Atacama desert is a magical place. To get to Atacama desert, we flew for about three hours from Santiago to Calama airport then drove one hour to the town of San Pedro Atacama. San Pedro Atacama is the base of our 3 days adventure in the desert.
WHAT TO EXPECT?
The geysers, Tatio,Valle de Marte, and Valle de la Luna
We started at 4:30 am to see the Geyser! Geyser is a few hours up at the geothermal field (4.300m). We explored the area on foot and watched the sunrise. The temperature was around 12'F by the sunrise and many brave people decided to soak in the hot springs. We took our time to enjoy the Andean flora, fauna and scenery on the way back. We even had a nice extra walk through the cactus within the canyon of Guatin. We got back to San Pedro around 1pm.
For Valle de la Luna, we left at 2:30pm. Our guide took us hiking in the Cordillera de la Sal. The area is surrounded with lots of colorful salt canyons. We had an epic run down the huge volcanic sand dunes which was the highlight of the trip. As the memorable closure, we watched the sunset high above the central crater of the actual Moon Valley. Our guided trip ended around 8pm.
Salar, Laguna Chaxa, and Lagunas
We had a full day activity around the Flamingos National Reserve. We visited the Salar de Atacama (Laguna Chaxa: bird, flamingo habitat), blue-turquoise lakes Miscanti and Miñiques (4.200m) and as an extra surprise, our tour guide took us to Piedras Rojas, the hidden wetlands high in the Andes that look like they were hand-painted.
Salar de Tara
We had a full day exploring one of the most amazing high plateau scenery areas. This involved a drive straight into the ancient volcanic Pacana caldera, which is near the border with Argentina and Bolivia, mostly off-road. We visited Los Monjes de la Pacana (4.400m) and spend most of our time at the Salar and Tara wetlands. The trip truly took our breath away!
Exploring the milky way on our own
WHERE WE STAYED
San Pedro De Atacama provides a spacious accommodation. The hotel sits in a quiet area of the town, a little tucked away from the main street. We enjoyed coming back to our base after our full day exploration in the desert.