You are met at airport on arrival in Calama, and transferred to San Pedro de Atacama. En route to your hotel it is possible to see the Cordillera de la Sal (Salt Mountain Range) and the Licancabur Volcano in the background. The oases found in the middle of the Atacama Desert, considered the driest desert in the world, seem like miracles. Despite the fact that this area receives little or no rainfall, at sunset one can witness a spectacular display of unusual colours that filter through hundreds of different local bird species such as pink flamingos, wild geese and Andean Gulls. The dryness of the desert favours the conservation of wonderful archaeological pieces, a collection of which is displayed in San Pedro de Atacama. Seven thousand year old mummies and gigantic geoglyphs, used to guide nomadic peoples through the desert, can be found in Arica. Your flight must arrive into Calama before 10:15am.
Visit the Archaeological Museum Padre Le Paige, with studies of Atacamenian Culture over the last 11.000 years. Afterwards visit the town church, the Main Square, the house of Pedro de Valdivia (conqueror and founder of Santiago), and Pukará de Quitor. In the afternoon, take an excursion to Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley), famous world wide for its “lunar” appearance, salt caves, the Tres Marias (Three Marys) rock formations, and large dunes that will provide a spectacular backdrop for a desert sunset.
Full day excursion visiting the village of Toconao with its interesting liparita stone buildings, and then proceed to the Atacama Salt Flat where the Los Flamencos National Reserve is located, home to three of the most beautiful flamingo species. Then, we take a trip to the altiplanic lagoons of Miscante and Miñiques located over 4000m above sea level.