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Hotel Alto Atacama

Code: SPE014
Camino Pukará s/n, Sector Suchor - Ayllu Quitor, San Pedro de Atacama - See map
Excursions
Likanantai culture tour
Likanantai culture tour

For the Lican Antai culture tour, the first stop is the archaeological site of Tulor. At 2400 years old and well maintained, the site has been of great value in understanding many aspects of local history. Then, you will travel to the village of San Pedro to explore the old city and its church. Finally, visit Pucara of Quitor; a Pre-Hispanic village that provides an outstanding example of original native heritage.  
 
  • Duration: half day
  • Level: easy
  • Altitude: 2480m
  • Acclimatization: none required 

                                Tocanao/Atacama salt flats
Tocanao/Atacama salt flats

This varied tour starts with a visit to Toconao, a local village known for its masonry and architecture which is typical of the area, as well as its important agricultural heritage. Next, continue to Tamarugos forest, a woodland region en route to the National Reserve of Los Flamencos, one of the most iconic and memorable spots to enjoy the renowned sunsets of the Desert.
* Includes aperitif.

  • Duration: half day
  • Level: easy
  • Altitude: 2300m
  • Acclimatization: none required

Moon Valley
Moon Valley

This tour allows guests to enter a sanctuary of nature and geology. The Moon Valley is a spectacular geological formation created through the conflicting pressures of the Andes and the Cordillera de Domeyko. As one of the most breathtaking and iconic views in the 
entire region, travellers from all over the world migrate here to enjoy the sun setting over the Valley.
* Includes aperitif

  • Duration: half day  
  • Level: easy
  • Altitude: 2550m  
  • Acclimatization: none required

Capur Salt Flat
Capur Salt Flat

Making the most of the Altiplano during this challenging hike, you will face the majestic heights of Salar de Capur, meaning ‘Fox’ in the local Kunza language. This 4-hour hike will take place along 10km of scenic, ascending trails, reaching panoramic lookouts and changing terrain as the pathway weaves its way up to an ultimate altitude of 4,300m above sea level. Once at the summit, expansive views across the salt plains of Aguas Calientes are the reward for efforts made, with this vantage point providing a striking, memorable look at these undulating lands

  • Duration:Full day
  • Difficulty:Medium - High
  • Altitude: 4,300 m
  • Acclimatization: 2 days

Los Colorados
Los Colorados

This route crosses one of the most important ancient thoroughfares used by local shepherds thousands of years ago. Next, you will pass through the daunting tunnel formerly used to connect San Pedro with Calama. The walk continues along the cliffs of the Cordillera de la Sal, the perfect place to observe the Catarpe Valley, the oasis of San Pedro, the Salar de Atacama, the Andes, the Cordillera de Domeyko, and even Alto Atacama itself! Finally, as the trek begins to turn make its way back, cross a path which rolls down the middle of the high dunes, a well know feature of Mars Valley

  • Length: Half day,
  • Difficulty: Medium.
  • Altitude: 2550 m.a.s.l.
  • Required acclimatization: Not required.

Alto Catarpe
Alto Catarpe

During this tour, guests will hike to several lookouts of Catarpe. The fi rst stop is a prime view across the Tambo Valley; this vantage point shows off the surrounding hills, farmland, and pastures. The walk continues past petroglyphs and rock carvings before hitting the Cordillera de la Sal, and a scenic descent down to the San Pedro River.

  • Length: Half day
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Altitude: 2550 m.a.s.l.
  • Required acclimatization: Not required.

Kari Ravine
Kari Ravine

The ever-majestic Cordillera de la Sal never fails to entice and excite, with jagged caverns, steep cliffs and narrow passes in fi ne display at Quebrada de Kari. Walking fi rst across open, expanding plains, which lead into tight passageways and formidable mineral mountains, the hike to Quebrada de Kari offers a beautiful insight into the historical geological processes which have shaped these lands. We are also taken into one of the rare habitats frequented by high-altitude birds, which enjoy the protection offered by high salt concentrations in the rocks during cold winter nights. 

  • Length: Half day
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Altitude: 2550 m.a.s.l.
  • Required acclimatization: Not required

Desert Valleys
Desert Valleys

This extensive tour will take you across some of the most arid and inhospitable regions of the desert, recreating old routes formed by the ancient people of this area. You will start in the east, at the Valley of Mars, before trekking through to the Llano de la Paciencia, and on to the western side of the Valley of the Moon. From there, cross to the Cordillera de la Sal, and pass the ‘Three Marys’ (Ancient rock formations sculpted largely by extreme winds) and on to an exploration of the central crater of Valley of the Moon. The geology changes throughout this trek, including giant sand dunes and compacted salt mineral beds.
* Includes picnic.

  • Duration: Half day
  • Difficulty: High
  • Altitude: 2,750 m  
  • Acclimatization:2 days

Los Cardones Ravine
Los Cardones Ravine

This hike begins in Guatín, at the point where the Puritama and Purifi ca rivers meet, turning into the mighty Vilama River from Guatín onwards. Trek through diverse rock formations and vegetation, including ancient cacti standing at over seven metres tall. The region was once populated with an abundance of shepherding communities so you will pass through former settlements as you walk.

  • Length: Half day.
  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Altitude: 3166 m.a.s.l.
  • Required acclimatization: None

Tambo Inca Catarpe
Tambo Inca Catarpe

This wide-ranging walk takes in some of the most scenic and culturally signifi cant sites which surround Alto Atacama. Begin at the renowned Chapel of San Isidro, an iconic example of colonial architecture which is ideally located near the Catarpe Valley. Enjoy  views of the surrounding Cordillera de la Sal, where prehistoric geological formations of sand, clay, salt rock and volcanic ash, which have formed over millions of years, line the horizon. From San Isidro, having walked through some of the most breath-taking and beautiful trails of the valley, we will cross to Tambo de Cartape, a former centre of the Incan empire, constructed over 600 years ago at the height of their dominance. 

  • Length: Half day
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Altitude: 2500 m.a.s.l.
  • Required acclimatization: Not required

Garganta del Diablo Ravine
Garganta del Diablo Ravine

This excursion begins on mountain bike from the Ayllu (settlement) of Quitor. From here the path winds through the spectacular  gorges of the Cordillera de la Sal in the Catarpe Valley. The tour continues on the Garganta del Diablo (Devil’s Throat), named in connection with ancient myths of the local people. Finally, you will bike to visit San Isidro and its perfectly situated church as an ideal end to the ride.

  • Length: Half day.
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Altitude: 2500 m.a.s.l.
  • Required acclimatization: Not required.

Catarpe Valley
Catarpe Valley

This tour treks exclusively within the Catarpe Valley itself. Guests will travel along the famous San Pedro River, before crossing into Tambo, the former administrative centre of the Incan Empire. After exploring Tambo, the walk continues through the vast landscapes of the Valley, passing smaller villages along the way. 

  • Length: Half day.
  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Altitude: 2530 m.a.s.l
  • Required acclimatization: Not required.

 

Inca Pass
Inca Pass

This challenging half-day trek begins with a climb to the base of the cornices of the Catarpe Valley, to enjoy the expansive views before your descent. After taking in the surrounding vista, you will begin the climb down through the dunes of the Mars Valley. The fi rst stop is Coca Stone, an ancient centre for the trading of goods and animals, commonly a stop along old indigenous caravan routes. Here, hikers will also fi nd an abundance of preserved rock art. Next, the vast and arid Llano de la Paciencia showcases geological formations typical of the area, before continuing through the Mars Valley and eventually home.

  • Length: Half day
  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Altitude: 2600 m.a.s.l.
  • Required acclimatization: None.

Andean Astronomy
Andean Astronomy

To make the most of our privileged position in the desert, we have installed the only open air observatory in the region. It sits atop one of the many hills near the hotel. There, six swivel chairs and a powerful telescope will enable guests to take in the intricacies of our universe with real clarity while here. You will also have the knowledge of one of our expert guides to answer questions and give information on the long history of human astronomical discoveries. 

  • Duration: 1 hour (approx.)
  • Intensity: Easy
  • Altitude: 2.490 meters above sea level
  • Acclimatization Required: None 

Cave Paintings
Cave Paintings

This trip begins in the region of Hierbas Buenas. Here, you will fi nd ancient petroglyphs, thousands of years old, which represent scenes of the local shepherd way of life, the people’s day to day lives and the growth of the farming communities. Having explored the caves and rock faces, move onto Rainbow Valley, so called due to the multicoloured nature of its hills and cliffs, caused by the build up of different mineral deposits and their reflection of the sunlight. 

  • Length: Half day.
  • Level: Easy.
  • Altitude: 3250 m.a.s.l.
  • Acclimatization: Not required.

Tatio Geyser
Tatio Geyser

“Grandpa crying” is the local name used to describe the Tatio Geysers, a geothermal field sitting at 4,321 meters above sea level.
Beginning at dawn, you will explore the Geysers, which consist of large pools of boiling water and mud, fumaroles, and natural hot springs. This is also a good chance to appreciate the unique flora and fauna adapted to fl ourish in this extreme environment.
On return, you will stop at Machuca, a traditional village previously used by local shepherds.
* Includes breakfast.

  • Length: Full Day
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Altitude: 4321 m.a.s.l.
  • Required acclimatization: 2 days

High Andes Lagoons
High Andes Lagoons

This  excursion  will  take  guests  through  the  southwest  region  of  San  Pedro,  initially  voyaging  into  the  Tropic  of  Capricorn  
at  a  crossroads  where  the  Ecuadorian  and  Southern  Chilean  Empires  met,  an  important  location  during  the  days  of  the  
Inca.  The  tour  continues  to  Socaire,  a  local  village  known  for  its    traditional    Church    and    historical    terraced   plantations  of  quinoa  and  purple  potatoes.  Next,  on  to  the  high  Andean Lagoons of Miscanti and Miñiques, formed as a result of ancient ice  thaws,  these  crystal  waters  provide  a  sanctuary  to  observe  the immensity of the mountains. The region is also a showpiece for  the  unique  flora  and  fauna  adapted  to  these  high  altitude conditions.

*Includes lunch.

  • Length: Full day
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Altitude: 4200 m.a.s.l.
  • Required acclimatization:2 days

High Andean Villages
High Andean Villages

The first stop on this tour will be Machuca. Known locally as the ancient village of shepherds, Machuca offers an insight into traditional farming techniques and practices. Guests then continue to the Putana Vado, known for inhabiting a variety of native fl ora, fauna and birdlife species. Next stop is Caspana, another typical village of the Altiplano though noted for its representative architecture and strong cultural identity. After lunch at a local restaurant in Caspana, the journey continues to Chiu-Chiu, a former trading hub of the region. Chiu-Chiu’s streets are best explored on foot, visiting the central church along the way. Finally, this exploration ends in the village of Lasan, stopping at the lagoon of Inka Coya en route, then back to the hotel.
* Includes lunch.

  • Length: Full day
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Altitude: 4500 m.a.s.l.
  • Required acclimatization: 2 days

Pujsa Salt Flat & Pakana Monks
Pujsa Salt Flat & Pakana Monks

The Wetlands tour offers the chance to delve deep into the Andean landscape, observing a variety of wildlife. The first stop is the wetland park of Quepiaco, an important protected area in the region, and a great place to spot native bird species. Next it is the Salar de Pujsa, the largest reserve of its kind and the migration point for nesting fl amingos to lay their eggs. Finally, guests visit the immense rock formations known as the ‘Pakana monks’, noted for their sheer size and sudden emergence from the Desert floor.   
* Includes lunch

  • Length: Full day
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Altitude: 4500 m.a.s.l.
  • Required acclimatization: 2 days

   Aguas Calientes Salt Flat and Tuyajto
Aguas Calientes Salt Flat and Tuyajto

This excursion    will take guests through  the  southwest  region  of San Pedro, initially voyaging  into  the  Tropic  of  Capricorn  at  a crossroads  where  the Ecuadorian and Southern Chilean Empires met, an  important  location  during  the  days  of  the  Inca.  The tour  continues  to  Socaire,  a  local  village  known  for   its   traditional   Church   and   historical   terraced   plantations   of   quinoa and   purple   potatoes.   The   journey   continue   to   Aguas   Calientes   and   Tuyajto,   near  the  border  with  Argentina.  At  a height  of  4,000  meters  above  sea  level,  you  can  explore  crystalline  lagoons, known to refl ect and mirror the contrasting colours of the surrounding mountain landscape 
* Includes lunch

  • Length: Full day
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Altitude: 4300 m.a.s.l.
  • Required acclimatization: 2 days

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