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Things to do in

Atacama Desert

Our most recommended things to do in Atacama Desert

San Pedro de Atacama: Astronomical Tour

1. San Pedro de Atacama: Astronomical Tour

Enjoy two different views of the night sky during your tour. The first will be the Western vision, which studies the universe, the brightness of the stars, and their planets. You can observe, with a telescope, objects in the solar system, deep space, and constellations. Learn about the cosmos and its formation.  Then, go on an ethnic astronomical journey to understand how the ancient inhabitants of the Andes interpreted the universe, the milky way, and the night sky. Many centuries before the arrival of the Spaniards, in the indigenous settlements of America, many wise observers of the universe interpreted the objects of the night sky. In all the black spaces, they observed figures that gave them information about their daily life including animals, water, rivers, schedules, and life after death. 

San Pedro de Atacama: 3-Day Special Activity Combo

2. San Pedro de Atacama: 3-Day Special Activity Combo

Delight in 3 days of activities and discover the must-sees in the Atacama Desert, from San Pedro de Atacama. The natural attractions of Atacama, the driest and highest desert in the world, are scattered around San Pedro. Get ready to find conical volcanoes, blueish lagoons, steaming geysers, and rock formations that appear to be from another planet. Llamas, vicuñas, guanacos, foxes, and graceful flamingos can also be experienced in this unique wildlife environment. The 3-day pack will be a combination of the 4 tours below. The local partner will contact you before to coordinate the days on which you will attend each one. El Tatio Geysers Tour: Visit El Tatio Geysers to be mesmerized by the largest geothermal field in the southern hemisphere and the third-largest in the world. Ride through the Putana Valley, observe flora and fauna, and stop at a lagoon to see flamingos. Salt Flats Route Tour: Explore northeastern Chile’s natural wonders of the Atacama Salt Flats and a few lagoons, with breakfast included. End the day at the Tara Salt Flat and the volcano lookout. Vallecito Sunset Tour: Explore the Atacama Desert with a visit to Vallecito and stop by the famous magic bus to later on end your day watching an amazing sunset. Hidden Lagoons of Baltinache Tour: Visit the hidden lagoons of Baltinache or Seven Lagoons, one of the secret places of the Atacama Desert. This is a wonderful landscape, of which only the first and the last one can be used for bathing. Due to the high salt concentration they contain, you will experience the flotation effect like the Dead Sea.

Atacama: San Pedro de Atacama Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride

3. Atacama: San Pedro de Atacama Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride

Begin the day with early pickup from your hotel or accommodation via a comfortable, air-conditioned 4WD jeep. Be driven to the flight launch area and meet the hot air balloon team for a briefing on the flight and the balloon. Watch as the team mounts and inflates the baloon with hot air. Hop inside the basket and take off over the Atacama Desert between the Domeyco Cordillera and the Andes. Snap photos of the sunrise behind the Licancabur Volcano and enjoy a bird's eye view of sights like Moon Valley, Death Valley, the Atacama Lagoons, the Salt Mountain range, and Atacama desert. Enjoy flying over the mesmerizing landscapes of San Pedro de Atacama. After landing, partake in a breakfast based on quality products. Listen to the stories of the Atacama people and learn more about the region and its people while you eat and reflect on the ride.

San Pedro de Atacama: Hidden Lagoons of Baltinache

4. San Pedro de Atacama: Hidden Lagoons of Baltinache

Meet your local host in the main street of San Pedro de Atacama to begin your experience. Heading towards the southeast of the desert taking the scenic route to the hidden lagoons of Baltinache. During the 1-hour drive, see all the rock and salt landscapes that make up the desert, and learn about why this area is believed to have been at the bottom of the ocean millions of years ago. At the entrance of the lagoons, make use of the locker room in case you want to change into your bathing suit. From there, walk to the beginning of the track where you can visit all 7 lagoons. Be stunned by the crystal clear waters of the lagoons and wonder how such a thing is possible in the middle of nowhere. If you wish to take a dip, you are permitted to swim in the first and last lagoons only, for conservation purposes. Due to the amount of salt that they have in the water, experience the sensation of floating like a cork. It is recommended that you start in the last lagoon so that you don't have to walk all the way there with salt on your body. After a few hours of free time, use the facilities again to shower. Then, enjoy the scenic ride back with the opportunity to catch the sun setting over the desert. Finally, arrive back in San Pedro de Atacama where your memorable tour concludes.

San Pedro de Atacama: Guided Buggy Tour Through the Desert

5. San Pedro de Atacama: Guided Buggy Tour Through the Desert

Feel the wind on your face while going to places no other tourists go on this guided buggy tour in the Atacama Desert. Drive-up thrilling trails with your expert local guide, and be entertained and informed by their extensive knowledge of the area. Begin your tour with pickup from your accommodation in San Pedro de Atacama. From there, drive to the local partner's headquarters with your guide. Once there, listen to a safety lecture and suit up in a helmet, gloves, and glasses. Have a look at a map to understand where the activity will place and find out the itinerary through the desert, the salt mountain range, and two archeological sites. Then, let the fun begin: Set off on your approximately 50-kilometer (31-mile) buggy adventure through the Atacama Desert. Tackle a variety of terrains like riverbed crossings, steep mountain climbs, and beautiful sand dunes. Make the most of the opportunity to take pictures of pristine Atacama with no other tourists in tow. During the tour, there will be 3 different main stops along the way to share information and take pictures. At the end of the buggy tour, you'll return to the headquarters before being dropped off at your accommodation.

San Pedro de Atacama: Desert Tour with Canyoning & Trekking

6. San Pedro de Atacama: Desert Tour with Canyoning & Trekking

Discover unique landscapes in the world on a day trip from San Pedro de Atacama. Ascend the more than 4,000 meters of altitude of the Andean altiplano to the driest desert in the world. Get ready for adventure and rappel through waterfalls and canyon walls. Start your adventure by walking through an archaeological trail of medium difficulty. Once at the entrance of the canyon, learn the rappel technique from your mountaineering guide. Advance through obstacles using different techniques with only the help of your body, ropes, and climbing equipment. Begin to rappel down the waterfalls and cliffs, jumping off of rocks of different heights into pools of pure water. Explore different canyons in the middle of extreme scenery worth photographing. Finally, take a break at the beach of the waterfalls and walk back to the starting point.  

From Calama: 4-Day Atacama Desert Trip

7. From Calama: 4-Day Atacama Desert Trip

Dsicover the surreal panoramas of the Atacama Desert on a 4-day trip from Calama to San Pedro de Atacama. Explore the desert and the unique attractions in the Andean Mountain range. Visit Moon Valley, Geysers del Tatio, Miscanti and Menique lagoons, Salt Mountain, and more. Atacama Desert is an area abundant in energy, thanks to its welcoming ancestral cultures and the oasis that is the source of life in the driest desert in the world. Its unique landscape and clear skies make it a perfect enclave for astronomic observation and rich gastronomy. Day 1 Transfer from Calama Airport to the hotel. See the lunar landscape of Moon Valley. Be amazed by the changing colors in Death Valley. Day 2 Visit the Altiplanic lagoons Meñique & Miscanti, surrounded by impressive volcanoes. Explore Mirador Piedras Rojas and Atacama Salt Flat. See the historical village of Toconao. Admire views overlooking the Salar de Atacama from Socaire. Day 3 Tour around the geothermal fields of Tatio Geyser and witness molten spurts of water shoot from the ground. Visit the Cejar Lagoon, an oasis of water in the middle of a salt desert. Day 4 Transfer from the hotel to Calama Airport.

Vallecito: Atacama Desert and Magic Bus Visit

8. Vallecito: Atacama Desert and Magic Bus Visit

We will travel to our first stop at the salty river. We will then explore the dunes in the salt mountain range, where you can learn about the moon-like landscape of the desert and how it got its unique aesthetic. Next, we will travel to the valley of the abandoned bus, also known as the 'Magic Bus'. Iconic for its rustic look and picture perfect surroundings, you can take this time to capture your perfect shot. We will end the trip with an incredible sunset, celebrating this moment with delicious drinks and snacks for us to enjoy.

From San Pedro de Atacama: Atacama Desert E-Bike Tour

9. From San Pedro de Atacama: Atacama Desert E-Bike Tour

Enjoy riding 30km total distance with the assistance of a 350W central engine! Pick up from your hotel, Special storage bag would aloud you to put your personal belongings on. we drive you to our headquarters were we try helmets and gloves, plus short introduction and safety lecture. We ride trough oasis to get to Salt Mountain Range, where we get a 360° view of the area! round circuit lead us to the open desert area with amazing landscapes, Stop to wlk the open desert with some important informations provided by the guide, with focus inflora and fauna

Other Sightseeing Options in Atacama Desert

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What people are saying about Atacama Desert

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 107 reviews

A really great tour. The starry sky in the Atacama Desert is incomparable. Felipe gave us a lot of information about different constellations and their meaning for the Andean people. We could see the Milky Way and even Saturn including its rings (small but incredibly beautiful). The tour is really recommended! Thank you Felipe

JP was very friendly and clearly loves his job! My friends and I learned a lot about the history of the desert and the types of animals and plants that live in Atacama. Also riding in the buggy was very fun!

This tour was so different from all the other tours you do in San Pedro. Felipe was very knowledgeable and fun. Definitely don’t miss out on this tour while in San Pedro

This is an amazing experience! The best 3 days of my life! Well organized! Overall a fabulous time!

Beautiful place and very good guide. Pity it was somewhat cloudy.