This is quite a weird place to find in all the aridity of the Atacama. At the bottom of this stony, dusty canyon one can find lush vegetation and plenty of water. It was the only sort of green that we saw in our visit to the atacama apart from the few thirsty, dusty trees in San Pedro. There is so much water here that fruit trees can actually be cultivated in the middle of the most arid desert on the planet. Furthermore the volcanic stones from the canyon are used as building material for some houses in the area.
* there are no specific tours to go here, but the Lagunas Altiplanicas tour might include this on the way to Laguna Chaxa.
This is another cute little village on the way from the Tatio Geysers to San Pedro. There are some nice places to have a traditional tasty lunch, but the main drawcard here is the little white-washed church. The church looks like so many of the traditional white-washed chuches here, but this is the oldest one in the area. If the church is open, do go inside and you will be rewarded with the sight of the most ridiculous looking Jesus on a cross that you will ever see (see pictures)! In front of the church there is also a little square so typical of South America. Makes for a nice post-lunch stroll.
Some agencies (eg Cactus Tour) will give you the option to visit some traditional villages on the way back from the Geysers. It is quite an enjoyable way to spend the rest of the morning and afternoon, and it is a rare glimpse into traditional andean life in Chile - there are not many indigenous villages.
Caspana is a tiny, pictoresque village nestled in a valley in the Andes. It is quiet here, with not much happening, but it's a nice place to spend an hour or so.
Many agencies offer traditional trips and if you don't like hundreds of people on the same place in the same time - rent a bike. It is cheap, easy, bikes are in good conditions and you will receive also the map of SP and neghbourhood.
Nice a half day trip is to go to the walley in the North. You will pass an old inca's hill and later you have to find the way to the old inca's tunnel. Through this you will get to the desert in plateau in East.
There you will see the road from Calama, which you have to cross. Then continue to the north entry to the Valle De Luna and throug it down. San Pedro then you can reach in half an hour.
I don?t know if this exit into direction Licancabur ? the holy mountain ? is by coincidence or not. I found it just extremely beautiful, it?s one of my favourite Chile photos, but probably it?s more behind it. I could imagine that this is the exit to the gods of Licancabur for the souls of the cemetery. What do you think?
On the east side of town you find the little cemetery of San Pedro. It is not as impressive as other Chilean cemeteries, but it has its own magic in it?s simplicity, peace and surroundings ? the city ends here and you look to the majestic Andean mountains. I was captured by a special feeling, this mix of respect for the dead lying around me and respect for the greatness of nature around.
One night, take a flashlight, some bottles of wine, some bread, cheese and cookies, then walk outside San Pedro in the direction of Vallee de la Muerte (ask your way !). You'll attend a wondeful sky... enjoying life !
Un soir, prenez votre lampe torche, quelques bouteilles de vin, du pain, du fromage et des gateaux et quittez San Pedro a pied, en direction de la Vallee de la Muerte (demandez votre chemin avant !). Vous verrez un pur ciel tout en profitant de la vie !
Colque Tours and other tour companies offer a 4x4 tour of the beautiful Salar de Uyuni and Lagunas tour. My Uyuni, Bolivia page is dedicated just for that worthwhile side trip. It is one of the highlights of South America, if not the Earth!!! Prices are a bit more expensive if you start in Chile so it may be a bit more than $80 for the 3-4 day trek.
Tocopilla 4, San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
Good for: Business
Camino Pukara, Sector Suchor, San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
Good for: Business
San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
Good for: Solo