SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA
The town of San Pedro de Atacama is a true oasis in the desert of Atacama, generated by the summer rains of the Altiplano, which arrive here as streams. It is also the heart a large archaeological area inhabited 11,000 years ago and, above all, the nerve center of numerous natural attractions to its surroundings, making this a unique site. Geysers, salt lakes, lagoons, geological formations, and even hot springs amaze and attract tourists from all over the world who come to the area to go on various excursions.
We highly recommend staying at least four days, to adapt well to the height (which many times exceeds 3,500 and 4,000 meters above sea level), also due to the long distances between attractions, making many of these places become full-day tours.
Things to do
El Tatio Geysers: one of the most important geothermal fields in the world, there are more than 70 fumaroles from which emerge steam jets that reach several meters in height and form pools of boiling water, at dawn is the best time to appreciate them. They are located at more than 4.321 meters above sea level.
Valle de la Luna and de La Muerte: near the village, between the Rocky Mountains and the Cordillera de la Sal (Salt Mountains), we will find the Valley of the Moon, a geological formation of great beauty, which is part of Los Flamencos national reserve. In the Valley of Death, you can enjoy one of the best views of the mountains and volcanoes. Moreover, a sunset beyond comparison that is not to be missed.
Salar de Atacama: a natural scenery that has more than 100 km from North to South. Here we will find the Chaxa Lagoon, of spectacular beauty and inhabited by a flamboyance of flamingos and other birds, such as big and small parinas. It also includes the lagoons Miscanti and Miñiques, at over 4,200 meters above sea level.
Archaeology: getting to know the origin of the Atacama culture is a must. Visit the Pucará de Quitor, where one of the first clashes between Spaniards and Indians was fought. You will also see the Tulor village, the oldest settlement of the Salar de Atacama (between 800 B.C. and 500 A.D.), miraculously preserved for centuries buried in the sand.
Puritama hot springs: at 3,500 meters above sea level and close to San Pedro, there are hot springs flowing to 33.5 ° C, between rocks that form lovely pools. Ideal for relaxing after an excursion.