Starting on Tuesdays and Fridays, the Highland program includes nearly all our most popular experiences and additionally the tour to the Tara Salt Flat which allows us to immerse in the beauty of the Andean highlands: Moon Valley, Rainbow Valley with sunset in the Salt Mountain Range, Highland Lagoons, El Tatio Geysers, Tara Salt Flat.
|SEMI-PRIVATE SERVICE: High quality standard services with a maximum of 10 passengers per group, most of them from hotels that work with us. Our bilingual guides (spanish – english) assure a personalized service.
The days and hours of the excursions may vary depending on the season, climatic conditions and the groups that we form. The final itinerary will be confirmed upon arrival in San Pedro, but even during your stay it can vary depending on the mentioned conditions, we will be informing immediately about any change.
The Highland program includes the following experiences:
Moon Valley, Ayllus, Atacameñan Tasting: With a delicious breakfast we will enjoy the serene magic and beauty of the sunrise in the Salt Mountain Range. We will visit the impressive landscapes of the Moon Valley. We explore two Ayllus of San Pedro and taste typical atacameñan food. We´ll get to know the history, culture and challenges of San Pedro de Atacama.
Rainbow Valley, Río Grande, Sunset in Salt Mountain Range with Aperitif: We start the afternoon getting to know two culturally and geologically important sites northwest of San Pedro de Atacama. On a stroll through alleyways that seem to be from a different time, a local guide of the picturesque village Río Grande tells us about the culture, traditional architecture and agriculture of the members of the area´s indigenous community. Later, the Rainbow Valley is our geological laboratory and shows us one of the oldest places in the surroundings of San Pedro de Atacama where we can observe millions of years old rocks that surface in differently colored layers – giving the Rainbow Valley its name. At the end of the day we will gather on the rim of the Salt Mountain Range, above the Mars Valley (as well known as Death Valley), where we can contemplate the capricious morphology of this range as well as the gorgeousness of the Andes in the distance.
Highland Lagoons, Traditional Agriculture & Wool Manufacturing Process of Socaire: We travel south, going up to the ´puna´ (highlands) to marvel at its unique vegetation, wildlife, lagoons and salt flats. Here, Miscanti Lagoon – the largest lagoon in the Antofagasta region – is certainly the one that impresses travelers most. Later, we visit the village Socaire, where the indigenous community still preserves part of the traditional atacameñan lifestyle.
El Tatio Geysers, Machuca, Putana Wetlands, White Geyser: With the sunrise we head towards one of the entries to the Andean highlands, passing through important altitude ecosystems of extremely rich biodiversity such as the wetlands of Machuca and Putana. We make a stop at Machuca, a little farmer´s village, to then continue towards an overwhelming spectacle of nature: the geyser field ´El Tatio´. Before returning to San Pedro we explore yet another mighty gift of the earth, known as the “Geyser Blanco” (White Geyser), where the ones who have the heart can get into the thermal waters in the middle of the river trough.
Tara Lagoon & Salt Flat, Monks of the Pakana, Wetland of the Andean highlands: We go east on the road towards Argentina to enter the “altiplano” (highlands) and its fantastic surprises. Reaching an altitude of 4.500 m.a.s.l. the Licancabur volcano bids us farewell and the vistas of the high “puna” lands unfold in front of us. A stop at the Quepiaco wetland helps us to adapt slowly to the altitude. After that we continue to the immensity of the Pakana with its astounding monoliths that stand – scattered randomly – like true monks and guardians of our final destination: the Tara Salt Flat. This last stop provides majestic scenery that is convoking more and more nature lovers.
The orden of the excursions can vary according to the day you start the program. A possible itinerary is:
In the afternoon we get to know the indigenous village Río Grande and the Rainbow Valley. We enjoy the sunset with an aperitif on the rim of the Salt Mountain Range (Cornisas). See more details here.
What to wear and bring?
- Comfortable clothing, walking shoes.
- Warm clothing for the coolest hour around sunrise.
- Sunblock, hat, sunglasses, lip balm.
For more recommendations Click here