"Atacama Desert" is one of our pre and post programmes, which allows you to stay even longer in your favourite destinations. This is the itinerary for the tour in Chile:
Day 1: Santiago
Overnight at hotel in Santiago de Chile, incl. breakfast
Day 2: Santiago/Calama/San Pedro de Atacama – Moon Valley
Start the tour with a transfer from your hotel in Santiago de Chile to the airport with a morning flight to Calama. From here you will be taken to San Pedro de Atacama, your final destination and an oasis in the middle of the desert. San Pedro is a small village with narrow alleys and traditional adobe houses, known as the archaeological capital of Chile. Evening excursion to the Moon Valley, declared a Sanctuary of nature and natural Monument. Climb the Duna Mayor (Major Dune) which provides a beautiful view of the Cordillera de la Sal, the Valley of Death and the Salt Flats, among many other sights with the dramatic sunset in the background. Return to the hotel, have dinner on your own and get a good night's sleep.
Day 3: San Pedro de Atacama - Tulor and Quitor archeological sites
Morning departure towards the archeological site of Tulor - the oldest vestige of human settlement in the Atacama Salt Flat, that has been miraculously preserved. It is known as the “cradle of the Likan Antai culture” dating back 2,000 years. Next we visit Pukará de Quitor. This defensive stone fortress from the 12th century was attacked by the Spanish conquistador Francisco de Aguirre in 1540, restored in 1981 and declared a national Monument. A tasting of local products will be served during the excursion. Return to San Pedro de Atacama and spend the afternoon at your leisure. Dinner on your own and overnight.
Day 4: San Pedro de Atacama/Calama/Santiago –El Tatio Geysers
Early morning excursion to the el Tatio Geysers, located at a height of 4,300 m above sea level and at approx. 89 km from San Pedro de Atacama. The geothermal field has close links to the volcanic activity in the zone and consists of huge steam columns. Intense sulphur odors and pools of boiling water and mud give this setting a mystical and primeval ambience. Be on the lookout for families of vicuñas and maybe even foxes and Andean ostrich. Stop at Puritama, famous for its hot pools, where the warm water flows through the rocks. After a full day of sights and sounds, return to your hotel to freshen up. Spend the rest of the day at your own disposal and stroll through the streets of San Pedro de Atacama. Enjoy lunch and dinner on your own before another hotel night.
Day 5: San Pedro de Atacama/Calama/Santiago
Morning transfer through the desert back to Calama. Head back by flight to Santiago de Chile, followed by a transfer to your hotel, with time for dinner on your own and a final overnight stay.
Day 6: Santiago
Breakfast marks the end of this extension programme.
Available on these voyages: