Nature and Archeology in Atacama and the Uyuni Salt Flat
8 Days / 7 Nights - per person in double room - Code CDA009
Day 01: Calama Airport / San Pedro de Atacama / Moon Valley
Reception and transfer from the Calama Airport to your hotel in San Pedro de Atacama. In the afternoon, departure from the hotel to the Moon Valley (3:30 pm in summer / 2:30 pm in winter. Subject to confirmation). 19 km from San Pedro, in the Salt Mountain Range, is the Moon Valley, declared a Nature Sanctuary and Monument and protected by the uniqueness of its beauty. It consists of a depression surrounded by small hills with impressively sharp peaks. The tour is an imaginary trip to landscapes that do not belong in our world, but to other planets. We will see Dinosaur Valley and Death Valley, where there is a spectacular panoramic view of the area. We continue to the Moon Valley, where we will find geological formations that are the result of successive foldings of the earth's crust. In the valley, it is possible to appreciate the salt sculptures known as Las Tres Marias, formed by wind erosion. Continuing with the tour we will walk through the interior of the caves that remain from the old deposits, to get closer to valley where is the Big Dune. After a break, we will climb this dune, which impresses with its size and is used for extreme sports as snowboarding Towards dusk, a bold palette of golds and reds appear, touching the soul and sensibilities of the visitor. Return to hotel. Lodging.
Day 02: San Pedro de Atacama – Quitor and Tulor Pukará – Atacama Salt Flat – Toconao
Breakfast in the hotel. At 09:00 am departure from the hotel. A landscape without history loses the richness that time and people have brought to it. Therefore, on this excursion, we invite you to discover the richness of the Atacama, or Likan Antai, culture. We will gather fascinating information about who lived in the area and how they did it, from pre-Columbian to colonial times. We will learn about the customs and traditions of the different cultures that lived in the area by visiting the most remarkable archaeological sites such as Tulor and Pukará de Quitor. The miraculously preserved village of Tulor is the oldest remaining ancient dwelling place in the Atacama Basin, and the first human settlement, called "Cuna de los Likan Antai (Cradle of the Likan Antai people)”. Pukará de Quitor, a construction from the 12th century, witness of decisive historic events that are part of the local culture. We end our trip in San Pedro de Atacama, with a visit to the church.
In the afternoon (at 3:30 pm in summer/ 3:00 pm in winter. Subject to confirmation) departure to the Atacama Salt Flat. We will trip to Toconao in the Atacama Salt Flat. Toconao is a small Atacameño town, with a church and bell tower built only with adobe and straw, and handicraft workshops featuring items such as alpaca wool and cactus crafts. The protected beauty of the National Reserves will captivate us. The park contains many species of flora and fauna, some in risk of extinction. The Atacama Salt Flat is part of the reserve, and a large number of flamingo colonies have chosen the Chaxa Lake as their favorite nesting place. The geomorphology of the Salt Flat creates a unique landscape, and with its rugged surface and hard access, it becomes the perfect location for many bird species. Return to hotel. Lodging in the selected hotel.
Day 03: San Pedro de Atacama - Tatio Geysers
Departure at 05:30 am from the hotel (Pick up at 5:00 subject to confirmation) We leave at dawn from San Pedro de Atacama Hotel to go to the Tatio Geysers, a geothermal center with geysers that can only be seen very early in the morning. After seeing this spectacular sight in a magnificent natural setting, we eat breakfast. On the way back, we see the majestic Andes Mountain Range, whose peaks seem close enough to be touched. We then arrive in Machuca, a small llama herder settlement. The village is filled with adobe houses with thatched roofs. Green wetlands lend a special charm.
Return to San Pedro. Afternoon at leisure. Accommodation.
Day 04: San Pedro de Atacama – Bolivian Altiplano – Colorada Lagoon
Departure from San Pedro de Atacama at 07:30 am in a minibus to the Bolivian frontier, crossing the border through Immigration Office where we will carry out the change of vehicle to a jeep 4WD for 6 passengers.
During the first day, we will visit the Bolivian altiplano with places such as Blanca and Verde Lagoons, located in the foothill of the Licancabur Volcano. We will continue to the Salvador Dalí Desert, the Polques thermal pools, the Sol de Mañana Geysers, they are font of water emerging with a temperature of 90 Celsius degrees. We will end our trip in the Colorada Lagoon, place of nesting of more than 30000 flamingos of three species. This place is located at 4500 meters above the sea level where it is possible to watch flora and fauna such as flamingos, vicuñas and other animals. We will accommodate in a hostel (Huayllajara) featuring basic services, shared rooms for 6 passengers. It is important that the passenger has a sleeping bag.
Day 05: Colorada Lagoon – Lagoons – Chiguana Salt Flat – San Juan
The departure is after breakfast, in order to visit the Siloli Desert where we will watch the Árbol de Piedra, a rock of volcanic origin. After that, we will visit the Honda, Crarcota, Hedionda, Altiplánicas and Cañapa Lagoon. We will continue through the Chiguana Salt Flat. Arrival in the San Juan town. Accommodation in Hotel de Sal in double or triple rooms.
Day 06: San Juan – Uyuni Salt Flat – Villamar
Departing at 08:00 am, we will visit the Uyuni Salt Flat (12000 km2), Incahuasi Island located in the center of the salt flat featuring calcareous rocks. We continue to Ojos del Salar and after that we arrive in the Colchani town and then the city of Uyuni at 03:00 pm approximately for a two-hour resting. After that, we will continue by transfer to an Altiplanic town called Villamar. Accommodation.
Day 07: Villamar – San Pedro de Atacama
We will depart at 04:30 am heading directly to the Bolivian frontier in a 4-hour trip. We will carry out the change of vehicle in order to return to San Pedro de Atacama. Accommodation in San Pedro de Atacama.
Day 08: San Pedro de Atacama - Calama Airport
Breakfast at the hotel. At the scheduled time, transfer to Calama Airport.