Explorations
 

explora ATACAMA

Explorations

At explora Atacama we offer over 50 different explorations. On foot or horseback or by bicycle; a couple of hours to a full day; gentle or more physically demanding.

Our series of explorations will enable you to discover the ancient culture of Atacama, its singular wildlife, and get to know in-depth the natural landscapes of this vast terrain: from the brown of the Andean mountains and volcanos, to the white of the salt flats and the green of the oases.

San Pedro de Atacama is located at an altitude of 2,500 meters (8,200 feet) above sea level. Our explorations, planned to enable your body to gradually become accustomed to the altitude, can take you to heights of between 4,000 meters (13,123 feet) and 4,500 meters (14,763 feet) above sea level and if you wish, even further on our high-mountain climbs.

Explorations are safe and are made up of groups with a maximum of 8 people, accompanied by an expert bilingual guide. All our guides speak excellent Spanish and English and some also speak French and German.

More extensive explorations include open-air picnics.
Every evening, one of our guides will meet with you in the lodge bar to tell you about the explorations planned for the following day and help you with the difficult task of choosing between the 7 to 14 different options, all of them exciting.

Our guides have substantial knowledge of the area and all have Wilderness First Responder (WFR) certification, which guarantees that they have the expertise and skills necessary to provide assistance to people in remote places.

 
Stargazing

Stargazing

The clear skies of Atacama, considered the best in the Southern Hemisphere for astronomy, offer exceptional observation of the firmament and celestial bodies.

Our exploration of the sky begins at night with an introductory talk outdoors. We then continue to the observatory to contemplate in detail the constellations of stars, planets and galaxies through a powerful telescope equipped with advanced optics for excellent resolution and clarity.

The sky throughout the year

Because of the Earth’s movement and rotation, celestial bodies appear at different times, depending on the time of year. Thus, during each part of the year, and depending on which Atacama tour you take, you may observe different stars, nebulae, clusters and galaxies.

January 1, 9 p.m.

To the east are Sirius and Canopus, the brightest stars in the sky; you can see the constellation of Orion and two of its stars, Rigel and Betelgeuse, the Orion nebula and the Trapezium cluster; somewhat higher up are the constellations Taurus and the Pleiades. To the south are the Tarantula nebula and the globular cluster 47 Tucanae, satellite galaxies of the Magellanic Clouds.

April 1, 9 p.m.

The Southern Cross ascends, along with Alpha and Beta Centauri, the star closest to our sun. In the same area, the Jewel Box cluster, Omega Centauri and the Carina nebula are visible. The Sombrero Galaxy also begins to ascend.

July 1, 9 p.m.

The Southern Cross is at its highest point. The Earth is pointing toward the Galactic Center. The white band of the plane of the Milky Way is visible in its entirety. The constellation Scorpion stands out, its heart comprised of the red supergiant star Antares, Sagittarius and the Corona Australis and Corona Borealis. To the east, Vega and Altair arise.

October 1, 9 p.m.

Dark transitional sky: Capricorn appears high up in the sky. To the north, the constellation Cygnus and the star Albireo ascend. Within the Lyra constellation the Ring Nebula is visible. Andromeda can be seen with the naked eye; in the deep sky the Sculptor Galaxy stands out.