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Atacama

Desert & Altiplano, Chile

Explorations in
Atacama

Activity
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Difficulty
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Areas
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Quebrada de Chulacao

Cuenca del salar
Hike
Easy
Half-day

At the foot of the Salt mountains, we come to the Catarpe Valley, which receives the San Pedro river that feeds the oasis and the salt marsh. In the valley, we will begin our hike in the Quebrada Chulaco, a great canyon with high walls, with curves and serpentine shapes formed by moldable minerals and water erosion. Upon leaving the canyon we will hike up to a viewpoint with 360° views of the desert and its mountain ranges. We return along the same trail.

More details >
Quebrada de Chulacao
Hike
Easy
Half-day
  • Exploration Path

    At the foot of the Salt mountains, we come to the Catarpe Valley, which receives the San Pedro river that feeds the oasis and the salt marsh. In the valley, we will begin our hike in the Quebrada Chulaco, a great canyon with high walls, with curves and serpentine shapes formed by moldable minerals and water erosion. Upon leaving the canyon we will hike up to a viewpoint with 360° views of the desert and its mountain ranges. We return along the same trail.

    156 m 512 ft
    -156 m -512 ft
    2582 m 8469 ft
    2515 m 8249 ft

    Elevation Profile

Ronque

Quebradas Intermedias
Hike
Moderate
Full-day

The hike begins in the upper part of Quebrada Jorquencal, a sector with large cacti and archaeological ruins. From there we descend to the Puritama hot springs. We will enjoy lunch there, before continuing our hike along the Puritama River, in a beautiful canyon of native vegetation home to dozens of birds. Our hike ends in the town of Guatín, where the Puritama and Purifica Rivers converge and give life to the Vilama River.

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Ronque
Hike
Moderate
Full-day
  • Exploration Path

    The hike begins in the upper part of Quebrada Jorquencal, a sector with large cacti and archaeological ruins. From there we descend to the Puritama hot springs. We will enjoy lunch there, before continuing our hike along the Puritama River, in a beautiful canyon of native vegetation home to dozens of birds. Our hike ends in the town of Guatín, where the Puritama and Purifica Rivers converge and give life to the Vilama River.

    161 m 528 ft
    -545 m -1788 ft
    3732 m 12241 ft
    3269 m 10722 ft

    Elevation Profile

Agua vieja

Quebradas Intermedias
Hike
Moderate
Full-day

A hike to get lost in the absolute desert and amid the great walls and canyons of the Domeyko range. We depart by van to a little-explored sector of the Domeyko range, from which we will begin our hike in the middle of a solitary plain overlooking the Andes and the Salt mountains, before going into canyons with unique shapes and colors. We will descend some challenging steps product of the erosion caused by ancient seasonal rivers, and where we will have to use our hands. *Exploration not recommended for people with vertigo or fear of heights.

More details >
Agua vieja
Hike
Moderate
Full-day
  • Exploration Path

    A hike to get lost in the absolute desert and amid the great walls and canyons of the Domeyko range. We depart by van to a little-explored sector of the Domeyko range, from which we will begin our hike in the middle of a solitary plain overlooking the Andes and the Salt mountains, before going into canyons with unique shapes and colors. We will descend some challenging steps product of the erosion caused by ancient seasonal rivers, and where we will have to use our hands. *Exploration not recommended for people with vertigo or fear of heights.

    121 m 397 ft
    -665 m -2181 ft
    3260 m 10693 ft
    2715 m 8905 ft

    Elevation Profile

Domeyko

Quebradas Intermedias
Hike
Moderate
Half-day

This hike takes place in the Domeyko range, amid great canyons and colors created by the different minerals that make up this mountain range. After getting lost among huge clay walls, we will descend some challenging steps product of the erosion caused by ancient seasonal rivers, and where we will have to use our hands. *Exploration not recommended for people with vertigo or fear of heights.

More details >
Domeyko
Hike
Moderate
Half-day
  • Exploration Path

    This hike takes place in the Domeyko range, amid great canyons and colors created by the different minerals that make up this mountain range. After getting lost among huge clay walls, we will descend some challenging steps product of the erosion caused by ancient seasonal rivers, and where we will have to use our hands.
    *Exploration not recommended for people with vertigo or fear of heights.

    73 m 239 ft
    -292 m -958 ft
    2934 m 9624 ft
    2715 m 8905 ft

    Elevation Profile

Tambores

Quebradas Intermedias
Hike
Easy
Half-day

This hike explores the center of the Puritama Conservation Reserve, an area characterized by its great variety of cacti. Along the way we will have a view of the beautiful Quebrada Jorquenal from above, a canyon full of contrasts, vegetation, life and archaeological remains. We descend along a rocky terrain until reaching the Puritama hot springs.

More details >
Tambores
Hike
Easy
Half-day
  • Exploration Path

    This hike explores the center of the Puritama Conservation Reserve, an area characterized by its great variety of cacti. Along the way we will have a view of the beautiful Quebrada Jorquenal from above, a canyon full of contrasts, vegetation, life and archaeological remains. We descend along a rocky terrain until reaching the Puritama hot springs.

    118 m 387 ft
    -233 m -764 ft
    3732 m 12241 ft
    3537 m 11601 ft

    Elevation Profile

Caravaneros

Cuenca del salar
Hike
Easy
Half-day

This hike is a journey through the history of the old caravans and their interaction with the desert. We will cross from the Vilama sector toward the Catarpe Valley along old desert trails until reaching the great canyons in Quebrada Chulaco. This hike gives us broad 360° views that will allow us to understand the desert's different areas and formations.

More details >
Caravaneros
Hike
Easy
Half-day
  • Exploration Path

    This hike is a journey through the history of the old caravans and their interaction with the desert. We will cross from the Vilama sector toward the Catarpe Valley along old desert trails until reaching the great canyons in Quebrada Chulaco. This hike gives us broad 360° views that will allow us to understand the desert's different areas and formations.

    159 m 522 ft
    -183 m -600 ft
    1617 m 5304 ft
    2515 m 8249 ft

    Elevation Profile

Astronomia Andina

Cielo
Sky
Easy
Half-day

We begin with a briefing of basic concepts under the open sky. We then learn about orientation, distances, and local culture...

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Astronomia Andina
Sky
Easy
Half-day
  • Exploration Path

    It takes place almost every day at Explora. We begin with a briefing of basic concepts under the open sky. We then learn about orientation, distances, and local culture under one the world’s clearest skies. In our own observatory, we get to watch stellar objects in the solar system and deep space. Ask our guides for availability.
    *Each traveler has the option to attend one astronomy exploration per stay. A second session will be subject to availability.
    **We recommend that you reserve your session at the lodge reception upon check-in, as spaces are limited.

Ckausama

Altiplano
Overland
Easy
Full-day

We take a van to the Tatio Geysers. Along the way, an important part of the Andean Plateau fauna –including vicuñas, flamingos, foxes...

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Ckausama
Overland
Easy
Full-day
  • Exploration Path

    We take a van to the Tatio Geysers. Along the way, an important part of the Andean Plateau fauna –including vicuñas, flamingos, foxes, and others– can be appreciated. We walk across the reserve feeling the inner activity of the land with views to the Andes Mountain Range and the hot water springs from where steam rises. We return by van.

Arcoiris

Quebradas Intermedias
Bike
Moderate
Half-day

We take a van to the Domeyko Mountain Range (one hour travel), where we will pedal through a path to the valley creek between multicolored...

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Arcoiris
Bike
Moderate
Half-day
  • Exploration Path

    We take a van to the Domeyko Mountain Range (one hour travel), where we will pedal through a path to the valley creek between multicolored walls. Guanacos, other typical fauna and the varied flora of the area can be seen during this exploration. We return by van.

    249 m 816,7 ft
    -396 m -1299 ft
    3.269 m 10.722 ft
    3.067 m 10.060 ft

    Elevation Profile

Rio Salado

Cuenca del salar
Horseback Ride
Advanced
Full-day

We gallop to the Catarpe Valley through the San Pedro de Atacama oasis, towards the Salt Mountain Range...

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Rio Salado
Horseback Ride
Advanced
Full-day
  • Exploration Path

    We gallop to the Catarpe Valley through the San Pedro de Atacama oasis, towards the Salt Mountain Range. We go through an archeological site of great value and, after lunch, we go down to the Salado River following its course till its confluence with the Grande River. On our way there, we can see petroglyphs. Afterwards we return to Explora.

    For experienced and advanced riders only. This exploration is only available for advanced riders who have mastered rising trot and canter over uneven terrain in open spaces and on all types of horses. A test in the hotel is required before going out into the desert.

    422 m 1384 ft
    -422 m -1384 ft
    2.686 m 8.810 ft
    2.431 m 7.974 ft

    Elevation Profile

San Isidro

Cuenca del salar
Bike
Moderate
Half-day

We ride our bicycles to the Catarpe Valley in the Salt Ridge. We pedal through switch paths between canyons...

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San Isidro
Bike
Moderate
Half-day
  • Exploration Path

    We ride our bicycles to the Catarpe Valley in the Salt Ridge. We pedal through switch paths between canyons made of reddish soil in a place known as Garganta del Diablo (Devil’s Throat). We visit the San Isidro church into a historic area.

    325 m 1066 ft
    -325 m -1066 ft
    2.584 m 8.476 ft
    2.431 m 7.974 ft

    Elevation Profile

Catarpe

Cuenca del salar
Bike
Easy
Half-day

We bike ride to the San Pedro River and follow its course to Catarpe. We go through the Quitor pukará...

More details >
Catarpe
Bike
Easy
Half-day
  • Exploration Path

    We bike ride to the San Pedro River and follow its course to Catarpe. We go through the Quitor pukará, an old fortress, and cross the Garganta del Diablo (Devil’s Throat), a canyon inside the Salt Mountain Range with zigzagging paths between striking rock formations. We return through the same road.

    244 m 800 ft
    -244 m -800 ft
    2.546 m 8.351 ft
    2.431 m 7.974 ft

    Elevation Profile

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