Journey Itinerary

DAY 1 Arrive Santiago, Chile

Welcome to Santiago. You are met on arrival, and taken to your hotel in the center of this scenic city. The majestic Andean Mountain Range anchors the city and can be seen from almost anywhere in town.

Lastarria Boutique Hotel, Santiago

DAY 2Santiago & San Pedro de Atacama

This morning discover Santiago, the capital of Chile, and alive with fascinating architecture, a rich history, natural beauty and a dynamic economy. Santiago contains evocative remains of its colonial past set alongside ultramodern, high-rise buildings. It has a bustling business district that exists alongside boulevards of street vendors and local artisans selling their wares. Visit San Cristobal Hill, a beautiful park noted for its monumental sculpture of the Virgin Mary. This afternoon, fly to Calama in northern Chile. You are met upon arrival, and then driven through moonscape surroundings. Arrive at your accommodations in the village of San Pedro de Atacama, an oasis in the barren desert. San Pedro de Atacama at 8,000 feet is called ‘The Valley of the Moon.’ Your luxurious lodge is tucked away in a valley of serene beauty, nestled in the shadow of the Pukará de Quitor ruins, with the San Pedro River winding alongside. This is the perfect base for exploring the desert, cultural encounters, or simply absorbing the breathtaking landscape.

Atacama, isolated and beautiful, offers the extremes – from lunar landscapes to lush river canyons. There are parched areas that have not been touched by rain for three centuries, and hidden arroyos that flood from brilliant summer rainstorms. Beauty here resides in the texture of the land, the starkness of the sky and in how life has found a way to conquer the desert. The Atacama Desert chronicles a history of the struggle for survival, the adaptation to environment and the comprehension of natural cycles. ​(B,D)

Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa, San Pedro de Atacama
Tierra Atacama Hotel, San Pedro de Atacama

DAY 3 & 4San Pedro de Atacama

Enjoy two full days of exploration. Please remember when choosing an excursion that the elevation at your hotel is 8,000 feet and might effect your endurance. The lodge offers a wide repertoire of activities: each day, based on climate conditions and guest abilities, eight options are available. All excursions are limited to small groups and led by resident experts; and range from easy to challenging in their difficulty. All excursions are done by vehicle, bicycle or on foot.

Vehicle Excursions:

Salar de Tara- Full day,

Travel towards the Argentinian border and the Salar de Tara. Enjoy marvelous views of the Licancabur volcano and spot bird life, salt lakes and areas of marshland. Continue to Tara itself, where lunch is enjoyed.

Machuca- Full day,

Travel north to the village of Machuca, a privileged site surrounded by nature. See roofs made of cactus and maybe taste barbecued llama.

El Tatio Geisers- Full day,

The geothermal field has close links to the volcanic activity in the zone and consists of huge steam columns which reach heights of 12m/almost 40ft.

Puritama Hot Springs- Half day,

Hidden at the bottom of a steep sided gorge, surrounded by vegetation, the River Puritama has 8 natural pools, with water which has an average temperature of 33 ºC /91ºF.

Moon Valley- Half day,

Appreciate the surreal beauty of the landscape from many viewpoints in the Salt Mountain Range. Includes short walks in areas with rocky outcrops, scenery formed by the wind the rain and the temperature changes of the desert.

Atacama Salt Flat (Chaxa Lagoon & Flamingo Reserve)- Half day,

Toconao Village where the square and historic church are the main attractions. Continue to the National Flamingo Reserve in the Atacama salt flats and view the Andes as the sun sets.

Mountain Bike Excursions:

Ayllus / Atacameñan Communities- Easy, 1.5 – 2.5 hours

Nearby oases villages, view local agriculture and unique irrigation system.

Devil´s Canyon / Catarpe- Medium, 2.5 – 3.5 hours

Cross San Pedro River to Devil’s Canyon, gentle climb to Catarpe plateau, follow San Pedro River back to the hotel.

Windy Lookout Point/Moon Valley, The Dune-Difficult, 2 – 3.5 hours

Salt Mountain Range, views of Death Valley from above, descend into the valley and continue to Death Valley, uphill and downhill portions are steep in places.

Trekking Excursions:

Cornices- Easy, 2.5 – 3.5 hours

Archeological sites, views of volcanoes, dunes, Death Valley.

Kari Gorge- Easy, 1.5 – 2.5 hours walk + 40 minutes by vehicle

Walk between dried-up clay riverbeds, calcium carbonate and lime rock formations and finish the walk in a labyrinth like area. Return to the hotel by vehicle.

Ruta Purilaktis- Easy, 4 hours walk + 2 hours by vehicle

Walk along a small gully, large rock formations marked by petroglyphs, dry river beds and finish in Matancilla Valley; lunch and return to hotel by vehicle.

Devils Canyon & Vilama- Medium, 2.5 – 3.5 hours

Drive to Devil’s Canyon. Walk in the river bed and along an ancient caravan route, passing petroglyphs, and finish at the old settlement known as Vilama. Return to hotel by vehicle.

Guatin / Gatchi- Medium, 2 – 3 hours walk + 1 hour by vehicle

Depart the hotel in a vehicle towards Guatin Valley. Walk along waterfalls and rocky climbs whilst marveling at the amazing Candelaria cactus.

Guatin / Puritama- Medium, 2.5 – 3.5 hours walk + 1 hour by vehicle

Steady uphill climb through the valley to Puritama Thermal Springs, bathe and relax before returning to the hotel by vehicle.

Additional half and full day excursions are available but require altitude acclimatization of more than 2 days. (B,L,D daily)

Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa, San Pedro de Atacama
Tierra Atacama Hotel, San Pedro de Atacama

DAY 5San Pedro de Atacama to Santiago

Enjoy your last morning in Atacama before you are transferred to Calama for your flight to Santiago. Upon arrival, you are met, and are taken back to your Santiago hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure to relax or explore the city. ​(B)

Lastarria Boutique Hotel, Santiago

DAY 6Santiago & Depart

This morning tour the Los Dominicos Craft Center, a renovated convent that is a unique Chilean shopping experience. It is a cozy labyrinth of more than 150 artisan and antique shops, cafés and a restored church. The center offers the most complete selection of crafts, arts and local products in Chile. You have your hotel room until 6:00 pm, when you will be transferred to the airport for your late evening flight home or to your next destination. (B)

NOTE: Due to the late evening departure times, flights to the USA arrive the next day. 

Lastarria Boutique Hotel, Santiago


Tour Details

MEETING POINT
Santiago, Chile
DEPARTURE POINT
Santiago, Chile
TOUR INCLUDES

Accommodations as indicated in the itinerary
Meals as indicated in the itinerary
All transfers and sightseeing provided in a private deluxe vehicle when possible
Local English-speaking guide for sightseeing
Entrance fees per final scheduled itinerary
Airport porterage, where available (2 bags per person)
Local taxes
Travel Guard Medical Emergency and Assistance Plan


Package price is per person, based on double occupancy. Single supplement applies. Land, air, and governmental/park taxes are subject to change based on date of departure. International airfare is additional. Other restrictions may apply. Contact us for complete journey details.

CHILE'S ATACAMA DESERT

Call Toll Free: 1-877-252-2154

Journey Overview

Atacama is nestled along the coast of Chile, and is one of the greatest deserts on Earth. Isolated and beautiful, it offers the extremes –- from lunar landscapes to lush river canyons. There are parched areas that have not been touched by rain for three centuries, and hidden arroyos that flood from brilliant summer rainstorms. Beauty here resides in the texture of the land, the starkness of the sky and in how life has found a way to conquer the desert. The Atacama Desert chronicles a history of the struggle for survival, the adaptation to environment and the comprehension of natural cycles.

  • The beauty & colonial architecture of Santiago
  • The stark and mesmerizing moonscape vistas in Atacama
  • Exploring the stark landscape of the Atacama Desert by foot, bicycle or road


  • The volcano crater of Tres Marias
  • The clear night skies - offering incredible views of the southern constellations
  • Navigating through the labyrinth of vendors at the Los Dominicos Craft Center in Santiago