Hiking the Atacama Desert

Duracion

5 Days

Difficulty

Moderate/Intermediate

Location

Atacama

Date

July to October

From $1.805

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.

Tour Rate
  • From $1.805 

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

Included
  • 4 nights’ accommodation at Casa de Don Tomas Hotel, or similar
  • Professional tour guide 
  • 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: Calama Airport - Transfer to San Pedro de Atacama - Hike in Death Valley

Upon arrival at Calama Airport, transfer to your hotel located in San Pedro De Atacama.

In the afternoon, we’ll head towards the Salt Mountain Range where the Death Valley is located. After ascending a small dune, we will hike north along one of the cornices bordering the Death Valley. The stunning panoramic view allows us to appreciate how erosion has molded the Salt Mountain Range, revealing the geological processes that shaped it.

The most fun 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 vehicle.

Difficulty: Easy. The hike may prove difficult for those suffering from severe vertigo.

Altitude: 2,600 meters above sea level

Distance: 3.7 km

Total trip duration: 2 hours

Time hiking: 1 hour 20 minutes

Meals: Welcome dinner

Accommodation: La Casa de Don Tomas

Day 2: Cacti Valley Hike - Kari Gorge Hike in the Moon Valley - Star-Gazing

After breakfast, departure from your hotel Guatín. The excursion starts out by ascending from Punta del Inca, following the river’s course up through the canyon until the Guatín settlement.

The trail passes through ancient settlements and hundreds-years-old cactus, and ends at Puritama hot springs where we’ll have a soothing bath.

Difficulty: Easy. Altitude: 2,600 meters above sea level.

Distance: 5 km

Time hiking: 2.5 hours

In the afternoon, we’ll head towards Moon Valley. We’ll hike during 2 hours from the Coyote rock, a strange rock formation and getting deep into the mountain range and its geologic forms.

The Moon 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 hiking: 2.5 hours

At night, we’ll enjoy an amazing astronomy experience. We’ll spend 2 hours that starts with an astronomy lecture in an equipped room, followed by a naked eye star-gazing and a celestial bodies telescopic observation.

Accommodation: La Casa de Don Tomas Hotel

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

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

Today we will drive towards Talabre village. This small town is an unmissable treasure for 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 for about 7 kilometers through the ravine until we reach Talabre Viejo, the old town that was devastated by a past eruption from the Lascar Volcano.

Difficulty: Intermediate

Altitude: 3,600 meters above sea level

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. All of them are historic symbols of this town.

Afterwards, 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 enjoy a cocktail while we observe the sun going down.

Accommodation: La Casa de Don Tomas Hotel

Meals: Breakfast and cocktail

Day 4: Hike from Machuca Village to Rio Grande

In the village of Machuca, situated 4,000 meters above sea level, the hike begins with a descent through a desert moor towards the gorge, passing through lands used by shepherd caravans.

We will pass through an abandoned homestead, before hiking downriver until reaching the village of Río Grande

Difficulty: Moderate

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

Distance: 12 km

Time hiking: 6 hours

Accommodation: La Casa de Don Tomas

Meals: Breakfast and Picnic Lunch

Day 5: Hike in Tatio Geysers - Calama Airport

Today we will visit  the Tatio Geysers, a geothermal geyser field, one of the most impressive in South America. The field sits at 4.300 meters above sea level, and temperatures vary between -5 and -20 degrees Celsius.

We’ll start hiking towards the Great White Geysers following the trails made by vicuñas, until we reach natural pools.

Finally, we’ll drive our way back to Calama Airport to catch your flight back to Santiago.

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

Difficulty: Moderate

Distance: 4,2 kilometers

Time Hiking: 2 hours

More Info

Difficulty

Intermediate: A reasonable level of fitness is required, as these hiking trips can require sustained endurance levels, hills and longer days. These tours are intended for active people who are comfortable participating in up to 6 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.  

Itinerary Modifications

Slight itinerary modifications might occur due to weather and or road conditions, or force majeure.

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