Destination guide: San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

San Pedro de Atacama is an old village located in northern Chile, 105 kilometers from the city of Calama, in the middle of the Atacama desert. This oasis is the starting point for visiting several attractions, such as the hot El Tatio geysers, Moon Valley and Death Valley (the latter with its dunes, popular with sandboarders), the Atacama Salt Flat (home to beautiful flamingos), the Pukara de Quitor, the Puritama hot springs and the Padre Le Paige Archaeological Museum, as well as others.

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  • San Pedro de Atacama - Things to do

    Sights

    Aldea de Tulor

    Circular adobe structures huddle together like muddy bubble-wrap in the ruins of Tulor, the oldest excavated village in the region. It's just a short drive west of San Pedro, or jump on your bike and get peddling!

    Sub-Type: Archaeological Site
    Address: San Pedro
    Transportation Type: guided tour only, car and bicycle.

    Laguna Chaxa

    The jagged crust of the Salar de Atacama looks for all the world like God went crazy with a stippling brush. But in the midst of these rough, lifeless crystals is an oasis of activity: the pungent Laguna Chaxa is the reserve's most easily accessible flamingo breeding site. Three of the five known species (James, Chilean and Andean) can be spotted at this salt lake. Sunrise is feeding time for the birds.

    Sub-Type: Lake
    Pricing: full US$3.50, child US$1.00
    Address: San Pedro
    Extras: Reserva Nacional Los Flamencos, Salar de Atacama

    Valle de la Luna

    Watching the sun set from the exquisite Valley of the Moon is an unforgettable experience. From atop a giant sand dune, you can drink in spectacular views as the sun slips below the horizon and a beautiful transformation occurs: the distant ring of volcanoes, rippling Cordillera de la Sal and surreal lunar landscapes of the valley are suddenly suffused with intense purples, pinks and golds. The Valle de la Luna is named after its lunar-like landforms eroded by eons of flood and wind. The valley is San Pedro's most popular organized tour, with trips leaving in good time to explore before sunset.

    Sub-Type: Canyon
    International Numer: (56-55) 851 574
    Opening Hours: dawn-dusk
    Pricing: full US$2.60, concession US$1.75, child US$0.90
    Address:  San Pedro
    Extras: Reserva Nacional Los Flamencos