Why You Should Visit the Atacama Desert
- Witness the incredible other-worldly landscapes of the driest desert on Earth
- Photograph flocks of pink flamingoes on the shimmering Salar de Atacama salt flats
- Watch the spectacular sunrise from a hot air balloon above the Moon Valley
- Visit one of the region’s telescope projects or simply gaze at the star-filled night sky with a pisco sour cocktail or a glass of Chilean red
Our Specialists 'Must Do'
If you have the time, spend a few days travelling across the border into Bolivia to experience the Salar de Uyuni salt flats. Travel beside towering volcanoes and stunning clear blue, emerald and maroon coloured lakes before reaching the salt flats. Loop back into Chile or explore Bolivia further.
A little more about the Atacama Desert
The magnificent Atacama is the driest desert in the world with rain virtually unrecorded in most areas. It stretches some 600 miles across the northern region of Chile, a largely desolate landscape freckled with lagoons, hot springs, geysers and salt plains.
The charming oasis town of San Pedro de Atacama resides at the edge of the dazzling Salar de Atacama (salt lakes) close to the Bolivian border. The adobe style architecture and narrow sandy streets lend to a relaxed atmosphere that makes San Pedro a comfortable gateway into the depths of Atacama Desert.
Choose between one of many possible excursions into the desert, either on foot, by jeep, horseback or mountain bike. Visit the world’s highest geysers at El Tatio, Chuquicamata, the world’s largest open-cast copper mine, climb a volcano or visit interesting archaeological sites, petroglyphs and abandoned ghost towns.
For those not so active, do not despair, there is a variety of excellent hotels with spas and swimming pools beautifully perched beside the desert and overlooking the towering Andes.
When to go
The Atacama is a year round destination.