By choosing one of the activities in our Local Culture Program you will immerse yourself in a genuine cultural experience that takes you to a deeper understanding about the past and the presence in the everyday life of the Atacameñan (Lickan-Antai) culture.
The authenticity in these tours assures a genuine experience, with the intention to help us understand how the life of the atacameños has been and still is being molded by the Andean “cosmovision” (worldview). How to live in permanent and direct relation side by side to nature, humans and “Pachamama” (Mother Earth) today.
Here is the different areas you can take part in, depending on your interest.
Ancient caravan with llamas
Production of the chañar syrup
Wine route, Highland vintners “Ayllu”
Process of preparation of “Patasca”, typical food
Please note that the people we work with in these activities don´t live on tourism but carry out other occupation in their daily life and will not always have the possibility to greet us, therefore the specific activity of your desire can be changed upon arrival.
If this occurs with your selected activity we offer you an alternative within the other listed activities.
These activities opens up a world of new understanding in the tradition and importance of these harsh lands agriculture, cattle breeding, alimentation or ancient medicine of the local culture. The natives of this land is in a process of adaption that hasn’t been easy, especially for the descendants of the old communities.
The local cultural experience also includes a cultural walk through the centre of San Pedro de Atacama in which we get to know history, culture and challenges of the village.
|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 area of the basin of the Atacama Salt Flat is established as an “Area of Indigenous Development”. Here resides the atacameñan (or Lickan-Antai) culture – an indigenous culture more than 12.000 years old – which recently has been recognized by the Chilean state as an ethnos or “pueblo originario” (name collectively used for indigenous communities in America). It is a folk that still conserves traditions and customs from this era. Their language, Kunza, sadly has gone lost, and today remain barely a few words, most of which are associated to the names of places.
Being in San Pedro de Atacama, the cradle of the atacameñan culture and its centre of development, it is indispensable to approach this millennial heritage. Travelling through the silent sceneries of the Atacama desert and finding ourselves in the middle of this defiantly dry and impressively solemn place, one can´t help but think about these men and women who, for centuries, moved through these lands with their animal caravans; who had to survive by hunt and the recollection of wild fruit; who quarried stones with dogged and infinite patience to fabricate tools for survival; and who finally conquered this land and dominated it. It is impossible to not imagine a mysterious past that appears in the rocks painted by the hands of men whose spirits still seem to whisper with the whistling of the wind, as if they were longing to tell stories about ceremonies and immemorial rituals. Today, their descendants show us something that will settle within ourselves, maybe an experience or a thinking that we should assimilate from the ones that live in the desert and its hamlets today; an experience that we can take with us in our memory forever.
It is for that reason that we integrate indigenous and community tourism into our concept in the form of an experience of local culture to get an impression of the daily life and the occupations that characterize the life in the desert and the promontory. This allows us to understand the importance and challenges of agriculture, cattle breeding, alimentation or ancient medicine of the local culture. As part of this experience we visit other villages in the surroundings and/or “ayllus”* that form San Pedro de Atacama: Vilama, Larache, Sequitor, Tulor, Solcor, Quitor, Coyo, Beter, Yaye, Poconche, Cúcuter, Checar, Solor, Catarpe.
*Ayllu is the name given to old social units of the Lickan-Antai or Atacameño culture where several families lived together in agro-pastoral communities created by lineage and descendants.
What to bring?
- Comfortable clothing, walking shoes.
- Sunblock, hat, sunglasses, lip balm.
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