Best of Chile's Atacama Desert

Top itineraries and travel advice in and around Atacama Desert
In the north of Chile, the Atacama Desert is home to pulsing geysers, bone-white salt flats, towering volcanoes and red-rock valleys. The epicenter of this geologically stunning region is San Pedro de Atacama, a former pre-Columbian settlement turned into a travelers’ hub that draws visitors from around the globe. The village is home to a wide range of attractive adobe-style hotels and candlelit restaurants, which make fine spots to unwind after the day’s adventures. 

You could easily spend a week exploring the region and not run out of things to do. In the Valle de la Muerte you can go sandboarding down tall dunes, while the Valle de la Luna has lunar-like rock formations, caves and craggy promontories that are ideally placed for watching the sunset over the desert. Ringed by volcanoes, the gurgling geysers and smoking fumaroles of El Tatio are best visited in the early morning, followed by a visit to remote indigenous communities. The Atacama Desert is also home to some of the clearest night skies on the planet, and you enjoy some impressive stargazing on an astronomy tour.
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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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

Travel through the high desert landscapes of Chile and Argentina
Map of The Andean Triangle: Northern Chile & Argentina - 10 Days
The Andean Triangle: Northern Chile & Argentina - 10 Days

The north of Chile and Argentina are packed with natural wonders, plus rich colonial and Indigenous history. You'll experience it all on this 10-day itinerary, beginning with tours of Santiago and the coast before jetting north to the geysers, lagoons, and lunar valleys of the Atacama Desert. Then hop the border into Argentina and stroll the colonial streets of Salta, followed by adventures around the famed northern deserts.

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 nine-day itinerary. After checking out Santiago, you'll fly to the Atacama desert—an oasis in the driest part of 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.

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 geyser, 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.

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 through some of Chile's most dramatic high desert landscapes. Arrive in Santiago, then head to San Pedro de Atacama. Go stargazing in Cuchabrache, visit a traditional Indigenous village, explore the Atacama Salt Flat, and go hiking at Punta del Inca. Trek to Río Grande Village and explore the Altiplanic Lagoons, then hike through the Rainbow Valley and visit the Tatio Geysers before heading home.

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.

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!

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 central Chile's major cities and wine regions and 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 Valparaíso. 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.

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.

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.

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 and 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 Valparaíso. 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.

Snowy Licancabur volcano in the Andes reflecting in the water of Laguna Chaxa with Andean flamingos, Atacama salar, Chile
Map of Immersive Chile: Santiago & Atacama Desert - 7 Days
Immersive Chile: Santiago & Atacama Desert - 7 Days

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.

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.

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.

Adventurous kids will love exploring the remote salt lagoons and geysers of the Atacama Desert
Map of Family Adventure in Chile's Atacama Desert - 7 Days
Family Adventure in Chile's Atacama Desert - 7 Days

The lunar landscapes of Chile's Atacama Desert take center stage on this weeklong family adventure. Start with a tour of Santiago, then climb the hilltop neighborhoods of Valparaíso by vintage funicular. Fly north to reach the otherworldly expanses of the Atacama Desert, where a kid-friendly itinerary of excitement and exploration awaits—from stargazing with high-powered telescopes to diving into buoyant salt pools, watching powerful geysers erupt, and deciphering ancient rock art.

Chile's stunning Lake District
Map of Explore Chile’s Atacama Desert & Lake District – 11 Days
Explore Chile’s Atacama Desert & Lake District – 11 Days

Discover Chile's famous Atacama Desert and Lake District on this 11-day adventure. Tour the historic capital Santiago before delving into the Atacama's otherworldly landscapes, exploring its lunar-like salt flats, flamingo-filled lagoons, and spurting geysers. You'll stargaze and ride desert buggies, soak in geothermal pools, and end with a trip to Chile's lush Lake District for bird spotting on Chiloé Island.

Snap pics of the stunning Valley of the Moon in the Atacama Desert
Map of Santiago & the Atacama Desert: Best Itinerary Ideas
Santiago & the Atacama Desert: Best Itinerary Ideas

Nine to 11 days is the most popular trip length for Chile travelers interested in visiting both Santiago and the Atacama Desert, especially when also including Torres del Paine. If you're not interested in Torres del Paine, seven to eight days is enough for your Santiago and Atacama Desert trip. A fast-paced highlights trip is possible in four to six days for travelers with limited time. Check out the below favorite Santiago and the Atacama Desert trips.

Start in the rugged Atacama Desert before flying south to the Patagonian Lake District
Map of Chile's Natural Wonders for Families: Atacama Desert & Lake District - 10 Days
Chile's Natural Wonders for Families: Atacama Desert & Lake District - 10 Days

Experience remote deserts, sparkling lakes, and soaring volcanoes on this family-friendly 10-day tour through two of Chile's most spectacular regions. Get your bearings in Santiago before heading north to the otherworldly Atacama Desert, where the kids can swim in salt lagoons, stargaze under clear night skies, and bounce through the dunes on a buggy tour. Jet south to Patagonia next and dive into the famous Lake District with kayaking, hiking, and penguin-spotting adventures.

Outdoorsy and adventurous families will love exploring Chile's Torres del Paine
Map of Active Family Fun in the Atacama Desert & Chilean Patagonia - 10 Days
Active Family Fun in the Atacama Desert & Chilean Patagonia - 10 Days

Explore moonscapes in northern Chile and icy landscapes in the south during this 10-day family adventure. Learn about the stars as you gaze up at the Atacama Deserts' clear night skies, and pack your swimsuits to splash in high-altitude lagoons and salt pools. Then it's off to Chile's southern tip and the wilds of Patagonia, where you'll walk among the country's largest penguin colony, hike the trails of Torres del Paine National Park, and sail along the towering walls of an ancient glacier.

Sunset over Cusco, Peru
The Magic of the Andes: Santiago, Atacama, Lima & Cusco - 12 Days

Embark on an unforgettable journey through the Andes on this 12-day South American intinerary. Starting in Chile, you'll tour the bustling capital of Santiago and explore the arid Atacama Desert before flying north up the coast to Peru. After sampling the culture and cuisine of Lima, discover the rich Incan history of Cusco and set out to explore the iconic archaeological sites of Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley.

Chilean Patagonia landscape
Map of Wonders of Chilean Nature: Santiago, Atacama Desert  & Patagonia - 11 Days
Wonders of Chilean Nature: Santiago, Atacama Desert & Patagonia - 11 Days

Explore some of South America's most astonishing landscapes on this 11-day nature tour of Chile. First, head north to Atacama to ride e-bikes and buggies through the desert, watch the sunrise over steaming geysers, and gaze at stars through powerful telescopes. Then, go south to the glacial terrain of Patagonia to spend several days climbing and hiking through lakes, forests, and peaks in Torres del Paine National Park.

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 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 Valparaíso, 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 of 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.

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 with sand dunes, geysers, hot springs, and starry skies—perfect for sipping Chilean wine.

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.

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 of 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.

A volcanic crater on Easter Island
Wonders of Chile : Santiago, Easter Island & Atacama Desert - 10 Days

This 10-day itinerary takes you from Chile's capital to two of its most dramatic and secluded destinations. After touring the modern metropolis of Santiago and visiting the colorful seaside towns of Valparaíso & Viña del Mar, change gears and set out toward one of the most remote islands on earth. Spend three days discovering the iconic monoliths and windswept beaches of Easter Island, then return to the mainland to end your trip among the breathtaking landscapes of the Atacama Desert.

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.

The sand dunes and rock formations of the Atacama Desert
Chile Highlights: Patagonia, Santiago & Atacama - 10 Days

This diverse 10-day itinerary takes you on a journey from south to north as you visit three of Chile's most iconic regions. Start in remote Patagonia, where you'll explore the granite peaks, azure lakes, and rushing waterfalls of the famed Torres del Paine National Park. Sample the culture and cuisine of the capital in Santiago, then end your adventure in the far north—stargazing under desert skies and discovering the otherworldly landscapes of the Atacama.

Santiago de Chile
Map of Santiago, the Atacama Desert & Torres del Paine: Best Itinerary Ideas
Santiago, the Atacama Desert & Torres del Paine: Best Itinerary Ideas

For most travelers, nine to 11 days is the perfect amount of time for a Chile trip with stops in Santiago, the Atacama Desert, and Torres del Paine. If you don't mind a fast-paced journey, you can see the highlights of this route in less time—as few as seven or eight days. Travelers with more time can enjoy extra sights and activities at each stop or explore more of the country—some favorite itinerary extensions include Punta Arenas, Puerto Varas, or Easter Island. Keep reading for more inspiring Santiago, Atacama Desert, and Torres del Paine itineraries.

Explore the salt flats of the Atacama Desert and share in the experience with your family
Map of Family-Friendly Chile Highlights: Santiago, Atacama Desert & Valparaíso - 10 Days
Family-Friendly Chile Highlights: Santiago, Atacama Desert & Valparaíso - 10 Days

Explore Chile from several angles with this 10-day kid-friendly tour of its highlights. Starting in vibrant Santiago, you'll make your way through the otherworldly landscape of the Atacama Desert and view the world's clearest night skies. Head back to Santiago and take a trip up the Cajón del Maipo into the Andes before relaxing on a tour of Chile's finest wine and cuisine in the Casablanca Valley and Valparaíso. With some classic beach time thrown in for good measure, this trip has something for all ages.

Stay in a luxury oasis in the heart of the arid Atacama Desert (photo courtesy of Explora Atacama)
Map of Luxury Atacama Desert & Chilean Patagonia - 10 Days
Luxury Atacama Desert & Chilean Patagonia - 10 Days

Travel to the furthest reaches of Chile for outdoor adventures in the arid northern deserts and southern Patagonia. This 10-day luxury itinerary begins with tours of the otherworldly landscapes in the Atacama Desert, followed by a trip south for trekking in Patagonia's Torres del Paine National Park. It's not all roughing it, however, as during the journey, you'll stay in 5-star hotels and dine at some of the world's best restaurants.

Wake up to views of Lago Llanquihue and the Osorno volcano (photo courtesy of Hotel AWA)
Map of Luxury Chile Desert & Lake Adventure - 7 Days
Luxury Chile Desert & Lake Adventure - 7 Days

Travel from Chile's sun-blasted deserts to its lush Lake District on this weeklong luxury tour. The adventure begins in the capital, Santiago, where historic city tours and gourmet dining at world-class Boragó await. Next, escape to the world's highest and driest desert, the Atacama, where you'll stargaze and explore otherworldly salt flats and moon-like valleys. End in Puerto Varas, your base for scenic flights over the Lake District's volcanoes, forested valleys, and national parks.

Horses graze alongside the legendary moai statues of Rapa Nui
Map of Luxury Chile Adventure: Santiago, Atacama Desert & Easter Island - 10 Days
Luxury Chile Adventure: Santiago, Atacama Desert & Easter Island - 10 Days

See another side of South America on a 10-day tour of Chile that will take you from the northern altiplano deserts to the South Pacific—in luxurious, 5-star style. It starts with the highlights in Santiago and a trip to the colorful coastal enclaves of Valparaíso and Viña del Mar. Then, fly north to explore the lunar valleys of the Atacama before jetting off to Rapa Nui (Easter Island) for active adventures amid the legendary moai.

Discover the volcanic craters and ancient rock statues of Easter Island
Map of Luxury Chile Adventure: Atacama Desert & Easter Island - 7 Days
Luxury Chile Adventure: Atacama Desert & Easter Island - 7 Days

Experience two different sides of Chile on a quick but luxurious adventure around its northern deserts and South Pacific islands. After a quick taster of Santiago, you'll dive into the altiplano salt flats and geological wonders of the Atacama Desert—complete with a morning hot-air balloon ride—before jetting off to the remote beauty of Rapa Nui (Easter Island). Along the way, you'll stay in some of the country's finest 5-star hotels and embark on a series of customized private experiences.

Castillo Hidalgo sits on Santa Lucía Hill, Santiago de Chile
Map of Santiago, Easter Island & Atacama Desert: Best Itinerary Ideas
Santiago, Easter Island & Atacama Desert: Best Itinerary Ideas

Travelers to Chile typically plan a trip for 12 to 15 days when combining Santiago, Easter Island, and the Atacama Desert with Torres del Paine. If you're not interested in Torres del Paine, 10 to 13 days is enough for your Santiago, Easter Island, and Atacama Desert trip. Even travelers with limited time can see the highlights in as few as a week to nine days. For the best itineraries, including Santiago, Easter Island, and the Atacama Desert, keep reading below.

Explore desert lakes in Chile's remote Atacama Desert
Map of Luxury Chile Desert & Lake Adventure - 10 Days
Luxury Chile Desert & Lake Adventure - 10 Days

Discover Chile's contrasting landscapes on this luxury 10-day tour. Start with historic city tours and gourmet dining in Santiago, then escape to the remote Atacama Desert to explore its never-ending salt flats, lagoons, and moon-like valleys, waking for dawn hot-air balloon rides and stargazing by night. The adventure ends in the lush Lake District, where you'll admire the volcano-and-lake spotted landscape with private helicopter, seaplane, and kayaking tours.

Puerto Varas, gateway to Patagonia
Map of Santiago, Atacama Desert & Puerto Varas: Best Itinerary Ideas
Santiago, Atacama Desert & Puerto Varas: Best Itinerary Ideas

Twelve days to two weeks is the most popular trip length for Chile travelers interested in visiting Santiago, the Atacama Desert, and Puerto Varas, especially when also including Torres del Paine. If you're only headed to Santiago, the Atacama Desert, and Puerto Varas, you can enjoy a comfortably-paced trip in nine to 10 days. With less time, it's still possible to see the highlights in as few as seven to eight days. Read on for the best itineraries, including Santiago, the Atacama Desert, and Puerto Varas, and beyond.

Let the little ones play explorer as you explore Chilean Patagonia's great outdoors
Map of Chile North to South Family Adventure: Santiago, Atacama Desert & Patagonia - 14 Days
Chile North to South Family Adventure: Santiago, Atacama Desert & Patagonia - 14 Days

Introduce your intrepid little ones to three of Chile's standout destinations on this family-friendly two-week tour. Start in Santiago to stroll historic plazas and parks, ride funiculars through the hills of Valparaíso, and taste Chilean wine (and grape juice) at local vineyards. Then, it's off to the Atacama Desert for lunar landscapes, ancient petroglyphs, and steaming geysers. Jet south into Patagonia to wrap up your trip with kid-focused outdoor activities in the land of mountains, glaciers, and penguins.

See the deserts and lagoons of the Atacama before flying south to Patagonia
Map of Luxury Wonders of Chile: North to South Grand Tour - 14 Days
Luxury Wonders of Chile: North to South Grand Tour - 14 Days

This two-week Chilean adventure will take you to its most scenic regions: the northern deserts, coastal wine country, and the wilds of southern Patagonia. And though this itinerary is jam-packed with outdoor activities, you won't sacrifice anything in terms of comfort—it's first-class treatment the whole way. Stay in luxury hotels and dine at the finest restaurants in between astronomy tours, visits to salt flats, glacier hikes in Torres del Paine, wine tours in the Casablanca Valley, and more.

Discover the otherworldly landscapes of the Atacama Desert from a remote luxury retreat (photo courtesy of Nayara Alto Atacama)
Map of Luxury Chile Desert & Lake Adventure - 14 Days
Luxury Chile Desert & Lake Adventure - 14 Days

Throughout the long expanse of Chile are diverse landscapes ranging from glaciers and Patagonian peaks to arid deserts and vast salt flats. On this two-week luxury tour, you'll embark on adventures through such high-altitude deserts, plus fly south for a bit of fun in the Lake District, a region famous for its charming Germanic towns and snowcapped volcanoes. An added treat includes a few days in the capital of Santiago for gourmet dining, wine tasting, and sightseeing.

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

This 13-day itinerary covers the major highlights 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 for 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.

Easter Island's mysterious moai
Map of Chilean Culture & Nature: Santiago, Atacama Desert & Easter Island - 11 Days
Chilean Culture & Nature: Santiago, Atacama Desert & Easter Island - 11 Days

Monumental archaeological mysteries, natural phenomena, and urban life are all part of this 11-day Chilean itinerary. From sprawling Santiago to the awe-inspiring Atacama Desert and Easter Island, each moment of your trip will offer opportunities for memorable experiences. Travel by air, car, hot-air balloon, bike, and horseback for a dynamic adventure through South America and across the South Pacific.

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 Valparaíso 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 otherworldly landscapes. The tour culminates with road trips in the Chilean ecological wonderland known as the Lake District.

See the salt flats and volcanoes of Chile's Atacama Desert
Map of Ultimate Chile Adventure: Cities, Wine Country, Deserts & Mountains - 15 Days
Ultimate Chile Adventure: Cities, Wine Country, Deserts & Mountains - 15 Days

Feed your adventurous soul with this 15-day tour of Chile. Begin in Santiago with bike tours of the city and visits to Chile's wine country for tastings of its best varietals. Then, it's off to the Andes Mountains and the Atacama Desert, where you'll travel through the mystical Moon Valley and swim in saltwater lagoons. Fly south to Patagonia to see the penguins of Magdalena Island in Puntas Arenas, then close the trip by hiking the mountains and glaciers of Torres del Paine National Park.

Wild horses graze in Torres del Paine National Park
Map of Chilean Nature Adventure: Santiago, Atacama Desert, Torres del Paine & Puerto Varas - 15 Days
Chilean Nature Adventure: Santiago, Atacama Desert, Torres del Paine & Puerto Varas - 15 Days

This 15-day odyssey will take you to some of Chile's most fascinating sites and spectacular landscapes. Get to know the bustling city of Santiago, see the driest desert in the world at San Pedro de Atacama, marvel at glaciers in Torres del Paine National Park, and learn about Chile's colonial history in the scenic lakeside town of Puerto Varas. Cap off your adventure with a food tour of Santiago's best restaurants and a trip to Colchagua Valley wine country.

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.

Spend multiple days hiking, boating, and horseback riding around the dramatic landscapes of Torres del Paine
Map of Total Chile Tour: Santiago, Atacama, Patagonia & Wine Country - 16 Days
Total Chile Tour: Santiago, Atacama, Patagonia & Wine Country - 16 Days

Experience the scope of Chile on a grand tour of three of its most famous regions: Santiago, the Atacama Desert, and southern Patagonia. In Santiago, tour colonial landmarks before flying north to Atacama, where you'll stargaze on the Altiplano, see spouting geysers, and embark on a desert safari. The third act takes you to Patagonia to visit penguin colonies, explore massive glaciers, and hike around the soaring peaks of Torres del Paine before returning north for some wine tasting to send you off in style.

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.

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 snowcapped 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.

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's extensive. Throughout the length of this narrow, 2,653-mile (4,270-km) country, there are 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, and you'll even find time for wine tasting.

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 wonderful 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 gear ready, and prepare for the adventure of a lifetime.

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 Valparaíso, 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.

Ovahe Beach, Easter Island's most famous
Map of Santiago, Easter Island, Atacama Desert & Torres del Paine: Best Itinerary Ideas
Santiago, Easter Island, Atacama Desert & Torres del Paine: Best Itinerary Ideas

Most travelers will find that 12 to 15 days is perfect for a well-paced Chile trip with stops in Santiago, Easter Island, Atacama Desert, and Torres del Paine. Travelers with more time can enjoy extra sights and activities at each stop or explore more of the country—some favorite itinerary extensions include Punta Arenas or Valparaíso. Get inspired with the below Santiago, Easter Island, Atacama Desert, and Torres del Paine trip ideas.

Discover Punta Arenas, the southernmost city in the world
Map of Santiago, the Atacama Desert, Torres del Paine & Punta Arenas: Best Itinerary Ideas
Santiago, the Atacama Desert, Torres del Paine & Punta Arenas: Best Itinerary Ideas

Most travelers will find that 10 to 13 days is perfect for a well-paced Chile trip with stops in Santiago, the Atacama Desert, Torres del Paine, and Punta Arenas. It's also possible to hit the highlights in a week to nine days if you don't mind a fast-paced journey. With more time, you can enjoy extra activities at each stop or a few days in another region like Puerto Varas, Valparaíso, or Easter Island. Get inspired with the below Santiago, Atacama Desert, Torres del Paine, and Punta Arenas trip ideas.

Torres del Paine National Park
Map of Chile Grand Tour: Santiago, Atacama, Torres del Paine & Easter Island - 14 Days
Chile Grand Tour: Santiago, Atacama, Torres del Paine & Easter Island - 14 Days

Discover the incredible diversity of Chile's landscapes on this action-packed two-week adventure. Get to know the vibrant capital of Santiago, then head into the arid and otherworldly environs of the Atacama Desert. Venture south to Patagonia to hike to the towering peaks of Torres del Paine National Park before flying across the South Pacific to explore the mysterious icons and windswept coastlines of Easter Island.

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 it's commonly known, to discover the secrets of its great stone idols.

Stargazing in the Atacama Desert
Map of Relaxed Family Trip to Chile: Santiago, Easter Island, Lake District & Atacama Desert - 14 Days
Relaxed Family Trip to Chile: Santiago, Easter Island, Lake District & Atacama Desert - 14 Days

Immerse yourselves in Chile's natural beauty on this gently paced two-week family adventure that's perfect for families of all ages. Set out from Santiago for a day trip into the lush Maipo Valley, then fly to Easter Island to explore its remote beaches and mysterious statues. Jet south to the Patagonian Lake District for outdoor excursions in its national parks and thermal spas, and end in the country's far north, where the kids can dive into salt pools and spot constellations in the remote Atacama Desert.

Explore Patagonia's famous Torres del Paine National Park at a family pace
Map of Epic Family Trip to Chile: Atacama Desert, Easter Island & Patagonia - 14 Days
Epic Family Trip to Chile: Atacama Desert, Easter Island & Patagonia - 14 Days

Unveil Chile's diverse highlights from north to south with this far-reaching, two-week family trip. From Santiago, you'll fly to the otherworldly Atacama Desert for stargazing and gentle hikes through its lunar landscapes. Encounter enigmatic moái statues and play on the volcanic beaches of Easter Island, then fly south to Patagonia to finish your adventure amid the penguins of Isla Magdalena and the dazzling mountain landscapes of Torres del Paine National Park.

Start in Chile's northern deserts before heading south to the Lake District and Patagonia
Map of Chile's Natural Wonders for Families: Atacama Desert, Lake District & Patagonia - 14 Days
Chile's Natural Wonders for Families: Atacama Desert, Lake District & Patagonia - 14 Days

Hop between deserts, mountains, and lakes on this two-week family trip through Chile. Bookended with a stay in Santiago, you and the kids will float in salt pools in the Atacama Desert, sail to penguin-filled islands in the Lake District, and visit glaciers and national parks in Patagonia. An itinerary of gentle hikes and scenic boat rides will keep young adventurers entertained, while relaxed excursions like a winery picnic, an alpaca farm visit, and a day trip to colorful, coastal Valparaíso will delight all ages.

Lake Pehoé, Torres del Paine National Park
Map of Chile Grand Tour: Santiago, Torres del Paine & Easter Island - 15 Days
Chile Grand Tour: Santiago, Torres del Paine & Easter Island - 15 Days

Outdoor adventurers rejoice—this curated 15-day itinerary immerses you in 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.

Blue icebergs at Grey Glacier in Torres del Paine
Map of Santiago, Easter Island, Atacama Desert, Torres del Paine & Punta Arenas: Best Itinerary Ideas
Santiago, Easter Island, Atacama Desert, Torres del Paine & Punta Arenas: Best Itinerary Ideas

Most travelers will find that 14 to 15 days is perfect for a well-paced Chile trip with stops in Santiago, Easter Island, Atacama Desert, Torres del Paine, and Punta Arenas. Travelers with less time can hit the route's highlights in 11 to 13 days, which makes for a fast-paced journey. Or, extend your trip and explore more of the country—some of the best-loved trip extensions include Puerto Varas or Valparaíso. See more ideas for Santiago, Easter Island, Atacama Desert, Torres del Paine, and Punta Arenas itineraries below.

Start your epic Chile tour in the deserts around San Pedro de Atacama
Map of The Best of Chile: Desert, Mountains, Cities & South Pacific - 16 Days
The Best of Chile: Desert, Mountains, Cities & South Pacific - 16 Days

"Best" is no hyperbole—this 16-day journey covers the most beautiful and culturally rich areas of Chile, from the mainland to the South Pacific. You'll arrive in the northern Atacama Desert to explore geysers, lunar valleys, vast salt flats, and more. Then, travel south to rugged Patagonia as you visit penguin colonies in Puerto Natales, marvel at massive glaciers, and hike around Torres del Paine National Park before flying to Rapa Nui (Easter Island) to experience its legends and ancient ruins.

TBD
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 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.