The Atacama Desert in South America’s plateau features 1600 km of land on the Pacific coast. It is the hottest desert worldwide and the only desert that receives less precipitation than the polar deserts. If you are thinking of taking a tour, visit the Desert and relish unique experiences. Since San Pedro is the main location, there are plenty of exciting things to do in the desert region. From witnessing the Moon Valley’s exquisite beauty to salt posaols, tourists can find a lot of exposure.
Here are the nine most adventurous things to do in the Atacama Desert that you can do during the trip.
Take a tour of the Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley)
Just outside of San Pedro de Atacama, there lies the Moon Valley, and it offers jaw-dropping scenery in abundance. It is probably the most visited and widely popular place to explore in the area. Popular things include walking, cycling, or driving through the Moon Valley and other landmarks. Moreover, the site is accessible to San Pedro Atacama, and it also means that it is very popular among tourists.
The moment you reach the park, you become an essential part of a massive adventure playground. While you are here, climb over the dunes and ridges or hike in the region’s trails for a unique experience. If you have booked a Hawaiian flight and now have to make upgrades, meet Hawaiian Airlines change flight policy requirements.
Stargazing in the Atacama
The Atacama Desert is well-known for having mind-blowing stargazing opportunities in the entire world. The high altitude with a low-density population allows no light pollution, and that results in beautiful views. As a result, you can see the stars in the sky. Besides, camp out in the desert and appreciate the stars at night or sign up for a beautiful stargazing tour. Head out to a remote region and enjoy the lighting scene with the valuable telescope in the evenings.
If you want to experience something new, go on a tour to one of the observatories, open for public visits. In addition, ALMA is the largest observatory in the world, worth exploring in the desert region.
Watch the beautiful sun turn pink in the evenings
While you are here, observe the magical scenes of the bright sun turning into a pink Andes color. The Valley of the Moon lies 15 km west of San Pedro and offers gorgeous scenery in abundance. The lunar-like landscape becomes striking features like the light changes and the rocks burn. From the cliff-top point, see the ridge of mountains in the east while going from gold red to pink view. For sunset scenery, go on a tour of the Salar de Atacama, the largest salt flat in Chile. Moreover, the site features huge pools with a few inches of water, offering the Andes a magical reflection.
Mountain Biking in the Atacama Desert
The Atacama Desert offers great opportunities for outdoor adventure and thrilling activities. Tourists come here from all the way to participate in mountain biking and dare to challenge their guts. One can rent a bike and go on a biking tour from the local singletrack to other landmarks. If you are a beginner rider, go on easy trails and help them boost confidence. On the other hand, experienced bikers can find challenging trails to testify the mountain biking skills and techniques. In addition, mountain biking trips in Chile are Lake Cejar, biking adventures in Katarpe Valley and Northern Argentina and Chile.
Cycling is another popular thing to do in the desert region in hot temperatures. The afternoon is the ideal time to go for a cycling tour and feel the fresh air on the cheeks. However, don’t forget to take enough water while cycling because moving in the high altitudes will require proper hydration. Renting a bicycle from the nearby shops is an affordable way to do sightseeing and get to Moon Valley. Moreover, several areas rent a bicycle for traveling on the valley route for the best sunset views. Stop at the most picturesque site and click amazing pictures on your camera or smartphone during the cycling tour. The average cost to rent a bike in the area is CLP 3000 or $4-5 for a half-day.
Go hiking in the Atacama
Another most adventurous thing to do in the Atacama is hiking. For a thrilling hiking route, go through the Death Valley, combining two popular activities, hiking, and camping. You can pitch a tent in the middle of the forest, facing the sun and a beautiful lake or river. The next morning on the way back, walk through the Devil’s Throat and witness the most sensual scenes in abundance.
While hiking, you may spot locals walking past the beautiful small villages. If you don’t wish to camp, go for a walk in the desert of Death Valley. Also, it is probably the best thing to do in the area. There are several attractive hiking spots in Chile, including Torres del Paine and Patagonia, which are worth exploring this year.
Exploring the Pukara de Quitor
Pukara de Quitor is a popular archaeological site of the Pre-Columbian period, lying three kilometers outside San Pedro. Tourists can explore the ancient fortress made by several local tribes dating back to the 12th century. Moreover, walk to the viewpoint about 7000 m, take a steep climb, and witness the magical scenery. The admission fee is CLP 5000 or $7 per passenger, and you can stroll from the town on a bike.
In addition, Tulor is another remarkable archaeological site in the Atacama, easily accessible by bike. It lies about 9 km south of the town, and it is an ancient village with more than 20 constructions. There you may also find the human remains from the houses to boreholes in the region. Furthermore, the settlement’s origins date to 2500 years, and the entry fee is $7 or 5000 CLP per person.
Taking a hot air balloon ride
Taking a hot air balloon ride is always an incredible experience. You can see the natural wonders like a desert or a beautiful lake from the air. Moreover, the rugged landscape of the desert region is an amazing place for a ride. The tour leaves in the morning from 5:00 am to be able to see the magical sunrise views. In the Atacama desert, the sun rises over the horizon, and the tour runs in the year around. The admission fee is CLP 215 or US $315 per person, and Cappadocia is great for hot air balloon rides.
Climbing Cerro Toco
Cerro Toco lies close to the border along with Bolivia, and it is 5600 meters in size. Since it is the most accessible site, it has become the most climbed mountain range in the Andes. Get to the area via car to 5000 meters or walk up to 600 meters in a couple of hours. It might take a half-day to reach the top and get back to the town along with the entire group. The price ranges between $100 per person, including meals, oxygen, and transport.
You can customize your travel plans seamlessly and choose the JetBlue change flight option on the official site. The facility allows you to add extra seats, change dates and times, and so on. Things to Do in the Atacama Desert