You are here : Destination Atacama Desert » Attractions in Atacama Desert chile

ATTRACTIONS IN ATACAMA DESERT

San Pedro de Atacama
SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA

San Pedro de Atacama is a charming oasis village in the rugged Atacama Desert. Originally settled by the ancient Atacameño civilization, the town is today considered the archaeological capital of Chile. Just off the main square, you can find the Le Paige SJ Archaeological Museum which contains 300,000 artefacts and ethnographic pieces from the past 11,000 years. Another must see attraction is the attractive San Pedro Church which is the focal point for many of the town's festivities.

Moon Valley
MOON VALLEY

Just 18 km from San Pedro de Atacama in the Cordillera de la Sal mountain range, this popular destination is known for its eerie moon-like landscape featuring odd shaped rock and sand formations, caverns and salt outcrops that resemble intricate sculptures. Every night at sunset, the desert landscape is bathed in colors before the dark, cold night sets in. The valley is particularly beautiful when there is a full moon.

Altiplanic Lagoons
ALTIPLANIC LAGOONS

Located 4000 meters above sea level, these lagoons are in the middle of a magical natural landscape, surrounded by mountains. Their landscapes are a mixture of desert, mountains, water, and ice as a result of the the extremely low local temperatures. Apart from their beautiful landscape, the Miscanti and Miñiques lagoons are perfect places to do some birdwatching, with species like flamencos and parinas.

Atacama Salt Lake
ATACAMA SALT LAKE

Located 55 km south of San Pedro, the Atacama Salt Lake is 100 km long and 80 km wide, making it the third largest salt lake in the world. Beneath the salt bed lies a hidden lake which occasionally breaks through to the surface forming small lagoons being the most visited, Chaxa. Thousands of exotic birds flock to the lake, including flamingos, Andean sea gulls and highland plovers. The road passes through the town of Toconao and has views of the Lascar and Licancabur Volcanoes.

Pukara de Quitor
PUKARA DE QUITOR

Less than 3 km from San Pedro de Atacama, this pre-Inca construction dates back to the 12th century. Declared a National Monument in 1982, the fort is constructed out of large rocks that are piled on top of each other in a way that seem to defy gravity. The ruins are found at a bend in the canyon above the Rio Grande. Quitor was taken over by Spaniards in 1540.

Tulor
TULOR VILLAGE

It is located 10 km from San Pedro de Atacama. Tulor was an important city circa 2800 b.C. with 200 inhabitants. Today, it´s a museum that seems to have been burried under the sand, right in the middle of the desert. The new town features houses built with mud, just like the first inhabitants used to build their homes, surrounded by walls that worked as protection. The constructions reach the 2 meters high.

El Tatio geysers
EL TATIO GEYSERS

The largest grouping of geysers in the Southern Hemisphere is found 95 km from San Pedro de Atacama and is located 4.000 mts asl. Every morning at daybreak, huge jets of steam burst up from the ground reaching heights of up to 8 mts. The plumes are emissions from an underground river that flows from the nearby Tatio Volcano and they are most intense between 5.00 and 7:00 am. When it gets warmer you can bathe in the thermal pools near the geysers.

Tara Salt Flat
TARA SALT FLAT

Tara Salt Flat is located 4.300 mts asl. The greatest attraction is the Monjes de Pacana (Pacana Monks), giant vertical rocks that due to the wind erosion now resemble the silhouette of monks. You will also find the Catedrales de Cenizas (Ash Cathedrals), geological formations made up by the ash coming from Llaima Volcano. They were formed thousands of years ago during an eruption, and after years of being eroded they have acquired circular spiral shapes.

Cejar lagoon
CEJAR LAGOON

The Cejar lagoon is located 20 km from San Pedro de Atacama and at 2,300 mts asl and it is surrounded by salt crystals in the middle of the Atacama Salt Flat, a beautiful environment. The water has a higher salt concentration than the Dead Sea in Israel, allowing you to naturally float at the surface of the water. Visitors lay lazily in the water, the perfect way to relax during a hot desert day.

Puritama Hot Springs
PURITAMA HOT SPRINGS

These desert hot springs are located in a mountainous canyon 3500 mts asl and about 29 km from San Pedro de Atacama. The open air pools, which are equipped with bathrooms and changing rooms, are set among waterfalls and are linked by a wooden boardwalk. The temperature of the sulphate hot springs ranges from 725ºC to 33ºC and it is claimed that they have healing properties.

Astronomy
STARGAZING

San Pedro de Atacama is a unique place in the world to watch the sky and its stars, so you can enjoy an astronomic tour. This begins with naked eye view and history of the sky and its constellations, continuing then with observation of really amazing objects, such as, Moon craters, Saturn's rings, star clusters, galaxies, and other wonders of the universe. The tour ends by sharing experiences and questions inside and to warm up with a hot chocolate.

Tours programs atacama chile
Altiplano Chile.The Highlands Chile.Altiplano Chile.The Highlands Chile.Altiplano Chile.The Highlands Chile.Altiplano Chile.The Highlands Chile.Altiplano Chile.The Highlands Chile.Altiplano Chile.The Highlands Chile.Altiplano Chile.The Highlands Chile.Altiplano Chile.The Highlands Chile.Altiplano Chile.The Highlands Chile.Altiplano Chile.The Highlands Chile.Altiplano Chile.The Highlands Chile.Altiplano Chile.The Highlands Chile.Altiplano Chile.The Highlands Chile.Altiplano Chile.The Highlands Chile.Altiplano Chile.The Highlands Chile.Altiplano Chile.