The adventure begins at 2,400 masl in San Pedro de Atacama, from where we board the Trekker truck. It is not a conventional tourist bus, but an 8 × 8 beast with 34 seats ready to cross almost impossible roads while enjoying comfortably inside. The mission of the Trekker is to take any person who wishes, without prior training, to ascend the Sairecabur volcano up to 5,700 meters above sea level and obtain dream views of the desert landscape of Atacama.
Along the way, the variety of the landscape is overwhelming as we traverse strange rock formations, extinct volcanoes and lagoons. The expert guides explain the geological origins of the Atacama Desert, also telling us about every detail about vegetation changes in relation to humidity and height.
Only 1 hour after boarding the Trekker, and after climbing more than 3 thousand meters, we stop at our first milestone: the height of Everest base camp. At 5,364 meters above sea level we find ourselves in what, until then, was the highest point reached by any guided tour in the world. What once involved days of intense climbing and a level of physical preparation of an experienced mountaineer, can now be achieved and even overcome in the Atacama HAT truck.
Here we stop to take pictures next to the infinite landscape behind us. After about 20 minutes we return to the truck and prepare to continue ascending the Sairecabur volcano.
A couple of minutes later we are at the highest point of the tour. We stop in front of one of the craters of the Sairecabur volcano, where the sulfur looks like snow, and from where we see the Atacama Desert in an amazing 360º view. From here we observe the Licancabur volcano and the Juriques volcano, in addition to the White Lagoon of Bolivia, which allows us to trace in our minds the border between Chile and Bolivia. We can also observe the Cordillera de la Sal in all its fullness, the Domeyco mountain range and a large part of the Andes mountain range.
In addition to the natural excitement of being in one of the highest points of the earth, it is inevitable to be impressed by the technological achievement achieved in the Atacama HAT tour in San Pedro de Atacama. Anyone, no matter their age or physical condition, can now climb to 5,700 in just a couple of hours and enjoy a unique experience in the world.
It is certainly an incredible experience to perform, right?