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Alto Atacama Desert Lodge and SPA 4-Night Itinerary

The only Atacama Desert lodge in the San Pedro region that’s totally enveloped by natural surroundings, the Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa blends seamlessly into its environment and appears as part of the terracotta-colored ridge that rises behind it. The Alto Atacama encourages guests to get off the beaten track, interact with the local indigenous culture and explore the desert’s varied and eerily beautiful landscapes by foot or bike. Geysers, hot springs, volcano climbs, mountain biking through desert canyons, and exploring ancient Incan ruins and petroglyphs are just a few of the 30 adventurous excursions offered, always led by highly trained local guides. As an example of a 5-day/4-night program, the following is a combination of cultural, adventure, expedition, contemplative and astronomical excursions that will allow you to make a genuine link with the desert highland plains. Keep in mind that while these excursions are designed for people who love nature and extraordinary landscapes, the vast majority of these outings do not require any special physical training or abilities.

Reviews

“I was very happy in every way with your booking and Cuyabeno Lodge. It surpassed my expectations in every way. No hitches with flights and transportation. The lodge was beautiful. The staff was professional and friendly.”Tim Matheson

Highlights

Atacama Desert, Lickanantai Culture Tour, Cardones Ravine, High Andean Villages, Quepiaco Wetlands, Salar de Pujsa Reserve, Pecan Monks Rock Formations, Inca Pass

Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1: Arrival in the Atacama Desert – Alto Atacama Lodge
Day 2: Lickanantai Culture Tour – Cardones Ravine
Day 3: High Andean Villages
Day 4: Quepiaco Wetlands – Salar de Pujsa Reserve – Pecan Monks Rock Formations
Day 5: Inca Pass – Departure
Itinerary Map

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival in the Atacama Desert – Alto Atacama Lodge

AM/PM: Welcome to the Atacama Desert..!! Upon arrival at the Calama airport, you will be driven to the oasis village of San Pedro de Atacama (1.5 hours, shared with other lodge guests). Dinner will be served at Alto Atacama lodge. During the evening, your guide will suggest optional activities available on Day 2.

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Dinner
Day 2
Lickanantai Culture Tour – Cardones Ravine

AM: This morning, the Lickanantai culture tour can be your first excursion. The archaeological site of Tulor – 2,400 years old and yet still well maintained – has been of great value in understanding many aspects of local history. Next, you will drive over to the village of San Pedro to explore the old city and its church. Later this morning, we will visit Pucara of Quitor, a pre-Hispanic village that provides an outstanding example of the area’s original native heritage.

PM: This afternoon’s hike can be to the Cardones Ravine, which begins at the point where the Puritama and Purifica rivers meet and turn into the mighty Vilama River. We will then trek through diverse rock formations and vegetation, including ancient cacti standing at over seven meters tall. The region was once populated with an abundance of shepherding communities, so you will pass through former settlements as we walk.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 3
High Andean Villages

AM: The first stop on this whole-day excursion will be to a number of high Andean villages, which are archeological sites that offer insight into traditional farming techniques and practices. The first stop is the ancient shepherd village known as “Machuca.” Travelers will then continue to the Putana Vado, known for its variety of native flora, fauna and birdlife species. The next stop is Caspana, another typical village of the Altiplano, though it is noted for its representative architecture and a strong cultural identity.

PM: After lunch at a local restaurant in Caspana, the journey continues to Chiu-Chiu, a former trading hub of the region. Chiu-Chius streets are best explored on foot, visiting the central church along the way. Finally, this excursion ends in the village of Lasan, stopping en route at the of Inka Coya lagoon before we head back to the lodge.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 4
Quepiaco Wetlands – Salar de Pujsa Reserve – Pecan Monks Rock Formations

AM/PM: This full-day Wetlands Tour offers the chance to delve deep into the Andean landscape, observing a variety of wildlife. The first stop is the Quepiac Wetland Park, an important protected area in the region, and a great place to spot native bird species. Next, we will venture to the Salar de Pujsa, the largest reserve of its kind and the migration point for nesting flamingos. Finally, travelers can visit the immense rock formations known as the “Pecan Monks,” noted for their sheer size and their sudden emergence from the desert floor. (*excursion includes lunch)

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 5
Inca Pass – Departure

AM: On the final day of your stay at Alto Atacama (and depending on the time of your flight home or onward), you can go on a tour of Inca Pass. This challenging half-day trek begins with a climb to the base of the cornices of the Catarpe Valley to enjoy the expansive views before your descent. After taking in the surrounding vista, you will begin the climb down through the dunes of the Mars Valley, eventually heading back to the lodge.

PM: After returning to the lodge for lunch, you will be driven back to the Calama airport. As you head to the airport for your departing flight home or onward, enjoy your last look back at the spectacular Atacama Desert, a unique region of inspiring natural wonders.

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Breakfast - Lunch

Prices

2021 - Price per person
Days
Catarpe RoomQuitor RoomTilo Suite
DoubleDoubleDouble
5US$ 3,200 PPUS$ 2,600 PPUS$ 3,400 PP
*Price per person based upon double occupancy.
*PP (per person)
Included in the price:
  • Accommodations in selected room
  • Transfer in/out from/to Calama (airport) or from / to Border with Bolivia
  • Shuttle service to and from San Pedro de Atacama - available from 09:00 - 23:00
  • Buffet-style American breakfasts
  • Lunch and Dinner à la carte (Starter, Main Course and Dessert)
  • Alcoholic & non-alcoholic drinks
  • Open bar from 11:00 to 23:30. After-hour charges apply
  • Daily Excursions - 1 full day excursion or 2 half day excursions per person, per day (maximum of 10 guests per vehicle on half day excursions and 8 guests per vehicle for full day excursions). Excursions with local guide
  • Please note, excursions are offered from 15:00 on arrival day until 13:00 on departure day
    Access to Puri Spa (swimming pools, sauna, steam room, hydro-massage bath and shower)
  • Free use of mountain bikes
  • Guests must inform the property of arrival and departure times at least 72 hours in advance, in order to coordinate the airport shuttle service
  • Park tickets
  • Private astrological observatory of the Andes
Not included in the price:
  • Spa treatments (Massage, reflexology, Reiki, etc.)
  • Premium Alcoholic Beverages
  • Laundry, telephone calls, personal expenses
  • Tips & gratuities
  • International & domestic flights
  • Health & Travel Insurance 

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Traveler Reviews
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Reviews

“The trip to the Galapagos was really fantastic! Although it was quite short, the trip itinerary made time for us to do quite a lot of things. Everything went very smoothly, too.”Maggie Clark