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San Pedro de Atacama

The Atacama Desert & Northern Chile

Northern Chile holidays


The Atacama Desert is northern Chile's most distinctive geographical feature. Starkly different from the south of the country, this 1,000 kilometre strip of land is one of most arid regions on earth. Rainfall is virtually non-existent in many parts of the Atacama Desert and gets less as you travel north into Chile's important copper mining and fish processing region around Antofagasta, Calama and Arica. In the far north, the Atacama Desert ends and is replaced by the high Altiplano, on the border between Chile, Peru and Bolivia.

The dusty and dry Atacama Desert is an expanse of rocky terrain dotted with cacti, and occasional small oasis towns along the Pan-American Highway. One of the most popular stop-offs is San Pedro de Atacama, surrounded by geysers, lunar valleys and vast salt flats. Star gazing under clear desert skies and adventure tours into the desolate but beautiful Atacama Desert are some of the possible activities for travellers in northern Chile.


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Special offers in The Atacama Desert & Northern Chile

Casa Lapostolle, Colchagua Valley

Chilean Wines & the Atacama Desert

12-day tailor-made holiday from £4,075 pp incl. flights


Hotel discount - travel by 20 September 2020 – Save up to £130pp
Book by: 02 April 2020

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 holiday from £4,520 pp incl. flights


Up to 10% hotel discount – Save up to £145pp
Book by: 31 May 2020

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.

Atacama Desert, Chile

Landscapes of Chile

12-day tailor-made holiday from £5,285 pp incl. flights


15% lodge discount (travel by 30 April 2020) – Save up to £565pp
Book by: 31 March 2020

This country-spanning tour of Chile takes you from Santiago’s storied streets to the grasslands and glaciers of Patagonia and the austerity of the Atacama Desert. Round things off with a luxury stay in artistic Valparaíso on the Pacific coast.

Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa, Torres del Paine

Spirit of Chile with Tierra Hotels

14-day tailor-made holiday from £6,735 pp incl. flights


15% Tierra lodges discount (travel by 31May20) – Save up to £830pp
Book by: 15 May 2020

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 & Northern Chile

Ahu Tongariki, Easter Island, Chile

Luxury Atacama & Easter Island with explora Hotels

12-day tailor-made holiday from £4,705 pp incl. flights


Up to 50% companion discount for stays during Apr-Jun20 – Save up to £895pp
Book by: 31 March 2020

Chile is a destination made for adventure. And, you’ll take in the best of it on this luxury itinerary, which pairs full inclusive stays at two explora hotels – one set amid the austere beauty of the Atacama and the other in faraway Easter Island.

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Top places to stay in The Atacama Desert & Northern Chile

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.

Alto Atacama, San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa, San Pedro de Atacama

Contemporary lodge

Just 3 kilometres from San Pedro de Atacama, but a world away from the bustle of town, this stylish lodge and spa overlooks the stunning Catarpe Valley, bringing indulgent luxury to the driest non-polar desert on earth.

Where to go in The Atacama Desert & Northern Chile

Atacama Desert

The Atacama Desert

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 …

When to go to The Atacama Desert & Northern Chile

The Atacama Desert
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With little or no rainfall to worry about, the Atacama Desert can be visited year-round although nights can be quite cold, especially in winter (June to August).

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The Atacama Desert & Northern Chile articles

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Why book with Wexas Travel?

At Wexas, we specialise in bespoke travel experiences. Our itineraries are just samples of what we can arrange, and can be changed depending on your precise needs, finances and ideas by our experienced destination specialists.

Contact one of our consultants on 020 7590 0698 to discuss how we can tailor your holiday.

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