
SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA – TARA SALT AND CENTINELAS OF PAKANA

On day 4, you will visit the Tara salt flat, 120km outside San Pedro on located in the Los Flamencos National Reserve. It is considered to be a high wetland thanks to its large salt flat, lagoons and water meadows. It also boasts a series of geological attractions that shape the salt flat’s relief and form volcanic structures and columns known as the Centinelas de Pakana, or the Pakana sentinels. They are the product of volcanic processes during the Tertiary period – rock formations which are still standing and make for an impressive view!

Once you arrive at this beautiful place, you will have a delicious packed lunch at a site chosen by your guide, where you can rest, enjoy the views, and spot some special wildlife such as flamingos, Andean gulls, ducks, and camelids such as the vicuña – it’s the perfect place to take some photos.

 

Hotel Options
Casa Don Tomás
ROOM Double - Twin
MEALS Breakfast
CATEGORY 3 Stars
STYLE Standard
DAY 5:
SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA - CALAMA / SANTIAGO AIRPORT

Last day in the Atacama plateau. Depending on the flight departure times, you will have time to explore San Pedro including Le Paige Archeological Museum, local church, Inca House (oldest structure in San Pedro), sandboarding or trekking on the surrounding dunes. Four kilometers away is the Pukara fortress which dates from the twelfth century. These are only some of the amazing attractions of San Pedro de Atacama.

At a pre-arranged hour, your driver will pick you up at the hotel and take you to the Calama Airport for the return flight to Santiago.

PRIVATE PROGRAM

LOW & HIGH SEASONS RATES:  January 2018 – December 2019

  • Price based on Double Occupancy – From USD$ 2,450 /Per person
  • Price with Single Supplement included – From USD$ 2,553 / Per person

 

*This listed price is based on two people sharing a double room. The price may vary due to the time of year you travel, the size of your group, accommodation availability and not counting special dates.  ** Solo travelers or guests staying in single rooms must pay a single supplement. Otherwise, the rates would be readjusted upon request. *** If the mentioned hotels are not available, alternative hotels will be provided of a similar standard

Price Includes

  • Accommodation
  • All airport and hotel transfers
  • All activities specified in the itinerary, including transportation, entrance fees, accompanied by our tour guide
  • Your Trip Coordinator: a 24/7 point of contact, supporting you during your trip
  • Professional, Bilingual Guide
  • 1 full-day private tour: High Plateau Lagoons (Meñique, Miscanti, and Piedras Rojas) and visit the towns of Socaire and Toconao
  • 1 full-day private tour: Tara salt flat and Centinelas de la Pakana
  • 1 half-day private tour: Rainbow Valley and Yerbas Buenas petroglyphs
  • 1 half-day private tour: Puritama hot springs

Meals 

  • Day 1: N/A
  • Day 2: Breakfast
  • Day 3: Breakfast – Lunch
  • Day 4: Breakfast – Box Lunch
  • Day 5: Breakfast

 

UNKNOWN ATACAMA – PRIVATE TRIP

Duration: 5 days

Price: US$ 2,450 / person

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