Experience the lifestyle in the Valles Calchaquies

5 Days / 4 Nights

OVERVIEW

Overview

The Atacama Desert is never short on surprises: teeming with wildlife, radiant desert colors exposed in rock strata and playing light, and spectacular natural terrain unrivaled in rarity and beauty

ITINERARY

Itinerary

Magic Desert & Top Santiago 6 Days / 5 Nights

Welcome! When you arrive at Calama airport you’ll be assisted and transferred to your hotel in San Pedro de Atacama.  

 

Half day visit to Moon Valley (afternoon tour)

After settling into your hotel we’ll leave San Pedro de Atacama and go explore the Valley of the Moon. After only 5 kilometers on highway 23 we’ll already have a first panoramic view of the Salt Mountain Range, with its extraordinary geological features and countless shades of different colors. During the tour we’ll first visit the Valley of the Dinosaurs and the Valley of Death, between the Andes and Domeyko. We’ll learn all about its incredible stories and marvel at the sight of its dunes, perfect for sandboarding, as well as the impressive sight of mountains and volcanoes. We’ll then arrive at the Valley of the Moon, formerly known as Las Salinas (the Salt flats) due to its mining past. We’ll have the opportunity to learn about its canyons formed by water millions of years ago while we admire the vast lands of rock salt, selenite and white clay. We’ll then be in one of the seven sites that make up Los Flamencos National Reserve, and we’ll visit the Central Crater which holds an exceptional view of the valley and the amphitheater – the best photo opportunities. We will then go on to visit the Three Marys, geological formations named by famous Father Gustavo Le Paige many years ago. Finally, from the Kari lookout, one of the highest in the Salt Mountain Range, we’ll enjoy the view as the sun disappears giving way to an incredibly beautiful and colorful sunset.

Rainbow Valley (Half Day visit)

After breakfast we will leave from San Pedro de Atacama and travel west towards the Domeyko mountain range until we reach Yerbas Buenas, a place that will take us back in time to the indigenous past of Atacama. This area is of great historical and archaeological importance: we’ll find one of the most important cave painting manifestations of the region displayed in numerous petroglyphs. It is thought that there used to be a lake in the area that was used by ancient caravans of natives and camelids.

After crossing the Matancilla Valley we’ll find the Rainbow Valley, named after the different colors that the presence of minerals gives the mountains: green, purple, white and red hues. The view is bound to attract the attention of any visitor – there are very few places like this in the world. We’ll explore the place to enjoy its magic and record it in memory and plenty of beautiful photographs. Then we’ll take the road back to San Pedro de Atacama.

 

Salar de Atacama & Pueblo de Toconao (Half Day visit)

Our second excursion of the day takes us to the great Atacama Salt Flats, a place that will impress you at first sight. It’s the biggest salt flat in Chile, with seemingly endless plains of a white and rough surface that resembles the moon. It has shallow lagoons that host a large number of flamingos that use this as their nesting place, allowing us to observe these wonderful birds. 

From small water furrows in the salt flats, small villages are born. One of the most picturesque of these is Toconao, where we can appreciate original architecture made of Liparita stone – highlighting the ancient church – as well as cozy small streets and a microclimate that favors fertile land with lush trees. It is a town that will motivate you to walk its streets and meet the local people who dedicate their days to handicrafts in fine wool. A great place to get a souvenir!

At the end of the tour we’ll head back to San Pedro de Atacama, where you’ll be dropped off at your hotel.

Tatio Geysers and Machuca Town 

After breakfast we’ll embark on a trip to visit the Tatio Geyser, located at 4,300 meters above sea level. The amazing steam fumaroles from the geyser reach 50 meters in height and, combined with the imposing beauty of the Andes in the backdrop, they offer an exceptional sight. There, we’ll enjoy an exquisite breakfast prepared at the Geysers. Afterwards we’ll return towards San Pedro de Atacama traveling through beautiful copper-colored scenery, incredibly blue and clear skies, and landscapes filled with paja brava, a type of characteristic local vegetation home to many different species of flora and fauna such as vicuñas and the solitary Culpeo fox. We’ll continue the trip to the town of Machuca, a place of ancestral llama shepherds, llareta and sulfur extraction. Nowadays, this picturesque town with houses made of adobe, straw and cactus wood, is dedicated to tourism and the sale of local products such as Andean crafts, llama meat, sopaipillas and empanadas. At the end of the visit you’ll be dropped off at your hotel. In the afternoon, at a scheduled time, you will be transferred from your hotel in San Pedro de Atacama to Calama airport to board a flight to Santiago, and then transferred to your hotel in the city.

In the morning, you will be transferred from your hotel in San Pedro de Atacama to Calama airport, where you’ll take your flight to Santiago. Upon arrival, you’ll be transferred to your hotel. 

 

Visit to the city of Santiago: City tour with Santa Lucia Hill (Half Day visit)

After getting settled in we’ll set off on a half-day tour around Santiago’s main points of interest.

Founded in 1541, Santiago is one of the oldest cities in Latin America. It has an overwhelming vitality and most of the city life of the country happens in its center. The city has beautiful parks and historic buildings of exquisite architectural styles that coexist with modernity. Our walking tour begins in the so-called lungs of the city, known as Forest Park: a huge and lush Park along the Mapocho River, with walkways and scattered works of art, as well as home to the Museums of Contemporary Art and Fine Arts. We’ll then climb the emblematic Santa Lucía hill where you’ll be able to take an incomparable photograph of the city – an unforgettable view. We’ll then head towards the Plaza de Armas (Main Square) with its magnificent buildings, such as the Correo, the National Historical Museum, the Municipality and the Cathedral. We’ll then go through the Palacio de la Moneda complex, which is where the current government seat is located as well as an important civic center. Finally, we’ll drive along Bernardo O'Higgins Avenue or "Alameda", the backbone of the city, boasting with intense commercial, cultural and financial life. We’ll get to see San Francisco Church, considered the oldest colonial building in town. 

Valparaíso & Viña Casas del Bosque with winetasting (Full Day tour)

Today’s journey will take us from Santiago towards the coast, traveling through the fertile valleys of Curacavi and Casablanca with its vineyards, fruit plantations and forest reserves. We’ll travel 120 km to visit Valparaiso, a beautiful port city founded in the 16th century and declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2003.

Our visit to Valparaiso starts off at Plaza Sotomayor, the main square. From there we’ll ride the elevator called El Peral, which will take us to the higher part of town. We’ll walk the streets and alleys towards Bavestrello and then continue until reaching the famous Concepción Hill. There, we’ll walk through the wonderful Akinson and Gervasoni viewpoints, where we’ll stop to enjoy the views. The journey then continues downhill as we take the elevator that will take us to the financial district, where we’ll walk the streets of the city until reaching the emblematic Casino Jota Cruz Martinez, famous for its traditional Valparaiso dish known as Chorrillana

After lunch we’ll experience the city’s most traditional transportation: the trolley bus, still operating in town with electricity as its main power source. We’ll arrive at the port and hop on board a ship that will take us on a tour around the bay, giving us a different perspective of Valparaiso. After this experience, we’ll head back to the port and visit its most classic bar, where you can try one of their artisanal beers or a coffee. At the end of the afternoon we’ll return to Santiago city, where you’ll be dropped off at the hotel.

At the scheduled time, you will be transferred to Santiago airport to board your outbound flight

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