Ideal for the first days in the desert, to help with the acclimatization process, our Van trips will introduce you to the beauty and magnitude of Atacama. We will visit high mountain lakes and witness the Andes in full display of power; the Tatio geysers, the highest and third largest geothermal field in the world.
We head out from the Alto Atacama to the Pucará de Quitor parking lot. From here we go via Quitor to the municipal parking lot in San Pedro de Atacama. Visit the Gustavo Le-Paige Museum, the Church, main square, and handicrafts market. Ending with a visit to the Tulor Village. Return to the Alto Atacama Hotel.
Length: Half day
Head out from the Alto Atacama Hotel in a van to the small village of Toconao, "Hidden Valley" in Kunza. We visit the church, square, bell tower, and local handicrafts. We continue the route to the Soncor sector of the National Flamingo Reserve. At the Chaxas lagoon, we see a 14 minute explanatory video (optional). We walk a 400 meter circuit in about 30 minutes to observe the flora and bird life of the area. Sunset with appetizers, return to San Pedro de Atacama to the Alto Atacama Hotel.
Length: Half day
Head out of the Alto Atacama Hotel via Quitor, to the crossroads with Licancabur Street following the road to Calama, take road towards Kari Lookout, after we drive to the Tres Marías, central crater, and amphitheatre and continue to the Sunset spot, located in front of the amphitheatre or back to the Kari lookout.
Head out from the Alto Atacama Hotel in a van towards the Hierbas Buenas area, where we will see petroglyphs that reflect on the continuous movements of ancient shepherds. We continue to Santiago de Rio Grande (currently a pastoral-agricultural area), where we can observe the architecture, handicrafts, and crops, before continuing on to Matancilla and its Rainbow Valley ( great mineral reliefs made up of copper oxide, sulphur, iron, and gypsum crystals). Return to Alto Atacama Hotel.
Head out from Alto Atacama Hotel in a van towards the Tatio Geysers, easy walk on a trail within the geothermal field, where we can observe the geysers, fumaroles, springs, and local fauna. On the road, we will see beautifully contrasting landscapes. Very low (below zero) temperatures in the morning, on our return, we will visit the small village of Machuca, and then return to San Pedro de Atacama and to the hotel.
Length: Full Day
We head southwest out of the Alto Atacama Hotel in the van, passing the village of Socaire before reaching the High Andes lagoons of Miscanti and Miñiques (Approx 2hrs 30 min.). The beauty of the area is given by the lagoons surrounded by the high points of the Andes mountain range and the flora that lends the wide variety of color. We can also observe local fauna here. A buffet lunch and return to San Pedro de Atacama and the hotel.
We head out of the Alto Atacama hotel in the van towards Guatin, taking the detour to Machuca. After doing at water crossing at the Putana Vado, we can observe its bird life; we then take another detour towards the Tocopuri police outpost, and the Chita pass to Caspana. On this road, we will see a large amount of fauna from this area. We will walk through the fields in this agricultural area, and see the liparita stone based architecture. Lunch will be in this village. We continue to the tiny village of Chiu- Chiu, its church, and if there is time, to the Lasana Pukara before reaching the El Loa airport in Calama.
Length: Full day
We head out in the van from the Alto Atacama Hotel towards the Andes Mountains, passing the Quepiaco Vegas, and the rock formations known as the Pakana Monks. Afterwards, we go back 9 kilometres to the Pujsa Salt Flat where we can observe the flora, fauna, and landscapes of this area of the Andes. A buffet lunch and return to San Pedro de Atacama and the Alto Atacama Hotel.
From the hotel, we take the van on the highway towards the Sico Pass, passing Toconao and Socaire, then a dirt road about 70 kilometres to the Aguas Calientes Salt Flat, where a buffet lunch is prepared, while we enjoy the Andean scenery.
Required acclimatization: Yes, at least two days in San Pedro de Atacama
We head out of the Alto Atacama Hotel to the village of Machuca, from where we descend alongside the river of the same name. The return to the hotel is from Rio Grande.
Length: Full day 5 hours.
Required acclimatization: Yes, at least two days in San Pedro de Atacama.
Copa Coya is a hill 5000 m.a.s.l. west of the geyser area, which we will go around in a trek lasting 4 to 5 hours, passing through sandy ravines and in between native high mountain flora.