Atacama Desert: Lagoons & Salt Flats

The Chilean Altiplano
This full-day excursion includes visits to some of the most incredible natural wonders in the Atacama Desert. The first destination is Laguna Chaxa, a desert oasis lagoon located 50 km (31 miles) from the town of San Pedro de Atacama. Chaxa is situated in the middle of the Atacama Salar salt flats, where you'll also find Los Flamencos National Reserve. This protected area is home to flocks of Chilean flamingos whose pink feathers shine brightly against the contrasting blue of the shallow water.

At lunchtime, the tour stops in Socaire, a humble agricultural village famous for its simple adobe homes, rustic chapel, and slow pace of life. After eating, the excursion continues towards the Altiplano (high plateau) lagoons of Miscanti and Miñiques, which are located at a whopping 4,200 meters (13,779 feet) in elevation. Here there are panoramic views of an Altiplano desert surrounded by towering volcanoes and abounding with wildlife like flamencos, foxes, and vicunas.

The last stop on the tour is a visit to the town of Toconao, an oasis with a climate ideal for the cultivation of native fruits and vegetables. The streets are filled with vendors selling artisanal handicrafts and the local homes are cobbled together out of volcanic rocks. The town also boasts a beautiful white-washed church with a three-storied belltower. The church dates back to 1750 and has been declared a national monument.

Tours that Include Atacama Desert: Lagoons & Salt Flats

Patagonia's Torres del Paine National Park
Map of Patagonia & Atacama Desert - 10 Days
Patagonia & Atacama Desert - 10 Days

Explore regions on both ends of Chile's latitudinal spectrum with this 10-day itinerary. After getting a taste of Santiago, fly north to the Atacama desert—an oasis in the driest part in the world known for geysers, moonscapes, and starry skies. Then fly all the way south to Patagonia's Punta Arenas where you'll meet a penguin colony before finishing in Torres del Paine National Park for a range of activities and wildlife viewing.

Marble Caves
Atacama Desert & Marble Caves Adventure - 7 Days

On this itinerary, you'll get to experience the two most beautiful regions of Chile: the northern Atacama Desert and southern Patagonia. Your adventure begins in the capital city of Santiago, where you'll glean insight into the culture on a city tour. Then it's off to the north and the otherworldly desert landscapes of Atacama. You'll visit geysers, lunar valleys, and even do some high-altitude stargazing. Finally, you'll head to Chile's unspoiled Patagonia region, where you'll visit one of the most unique sites on the continent: the marble caves of Lago General Carrera.

Moon Valley in Chile's Atacama Desert
Map of Elqui Valley & Atacama Desert - 9 Days
Elqui Valley & Atacama Desert - 9 Days

Explore two regions of Chile where few travelers venture on this 9-day itinerary. After checking out Santiago, you'll fly to the northern coast for day trips to offshore islands and Elqui Valley wine country. From here, head to the Atacama desert—an oasis in the driest part in the world known for its geysers, salt flats, and starry skies. If that's not enough, you'll also meet local indigenous communities on a guided cultural excursion.

Lake Pehoe, Torres del Paine National Park
Map of Best of Chile - 9 Days
Best of Chile - 9 Days

Explore two spectacular regions of Chile where few travelers venture on this 9-day itinerary. After checking out Santiago, you'll fly to the Atacama desert—an oasis in the driest part in the world known for geysers, salt flats, and starry skies. From here, head to Patagonia where you'll experience Torres del Paine National Park via a range of activities while staying in a fully sustainable EcoCamp.

Polynesian moai statues at a beach on Easter Island
Map of Atacama Desert & Easter Island - 13 Days
Atacama Desert & Easter Island - 13 Days

This 13-day trip combines two bucket-list items in Chile rarely visited by tourists. Kick off with a day in Santiago before you’re jetting off again—this time to the South Pacific. Halfway between Tahiti and Chile, Easter Island is graced with white sand beaches and 600+ mysterious statues carved from volcanic rock. The second half of the trip takes place in a high-altitude desert on the mainland for sand dunes, geysers, hot springs, and starry skies—perfect for sipping Chilean wine.

Exploring Santiago & the Atacama Desert - 7 Days
Exploring Santiago & the Atacama Desert - 7 Days

This week-long itinerary allows you to experience the major cities and wine regions of central Chile as well as the arid desert landscapes in the country's north. First, you'll arrive in Santiago and take a city tour before discovering the nearby wilderness and wine country. Then it's a trip to the coastal seaport and UNESCO World Heritage Site of Valparaiso. Afterward, you'll jet off to the Atacama Desert in the north, where you'll visit the indigenous villages, geysers, painted mountains, salt flats, and lunar landscapes for which the region is deservedly famous.

Unique topography in the Atacama Desert
Map of Central Chile, Lake District & Atacama Desert - 10 Days
Central Chile, Lake District & Atacama Desert - 10 Days

Explore three distinct areas of Chile with this 10-day itinerary. After getting a taste (literally) of the big city and its nearby wine region, fly north to the Atacama desert—an oasis in the driest part in the world known for geysers, moonscapes, and starry skies. You'll then base yourself in a German-style lake town while taking day trips to volcanoes, waterfalls, and an exotic rainforest along the coast.

Wonders of Chile
Wonders of Chile - 13 Days

This 13-day itinerary covers the major highlights found in and around the Andes, including the northern Atacama Desert, the central Lake District, and Torres del Paine National Park. There's even a break to do some wine tasting in Chile's famous vineyards. This is a partial road trip, so you can set your own schedule and explore however and wherever you like.

Moai statues on Easter Island
Chile Highlights Adventure - 14 Days

The secret's out: Chile is one of the most naturally beautiful countries in Latin America, which places it high in the running for one of the most naturally beautiful countries in the world. This two-week adventure covers three of its most incredible regions. The first major stop on the itinerary is the northern Atacama Desert, which is famous for its lunar landscapes, steaming geysers, and expansive salt flats. Then it's off to Torres del Paine, the most-visited national park in Chilean Patagonia. Finally, you'll visit Rapa Nui, or Easter Island as its commonly known, to discover the secrets of its great stone idols.

Torres del Paine National Park
Map of Chile Grand Tour - 14 Days
Chile Grand Tour - 14 Days

Outdoor adventurers rejoice because we've curated a two-week itinerary that covers the unparalleled natural beauty of Chile. First, you'll head to the far north of the country and tour the otherworldly landscapes of the Atacama Desert. Then it's off to Patagonia and Torres del Paine National Park, home to the most awe-inspiring mountains and unspoiled nature in Chile. You'll then finish the journey far in the Pacific, amid the giant stone idols of Rapa Nui, also known as Easter Island.

Hike a portion of the Osorno Volcano while staying in a German-style town
Map of Central Chile, Lake District & Atacama Desert - 13 Days
Central Chile, Lake District & Atacama Desert - 13 Days

Thin and uniquely long in shape, it can be hard to know where to start in a country like Chile. This 13-day itinerary explores three distinct regions known for urban culture and outdoor adventure. After a taste of Santiago and its nearby wine region, fly north to the driest desert in the world known for geysers, moonscapes, and starry skies. Then fly south to the Lake District for volcanoes, waterfalls, and a road trip to Chiloé Island—a booming food destination with coastal trails.

Chile Highlights Adventure - 12 Days
Chile Highlights Adventure - 12 Days

This 12-day itinerary combines ancient culture and ancient landscapes with the profound natural beauty of Chilean Patagonia. From the northern deserts of the Atacama region to Torres del Paine National Park, you'll experience the full-spectrum of Chile's natural beauty. This also includes a jaunt to Rapa Nui, also known as Easter Island. Here you'll walk in the footsteps of ancient cultures and marvel at the great stone idols—the moaia—that were built to honor ancient tribal chieftains and which still stand today.

Unique topography in the Atacama Desert
Map of Central Chile, Lake District & Atacama Desert - 12 Days
Central Chile, Lake District & Atacama Desert - 12 Days

Experience three distinct regions in Chile with this 12-day itinerary that combines culture and outdoor adventure. After a taste of Santiago and its nearby wine region, fly north to the Atacama desert known for geysers, moonscapes, and starry skies. You'll then fly south to the Chilean Lake District for volcanoes, waterfalls, and a road trip to Chiloé Island—a burgeoning foodie destination with coastal hiking trails.

Marble Caves
Santiago, Atacama Desert & Marble Caves Adventure - 11 Days

On this itinerary, you'll get to experience the many different faces of Chile. You'll have the opportunity to explore Chile's culturally-rich cities, taste premium Chilean wine, and take in some of the country's most stunning landscapes. First, tour Santiago along with the colorful coastal cities of Viña del Mar and Valparaiso. Next, explore the world-famous wine regions surrounding Santiago - you'll learn all about how Chilean wine is made, and more importantly, how it tastes. Then it's off to the north and the otherworldly desert landscapes of Atacama. You'll visit geysers, lunar valleys, and even do some high-altitude stargazing. Finally, you'll head to Chile's unspoiled Patagonia region, where you'll visit one of the most unique sites on the continent: the marble caves of Lago General Carrera.

Lake Pehoe, Torres del Paine National Park
Map of Chile Grand Tour - 15 Days
Chile Grand Tour - 15 Days

Outdoor adventurers rejoice because we've curated a 15-day itinerary that covers the unparalleled natural beauty of Chile. First, you'll head to the far north of the country and tour the otherworldly landscapes of the Atacama Desert. Then it's off to Patagonia and Torres del Paine National Park, home to the most awe-inspiring mountains and unspoiled nature in Chile. You'll then finish the journey far west in the Pacific, amid the mysterious stone idols of Rapa Nui, also known as Easter Island.

The UNESCO-listed salt flats across Chile's border in Bolivia
Map of Natural Wonders of Chile & Bolivia - 11 Days
Natural Wonders of Chile & Bolivia - 11 Days

Check off two South American countries while experiencing some of the planet's most awe-inspiring and extreme natural wonders. Over 11 days, you'll discover a range of topographies including lush vineyards and high-altitude desert plateaus in Chile. Then, head across the border for otherworldly salt flats left behind by prehistoric lakes in Bolivia. Start and end the trip in Santiago and La Paz, respectively—two exciting capitals known for outstanding food and culture.

Torres del Paine National Park
Chile Grand Tour - 13 Days

Is it possible to experience the highlights of a famously diverse and beautiful country like Chile in just under two weeks? In this instance, yes. Over 13 days you can visit all the wonderous sites that have graced the covers of travel magazines for years. You get it all: the northern Atacama Desert, Patagonia—even the far-flung mystical island of Rapa Nui, better known as Easter Island to us foreigners. So pack a bag, get your hiking rear ready, and prepare for the adventure of a lifetime.

Central Chile, Lake District & Atacama Desert - 15 Days
Central Chile, Lake District & Atacama Desert - 15 Days

To first-timers in Chile, visiting this country is like happening upon a great secret. Its natural beauty is as diverse as it is extensive. Throughout the length of this narrow, 4,270-km (2,653-mile) country there's high-altitude deserts, a lake region abounding with volcanoes and wild rivers, and of course, the primal and unspoiled beauty that is Chilean Patagonia. You'll get to visit all three of these regions on this extensive 15-day itinerary, plus you'll even find time for wine tasting.

Chaxa Lagoon
Map of Exploring Santiago & the Atacama Desert - 8 Days
Exploring Santiago & the Atacama Desert - 8 Days

This itinerary allows you to experience the major cities and wine regions of central Chile as well as the arid desert landscapes in the country's north. First, you'll arrive in Santiago and take a city tour before discovering the nearby wilderness and wine country. Then it's a trip to the coastal seaport and UNESCO World Heritage Site of Valparaiso. Afterward, you'll jet off to the Atacama Desert in the north, where you'll visit the indigenous villages, geysers, painted mountains, salt flats, and lunar landscapes for which the region is deservedly famous.

Osorno Volcano in Chile's Lake District
Map of Chile's Deserts, Lakes & Culture - 9 Days
Chile's Deserts, Lakes & Culture - 9 Days

Chile may be a small country geographically, but it's filled with some of the most awe-inspiring natural wonders in South America, and indeed the world. Over a quick nine days, you'll discover the furthest reaches of this ecological paradise, from the otherworldly landscapes of the northern Atacama Desert to the native lenga forests and active volcanoes of the rugged Lake District, which is also known as the "doorstep to Patagonia." And to kick it all off you'll discover Santiago and Valparaiso, two of Chile's most beautiful cities.

Guanacos in Torres del Paine National Park
Atacama Desert & W Trek Excursion - 11 Days

Explore Chile's beautiful extremes on this 11-day itinerary. After getting a taste of Santiago, fly north to the Atacama desert—an oasis in the driest part in the world known for its geysers, moonscapes, and starry skies. Then, travel south to Patagonia's Torres del Paine National Park to challenge yourself on the W-trek, a world-famous route that will take you through some of the most breathtaking landscapes the park has to offer.

Moon Valley in San Pedro de Atacama
Map of Chilean Deserts & Towers Excursion - 10 Days
Chilean Deserts & Towers Excursion - 10 Days

Experience Chile's beautiful extremes on this 10-day journey. Begin your adventure in the Atacama Desert - a region characterized by its lunar landscapes, geysers, salt flats, and starry skies. Next, head south to Patagonia to experience Torres del Paine National Park. Here, you'll enjoy an in-depth exploration of the park's natural beauty, including a hike to the base of the iconic towers, and an up-close look at the majestic Grey Glacier during a boat tour.