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Things to do in

San Pedro de Atacama

Our most recommended things to do in San Pedro de Atacama

San Pedro de Atacama: El Tatio Geysers Tour

1. San Pedro de Atacama: El Tatio Geysers Tour

Discover the third largest geothermal field in the world and the largest in the southern hemisphere in the Atacama Desert. At 4,200 meters (13,780 feet) above sea level, the Tatio Geysers are a natural marvel that will take your breath away, in more ways than one. Leave early in the morning, before sunrise, after pickup from your hotel. Arrive at the geysers early to have the opportunity to observe the contrast between the sunrise and the steam from the heat of the magma-affected waters. After sunrise, savor a complete breakfast with bread, cheese, ham, scrambled eggs, coffee, chocolate, milk, and jam. Once you've eaten, spend some more time exploring the 80 geysers around the national park. From there, ride through the Putana Valley. See endemic flora and fauna and stop at a lagoon to see flamingos before returning to your hotel.

San Pedro de Atacama: Hidden Lagoons of Baltinache

2. San Pedro de Atacama: Hidden Lagoons of Baltinache

Meet your local host in the main street of San Pedro de Atacama to begin your experience. Heading towards the southeast of the desert taking the scenic route to the hidden lagoons of Baltinache. During the 1-hour drive, see all the rock and salt landscapes that make up the desert, and learn about why this area is believed to have been at the bottom of the ocean millions of years ago. At the entrance of the lagoons, make use of the locker room in case you want to change into your bathing suit. From there, walk to the beginning of the track where you can visit all 7 lagoons. Be stunned by the crystal clear waters of the lagoons and wonder how such a thing is possible in the middle of nowhere. If you wish to take a dip, you are permitted to swim in the first and last lagoons only, for conservation purposes. Due to the amount of salt that they have in the water, experience the sensation of floating like a cork. It is recommended that you start in the last lagoon so that you don't have to walk all the way there with salt on your body. After a few hours of free time, use the facilities again to shower. Then, enjoy the scenic ride back with the opportunity to catch the sun setting over the desert. Finally, arrive back in San Pedro de Atacama where your memorable tour concludes.

San Pedro de Atacama: 3-Day Special Activity Combo

3. San Pedro de Atacama: 3-Day Special Activity Combo

Delight in 3 days of activities and discover the must-sees in the Atacama Desert, from San Pedro de Atacama. The natural attractions of Atacama, the driest and highest desert in the world, are scattered around San Pedro. Get ready to find conical volcanoes, blueish lagoons, steaming geysers, and rock formations that appear to be from another planet. Llamas, vicuñas, guanacos, foxes, and graceful flamingos can also be experienced in this unique wildlife environment. The 3-day pack will be a combination of the 4 tours below. The local partner will contact you before to coordinate the days on which you will attend each one. El Tatio Geysers Tour: Visit El Tatio Geysers to be mesmerized by the largest geothermal field in the southern hemisphere and the third-largest in the world. Ride through the Putana Valley, observe flora and fauna, and stop at a lagoon to see flamingos. Salt Flats Route Tour: Explore northeastern Chile’s natural wonders of the Atacama Salt Flats and a few lagoons, with breakfast included. End the day at the Tara Salt Flat and the volcano lookout. Vallecito Sunset Tour: Explore the Atacama Desert with a visit to Vallecito and stop by famous magic bus to later on end your day watching an amazing sunset. Hidden Lagoons of Baltinache Tour: Visit the hidden lagoons of Baltinache or Seven Lagoons, one of the secret places of the Atacama Desert. This is a wonderful landscape, of which only the first and the last one can be used for bathing. Due to the high salt concentration they contain, you will experience the flotation effect like the Dead Sea.

La Paz: Uyuni Salt Flats & San Pedro de Atacama 3-Day Tour

4. La Paz: Uyuni Salt Flats & San Pedro de Atacama 3-Day Tour

Day 1 09:00 p.m. Bus La Paz to Uyuni. Day 2 07:00 a.m. Arrival to Uyuni city. 10:30 a.m. Tour Uyuni Salt Flats Day 3 Tour Uyuni Salt Flats + National Reserve Day 4 Tour Uyuni Salt Flats + National Reserve 10:30 a.m. Transfer to San Pedro de Atacama. 2:00 p.m. Arrival time to San Pedro de Atacama. DAY 1 Go to the bus office at 8:30 p.m. for the check-in, then bus departures at 9:00 p.m. Inside the bus, enjoy the service of Dinner (Meat and Vegetarian Option), Breakfast, a Bottle of Water, a Hot Drink, Heating, Toilets, a Polar Blanket, Wi-Fi and First Aid Kit. DAY 2 Arrive in Uyuni City at 7:30 a.m. then go to our office 1 block near from bus station, Start your tour leaving Uyuni town at 10:30 a.m. from Perla de Bolivia's office. Visit: Train Graveyard, the small settlement of Colchani (salt miners´ workshops next to the salt flats), handicrafts made of salt, and textile art made of llama and alpaca fiber. Next, “Ojos de Agua Salada” (‘saltwater eyes’), a hotel-museum made completely of salt, Isla Incahuasi. Then, make sure you and your group pose for some fun perspective- and proportion-distorted photos, taken against the backdrop of the striking white surface of the salt flats. To end of the day, head to an open, spacious area for the unique experience of seeing a beautiful sunset, spreading its dazzling colors all over the salt flats, and finally arrive at Ajencha town to have dinner and night stay in the hotel. DAY 3 Start off at 7:00 a.m. for breakfast. Visit: Galaxy Caves, Chiguana Desert, Ollagüe, the rocky road “El Pasito Tuntun”, the famous: Cañapa, Hedionda, and Chiarcota Lagoons in which flamingoes can be seen. Finally in the day, enter “Eduardo Avaroa National Reserve”, Desert of Siloli, Rock tree, and the immense Red Lagoon to see more pink flamingos in their natural habitat. Stay the night at a hotel in Huayllajara. DAY 4 Get off to an early start around 5:00 a.m. to visit: Sol de Mañana Geyser, Hot Springs, Dali Desert, Green Lagoon, White Lagoon on the foot of Licancabur volcano. Then head back to the Bolivia-Chile border (Hito Cajon), Guide will assist with your border crossing at 10:30 am, finally arrive at San Pedro de Atacama at 2:00 p.m. The drop-off point is at San Pedro de Atacama’s main square.

San Pedro de Atacama: Astronomical Tour

5. San Pedro de Atacama: Astronomical Tour

Enjoy two different views of the night sky during your tour. The first will be the Western vision, which studies the universe, the brightness of the stars, and their planets. You can observe, with a telescope, objects in the solar system, deep space, and constellations. Learn about the cosmos and its formation.  Then, go on an ethnic astronomical journey to understand how the ancient inhabitants of the Andes interpreted the universe, the milky way, and the night sky. Many centuries before the arrival of the Spaniards, in the indigenous settlements of America, many wise observers of the universe interpreted the objects of the night sky. In all the black spaces, they observed figures that gave them information about their daily life including animals, water, rivers, schedules, and life after death. 

Atacama: San Pedro de Atacama Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride

6. Atacama: San Pedro de Atacama Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride

Begin the day with early pickup from your hotel or accommodation via a comfortable, air-conditioned 4WD jeep. You will be driven to the flight launch area where you will meet the hot air balloon team and be given a briefing on the flight and the balloon. Watch as the team mounts and inflates the baloon with hot air. From there, hop inside the basket and take off over the fantastic Atacama Desert between the Domeyco Cordillera and the Andes. Snap beautiful photos of the sunrise behind the Licancabur Volcano and enjoy a birds' view of main sights such as the Moon Valley, the Death Valley, the Atacama Lagoons, the Salt Mountain range, the Andes, and the Atacama desert. Enjoy between 45 and 75 minutes of flying, a truly spectacular experience over the mesmerizing landscapes of the region of San Pedro de Atacama. After landing safely back on the ground, partake in the second part of the tour, an amazing breakfast based on quality products. Listen to the stories of the Atacama people and learn more about the region and its people while you eat and reflect on the ride.

Calama Airport: Shared Arrival or Departure Transfer

7. Calama Airport: Shared Arrival or Departure Transfer

Start or end your time in San Pedro de Atacama stress free with a reliable shared transfer service between your accommodation and the airport. Please confirm the departure time with your airline at least 24 hours before your service to avoid any delay, and keep in mind that the distance between Calama airport and San Pedro de Atacama is 1.5 hours. Some of the drivers speak little or no english, so please ask for assistance over the phone in case of any miscommunication. Upon arrival at the airport, your driver will be waiting by the exit door to greet you with a card that says your name. If you are traveling from your hotel to the airport, you will usually be picked up at least three hours before your flight departure. On the way between the airport and your hotel, enjoy comfortable and air-conditioned transport, listen to music, or ask your driver about things to do during your stay in San Pedro de Atacama.

San Pedro de Atacama: Láscar Volcano Summit Hiking Day Trip

8. San Pedro de Atacama: Láscar Volcano Summit Hiking Day Trip

Discover the most active volcano in northern Chile with this hiking day trip from San Pedro de Atacama to the top of the Láscar volcano. Admire the views from 5590 meters above sea level and see smoking fumaroles. Enjoy the convenience of being picked up from the comfort of your accommodation in Pedro de Atacama. Sit back and relax on the air conditioned drive in an all terrain vehicle. Stop to purchase breakfast and pass through the towns of Toconao and Talabre. Arrive at the base of the Láscar volcano. Look up at its smoking crater as you drive to an altitude of 4,600 meters. Put on your helmet and pick up your walking stick. Get a safety briefing from your guide before beginning your ascent to the 300-meter deep crater. See endemic fauna and a blue altiplanic lagoon surrounded by salt on your tour. Marvel at sweeping views of the Andes mountain range. Look as your guide points of smoking fumaroles. Breathe in the scent of sulfur.  Reach 5590 meters above sea, if conditions are good, before making your descent. Transfer back to your accommodation in San Pedro de Atacama at the end of your tour. 

Vallecito: Atacama Desert and Magic Bus Visit

9. Vallecito: Atacama Desert and Magic Bus Visit

We will travel to our first stop at the salty river. We will then explore the dunes in the salt mountain range, where you can learn about the moon-like landscape of the desert and how it got its unique aesthetic. Next, we will travel to the valley of the abandoned bus, also known as the 'Magic Bus'. Iconic for its rustic look and picture perfect surroundings, you can take this time to capture your perfect shot. We will end the trip with an incredible sunset, celebrating this moment with delicious drinks and snacks for us to enjoy.

San Pedro de Atacama: Guided Buggy Tour Through the Desert

10. San Pedro de Atacama: Guided Buggy Tour Through the Desert

Feel the wind on your face while going to places no other tourists go on this guided buggy tour in the Atacama Desert. Drive-up thrilling trails with your expert local guide, and be entertained and informed by their extensive knowledge of the area. Begin your tour with pickup from your accommodation in San Pedro de Atacama. From there, drive to the local partner's headquarters with your guide. Once there, listen to a safety lecture and suit up in a helmet, gloves, and glasses. Have a look at a map to understand where the activity will place and find out the itinerary through the desert, the salt mountain range, and two archeological sites. Then, let the fun begin: Set off on your approximately 50-kilometer (31-mile) buggy adventure through the Atacama Desert. Tackle a variety of terrains like riverbed crossings, steep mountain climbs, and beautiful sand dunes. Make the most of the opportunity to take pictures of pristine Atacama with no other tourists in tow. During the tour, there will be 3 different main stops along the way to share information and take pictures. At the end of the buggy tour, you'll return to the headquarters before being dropped off at your accommodation.

Frequently asked questions about San Pedro de Atacama

What top attractions are a must-see in San Pedro de Atacama?

What are the best day trips and excursions from San Pedro de Atacama?

The best day trips and excursions from San Pedro de Atacama are:

Antofagasta

What are the best outdoor activities to do in San Pedro de Atacama?

Other Sightseeing Options in San Pedro de Atacama

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What people are saying about San Pedro de Atacama

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 149 reviews

A really great tour. The starry sky in the Atacama Desert is incomparable. Felipe gave us a lot of information about different constellations and their meaning for the Andean people. We could see the Milky Way and even Saturn including its rings (small but incredibly beautiful). The tour is really recommended! Thank you Felipe

JP was very friendly and clearly loves his job! My friends and I learned a lot about the history of the desert and the types of animals and plants that live in Atacama. Also riding in the buggy was very fun!

This tour was so different from all the other tours you do in San Pedro. Felipe was very knowledgeable and fun. Definitely don’t miss out on this tour while in San Pedro

This is an amazing experience! The best 3 days of my life! Well organized! Overall a fabulous time!

Beautiful place and very good guide. Pity it was somewhat cloudy.