Landscapes of the Atacama Desert with Santiago - Awesome Experiences

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at your fingertips

Call us today on 0208 432 0885
or click here to email us

Landscapes of the Atacama Desert with SantiagoChile

From £5,678 per person for 9 nights
Visit vibrant Santiago, vineyards and coastal cities, before venturing into the world's driest non-polar desert. Journey Chile’s remote landscapes to the other-worldly Atacama, then spend 3 days relaxing in a spa hotel in the desert.

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Must-do Outdoor Experiences Extraordinary & Secret Places
Summary

Chile

The plateau of the Atacama desert is like nowhere else on earth – movie directors use its empty red landscapes as a stand-in for Mars. An adventure here feels like stepping into another world – where geysers soar from the scorched earth and snow tops distant volcanoes. This specially designed experience combines time in this unforgettable desert landscape with the vibrant city of Santiago, its nearby vineyards and the contrasting coastal cities and of Viña del Mar and Valparaíso. 

What makes this experience awesome:

  • Private holiday with personal guides and private transport included
  • Enjoy a half-day wine tour and taste award-winning vintages at the stunning Santa Rita Winery 
  • Immerse yourself in Ricardo Claro’s huge pre-Columbian art collection
  • View a spectacular sunset overlooking the Valley of the Moon with a cocktail in hand
  • Lunch in a tiny mining village with incredible views over the salt flat, whilst learning from the locals about ancient traditions 
  • Watch the dramatic geysers explode at dawn whilst being served breakfast at El Tatio
  • Relax and refresh with a soak in the warm natural pools of Puritama Hot Springs, 3475m above sea level
  • Hideaway in one of the Atacama’s most luxurious retreats

Atacama Summary

Starting in Santiago, you’ll begin your slow adjustment to altitude by exploring the city with your private guide (and there’s also the option to see the city’s twinkling sprawl at sunset, from South America’s tallest skyscraper, Sky Costanera). Then it’s time to head for the seaside, to the pretty resort city of Viña del Mar and the romantic port of Valparaíso, with its rainbow-hued streets. You can’t come to Chile without tasting some of its fantastic wines, so you’ll spend half a day sampling Chardonnays and Cabernet Sauvignons at the renowned Santa Rita winery.

The rest of your experience is dedicated to exploring the incredible landscapes of the Atacama. View the dramatic sand formations of the Valley of the Moon whilst sipping a cocktail, as the dusky sky turns orange and then purple; visit a tiny mining settlement and have lunch in a local house; and enjoy an optional evening under the stars with an incredibly knowledgeable local guide, who’ll tell you about the Big Bang, life and the universe as you search out planets and keep warm with a traditional Chilean hot chocolate.  

End your experience with three nights all-inclusive at the acclaimed Tierra Atacama hotel. Exquisitely designed, with unparalleled views of the Atacama landscape from its rooms, it has earth-toned furnishings that compliment its vistas. The hotel is renowned for its spa, which has a fantastic view of Licancabur volcano. It also has a brilliant range of activities, and you can choose between two half-day or one full-day of excursions included in your stay – including Full Moon hiking (date dependent), horse-riding and star-gazing.

Atacama

Though it is the driest place on earth, the Atacama desert is far from a desolate wilderness as one might imagine. The terrain is out-of-this-world; from snow-capped peaks and extra-terrestrial plains to salt flats and volcanic cones, the views are are like nothing you’ve ever seen. Its vast skies are one of the best places in the world to stargaze, and its moon-like landscapes are incredibly peaceful, allowing you to truly disconnect. 

The Tierra Atacama Hotel is a paradise, nestled perfectly in the middle of these spectacular surroundings. The hotel is exquisitely designed with earth-toned furnishings that blend in to the landscapes, of which you’ll have unparalleled views from your ground-floor room and terrace. 

Your stay here will be all inclusive, with breakfast, lunch, dinner and a wide selection of drinks included every day of your stay. In addition, you’ll get the chance to choose either two half day excursions or one full day excursion from the hotel’s impressive range of activities. There’s hiking, biking and horse riding as well as some more unique activities like stargazing, full-moon hiking (dependent on date) and archeological excursions. The spa facilities are also included in your stay: relax in the hot tub with a view of Licancabur Volcano or take advantage of the spa’s bubble beds, relaxation rooms and sauna experiences. 

Tierra Atacama Hotel View


If you would like the thrill but don't have time for the chill, check out our 7-day Atacama and Santiago experience here!

To check related Chile's trips, click here!


 


For UK Government travel advice on this destination see: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice


Prices for departures to 30th October include a 20% Pioneers Club discount and are subject to Pioneers Club terms & conditions. Click here for more information about the Pioneers Club.

Map
Full Itinerary

Itinerary

Chile

Day One: Discover Santiago

Arrive at Santiago airport for a private transfer to your hotel (30 minutes). Then get acquainted with Chile’s complex capital with your private guide. Start on San Cristobal Hill, for knock-out views over the city from 800m up, before moving into its heart at the grand, colonial Plaza de Armas. From there, take in the cobbled streets and crumbling mansions of the old, colonial barrios before exploring Santiago’s modern eastern suburbs. The rest of the day is yours to settle in. Be sure to leave some time for once - a traditional Chilean evening snack.

Overnight in Santiago

Classic - Hotel Novapark 

Premium - Hotel Plaza San Francisco 

Deluxe - The Singular Lastarria Hotel

Meals included: None

San Cristobal


Day Two: Lush Country and Coastal Cities

Discover two not-to-be-missed coastal cities, on a drive from Santiago. Your private adventure takes you by car through the lush Curacaví and Casablanca Valleys, filled with vineyards, fruit plantations and forest reserves, towards lively Valparaíso. In this UNESCO World Heritage city, rainbow-hued homes climb the cliffs. The best way to explore is by foot, passing bright murals and funiculars that slope up steep alleys, as well as landmarks including grand Plaza Sotomayor and the busy, buzzy dockside of Prat Muelle.

Next, it’s time for contrasting Viña del Mar (‘Vineyard by the Sea’), a neatly-landscaped resort city that’s popular with Chileans and packed with pristine parks. You’ll visit some of these, as well as the skyscraper-topped seaside boulevard of Avenida del Peru, home to Chile’s oldest hotel, the del Mar. Then it’s time to return to Santiago for the night.

Overnight in Santiago

Classic - Hotel Novapark 

Premium - Hotel Plaza San Francisco 

Deluxe - The Singular Lastarria Hotel

Meals included: Breakfast

Valparaiso


Day Three: Fine Vines

You’ll be picked up from your hotel to make the 45-minute drive Alto Jahuel, a sleepy village in the Andean foothills that’s home to the acclaimed Santa Rita winery. In a beautiful setting of perfectly-kept gardens surrounded by sloping hills, this winery was founded in 1880 and produces award-winning Chardonnays and Cabernet Sauvignons. You’ll spend half a day in its refined surroundings, learning about the wine-making process and tasting a selection of its wines. There’s also the chance to see a huge private collection of pre-Colombian art, collected by the businessman Ricardo Claro over 40 years, and housed in a slick, modern building in the midst of the vines. After your return to Santiago, the rest of the day is yours to explore at leisure – or take advantage of an optional excursion to Sky Costanera, the tallest skyscraper in South America (please see the Extras tab). This 300m mirrored towerblock has incredible views across Santiago and the soaring Andes mountains beyond the city. After a private transfer from your hotel, you’ll make the two-minute elevator ride straight to its vast viewing atrium. The 360-degree vistas are especially impressive at night, when Santiago’s lights make vast scribbles across the city. 

Overnight in Santiago

Classic - Hotel Novapark 

Premium - Hotel Plaza San Francisco 

Deluxe - The Singular Lastarria Hotel

Meals included: Breakfast

Santiago Tower


Day Four: Salt Flat and Sunsets

After breakfast, you’ll be transferred to Santiago airport, ready for your onward flight to Calama. From there, you’ll transfer to the dusty desert town of San Pedro de Atacama, 2,407m above sea level and gateway to the incredible, arid landscapes of the Atacama plateau. In the afternoon, you’ll embark on a trip to the Cordillera de Sal, a vast mountain range dusted in white salt crystals. See the sweeping dunes of Death Valley before watching an unforgettable sunset among the sculptural sand formations of the Valley of the Moon, with a cocktail in hand.

Valley of the Moon

During your time in the Atacama, there’s the chance to book an optional two-hour ‘Big Bang’ experience on any night, beginning at 9pm under an unpolluted sky lit up with stars (please see the Extras tab). The region is renowned as one of the best places in the world to stargaze and, over the course of two hours, you’ll learn more about the night sky from an incredibly knowledgeable guide who’ll help you spot stars with your naked eye and by telescope, as well as tell you more about the Big Bang, life and the universe. You’ll keep warm with a typically Chilean poncho and mug of hot chocolate, and you’ll finish your evening with a photo taken with the star-studded sky as a backdrop. Transfers to and from the hotel are provided. 

Stargazing Chile

Overnight in San Pedro

Classic - La Casa de Don Tomás or Diego de Almagro San Pedro de Atacama Hotel

Premium - Terrantai Lodge Andino 

Deluxe - Cumbres San Pedro de Atacama Hotel

Meals included: Breakfast


Day Five: Adventure through Atacama

Spend the day exploring the lunar-like mountains and plains of the region. Your first stop is the Gran Salar de Atacama, the largest salt flat in Chile, where flamingos perch in plate-glass lagoons. You’ll break for lunch in Socaire, a tiny mining village with incredible views of the salt flat. Over a meal in a local house, you’ll learn about the ancient traditions of the villagers, who still revere Pachamama, the Inca ‘Mother Earth’ goddess. Then it’s on to the serene Altiplanic lagoons of Miscanti and Miñiques, 4,000m above sea level and backed by green and purple mountains. At this height, you feel close to the mountains and volcanoes that inspired ancient legends. After your tour, you will transferred back to your hotel for the night.

Overnight in San Pedro

Classic - La Casa de Don Tomás or Diego de Almagro San Pedro de Atacama Hotel

Premium - Terrantai Lodge Andino 

Deluxe - Cumbres San Pedro de Atacama Hotel

Meals included: Breakfast; lunch

Salar de Atacama


Day Six: Hot Springs and Geysers

It’s an early start, as you make your way to the vast geyser field of El Tatio, 4,320m above sea level. Here, fumaroles soar up to 50m from huge craters, backed by unique fauna and mesmerising mountain scenery. The geysers are at their most dramatic in the early morning, when you’ll also see some of the region’s captivating wildlife – llama-like vicunas, ñandues (which resemble ostriches), and cute viscacha rodents. You’ll savour a breakfast made and served at the geysers, then journey onwards to the Puritama Hot Springs, eight staggered natural pools packed with minerals, 3,475m above sea level. Navigate between them on wooden walkways through a rambling, rocky landscape: the water is a comforting 25-35 degrees. After your soak, you’ll be transferred back to your hotel for the night.

Overnight in San Pedro

Classic - La Casa de Don Tomás or Diego de Almagro San Pedro de Atacama Hotel

Premium - Terrantai Lodge Andino 

Deluxe - Cumbres San Pedro de Atacama Hotel

Meals included: Breakfast

El Tatio


Day Seven: Atacama living

After breakfast, you’ll transfer to Tierra Atacama. Then, it’s time to settle in, explore the hotel’s facilities and relax. 

Overnight at Tierra Atacama

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Atacama Test


Day Eight & Nine: Time to Relax

The next 2 days are at your leisure and can be as active or as relaxed as you want them to be. Unwind in the hotel’s spa with knockout views of the Atacama, enjoy sumptuous north Chilean cuisine, or book onto an exciting excursion or two (2 half day or 1 full day included in tour price). For the full list of excursions, see https://tierrahotels.com/atacama/excursions/

Meals included: Breakfast; lunch; dinner

Tierra Atacama Room

Tierra Atacama Pool Sunset


Day Ten: Homeward Bound

After a final breakfast and dip in the spa pools (dependent on flight time), you’ll be transferred back to Calama Airport for your flight home. 

Meals included: Breakfast

Tierra Atacama Hotel


Overall meals included: 10 Breakfasts; 4 lunch; 3 dinners


What's included:

  • Private English-speaking guides unless stated otherwise
  • Private transfers and internal flights, unless stated otherwise
  • Meals as listed
  • Mandatory taxes and service fees
  • Entrance tickets and permits unless stated otherwise
  • Watch the sunset in the Valley of the Moon with a cocktail
  • Hot springs relaxation

What's not included:

  • International flights to/from experience: call 0208 432 0885 for AX specially negotiated flight rates
  • Optional extras listed
  • Tips for guides, drivers, hotel and restaurant staff
  • Any visa, customs, airport taxes or similar charges before or after the tour
  • We cannot guarantee the included hotel breakfast for early departures
  • Drinks during meals unless stated otherwise
  • Personal expenses, such as laundry

What to pack: hiking boots; sun cream; swimsuit; warm layers


GETTING THERE

Typical return Economy flights from London cost around £900 per person and take approximately 16 hours outbound, 22 hours inbound depending on exact flight configurations and layover times. 

For this particular experience, we have found that the best option is to book a multi-stop flight from London - Santiago - Calama - London.

Experience start point: Santiago (SCL). Arrive by 12pm on first day of tour.

End point: Calama (CJC).


Prices for departures to 30th October include a 20% Pioneers Club discount and are subject to Pioneers Club terms & conditions. Click here for more information.


Ready to book

Extras

 

 

Optional Extras

To customise your experience, you can select any of these extras at an additional cost during the basket stage.

Big Bang Experience

The region is renowned as one of the best places in the world to stargaze and, over the course of two hours, you’ll learn more about the night sky from an incredibly knowledgeable guide who’ll help you spot stars with your naked eye and by telescope, as well as tell you more about the Big Bang, life and the universe.

Sky Costanera

Visit the tallest skyscraper in South America for incredible views across Santiago and the soaring Andes mountains beyond the city. The 360-degree vistas are especially impressive at night, when Santiago’s lights make vast scribbles across the city.

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ATOL 11397

your holiday
is ATOL protected

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ATOL 11397

your holiday
is ATOL protected

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