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How to Spend 1 Day in San Pedro de Atacama

How to Spend 1 Day in San Pedro de Atacama

Surrounded by salt flats, volcanoes, and steaming geysers, San Pedro de Atacama is a jumping off point for adventure in northern Chile. Modern infrastructure means that you can easily enjoy its best attractions in a single day. Here’s how to do it.

Morning: El Tatio Geysers

Start with a pre-dawn departure for El Tatio, one of the biggest geothermal fields in the world. Watch the sunrise over the desert and see more than 80 steaming geysers shoot into the air. Afterward, take a dip in a geothermal pool. Guided tours from San Pedro de Atacama typically include hotel transfers, as well as breakfast; some add on a stop at the provincial village of Machuca. If you’re averse to an early start, opt for a tour to Puritana Natural Springs and spend the morning bathing in the rejuvenating waters of a natural thermal bath.

Afternoon: Moon Valley

Morning tours to El Tatio typically get back to town around lunchtime so grab a bite to eat from an eatery on Caracoles Boulevard before visiting the adobe church on Plaza de Armas. Afterwards, embark on a tour to the Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley) to see a lunar landscape that’s been shaped by wind and water over millions of years. These tours typically continue on to the Valle de la Muerte (Death Valley), the driest desert in the world, and are timed so that you can watch the sun cast its glow over the landscape.

Night: Desert Stargazing

In the evening, take advantage of your desert location by doing a spot of stargazing—the Atacama Desert has some of the clearest night skies on earth. Most tours from San Pedro de Atacama take you to the biggest astronomical observatory in South America, where you can gaze at the stars in the company of an astronomer. Through a state-of-the-art telescope, you’ll be able to see planets invisible to the naked eye and the crater-covered surface of the moon. 

Back in town, toast your day in San Pedro de Atacama with a drink; Chelacabur Bar on Caracoles is a travelers’ favorite.

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3 Tours and Activities | All San Pedro de Atacama Tours

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San Pedro de Atacama: Half day Valle de la Luna, Afternoon Tour

San Pedro de Atacama: Half day Valle de la Luna, Afternoon Tour

star-4.5
29
Marvel over the startling topography of Chile’s Valle de la Luna (Valley of the Moon) on this 4-hour afternoon tour from San Pedro de Atacama. Keep your camera close to hand as you journey through the desert, past unique rock formations and mesmerizing multi-hued cliffs. Discover the park’s geological wonders as you peek inside a salt cave, see natural landmarks like the Tres Marias statues, then watch the sunset from the top of the Great Dune.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$26.00
From
$26.00
Taking safety measures

Moon Valley

Moon Valley

star-3.5
14
Venture into Chile's Moon Valley without the hassle of arranging your own transport on this guided tour from San Pedro de Atacama. In a small group limited to just 15 people, explore the lunar landscape, shaped by wind and water over millions of years, of the driest desert in the world. Cap off the tour watching the sun set, casting a red glow over the landscape in nearby Death Valley. Includes pickup and drop-off from select hotels.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$21.05
From
$21.05
Taking safety measures

Moon Valley & Death Valley Tour from San Pedro de Atacama

Moon Valley & Death Valley Tour from San Pedro de Atacama

star-3
4
Moon Valley and Death Valley are two of the most popular day trip destinations from San Pedro de Atacama, and this day trip lets you experience them both with one easy booking. Hike through the out-of-this-world landscape in the Valley of the Moon, get the chance to sandboard in Death Valley, and then watch the sunset over the desert from a lookout point in the Salt Mountains.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$33.00
From
$33.00