REGION: Northern Chile
ACTIVITY LEVEL: 4 (Medium – High)
SUMMARY: Visit Geysers del Tatio with breakfast; take a swim in the thermal waters of Pozon Rustico; stop at the village of Machuca, an ancient settlement of llama herders. After lunch, visit archaeological sites, including Pukara de Quitor and the village of Tulor.
DURATION: 10 hrs.
MIN. / MAX. PEOPLE: 4-12
SEASON: Year round. Temperatures may vary between 5 to 10 F ( -12 to -15 C) in the early morning to 86 to 95 Ft (30 to 35 C) around noon.
ITINERARY: Pick up from your San Pedro hotel or arranged location. Our trip to the highlands begins during the early morning hours to reach one of the most important geothermal fields in the world, Geysers del Tatio (4,321 MASL*). This geothermal center contains geysers that can only be seen in the early morning. The geysers are surrounded by bubbling hot water and steam. Here we enjoy the beauty of the Andes, and, with this natural stage, we offer you a tasty breakfast.
Then we visit the Pozon Rustico where you can enjoy the thermal waters that the mountain range gives us…bring your swimming suit and towel! Taking the road back to San Pedro de Atacama, you enjoy the beauty of the landscape, native flora and fauna, before finally stopping at the village of Machuca. This ancient settlement of llama herders has fewer than 10 residents, but today this town of adobe, straw and cactus wood buildings is dedicated to tourism, offering local products such as Andean handicraft, llama meat, sopapillas and empanadas. Because of its an historical and architectural appeal, we visit the San Santiago Church, Patron Saint of the small village. Return to San Pedro in time for lunch (optional).
In the afternoon, our archaeological tour takes us to the Pukara de Quitor to learn about the origin of the Atacama or Lican Antay culture. This Pukara (fortress) is not only important for the local history, but also for the history of Chile in the battle of Quitor (1540), one of the first conflicts between Spaniards and the indigenous Indians.
At an Atacama farm we see how a family combines the ancestral traditions of agriculture and livestock with tourism; we taste some local products; and then visit the 2,000 year old village of Tulor, the oldest settlement in the basin of the Atacama Salt Flat and one of the first tests of non nomadic lifestyles in the region. Finally, we move to the center of San Pedro de Atacama to travel back to the time of the colony. One of the most symbolic structures of this era is the Church of San Pedro, built from adobe, cactus wood, and wood from Chañar and Algarrobo trees. It has been preserved until today and has been a National Monument since 1951.
* MASL: Meters Above Sea Level
INCLUDED: Local professional guide (with Wilderness First Responder Guide accreditation, First Aid Kit, Personal Insurance), VHF radio or Mobile phone, breakfast, 1 bottle mineral water without gas per person and Certified Transport with seat insurance.
NOT INCLUDED: Personal insurance, personal equipment, tips or anything not listed in the program.
GUEST PROVIDES: Appropriate clothes according to the activity, trekking boots or tennis shoes, walking sticks (recommended), backpack, camera, water, cap or hat, gloves, towel – swimming suit, sunscreen and sunglasses.
OPERATED BY: Patagonia SouthernLand Expeditions staff
TOUR COST: Request a quote!