Things To Do In San Pedro De Atacama

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Welcome to the ultimate guide on exploring the enchanting destination of San Pedro De Atacama! Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, adventure seeker, or simply looking for a unique cultural experience, this article will provide you with comprehensive insights on how to get to this captivating town, where to stay, and the top activities to indulge in.

From the majestic El Tatio Geysers to the mesmerizing Valle de la Luna, the breathtaking Salar de Atacama, and so much more, we’ve got you covered. So, get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey as we delve into the must-see attractions and experiences that await you in San Pedro De Atacama.

Key Takeaways:

  • Experience the beauty of the Atacama Desert with a visit to El Tatio Geysers and a trek to the Licancabur Volcano’s summit.
  • Immerse yourself in the local culture by staying at a hotel, hostel, or Airbnb and trying traditional cuisine at the Mercado Municipal.
  • Make sure to stargaze in the clear night sky and relax in the Puritama Hot Springs during your trip to San Pedro De Atacama.
  • How to Get to San Pedro De Atacama

    San Pedro de Atacama, located in the Atacama Desert, can be accessed by various means of transportation.

    Travelers have the option to fly into Calama airport, which is the closest airport to San Pedro de Atacama. From Calama airport, there are frequent bus services that provide convenient access to the town. Many visitors also choose to rent a car at the airport, offering flexibility in exploring the stunning landscapes and attractions of the Atacama Desert. The road from Calama to San Pedro de Atacama offers picturesque views and is surrounded by the otherworldly beauty of the desert.

    By Plane

    Traveling to San Pedro de Atacama by plane offers the convenience of reaching the Atacama Desert swiftly and comfortably, with Calama airport being the nearest air hub.

    Calama airport is well-connected, with several domestic and international airlines offering regular flights.

    Upon arrival, travelers can easily access ground transportation to San Pedro de Atacama located just 60 kilometers away. Buses, shuttles, and taxis provide seamless connectivity, allowing visitors to commence their Atacama Desert adventure without delay.

    The aerial approach not only expedites the journey, but also provides captivating aerial views of the expansive Chilean landscape, offering a tantalizing taste of the natural wonders that await in Atacama Desert.

    By Bus

    Traveling by bus to San Pedro de Atacama provides an opportunity to soak in the breathtaking landscapes of the Atacama Desert, with Ruta 23 being a popular route for scenic bus journeys.

    Along Ruta 23, travelers are treated to a mesmerizing display of the desert’s diverse terrain, from the otherworldly salt flats to the towering volcanoes that punctuate the horizon. As the bus winds its way through this enchanting landscape, passengers can witness the ethereal beauty of the desert unfold before their eyes, making each moment of the journey truly unforgettable.

    The bus journey to San Pedro de Atacama offers an authentic insight into Chilean culture, allowing travelers to connect with the local communities and appreciate the charm of the region’s traditional architecture and customs. It’s a unique and enriching experience that goes beyond getting from point A to point B, immersing travelers in the soul-stirring allure of the Atacama Desert.

    By Car

    Exploring the Atacama Desert by car offers the flexibility to discover hidden gems and remote attractions, providing an immersive travel experience in and around San Pedro de Atacama.

    Traveling by car in the Atacama Desert allows visitors to set their own pace and venture off the beaten path, reaching unique spots that may be inaccessible by public transport. The freedom to stop and admire the breathtaking landscapes, such as the Moon Valley or the Salt Flats, without time constraints is unmatched. With a car, travelers can design their itinerary to include lesser-known attractions like the Tatio Geysers and the Chaxa Lagoon, creating an enriching and personalized journey. Driving through the Atacama Desert provides an opportunity to experience the local culture and interact with communities along the way, adding a genuine touch to the adventure. The autonomy and exploration afforded by traveling by car in the Atacama Desert result in an enriching and unforgettable travel experience.”

    Where to Stay in San Pedro De Atacama

    San Pedro de Atacama offers a diverse range of accommodation options, catering to the varied needs of visitors exploring the treasures of the Atacama Desert.

    The town boasts an array of hotels that range from luxurious resorts to charming boutique establishments, providing guests with comfortable and convenient stays amidst the desert’s enchanting landscapes. For those seeking more budget-friendly options, hostels present a sociable and cost-effective choice, often featuring communal areas that foster interactions among like-minded travelers. Additionally, Airbnb accommodations have gained popularity, offering a homely and personalized experience for visitors wanting a more intimate connection with the local culture. Whether your preference is for luxury or simplicity, finding a suitable place to stay is easily achievable in this captivating desert destination.


    Hotels in San Pedro de Atacama offer a blend of comfort and proximity to the captivating attractions of the Atacama Desert, providing a convenient base for travelers to indulge in memorable experiences.

    The town of San Pedro de Atacama is renowned for its charming adobe architecture, and the surrounding hotels showcase this traditional style, offering an authentic and unique accommodation experience. Many hotels provide easy access to the renowned Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley), El Tatio Geysers, and the Atacama Salt Flat, allowing guests to explore the otherworldly landscapes and natural wonders of the region conveniently.


    Hostels in San Pedro de Atacama cater to the needs of budget-conscious travelers, offering a unique blend of affordability and proximity to notable landmarks such as the Atacama Salt Flat.

    Guests have the opportunity to soak in the stunning sunsets over the Moon Valley or witness the surreal landscapes of the El Tatio Geysers, all within reach from these strategically positioned hostels. The budget-friendly accommodations provide a comfortable and communal atmosphere, allowing travelers to connect with like-minded individuals and share memorable experiences. Visitors can also embark on guided tours to the otherworldly landscapes of the Valle de la Luna or marvel at the astronomical wonders of the Atacama Desert, making the most of their budget and time in this enchanting destination.


    Airbnb accommodations in San Pedro de Atacama provide a personalized and immersive stay experience, allowing travelers to live like locals while exploring the wonders of the Atacama Desert.

    Staying in an Airbnb property in San Pedro de Atacama offers an authentic glimpse into the local lifestyle, as guests can interact with friendly locals, savor traditional meals, and partake in various cultural activities. The flexibility and unique charm of these accommodations offer a refreshing alternative to standard hotels and resorts. The personalized guidance and insights provided by Airbnb hosts enable visitors to discover hidden gems and lesser-known attractions, thereby enhancing their overall travel experience in the Chilean desert.

    What to Do in San Pedro De Atacama

    What to Do in San Pedro De Atacama - Things to Do in San Pedro De Atacama

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    San Pedro de Atacama presents a myriad of captivating experiences and attractions, ranging from stargazing in the desert to exploring the otherworldly landscapes of Valle de la Luna.

    As one of the best places for stargazing globally, San Pedro de Atacama’s clear, unpolluted skies offer visitors the opportunity to witness the mesmerizing spectacle of the Milky Way amidst a celestial canvas of stars.

    Along with stargazing, the Valle de la Luna (Valley of the Moon) allures adventurers with its moon-like topography, showcasing salt formations, caverns, and breathtaking sunsets.

    The Tatio Geysers, with their steaming fumaroles, are a sight to behold, especially during sunrise.

    Visitors can also partake in excursions to the Salar de Atacama, the largest salt flat in Chile, which is a remarkable sight to behold.

    Visit the El Tatio Geysers

    A visit to the El Tatio Geysers near San Pedro de Atacama offers an awe-inspiring display of natural geothermal phenomena, creating an unforgettable excursion for travelers to the region.

    The El Tatio Geysers are one of the highest-elevation geyser fields in the world, situated at over 14,000 feet above sea level in the Andes Mountains. The otherworldly landscape, with its bubbling, steaming pools and spouting geysers, provides a surreal and mesmerizing experience for visitors. The geysers’ eruptions, often occurring at sunrise, add to their mystique, as the rising steam catches the first light of day, creating a stunning visual display.

    Reaching the El Tatio Geysers is an adventure in itself. The journey to the geysers involves an early-morning drive through the starkly beautiful Atacama Desert, with its barren plains and snow-capped volcanoes. As travelers ascend to the geyser field, the changing landscapes offer a captivating glimpse of the region’s diverse natural beauty.

    Explore the Valle de la Luna

    The otherworldly landscapes of Valle de la Luna, also known as Moon Valley, await exploration near San Pedro de Atacama, beckoning visitors with its surreal beauty and geological wonders.

    As the sun begins to set over the horizon, Valle de la Luna transforms into a spectacular display of colors, casting an ethereal glow over the vast salt flats, jagged rock formations, and towering sand dunes. The geological formations of this iconic valley bear a striking resemblance to the lunar surface, creating a sense of being transported to another world.

    Visitors can embark on guided tours to witness the exquisite rock formations, including the iconic Amphitheater and Three Marys, which are sculpted by centuries of wind and water erosion. The surreal silence of the valley adds to its mysterious allure, attracting stargazers, photographers, and nature enthusiasts eager to experience the otherworldly ambiance.

    Take a Tour of the Salar de Atacama

    Embark on a captivating tour of the Salar de Atacama, where the mesmerizing expanse of salt flats and shimmering lagoons creates a surreal and picturesque landscape near San Pedro de Atacama.

    As you traverse the emblematic Salar de Atacama, be prepared to be spellbound by the otherworldly beauty that unfolds before your eyes. The salt flats stretch out in a vast expanse, creating an ethereal white canvas that seems to extend to the horizon.

    The wide expanse of the lagoons, with their crystalline waters reflecting the azure sky, adds a touch of serenity to the rugged terrain. Amidst the silence and tranquility, the occasional sight of flamingos wading peacefully in the lagoons adds a touch of surreal elegance.

    Hike to the Top of Licancabur Volcano

    Embarking on a challenging yet rewarding hike to the summit of Licancabur Volcano near San Pedro de Atacama offers panoramic views of the surrounding High Andean lagoons and a sense of triumph for adventurers.

    As you ascend the steep slopes, the air thins, and the landscape undergoes a dramatic transformation, revealing the rugged beauty of the Altiplano plateau. The turquoise hues of Laguna Verde and Laguna Blanca glisten below, contrasting with the volcanic terrain.

    The sheer magnitude of the volcanic cone, standing at 5,916 meters, creates a formidable challenge for hikers, but reaching the summit grants an unparalleled perspective of the vast Atacama Desert and neighboring peaks of the Andes.

    Visit the Church of San Pedro de Atacama

    The historic Church of San Pedro de Atacama stands as a cultural and architectural gem, inviting visitors to delve into the rich heritage and religious significance of this iconic landmark in the heart of the town.

    Constructed in the 16th century, the Church of San Pedro de Atacama epitomizes the fusion of Spanish colonial and indigenous architecture, mirroring the town’s vibrant history. Its adobe construction, with rustic charm and earthen hues, reflects the cultural interplay of the region. The church’s historical importance as one of the oldest in Chile adds an air of reverence to its surroundings, making it a must-visit on any traveler’s itinerary.

    Try Local Cuisine at the Mercado Municipal

    Exploring the Mercado Municipal in San Pedro de Atacama provides a delectable journey into the local culinary delights and cultural vibrancy, offering a feast for the senses amidst the bustling marketplace.

    As you weave through the labyrinth of stalls, the tantalizing aroma of freshly cooked empanadas and sizzling meats wafts through the air, beckoning you to sample the authentic flavors of Chilean cuisine.

    Colorful displays of fresh fruits, such as lucuma and cherimoya, entice visitors to taste the exotic produce, while vendors proudly showcase regional crafts and textiles, adding an element of local artistry to the market’s vibrant ambiance.

    The Mercado Municipal not only tantalizes the taste buds but also creates an immersive experience with its rhythmic melodies of traditional music, the animated chatter of locals and visitors bargaining, and the laughter of children playing amidst this lively cultural tapestry. Exploring the bustling aisles allows travelers to connect with the heart of San Pedro de Atacama, discovering the rich tapestry of flavors, sights, and sounds that define this enchanting destination.

    Stargaze in the Atacama Desert

    Embrace the mesmerizing artistry of the night sky by indulging in stargazing experiences in the Atacama Desert, renowned for its celestial clarity and captivating celestial explorations.

    The Atacama Desert, with its otherworldly tranquility and crystal-clear skies, offers the perfect canvas for celestial enthusiasts, enticing them to take part in an astrotourism adventure unlike any other. Boasting some of the darkest nights and highest altitude for stargazing, it provides an unparalleled opportunity to witness the wonders of the cosmos. As dusk settles, the twilight transforms into a mesmerizing spectacle as the stars emerge, painting the sky with their radiant glow.

    Visitors are spellbound by the spectacle, which offers a unique blend of scientific discovery and spiritual introspection. Gazing into the universe, one can revel in the celestial dance of planets, stars, and galaxies, each beckoning with its own captivating story. The clarity of the night sky in the Atacama Desert gives a feeling of being immersed in an ethereal realm, igniting the imagination and fostering a profound connection with the cosmos.

    Visit the Puritama Hot Springs

    Indulging in the rejuvenating embrace of the Puritama Hot Springs near San Pedro de Atacama offers a tranquil oasis amidst the desert landscape, providing a serene respite for travelers seeking relaxation and wellness.

    Nestled in the Andes foothills, the Puritama Hot Springs is a therapeutic haven, with its crystal-clear waters and mineral-rich pools inviting visitors to unwind in nature’s embrace. Surrounded by rugged landscapes, the soothing ambiance of the hot springs creates a sense of ethereal tranquility, allowing guests to immerse themselves in the healing properties of the natural thermal waters.

    Each pool, with its distinct temperature, offers a unique sensory experience, luring visitors to partake in the wellness benefits that the springs are renowned for. The mineral composition of the water is said to have soothing effects on the skin and muscles, leaving travelers feeling rejuvenated and refreshed after a tranquil soak.

    Beyond the allure of the hot springs, the journey to this serene destination is an adventure in itself. The scenic drive through the Atacama Desert unveils breathtaking vistas of arid landscapes, volcanic formations, and elusive wildlife, making the trip to the Puritama Hot Springs a captivating experience for nature enthusiasts and wellness seekers alike.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What are some must-see attractions in San Pedro De Atacama?

    Some of the top attractions in San Pedro De Atacama include the Valle de la Luna, El Tatio Geysers, and Laguna Cejar.

    Are there any outdoor activities to do in San Pedro De Atacama?

    Yes, San Pedro De Atacama offers a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking to the Puritama Hot Springs, sandboarding in the Valle de la Muerte, and stargazing in the Atacama Desert.

    What is the best way to explore San Pedro De Atacama?

    The best way to explore San Pedro De Atacama is by booking a guided tour. This way, you can visit multiple attractions in one day and learn about the history and culture of the area from a knowledgeable guide.

    Can I visit San Pedro De Atacama on a budget?

    Yes, there are plenty of budget-friendly options in San Pedro De Atacama. You can opt for hostels instead of hotels, cook your own meals, and explore the town on foot. Many attractions also offer free entry.

    What is the best time of year to visit San Pedro De Atacama?

    The best time to visit San Pedro De Atacama is during the dry season, which runs from March to November. This is when the weather is pleasant and there is little chance of rain. However, keep in mind that the town can get quite crowded during peak season.

    Are there any cultural experiences to have in San Pedro De Atacama?

    Yes, you can immerse yourself in the local culture by attending a traditional music and dance show, visiting a local market, or participating in a traditional cooking class. These experiences will give you a deeper understanding of the culture and traditions of San Pedro De Atacama.