Women Tour in the Atacama Desert

During this unique bike and hike tour in Chile, especially designed by women for women, we will immerse ourselves into the ancestral culture of the Likan Antai people. In addition, we’ll explore the most beautiful spots around San Pedro de Atacama, by foot and by bike.

We will enjoy tasty local food, get to know local traditions. As well as discovering the open skies, and relaxing in natural thermal hot springs. Our very unique accommodation offers us perfect moments to relax and enjoy the yoga sessions and other well-being moments.

 

A tour for adventure women and nature lovers!

 

Atacama Desert
Overlooking Mars Valley – San Pedro de Atacama

 

The Atacama desert is the highest and driest desert in the world. San Pedro de Atacama is surrounded by the Andes Range, the Salt Range and the Domeyko range. The main highlights are the Moon Valley, the Mars Valley, the Atacama Salt flat, the Altiplano, the geysers and the Andean lagoons (4000 meters above sea level). Thanks to the volcanic activity it is possible to find hot springs and active volcanoes such as Lascar and Putana.  It has a variety of endemic bird species and flora species that makes it a unique place on earth. The indigenous people, who inhabits the charming villages are the Likan Antai people which culture has been alive for 12.000 years.

Likan Antai people

 

Corn presentation at the Ayllus

 

The Likan Antai or Atacameños communities maintain traditional ways of living alongside the oases and streams of the Loa River and the Salar de Atacama, without losing contact with the urban centers and current Chilean society.

Upon their arrival in the 16th century, the Spanish named the Andean population „Atacama“.During the centuries before the European invasion, the Atacameños used an unwritten language to name the local geography and the different ecological landscapes. According to the first linguists and travelers of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the Atacameño communities used the Cunza as their main language and called themselves, along with their territory, the compound word Licán-Antai.

The arid climate limited settlements to small and isolated oases. Each village was autonomous, made up of a group of related families under a chief working collectively. These villages or Ayllus were usually located on high ground, surrounded by defensive walls. The Ayllu is a form of extensive social community originating in the Andean region.

Weather in the Atacama Desert

 

The Moon Valley

 

The Atacama Desert is commonly known as the driest place in the world. Although the almost total lack of precipitation is the most prominent characteristic of the Atacama Desert, exceptions may occur. The Invierno Boliviano or Altiplano Winter is a phenomenon, which can produce rain and abundant electrical storms and occurs in January and February. The average rainfall is about 15 mm. (0.59 in) per year. Moreover, some weather stations in the Atacama have never received rain. This desert is so arid that many mountains higher than 6,000 meters (20,000 ft) are completely free of glaciers. Indeed, only the highest peaks have some permanent snow coverage.

In San Pedro de Atacama, the local climate is extremely dry and mild, with daytime temperatures between 25ºC to 30ºC (77ºF–86ºF) in the summer (December to February) and 18ºC to 25 °C (64 to 77 °F) in the winter (June to August). Nighttime temperatures routinely drop below 0 °C (32 °F) and can reach as low as −10 °C (14 °F) in the winter.

The best season for hiking and biking in the Atacama Desert runs from mid June through mid November.

Special features just for women 

 

cejar lagoon atacama desert
Cejar Lagoon, Atacama Desert

 

During our unique Bike and Hike Tour in the Atacama Desert we will focus on the incredible nature, landscapes and take a closer look of the local culture, especially by visiting local women.

On day one for example we will first pass by Solcor, Sequitor & Tulor. Here we will make our first stop in order to visit the archeological site Tulor. One of the oldest archaeological sites in northern Chile, that was excavated by the famous archeologist Ana Maria Baron, a very inspiring woman.

Afterwards we will met a friendly Likan Antai woman and her family at the Ayllu of Coyo. She will share with us some of her daily activities and ancestral cosmovision. She has worked on emphasizing the ancestral caravan with llamas.

Then we will enjoy lunch at a local restaurant in Coyo, where we will be able to taste typical food prepared with local products. Finally, we will bike back to the hotel, rest from the sun and get prepared four our afternoon excursion.

Local women and traditions

 

women chile
Sandra and the traditional ancestral caravan

 

The third day of our trip also includes a great visit of the local women and their traditions. We will travel south towards the Altiplanic Lagoons, gaining altitude to enter the puna highlands and surprise ourselves with its particular vegetation: wildlife, lagoons and salt flats. It is where, without any doubt, the Miscanti Lagoon stands out: the largest in the entire Antofagasta region.

Later, we visit the town of Socaire, where the indigenous community still preserves part of the traditional Atacameñan way of life. In this small town, we will pay another great woman and her family a visit. The women of the family still keep alive the tradition of weaving, carrying out the complete process, from the spinning of wool to the production of the most traditional items in the area such as clothing and others.

We will enjoy lunch at the Guest House of the Indigenous Community of Socaire. After lunch, we will go to the town of Talabre, in the middle of the prepuna. There, accompanied by a local guide (mostly women) from the Talabre indigenous community, we will walk through Kezala, one of the gorges, that connects the high Andes Mountains with the Salar de Atacama basin. That treasure’s an invaluable archaeological heritage in rock art.

Later, we can enjoy a tasting of Lican Antai products before driving back to our hotel in San Pedro de Atacama.

Yoga session and hotsprings

 

Yoga women tour
Yoga session at Atacama Loft and Glamp

 

Have you ever experienced a yoga session in the driest desert of the world? If not, it is time to do so during our Women tour. We will enjoy a relaxing yoga hour with a professional teacher in a safe and protected area. It is a perfect activity to enjoy the splendid sunset and to feel the magic of the desert.

Depending on the lunar cycle we might even join a full moon women circle on one of the evenings during our trip.

In addition to the soul treatment during the yoga session we will also relax at the amazing and natural hot springs of Puritama. Immerse yourself into the unique landscape and relax your muscels in the natural pools after a nice hike.

Star-gazing and the Andean cosmovision

 

women tour atacama
Astronomic experience in the driest desert in the world

 

The night in the Atacama Desert, its starry sky and the presence of ancient fire, give life to a unique and unrepeatable experience. Here, the knowledge of the Andean cosmovision of the skies meets the scientific understanding of the stars.

We will combine traditional scientific astronomy with the ancient Andean vision of the first astronomers of the place. They have been long before the first telescope. As a complement, we will also have the possibility to observe the stars through a modern telescope.

Local handicrafts and shopping

 

atacama desert
Village of San Pedro de Atacama

Accompanied by our guide, we will walk through the streets of San Pedro. The focus will be to learn a little more about its history and formation. And to finish familiarizing ourselves with some of the challenges that characterize and influence social organization, politics and life in this place. We will visit the nicest shops with local handicrafts. That is when we will have time to find some souvenirs and gifts for our family and friends.

Our accommodation: Atacama Loft and Glamp

 

women trip atacama
Glamping double tent

 

For this unique trip we chose a unique accommodation. The Atacama Loft & Glamp is a woman owned and managed accommodation with a very special atmosphere. Just a few car-minutes away from the busy center of San Pedro de Atacama. It is the perfect place to relax, enjoy the spectacular views or chat with a nice pisco sour at one of the cosy corners around the pool.

 

Interested in this tour? Check out our fixed departure dates until April 2022 and contact us for more details! Don’t miss out our top travel adventures in Chile for women travelling together!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8 places to visit in San Pedro de Atacama in Chile

The driest desert in the world offers a great variety of places to visit. With beautiful landscape composed of salt flats, natural hot springs and geysers, the Atacama Desert has a lot to explore.

This is why we wrote this interesting articles of the the 8 places to visit in San Pedro de Atacama in Chile

Geysers del Tatio

The Tatio is a geothermal field located in the Andes mountain range at 4280 meters above sea level. At the foothills of Tatio and Linzor volcanoes, 90 kilometers from San Pedro, it is the world’s third largest geyser field.

It was named El Tatio after “Tata iu”, which means in Quechua “The Crying Elder”. It is a reference to the geysers and the mountain shaped like a lying man. The site has approximately 80 active geysers, making it South America largest geyser field. It is also surrounded by hills reaching up to 5900 meters above sea level.

In the early morning hours, the fumaroles activity takes its toll due to the craters’ high temperatures. They can reach up to 85°C. They erupt with pressure from the earth with heights ranging from 7 to 8 meters. The air temperature fluctuates between 15°C / 22.5°F during the day and 2°C / 3°F at night.

During the ride, it is also possible to observe local fauna and flora. You will be able to spot vicuñas, llamas, ñandues and vizcacha. Giant cactus, llaretas and coirón will be part of the flora.

The highlight of the geyser field is the thermal pool in which you can bath. You’ll absolutely be amazed by the snow-covered mountain peaks around while relaxing in the water filled with minerals.

With its spectacular scenery, the Tatio geysers are clearly Chile’s one of the most impressive attractions. Check out our 7-Day Hiking Tour in the Atacama Desert.

Tatio geysers atacama

Laguna Chaxa (Chaxa Lagoon)

The Chaxa Lagoon, central point of the Atacama Desert, is located 7 kilometers from Toconao. And less than 50 kilometers from San Pedro. It belongs to Los Flamencos National Reserve, and is under the CONAF protection system of the wilderness areas. It is probably one of the best places in Chile for flamingos sighting.

The Chaxa Lagoon is an altiplanic lagoon and has no great depths. It allows the proliferation of microscopic life forms and micro invertebrates. They constitute the basic food of the flamingos and other birds living in Chaxa. You can observe up to 3 different types of flamingos: Parina Grande,  Parina Chica and Flamenco Chileno.

Because of the intense heat, difference of temperatures between day and night and the high quantity of salt, there is not much flora and fauna surrounding Chaxa. Only some herbs and grass at the edge of the lagoon.

The reason why the Chaxa Lagoon is highly protected is because of its birdlife existence. The unit protecting the area aims at the conservation of the local biodiversity and the protection the birds’ food chain habitat.

Lagunas Altiplánicas (Highlands Lagoons)

The Highlands Lagoons, or Lagunas Altiplanicas, are located 115 kilometers from San Pedro de Atacama. The ride goes through Toconao and Socaire small towns and runs along the side of the Atacama Salt Flat.

Intense blue waters and and whites shores welcoming great variety of birds, the Miscanti and Miñiques Lagoons are a gift from nature. They are located inside the Los Flamencos National Reserve, at over 4000 meters above sea level. Both lagoons constitute a magical contrast with the surroundings snow-capped hills.

Mixture of desert, mountain and ice, it is the perfect place for bird watching and photography activities.  The geological formations of the hills and terrains around demonstrate Ojos del Salar volcano eruption activity of the past years. The last eruption ocurred in 1956.

lagoon desert hill person
Highlands Lagoon, Atacama Desert

Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley)

It is one the most visited places around San Pedro de Atacama. It is located 17 kilometers / 25 miles from the village, in the heart of the Salt Mountain Range. The area, mainly composed of rock and sand formations, is mainly famous for its lunar aspect.

From the great dunes, you can observe the astonishing and surprising surroundings. During full moon, the valley also features an indescribable aspect filled with majesty and silence, coldly beautiful and imposing.

It is possible to visit the “Tres Marías” rock formations, and the “Duna Mayor” offers an excellent spot to observe the sunset. You can also hike this natural wonder through the diverse trails available.

Moon Valley

Valle de la Muerte (Death Valley)

Also known as Mars Valley, the Death Valley is in the middle of the Salt Mountain Range and located 2 kilometers / 3 miles from San Pedro.

In the past, those who dared to cross the Valley would die trying. Reason is why we call it Death Valley.  Moreover, this is the perfect example showing how dry can be the Atacama Desert. Indeed, there’s any plant or insect living in the area.

The Death Valley is categorized at the most inhospitable place of the world. However, it is the perfect spot if you want to hike or practice sandboard.

Mars Valley atacama

Laguna Cejar & Tebinquinche

Cejar Lagoon

The Cejar Lagoon is located 5 kilometers from San Pedro de Atacama, in the Atacama Salt Flat. The Lagoon is known for the high amount of salt condensed. You can enjoy swimming and floating very easily. Also, the beautiful turquoise color will amaze your eyes.

The landscape is one the most stunning of the Atacama Desert. Indeed, it is a mix of the blue color of the sky, the white color of the salt, the turquoise color of the water and finally the pink color of the flamingos.

It is highly recommend the visit of Cejar Lagoon during the afternoon. And end up visiting Tebinquinche Lagoon for an incredible sunset filled with stunning colors.

Star-gazing Experience

stars laser sky night
Astronomic Tour, Atacama Desert

San Pedro de Atacama is a privileged place for star-gazing. In fact, the Atacama Desert has very little luminous pollution and humidity in the air.

The experience usually begins with a basic introduction speech of astronomy, followed by an open terrain guided tour. There you’ll be able to observe objects such as the craters of the moon, the rings of Saturn, the galaxies and others wonders of the universe.

During full moons and the Bolivian Winter (January and February), this activity is very compromised because it relies 100% of the weather conditions. The clouded skies and the light of the moon don’t allow observing properly the stars.

Star-gazing is usually available from end of March to November.

Valle del Arcoiris (Rainbow Valley)

hills desert colors people
Colored Hills of the Rainbow Valley, Atacama Desert

The Rainbow Valley, or Valle del Arcoiris, is an area composed of various hills of green, black, purple and blue color. It is located 90 kilometers / 135 miles from San Pedro de Atacama, 3.500 meters above sea level. The area belongs to the Domeyko mountain range.

While there, you can also visit the Yerbas Buenas sector. It is an archeological site with ancient rupestrian art. In additional, you can also observe very important petroglyphs of the region.


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New travel experiences in the Atacama Desert

This coming season, Amity Tours is launching new travel experiences in the Atacama Desert

During the past weeks, we went scouting to San Pedro de Atacama in order to re-design incredible experiences in the Atacama Desert. We hiked through amazing ravines in the Salt Mountain Range and in an ancient cacti valley. Moreover, we were able to witness amazing sunsets in the Atacama Salt Flat and enjoy the clearest sky while stargazing.

 

sunset atacama desert
Sunset at the Chaxa Lagoon, Atacama Salt Flat

 

Furthermore, we were able to visit Andean villages such as Socaire, Toconao, Caspana, Machuca, Rio Grande and Ayquina. We also shared with the local Lickan Antay communities and become impressed with the amazing landscape that surround the quaint village of San Pedro de Atacama.

 

likan antai atacama desert
Encounter with Likan Antai Indigenous community

 

We are designing a great 7-day hiking tour in the Atacama Desert. Our hikes will cover all of the ecological features around San Pedro de Atacama:

  • The Salt mountain range and its magnificent geological formations
  • The Atacama Salt flat and its different lagoons (located 2.400 meters over the sea level)
  • The ravines (located between 2800 – 3400 meters above sea level) where we will discover great flora species
  • The Altiplano, where we will discover particular ecosystems composed by birds species, plants, mammals and bacteria. Here, over 4000 meters over the sea level we will hike through the Tatio Mallku geothermal field and trough high salt flats immersed in the Andes Mountain Range.

 

copa coya atacama desert

 

This trip will be a great experience that will connect you with the silence and spaciousness that only exist in the desert.

Moreover, we are designing a cultural bike trip. This experience will be perfect for those travelers that love to bike, and learn about an ancient culture. During this tour, you will discover how the indigenous communities are try to bring their traditions back.

 

cultural atacama desert likan antai
Encounter with the Likan Antai community

The goal of this trip is not to use vans. All of our activities will start and finish in your hotel using only bikes. We will discover great archeological sites with our specialized guides. Also, we will learn from the Lickan Antai people as they share their traditions, cosmovision and typical food. We will be able to bike towards the salt flat discovering an amazing landscape and biodiversity. We will learn the most hidden secrets that exist in the tiny oasis located in highest and driest desert of the world.

To learn more about our travel experiences please check out our website

Laguna cejar Atacama Desert