Marvels of Atacama
4 days with SITA World Tours Rating:
Day 1 – Calama – San Pedro
Welcome at Calama Airport and transfer to the hotel in San Pedro.
Day 2 – Quitor – Tulor
Depart from the hotel in San Pedro de Atacama towards one of the most important archaeological sites of the area. Visit Pukará de Quitor, a Pre-Hispanic stone fortress constructed by the indigenous people and dates back to the 17th century. Today it represents an archaeological monument and its great historical importance lies in the “Battle of Quitor”, where one of the first clashes between the Spanish conquistadores and the natives took place. Next, learn about what is known as the “Culture of San Pedro” at the village of Tulor. Despite its age it has been well preserved thanks to the natural conditions of the place. This ancient construction is probably the first settlement of the Atacama Salt Flat. Finally, visit the Church of San Pedro. Return to the hotel.
Afternoon – Travel to the Cordillera de la Sal (Salt Mountain Range), to visit the Valley of the Moon (“Valle de la Luna”) that forms part of the National Flamingo Reservation. This unique place is famous for its natural mineral sculptures, one of them being “Las Tres Marías” (The three Mary’s) formed by wind erosion, resembling a lunar setting. Next, proceed to Death Valley (“Valle de la Muerte”), a place of particular geographical beauty that invites sand boarders to practice their favourite sport. Its salt formations seem to be sculptures and works of art. Finally, end the trip with a magical sunset at the Kari Viewpoint, one of the highest points of the “Cordillera de la Sal” (Salt Mountain Range); before returning to the hotel. (B)
Day 3 – Toconao + Altiplanic Lagoons
Depart from the hotel, heading via the international highway towards the Atacama Salt Flat, one of the largest in the world. Within the Salt Flat, in the area known as Soncor and the Chaxa Lagoon, be delighted with the three species of native pink flamingos. Then, visit Piedras Rojas viewpoint and travel further within the Altiplano, reaching 4,300 meters above sea level. Arrive at the Miñique and Miscanti lagoons, at the foothills of the Miñique and Miscanti volcanoes, with fantastic scenery of bluish waters arising from the background volcanoes. Following this visit, return to Socaire for lunch at one of the rustic cooking places of the village, that still use the resources cultivated from the ancestral agricultural terraces. Finally, make a stop at the village of Toconao, to visit the main square, the bell tower built in 1750 made of cactus wood, mud and straw, and the church of San Lucas, both declared National Monuments since 1951. Return to the hotel. (BL)
Day 4 – Tatio Geysers, Lagoons, Next Destination
Pick up at dawn from the hotel in San Pedro de Atacama and proceed towards the Altiplano, reaching an altitude of 4,320 meters above sea level, to visit The Tatio Geysers; one of the most important geothermal fields in the world. Thanks to the extreme cold temperatures, witness the different geothermal manifestations and its fumaroles that easily reach 10 meters high and the geysers up to 8 meters. After watching this delightful spectacle, it is time to take a refreshing dip in a hot pool. Taking the same way back, we stop for a few minutes in the wetlands of Putana, where you can see different species against the backdrop of the Colorado Volcano. The last stop is at the village of Machuca, a little town where the original Altiplanic architecture is reflected in the St. James Church.
Upon completion of the tour return to the hotel and at the scheduled time transfer to Calama airport. (B)
Important Note: The night before the excursion, please eat a light dinner, without red meat and alcohol. This tour is not recommended for people with hypertension, children under 6 years old and pregnant woman. Temperatures are always belowfreezing.
All This Included
A fascinating geological plateau, the Atacama Desert has been likened to a moonscape with vistas that compare to nothing else on earth. Explore this magical expanse for a unique adventure.
San Pedro de Atacama: Casa Atacama
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* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.