From your stunning base camp amid the sweeping landscapes of the Atacama Desert, set out to explore the red-rock formations, geysers, and flamingo-speckled salt pans of this spectacular region. Hike amid lunar-like sand dunes, climb the slopes of an active volcano, and bicycle to traditional oasis villages nestled amid one of the driest landscapes on Earth. Saddle up for a scenic horseback ride, if you wish, and enjoy exceptional stargazing beneath one of world’s clearest, darkest skies.
Day 1—Calama/San Pedro de Atacama
Upon arrival in Calama, drive to Tierra Atacama Hotel & Spa, a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World
located on the outskirts of the oasis village of San Pedro de Atacama. Situated on the edge of the Atacama Desert, the lodge offers sweeping views across the Chilean Altiplano. After settling in, take a behind-the-scenes tour of this impressive property with a manager. Learn more about the concept and history behind the lodge's creation, and visit the solar energy and water treatment facilities that help it function sustainably. Then take a walk through the garden, discovering the properties of indigenous plants such as rica rica, a medicinal plant native to the Altiplano. As the sun goes down on Licancabur volcano, sip cocktails around an open fire on the terrace and stargaze beneath one of the world’s most brightly lit celestial skies.
Day 2—San Pedro de Atacama
Today, choose from a variety of adventures that will have your exploring the surreal, wind-sculpted landscapes of the Atacama Desert, the driest place on Earth. Hikers can climb the slopes of an active volcano, descend sweeping dunes into the lunar-like sands of Death Valley, or navigate the twisting passageways of the Kari Gorge—to name just a few of the options. Or set out by van to visit a range of spectacular sites, from flamingo-dotted lagoons to geothermal fields steaming with geysers to the world’s largest salt flats in the Moon Valley.
Day 3—San Pedro de Atacama
Enjoy another full day exploring the natural wonders and cultures of the Atacama. Bike past mystical rock formations in Death Valley, or cycle to some of the desert’s traditional oasis villages. Opt to go bird watching, visit ancient rock engravings and archaeological sites, or explore the desert via horseback. Later, if you’d like, unwind from the day’s adventures at the Uma Spa, where a variety of treatments and water features reinvigorate weary bodies. Tonight, explore the desert after dark on a night trek or an astronomy excursion.
Day 4—San Pedro de Atacama/Calama/Santiago
After breakfast, transfer to the Calama airport and fly back to Santiago, where you’ll connect to your flight home.