Our recommended Atacama Desert tours feature the natural highlights of the driest desert on Earth.
Giant dunes, jagged canyons, enormous salt flats, and boiling geysers, not to mention a smoking volcano…
Best of Chile Itinerary
Puerto Varas - Torres del Paine - Atacama Desert - Santiago de Chile
Desert & Salt Flats Tour for Explorers
North Argentina - Atacama Desert - Uyuni Salt Flats
Yes, all the explorations to the Atacama main destinations can be enjoy all year round.
Yes, it is recommended to eat light meals, drink plenty of water and do not drink alcohol. It is recommended to do quiet activities the first days and more demanding explorations for the last days.
It is the driest non-polar desert on Earth. This ecoregion is rich in metallic mineral resources, such as copper (Chile is the largest producer in the world), iron, gold and silver, and non-metallic, such as boron, lithium, sodium nitrate and potassium salts.
The Atacama Desert is considered the best place on the planet to observe the sky and develop astronomy. Because of its altitude, its low cloud cover and humidity, and the low light pollution, it is perfect for stargaze.
The Atacama region is characterized by a semi-arid climate. At night the temperature fluctuates a lot, it can fall to -25 °C, and during the day rises between 25 and 50 °C. There is not much difference between summer and winter.
Comfortable clothes and shoes for outdoor activities. It is recommended to dress in layers, as there is a lot of thermal amplitude. Sunscreen and sunglasses are recommended.
What to See on an Atacama Desert Tour?
Outside of the North and South Poles, the Atacama Desert is the driest in the world. Departing from the desert town of San Pedro de Atacama (a small city of little adobe houses, unpaved streets and cozy restaurants), vast salt flats, active geysers and intense blue lagoons are waiting for travelers.
Perhaps the most amazing attraction on the desert tour can be seen at night. Given the desert’s remote location and the lack of artificial light, this is one of the most incredible places for stargazing. With its crystal-clear skies, no light pollution and 300-plus cloud free days, it is no surprise why San Pedro de Atacama is an absolute must-visit place for stargazing. Don’t miss out on any of these tours to the Atacama desert.
Destinations to Combine With Tours to the Atacama Desert
Santiago de Chile
Since colonial times, Santiago, founded in 1541 by the Spanish adventurer Pedro de Valdivia, has served as Chile’s capital. It’s located in the Central Valley and it features an amazing mixture of art deco and neo-gothic architecture with fantastic views of the Andes Mountain Range. Some of the attractions of Santiago are art collections of pre-Columbian and contemporary art, local markets, and beautiful parks like Cerro Santa Lucía.
Northern Argentina is known as a region of contrasts since it features historic plazas, red mountains, and green oases. Indigenous culture may still be found in the traditions and folklore of this region, which was once part of the Inca Kingdom. Salta is the starting point for exploring Northern Argentina. Visit the Calchaquíes Valley and the city of Cafayate, the hometown of Torrontés wine. Take some days to explore the province of Jujuy, located at north of Salta, which features the Humahuca Gorge, declared World Heritage by UNESCO, and the Great Salt Flats,
Uyuni Salt Flats
Located in Bolivia, Uyuni Salt Flats are considered one of the most extreme in South America. Stretching more than 4,050 square miles of the Altiplano, it is the world’s largest salt flat, left behind by prehistoric lakes that evaporated long ago. Visiting Uyuni is different from anything you might have experienced before. The biggest Salt Flats in South America offer wide wildlife experiences that include pink flamingos living in the highest lake on Earth and guanacos herding in a backdrop of colossal volcanos.
Torres del Paine
Established in 1959, Torres del Paine National Park features Lakes, glaciers, and hiking paths in its 227.298 hectares of land. Paine means “blue” in the local Tehuelche language, while Torres means “towers.” Its first inhabitants, the Tehuelches, were a native community of skilled hunters that only survives today in Argentina. Explore the “W” trek, Patagonia’s most famous hiking route, and live a multi-day experience in the wild. The “Torres del Paine” name refers to the three distinctive granite peaks of the Paine Mountain Range that soar more than 6,500 feet (nearly 2,000 meters) into the sky.
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