San Pedro de Atacama: A land of hidden and shared treasures
When you start planning a visit to San Pedro de Atacama at some point you might wonder for what reasons, apart from the ones you know, this city has become one of the most famous destinies in Chile. As you start reading, we will help you answer these important and key questions.
San Pedro de Atacama is nowadays an oasis of geologic and cultural contrasts complemented with the changing landscape of its people and many travelers who visit this magical place of the North from all parts of the world. In the past, it was known as a linkage spot for a big number of ethnic groups.
Located in the driest desert of the world, the city shares a wonderful view of the majestic Andean Mountains. The Licancabur Volcano, located at almost 6000 meters above sea level, is an important piece of the extensive scenario and proudly considered the true highlight and most important symbol of the place.
San Pedro de Atacama has important characteristics that make it an important national and international Touristic Center. The clear blue skies that can be seen almost all year round, beautiful contrasting landscapes, lagoons that vary in color and treasured species of flora and fauna, make it a unique place for world travelers.
As we travel back in time we will discover that the place shelters an important history reflected in a fight for survival in one of the most isolated places of North Chile.
The climate of the region is called Desértico Marginal de Altura explained as a desert climate characterized by marginal altitudes, which means that there is an all-year round strong thermal oscillation between day and night temperatures. This weather phenomenon is possible because San Pedro de Atacama is located over 2,000 meters above sea level sharing typical characteristics of deserts located at high altitudes.
San Pedro de Atacama offers a wide variety of activities such as discovering the town and its shared secrets shown in its handcrafting tradition, or the taste of one of its typical dishes.
The most attractive options we recommend to visit are:
One of the most important lagoons of the region is Chaxa lagoon, where you will find the famous Flamingo National Reserve. The opportunity to observe three species of Flamingos that share the landscape with other bird species will be completely memorable.
Over 4,000 meters above sea level, you will find two important lagoons called are, Mañiques and Laguna lagoons, both surrounded by a beautiful setting known for its Vicuñas and a unique landscape of blue waters born at the middle of the Mountains.
If as a child you ever wondered what walking the moon would feel like or if as an adult you dream of travelling to the moon, be prepared to live an outer-space experience as you observe and take the first steps on the landscape that decorates this unique part of the country.
A famous area where you will have the closest experience to walking on the Moon, is located 13 km (8 miles) to the West of San Pedro de Atacama where this moon-like valley is part of the Cordillera de la Sal. If you wish to see one of the most beautiful sunsets of the world and live a unique dreamy experience, an afternoon visit the moon valley will give you memorable moments which will become a long lasting treasure.
A magical place found in the North of San Pedro de Atacama at approximately 4,320 meters equivalent to 14, 173 feet. The word "Tatio" in the indigenous Quechua language means "The old man crying", poetically expressed in Spanish as "El viejo que llora".
Tatio Geysers is the third biggest geyser spot in the world. The fumaroles that emerge from the earth can reach temperatures of 85°C, equivalent to 185°F.
This spectacle of nature is better seen between 6 and 7 PM when thermometers register sub-zero temperatures.
The lagoon is located 5 kilometers (3 miles) to the South of San Pedro de Atacama, between the Dunes of Atacama Salt Flat. The emerald waters it treasures acquire that color due to special properties in the water that allow flotation similar to those found at the Death Sea. The emerald color of the lagoon complements the amazing setting of the Andes Mountains.
San Pedro de Atacama is a privileged place in Chile for astronomical observation due to the scarce light and humidity of the area. The Tour begins with a basic introduction speech to astronomy followed by open-field observation to examine and explore extraordinary elements seen at the "Chilean Night Sky". From this specific spot of the country we will have the opportunity to observe the craters of the moon, Saturn's rings, galaxies, among other infinite wonders of the universe.
The thermal waters of Puritama are located at an estimated travel time of 45 minutes by car from San Pedro de Atacama. The road taken is the same route used to visit Tatio Geysers.
An entrance fee is required to access this interesting thermal site to experience a relaxing time as you immerse in crystal waters.
The Ancient Atacameño Town has a history of more than 2,800 years buried through time by intense winds and sand storms. It took many archaeological interventions to unbury a part of it known in the region as the "villorrio", from the immense mass of sand that still keeps the rest of it sheltered by this powerful shield.