In the large north of Chile, gateway to the aridest desert in the world located at 2500 meters above sea level, a small adobe town and peaceful life welcomes travelers from all over the world: San Pedro de Atacama. Here you are invited to walk along the streets where you can experience delicious restaurants and local agencies offering an endless variety of tours.
In this post, I will firstly cover what to visit and then where to sleep.
Valle de la luna:
This place looks like the moon! The encounter between the desert and the mountains left us this stunning landscape. It is located about 20 km to the south, in the route to Calama, a miner town located at 98km from San Pedro de Atacama Calama direction. Situated within the Cordillera de la Sal, is one of the most visited places in the area, due to its easy access. It is recommended to do the tour at dusk when there is less heat so you can appreciate the change of colors of the mounds of the area.
Los Geysers del Tatio:
The Tatio Geysers are about 80 km (2 hours) north of San Pedro de Atacama. It is the highest geothermal field in the world and is above 4000 meters high. It is advisable to take the early morning tour that starts at about 4.00 am so you will be able to see the sunrise, also at that first hour of the day is when the geysers release more steam. Do not forget to wear warm clothes and also bathing suit, because there are some pools of water that comes directly from the interior of the earth. Although it is possible to visit for free, it is recommended to do it in a tour.
Valle de la Muerte:
The Valley of Death is located just a couple of kilometers west of San Pedro de Atacama and you can go by bike or by car. It is within the Cordillera de la Sal. I recommend visiting this place for free without tour unless you want to go sandboarding. There are no words to describe this place…
There are two lagoons, the Miscanti and Miniques lagoons, both at more than 4000 meters high. Here you will discover new wonderful natural scenarios, wildlife, and impressive volcanoes. The Lagunas Altiplanicas are easy to access from San Pedro de Atacama.
Salar de Atacama and its “eyes”:
In the middle of the Salar de Atacama, 30 kilometers south of the village of San Pedro, we find this small oasis with fresh and deep waters. They are two lagoons in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by salt.
Where to sleep in San Pedro de Atacama?
Located on the main street of San Pedro de Atacama, Puritama Hostel is built with adobe, maintaining a harmony with the surroundings. The hostel offers 2 types of rooms with private bathroom, standard and superior categories in double, triple and quadruple configurations at very convenient prices.
It is a very quiet and cozy place, where you will feel surrounded by a pleasant and respectful atmosphere. With rooms with private bathroom as well as shared dorms.
Hostel Millantú is a family hostel, designed and decorated by its owners thinking about the comfort of its passengers, which has a special environment where they can rest and listen to the Atacama desert. Is has a privileged view of the mountain range and volcanoes, being able to appreciate from their hammocks the most beautiful sunsets.
As San Pedro de Atacama is located in the aridest part of the world, you should know that there is a lot of dust so camping may be a little dirtier. But this doesn’t keep you from enjoying the place!
Casa Campestre has spaces for camping, having access to all the comforts that brings the site. This place invites you to connect with nature.
Domos y eco-camping Los Abuelos
This place is more expensive as you will find domes with private bathroom, hammocks, breakfast service and grill. So guests can spend a pleasant moment and fully connect with nature. To provide a better service to passengers they have a large swimming pool for children and adults. It also has a camping area, showers with hot water, quinchos with shade, electricity and a soccer field.