Excursions for the Atacama Desert region of , Chile, Reservations and Descriptions

Tours of Chile

Excursions for the Atacama Desert region of Northern Chile from Latin Trip, the best tours at the best prices from people who know Chile best.

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ARICA CITY TOUR Code: ARI401. $50 Per Person
Duration: Half day. 
Frequency: Daily, year-round.
Includes: Regular transportation,Guide, Entrance fees for museums,Crafts. 
Itinerary: The tour begins with a drive along the beaches of La Lisera and El Laucho on Costanera.This offers an close look at the fishing industry, now the city’s most important commercial enterprise. From there, continue to the fertile Azapa Valley. Enjoy the glorious flower patches, olive groves and mango and passion fruit plantations, then proceed to Sombrero and Sagrado hills and their enigimatic geoglyphs. Visit the San Miguel Archaeological Museum to see mummies from the Chinchorro culture 10,000 years old, these are the oldest such specimens in the world as well as impressive collections of ancient basketry and pottery. Return to the center of the city and the craft market, then, for a breathtaking city and harbor views, ascend El Morro, scene of one of the battles of the War of the Pacific (1879-84). Finish with a trip downtown where architectural highlights include the impressive Ferrocarril Arica-La Paz Station and two works of Alexandre Gustave Eiffel: Aduana, the customs house, and the Gothic-style Cathedral of San Marcos. Return to the hotel.

LAUCA NATIONAL PARK AND CHUNGARA LAKE Code:ARI501. $75Per Person lunch included
Duration:Full day. 
Frequency:Daily, year-round (except on Mondays).
Includes:Regular basis transportation, Guide,Lunch,Crafts,Entrance fees for national park and protected wilderness area. 
Itinerary:The excursion starts on the international road to Bolivia and turns inland to the Lluta Valley, which is dotted with grand estates and farms. Visit villages like Poconchile, a pre-Inca settlement that boasts one of the oldest churches in the country, the 17th-century Church of San Gerónimo. Proceed to the gorge or ravine of Cardones to admire the picturesque cacti candelabros, which stand as tall as 15 feet and branch out in all directions. Take in the vistas at Copaquilla, a cliff-clinging fortress that dates back to the 12th century, and zigzag up to the town of Putre, 11,000 feet above sea level. Next, enter Lauca National Park which is dominated by volcanos Parinacota, Pomarape and the always smoldering Guallatire. The park encloses the gloriously emerald Cotacotani Lagoon, habitat for wild llamas, guanacos, alpacas, vicuñas, and vizcachas, as well as Chungará Lake, which, at 14,800 feet, teems with unusual bird life such as gigantic taguas, or coots, and Chilean flamingos. On the way back, stop at Parinacota, the pre-Hispanic village to see the quaint mud homes and 17th-century colonial church. After lunch, admire the architecture in the town of Putre carved-stone portals adorn the entrances to most houses and craft workshops. Return to Arica. 

Duration: Full day. 
Frequency: Daily, year-round.
Included:Private transportation (by car or minibus),Guide, Box lunch in route, Entrance fees for national park or protected wilderness areas. 
Itinerary:To trace the footprints left by the ancient civilizations of the region head towards the South of Arica. Through the Pampas of Chaca and down to Punta Camarones, appreciate a welcome contrast to the dry hilly horizon: a verdant agricultural valley. Then, take note of the geoglyphs on the steep, rocky hills of Chiza, and continue to study the geoglyphs of Tiliviche in the Pampa of Tana. Stop at the British Cemetary where 100 tombs from the late 19th century overlook the desert. Enjoy a box lunch en route to Pampa of Tamarugal, a national reserve famous for its tamarugos, or desert trees. Deviate to the town of Huara and Unita Hill, which slope is dominated by the Giant of the Atacama, an 800-foot tall human image, one of the most important pre-historic anthropological finds in the country. 

  • IQUIQUE CITY TOUR Code: IQQ401.$25 Per Person

  • Duration: Half day. 
    Frequency: Daily, year-round.
    Includes:Private transportation (car or minibus),Guide,Entrance fee for museum. 
    Itinerary:Evidence of Iquique’s Golden Age fueled by Chile’s 19th-century nitrate boom is apparent with a drive through this coastal city, which is now supported by the fishing industry. Pass the beaches and avenues of the city’s southern section, then continue to the historical quarter and Baquedano Avenue, the city’s main thoroughfare noted for its unique wood Georgian­­/American-style homes built around the turn of the century and Astoreca Palace, a museum that encompasses the Culture House as well as an interesting marine shell collection. Next, stroll around Plaza Pratt notice the ancient trees and soaring palms where the clock tower (constructed in 1877), the neo-classic Municipal Theater and the Moorish (all stucco, wood, and fanciful Don Quijote murals) Centro Español are located. In front of the Ferrocarril Arica-La Paz Station, ponder the Monument of the Unknown Sailor, a statue built in honor of all those who perished during the War of the Pacific, which lasted from 1879 to 1884, between Chile, Bolivia and Peru. Return.

  • THE GEOGLYPHS AND PICA OASIS AND MATILLA Code: IQQ501.$ 84 Per Person Lunch Included.

  • Duration: Full day. 
    Frequency: Daily, year-round.
    Includes: Private transportation (car or minibus),Guide, Box lunch, Entrance fees for national park and protected wilderness area.
    Itinerary:This excursion begins high on the coastal range: a spectacular bird’s-eye view of Iquique, its beautiful beaches, the Pacific Ocean, and, to the south, Dragon Hill. The trip continues on to the arid pampas. Here, take a break in Huberstone, which is now a crumbling ghost town but was, in the middle of the 19th century, a bustling mining town. In the midst of the arid landscape of the Pampas of Tamarugal, wander into the dense forest reserve (the native tamarugo, an unusual desert tree, was re-planted by man after it was practically wiped out during the mining boom). The tour proceeds to Pintados and to the surrounding petroglyphs, perhaps the most spectacular artistic remnant of ancient American civilization. More than 400 panels representations of men, animals, birds and abstract images span the hillsides. Next, visit the sanctuary of La Tirana where, each July, a popular religious celebration unites ancient Andean and Catholic traditions. At the quaint oasis of Matilla, study the colonial Church of San Antonio, complete with belfry, and the Lagar of Matilla, an 18th-century winery-turned museum. Pica and its Church of San Andrés (take a peek at its lifesize rendition of The Last Supper) await nearby. After lunch, dip into the baths of Cocha Resbaladero, a warm, tranquil watershed. Return. 


  • Duration:Half day.
    Frequency:Monday, year-round.
    Includes:Regular transportation,Guide.
    Itinerary:The tour kicks off in the nearby village of Chiu-Chiu, which features an imposing 17th-century church, one of the oldest in the area. Next, walk along the edge of the Loa River to study ancient Rupestrian etching on the cliffs hanging over the riverbank. Finally, travel on to the hilltop fortress of Lasana. This village, which dates back to the 12th century, is the best-preserved remnant of the Atacama people complete with solid stone architecture all rooms, barns, and narrow alleystypical of the period.


  • Duration:Half day. 
    Frequency:Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, year-round. 
    Includes: Regular transportation,Guide, Crafts, Entrance fees for national park or protected wilderness areas.
    Itinerary:Depart for the oasis of Toconao, known for its imposing bell tower and its alleys packed with small craft workshops. The tour proceeds with a stroll through the orchards (apples, pomegranates and quinces grow in abundance) that line the ravine of Jeria. From there, visit the surprising Salar de Atacama, a huge lake hidden under a thick white mantle of salt (the largest salt flat in Chile). Proceed to the Chaxa Lagoon, habitat for three types of flamingoes as well as a number of migratory birds. Return to San Pedro de Atacama.


  • Duration: Half day. 
    Frequency: Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, year-round. 
    Includes:Regular transportation,Guide,Entrance fees for museums. 
    Itinerary:The expedition starts with a tour of San Pedro de Atacama, the cradle of the Atacama culture. Highlights in this compact oasis town it is made up of narrow alleys and adobe buildings are the 17th-century Church of San Pedro and the Gustavo Le Paige Archaeological Museum, a small museum that, between its world renown collection of ancient Indian mummies, particularly well preserved due to the area’s extremely dry climate, and its pottery display, which includes a rare set of tabillas de Rapé(supposedly these were used to inhale hallucinogenic substances), provides a surprisingly thorough overview of the cultural evolution in this region. Continue on to Quitor, a 12th-century fort perched on a hill above the San Pedro River, and then the Valley of the Moon, an unusual landscape 90 percent salt and carbonate exquisitely eroded by water and wind. Return.

  • LAGUNA VERDE (BOLIVIA) Code:SPA404. $ 145

  • Duration:Half day. 
    Frequency:Tuesday, year-round.
    Includes:Regular transportation,Guide.
    Itinerary:Over the Bolivian border, about 40 miles from San Pedro de Atacama, is the Green Lagoon, an enchanting, emerald (due to a high concentration of magnesium), 10-square-mile body of water. Like an immense green mirror, the lagoon throws off a reflection of volcano Licancábur, which rises almost 19,000 feet above sea level. This makes for a magical setting and may be the reason why the pre-Columbian inhabitants of the territory considered the area sacred.

  • MARTE AND CATARPE VALLEYS Code: SPA405.$40 Per Person

  • Duration: Half day.
    Frequency: Sunday, year-round.
    Includes:Regular transportation,Guide.
    Itinerary:Departure heading toward the Marte Valley also known as the Death Valley. This outstanding place, located on the Salt Mountain Range, features one of its major attractions of bizarre rocky formations that surround it. The Inca ruins may be observed when traveling along the river San Pedro. Return to San Pedro de Atacama.

  • TATIO GEYSERS Code:SPA501.$75 Per Person

  • Duration:Full day. 
    Frequency:Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday, year-round. 
    Includes:Regular transportation,Guide,Entrance fees for National Park or protected wilderness area,Breakfast snack. 
    Itinerary:Depart early morning, drive across the pampas, climb the high plateau (volcano Putana crowns a spectacular view), and continue upward to, at 14,800 feet above sea level, the world’s highest geothermal field: the famous Tatio Geysers. With the first light of the sun, enjoy breakfast and watch giant columns of steam shoot from deep in the earth high in the sky. A guided exploration follows to observe this natural phenomena, as well as the mineral-rich, and therefore magnificently colorful, craters and small gurgling geysers. Descend in the shadows of the Torcopuri, Jorjencal and Sairecábur volcanoes and observe the wonders (like the bofedales) of the high plateau.


  • Duration:Full day. 
    Frequency:Saturday, year-round.
    Includes:Regular transportation,Guide,Box lunch en route. 
    Itinerary:A morning departure is necessary to reach the mystical lagoons of the high plateau. Both the Meñique and Miscanti are fed from water sources far below the surface of the earth, and both attract an array of wildlife, like an abundance of flamingos whose pink figures, a stark contrast to the surrounding snowy slopes, are brilliantly reflected in the waters.

  • CASPANA Code:SPA503. $ 45.

  • Duration:Full day. 
    Frequency:Wednesday, year-round.
    Includes:Regular transportation,Guide.
    Itinerary:The day is devoted to exploring a pair of pre-Columbian villages begins at Caspana, an oasis 9,500 feet above sea level. The small village, a neat cluster of white, thatched-roof mud houses, sits in a fertile valley, and it is here that the inhabitants cultivate vegetables and beautiful flowers to sell in Calama using the terrace-style farming technique typical of the area. Return to San Pedro de Atacama.

  • SENTINELS OF PAKANA Code:SPA504.$ 125.

  • Duration:Full day. 
    Frequency: Friday, year-round. Includes:Regular transportation,Guide. 
    Itinerary:Leaving San Pedro de Atacama, head southeast toward the Salar of Tara. This ecosystem is characterized by grand columns of rock, forms that were molded by centuries of erosion and violent volcanic eruptions.