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Atacama Desert

The Atacama Desert

Visit The Atacama Desert

Introduction

The Atacama Desert is one of the driest places on earth and provides some of Chile's most dramatic landscapes. Although rain is a rarity, every few years there is sufficient rainfall to produce the desierto florido - flowering desert - when colourful flowers bloom and life returns, briefly, to the Atacama.

San Pedro de Atacama is the main tourist town in the Atacama Desert. It was the centre of the Atacameno culture and the Archaeological Museum is a good place to learn about this fascinating pre-Inca society. The town is also known as a centre for adventure travel, with opportunities for mountain biking and off-road tours into Bolivia to see the Salar de Uyuni and the beautiful mountain lakes, Laguna Colorada and Laguna Verde. Closer to the town is the Valley of the Moon, an ethereal place that's especially atmospheric at sunset.

The geysers of El Tatio are another popular Atacama Desert attraction, with around 80 separate geysers bubbling up from deep underground. The clear desert skies in the Atacama are also perfect for star gazing, and an astronomical tour at the space observatory near San Pedro de Atacama is out of this world.

 

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Special offers in The Atacama Desert

Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa, Torres del Paine

Spirit of Chile with Tierra Hotels

14-day tailor-made journey from £6,475 pp incl. flights

Special
offer

Discount if staying at three Tierra hotels – Save up to £910 pp
Book by: 30 December 2019

Witness the best of Chile's stunning natural world, from the vast expanse of the Atacama Desert to the lakes, glaciers and towering mountains of Patagonia in the south, staying throughout at some of the country's finest hotels.

Top itineraries in The Atacama Desert

Casa Lapostolle, Colchagua Valley

Chilean Wines & the Atacama Desert

12-day tailor-made journey from £3,910 pp incl. flights

Discover the contrasts of northern Chile on this 12-day tailor-made tour, which takes in the capital, Santiago, the striking landscapes of the Atacama desert and the central wine valleys of Colchagua and Casablanca.

Torres del Paine National Park, Patagonia, Chile

Highlights of Chile

13-day tailor-made journey from £4,375 pp incl. flights

From the austere landscapes of the north to the granite spires of the Patagonian south and the cities of Santiago and Valparaíso in between, this tailor-made holiday takes in the best of Chile’s history, heritage, landscapes and wildlife.

Top places to stay in The Atacama Desert

Tierra Atacama Hotel & Spa

Tierra Atacama Hotel & Spa

Contemporary hotel

Combining outdoor adventure with a relaxed atmosphere and first-class hospitality, the exceptional Tierra Atacama brings together striking architectural features, stylish interiors and a designer spa in Chile’s arid northern desert.

Explora Atacama

explora Atacama

Contemporary lodge

After exploring a world-wonder desert on included horse rides, hikes and bike rides, return to all-inclusive drinks and fine dining at an ultra-contemporary spa resort.

Awasi Atacama, San Pedro de Atacama

Awasi, San Pedro de Atacama

Contemporary lodge

Thatched roofs and colourful furnishings give this luxury Atacama hotel a distinctly African feel. With an excellent restaurant and delightful outdoor pool, it’s the ideal base for exploring the wonders of the world’s driest non-polar desert on exclusive, private excursions.

When to go to The Atacama Desert

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