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Tierra Atacama Hotel & Spa Tour 7-Night Itinerary

Located in northern Chile’s stunning Atacama Desert – between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes Mountains, on the edge of the tiny oasis village of San Pedro de Atacama – you will find a special boutique resort:  the Tierra Atacama Hotel and Spa. Within a stone's throw of snow-capped volcanoes, shimmering salt pans and the Andes, the hotel itself reflects the magical mood of the world's driest desert. The Tierra Atacama experience is that of an “adventure spa,” with the idea being that guests can experience the outdoors actively and adventurously, later returning to the hotel for pampering at the spa or relaxation on the lodge’s grounds. Such a stay at Tierra Atacama includes access to a myriad of excursions in the area in groups of no more than eight guests, all led by expert guides. These outings range from driving tours to Altiplano lagoons, horseback riding, hiking through stunning scenery, visiting hot springs, mountain biking and exploring archaeological ruins. These tours range from half-a-day to full-day, and consist of everything easy hikes to the more challenging climbs, with a variety of daily options from which you – the guest – can choose. The following 8-day/7-night itinerary is just an example of a tour that you can design after selecting from the many activities and excursions offered by Tierra Atacama Hotel & Spa.


“The Samba cruise anyway was great, good boat, good food, amazing guide and friendly staff.”Federica Novellini


Chile, San Pedro de Atacama, Cycling, Excursion, Trekking, Moon Valley Tour, Birdwatching, Horseback, Trekking, Cycling.

Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1: Arrival in San Pedro de Atacama – Cycling through the Ayllus/Atacama Communities
Day 2: Tatio Geysers Excursion – Tara Salt Flat Tour
Day 3: Tulan Trekking (full day)
Day 4: Moon Valley Tour – Petroglyphs / Rainbow Valley Excursion
Day 5: Birdwatching (full day)
Day 6: The Atacama on Horseback – Full Moon Tour
Day 7: Cornisas Trekking – High Plains Lagoons Tour – Star Gazing
Day 8: Devil’s Canyon Cycling – Departure
Itinerary Map

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival in San Pedro de Atacama – Cycling through the Ayllus/Atacama Communities

AM: Arriving at Chile’s Calama airport, a Tierra Atacama representative will meet you and drive you along the scenic 92km (57-mile) stretch of desert to your boutique hotel & spa. After checking in, you will have lunch at the hotel and have a chance to rest up.

PM: This afternoon, you can experience a great way to acclimatize yourself to the 2,400 meters (7,900 feet) altitude of San Pedro de Atacama. We will depart from the hotel on bicycles to visit some of the most typical Ayllus (extended-family communities) of the San Pedro de Atacama oasis. After seeing some of the farms, plantations and typical adobe structures in the area, we will return to the hotel for dinner and relaxation.

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Lunch - Dinner
Day 2
Tatio Geysers Excursion – Tara Salt Flat Tour

AM: Following a rich, early morning Atacama breakfast at the hotel, we will head out to the Tatio Geysers, located at 4,300 meters (14,200 feet) above sea level. This geothermal field includes more than 80 active geysers that spurt 12-meter-high water-vapor columns from pools of boiling hot water. On the return trip back to the hotel, you will have a chance to spot local wildlife, including vicuñas, foxes, vizcachas and Andean ostrich. We will also stop in the picturesque village of Machuca before reaching the hotel at noon.

PM: After lunch, we will travel east to the Licancabur Volcano, the guiding landmark of Atacama locals. The drive will take us up to an altitude of 4,700 meters (15,419 feet), where you will find stunning, colorful surroundings dotted by birds, wetlands and salt flats. After the paved road ends, the towering rock formations of Monjes de la Pacana come into view. From there, we will head to Tara, an unexpected salt lake that is a photographer’s dream come true. In this area rife with captivating scenery and wildlife, we will have lunch and then return to the hotel.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 3
Tulan Trekking (full day)

AM/PM: This morning we will set out south from the hotel for a whole day of hiking that begins at Tilomonte Oasis, where we will hike at the southern end of the Salar de Atacama (Atacama Salt Flat). At an initial elevation of 2,350 meters (7,700 feet) above sea level, we will walk along the Cordón de Lila, a thin range made up of large Palaeozoic- to Cretaceous-era volcanic rocks. We will walk along the Tulan River with a view of the Domeyko Mountains, where you will see old farms and ancient trees. Once we reach the Tulan Ruins, which retain remnants of 6,000-year-old human settlements, we will visit a small cave with unique petroglyphs left behind by the indigenous peoples. We will eat lunch here before going back to the hotel for a sumptuous dinner and relaxation.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 4
Moon Valley Tour – Petroglyphs / Rainbow Valley Excursion

AM: The Salt Mountain Range and the surreal landscape of the Valle de la Luna (“Moon Valley”) lie just northeast of San Pedro de Atacama at an altitude of 2,500 meters / 8,200 feet. Since most people visit this area in the afternoon, we set out in the morning, which will allow us to have the beauty and silence of the desert almost to ourselves. These strange and beautiful rock formations are the result of water and wind erosion combined with extreme desert temperatures. These will bring you into close contact with the Atacama Desert’s otherworldly dimension.

PM: Following lunch, we will set out on another excursion, heading west on the highway towards Calama and the town of Matancilla. Here you will find yourself in Rainbow Valley, where you can enjoy its many-colored rocks that are the results of mineral erosion and environmental processes. After this short but scenic 30-minute hike, we will ride to the town of Hierbas Buenas and visit a natural shelter made of compacted volcanic ash that was once used by farmers traveling in caravans. Here we will see many petroglyphs of archaeological and historic significance. We will return to the hotel by vehicle.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 5
Birdwatching (full day)

AM/PM: For today's’ excursion, we will drive to the Putana and Machuca high-altitude wetlands, situated at over 4,000 meters (13,000 feet) above sea level. This ecosystem gives you the chance to observe birds such as flamingos, caitis, guallatas (Andean geese), Andean seagulls, Giant taguas, Puna teals, Crested ducks, jergóns, pimpollos and Tyrant flycatchers and other local and migratory birds. It is also possible to sight vicuñas and llamas in the area of Machuca. These wetlands are surrounded by beautiful mountains and volcanoes that are part of the Andes Mountains.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 6
The Atacama on Horseback – Full Moon Tour

AM: Tierra Hotel & Spa provides a selection of rides on Atacama horses, with Chilean (western) style saddles, hard hats and chaps supplied. The horses are mounted on the hotel grounds and a local guide leads the rides, which range from beginner- to expert-level. Your ride will provide you a complete immersion in the desert and its mysteries, as you follow the tracks of an age-old civilization at ambling gaits that take you past lagoons, dunes and canyons of the Andean foothills.

PM: Following an afternoon of rest and relaxation at the hotel and spa, after dinner, we will leave the hotel in a van and travel away from the town to an area free of any light pollution. There, we will begin a leisurely hike, stopping to contemplate the silhouettes and shadows left by the light of the moon. This scenic hike is a unique way to view the singular desert geography. After walking for about an hour, we will share a campfire and snack, as well as enjoy the peace of the high plains in the moonlight.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 7
Cornisas Trekking – High Plains Lagoons Tour – Star Gazing

AM: This excursion departs from the hotel by van, taking us along the old San Pedro-Calama road to a tunnel that provides spectacular views of the region´s volcanos. After enjoying a moment at 2,600 meters (8,530 feet) above sea level, we will descend to the main dunes of Valle de la Muerte (“Death Valley”), an enigmatic landscape that invites contemplation.

PM: This afternoon, we will strike out for the remote Aguas Calientes and Tuyajto lagoons, situated at more than 4,000 meters (13,000 feet) above sea level, where you will discover their awesome surroundings. All of this makes this excursion one of tranquility and peace amid the amazing colors and contrasts of the salt flats. We will also visit the area of Piedras Rojas (“Red Rocks”) with its impressive, inspiring geological formations. After dinner at the hotel, your guide will explain the Andean worldview while pointing out various constellations while star gazing at the universe with the naked eye, and then through the largest public telescope in the area. Depending on the phase of the moon and the time of year, you might be able to sight Saturn’s rings, craters on the moon, nebulas and/or supernovas.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 8
Devil’s Canyon Cycling – Departure

AM: Early this morning, we will leave from the hotel on bicycles and head north from San Pedro following the course of its namesake’s river to an altitude of 2,400 meters (7,900 feet) above sea level. The landscape varies between the Cordillera de la Sal (Salt Mountain Range) and its surrounding oasis. After crossing the river, we will arrive at Devil’s Canyon and bask in the singular beauty of this winding dry riverbed and its tall clay walls. Continuing to ascend along this sandy path, we will come to the labyrinth’s end, where the barren landscape contrasts with the green oasis of the ever-expanding Catarpe plantations. The return journey follows the course of San Pedro River.

PM: Concluding this amazing Atacama experience, we will have a farewell lunch at the hotel before you pack up and are driven back to the Calama airport for your flight home or onward.

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Price per person
Oriente & Poniente
8US$ 6,100 PPUS$ 4,850 PP
*Price per person based upon double occupancy.
*PP (per person)
Included in the price:
  • Accommodations
  • Transfer from and to Calama airport (from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM)
  • American breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Open bar: mineral water, sodas, juices, house wine and liquors (premium wines and vintage liquors available for an additional cost)
  • Daily two half-day excursions or one full-day excursion in small groups with other guests
  • Use of pools, sauna, and the Jacuzzi (massages, treatments and therapies payable in the hotel)
Not included in the price:
  • International and domestic air tickets
  • Travel and medical insurance (highly recommended)

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Traveler 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