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The Atacama Desert – The Frontier of the Stars

Discover the rugged Martian-like landscapes of the Atacama Desert with Surtrek South American Travel. The driest desert on the planet, Atacama is replete with bizarre rock formations, giant sand dunes, jagged canyons, boiling geysers, eternally clear night skies, and a surprising cultural heritage that simply must be explored during any custom-designed experience in Chile. After touching down in Chile, head out for up to a week of luxury desert exploration and pampering at the Awasi Atacama Lodge, Explora Atacama or Tierra Atacama.


For the sense of wonder and magic that fills the air while in these high-Andean plains, contact us a Surtrek to begin planning an unforgettable Atacama Desert Tour!

Best Time to experience Atacama

To enjoy the most pleasant temperatures during an adventure in the Atacama Desert, the off-peak shoulder-season months of March-May and mid-September-November are considered best. During these seasons, there are also fewer tourists – meaning you’ll have the desert more to yourself!

June through early September can be uncomfortable, as the temperatures plummet at night.


What you’ll experience on an Atacama Vacation

With flamingo-filled lakes and rainbow-colored rock formations spread out over thousands of square miles, a luxury stay in the Atacama Desert is filled with both rugged adventure and all the creature comforts. 

Head off on an excursion to witness the beguiling geology of Moon Valley, where the light transforms rugged rocks into a rainbow of color. Set out on horseback along a narrow dirt road to Death Valley, back-dropped by surreal clay formations and imposing dunes. Spend a day with your private guide on a 4x4 excursion to the Aguas Calientes salt flats, whose turquoise colored ponds are inhabited by wild ducks and pink flamingos.

Experience these otherworld outdoor excursions while indulging yourself in all the pleasures of atmospheric lodges. The possibilities are unlimited.


Getting to Atacama

To reach the Atacama Desert, most travelers land first in the Chilean capital of Santiago de Chile, where you will be welcomed by a Surtrek representative as soon as you touch down at the we Arturo Merino Benítez Airport. (Keep in mind that you will be accompanied by Surtrek staff or partners throughout your Atacama vacation).

Given the relatively long, overnight flight times for reaching Chile , we recommend you take a tour that includes at least one day in historic Santiago, where you can rest up for your upcoming desert adventure.

From Santiago, you will be assisted with taking a one-hour flight to the northern Chilean city of Calama, where you will be met and accompanied on a scenic ground transfer to your luxury desert lodge in the oasis village of San Pedro de Atacama, in the heart of the Atacama Desert.


Why Go to the Atacama Desert with Surtrek?

With over 25 years of introducing adventurous travelers to authentic, tailor-made luxury travel experiences across South America, Surtrek is adept at offering some of the best and most complete tour services in Chile’s Atacama Desert.

With our experienced travel team of 25 members — including native speakers of five different languages — we will work one-on-one with you to custom-design an Atacama tour that perfectly suits your particular interests and needs.

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Traveler Reviews

“We booked our Galapagos/Peru trip through Surtrek and are very glad that we did.”A. Arima