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Atacama Desert Stargazing

Overview

Join us on this 4-day experience on one of the driest places on earth, the Atacama Desert; the near-perfect visibility here gives stargazers crystal-clear views of the legends of the Southern Hemisphere sky—including the Tarantula Nebula and the Fornax Cluster of galaxies.

During the day we invite you to explore some of the most incredible places on earth including Tara's Salt flats, Machuca village and the unexpected Puritama Hotspring! 

Trip Code: CLTSADS

Location: Chile

ITINERARY INSPIRATION

On arrival in Calama you will be met and transferred to San Pedro de Atacama (1½ hours, shared with other hotel guests). A welcome dinner will be served at the hotel. During the evening, the guides will suggest optional activities available the following days.

Welcome to Atacama Desert

The small oasis town of San Pedro de Atacama lies on an arid high plateau in the Andes Mountains in the heart of some of northern Chile’s most spectacular scenery. Overlooking the Lincancabur Volcano, its dramatic surrounding landscape ranges from desert, salt flats, steaming geysers and hot springs to fascinating rock formations. The church, dating back to 1774 and featuring adobe, cactus wood and leather-bound beams and the Archaeological Museum are both worth a visit.

Arrival in Atacama

Heading east from the hotel, we travel towards the Argentinian border and the Salar de Tara. As the terrain rises, enjoy marvellous views of the Licancabur volcano and spot bird life, salt lakes and areas of marshland. At a height of 4,200m. /13,860ft. approximately igneous rock plugs form the “monks” of Tara, a wonderful sight in the middle of an amazing plateau. Continue to Tara itself, where lunch is enjoyed.

Back to the hotel, enjoy free time to rest and relax on the hotel’s facilities.

In due time we will start an astronomic experience in the starry desert. With César Anza, a native Atacamenean, learn more about the indigenous Cosmo-vision and the constellations of the llama and the fox, amongst others. From the observatory we can view the rings of Saturn, the craters of the moon, nebulas and supernovas, depending on the phase of the moon and the time of year.

Salar de Tara & Stargazing experience

To the north of San Pedro and reached by van via a steep road, is the tiny village of Machuca at an altitude of 4,000m. /13,123ft. The village of Machuca has a privileged site surrounded by nature and in its only street we can see the roofs made of cactus and maybe taste barbecued llama, oared by the villagers. The church is of special interest for the cultural significance and birds and llamas can be seen in the area.

Later on we invite you to enjoy a unique experience in an environment where water is an unexpected finding! Hidden at the bottom of a steep sided gorge, surrounded by vegetation, the River Puritama has 8 natural pools, with water which has an average temperature of 33 ºC /91ºF at an altitude of 3,500m. asl (11,482ft). Following a lovely bathe, we return to the hotel by vehicle.

Machuca village & Puritama hot springs

After breakfast, you are transferred to Calama Airport for your flight to Santiago.

Atacama: Departure day
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WHY TAILOR-MADE?

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  • Cater to your travel needs

Pricing & date

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Important Information

  • Accommodation with breakfast everyday

    Tours and activities as stated on the itinerary

    Meals every day: Lunch and dinner (Except lunch on day 1 and dinner on day 4)

  • 2 - Light Adventure
  • Available upon request

  • Activities are referential only and subject to change according to availability. 

    Contact us for more details

  • Season and availability

Accommodation

We believe that appropriate accommodation should add to the authentic travel experience, as well as providing utmost enjoyment. For that reason our accommodation is scrutinised by our staff on the ground frequently, ensuring the properties adhere to our high standards. This key will help you understand the levels of accommodation available on this tour.

SPEAK TO A SPECIALIST

Talk to one of our Destination Specialists to plan your South American adventure and turn your dream into a reality. With exceptional knowledge and first hand experience, our consultants will assist in every way possible to make your journey the most memorable it can be, matching not only the itinerary, but the accommodation and activities to suit your style of travel and budget.

Sustainability

Chimu Adventures undertakes a number of sustainability measures within its operations including:

1) Only using local guides and office staff to both maximise local employment opportunities and minimise carbon footprints. Local guides also ensure you benefit from the intimate knowledge, passion and culture of the country you’re visiting.

2) Where possible, using locally owned and operated boutique hotels to maximise the return to the local community.

3) Chimu’s “Pass it on” programme has provided funding to hundreds of local community projects in Latin America. Our aim is to empower local communities, helping them to develop their own infrastructure for the future. Since 2006, we have been working with Kiva (a well-known Non-Governmental Organisation), providing hundreds of loans to local businesses all over South America.

4) In our pre tour information we provide a range of tips and advice on how to minimise your impact on both local environments and communities.

5) Chimu Adventures’ offices also take a number of sustainability measures including carbon offsets for company vehicles and most staff travel. Chimu Adventure’s internal processes are also structures to create a paperless office and to reduce waste. There are also internal programmes to help staff minimise their carbon footprint such as our staff bike purchase assistance plan which encourages office staff to commute to work via bicycle. Currently almost half of our office based staff commute to work via bicycle.