Red Hot Chile - Trekking the Atacama Desert
Visit: Calama, San Pedro de Atacama, Higuerita, Tocotocare, Chaxas, Calama Airport
Tour Type: Small Group
- Summit Licancabur (5920m) one of the world's most incredible volcanoes
- Enjoy San Pedro before an excellent acclimatisation trek through the Atacama
- The flamingos of Laguna Blanca, explore Laguna Verde and the Tatio Geysers
- Experience sunsets over the Valley of the Moon, hot springs and Chaxa Lagoon
Product Code: 145779
Tour Type: Small Group
Guide Language: Engligh
Starts: Calama, Chile
Finishes: Calama Airport, Chile
Duration: 11 days
Physical rating: Basic
- An experienced English-speaking local leader
- An extra climbing guide in Bolivia
- Single timed airport transfers
- All accommodation as described
- Meals as outlined in the Meal Plan
- Once on trek a full service including food and all equipment (excluding personal equipment)
- All land transport involved in the itinerary
Price person (sharing double) $3,690 ($335/day)
$300 per person for bookings made 56 days or more prior to departure
Full Amount for bookings made less than 56 days prior to departure
Price does not include airfare (to the Trip start & from the end location)
Trip Price generally includes accommodation, transport/transfer, activities, services of a professional guide & more. (Please refer to the include/excludes section for details)
Tour packages spare you the hassles of trip planning, a la carte booking, organizing and managing the logistics at a foreign location.
Our Chilean trek was a wonderful experience. Our guide Yasu was well organised and very knowledgeable on all aspects of the area. The Atacama Desert has a very unique feel to it. Most of the trip involves magnificent day walks through hidden valleys all whilst preparing you for your ascent of Licancabur Volcano, a challenging seven to eight hour climb to approx. 6000mt. Its a cold climb in the early morning so be prepared with warm gear. The preparation walks gets more challenging as the final ascent day draws near. Don't worry if you find these days quite exhausting as the whole week is slowly building up your chances of making to the top on the last day. The weather can be hot days and cold nights. You will need warm gear! Also a good sturdy set of ankle high walking boots as for most of the week and especially in Bolivia the footing is loose stone and the chances of a sideways spill is a possibility. One down side was a couple of poor choices for campsites which was a little disappointing given the abundance of magnificent campsite opportunities, however with early nights and an early start this was only a minor complaint I would recommend this trek.
I enjoyed the holiday, especially getting to the top of Licancabur, and although we were a large group everybody was fit and got on well. The walking was limited in scope by the (unsurprising) lack of water and I feel that the trip should be regarded as a collection of places visited rather than a genuine trekking holiday. For obvious reasons it is not an area suitable for continuous days of walking.
Lots of variety on this trek in terms of activities, overnight accommodation and landscape. Don't expect a linear trek off the beaten track in the Peruvian or Indian style, rather a menu of days chosen for interest with day or half day walks for acclimatisation, plus pockets of free time to relax or explore San Pedro. Make sure you are fit before you go! The heat and number of ascents take their toll but the effort is worth it. The wildlife is exceptional; yes flamingos really are that photogenic.
The scenery is spectacular, primarily the multi-coloured desert but also watching the flamingos close up in Laguna Blanca at 16,000 ft. I found the high altitude desert hiking exhausting, one eight hour, 15 mile day (longer than advertised due to re-routing caused by rain several weeks earlier) without shade being especially challenging. 11 out of 15 strong hikers got up Licancabur, the rest of us chilled out with the flamingos.
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