Best of Chile's Atacama Desert

Top itineraries and travel advice in and around Atacama Desert
Plan your trip to Chile
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Atacama Desert
Ultimate Guide to the Atacama: Chile's Desert Wonderland

In the far north of Chile, close to the Argentine and Bolivian borders, San Pedro de Atacama is the gateway to one of the world’s most extreme environments: the Atacama Desert. This guide will help you plan your trip and find the best that the town has to offer.

Atacama Desert, Chile
Map of Discover the Atacama Desert - 4 Days
Discover the Atacama Desert - 4 Days

Spend four days taking advantage of the natural beauty of the town and hinterlands of San Pedro de Atacama. Visit geysers, volcanoes, valleys and salt flats on this trip around the arid Chilean plateau and be wowed by the formidable grandeur of the Andes at every turn.

Panoramic view of Andean peaks and a mineral-rich lagoon in the Atacama region.
Map of Hiking the Atacama Desert - 10 Days
Hiking the Atacama Desert - 10 Days

This 10-day trip takes you into some of Chile’s most dramatic landscapes. Multi-hued valleys, rocky canyons, towering sand dunes and azure-colored lagoons set the stage for big adventures in the otherworldly scenery of the Atacama Desert. The evenings are spectacular, with dramatic sunsets followed by night skies cluttered with stars.

The Atacama desert lies in the high arid desert plateau in Chile
Map of Explore the Atacama Desert  -  4 Days
Explore the Atacama Desert - 4 Days

Explore the Atacama desert in the Antofagasta region of Chile, starting at 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 and marvel at the dramatic scenery while enjoying the cozy hospitality and art in town.

Cycle along vistas like this Andean lagoon
Map of Cycling the Atacama Desert in Chile - 7 Days
Cycling the Atacama Desert in Chile - 7 Days

Mountain bikers, this one's for you! Cycle through the Atacama Desert off the beaten path and into areas not yet accessible by vehicle, only currently frequented by llama and goat herds. Small villages, geysers, lagoons, valleys, archaeological ruins, Andean wildlife, and spectacular panoramas crowned by dormant volcanoes await!

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.

Steaming Tatio geysers erupting on a geothermal field 
Map of Cultural Bike & Hike Trip at Atacama Desert - 8 Days
Cultural Bike & Hike Trip at Atacama Desert - 8 Days

This journey in the Atacama desert takes you to some of the most spectacular desert scenery on the planet. You’ll see sputtering geysers, salt flats where flamingoes roam, and gorgeous sunsets over otherworldly rock formations. This Chilean adventure is for active-minded travelers, with biking and hiking among astonishing Andean landscapes.

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.

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.

Explore Santiago, Chile
Map of Santiago & Atacama Desert - 9 Days
Santiago & Atacama Desert - 9 Days

Immerse yourself in the colorful tiny town of San Pedro de Atacama and discover geysers, volcanoes, valleys, and salt flats amidst the arid Chilean desert. Lose yourself in the cosmopolitan city of Santiago, walk through its many squares, and marvel at the diverse architecture that makes this city a unique metropolis in Latin America all while being wowed by the grandeur of the Andes.

Marble Caves
Map of Atacama Desert & Marble Caves Adventure - 7 Days
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.

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.

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.

Enjoy Chile's Scenic Lake District
Map of  Atacama Desert & Lake District - 9 Days
Atacama Desert & Lake District - 9 Days

Explore the geysers, volcanoes, valleys and salt flats of San Pedro de Atacama. Discover the unique lake district including the Osorno Volcano, the tiny town of Frutillar and the mythical Chiloe Island.

Discover Chile's Atacama Desert
Map of 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.

Discover Chile's Atacama Desert
Map of 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!

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.

Atacama Desert
Map of Santiago & Atacama Desert Tour - 9 Days
Santiago & Atacama Desert Tour - 9 Days

On this scenic Chilean adventure, explore several regions of the country over the course of nine days. Begin in Santiago, and tour the landmarks and markets. Then, embark on two day trips—one to the neighboring towns of Viña del Mar and Valparaíso, followed by an excursion to explore the beauty of Maipo Valley. Next, venture into the Atacama Desert region to discover the valleys, geysers, and villages, along with memorable sunrises, sunsets, and stargazing.

Chilean vineyards
Map of Active Chilean Honeymoon: Casablanca & Atacama - 8 Days
Active Chilean Honeymoon: Casablanca & Atacama - 8 Days

Have an alternative honeymoon with this biking and hiking adventure trip through gorgeous Chile. Arrive at Santiago, Chile's lively and eclectic capital before beginning a bike tour through the vineyards of Casablanca. Alternate physical activity with wine tours as you cross this region's magnificent landscapes. Then, you'll change it up by traveling to the Atacama Desert. One of the driest places on earth, this desert presents challenges and beauty in equal parts, and is perfect for hiking.

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.

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.

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.

Lake Pehoe, Torres del Paine National Park
Map of Central Chile, Lake District & Patagonia - 10 Days
Central Chile, Lake District & Patagonia - 10 Days

Check off three spectacular regions of Chile on this active 10-day itinerary. After touring the capital Santiago and the vineyards of Maipo Valley, you'll fly to the Lake District for snowcapped volcanoes and plunging waterfalls. Finish off on the southern tip of the continent for cycling, kayaking, hiking, and horseback riding while staying in a sustainable EcoCamp surrounded by Patagonian scenery.

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.

Marble Caves
Map of Santiago, Atacama Desert & Marble Caves Adventure - 11 Days
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.

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.

Discover Chile
Map of 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.

The Lake District
Map of Chile: Lake District, Torres del Paine, & Atacama Desert - 12 Days
Chile: Lake District, Torres del Paine, & Atacama Desert - 12 Days

This extensive 12-day itinerary covers the major highlights of north, south, and central Chile—the Lake District, Torres del Paine National Park, and the Atacama Desert. The Lake District is famous for its charming villages, Prussian-blue lakes, and snow-capped volcanoes. Torres del Paine, on the other hand, is the crown jewel of national parks to explore in Patagonia. Throw in a visit to a Patagonian penguin colony and a jaunt to the mystical and beautiful island of Chiloé, and you have the perfect Chilean adventure.

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.

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.

Wonders of Chile
Map of Wonders of Chile - 13 Days
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.

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.

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

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

Torres del Paine National Park
Map of Chile Grand Tour - 13 Days
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.

Torres del Paine National Park
Map of Chile Grand Tour: Santiago, Atacama Desert, Torres del Paine, & Easter Island - 13 Days
Chile Grand Tour: Santiago, Atacama Desert, Torres del Paine, & Easter Island - 13 Days

Experience the highlights of diverse and beautiful Chile in less than two weeks. Begin in the capital Santiago with some sightseeing, before flying off to the Atacama Desert. Discover the lagoons, geysers, salt flats, and more. Then, fly to Punta Arenas for your Patagonian adventure. Visit the native wildlife of the islands, and then head into Torres del Paine National Park for two days of private tours. The final leg takes you to Easter Island to explore the ancient moai figureheads, volcanoes, and stunning beaches.

total solar eclipse
Map of Total Solar Eclipse Tour December 2020:  Santiago, Atacama, & Pucón - 13 Days
Total Solar Eclipse Tour December 2020: Santiago, Atacama, & Pucón - 13 Days

There are few natural events as spectacular or memorable as a full solar eclipse, and on this 13-day tour of Chile in December 2020 you'll watch the amazing event from the clear skies of Pucon. As well as dedicating a full day to watching the eclipse, you'll tour many of Chile's other highlights, including the modern capital Santiago, the historic port city of Valparaiso, the excellent wineries of the valleys, and the unparalleled natural beauty of the Atacama Desert, plus much more. This comprehensive tour fits in a lot of different sights and experiences, and is sure to be memorable.

Atacama Desert
Map of Northern Chile Highlights: Santiago, Atacama Desert, Easter Island, & More - 12 Days
Northern Chile Highlights: Santiago, Atacama Desert, Easter Island, & More - 12 Days

This 12-day trip to Chile takes you through several areas—the capital city, desert landscapes, coastal towns, and ancient islands. First, go sightseeing in Santiago, followed by a journey through the Atacama Desert region. Then, visit the coastal, neighboring towns of Viña del Mar and Valparaíso, and tour the stunning Maipo Valley. The finale leads you on an adventure through historical Easter Island, from moai stone figureheads to beautiful beaches.

Moai statues on Easter Island
Map of Chile Highlights Adventure - 14 Days
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.

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.

Chile Highlights Adventure - 12 Days
Map of 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.

Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley) close to San Pedro de Atacama
Map of Wonders of Chile - 14 Days
Wonders of Chile - 14 Days

On this two week trip, you’ll visit many of the classic places that have made Chile an iconic country for travelers and mountaineers alike. You’ll journey to places like the Atacama Desert and the Patagonian glaciers as you discover a land of myths and mountains. You’ll also have the chance to stay in Santiago and Valparaíso to get a sense of Chile’s city life.

Solar eclipse
Map of Total Solar Eclipse Tour (December 2020): Santiago to Pucón - 9 Days
Total Solar Eclipse Tour (December 2020): Santiago to Pucón - 9 Days

Get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see a total solar eclipse in Chile on this special tour in December 2020. As well as dedicating a full day to viewing the eclipse at Pucon, you'll tour many of Chile's other highlights, from the modern capital Santiago to the historic port city of Valparaiso, and the natural beauty of the Andes. Fit a wide variety of unforgettable experiences into nine days.

Other popular travel destinations in Chile
Santiago · Patagonia · Torres del Paine · Valparaiso · Lake District · Northern Chile · Easter Island