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Location: Calama

Day 1 - 22 Nov 2021

Aeropuerto El Loa Calama (CJC)

Calama, Aeropuerto El Loa Calama (CJC)

Content: After an early morning flight from Santiago we arrived at El Loa Calama airport which is the closest airport to San Pedro. There we rented a car to make our road trip happen. The airport is small and cars are limited so make sure to book in advance.

Chilean Rent A Car

Calama, Chilean Rent A Car

Content: All big companies had ran out of cars but luckily this company still had cars available. You have to rent an SUV for the region as there are a lot of dirt roads. We had a Nissan Kicks that we rented for approximately 50$ per day. What I didn’t like about the company is that we arrived a bit earlier than the time we booked the car for and they made us wait for an hour even if the car was already there..

Location: San Pedro de Atacama

Day 1 - 22 Nov 2021

Altiplanico San Pedro de Atacama

San Pedro de Atacama, Altiplanico San Pedro de Atacama
San Pedro de Atacama, Altiplanico San Pedro de Atacama
San Pedro de Atacama, Altiplanico San Pedro de Atacama

Content: We stayed at Hotel Altiplanico for our entire stay and I highly recommend it. The hotel is built as a circular village, each room being a small house connected through little paths. I really liked the service, healthy food and overall vibe of the hotel.

Sernatur

San Pedro de Atacama, Sernatur

Content: As many things seemed to be closed, we made a stop at the Sernatur which is the Chilean national tourism service agency. Indeed, many places are currently closed because of covid.

San Pedro de Atacama

San Pedro de Atacama, San Pedro de Atacama
San Pedro de Atacama, San Pedro de Atacama

Content: By the end of the afternoon we drove along the desert road. The views of volcano Licancabur are stunning! The desert road was shut off after a few kms though, as it is closed on certain days…

Altiplanico San Pedro de Atacama

San Pedro de Atacama, Altiplanico San Pedro de Atacama

Content: Our hotels restaurant had delicious food and we had an excellent dinner there.

Location: El Loa

Day 2 - 23 Nov 2021

Lagunas Escondidas de Baltinache

El Loa, Lagunas Escondidas de Baltinache
El Loa, Lagunas Escondidas de Baltinache
El Loa, Lagunas Escondidas de Baltinache
El Loa, Lagunas Escondidas de Baltinache

Content: This is one of my favourite places I’ve seen during our SPA trip! It’s a long drive from San Pedro and not an easy one but it is so worth it. I advise to come around lunch time because that is the only time where the tours don’t come and you will have the place to yourself as most people take tours. You can swim in 2 of the 5 pools, due to the high salinity you can float like in the Dead Sea. I would advise to not spent too much time inside the water as the salt is harmful for your skin and you are not allowed to use sunscreen (to protect the environment). This place has no showers but they give you a jerrycan with water so that you can rinse off the salt after swimming.

Location: San Pedro de Atacama

Day 2 - 23 Nov 2021

Valle de Marte / Valle de la Muerte

San Pedro de Atacama, Valle de Marte / Valle de la Muerte

Content: Normally we had planned to visit Valle de Marte also known as Death Valley but because of covid it was closed 😞 If you go after the pandemic I highly recommend visiting this valley and take at least an entire afternoon to do so because there is a lot to see.

Café Aloja

San Pedro de Atacama, Café Aloja

Content: It’s a restaurant that also works as a bar, has live music and cocktails. They have tables inside but also a terrace outside. The food varies from “Japanese” food to Chilean food. The dishes were gigantic, I was only able to eat a tiny bit of it 😅 I prefer smaller portions of higher quality.

Location: San Pedro de Atacama

Day 3 - 24 Nov 2021

Laguna Piedra

San Pedro de Atacama, Laguna Piedra
San Pedro de Atacama, Laguna Piedra
San Pedro de Atacama, Laguna Piedra

Content: If you don’t come with a tour, you are only allowed access until 1pm. The entry costs 15 000 CLP. There is one salt lake where you can swim and 2 other lakes where you can admire the landscape. The place has good showers and changing rooms.

Location: El Loa

Day 3 - 24 Nov 2021

Laguna Tebinquiche

El Loa, Laguna Tebinquiche
El Loa, Laguna Tebinquiche

Content: This is another salt lake where you can walk around for an hour. The lakes are inhabited by extremophile organisms that are the oldest organisms on earth. You can see them under the form of “rocks”. The entry costs 5000 CLP and also includes entry to los Ojos del Salar.

Location: San Pedro de Atacama

Day 3 - 24 Nov 2021

Ojos del Salar

San Pedro de Atacama, Ojos del Salar
San Pedro de Atacama, Ojos del Salar

Content: When you google this place you always see drone footage because from above, these 2 holes look like 2 eyes. However it is not allowed to fly drones anymore (in none of the places we have been to actually) and from the ground it just looks like a dark hole of dirty water.

Location: Antofagasta

Day 4 - 25 Nov 2021

Geysers Del Tatio

Antofagasta, Geysers Del Tatio
Antofagasta, Geysers Del Tatio
Antofagasta, Geysers Del Tatio
Antofagasta, Geysers Del Tatio

Content: This is the 3rd largest geothermal field in the world and the highest in altitude (4200m). We went with a tour which I highly recommend since you have to leave very early. They came to pick us up around 4:30 am because the best geothermal activity is before sunrise. Our guide gave us plenty of information about the place and even took (good) pictures of us.

Location: Toconce

Day 4 - 25 Nov 2021

Toconce

Toconce, Toconce
Toconce, Toconce
Toconce, Toconce

Content: After visiting the geysers, the bus stopped in the middle of the Andes mountains and we had breakfast. The views were just stunning and on the way we could see vicuñas and other animals. On the drive back to San Pedro we made many stops to admire the landscapes and we saw many different birds and species of flamingos 🦩

Location: Antofagasta

Day 4 - 25 Nov 2021

Restaurante Agua Loca

Antofagasta, Restaurante Agua Loca
Antofagasta, Restaurante Agua Loca

Content: We had a lovely dinner at this place that serves Chilean food and had live music! I ordered a cocktail called “Lagunas escondidas de Baltinache” and they did an amazing job recreating the place! It even tasted as salty as the water of the lakes 😂

Location: San Pedro de Atacama

Day 5 - 26 Nov 2021

Feria Artesanal San Pedro de Atacama

San Pedro de Atacama, Feria Artesanal San Pedro de Atacama

Content: We wanted to find a nice place to buy souvenirs and this place was recommended to us. However none of the articles they sold looked authentic, actually all shops sold the same objects meaning it is mass produced. I ended up not buying anything.

Location: El Loa

Day 5 - 26 Nov 2021

Valle de la Luna

El Loa, Valle de la Luna
El Loa, Valle de la Luna
El Loa, Valle de la Luna

Content: The valley is closed due to covid but we were able to overlook it from a mirador and see the sunset. If you go when it’s open again, make sure to take at least half a day to hike through this valley and watch the sunset from the grand dune.

Location: San Pedro de Atacama

Day 5 - 26 Nov 2021

Altiplanico San Pedro de Atacama

San Pedro de Atacama, Altiplanico San Pedro de Atacama

Content: Since we didn’t have a lot of time to eat before our evening tour, we ate a quick pizza at our hotels restaurant.

San Pedro de Atacama

San Pedro de Atacama, San Pedro de Atacama

Content: The Atacama desert is the driest place on earth and therefore the best place to see the stars! Many agencies offer astronomical tours where they take you to see the stars and planets through telescopes. I chose one specific tour because they also offered HD astro pictures. We received a lot of information about the cosmos, watched multiple stars through telescopes, as well as Venus, Jupiter and Saturn. We had a break with hot chocolate and cookies and ultimately, everyone got to pose for some pictures under the stars ✨

Location: Catarpe

Day 6 - 27 Nov 2021

Catarpe

Catarpe, Catarpe
Catarpe, Catarpe

Content: Catarpe is a fertile valley inhabited by the indigenous people from the region but still accessible to tourists for a small fee. We visited the Iglesia San Isidro, an adorable little white church. On the way back we came across a pack of llamas (see video) and I even got to kiss one of them since the lady guiding the pack told me they liked that 🙈

Location: San Pedro de Atacama

Day 6 - 27 Nov 2021

Garganta del Diablo

San Pedro de Atacama, Garganta del Diablo
San Pedro de Atacama, Garganta del Diablo

Content: The valley also gives access to la Garganta del Diablo, which leads to a canyon. You can hike until a hill and go up to have a view over the entire valley and on volcano Licancabur on the other side. Side note: the guy at the entry said that this would take an hour in total but if you are not a good climber (I am but my bf not that much 😂) it is most likely to take you double that time because of the heat and steep path at the end.

Location: Calama

Day 6 - 27 Nov 2021

Aeropuerto El Loa Calama (CJC)

Calama, Aeropuerto El Loa Calama (CJC)

Content: We drove straight from the Catarpe valley to the airport where we had to give back the car and take our flight back to Santiago. I was a bit disappointed that the airport didn’t have much options of food and drinks (they didn’t have juices, only soft drinks). It was great trip nonetheless, one that I had on my bucket list for a very long time. If you have any questions please ask me in the comments and I will be glad to answer them all ❤️