We propose a new way of traveling based on in-depth exploration of the surroundings and the luxury of the essential.
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We propose a new way of traveling based on in-depth exploration of the surroundings and the luxury of the essential.
We take a van to Guatín, a grazing area and junction point of the Puritama and Purifica rivers, and source of the Vilama River. There, we walk along a canyon known as the Valley of the Cacti due to the existence of giant cacti. We cut cross the canyon crossing the river several times and descending along different waterfalls.
We take a van to the Salt Ridge. We begin our walk at a viewpoint with panoramic views to the Moon Valley. We go down a dune and walk along Kari creek, a canyon carved by the erosion of water and surrounded by sedimentary walls of clay, plaster, and salt. We return by van.
We take a van to the Moon Valley to appreciate the different landscapes of the Salt Ridge, where erosion by water and wind has originated dunes and unique geological formations that can only be seen here. This trip, from west to east, goes through a road that is not frequently used.
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.
We leave by bicycle to Catarpe through a road that goes up to the Salt Ridge. We go through an ancient tunnel before starting a descent that will take us to the Piedra de la Coca, a site with petroglyphs. We continue our trip to the Paciencia plains through stony grounds and on our way back we pass through the Mars Valley.
We bike ride to the Catarpe Valley. We ride up to Cuchabrache, through an old road that crosses the Salt Ridge. We ride through plaster and crystallized salt creeks. This exploration includes seeing part of the local culture and petroglyphs, as well as the San Isidro chapel.
We horseback ride to the ayllus located in Séquitor, Yaye, and Checar, Atacameño social and farming communities that are also considered small oasis in the middle of the desert. Here, vegetable gardens still prevail and the Atacama construction technique using adobe and straw roofs is still seen..
We travel to the ayllu in Solor, located to the south of San Pedro. Here we can see one of the oasis’s most developed farming areas. On our way, we can see typical desert constructions –using adobe and straw roofs– and we go across a small irrigation canal. Before we return, we visit the mythical desert book store.
We horseback ride to the Salt Ridge. We go across the San Pedro River and sand dunes, from where we have panoramic views of the Andes Mountain Range and the oasis. Afterwards, we follow through a dry riverbed to the Dinosaurs Valley and comeback to explora through the pampa.
We horseback ride to the Moon Valley, explore its clay grounds, and see landscapes that seem to be from another world. Afterwards, we go for lunch to the ayllu in Cúcuter, an oasis whose colors contrast with the desert landscape and where the whitish colors of Atacama salt flat begin to appear.
In this exploration, we visit the two ayllus, ancient Atacameño farm communities, where we can see the local lifestyle, vegetable gardens and archeological remains. To begin, we will go to the ayllu in Solor. Next we continue to the ayllu dunes of Beter, the first Atacameño settlement.
We leave the hotel to go to the Mars Valley, where we horseback ride among typical desert landscapes: dunes, reddish sedimentary rock formations and clay grounds. This exploration is perfect to get an idea of the geography and origin of the Salt Ridge.
We horseback ride to the Catarpe Valley through a road immersed in the oasis, where we will be able to trot and gallop before climbing up a ledge in the Salt Ridge. On our return to explora, we ride around the ledge with panoramic views and descend through dunes to the Mars Valley.
We take a van to an old sulfur plant located in the Andes Mountain Range, one hour away from explora, where we begin ascending. We take a steep trail up to the summit with views to Bolivia, Argentina, and the surrounding volcanoes. *Ideal introduction to high mountain.
We ride a van for two hours to a sulfur mine located between Bolivia and Chile, in the Sairecabur Volcano. There, we begin ascending a rocky and steep trail. We reach the rim of the Saciel Volcano crater. The descending route is chosen based on the wind conditions.
We take a van for two hours up to the base of the Corona Hill. There, we begin ascending through a challenging terrain due to the presence of crags and loose sand that make movement difficult. At the summit, we see different volcanoes, among them the Lascar with its typical vent.
After a one-and-a-half hour drive by van, we reach the Sairecabur Volcano’s caldera, where we begin ascending. We walk through rocks, stones and loose crags and cross a former sulfur mine before taking the final steep hike. We will reach the highest point in our explorations, from where we can see Bolivia.
We drive for two hours up to the base of the Colorado Volcano to begin our ascent, a slope that becomes steeper as we gain altitude. We walk through loose rocks up to the summit with panoramic views to the salt field watershed and Andes plateau. We go down along trackless trails.
After having conducted several explorations at more than 4,000 m.a.s.l. and gradually acclimatizing our body, we leave by van from explora to a remote camp in Bolivia on the sixth day. Once settled in the camp, we take a walk across the areas of the Verde and Blanca lagoons, from where we have a good view of the Licancabur Volcano. The next day we wake up early to begin walking before dawn. We use headlamps to light a well-marked trail. Halfway along the ascent we watch the dawn over the Blanca and Verde lagoons. We reach the summit after walking for several hours. From here, we have a view to the crater and the world’s highest lagoon. Descent can be challenging due to steep slopes and unstable terrain. We cross old Inca ruins on the way back.
*This exploration needs to be confirmed 60 days prior to your arrival in explora. A visa is required to enter Bolivia.
We take a van up to the Catarpe Valley, where we begin ascending the Salt Ridge. On the way, we’ll see petroglyphs and from the top, we can admire the green valley landscapes contrasting with the colors of the Cordillera de la Sal and the Andes Mountain Range. This is an ideal introduction to the Atacama region. We return by van.
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 with views to the Andes Mountain Range and the hot water springs from where steam rises. We return by van.
We start our exploration at the Puritama River creek. We descend to walk along the creek following the river bed between large rock walls, shrubs and cacti over an irregular terrain. At the end, we arrive at the Puritama Hot Springs to enjoy the amazing properties of these thermal waters.
We take a van to the Catarpe Valley, where we will walk along the edges of the Salt Ridge, with views to the oasis, the salt field and the mountain ranges that define the geography of this destination. We then cross different dunes of the Mars Valley and return by van.
We take a van to the Moon Valley. Once there, we begin walking throughout this reserve, among moon-like landscapes with rock formations, natural sculptures and huge sand dunes. We end up with a 360° view of the desert. We return by van.
We take a van to the Domeyko Mountain Range where we walk following a creek that used to be a route for gathering and bartering caravans. The walk ends at the Arcoíris Valley formed by huge multicolored walls of mineral-rich soils. We return by van.
We take a van to Guatín where we begin an ascending walk. We walk for almost 30 minutes along giant cacti up to the Puritama River creek. There, we descend to walk along the river, through rock walls and vegetation. We arrive to the Puritama Hot Springs were we will have some time to relax.
We begin walking at the Puritama National Reserve with views to the Andes Mountain Range and the salt field’s basin. We cross many creeks, habitat of the Andean cat, until we reach the hot springs. There, we have lunch and enjoy the pools. In the afternoon, we will walk across the creek towards Guatín.
We take a van to the border with Argentina in the central Andes Mountain Range to begin a walk through remote and colorful landscapes. We walk along particular rock formations and Andean Plateau salt flats with views to the mountains. We return to the hotel by van.
We bike ride to the archeological site of Beter, one of the first Atacameño settlements. We get off the bicycle to visit the site and learn about the local history. Next, we continue to the ayllu in Solor to visit the desert bookstore, the first rural book store in Chile. We return to the hotel by bicycle.
This exploration is our first bicycle route in the Andes Plateau. We take a van for two hours to the borderline with Argentina to pedal at over 4,000 meters of altitude, among colorful mountains and ridges. This distant experience is a challenge worth living.
We take a van to the base of the Jurinquinca Hill, located north of San Pedro de Atacama (one hour drive). We begin at 4500 m.a.s.l., ascending through a trackless route up to the summit. Once there, we will have 360º views of the Andes and its volcanoes, as well as of the Atacama salt flats and oasis.
We go to the Catarpe Valley and continue to go through a place known as Garganta del Diablo (Devil’s Throat). We horseback ride through water courses and different creeks. Finally, we ride up a hill until we reach ancient cattlemen roads.
We travel to the Salt Ridge, going through different dunes and rock formations. As we go along, among trots and gallops, we ride into the Moon Valley, a site whose lunar landscapes have given Atacama its worldwide fame. During this ride, we explore pristine and solitary landscapes.
We leave in a van to Toconao, located to the south of San Pedro de Atacama. We walk to the village square and then through an area of vegetable gardens. We finally take a van to the Chaxa Lagoon, located in the Los Flamencos National Reserve, an ideal place for bird watching within Atacama’s Salt Flat.
We take a van to the Yerbas Buenas archeological site located in the Domeyko Mountain Range. Here we can see different styles of petroglyphs. We continue our journey till we reach one of the most beautiful towns in Atacama, Río Grande. Here we walk through its charming streets. Finally, we move on to the Rainbow Valley where we stop for lunch.
We take a van to the Salt Ridge to see typical desert landscapes: open reddish clay grounds, sand dunes, and sedimentary rock formations. We walk up to the highest point of this mountain range to see the panoramic views. We will take a 30 minute walk through one the least known mountainsides of the Salt Ridge.
We leave in a van and travel to the borderline with Argentina to appreciate multicolored landscapes and the Andean Plateau Salt Flats. We explore different ecological floors, which allow us to see the diversity in flora and fauna. We come down from the van to feel what is like to walk over 4,000 m.a.s.l.
We gallop to the Catarpe Valley through the San Pedro de Atacama oasis, towards the Salt Ridge. 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.
We take a van to the Valley of Mars in the Salt Ridge, where we begin a walk with views to the different mountain ranges in the region. We descend through sand dunes and continue walking across the valley, where the van will be waiting to take us back.
We take a van to the Domeyko Mountain Range, where we walk through trails that were formerly used as transit and bartering routes and where we can still see remains of the Atacameño culture. We continue to the Arcoíris Valley, a place with huge multicolored walls that explain the geological shaping of the Atacama region.
We take a van to Machuca, an Andean Plateau village. We begin exploring a wetland and then walk along a creek to the Grande River. In this exploration we can see fauna and typical Andean farming terraces. We have lunch at Peñaliri, an abandoned village.
We ride a van for two hours to the Domeyko Mountain Range, until we reach the Kimal hill, the source of one of the most iconic Atacameño tales. We walk up a steep trail to the summit with panoramic views to the salt field and the mythical Licancabur and Juriques volcanoes. We descend and return to the hotel.
We take a van to the Salt Ridge and begin bike riding in the Paciencia plains. We travel to the Moon Valley through sandy soil and beautiful landscapes. The return trip is an uneven path that includes different ascents and descents.
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 Ridge with zigzagging paths between striking rock formations. We return through the same road.
We ride our bicycles to the Catarpe Valley in the Salt Ridge. We pedal through zigzagging paths between canyons made of reddish soil in a place known as Garganta del Diablo (Devil’s Throat). We visit the San Isidro church and the tambo in Catarpe, an important administrative center of the Inca Empire.
In this exploration we learn about the Atacameño history and culture. We start with a guided tour of an archeological deposit where we can see ceramic pieces and other historical artifacts fit for a museum. Later on, we move on to the village of Tulor, one of the first settlements. We end the exploration at the mythical desert bookstore.
We take a van to Talabre, where we visit the archeological site of Kezala with petroglyphs as old as 800 – 400 B.C. We continue our journey through solitary pathways into the heart of the mountain range in the Andes Plateau. We have lunch in the middle of a natural environment and then come back to explora.
This exploration is an astronomical observation session developed in our own observatory, a different way of exploring the Atacama Desert that has one of the clearest skies in the world. We begin in the open sky with a brief explanation of the stars and the main constellations to then observe them using a telescope.
We take a van to the Tatio Geysers, where we first walk up and then down a creek to reach an unknown warm water river, the Blanco River. We walk along the river’s bed near geysers and mineral formations unique to this geological landscape.