Atacama Desert Adventure

Northern Chile, Chile


Atacama Desert Adventure

The Atacama Desert is a Chilean plateau, bounded by the Pacific Ocean and the Andes mountains. It is known for being the most persistently dry corner of the planet composed of dry valleys, rocky peaks and active volcanoes. San Pedro de Atacama, the gateway town has picturesque adobe streets with a 16th-century church. A short drive away are the country's largest salt flats and steaming geysers overlooked by 5,919m-high Licancabur peak.

Trekking in Atacama Desert region will take us off the beaten path, into areas not accessible by vehicle and trodden only by local natives and their lama or goat herds. We will encounter small village's archaeological remains, Andean wildlife along with the most spectacular desert & mountain landscapes, always crowned by high dormant volcanoes. This program is an excellent complement to any of the Patagonia treks in order to witness Chile's dramatic contrasts.

And, experience salt flats, active geysers and blue lagoons.

What We Love
  • Exclusive tour, guided privately by a multilingual guide throughout the trip.
  • All touring is flexible and can be customised to incorporate special interests.
  • Spend three nights in medium luxury accommodation and three nights basic camping.
  • Depart and return whenever you choose – shorten or lengthen the tour to suite your wishes.
  • Around-the-clock support with our local contacts at our associate offices throughout South America.
What to Know
  • This tour is designed to provide maximum outdoor experience and may require walking on rough surfaces. 
  • Bring proper walking gear and outdoor clothing for both summer and winter conditions. Do not forget your skin and eye protection items
  • Please check with us for clothing and equipment you should take on this trip.
  • Our Chile tours easily combine with touring other destinations in South America
  • We strongly recommend that you take travel insurance for this holiday.


Atacama Desert Adventure Valle de Marte, Salar de Atacama
(7 Days – Travel Any Day)

Day 01 – Arrive
Calama Arrive to Calama and drive to San Pedro de Atacama (98km) with views of amazing rock formations at Cordillera de la Sal. Briefing lunch. Evening 3-4hrs walk into the silent Moon Valley, hike the dunes and admire sunset.
Overnight: Hotel of your choice (L)

Day 02 – Hike, Corniza Trail
Valle de Marte Enter Valle de Marte and start walking the Corniza trail (3hrs) over the Ridge of Sandstone Mountains. Descend to San Pedro Valley and walk (1hr) to the remarkable fortress of Quitor (XII century). Walk (3km) to San Pedro. Evening visit to the Archaeological Museum
Overnight: Hotel Meals: B, L

Day 03 – Hiking Tour
Salar de Atacama Enter the sparkling white Salar de Atacama and observe the flamingos at Chaxa lagoon. Return to San Pedro (50 Km) and continue (6-8km) along the river valley until trek starting point. The trail follows a broad valley until winding into a superb canyon sculpted by erosion.

In summer (Nov-Mar) we trek with sandals over the riverbed shaded by the immense walls that close above us. In wintertime, we avoid the freezing water and walk above the gorge. Arrive in the old mine of San Bartolo (2,700m/8,100ft) and set up camp.
Overnight: Camping Meals: B, L, D

Day 04 – Hiking Tour
Salar de Atacama Start gaining altitude as we leave the riverbed and hike at plateau level. The trail follows the river canyon and some rare life forms, such as giant cactuses, emerge from the arid and barren desert. Arrive in the village of Rio Grande (3,500m/ 10,500ft) where we set up camp by the river
Overnight: Camping Meals: B, L, D

Day 05 – Hiking Tour
Salar de Atacama The trail follows the course of smaller waterways that form narrow and beautiful valleys inhabited by indigenous people and their lamas. We keep gaining altitude until reaching the green pastures of Machuca (4,100m/ 12,300ft) teeming with wildlife and a spectacular view of Licancabur
Overnight: Camping Meals: B, L, D

Day 06 – Hiking Tour
Salar de Atacama At 5am we start driving towards El Tatio (4,500m/13,500ft) on time to observe the geysers in action at sunrise. Breakfast in the open and walk around the geothermal field. If feeling acclimatized enough we attempt to hike over the 5,000m/ 15,000 ft on the slopes of an inactive volcano. Drive back to Puritama hot springs for a healthy bath. Farewell dinner and overnight in San Pedro
Overnight: hotel Meals: B, L, D

Day 07 – Depart
Salar de Atacama Drive back to Calama on time for your flight.
Meals: B

Atacama Desert Adventure Northern Chile, Chile

Make this your holiday

  • Exclusive Tour: your own private multilingual guide throughout the trip  
  • Price Guarantee: costing 25-30% less than similar tours of the same flexibility and quality
  • Tailor Made: customised itinerary to create your dream holiday
  • Duration: shorten or lengthen the tour to suit your wishes
  • Dates: depart and return whenever you choose
  • Hotels: change hotel grade to suit your budget
  • Group Discounts: call 020 8350 6199

Getting There There are currently no direct flights from major UK airports. Most flights are via Europe, Latin America or US; LAN, Iberia, British Airways and Air France are all options. It’s worth paying attention to the routes used by the different airlines; even the shortest and most convenient ones via Madrid or Buenos Aires entail a total travelling time of over 16 hours. Flying via the US is longer still (though sometimes cheaper).

When to go This best (and most expensive) time to visit Patagonia is between Nov to Feb. March is the period for grape harvest and wine festivals and April is fall. Between September and November is possibly the best time to visit Santiago, the temperatures are pleasant and good value for money. Jun to Aug is winter and the best time to visit ski resorts. Between mid-December to end February and two-middle weeks of July is holiday time for Brazilians and Argentines.