7 days / 6 nights
If you are looking for an adventure for you and friends in the Altiplano or Atacama desert in Chile, this is the perfect tour for you! You will be able to drive by yourself with all the necessary information and with a good backup group that will check everything for you while visiting the Atacama desert in Chile.
You will be able to visit in this area of the chilean desert, amazing towns and cities in the north of Chile, as well as getting to know the driest desert in the world and salt flats, museums, National Parks, thermal baths and so on in the Atacama desert. So much fun!
These will be places and moments in Chile you will never forget.
Welcome to the north of Chile! To start this program, you will have to take a flight and arrive to the Arica Airport. Here you will pick up your rental car & GPS and start your adventure driving to the hotel you will be staying at, Hotel Arica.
Arica is a beautiful city! We recommend visiting the “Morro”, a rock hill right on the coast with an incredible view of the city.
The train station and the customs building of this city, known also as the “City of Eternal Spring” was designed by Gustave Eiffel.
A must stop on the road to the highlands in the Atacama desert, is a visit to the archaeological museum Miguel de Azapa in the Zapata Valley, with some of the oldest mummies in the world. Socoroma is located on over 3,000 meters and you should use the day to acclimatize yourself. Nearby are Putre and the thermal baths of Jurasi, which are worth a visit. Tonight your accommodation is located in Socoroma: Albuerge Andino Tía Emilia.
Once you begin your day and start driving in this area of the desert, we would recommend you to do following today: directly at Socoroma lies one of the most impressive national parks of Chile: the Lauca National Park. Apart from the surreal views of the volcanoes and the lake, there are more than 150 bird species in the park. In addition, you should visit the Chungará Lake which is located 4,500 meters just before the Bolivian border. Around the lake is the “Payachata Mountains” consisting of the volcano Parinacota (6.110 m) and the Pomperane (6.232 m). The rich flora and fauna in the tough highland climate impress and you can observe flamingos, guanacos, llamas, alpacas, vicuñas, condors and vizcachas.
Tonight you will stay at the same hotel in Socoroma: Albuerge Andino Tía Emilia.
Through the Altiplano it goes today across the highland villages Belén & Tignamar directly to the Surire salt flat.
In case of good climatic- and road conditions, there is an alternative route which leads through the Vicuña Park.
The Salar of Surire is one of the few known and visited Chilean natural wonders. It is located at a height of 4,200 meters, a snow-white Salt Lake, imposing volcanoes and turquoise lakes in which various types of flamingos bathe.
Tonight you are staying at a refuge: Refugio Conaf.
Today’s route leads through the Andean highlands passing imponent volcanoes, through the National Park of Isluga to the Altiplano village of Colchane.
We recommend you to take a detour half away to the Red Lagoon, which is near Camiña.
Tonight you are staying in a hostel: “Residencial Camino del Inka”.
From the highlands you will go towards the Pica Oasis; this place gives the Pica-lemon its name.
These citrics grow on trees on the side of the road.
Nearby you will find the thermal baths of Mamiña.
Tonight your accommodation will be Cabaña Doña Tato.
So sad! This is the last day. The route will lead you back to Iquique where you will have to return the rental car at the airport and then you will be able to take a plain home or to your next adventure!