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Authentic desert life in San Pedro de Atacama

Authentic desert life in San Pedro de Atacama

from USD $692 per person

A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE ON CULTURAL TOURISM IN THE ATACAMA DESERT WITH THE LICKAN ANTAY!

The Atacama Desert is a very unusual place in South America and the world. Unlike typical deserts, the Atacama is full of colors, mountains, volcanoes, skies, lagoons, geysers, salt flats, rich flora and fauna and more. It is considered one of the most beautiful and interesting places on the planet. Now you have the opportunity to visit it, but in an alternative way, with authentic local encounters and contributing to its development through sustainable tourism.

 

In our tour in the desert, apart from visiting some of the most famous places in the Atacama, you will get a chance to meet Chilean indigenous people: the Atacameños (or Lickan Antay) who live in the heart of millenary culture. For a day, you will become a member of a family of a local community and learn about their traditions through an ancestral llama walk in the desert, taste their typical gastronomy and find out about their culture through talks and workshops.

 

Explore it in a meaningful way, and experience unforgettable moments with Travolution and unusual travel companions.

 

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Visit the Moon Valley
  • Visit El Tatio Geysers
  • Visit the Arcoíris Valley and the town of Rio Grande
  • Discover the Petroglyphs at Yerbas Buenas
  • See the clearest skies in the world on an astronomical tour
  • Lickan Antay experience with Wildo
  • Gastronomy Lickan Antay
  • Meet the Ancestral Caravan with llamas with Sandra

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Field is required!
Field is required!
Field is required!
Field is required!
Field is required!
Field is required!

Tour Features

Porcentaje Comunitario

Community-Based 80%

Porcentaje Comunitario

Cultural 80%

Porcentaje Comunitario

Physical Demand 20%

Porcentaje Comunitario

Family 100%

Porcentaje Comunitario

Nature 80%

Porcentaje Comunitario

Gastronomy 60%

  • Destination
  • Dress Code
    Light clothing for the day and warm clothing for the night / Trekking shoes / Hat / Sunglasses / Sunscreen / Water bottle (At Travolution we avoid buying plastic bottles and appreciate if you bring a reusable one)
  • Included
    24/7 assistance
    Contribution to WINTA or TDLF
    Local guide in Spanish
    Meals when mentioned
    Payment by bank transfer or credit card
    Standard room w/private bathroom
    Transport when mentioned
    Transportation on excursions
  • Not Included
    Alcoholic drinks
    Camping
    Domestic flights
    Interpreter guide
    Meals not mensioned
    Nights in cabins run by local families
    Tickets
    Tip
    Travel insurance
1

DAY 1 - WELCOME TO SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA

Moon Valley (Valle de la Luna): On this first day we will go to the Moon Valley in a small group (maximum 14 people), passing through the Salt Mountains, to get to know one of the most picturesque spots in the Atacama Desert, the driest place in the world. The names already give an idea of what the landscape is like, dominated by rock formations shaped by erosion, layers of salt on the ground and views that make you feel as if you were on another planet.

We will cross the valley, visiting its famous rock formations: The Three Marys, The Canyon, The Amphitheatre and the Coyote Stone. Finally, we will enjoy the sunset from a natural viewpoint, where you can observe how the desert changes color, with large volcanoes on the horizon, offering a spectacle without words.

* Remember to bring cash for the payment of the entrance fee ($3.000.- CLP per person).

 

Astronomic Tour*: Later we will have the opportunity to enjoy the Atacama skies, one of the best in the world for stargazing. The local guides will teach you, as part of a small group, the Andean constellations and the western stars, and how to understand the cosmos according to the ancient inhabitants of the Andes. Using modern telescopes, they will tell and show you the most amazing objects in the universe. You will be back in your accommodation late at night.

* The excursion depends on the sky conditions. If the sky is not clear at night, you will be called to your accommodation. The activity will be postponed to the next night if the weather conditions get better.

 

Accommodation: Night at the Ckapin Ohiri Hostel*/ Private room / Breakfast included

* or similar, depending on availability at the time of generating the reservation (prices may change).

 

Included: excursion, English/Spanish speaking guide, transport, room with breakfast.

2

DAY 2 - PETROGLYPHS, ARCOIRIS VALLEY AND RIO GRANDE

Hierbas Buenas & Rainbow Valley: After breakfast, you will be picked up at the hostel to go to the Hierbas Buenas Valley (1:30 hours), where you will meet Pamela Condori, who will guide you to see the impressive petroglyphs of the place and visit the Rainbow Valley with its many colors.

 

Río Grande: Later, we'll head to the Rio Grande. Discover this town nestled in one of the deepest canyons in the desert. Visit its orchards and stone houses. We will have lunch here, all prepared by local people. We will be back in San Pedro in the afternoon.

* Recuerde traer efectivo para el pago de la entrada ($3.000.- CLP por persona).

 

Alojamiento: Noche en el Hostal Ckapin Ohiri / Habitación Privada / Desayuno Incluido

* or similar, depending on availability at the time of generating the reservation (prices may change).

 

Included: excursion, English speaking guide, transport, room with breakfast.

3

DAY 3 - LICKAN ANTAY Y ATACEMENIAN EXPERIENCE

Transport: In the morning, we will pick you up from your lodging in a private transfer and we will go to the Ayllu of Coyo (15 min. approximately).

 

Lickan Antay experience: Indigenous people called Atacamenians, or Linkay Antay, have been living in the Atacama for thousands of years and their descendants still inhabit this land. In all this time, they have learned to live with the desert and to discover all his secrets.

Duration: 3 hours / 1-hour walk.

Difficulty: Easy.

 

Atacameño Lunch: You will enjoy a lunch of authentic Atacama "fusion" food with preparations based on products traditionally used by the Lickan Antay, such as corn, quinoa, llama or lamb meat and fruits and vegetables produced in the community gardens. After lunch, you will return to the hostel to rest or stay and enjoy the restaurant's garden.

 

Ancestral Caravan: The Ancestral Llama Caravan once was a traditional way of traveling long distances through the Chilean Andes to visit relatives and exchange goods. Now, the local indigenous community Lickan Antay tries to recover the tradition. You will also be able to relive this beautiful experience by walking with llamas through the Atacama Desert and learning how to handle this animal. Our local guides Sandra and Carlos will tell you stories of the desert and the relationship between men and llamas: from herding to transportation to making various products from llama’s fur.

Duration: 2-hour walk.

Difficulty: Easy.

 

Accommodation: Noche en el Hostal Ckapin Ohiri / Habitación Privada / Desayuno Incluido

* or similar, depending on availability at the time of generating the reservation (prices may change).

 

Included: excursion, English speaking guide, transport, room with breakfast.

4

DAY 4 - LAST DAY OF THE ATACAMA EXPERIENCE

Tatio Geysers: This day will start very early, before dawn. The guide will pick you up at the lodge and take you to the northeast with a small group, going up the hills and mountains of the Andes, to reach the Tatio Geysers after approximately 1:30 hours of travel. Located about 89 km from San Pedro de Atacama, and 4,230 meters above sea level, this geothermal field is composed of more than 80 active Geysers of different magnitudes. In summer the temperature can be about -6ºC and in winter about -20ºC. Arriving at this reserve, we will have time to visit the different Geysers and steam columns.

 

On the way back to the hotel we will pass through the small town of Machuca.

* Don't forget to bring: $10,000 CLP per person in cash for entrance fees; sunscreen; windbreaker; plenty of warm clothes; comfortable clothing and walking shoes; water (minimum 1 liter per person).

 

Included: excursion, English speaking guide, room with breakfast

Location

San Pedro de Atacama

THE ATACAMA DESERT

 
The Atacama is a very unusual place that has nothing to do with our common ideas about a desert. Unlike traditional ones, Atacama has a riot of colors everywhere, mountains, volcanoes, lagoons, geysers, salt marshes, rich fauna and flora. Without a doubt, the Atacama Desert can be considered one of the most interesting and beautiful places on earth. The Atacama is the most arid place on Earth. To be named a desert, areas have to receive less than 250 mm of rainfall per year. The Atacama Desert receives an average of 10 mm per year. There was a period when for 40 years there was not a centimeter of rainfall, and some of its areas did not see even a drop of rain for hundreds of years. In fact, NASA, as part of a project to study the surface of Mars, decided to use dry and impassable sections of the valley to test its research vehicles in 2003.
 
The Atacama is also one of the oldest deserts in the world. Some scientists believe that it was formed at least 20 million years ago, others suppose that it happened even 40 million years ago. The first people began to explore the Atacama Desert about 10,000 B.C., finding their home in San Pedro de Atacama as the center of the Kunza tribe during the Pre-Inca period.
 
You can visit Hierbas Buenas, a place where the largest concentration of petroglyphs in the area is found. It is believed that many of these drawings were made by indigenous people as road signs, although it is still not entirely clear, these are characterized by zoomorphic and anthropomorphic representations. Among the most represented animals are foxes and some camelids.
 
The Atacama is one of the three most popular tourist destinations in Chile along with Torres del Paine and Easter Island. As a rule of thumb, three to four days are enough for you to get an idea of the peace and energy that emanates from this magical highland place.
 

SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA

 
Located more than 2,300 meters above sea level, between the Domeyco and Los Andes mountain ranges, this small town is unique in the area and in the world. Its historical centre and the surprising surroundings of landscapes given by the Licancabur volcano, the Salar de Atacama and the pucarás, among others, have captivated man for thousands of years, until today. Like many towns in the area, San Pedro de Atacama has a rich typical architecture that reflects the history linked to the indigenous people and the Spanish, which makes it the archaeological capital of Chile. Proof of this can be found in all its corners: the square, the famous White Church, Caracoles Street, the Craftsmen's Village, the cemetery and the ayllus that surround the town, are some of the landmarks of this oasis located in the heart of the altiplano.
 
In addition, because of the 100 thousand per year visits, both national and foreign, San Pedro has a facet of a small and cosmopolitan town at the same time, transforming it into one of the most attractive places in Chile.
 
An important place to highlight in the area is Coyo Ayllu, a place where you can meet the indigenous people of the Lickan Antay community, who will receive you and show you everything about their culture, cosmovisions, and livelihood.
 

LICKAN ANTAY OR ATACAMEÑOS, INDIGENOUS PEOPLE OF THE ATACAMA DESERT

 
Indigenous people called Atacamenians have been here for thousands of years and their descendants still inhabit this land. Tourists, who travel with Travolution, get to know some of them and learn how they have managed to discover the secrets of this inhospitable but surprising landscape. You can do it, too. Contact us here!
 
You will have a chance to meet some of the locals, enjoy a "fusión", Atacamenian lunch with preparations based on products traditionally used by the Lickan Antay. Also, one of the locals called Wildo will show you the history of his family and tell you about the economic activities they have developed in the desert. By getting in touch with the Atacamenian culture or Lickan Antay, you will learn about daily activities of the community, about crops, try some of the local fruits, learn about animal farming and other trades typical for an Atacamenian family that still exists here. It can become the extraordinary experience of cultural and responsible tourism you have been looking for.
We invite you to have a different cultural experience of sustainable and community-based tourism!

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