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See the Valle de la Luna, pictured here in the long shadows of the afternoon with a blue sky in the background, on an Atacama Desert tour

Atacama Desert Tours

The top sights, highlights, tours & travel itinaries curated by our Travel Experts.

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    1. Destinations
    2. South America
    3. Chile
    4. Atacama Desert

    Travel to the Atacama Desert on Vacation

    Embark on an Atacama Desert Tour and you’ll discover one of Latin America’s most spectacular natural wonders. This 600-mile desert is the driest non-polar place on earth, and is characterized by red rock mountains, salt pans, dunes, hot springs, and snow capped mountains. It’s a great place to experience the wild beauty of nature, and the solar system: the Atacama Desert is one of the best places for stargazing worldwide. Speak to a Tourlane Travel Expert today and start planning your trip. We make it possible for you to book flights, transfers, guides, and accommodations, all in one place.

    1. Stunning sunset on sand formation at " Valle De La Luna " mountains in Atacama desert

      Valle de la Luna

    2. The salt lake Salar and surrounding volcanoes in the Atacama Desert in Chile

      Salar de Atacama

    3. View of the Lagunas Escondidas de Baltinache, a hidden gem of the Atacama desert

      Altiplanic Lagoons

    4. El Tatio is a volcanic and geyser area in the northern part of Chile

      El Tatio Geysers

    5. View on the church in Machuca, a small Andean village of 20 houses, located a few kilometers from Atacama

      Machuca

    Places to Visit on Your Atacama Desert Tour

    1. Valle de la Luna

    A hike in the Valle de la Luna will allow you to take in the world-class views of the Andes, and the peacefulness of the Atacama Desert. You’ll find a lunar-like landscape that offers crimson sunsets. Include this natural wonder in your Atacama Desert tour and you’ll see why this valley is one of the most beautiful natural wonders in the world.

    2. Salar de Atacama

    The salt flats of Atacama are considered the driest places on earth, with 1-3 millimeters of precipitation a year. They are a great destination for those looking to stargaze. Also, if you’re interested in nature, you’ll find the Andean flamingo in this area. Large volcanoes dominate the landscape, including one of Chile’s most active, Lascar.

    3. Altiplanic Lagoons

    The Miscanti and Miñique lagoons are located 13,121 feet above sea level, with beryl-blue waters on the surface of the land that draw a variety of wildlife. Rich in biodiversity, these Lagoons are home to the Andean and James Flamingo—make sure to snap a photo on the lakes, and check out the unique beauty of the salt crystals at the floaty Cejar Lagoon.

    4. El Tatio Geysers

    A great way to start the day is to visit El Tatio Geysers at sunrise. Located on the border of Bolivia, the world’s third-largest geyser El Tatio or “oven” will astound you with more than 80 active hot springs. Take a steady walk through this bubbling land and dip your toes into these warm waters.

    5. Machuca

    A scattering of clay brick houses with windswept thatched roofs make for a charming Chilean village escape in Machuca. Walk by the whitewashed churches and bell towers and see the colonial architecture at work, a perfect place to Chile’s rural life. Less

    Visit Atacama Desert on These Tours

    1. Admire the Atacama Desert, pictured here in the evening, on a Chile vacation

    Useful Information for Your Atacama Desert Trip

    The Atacama Desert is located in Chile, on the Pacific coast. It covers more than 600 miles and is west of the Andes Mountains. The Atacama Desert is approximately 1000 miles from the Chilean capital, Santiago, and flight time is roughly two hours. 

    The best time to visit the Atacama Desert is during the southern hemisphere summer months, which are in December, January, and February. At this time, the amicable daytime temperatures and warm nighttime temperatures make it a good time to visit. 

    The Atacama Desert is considered to be the driest place on earth. The average rainfall per year is 0.6 inches, although some places in the desert receive less than 0.12 inches per year. Some places in the Atacama Desert have never received rainfall. 

    In order for you to have plenty of time to hike, stargaze, and to enjoy the natural beauty of the Atacama Desert, we recommend spending at least four days and four nights there. 

    Other Places to Visit During Your Tour

    1. View of the port of Valparaiso at night

      Valparaiso

    2. See the silhouettes of Moai statues against the sunset on an Easter Island vacation

      Easter Island

    3. South America, Chile, Santiago de Chile, Plaza de Armas viewed from above, gentle sunlight and palm trees.

      Santiago de Chile

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