San Pedro de Atacama is a Chilean town. It is located east of Antofagasta, some 106 km (60 mi) southeast of Calama. The town lies at an average of 8,000 feet (2,400 m). Often there are tourists who experience mild altitude sickness.
It is extremely dry and mild, with daytime temperatures between 25–30 degrees Celsius (77–86 degrees Fahrenheit) in the summer (December to February) and 18–25 °C (64–77 °F) in the winter (June to August). Nighttime temperatures routinely drop below 0 °C (32 °F) and can reach as low as −10 °C (14 °F) in the winter.
Arrived in Calama. It is the nearest city to San Pedro de Atacama. We took an Uber into town. Since San Pedro is a huge touristy place, things are a lot more expensive. We decided to grab lunch in Calama and use the ATM before heading to San Pedro.
Afterwards, We took a bus from Calama to San Pedro (100km). We booked our bus ticket online via Pasajebus for 3000 CLP per person. Since this was the first day, we only walked around town and relaxed. We stayed at Aji Verde Hostel San Pedro. It is an amazing place to stay. It is located a bit far from the main area, but totally worth staying there. I recommend staying at one of their tents.
We did the Moon Valley tour. We chose this tour for day 2 because we were both tired and didn’t want to do early morning tours. This tour was perfect, it starts at 4 pm.
The tour begins in the centre of San Pedro de Atacama, from where we drove towards the Salt Mountain Range in the Atacama Desert. Went to see one of the most picturesque points: the Moon Valley. It is ruled by the rock formations shaped by erosion, the salt cloaks over the ground and viewings that make you feel as if you were on another planet. We went across the valley, visiting its famous rock formations: the Tres Marías, the Cañón, the Amphitheater, and the Coyote Stone.
Finally, we enjoyed the sunset from a natural mirador, where we saw how the desert changes its colours. It was unbelievably beautiful.
We did the Hidden Lagoons of Baltinache tour. I chose this because it seems like most people are doing the Cejar Lagoon tour. I prefer going to the one that is further but less crowded which is Lagunas Baltinache.
We rode on a 4×4 for an hour (one of the bumpiest roads I have been on!), in which we saw the beautiful landscape of the desert. We arrived at the entrance of the Baltinache hidden lagoons, where we can use the bathroom. After a bathroom break and changing into our swimwear. They took us to the five lagoons, of which only the first and the last one can be used for bathing.
Due to the amount of salt that they have, we were floating like in the Dead Sea. The feeling was very weird. Be sure to bring more water. Because the lagoon is located in the middle of nowhere and it’s hard for them to bring in water. When I was there, the water tank was empty after tons of tourists using it. Luckily, I had my bottle of water to clean off the salt on me.
The last tour of this trip – El Tatio Geysers. This tour requires you to wake up early. Usually, they will pick you up around 4:30- 5:30 am. El Tatio Geyser is the third-largest geyser field in the world and the largest in the Southern Hemisphere.
On the El Tatio Geysers tour, we left San Pedro de Atacama early in the morning and drove towards the Altiplano. We arrived at El Tatio Geysers after an hour and a half to see 80 steaming geysers at an altitude of 4,200 meters (13,780 ft.).
But first, breakfast time. There was bread, cheese, ham and eggs. Also coffee and tea. Breakfast was nice and simple but the scenery where we were surrounded was breathtaking. Then we went to explore countless plumes of steam.
After this, we visited the Pozón Rústico inside the geothermal camp. We stopped at the Putana River on the way back to San Pedro de Atacama to check out the native flora and fauna of the area. We saw Vizcachas, Flamingos and Guanacos.
At last, we stopped in the village of Machuca, where we bought llama anticuchos (skewered meat). It was our first time trying it and it was delicious. Highly recommend you try it.
*Photos are taken with an iPhone so the quality isn’t the best.
Thank you for reading.