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Explora Atacama - 4 Nights Itinerary

The hotel’s treks, mountain bike rides, horseback riding, and mountain climbing, as well as stargazing sessions, are quintessential ways to explore and discover the landscapes, history and culture of this unique region.

Every evening the hotel’s guides meet with guests in the lodge, bar or living room area. There, they will explain all of the next day’s available “Explorations” and help you choose the best excursion option according to your interests and abilities. The maximum group size is 8 travelers, and a bilingual Explora guide leads every Exploration.

The following list includes descriptions and details of the hotel’s Explorations.

NOTE: Explora reserves the right to alter, change or eliminate parts or the totality of these Exploration itineraries without prior notice, when this is necessary for the well-being or safety of the hotel’s guests. Please make sure to speak to an Explora guide daily to know the exact Explorations being offered.

Testimonials

“I want to thank you for arranging a perfect tour for me. I know you did not have control over who the other people would be, but it all, on all fronts, was perfect. The itinerary was sensational and the boat fabulous.”Risa Steinberg

Explora Atacama: Highlights

Chile, Atacama Desert, Trekking, Mountain Climbing, Horseback Rinding, Mountain Biking.

Explora Atacama: Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1: Optional activities to choose - Trekking (Easy)
Day 2: Optional activities to choose - Mountain Climbing (Easy)
Day 3: Optional activities to choose - Horseback Rinding (Easy)
Day 4: Optional activities to choose - Mountain Biking (Easy)
Day 5: Optional activities to choose - Mountain Biking (Moderate)
South America Map

Explora Atacama: Detailed Itinerary

Day 1
Optional activities to choose - Trekking (Easy)
Easy Trekking:

1: Salar de Atacama

Nights of acclimatization needed: 0 Type: Half day Duration: 1 hour Distance: 2 kms / 1.2 miles Max. Altitude: 2,500 meters / 8,000 feet Highlights: Orchards of Toconao, Chaxa Lagoon, Salar de Atacama, birdwatching, sunset Description: Departure from Explora by van (35 min). Before entering the town of Toconao, we begin our hike. We start in a beautiful oasis surrounded by orchards. It is a gentle 45 minute hike. From there, we make our way to the Los Flamencos National Reserve to the Chaxa Lagoon, where the Salar de Atacama salt flat is located, an ideal spot for birdwatching (depending on the season). Here we wait until sunset and head back to the hotel.

 

2: Cuchabrache heights

Nights of acclimatization needed: 0 Type: Half day Duration: 2.5 to 3.0 hours Distance: 6.5 kms / 3.9 miles Max. Altitude: 3,000 meters / 9,600 feet Highlights: Cordillera de la Sal, panoramic views, volcanoes Description: Departure from Explora by van (25 min.) to the source of the San Pedro River. We walk uphill to the summit plateau, from where there are spectacular views of the Green valley of Catarpe/ Cuchabrache, contrasted by a view of the dry salt flat and volcanoes in the distance. This is a great opportunity to experience panoramic views and enjoy the silence on this less traveled hike. Return to lodge by van.

 

3: Yerbas Buenas (Valle del Arcoiris)

Nights of acclimatization needed: 1 Type: Half day Duration: 2 hours Distance: 2 kms / 1.2 miles Max. Altitude: 3,000 meters / 9,600 feet Highlights: Yerbas Buenas petroglyphs, colored rock walls Description: Departure from Explora on the road to Calama, taking a detour to visit the Yerba Buena petroglyphs. We continue until reaching the small town of Rio Grande, one of the prettiest in Atacama, where we stroll through its quaint streets. Return by van to the lodge.

 

4: Cornisas

Nights of acclimatization needed: 0 Type: Half day Duration: 2 to 2.5 hours Distance: 4.2 kms / 2.5 miles Max. Altitude: 3,000 meters / 9,600 feet Highlights: Panoramic views of the oasis, Atacama Salt Flat, Valle de la Muerte Dunes Description: Departure by van to the Catarpe Valley. Trekking along the cornices of the Cordillera de la Sal, with panoramic views of the Oasis, the Salar de Atacama, and the Andes, finishing at the dunes of Valle de La Muerte. Return to the lodge by van. Family recommended

 

5: Quebrada del Diablo

Nights of acclimatization needed: 0 Type: Half day Duration: 2.5 hours Distance: 5 kms / 3 miles Max. Altitude: 3,500 meters / 11.200 feet Highlights: Aguas Calientes Salt Flats, Tuyayito Lagoon and buffet lunch. Description: Departure from Explora by van to Vilama. Intense ascent until reaching the Vilama lookout point, with panoramic views of the Volcanoes. Then we continue to hike along the Cordillera de la Sal  salt mountainsand descend to the Quebrada del Diablo Valley, where the high walls of clay and gypsum surround us during the final 45 minutes of the trek. Return to Explora by van.
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Lunch - Dinner
Day 2
Optional activities to choose - Mountain Climbing (Easy)
Moderate Ascents:

1: Jurinquinca (short version)

Nights of acclimatization needed: 3 Type: Half day Duration: 3 hours Distance: 4 kms / 2.4 miles Max. Altitude: 4.900 meters / 15.680 feet Highlights: Panoramic views of the mountains, volcanoes and the Atacama Salt Flat Description: We leave the lodge by van and head to the base of the Jurinquinca Hill. The ascent starts at 4,500m, where we begin hiking upwards along a route with no trail. When we reach the top, we see the Andes mountain range, with views of the Licancabur and Colorado volcanoes, as well as parts of the Salar de Atacama salt flat.
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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 3
Optional activities to choose - Horseback Rinding (Easy)
Easy Horseback Riding:

1: Sequitor

Nights of acclimatization needed: 0 Type: Half day Duration: 2 hours Distance: 8 kms / 4.8 miles Max. Altitude: 2,400 meters / 7,680 feet Highlights: Local ayllus, San Pedro Oasis Description: Departure from Explora on horseback to the Ayllus de Larache, Yaye, and Séquitor. Staying close to the perimeter of San Pedro, we see the San Pedro River, where you can observe diverse vegetation and local agrarian fields. Excellent introduction to riding in this area.

 

2: Valle de Quitor

Nights of acclimatization needed: 0 Type: Half day Duration: 1.5 to 2 hours Distance: 9 kms / 5.4 miles Max. Altitude: 2,400 meters / 7,680 feet Highlights: Pucará de Quitor, San Pedro River, Cordillera de la Sal salt mountains Description: Departure from Explora on horseback. Ride through the northern part of the oasis to view the Pukará de Quitor pre-Inca fortress, San Pedro River and surrounding farmlands. Pass the nearby Cordillera de la Sal salt mountains during the return trip to lodge.
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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 4
Optional activities to choose - Mountain Biking (Easy)
Easy Biking:

1: Lagoon Céjar

Nights of acclimatization needed: 0 Type: Half day Duration: 1.5 to 2.5 hours Distance: 18 kms / 11 miles Max. Altitude: 2,400 meters / 7,680 feet Highlights: Atacama salt flat, Céjar Lagoon Description: Departure from Explora by bicycle to the south. We cross the ayllus until we reach the entrance to the Salar de Atacama area, where we can observe vegetation specially adapted to the salty ground. The trail is flat and easy, full of areas dusted with chusca (powdery soil). Finally we reach a set of lakes where the Céjar Lagoon is located, and we have the opportunity to float in its salty water (bathing suit and flip-flops required; towels provided). Return to hotel by van.  Family recommended.

 

2: Catarpe

Nights of acclimatization needed: 0 Type: Half day Duration: 2 hours Distance: 20 kms / 12 miles Max. Altitude: 2,450 meters / 7,840 feet Highlights: Gypsum and salt ravines, local culture, San Isidro Chapel Description: We leave the lodge by bike. We go to the north, passing by Pukará de Quitor (a pre-Inca fortress). Then, we enter Catarpe’s former Valley, following the River San Pedro, to visit the Tambo de Catarpe (a former Inca administrative center) and San Isidro’s Church at the end of the Valley. On the way back, there is a possibility of visiting the “Devil’s Gully.” Family recommended
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Lunch - Dinner
Day 5
Optional activities to choose - Mountain Biking (Moderate)
Moderate Biking:

1: Circuito de los Valles

Nights of acclimatization needed: 0 Type: Half day Duration: 3.5 to 4 hours Distance: 45 kms / 27 miles Max. Altitude: 2,600 meters / 8,320 feet Highlights: Lunar landscapes, panoramic desert views Description: Departure from Explora by van along the road that connects San Pedro to Calama. We start from the Llano de la Paciencia, heading to the Moon Valley on packed gravel roads. The scenery is mesmerizing and the terrain is not technically demanding, though there are several climbs and descents.
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Breakfast

Explora Atacama: Prices

2018 - Price per person
Price per person
SeasonSuite CaturTulurYali
DoubleSingleDoubleSingleDoubleSingle
Mid SeasonUS$ 4,004US$ 5,366US$ 2,692US$ 3,608US$ 3,043US$ 4,078
Summer SeasonUS$ 4,207US$ 5,638US$ 2,826US$ 3,787US$ 3,196US$ 4,284
Included in the price:
  • Accommodations
  • All meals and bar
  • Pick up and drop off from and to airports
  • All excursions
  • Use of relaxation areas, Wi-Fi service in public areas, and national park entrance fees
Not included in the price:
  • Massages (extra)
  • Selections from the exclusive wine list (extra)
  • Laundry service (extra)
  • National and international phone calls (extras)
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