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With an extremely unusual ecosystem, this is one of Chile's top attractions, offering a plethora of excursions from the sedate to the most active, and excellent tourist infrastructure. In addition to the unique lunar landscapes, the region's Atacameño culture and history is fascinating, and the desert has spouting geysers, bubbling thermal springs, dazzling salt flats, and awe-inspiring dune valleys to visit.

Northern Chile's Atacama desert is the world's highest and driest and an adventure playground, with excellent hotels. The compact oasis town of San Pedro de Atacama provides true respite from the desert in the form of excellent hotels and a buzzing restaurant, café and bar scene. For culture vultures San Pedro town's Padre Le Paige Archaeological Museum houses over 380,000 artefacts as well as mummies, and displays depicting petroglyphs and rock paintings.

Nearby, the Valley of the Moon with its tiny but beautiful salt ponds and the backdrop of snow-capped volcanoes is a popular destination for sundowners, as the vast sweeping sand dunes glow with the sunset. South of San Pedro, the Los Flamencos Natural Reserve with its attractive highland lagoons Miscanti and Miniques is home to flocks of flamingoes and rare birds in their breeding grounds.

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Atacama Desert Itinerary Ideas

Stargazing in the Atacama
If You Do Three Things
1
Stargazing

The vast expanse of the Atacama Desert, the driest non-polar place on the planet, is perfect for stargazing with its tens of thousands of miles of uninterrupted skies. If staying at Alto Atacama you can do this in the relaxed setting of their very own private observatory with an expert star guide, who can teach you all about astronomy as you gaze up at the dazzling night sky.

Valley of the Moon
If You Do Three Things
2
Sundowners in the Valley of the Moon

A short drive from the town of San Pedro de Atacama, the unique landscape of the Valley of the Moon is a photographer's dream. Get snap happy while the sky changes to the same fiery red tones as the rocks and sand of the valley. Alternatively, cycle from San Pedro through the desert which resembles what one would assume the surface of Mars looks like.

Flamingos Atacama
If You Do Three Things
3
Visit Los Flamencos National Reserve

From San Pedro de Atacama, head into Los Flamencos National Reserve to see the flocks of flamingos that live here and mill around in the intense blue saline lakes and lagoons. The stark pink of these majestic birds stands out in the lunar-like landscape and is an iconic sight of the Atacama.

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Atacama Desert
Atacama Desert
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A Note on Price

All of our holidays are completely tailor-made and prices will vary based on things like when in the year you will be travelling, how far in advance you book and the level of accommodation you choose. The guide prices shown across this website are designed to provide you with a broad indication of how much to budget for your trip.

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