From cosmopolitan Santiago to cosmic stargazing in the Atacama Desert, this brilliant seven-day itinerary takes you from the capital city to the world's largest salt flat. Taste typical Atacameño dishes with a local family, wander the lunar landscapes of Moon Valley, taste sustainably-grown Chilean wine at the source, and spot flamingoes on Chaxa Lagoon. Along the way, you'll discover the rhythms of daily life in remote Atacameño villages and support the work of local and Indigenous guides.


  • Experience the otherworldly panoramas of Moon Valley and the Atacama Salt Flat
  • Watch more than 60 geysers and fumaroles erupt at Geysers del Tatio 
  • Journey to Valparaíso, a romantic, artistic, and colorful coastal city
  • Eat breakfast with a local family and taste typical Atacameño food
  • Go wine tasting at a historic vineyard outside Santiago

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Santiago, Walking Tour Santiago
Day 2 Viña Santa Rita Winery Tour Santiago
Day 3 Day Trip to Valparaíso  Santiago
Day 4 Fly to San Pedro de Atacama San Pedro de Atacama
Day 5 Explore Moon Valley, Atacama Salt Flat & Chaxa Lagoon San Pedro de Atacama
Day 6 Geysers del Tatio & Astronomy Experience San Pedro de Atacama
Day 7 Depart San Pedro de Atacama  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Santiago, Walking Tour

Santiago in Chile
Say hola to the Chilean capital of Santiago, and use your first day to explore this multicultural metropolis. A local guide will lead you around Santiago's greatest sights, soaking in the history and culture of this city of contrasts where old meets new. Hear about the military coup of 1973, understand colonization and the European influence on the city, and wander narrow streets discovering old trades. You will pass by the Plaza de Armas, the Cathedral, and the Presidential Palace of La Moneda.

Day 2: Viña Santa Rita Winery Tour

Winery tasting and lunch day
Winery tasting and lunch day
Swap the city landscape for vineyards and rolling hills as far as the eye can see. Today a driver will take you to Viña Santa Rita, a classic Chilean bodega (winery) just an hour's drive south of Santiago in the foothills of Alto Jahuel, Buin. Tour the beautiful vineyards, hear about the winery's sustainability efforts and long history that dates back to 1880, and enjoy a special wine-tasting session. Afterward, wander the gardens or explore the wonderful Museo Andino, a private museum filled with Mapuche silvery and attractive "Huaso" costumes. 
Return to Santiago and use the rest of the day to explore. You could hike or take a gondola to the top of Cerro San Cristobal to gain wraparound views of Santiago, or stroll the cobblestone streets of trendy Barrio Bellavista admiring the street art, colorful homes, and eclectic eateries. Make a dinner reservation in this emerging foodie destination. Local chefs are reinventing traditional dishes, such as empanadas, cazuelas (stews), and seafood, with ingredients harvested all the way from the northern deserts and southern Patagonian regions. 

Day 3: Day Trip to Valparaíso

The hills of Valparaiso
The hills of Valparaíso
Today you'll journey to Valparaíso, a romantic, artistic, and colorful coastal city that was an important seaport during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Almost frozen in time, you'll take a guided walking tour through the UNESCO World Heritage-protected historic quarter, taking an electric tram or trolley between Plaza Sotomayor and Plaza Aníbal Pinto. You can board the Reina Victoria funicular from here and ascend to the top for panoramic views across the vibrant city.
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Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Wander through the hilly neighborhoods of Alegre, Concepción, and Florida, getting to know Valparaíso through its colorful homes and street art. Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant, where you can taste some of the best seafood in South America, before returning to the minivan for a transfer back to Santiago.

Day 4: Fly to San Pedro de Atacama

Miñiques Lagoon
Miñiques Lagoon

After breakfast, take a transfer to the airport and board a flight for Calama in northern Chile. Another driver will meet you and drive the final 80 minutes to the desert outpost of San Pedro de Atacama, the launch point for adventures in the otherworldly Atacama Desert. Sit back and enjoy the ride as seemingly endless salt flats, painted hills that change color depending on the light, and towering Andean peaks flash past the window. Check into your hotel in San Pedro de Atacama and use the rest of the day in the high-altitude desert region as you please.

San Pedro is small, so you can wander the town in about 15 minutes. Pass by the Church of San Pedro de Atacama, a tiny white-washed chapel that dates back to 1540, and admire the abundance of traditional adobe homes made with sand, clay, water, and straw. You can fortunately still connect here in the desert with the pre-Hispanic Atacameño culture that thrived here before the Spanish arrived. Support the local community of artisans by buying handmade baskets and ceramics as souvenirs.

Day 5: Explore Moon Valley, Atacama Salt Flat & Chaxa Lagoon

Moon Valley
Moon Valley and visit a local community
Today you'll experience the otherworldly panoramas of the Moon Valley and Atacama Salt Flat. Rise before the sun to journey to your first destination. A local family will welcome you into their home to taste typical Atacameño produce and dishes grown in the desert. Learn about the family's agriculture and enjoy a delicious breakfast with them while soaking in the tranquillity and solemnity of the sunrise as it shimmers over the magical Cordillera de la Sal.
Next, it's time to keep exploring the lunar landscapes of Moon Valley as you ascend 3,280 feet (1,000 m) to the village of Talabre, in the middle of the pre-puna. There, accompanied by a local Indigenous guide, you will walk through Kezala, one of the ravines that connects the High Andes with the Salar de Atacama Basin and that treasures an invaluable archaeological heritage in rock art.
Closer to sunset, venture toward the largest salt flat in the country to marvel at its geography and unique ecosystem. Here at the Chaxa Lagoon, you can spot flamingoes and admire the colors of the surrounding mountains and volcanoes at sunset before returning to San Pedro for the evening.

Day 6: Geysers del Tatio & Astronomy Experience

Geysers del Tatio
Geysers del Tatio
More than 60 geysers ooze plumes of steam while fumaroles erupt, shooting water high into the air. Geysers del Tatio is an unreal thermal field located high in the Andes, surrounded by snow-capped mountains. At sunrise, make the 90-minute journey toward the Andean Altiplano. Your guide will share the history and science behind these important high-altitude ecosystems rich with biodiversity, such as the Machuca and Putana wetlands. Halfway back, you'll stop Machuca, a remote village that lives off llama shepherding and cheese production.
Tonight the stars are calling. The cosmic beauty of the Atacama Desert comes alive at night, with extraordinarily starry skies thanks to the qualities of diaphanous air. During this unique and unrepeatable stargazing experience, you will gain knowledge of the Andean cosmovision of the heavens and the scientific language of the stars as you peer into huge telescopes.

Day 7: Depart San Pedro de Atacama

San Pedro de Atacama
Straw roof church at Machuca near San Pedro de Atacama

Wave goodbye to the desert; it's time to leave San Pedro de Atacama as your Chilean adventure ends. Take a private transfer back to Calama and make your way home. Safe travels!

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Map of Immersive Chile: Santiago & Atacama Desert - 7 Days
Map of Immersive Chile: Santiago & Atacama Desert - 7 Days