Atacama Desert: Tatio Geysers & Machuca Village

Sunrise over the Tatio Geysers
The Atacama Desert abounds with geologic wonders, and discovering them is why travelers visit this region of northern Chile. You'll find one such gem, the Tatio Geysers, located about 1.5 hours from the town of San Pedro de Atacama. At an altitude of 4,320 meters (14,173 feet), these are the highest geysers in the world. It's best to arrive early, at sunrise, as the contrast between the cold early morning temperatures outside and the boiling water of the geothermal field beneath the earth's surface causes the pillars of steam to rise as high as 10 meters (30 feet). There are also geothermal pools at Tatio, and visitors can take a soak and relax in this version of mother nature's jacuzzi.

On the return drive to San Pedro, there's a stop at Machuca, a small, humble village on the Altiplano whose residents have bred llamas and harvested Yareta (moss-like evergreen plants that can survive for thousands of years) for generations. It's a small but welcoming town, comprised of only about 20 homes and a simple chapel. That said, some locals sell crafts, and it's possible to snap photos of the llamas in the area as well as the flamingos that reside in nearby marshlands.

Tours that Include Atacama Desert: Tatio Geysers & Machuca Village

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Moon Valley
Map of Explore the Atacama Desert - 5 Days
Explore the Atacama Desert - 5 Days

Spend your trip exploring San Pedro de Atacama, a laid-back oasis town on the edge of the driest desert on the earth. Revel in the stark beauty of the desert landscape, marvel at the dramatic scenery, and enjoy some of the world's best stargazing while enjoying the cozy hospitality and art in town.

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.

San Pedro de Atacama & Uyuni - 8 Days
San Pedro de Atacama & Uyuni - 8 Days

This seven-day itinerary affords just enough time to take part in one of the most epic journeys in South America: the multi-day 4x4 adventure from San Pedro de Atacama, in northern Chile, to the town of Uyuni, in southern Bolivia. Your journey starts in the town of San Pedro, an ancient desert outpost in Chile's northern Altiplano (high plateau) region. You'll take a tour of the lagoons around the Atacama Desert, and then you'll embark on the four-day journey to Uyuni. Along the way, you'll be awestruck by the seemingly endless salt flats, towering volcanoes, and painted mountains. You'll even overnight in a guesthouse made out of salt!

Atacama Desert Highlights - 6 Days
Map of Atacama Desert Highlights - 6 Days
Atacama Desert Highlights - 6 Days

One destination that should be on any traveler's list of must-visit desert landscapes is Chile's northern Atacama region. It's an arid, high-altitude desert filled with incredible natural wonders, including salt flats, geysers, lunar landscapes, painted mountains, and towering volcanoes. This quick six-day itinerary covers the highlights, including stops in the remote colonial outpost of San Pedro de Atacama, tours of the Moon Valley, stargazing, visits to natural hot springs, and traveling to indigenous villages.

The Moon Valley, Atacama Desert
Map of Chile's Beaches & Natural Wonders - 12 Days
Chile's Beaches & Natural Wonders - 12 Days

Stretching thousands of miles in length, Chile can feel a world away with its mountains, glaciers, deserts, and rugged coastline. This 12-day trip hits the highlights with a series of unique guided tours. Move at a relaxed pace as you make your way from the Atacama Desert in the north, to Patagonia in the south. You'll also make urban stops in Santiago, Valparaiso, and upscale Viña del Mar for two days of beachy fun.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Explore Chile by car
Chile Grand Tour - Deserts, Lakes, & Beaches - 15 Days

This comprehensive 15-day tour allows visitors to see the most interesting cities and regions in the whole of Chile. Moreover, some of this adventure is of the self-drive variety, meaning you'll get to hop behind the wheel and make it a road trip. It begins in the capital of Santiago with excursions to nearby Valparaiso and Viña del Mar, two of the most beautiful coastal cities in the nation. Then it's off to the high-altitude deserts of the northern Atacama and its otherworldy landscapes. The tour culminates with road trips in the Chilean ecological wonderland known as the Lake District.

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.

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.

Explore Chile's Atacama Desert
Highlights of the Atacama Desert, Lake District, & Patagonia - 11 Days

Travelers flock to Chile from all over the world to visit three principal regions, and this 11-day itinerary has all of them covered. First, it's a trip to the north of the country and the Atacama Desert, where you'll do some stargazing and tour the otherworldly landscapes. Then it's a flight to the southern Lake District and its enormous lakes, wild rivers, and snow-capped volcanoes. Finally, you'll end up in the far south, in Patagonia, where you'll spend a day exploring the most famous national park in the country: Torres del Paine.