San pedro de atacama

FULL DAY TOUR TO TATIO GEYSERS AND PURITAMA HOT SPRINGS

Early departure and drive to the El Tatio Geysers geothermal field, located at an altitude of 4,000 meters (13,000 ft.) that offers an amazing spectacle at dawn: steaming fumaroles that can reach up to 6 meters of altitude (19 ft.). The experience is complemented with guided walks through the hot craters of mud and small geysers. On the road back to San Pedro the possibility of bathing in the hot springs of Puritama is an inviting option. The complex includes seven natural pools at temperatures near 33°C (91.4°F) located at the bottom of a canyon surrounded by vegetation. Known for centuries for their medicinal properties, its waters offer an ideal relaxing end to the trip.

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FULL DAY TOUR TO TATIO GEYSERS AND MACHUCA VILLAGE

This tour offers visits to two quite different spots in the same area: a breath- taking dawn in the immensity of the desert and the simple life of a small shepherd settlement. Early departure to the El Tatio Geysers geothermal field, located at an altitude of 4,000 meters (13,000 ft.) which offers an amazing spectacle at dawn: steaming fumaroles that can reach up to 6 meters of altitude (19 ft.). The experience is complemented with guided walks through the hot craters of mud and small geysers. On the way back a pause in Machuca, a picturesque village located at an altitude of 4,000 meters (13,000 ft.), with some twenty homes and a church, gives a good idea of the way of life of the llama shepherds that inhabit it. The area is home to a variety of local fauna, such as llamas, alpacas, ducks, Andean seagulls and flamingos. Arrival to San Pedro de Atacama. Note: the tour only includes breakfast.

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HALF DAY EXCURSION TO THE MOON VALLEY

This tour gives the feeling that we are walking on the surface of another planet. The 43-kilometre ride leads to the Cordillera de la Sal (salt mountain range) a group of attractive natural stone and sand sculptures that millions of years ago formed part of a large lake. Once here, visitors are taken to a surprising lookout to enjoy views of the valley and next destinations. The next stop is the awesome Valle de Marte (valley of Mars) also known as the Valle de la Muerte (death valley) with its peculiar stone formations and absolute desert landscape: no vegetation or insects to be seen in what is considered one of the country’s most barren regions. Next, the tour ventures on to Las Tres Marias (the three Marys), an interesting geological formation near an old salt mine. At sunset, the exploration ends atop a giant sand dune in Valle de la Luna (moon valley), named this way because of its moon-like landscape where an amazing spectacle of different colors can be admired when the sun slips below the horizon.

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HALF DAY EXCURSION TO THE ATACAMA SALT FLAT AND TOCONAO

This is a tour to get a firsthand experience of the work performed by artisans and farmers, and to also admire the unique landscapes in San Pedro. The outing starts out with a visit to Toconao, a village located at an altitude of 2,475 meters (8,120 ft..) that offers a glimpse of the peaceful life and skills of Atacama artisans who carve volcanic stones, specially liparita or pumice. Next are Quebrada de Jerez (Jerez creek) with its fruit plantations and Chaxa lake in the Altiplano (high plateau), located in Salar de Atacama (Atacama salt flat). Spending time in the Reserva Nacional Los Flamencos (Los Flamencos national reserve) is a rewarding experience, admiring the three varieties of flamingos reflected in the lake’s crystal waters. It consists in a remarkable and unique ecosystem found in an area -that in spite of its barrenness and rocky terrain- amazes us with its vitality.

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