Eco adventures for a greener world

0 Reviews

Atacama Desert Cultural Adventure

Start Your Journey
South America
Chile,  5 Days From $ 2,200 per person Themes
Eco Cultural
Styles
Solo Explorer
Couples

Highlights

Discover Atacama's hidden trails and indigenous civilization on this culturally rich adventure through the heart of the world's driest desert. Enjoy celebrated natural and archeological sites from a different perspective while hiking through sand dunes, gullies, dried river basins, geothermic fields, hidden villages and the Atacama Salt Flat.

Availability

Flexible date(s). Please Contact Us.

Activity (Activities)

History & Culture

Green Approach

Eco-Ventional

Certification

ISO 14001 EMS

Why Authentic Ecotourism?

Staying in locally owned and managed accommodations, sampling local cuisine, cultural immersion with communities and naturalist guides who explain the interconnectedness of wildlife and culture in this Desert region. 

Day 1, Arrival & Moon Valley
Atacama, Chile
Upon arrival at Calama Airport we are driven straight to San Pedro de Atacama, past the impressive rock formations of the Cordillera de la Sal (Salt Mountains). Once in San Pedro we check in to our hotel, have lunch and then it's time for the first excursion, in the vast desert ripples of Moon valley! We drive fifteen minutes to a viewpoint looking out over the majestic Cordillera de la sal. From here we begin our moderate hike (3.5km, approx 1 hour 45 mins) along a narrow trail over a gully before walking down across a small sand dune to cross into the Kari canyon (at 2,600 m.a.s.l) an old dried riverbed with beautiful rocks, grottos and caverns.
From here we witness one of the world's most beautiful sunsets, over Moon Valley, intensified by the warm colours of the sand dunes stretching out in the horizon. After enjoying a typical Chilean aperitif with appetizers, while soaking up the desert sunset, we head back to our hotel in San Pedro.  Overnight Hotel Altiplanico Superior room 4*, San Pedro de Atacama

​Day 2, Patos Gully & Atacama Salt Flat
Atacama, Chile
After breakfast in the hotel we're picked up at 8.30am to begin today's Atacama adventure! We drive 75km south to the village of Talabre where we begin our 15km hike along the same route that ancient shepherds would use to get to a place named Patos. We cross many gullies on our way and pass by ancient cave paintings whose pictographs tell us the story of the ancient shepherds' lives, thousands of years ago. Upon arrival in Patos we board the van and are driven to Chaxa Lagoon, a national reserve located in the Atacama Salt Flat.
The Lagoon is surrounded by salt crust and gypsum produced by underground salt water evaporation. We can see the famous flamingos and other birds in the lagoon and enjoy the beautiful background composed of three different mountain ranges - The Domeyko, The Salt Mountains and the Andes. We have lunch and stroll around the Salt Flat, soaking up the scenic geographical wonder. In the late afternoon we drive back to our hotel in San Pedro, arriving around 5.30pm.
Overnight Hotel Altiplanico Superior room 4*, San Pedro de Atacama

Day 3, Tatio Geysers & Copa Coya
Atacama, Chile
We set off on the 100km journey to the celebrated Tatio Gesyers, arriving just after the vast sunrise crowds have dispersed and the Gesyers can be appreciated in sunlight at a more relaxed pace and pleasant temperature (4,500 m.a.b.l before sunrise is a very chilly experience!). The geothermic field is truly incredible, from almost 900 meters below the earth, boiling steam bursts up to 40 meters over the surface of the earth.
From the geysers we begin our walk, lasting approximately 3 hours, towards a high Andean plateau with the same name as the trail - Copa Coya. The puna played an important historical role centred around the llareta plant which was used traditionally for combustion, although nowadays its slow growth means it's not a feasible fuel option. While we walk we see Andean vegetation and maybe viscachas (similar to chinchillas) and stop to enjoy lunch with a view. At the end of the walk there's a steep uphill climb leading to a wonderful view of the Alto Loa villages, showing a different view of Atacama than normally experienced. We end the day back at our hotel around 4pm. Overnight Hotel Altiplanico Superior room 4*, San Pedro de Atacama

Day 4, Alero de Taira
Atacama, Chile
We set off at 8.30am, heading towards the Taira community 150km from San Pedro in the Alto El Loa sector, 90km northeast of Calama. The Taira communtiy is set on the Loa riverbank in a sector where the river basin runs through deep canyons and, in the midst of the desert, a giant crevice allows the water to flow and nurture the dry landscape. Just five families live in the indigenous community, all of whom work with livestock (an estimated 400 llamas and 300 sheep) and agriculture which includes alfalfa beans, maize and broad beans. The sector was originally inhabited at different times by Atacameños, Incas and Bolivian miners.
After lunch we visit the eaves of Taria, a stone wall 3m high and 10m long, with pictographs and petroglyphs telling the story of the human relationship with animals such as llamas, highlighting fertility and growth. After enjoying the ancient picturesque mural we head back to San Pedro, arriving back at our hotel at around 4pm.
Overnight Hotel Altiplanico Superior room 4*, San Pedro de Atacama

Day 5, Goodbye Atacama!
Atacama, Chile
We take the final day of the trip to relax and wander around the village, visit its handicraft shops, church and museum. In the afternoon we are driven to Calama's Airport to take our flight back to the capital...Adios Atacama!

 

Departure City

Atacama

Finishing City

Atacama

Group Size

Minimum of 2 people

Exclusions

  • Flight tickets
  • Insurance (it is mandatory you purchase appropriate insurance for this trip)
  • Voluntary tipping of guides and staff
  • Items of personal nature

Inclusions

All ground transport as indicated in the itinerary.

  • 4 nights at hotel in San Pedro de Atacama
  • Daily private excursions as specified in the itinerary.
  • 1 English speaking guide on excursions.
  • Entrance fees to museum, national parks and indigenous communities visited
  • Meals:
    • day 2: B, BL
    • day 3: B, BL
    • day 4: B, BL
    • day 5: B

Best for:

Couples

Other Necessary Information

This is trip is moderately active and involves walking at a normal pace over flat to semi-steep terrain on days 2 and 3. As you will be touring at high altitudes (the highest point reached on the third day during the hike to Copa Coya is 4,500 m / 14,764 ft) oxygen deprivation - altitude sickness - will affect everyone to some extent. Guides will have oxygen tanks every day at disposition if someone feels sick during the tours.

Altitudes

Maximum altitudes reached each tour day:

  • Day 1: Kari Canyon: 2,600 m / 8,530 ft
  • Day 2: Patos Gully & Atacama Salt Flat: 3,600 m / 11,811 ft
  • Day 3: Tatio Geysers: 4,200 m / 13,780 ft & Copa Coya: 4,500m / 14,764 ft
  • Day 4: Taira Village: 2,900 m / 14,108 ft
  • Day 5: San Pedro de Atacama 2,400m / 7,874 ft
Rating Summary:
0 based on 0 votes

Read All About Ecotourism

View more blog entries