Atacama Travel Tips, Useful Information, Destination Highlights

Atacama, Chile

Travel tips

R: Required / O: Optional / (*) Most of the suggested equipment can be found in our lodge stores.

explora provides travelers with trekking poles, helmets, bikes and riding gaiters and give them a water bottle.

WHAT TO BRINGATACAMA
HikesHigh mountain ascentsHorseback ridesBike rides
HeadBASEBALL CAPRR
HAT TO PROTECT FROM THE COLDRR
Hiking clothing1st layer: LAYER TOP AND BOTTOMRRRR
2nd layer: FLEECERRRR
3rd layer:WINDBREAKER JACKETRRRR
4th layer: DOWN JACKETOROO
T-SHIRTSRRRR
LONG SLEEVE T-SHIRTSOROO
THIN FLEECEOOOO
TREKKING PANTSRROR
TREKKING SHORTSOOOO
GlovesLINER OR WIND STOPPER GLOVESRROO
FeetTREKKING SOCKS (LONG)RROO
LINER SOCKSOROO
MOUNTAIN BOOTSOR
TREKKING BOOTSRR
Special for horseback ridingRIDING GLOVESO
RIDING PANTSO
RIDING BOOTSO
Special for bike ridingBIKING GLOVESO
BIKING SHORTSO
BIKING SHOESO
Other accesoriesBATHING SUITRR
SANDALSRR
BUFF OR NECK GAITERRRRR
SUNGLASSESRRRR
SUNSCREENRRRR
SMALL BACK PACK (25L)RRR
CAMEL BACKOOO
HEAD LAMPR
SLEEPING BAGO

Atacama climate

San Pedro de Atacama and its surrounding area have a very dry and mild climate year round. The village gradually grew up around an oasis, and is situated on a high plateau, 2,443 meters (8,015 feet) above sea level, and located just 100 kilometers (62 miles) from Calama, a major city served by El Loa International Airport, or “Calama Airport” (CJC).

During winter (June – September), the average daytime temperature ranges from 9º C (48º F) to 24º C (75º F) – inviting you to soak up the sun in the lodge’s relaxing lounge chairs, on the terraces or in the glassed corridors. During summer (December – March), daytime temperatures fluctuate between 13º C (55º F; early morning) and 25º C (77º F; evening), with a maximum of approximately 32º C (90º F) – a period of the year calling for an afternoon siesta before joining one of the evening explorations.

Ninety percent of the days are clear and sunny.  However, between mid-December and the beginning of March, occasional rains and snow in higher areas result in what is called the Altiplano Winter. During these months and due to unstable weather conditions in the area, some of our explorations could be subject to changes or even canceled in order to protect our travelers’ safety.

Atacama desert

How to get here

After arriving in Santiago, Chile’s capital city (SCL), you need to take a 2-hour connecting flight to the city of Calama.

At Calama Airport (CJC), a member of our team wll pick you up and drive you to explora Atacama, approximately one-hour away.

Alternative airport pick-up & drop-off services

Pick-ups

For guests who will not be coming to the lodge from the airport in Calama, we provide daily pick-up service from the following locations:

Hotels in Calama: 9:00 am – schedule confirmed the night before.

Border crossings: Please check out alternativesreserve@explora.com

San Pedro de Atacama hotels and bus terminal: The exact pick-up hour will be confirmed the day before

Drop-off services

Calama Airport (CJC): Departure from the lodge approximately two hours prior to flight departure.

Border crossings: Please check out alternatives: reserve@explora.com

Check-in and check-out

Check-in: We recommend arriving at the hotel by midday to take a half-day exploration during the afternoon and start the acclimatization process.

Check-out: We want you to be able to maximize your exploration on this day too. If you leave the hotel in the morning for a half day exploration, you have to check out before leaving and we will arrange for the safe storage of your luggage. Check-out is by 12:00 (noon).

Atacama desert, Chile

Destination highlights

The Oasis of San Pedro is simply the starting point for myriad mesmerizing excursions.

When you leave San Pedro de Atacama, heading out into the Altiplano (high plains area) toward the volcanoes, you will undoubtedly experience a deep sense of peace and solitude. Here, you are in a truly remote environment – a unique world, untamed and far from civilization.

It’s important to allow enough time to become properly acclimated to the area’s altitude. Therefore, we recommend that you choose a stay of at least 5 days to have time to adjust and be able to really get to know the area and some of its natural wonders. Ideally, make sure you have at least two full days for exploration activities, and hopefully, a third day to hike up one of the mountains.

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