Discover the mystical beauty and inspiring geology of the Atacama Desert with a spirit of adventure! Hike through the surreal and colorful rock formations in the Moon Valley and Gatchi Gorge. Explore Death Valley on horseback along the Salt Mountain Range. Mountain bike to the Salt Flats and swim in Cejas Lagoon. Summit Soquete Mountain for amazing views of El Tatio Geysers. Spend your nights in San Pedro de Atacama, where our lodge options provides relaxing accommodations while appreciating the traditional ways of life of the indigenous communities of the area.
Hike through the surreal rock formations in the Moon Valley & Gatchi Gorge
Horseback ride in Death Valley, part of Cordillera de la Sal
Mountain bike to the Salt Flats & take a dip in Cejas Lagoon
Ascend to the Summit of the Soquete Mountain for views of El Tatio Geysers
Arrive at Calama Airport and drive straight to San Pedro de Atacama, past the impressive rock formations of the Cordillera de la Sal (Salt Mountains). Once in San Pedro meet your guide for a briefing over lunch about the upcoming days of adventure. The rest of the day will be spent at leisure.
Day 2: Horseback Ride Death Valley | Hike Kari Gorge and Moon Valley
After breakfast, head out on horseback towards Death Valley, part of Cordillera de la Sal (Salt Mountain Range) with astounding views of the ancient rock formations. After lunch say goodbye to your trusty steed and begin hiking through the mountain range and into the Kari Gorge, which offers more strange and beautiful rock formations. Continue on to the Moon Valley, to experience the reflective and surreal experience of being so small in such a vast space. Finish the day watching the sunset from Duna Grande (the Big Dune), before returning by car to your hotel in San Pedro.
Start hiking through the relative silence of the Gatchi Gorge until you reach the rough and roaring Puritama river. Spot some Atacamenian cultural artefacts before ascending to the source of the Puritama at 11,500 feet (3,500m). Continue on by car to the Cuesta del Diablo (Devil’s Hill) at 13,100 feet (4,000m). From here finish the day with rush, on a 19 mile (30km) mountain bike ride back down to San Pedro de Atacama.
After breakfast, pedal your way to the Atacama Salt Flats. At about 11 miles (18km) into the ride stop to have a dip in the salt water at the pristine Cejas Lagoon, continue on by bike to your lunch spot. After lunch in Toconao drive to a village in the Talabre Gorge, located at 11,500 feet (3,500m) and from here everything heads downhil, on your bike, to the edge of the Salar de Atacama. Witness a spectacular sunset, hopefully amongst pink flamingoes, before heading back to San Pedro. This day involves approx. 28 miles (45km) of cycling.
Today is well worth the early start! With a 4am departure from the hotel, drive to the world’s highest geothermal field, the El Tatio Geysers at 14,100 feet (4,300 m) for a fantastic sunrise. The combination of the spouting geysers and morning sun is very special indeed. Eat breakfast with the geysers before hiking up to the summit of Soquete Mountain, giving you another outrageous view of the geysers from above. The day includes approximately 4-5 hours of hiking before heading back to the comfort of the hotel for a farewell meal.
Day 6: Depart Atacama
Take the final day of the trip to relax and wander around the village, visiting its handicraft shops, church and museum. This afternoon transfer to Calama’s Airport for your flight back to Santiago.
Everything was amazing! The planning with Adventure Life went smoothly. The actual trip was fantastic! One of the best trips I have experienced. The cruise staff members were knowledgeable and attentive. I will be writing more about this on the blog!
When to Go
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.