Hiking Atacama Desert 5 Day Tour Chile

Duration

5 Days

Difficulty

Moderate/Intermediate

Location

Atacama Desert

Date

July to November

From $1.805 to $3.520

5-Day Hiking Tour in the Atacama Desert

During 5 days, you will hike among astonishing landscapes surrounded by volcanoes and secret paths between valleys, salt flats & gorges.

You will learn more about the history of the Atacama Desert, culture, archaeology, native flora and fauna.

RATES
  • From $1.805 to $3.520

    For groups over 10 people, please contact us for special group rates.

PROGRAM INCLUDES
  • 4 nights’ accommodation at Hotel La Casa de Don Tomas 3*, or similar
  • Professional tour guide (1 guide per 8 guests)
  • Private ground transportation 
  • Meals as per itinerary
  • Accidents insurance (basic plan)
  • All activities according to the itinerary
  • Entrance fees to hot springs and national parks
NOT INCLUDED
  • International and domestic flights
  • Gratuities at restaurants and hotels
  • Extra beverages & cocktails
  • Laundry and SPA services
DATES
  • We operate this tour upon request and according to availability.

Itinerary

Day 1: Transfer to San Pedro De Atacama - Hike in Death Valley

Upon arrival at Calama Airport, we’ll drive towards San Pedro de Atacama and check-in at hotel.

In the afterboon, we’ll head towards the Salt Mountain Range where the Death Valley is located. Our first hike starts ascending a small dune, walking north along one of the cornices bordering the Death Valley.

The funniest part of the excursion is a steep but enjoyable descent down a dune, from where we cross the valley on our way back to the van.

Altitude: 2,600 meters above sea level

Distance: 3.7 km

Total trip duration: 2 hours

Time driving in the van: 40 minutes

Time hiking: 1 hour 20 minutes

Accommodation: La Casa De Don Tomas, or similar 3*

Meals: Welcome dinner

Day 2: Hike in Cacti Valley - Hike in Moon Valley - Star-gazing

After breakfast, we’ll drive towards Guatín to start our hike. We’ll ascend from Punta del Inca, following the river’s course up through the canyon until the Guatín settlement towards the Puritama hot springs.

The trail passes through ancient settlements and hundred-years-old cacti, with rocky terrain at times.

Difficulty: Easy

Altitude: 2,600 meters above sea level

Distance: 5 km

Time driving in the van: 20 minutes

Time hiking: 2.5 hours

After lunch, we will drive towards the Moon Valley. We’ll start hiking from the Coyote rock by the Kari Gorge, a strange rock formation, and get deep into the mountain range and its geologic forms.

The valley is well known due to it statuesque and rocky formations. Salt emerges to the surface, covering the surface with a dry, whitish layer that gives the place a lunar aspect.

Difficulty: Easy

Altitude: 2,400 meters above sea level

Distance: 5 km

Time driving in the van: 0.2 hours 

Time hiking: 2.5 hours

After dinner, we’ll have an astronomy lecture in a specially equipped room, followed by a naked eye star-gazing and a celestial bodies telescopic observation.

Accommodation: La Casa De Don Tomas, or similar 3*

Meals: Breakfast, picnic lunch and dinner

Day 3: Hike in Quezala Canyon - Sunset at the Atacama Salt Flat

Today, we will drive towards Talabre village. Another unmissable treasure that this town has is its archaeological wealth. The large quantity of petroglyphs located in Quezala ravine attracts attention, with different naturalistic representations ranging from camelids, hunting animals, birds, felines and foxes, to anthropomorphic motifs.

We will hike through the ravine until we reach Talabre Viejo, the old town that was devastated by a past eruption from the Lascar Volcano.

Back to Talabre, we will meet the likan Antay indigenous community and share with them some local products.

Afterwards we will drive back to San Pedro.

Difficulty: Intermediate.

Altitude: 3,600 meters above sea level

Distance: 7 km

Time hiking: 2.5 hours

In the afternoon, we’ll head to Toconao where we will visit the main Plaza, the Church and the historic Bell tower.

Then, we will make our way towards “Reserva Nacional los Flamencos”, where the Atacama Salt Flat is located and bird watching is amazing. The Salar is the biggest salt field in Chile and its large quantities of salt make the surface white and rough.

We’ll be able to observe three types of flamingos living in the area: the Puna, the Andean and the Chilean. 

Accommodation: La Casa De Don Tomas, or similar 3*

Meals: Breakfast and sunset cocktail

Day 4: Hike in Machuca Village - Río Grande

Today, the hike starts from the village of Machuca (4.000 m.a.s.l) with a descent through a desert moor towards the gorge, passing through lands used by shepherd caravans.

We will have lunch mid-way through the hike at an abandoned homestead called Peñaliri. We’ll continue hiking downriver until reaching the village of Río Grande, where the van will be waiting to take us back to our hotel in San Pedro de Atacama. 

Difficulty: Moderate

Altitude: 4,000 – 3,200 meters above sea level

Distance: 12 km

Total trip duration: 8 hours

Time driving in the van: 1.5 hours

Time hiking: 6 hours

Accommodation: La Casa De Don Tomas, or similar 3*

Meals: Breakfast and picnic lunch

Day 5: Tatio Geysers - Calama Airport

Early in the morning, we’ll visit the Tatio Geysers (4.300 m.a.s.l), one of the most impressive in South America. We will observe different kinds of geysers and swim in the thermal pools. 

Afterwards, we will hike towards the Great White Geyser following the trails made by vicuñas until we reach the natural pools with different temperatures.

Finally, we will have farewell lunch in San Pedro before driving back to Calama Airport.

End of the services.

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

Difficulty: Moderate

Altitude: 4.400 meters above sea level

Distance: 4,2 km

Time driving in the van: 1.5 hour

Time hiking: 2 Hours

More Info

DIFFICULTY

Moderate: A reasonable level of fitness is required, as these hiking trips can require sustained endurance levels, hills and longer days. These tours are more demanding than the previous level, intended for active people who are comfortable participating in up to 4-5 hours of hiking per day.

These tours may include hiking on difficult terrain, sometimes steep and/or uneven trails, with obstacles such as wet logs, branches and muddy areas.

PACKING TIPS

For the Atacama Desert, we recommend you to bring:

  • Hat or cap for sun protection
  • Woollen or polartec hat
  • Fleece
  • Wind breaking jacket
  • Gore-tex, goose down jacket
  • T-shirts
  • Comfortable trekking long trousers
  • Comfortable trekking short trousers
  • Bathing suit & towel
  • Trekking socks
  • Comfortable underwear
  • Trekking shoes
  • Tennis shoes
  • Flip flops
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun block
  • Lip balm

Travel Accessories:

  • Wide-mouth water bottles (1-liter capacity). Bring two and make sure they are leak-proof, heavy duty plastic (preferably Nalgene brand)
  • Toiletry kit—soap, toothbrush, and so on
  • Moisturizing lotion
  • Ace bandage or brace if you’re prone to sore knees or ankles
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen of SPF 15, or higher. The sun in Chile can be much more intense than you probably imagine, even in the Lake & Volcano District!
  • Sunscreen lipstick of SPF 15 or higher
  • Small flashlight with spare batteries, or small headlamp with spare batteries
  • Zip-lock bags (they’re great for camera gear)
  • Personal first aid kit
  • Swiss Army-type pocket knife with can opener and scissors

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