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Trip Advisor 2019

Alto Atacama Desert Lodge and SPA 6-Night Itinerary A

At the Alto Atacama Desert Lodge, you can select from an entire range of excursions, activities, and outings, thereby permitting you to design a travel itinerary that perfectly suits your particular tastes, interests, and abilities. This varied menu of excursions range from one hour to two days of activities consisting of everything from easy lower-altitude strolls to expert high-altitude climbs – it’s all up to you, as you can choose from the following:

Journeys into the Ancient Past

Lickanantai Culture Rock Art   High Andean Villages The Colorados

Exploring Living Cultures

Andean Orchards

Spectacularly Scenic Treks

High Catarpe Tambo Catarpe Moon Valley Atacama Salt Flat And Toconao Village

Wet and Wild Water Tours

Tatio Geysers The Salt Lakes Andean Lagoons, Salar Aguas Calientes and Tuyajto Wetlands And Pecan Monks

Celestial Excursions

Sunrise in the Atacama Andean Astronomy Full Moon Walk

Desert Trekking & Mountain Biking

Desert Valleys (high) Inca Pass Cardones Ravine Catarpe Valley Route of the Shepherds Devil´s Throat Llaretas Route

Volcano Tours

Toco Soquete Licancabur volcano

The following detailed itinerary is just an example of a tour that can be designed by any guest(s) at Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa after selecting from the number of excursions offered.

Reviews

“We had an absolutely amazing trip! Surtrek coordinated a Galapagos Cruise on the Natural Paradise yacht and then a stay at the Napo Wildlife Center. Everything was beyond our expectations!! I highly recommend Surtrek.”Janda Terese Stevens

Alto Atacama Desert Lodge and SPA: Highlights

Atacama Desert, Exploring Lickanantai Culture, Exploring Living Cultures, High Catarpe Valley Trek, Tambo-Catarpe Valley Hike), Tatio Geysers, The Salt Lakes, Celestial Excursions, Trekking & Mountain Biking, Volcano Tours

Alto Atacama Desert Lodge and SPA: Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1: Journeys into the Ancient Past (Exploring Lickanantai Culture) / Exploring Living Cultures (An Andean “Ayllu” and Its Orchards)
Day 2: Spectacularly Scenic Treks (High Catarpe Valley Trek / Tambo-Catarpe Valley Hike)
Day 3: Wet and Wild Water Tours (Tatio Geysers)
Day 4: Wet and Wild Water Tours (The Salt Lakes) / Celestial Excursions (Sunrise in the Atacama Desert)
Day 5: Desert Trekking & Mountain Biking (Cardones Ravine) / Volcano Tours (Toco Volcano)
Day 6: Journeys into the Ancient Past (Visits to High Andean Villages)
Day 7: Journeys into the Ancient Past (Rock Art Excursion)
Itinerary Map

Alto Atacama Desert Lodge and SPA: Detailed Itinerary

Day 1
Journeys into the Ancient Past (Exploring Lickanantai Culture) / Exploring Living Cultures (An Andean “Ayllu” and Its Orchards)

Exploring Lickanantai Culture:  This excursion for exploring ancient Lickanantai culture stops first at the nearby Tulor archaeological site.  Dating back some 2,400 years, this well-maintained area has been great for allowing travelers to understand many aspects of local history.  From there, we will visit the village of San Pedro to explore the old city and its church. Finally, we will explore Pucara of Quitor, which is a pre-Hispanic village that serves as an outstanding example of the area’s indigenous heritage. (This half-day excursion is considered easy, as it consists of a 500-meter walk [0.3 mi], a 1 km van ride [6.83 mi], and requires no acclimatization.)

An Andean “Ayllu” and Its Orchards: This tour will take you to the “Ayllu” of Coyo (an “Ayllu” is a highlands cultural organization designed by communities to preserve their social and cultural heritage). This will provide you a chance to meet the families who live in Coyo and to learn about their traditional methods of cultivating and irrigating their orchards and fields. You will also have the opportunity to taste typical area foods prepared by a local family. (This half-day excursion is considered easy, as it consists of a 7 km [4.34 mi.] van ride and requires no acclimatization.)

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Lunch - Dinner
Day 2
Spectacularly Scenic Treks (High Catarpe Valley Trek / Tambo-Catarpe Valley Hike)

High Catarpe Valley Trek: During this excursion, we will hike to several lookout points for viewing the spectacular Catarpe Valley. The first stop provides a prime view across the Tambo Valley, from where you can see the surrounding hills, as well as picturesque farmlands and pastures. The trek continues past ancient petroglyphs and other rock carvings before we reach the Cordillera de la Sal (“Salt Mountains”) and then take a scenic descent down to the San Pedro River. (This half-day excursion is considered to be of medium difficulty, as it consists of a 5 km [3.10 mi] walk, an 11 km [6.83 mi] van ride, and requires no acclimatization.)

Tambo-Catarpe Valley Hike: The Tambo-Catarpe tour provides for extensive observation of the Catarpe Valley and its many faces. We will begin at San Isidro Church, where we will head out on a hike along the plateaus and gorges that lead to Tambo, the ancient financial center of the Incan Empire. After exploring Tambo, we will descend the plateau to reach the scenic San Pedro River, a fitting way to conclude the expedition. (This half-day excursion is considered easy, as it consists of a 7 km [4.34 mi] van ride, a 3 km [1.86 mi] walk, and requires no acclimatization.)

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 3
Wet and Wild Water Tours (Tatio Geysers)

Tatio Geysers:  After your early morning breakfast (included), we will head out to explore the Tatio Geysers, which consist of steaming fumaroles, large pools of boiling water, and natural hot springs.  Locally referred to as “Grandpa crying,” this geothermal field situated at 4,321 meters above sea level. This area that also provides a good chance for viewing the unique plant and animal life that has adapted to the extreme environment. On our return, we will stop in Machuca, a traditional village that in ancient times was used by local shepherds. (This full-day excursion is considered to be of medium difficulty, as it consists of a 122 km van [75.80 mi] van ride to an altitude of 4,321 m., and therefore requires two days of acclimatization.)

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 4
Wet and Wild Water Tours (The Salt Lakes) / Celestial Excursions (Sunrise in the Atacama Desert)

The Salt Lakes: The tour of Ojos del Salar (“Eyes of the Salt Flat”) takes us to two incredibly deep freshwater pools that surprisingly emerge from the arid desert plains. We will then journey onward to the turquoise Tebinquinche Lagoon, which will allow you to experience both the pallet of colors associated with Andean volcanic waters and sight of light morphing across the ever-changing landscape as the sun sets here. Plus, you can enjoy an aperitif (included) as you take all of this in. (This half-day excursion is considered easy, as it consists of a 32 km [19.88 mi] van ride and requires no acclimatization.)

Sunrise in the Atacama Desert: The crystal-clear salt waters of the Tebinquinche Lagoon, surrounded by the imposing Cordillera Mountains, are our favorite location for witnessing the intense contrasts of color, texture, and shadow of a high Andean sunrise. Following breakfast (included), as the sun rises here, you will see the landscape shift and change as the light levels move across the plains. (This half-day excursion is considered easy, as it consists of a 37 km [22.99 mi] van ride and requires no acclimatization.)

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 5
Desert Trekking & Mountain Biking (Cardones Ravine) / Volcano Tours (Toco Volcano)

Cardones Ravine: This hike begins in Guatín Canyon at the point where the Puritama and Purifica rivers meet and turn into the mighty Vilama River.  We will trek past diverse rock formations and vegetation, including ancient cacti that stand over seven meters (22 feet) high. As this region was once home to many shepherding communities, we will pass through former settlements as we hike. (This half-day excursion is considered to be of high difficulty, as it consists of a 3.7 km [1.42 mi] walk at an altitude of 3,166 m and a 35 km [21.74 mi] van ride, though it requires no acclimatization.)

Toco Volcano: This volcano tour begins in an old abandoned sulfur mine near the border between Chile and Bolivia. From there, this challenging guided ascent up the volcano will lead us to the breathtaking scenery from the summit. From there, you will have panoramic views of the Bolivian Lagoons, neighboring volcanoes, the Andes, and the Chajnantor Plateau (home to the ALMA astronomical project). Includes picnic lunch.  (This half-day climbing excursion is considered to be of high difficulty, as it consists of a climb to an altitude of 5,604 meters [requiring three days of acclimatization], a 500 m [0.31 mi] walk and a 50 km [31.06 mi] van ride.)

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 6
Journeys into the Ancient Past (Visits to High Andean Villages)

Visits to High Andean Villages: The first stop on this excursion will be Machuca (locally known locally as the “ancient village of shepherds”), which offers insights into traditional farming techniques and practices. We will then continue to an area called the Putana Vado to discover a variety of native flora, fauna and bird species. The next stop is Caspana, another typical village of the Altiplano, though it is also noted for its representative architecture and its strong cultural identity. After lunch (included) at a local restaurant in Caspana, the journey continues to Chiu-Chiu, a former trading hub of the region. As the streets of Chiu-Chius are best explored on foot, we will wander through this village, visiting the central church along the way. To conclude this all-day excursion, we will make our way to the village of Lasan, stopping along the way to see the Inka Coya lagoon before returning to the hotel. (This full-day excursion is considered to be of medium difficulty, as it consists of a 170 km van ride [105.63 mi] to an altitude of 4,500 m, therefore requiring two days of acclimatization.)

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 7
Journeys into the Ancient Past (Rock Art Excursion)

Rock Art Excursion: This activity begins in the Hierbas Buenas region, where you will find ancient “petroglyph” rock drawings that date back thousands of years. These designs represent scenes from the day-to-day life of local shepherds and farming communities. After having explored the caves and rock faces, we will travel on to Rainbow Valley, which gets its name from the multi-colored mineral-rich hills and cliffs.  (This half-day excursion is considered easy, as it consists of 115 km [71.45 mi] van ride and requires no acclimatization.

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Breakfast

Alto Atacama Desert Lodge and SPA: Prices

2019 - Price per person
Days
Catarpe RoomQuitor RoomSuite Tilo
SingleDoubleTripleSingleSingleDouble
7US$ 5,580US$ 4,620US$ 3,600US$ 4,800US$ 6,000US$ 5,280
Price per person based upon double occupancy.
Included in the price:
  • Reception inside the “Arrivals Hall” at Calama Airport (CJC) 
  • Arrival and departure transfers between Calama Airport and the lodge
  • Accommodations
  • American Buffet Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner at the lodge (includes soft drinks and coffee)
  • Daily excursions from a menu, bilingual guides
  • Free use of mountain bikes
  • Free access to the spa (sauna, Jacuzzi, etc.) & swimming pools, outdoor Jacuzzi
  • Complimentary transfer service between the lodge and the village of San Pedro (8:30 am to 11:30 pm)
Not included in the price:
  • Spa treatments (Massage, reflexology, Reiki, etc.)
  • Laundry
  • Telephone calls
  • Premium wines and spirits
  • Tips & gratuities
  • International & domestic flights
  • Insurance (prior to your journey please ensure your travel insurance is valid in your country of origin)
  • Tips & gratuities
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