Awasi stands as one of the finest hotels in the Atacama region, and indeed, across all of Chile. Its distinction lies in its unparalleled concept of service and experience, making it one of the most exceptional hotels in the Atacama, a fitting designation for this extraordinary destination. In this northern Chilean region, geological wonders have shaped imposing volcanoes, salt flats, and lagoons. The desert surprises with bodies of water, thermal pools, geysers, and marshes against an intense blue sky backdrop. San Pedro de Atacama, a charming town nestled in this breathtaking natural canvas, is often referred to as the "archaeological capital" of Chile, bearing the historical remnants of a settlement dating back to 800 B.C. For millennia, this town has served as an oasis for weary travelers. Awasi seamlessly blends with this heritage. Today, modern explorers from around the globe find respite here, their journeys meticulously designed to enrich this concept. Notably, with over 40 staff members dedicated to a maximum of 16 guests, your stay is personalized and exclusive. Awasi enjoys a privileged location just steps from the town center, encouraging you to explore the church, museum, local fair, and quaint shops, immersing yourself in the local culture. The hotel's eight cabanas, designed as 5 circular and 3 rectangular structures with pointed thatched roofs, pay homage to the nearby historic village, Aldea de Tulor. Meals served on the patio introduce you to unexpected local flavors, while your private guide eagerly leads you off the beaten path to unveil hidden treasures, ensuring a truly adaptable and high-end experience, catering to diverse requests and travel preferences. Whether you seek a family-friendly Atacama retreat or a romantic escape, Awasi promises an unforgettable stay, defined by its ability to create unique journeys with exceptional tours and experiences. Your stay at Awasi is bound to leave an indelible mark, offering a glimpse of the extraordinary Atacama like no other.

From

US$ 3000

Highlights

Chile, San Pedro de Atacama, Highland Salt Flats, Hike, Lake Mountain Biking.

Itinerary Details

Arrival in San Pedro de Atacama – San Pedro Ancient Ruins Tour

AM: 9:30 AM (approx.): Santiago de Chile Flight to Calama, Chile – If just arriving in Chile on an international flight and planning to proceed immediately on to Atacama, travelers typically make their connection at the Santiago International Airport (Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport [SCL]), which will fly onward to the airport in Calama Chile (CJC), the closest airstrip to San Pedro de Atacama. Otherwise, if you’re already in Chile and continuing your tour of the country, Surtrek representatives will privately drive you from your hotel to the airport, where they will assist you with your luggage and help you with checking in for your flight to the city of Calama, which has the airport closest to San Pedro de Atacama. In either case, plan on arriving and checking in at the airport at least one hour before your 2-hour morning flight to Calama.

PM: 1:00 PM (approx.): Departure for the San Pedro Oasis & the Awasi Atacama Lodge – Upon landing at the Calama airport, uniformed Awasi guides and staff will be there to welcome you in the luggage claim area. As they offer you a choice of refreshing juices, you’ll find the service throughout to be warm, considerate, friendly and refreshingly unstuffy. After being assisted with your luggage, you will head off on a 1-1/2-hour private drive through the scenic Atacama Desert. En route to the ancient trading town of San Pedro de Atacama, you will be served a delicious box lunch consisting of homemade baked goods, Chilean specialties, hot coffee, and fresh juice. You will then pass through the oasis village of San Pedro de Atacama and continue for about a mile to the Awasi Atacama Hotel. Nestled behind an ancient adobe wall, you could easily pass by and not realize that a contemporary lodge lies within. When entering the complex, though, you’ll first see the private patios, as well as tall trees providing natural shade, and open-air communal areas for enjoying the world’s clearest skies. Undoubtedly, your first impression will be that Awasi is the perfect place to enjoy the very best of the Atacama. 2:30 PM (approx.): Arriving at the Awasi Atacama Hotel – Entering the lodge, you will be led to your room, where you will have time to unpack, get settled in, shower and relax. No matter which of the two categories of guestrooms you choose (a Superior Round Suite or a Round Room), each provides marvelous dark-wood floors, king-sized beds fitted with crisp white linens, and an ottoman lounging area, which all complement the rustic exteriors of adobe, stone, wood, and thatched roofs. 4:00 PM (approx.): San Pedro Ancient Ruins Tour – Once a mining town, the village of San Pedro de Atacama long ago capitalized on its surroundings to become a base for starry-eyed travelers wanting to explore this “archaeological capital of Chile.” Having had a chance to get situated in your room, we’ll spend a couple of hours exploring two sites just outside the village: From the Awasi Hotel, we will head to the pre-Colombian Pukará de Quitor, an ancient stone fortress that was the center of the political and social power of the Atacameño civilization in the 12th century. From your private guide, you’ll hear all about the fascinating history of the civilizations that inhabited this settlement, including how it resisted attacks from both the Aymara and Inca civilizations while managing to prosper in such an arid environment. Our next stop will be the Tulor the archaeological site, where you’ll discover the cultural remains of the artisan population that inhabited this settlement before the arrival of the conquistadors. Though harsh desert winds and sand have partially buried some of the buildings, the main structures are still distinguishable. Your guide will tell you all about the intriguing history of this 2,400-year-old village. 5:30 PM: Return to the Lodge – Making our way back to the lodge, you’ll have time to dust yourself off, shower, rest up and relax before dinner. 7:00 PM: Welcome Dinner – Tonight, your welcome dinner will be served in Awasi’s open-air restaurant. Before dining, though, on your table you’ll find a welcome pot of chachacoma tea – a local remedy to ease your adjustment to the Altiplano’s high altitude. Shortly after, you’ll be served a sophisticated international or Andean fare, whether quinoa tabbouleh, empanadas, or chupe de mariscos (a seafood stew). 8:30 PM: Briefing on the Next Day’s activities – As the guests in each room are assigned their own private guide and a 4x4 vehicle to explore the Atacama at their own pace, later this same evening you’ll meet with your guide to discuss your excursions planned for the next day. In this briefing, your guide will offer useful tips on what to bring, what to wear, and what you can expect so that you are fully prepared when you head out from the lodge to the Antiplanic Lagoons in the morning. 9:00 PM: Socializing / Relaxing / Turning in for the Night – After a long and hectic first day, you may wish to sit across from one of the lodge’s outdoor lounge areas to sip a post-dinner drink under the stars. The lounge/bar offers a range of excellent Chilean wines, spirits and a Pisco sour made with locally grown leaves of the Rica-rica plant.

AM: 7:00 AM: Buffet Breakfast – Experiencing your first desert sunrise, sit down to a sumptuous buffet breakfast featuring a wide variety of international dishes, in addition to Chilean specialties and fresh fruit juices. 8:00 AM: Antiplanic Lagoons – Starting out on this full-day tour, we’ll drive for an hour and a half, ascending the vast and barren Altiplano high plateau. Once reaching this morning’s destination, you’ll soak in the stunning scenery of Miscanti and Miniques Lakes, two natural jewels of northern Chile. Split from a single body of water by a volcanic lava flow, the two brackish-water lakes lie in the shadows of the mighty Miniques Volcano and the towering Cerro Miscanti Mountain. As such, these two lagunas provide a magical contrast, with their deep blue surfaces perfectly reflecting the white snowcapped mountains that surround them. Located in the breathtakingly beautiful Los Flamencos National Reserve, these lagoons were witnesses to the first human settlements in the area – some 6,000 years ago! Today, this mix of highland deserts, mountains and ice is the ideal site for not only photography but also wildlife watching. As you’ll see, as the lakes’ colorful waters and white shores welcome a large variety of flamingoes and ducks, as well as foxes, llama-like vicunas and alpacas, and ostrich-like ñandus. Finding yourself immersed in this postcard-perfect valley surrounded by arresting mountainous relief, you’ll see for yourself how the scenic beauty of the heart-shaped Miscanti Lake and the Miñiques Lagoon is a true gift of nature.

PM: 12:00 PM: Antiplanic Picnic Lunch – While still in this high plateau region, you’ll be served an Awasi Atacama lunch that takes advantage of local produce, filling the menu with innovative twists on northern Chilean cuisine. With the potential for cool days in the Antiplanic Lagoons high-altitude location, the lodge’s expert chefs will create piping-hot picnic meals that are hearty and filling, complementing local traditions with fresh, colorful salads, Peruvian corn, quinoa and a range of appetizing meat or vegetarian mains. 6:00 PM: Return to the Lodge / Free Time – Returning to the hotel after your full-day Antiplanic excursion, you’ll have time to shower, rest up and relax before dinner. 7:30 PM: Gourmet Dining – Tonight’s dinner will be in the main indoor dining room or the outdoor dining rooms – the choice is up to you. Awasi Atacama created this variety of intimate indoor and outdoor settings to provide guests the opportunity to be in the company of interesting people from around the world while tasting fine dishes and sipping its incredible selection of Chilean wines. 8:30 PM: Briefing on the Next Day’s activities – Your private guide will again outline the details of tomorrow’s activities, explaining the places you will visit, the wildlife you might see, as well as more details on the history and geography of the Atacama Desert. 9:00 PM: Socializing & Relaxing / Turning in for the Night – As with every afternoon and evening, guests have the run of a free open bar, including a selection of eminently sippable Chilean wines. Softly lit, decorated with artwork by local artisans, and dotted with comfy couches and overstuffed chairs, the indoor bar is just the place to curl up in as you work your way through the wine list and mingle with other international travelers. Then too, as Chile’s star-filled sky serves as a ceiling for the Awasi’s restaurant and bar, you can always do some stargazing at the world’s clearest skies.

AM: 7:00 AM: Buffet Breakfast – A savory international breakfast will be served this morning, with a range of excellent buffet and cooked options from which to choose. Guests find that the level of comfort, service, and cuisine on offer is truly exceptional, especially in this challenging desert environment. 8:00 AM: Moon Valley / Kari Viewpoint & Gorge – Located less than six miles from San Pedro, Moon Valley enchants tourists with its random formations of sand and stone whose textures and colors have been achieved over millennia from raging floods, intense sun, and unforgiving winds. To fully take in this mesmerizing lunar-like landscape, this morning you’ll visit the Kari Viewpoint, also known as “Coyote Rock” (Piedra del Coyote). This rocky outcrop rests high above the valley affording sweeping views of the otherworldly setting below. Standing on the edge of the Salt Mountain Range, you’ll peer down into Moon Valley, where geologic patterns are weaved throughout a dry, river floor. As this overhanging rock is a perfect vantage point, it has become a famous spot for taking take pictures that reflect the essential jaggedness and intense color of the Atacama. Rugged and rocky, part desert and part alpine, Moon Valley is a bizarre scene to step into, but that’s exactly what we’ll do as we begin our hike along a narrow path down into the Kari Gorge below. Here, you’ll find crackling walls of salt crystals and sand dunes, along with spectacular rock formations of gypsum, clay, and crusty carpets of even more salt. With volcanoes featuring across the skyline and jagged rocks filling the foreground, you’ll have to fight the urge to fill an entire memory card with shots as we proceed on this extraordinary trail.

PM: 1:00 PM: Buffet Lunch – After returning the hotel, the Awasi’s Relais & Chateaux restaurant and its friendly staff will have specially prepared Andean and Chilean cuisine. You can opt to try one of the local specialties like parrilladas (a mix of grilled meats), seafood risotto, Mediterranean-style salad, and Chilean staples such as pastel de choclo (maize casserole). 2:00 PM: Garganta del Diablo Horseback Riding – Rested and refueled, this afternoon you’ll saddle up a Chilean steed and ride on horseback through a labyrinth of canyons, dunes, desert oases, and ancient ruins. Witnessing fantastic views just behind every nook and cranny of the route, we’ll reach a valley that cuts through the Salt Mountain Range (Cordillera de la Sal) located just a couple miles north of San Pedro de Atacama. Reaching the Garganta del Diablo (Devil’s Throat), you’ll discover a series of bizarre caves and curious rock formations, as well as wildlife consisting of desert lizards, foxes, and hares. On your horse, you’ll ride through a narrow passage surrounded by ridges until finding a detour that leads to “El Tunel,” a passageway that runs through the mountain. Concluding a great ride to an equally stunning site, we’ll then loop back to the hotel on our mounts. 5:30 PM: Return to the Lodge / Free Time – Riding back to the lodge, you’ll have time to shower, rest up and relax before dinner. 7:00 PM: Gourmet Dining – For tonight’s dinner, you might select mushroom quinoa risotto or lamb with tabbouleh and hummus. The chef’s focus is always firmly fixed on using innovative techniques and a modern approach to both the flavor and the presentation of such dishes, while also staying true to regional recipes and seasonal ingredients. 8:30 PM: Briefing on the Next Day’s activities – Your private guide will again outline the details of the next day’s, explaining how to prepare for your mountain biking trip across the Atacama Salt flat, what to bring for experiencing the Cejar Lagoon, the wildlife you might see, as well as more details on what to expect during your morning and afternoon excursions. As you will be leaving the next day, your guide will also confirm your exact pick-up time, reconfirm your flight, tell you what to expect at the airport, and provide other useful information. 9:00 PM: Socializing / Relaxing / Turning in for the Night – Following an already full day, you may want a nightcap before retiring. The perfect spot for this is the lodge’s outdoor lounge, where you’ll witness a kaleidoscope of stars and other heavenly bodies in the clear Chilean sky. As the temperature may dip to become even chilly, the roaring fire pit outside in the lounge makes for a warm and warming convivial spot in the evening.

AM: 6:30 AM: Buffet Breakfast & Packing up – For your final breakfast at Awasi Atacama, join everyone in the main dining room and order up some eggs any way you like …even benedict- or omelet-style with your choice of filling. In addition to international breakfast standards like pancakes and French toast, Chilean specialties will also be in the buffet. Following breakfast, you’ll have time to pack your luggage for your afternoon departure. 8:00 AM: Atacama Salt Flat & Cejar Lake Mountain Biking – For your final Awasi lodge excursion, we’ll get into gear for some mountain biking across the “Atacama Salt Flat” (Salar de Atacama). An unbeatable sight, this 1,000 square mile salt lake is the center-stage of surprise. One of these wonders is the Cejar Lagoon, a turquoise jewel whose waters are even saltier than the Dead Sea, meaning they provide for a great floating effect. When testing the lagoon’s incredible saltiness, you’ll see for yourself how your body floats without the least difficulty, like you’re flying, making it almost impossible to sink! And despite being located at over 2,000 meters above sea level, you’ll be surprised by the lagoon’s pleasant, almost warm waters. All of this makes any visit here a fun-filled but also a relaxing experience. Adding to the dreamlike character of this aquamarine lake in the middle of the world’s driest desert, you may spot some of the pink flamingos that occasionally feed here. All of this combines into a color-filled spectacle and an unforgettable experience.

PM: 12:00 PM: Return to the Lodge / Free Time – After getting back to the Awasi Atacama following a morning of biking and bathing, why not complete the revitalization of your spirits through the experienced hands of Awasi’s expert masseuse? 1:30 PM: Lunch – The lodge’s outdoor dining room gives you the option of enjoying a leisurely lunch by the pool, where you can enjoy a meal paired with a slightly chilled glass of Chilean white wine as the sun warms your body. 3:00 PM: Drive to the Calama Airport – After lunch, while being driven back to the airport in Calama, enjoy your last look back at the spectacular Atacama Desert, a unique region of inspiring natural wonders. 4:30 PM: Departing Flight to Santiago de Chile – Reaching the Calama airport, Awasi Atacama staff will be on hand to help you with your luggage, get your boarding pass, and help you check in. At the airport’s security gate, your guide and Awasi staff will say goodbye, truly hoping that you enjoyed your stay and your Atacama travel experience. If you’re like most travelers to Atacama, your departing flight will take you back to the city of Santiago, the capital of Chile, where you will be met by Surtrek representatives if planning to continue your tour in the country (otherwise, you’ll be able to easily catch your connecting flight home or onward).

Prices

Round Room (Single)

USD$ 4500

Round Room (Double)

USD$ 3000

Superior Round Suite (Single)

USD$ 5775

Superior Round Suite (Double)

USD$ 3850

Included in the price

  • Private transfers from/to Calama airport, according to the hotel check-in and check-out schedules
  • Accommodations, as indicated in the itinerary
  • All meals, as indicated in the itinerary
  • Beverages (open bar for soft drinks, most alcoholic beverages and a variety of Chilean wines)
  • Private excursions (one full-day excursion daily or two half-day excursions daily)
  • Services of a private guide and a 4×4 vehicle

Not included in the price

  • International flights & domestic flights
  • Tips & gratuities
  • Health & travel insurance (highly recommended)
  • Personal expenses (phone calls, etc.)
  • Premium alcoholic beverages

Arrival in San Pedro de Atacama – San Pedro Ancient Ruins Tour

AM: 9:30 AM (approx.): Santiago de Chile Flight to Calama, Chile – If just arriving in Chile on an international flight and planning to proceed immediately to Atacama, travelers typically make their connection at the Santiago International Airport (Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport [SCL]), which will fly onward to the city of Calama Chile (CJC), which has the airport closest to San Pedro de Atacama. Otherwise, if you’re already in Chile and continuing your tour of the country, Surtrek representatives will privately drive you from your hotel to the airport, where they will assist you with your luggage and help you with checking in for your flight to the city of Calama, which has the airport closest to your destination. In either case, plan on arriving and checking in at the airport at least one hour before your 2-hour morning flight to Calama.

PM: 1:00 PM (approx.): Departure for the San Pedro Oasis & the Awasi Atacama Lodge – Upon landing at the Calama airport, uniformed Awasi guides and staff will be there to welcome you in the luggage claim area. As they offer you a choice of refreshing juices, you’ll find the service throughout to be warm, considerate, friendly and refreshingly unstuffy. You will then pass through the oasis village of San Pedro de Atacama and continue for about a mile to the Awasi Atacama Hotel. Nestled behind an ancient adobe wall, you could easily pass by and not realize that a contemporary lodge lies within. When entering the complex, though, you’ll first see the private patios, as well as tall trees providing natural shade, and open-air communal areas for enjoying the world’s clearest skies. Undoubtedly, your first impression will be that Awasi is the perfect place to enjoy the very best of the Atacama. 2:30 PM (approx.): Arriving at the Awasi Atacama Hotel – Entering the lodge, you will be led to your room, where you will have time to unpack, get settled in, shower and relax. No matter which of the two categories of rooms you choose (Superior Round Suite or Round Room), each provides marvelous dark-wood floors, king-sized beds fitted with crisp white linens, and an ottoman lounging area, which all complement the rustic exteriors of adobe, stone, wood, and thatched roofs. 4:00 PM (approx.): San Pedro Ancient Ruins Tour – Once a mining town, the village of San Pedro de Atacama long ago capitalized on its surroundings to become a base for starry-eyed travelers wanting to explore this “archaeological capital of Chile.” Having had a chance to get situated in your room, we’ll spend a couple of hours exploring two sites just outside the village: From the Awasi Hotel, we will head to the pre-Colombian Pukará de Quitor, an ancient stone fortress that was the center of the political and social power of the Atacameño civilization in the 12th century. From your private guide, you’ll hear all about the fascinating history of the civilizations that inhabited this settlement, including how it resisted attacks from both the Aymara and Inca civilizations while managing to prosper in such an arid environment. Our next stop will be the Tulor the archaeological site, where you’ll discover the cultural remains of the artisan population that inhabited this settlement before the arrival of the conquistadors. Though harsh desert winds and sand have partially buried some of the buildings, the main structures are still distinguishable. Your guide will tell you all about the intriguing history of this 2,400-year-old village. 5:30 PM: Return to the Lodge – Making our way back to the lodge, you’ll have time to dust yourself off, shower, rest up and relax before dinner. 7:00 PM: Welcome Dinner – Tonight, your welcome dinner will be served in Awasi’s open-air restaurant. Before dining, though, on your table you’ll find a welcome pot of chachacoma tea – a local remedy to ease your adjustment to the Altiplano’s high altitude. Shortly after, you’ll be served a sophisticated international or Andean fare, whether quinoa tabbouleh, empanadas, or chupe de mariscos (a seafood stew). 8:30 PM: Briefing on the Next Day’s activities – As the guests in each room are assigned their own private guide and a 4x4 vehicle to explore the Atacama at their own rhythm and pace, later this same evening you’ll meet with your guide to discuss your excursions planned for the next day. In this briefing, your guide will offer useful tips on what to bring, what to wear, and what you can expect so that you’re fully prepared when you head out mountain biking and hiking. 9:00 PM: Socializing / Relaxing / Turning in for the Night – After a long and hectic first day, you may wish to sit across from one of the lodge’s outdoor lounge areas to sip a post-dinner drink under the stars. The lounge-bar offers a range of excellent Chilean wines, spirits and a Pisco sour made with locally grown leaves of the Rica-rica plant.

AM: 7:00 AM: Breakfast – The morning dining experience at Awasi Atacama takes advantage of local produce to create breakfast dishes that are light and tasty. In addition, international breakfast standards like pancakes and French toast will be in the buffet. 8:00 AM: Ayllus Mountain Biking – This morning, you’ll get into gear for some desert mountain biking around the San Pedro oasis, visiting four ayllus (meaning “family settlements” or “communes” in the ancient Quechua language of the Incas). Some 15 of these ayllus continue to exist around San Pedro de Atacama, each faithfully embodying the peaceful agrarian way of life of the ethnic Lickan Antay people. As these small communities have remained relatively intact for millennia, you’ll see homes built with straw roofs and adobe, as well as thousand-year-old irrigation channels that water family gardens. 11:00 PM: Return to the Lodge / Free Time – Returning to the hotel, you’ll have time to rest up and relax before lunch.

PM: 12:00 PM: Lunch – From the Awasi Atacama buffet, choose from at least a half-dozen options; perhaps an Asian-inspired lunch featuring spring rolls with shrimp, or maybe a dorado fish grilled with peppers and onions. And what about preceding any of this with a salad entree made with queso de cabra (local goat cheese), shrimp, and merkén – a Mapuche condiment made from red smoked chili peppers? 1:30 PM: Moon Valley / Kari Viewpoint & Gorge – Located less than six miles from San Pedro, Moon Valley enchants tourists with its random formations of sand and stone, whose textures and colors have been achieved over millennia from raging floods, intense sun, and unforgiving winds. To fully take in this mesmerizing lunar-like landscape, this morning you’ll visit the Kari Viewpoint, also known as the “Coyote Rock” (Piedra del Coyote). This rocky outcrop rests high above the valley, affording sweeping views of the otherworldly setting below. Standing on the edge of the Salt Mountain Range, you’ll peer down into Moon Valley, where geologic patterns are weaved throughout a dry, river floor. As this overhanging rock is a perfect vantage point, it has become a famous spot for taking take pictures that reflect the essential jaggedness and intense color of the Atacama. Rugged and rocky, part desert and part alpine, Moon Valley is a bizarre scene to step into, but that’s exactly what we’ll do as we begin hiking along a narrow path down into the Kari Gorge below. Here, you’ll find crackling walls of salt crystals and sand dunes, along with spectacular rock formations of gypsum, clay and crusty carpets of even more salt. With volcanoes featuring across the skyline and jagged rocks filling the foreground, you’ll have to fight the urge to fill an entire memory card with shots as we proceed along this extraordinary trail. 5:00 PM: Return to the Lodge / Free Time – Cycling our way back to the lodge, you’ll have time to shower, rest up and relax before dinner in the Awasi pool, lounge and bar, or simply enjoy some quiet downtime in the solitude of your own private outdoor patio. 7:30 PM: Gourmet Dining – Tonight’s dinner will be in either the main indoor dining room or the outdoor dining area – the choice is up to you. Awasi Atacama created this variety of intimate indoor and outdoor settings where guests can be in the company of interesting people from around the world while tasting fine dishes and sipping the hotel’s incredible selection of Chilean wines. 8:30 PM: Briefing on the Next Day’s activities – Your private guide will again outline the details of the next day’s excursion – this time the pre-dawn outing to Tatio Geysers. They’ll explain what to expect at this chilly site, what to wear and bring along, as well as to give you more details on the history and geography of the Atacama Desert. 9:00 PM: Socializing & Relaxing / Turning in for the Night – As with every afternoon and evening, guests have the run of a free open bar, including a selection of eminently sippable Chilean wine …just be sure not to stay up too late – you’ll need a good night’s sleep for the activities and travel tomorrow.

AM: 5:00 AM: Buffet Breakfast – As your full-day Tatio Geysers excursion will take you out into the cold, high-altitude, Atacama morning, the lodge’s expert chefs will create hot breakfast dishes that are hearty and filling. But as always, international breakfast standards like pancakes and French toast will be in the buffet. 6:00 AM: Tatio Geysers – The Atacama Desert is an endless wonderland when it comes to natural geology, and the El Tatio Geysers prove just that! You’ll have to get up early to enjoy the show just as the sun comes up, which is when El Tatio is most impressive, given the angle of light that casts through the haze while steam billows from the ground. Driving off before sunrise, we’ll spend the whole morning exploring the largest geothermal field in the southern hemisphere. Referred to by locals as “Grandpa crying,” the Tatio Geysers sit at 2.7 miles (4,321 m) above sea level and consist of some 70 beautiful fountains of water and steam spewing into the air. Along with these are 60 pools of boiling water and bubbling mud, in addition to a number of natural hot springs and small fumaroles (openings in the ground that emits steam and gases). While traveling to and from the site, this will be a good chance to appreciate the unique plant and animal life that has adapted to this extreme environment; so keep your eyes peeled for llama-like vicuñas, foxes, wild donkeys, and flamingos, and several other species.

PM: 1:00 PM: Lunch – Later, while returning to San Pedro, we’ll stop in the village of Machuca for lunch at a typical local restaurant. Here, you might want to choose from Chilean specialties such as quinoa, lucuma, traditional Atacama patasca stew, and papas andinas (native purple potatoes). More daring adventurers may even want to sample the llama meat served-up in town. You might want to also sample some ice cream made from desert fruits like algarrobo or chañar. 2:30 PM: Machuca: While in Machuca, we’ll tour this tiny village situated high up in the Chilean Altiplano. Seemingly suspended in an ancient past, this traditional settlement is known for its Andean handicrafts, as well as for its picturesque homes made of adobe, cactus-wood, and straw. To get a good sense of life in the Andes, we’ll walk among this settlement’s handful of houses, meet with locals, and learn all about this small community’s history and traditions. We’ll then visit the Machuca church, a simple, picturesque white building with sky-blue doors. You can also discover the traditional handmade products of the inhabitants; whose livelihoods largely depend on these handicrafts and on rearing llamas. 4:00 PM: Return to the Lodge / Free Time – Having made such an early start on today’s full-day excursion, you can rest up and relax before dinner. 7:30 PM: Gourmet Dining – Tonight’s à la carte dinner will feature enough options to please a range of different tastes and diets. Sit down with your companions for a freshly prepared à la carte dinner. Enjoy a delicious three-course meal, paired with a choice of fine international wines. The modern sophisticated menu is light on carbs and sauces, but also extensive. Most guests order seafood menus of tuna ceviche, squid ink risotto or green banana-breaded pan-fried fillet of grouper stuffed with crabmeat, though meat-lovers can select grilled rib-eye steak, roasted pork or another hearty fare. Desserts —- like pears simmered in red wine or moist chocolate cake with chocolate sauce — simply sparkle at Awasi. 8:30 PM: Briefing on the Next Day’s Activities – Your private guide will outline the details of tomorrow’s full day of activities on the Atacama Salt Flat, explaining more about this site and what to bring along on this excursion. 9:00 PM: Socializing & Relaxing / Turning in for the Night – Relax in comfy couches and overstuffed chairs as you enjoy Awasi’s open bar while sharing stories about your Atacama excursions with other international guests. A lengthy list of Chilean wines features a 2008 Amaral Sauvignon Blanc and a very food-friendly 2007 Aliwen Cabernet Sauvignon–Syrah, while Awasi also offers a selection of premium wines for an additional fee. Before turning in for the night, you can also do some end-of-the-day stargazing in the Atacama skies from the lodge’s own observatory.

AM: 7:00 AM: Buffet Breakfast – Join everyone in the main dining room and order up some eggs any way you like …even benedict- or omelet-style with your choice of filling. In addition to international breakfast standards like pancakes and French toast, Chilean specialties will also be in the buffet. 8:00 AM: Atacama Salt Flat Mountain Biking – For this morning’s Awasi excursion, we’ll get in gear for some mountain biking across the Salar de Atacama (the “Atacama Salt Flat”). An unbeatable sight, this 1,000 square mile salt lake is the center-stage of surprise. The largest salt flat in Chile, and the third-largest in the world, the Atacama Salt Flat’s pleasant climate and user-friendly routes provide unparalleled landscapes that are the ideal setting for cycling. Properly dressed in a good hat and, with sunblock applied, and packing plenty of water, we’ll begin a 16-mile ride across the salt flat – an easy ride, mostly on scenic paved road.

PM: 12:00 PM: Picnic Lunch – Today’s Awasi Atacama lunchtime picnic experience will take advantage of local produce, filling the menu with innovative twists on northern Chilean cuisine. With the potential for cool days in the Antiplanic Lagoons high-altitude location, the lodge’s expert chefs will have created picnic meals that are hearty and filling, complementing local traditions with fresh, colorful salads, Peruvian corn, quinoa and a range of appetizing meat or vegetarian mains. 1:30 PM: Floating in Cejar Lagoon – After lunching and having rested up, we’ll explore one of the Atacama Salt Flat’s wonders: The Cejar Lagoon. A turquoise jewel, its waters are even saltier than the Dead Sea, meaning they provide for a great floating effect. When testing this lake’s incredible saltiness, you’ll see for yourself how your body floats without the least difficulty, like you’re flying, making it almost impossible to sink! And despite being located at over 2,000 meters above sea level, you’ll be surprised by the lagoon’s pleasant, almost warm waters. All of this makes any visit here a fun-filled but also a relaxing experience. Adding to the dreamlike character of this aquamarine lake in the middle of the world’s driest desert, you may spot some of the pink flamingos that occasionally feed here. All of this combines into a color-filled spectacle and an unforgettable experience. 5:00 PM: Return to the Lodge / Free Time – Making our way back to the lodge, you’ll have plenty of time to shower, rest up and relax before dinner. 7:00 PM: Farewell Dinner – Tonight — you’re last evening at Awasi — you’ll once again find that the culinary and wine programs at this lodge are nothing short of inspiring, showcasing locally grown products such as pumpkin, chañar, peas, and quinoa. A three-course set dinner menu will be served, with recent highlights that include grilled beef with Socaire potato au gratin and a salted salmon filet with sautéed broad beans. Another menu with more standard cuisine is also offered for less adventurous palates, while the kitchen is more than happy to accommodate specific culinary whims upon request. 8:30 PM: Briefing on the Next Day’s activities – Your private guide will again outline the details of tomorrow’s activities, explaining how to prepare for your Catarpe horseback riding experience, what to bring, the wildlife you might see, as well as more details on what to expect during your morning excursion. As you will be leaving the next day, your guide will also confirm your exact pick-up time, reconfirm your flight, tell you what to expect at the airport, and provide other useful information. 9:00 PM: Socializing & Relaxing / Turning in for the Night – In the evening, fires will be lit and “sundowners” and snacks enjoyed under the open sky to celebrate your stay in the Atacama Desert. At night, sitting out under the velvety Chilean sky, you can unwind to glimmering stars above, shadows in the distance, and the absolute silence of the magnificent Atacama Desert.

AM: 7:00 AM: Buffet Breakfast & Packing up – For your final breakfast at the hotel, fill up on Awasi’s exquisite protein group in the form of salmon carpaccio, bacon, sausages, and eggs. Then make your selection of carbs from the buffet, loaded with hash browns, pancakes, waffles, French toasts, cereals, oats, and yogurt (just to name a few of the options!). Complement all of this with a fresh selection of fruits (some of which are exotically Chilean), juices and coffee. We can’t think of a better way to start your day! Following breakfast, you’ll have time to pack your luggage for your afternoon departure. 8:00 AM: Catarpe Horseback Riding – For your final Awasi excursion, you’ll lift yourself into the saddle of an Awasi horse to begin a 2-1/2-hour ride to the north of San Pedro village, following the course of the San Pedro River to the “Catarpe Valley” (Valle de Catarpe). On this ride, you’ll see an incredible variety of landscapes and terrains, cross rivers, navigate narrow canyons, and ride over massive sand dunes. From your mount, you’ll also have an incredible view of the San Pedro Valley from a perspective few travelers witness. While in the valley, you’ll see where the green vegetation around the banks of the San Pedro River makes for an amazing contrast with the desert’s stark brown and red. On the way back from this farewell excursion in the Atacama Desert, we’ll cross the “Passage of the Bulls” (Paso de los Toros), which was the first road that connected San Pedro to Calama. The view across the entire valley is simply amazing.

PM: 1:30 PM: Lunch – For your final Awasi mid-day meal, the lodge’s cooking team will have worked hand in hand to ensure that your noontime culinary journey is every bit as exciting as what you have seen on this morning’s Catarpe ride. This gastronomic adventure might just introduce you to local favorites like Chañar-based sweets. 3:00 PM: Drive to the Calama Airport – After lunch, while being driven back to the airport in Calama, enjoy your last look back at the spectacular Atacama Desert, a unique region of inspiring natural wonders. 4:30 PM: Departing Flight to Santiago de Chile – Reaching the Calama airport, Awasi Atacama staff will be on hand to help you with your luggage, get your boarding pass, and help you check in. At the airport’s security gate, your guide and Awasi staff will say goodbye, truly hoping that you enjoyed your stay and your Atacama travel experience. If you’re like most travelers to Atacama, your departing flight will take you back to the city of Santiago, the capital of Chile, where you will be met by Surtrek representatives if planning to continue your tour in the country (otherwise, you’ll be able to easily catch your connecting flight home or onward).

Prices

Round Room (Single)

USD$ 6000

Round Room (Double)

USD$ 4000

Superior Round Suite (Single)

USD$ 7635

Superior Round Suite (Double)

USD$ 5090

Included in the price

  • Private transfers from/to Calama airport, according to the hotel check-in and check-out schedules
  • Accommodations, as indicated in the itinerary
  • All meals, as indicated in the itinerary
  • Beverages (open bar for soft drinks, most alcoholic beverages and a variety of Chilean wines)
  • Private excursions (one full-day excursion daily or two half-day excursions daily)
  • Services of a private guide and a 4×4 vehicle

Not included in the price

  • International flights & domestic flights
  • Tips & gratuities
  • Health & travel insurance (highly recommended)
  • Personal expenses (phone calls, etc.)
  • Premium alcoholic beverages

Arrival in San Pedro de Atacama – San Pedro Ancient Ruins Tour

AM: 9:30 AM (approx.): Santiago de Chile Flight to Calama, Chile – If just arriving in Chile on an international flight and planning to proceed immediately on to Atacama, travelers typically make their connection at the Santiago International Airport (Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport [SCL]), which will fly onward to the airport in Calama Chile (CJC), the closest airstrip to San Pedro de Atacama. Otherwise, if you’re already in Chile and continuing your tour of the country, Surtrek representatives will privately drive you from your hotel to the airport, where they will assist you with your luggage and help you with checking in for your flight to the city of Calama, which has the airport closest to San Pedro de Atacama. In either case, plan on arriving and checking in at the airport at least one hour before your 2-hour morning flight to Calama.

PM: 1:00 PM (approx.): Departure for the San Pedro Oasis & the Awasi Atacama Lodge – Upon landing at the Calama airport, uniformed Awasi guides and staff will be there to welcome you in the luggage claim area. As they offer you a choice of refreshing juices, you’ll find the service throughout to be warm, considerate, friendly and refreshingly unstuffy. You will then pass through the oasis village of San Pedro de Atacama and continue for about a mile to the Awasi Atacama Hotel. Nestled behind an ancient adobe wall, you could easily pass by and not realize that a contemporary lodge lies within. When entering the complex, though, you’ll first see the private patios, as well as tall trees providing natural shade, and open-air communal areas for enjoying the world’s clearest skies. Undoubtedly, your first impression will be that Awasi is the perfect place to enjoy the very best of the Atacama. 2:30 PM (approx.): Arriving at the Awasi Atacama Hotel – Entering the lodge, you will be led to your guest room, where you will have time to unpack, get settled in, shower and relax. No matter which of the two categories of rooms you choose (a Superior Round Suite or a Round Room), each provides marvelous dark-wood floors, king-sized beds fitted with crisp white linens, and an ottoman lounging area, which all complement the rustic exteriors of adobe, stone, wood, and thatched roofs. 4:00 PM (approx.): San Pedro Ancient Ruins Tour – Once a mining town, the village of San Pedro de Atacama long ago capitalized on its surroundings to become a base for starry-eyed travelers wanting to explore this “archaeological capital of Chile.” Having had a chance to get situated in your room, we’ll spend a couple of hours exploring two sites just outside the village: From the Awasi Hotel, we will first head to the pre-Colombian Pukará de Quitor, an ancient stone fortress that was the center of the political and social power of the Atacameño civilization in the 12th century. From your private guide, you’ll hear all about the fascinating history of the civilizations that inhabited this settlement, including how it resisted attacks from both the Aymara and Inca civilizations while managing to prosper in such an arid environment. Our next stop will be the Tulor the archaeological site, where you’ll discover the cultural remains of the artisan population that inhabited this settlement before the arrival of the conquistadors. Though harsh desert winds and sand have partially buried some of the buildings, the main structures are still distinguishable. Your guide will tell you all about the intriguing history of this 2,400-year-old village. 5:30 PM: Return to the Lodge – Making our way back to the lodge, you’ll have time to dust yourself off, shower, rest up and relax before dinner. 7:00 PM: Welcome Dinner – Tonight, your welcome dinner will be served in Awasi’s open-air restaurant. Before dining, though, on your table you’ll find a welcome pot of chachacoma tea – a local remedy to ease your adjustment to the Altiplano’s high altitude. Shortly after, you’ll be served a sophisticated international or Andean fare, whether quinoa tabbouleh, empanadas, or chupe de mariscos (a seafood stew). 8:30 PM: Briefing on the Next Day’s activities – As the guests in each room are assigned their own private guide and a 4x4 vehicle to explore the Atacama at their own pace, later this same evening you’ll meet with your guide to discuss your mountain biking and horseback riding excursions planned for the next day. In this briefing, your guide will offer useful tips on what to bring, what to wear, and what you can expect so that you’re fully prepared in the morning. 9:00 PM: Socializing & Relaxing / Turning in for the Night – After a long and hectic first day, you may wish to sit across from one of the lodge’s outdoor lounge areas to sip a post-dinner drink under the stars. The lounge-bar offers a range of excellent Chilean wines, spirits and a Pisco sour made with locally grown leaves of the Rica-rica plant.

AM: 7:00 AM: Buffet Breakfast – Experiencing your first desert sunrise, sit down to a sumptuous buffet breakfast featuring a wide variety of international dishes, in addition to Chilean specialties and fresh fruit juices. 8:00 AM: Catarpe Mountain Biking – Biking through the middle of the Atacama Desert — the driest non-polar region in the world — you’re sure to discover a beauty that’s more Martian than Earthly. Cycling first to the Catarpe Valley, we will ride along an old road that crosses the Salt Ridge until reaching the Cuchabrache Ravine, which is known for its several well-preserved archaeological sites and pre-Incan petroglyphs. Following along dried clay and crystallized salt creeks, we will reach the tiny San Isidro Chapel. Standing alone on a hilltop in the middle of nowhere is this iconic example of colonial architecture. Surprisingly, though, this church still conducts Sunday services that are an experience of pure spiritual inspiration. From San Isidro, after mountain biking along some of the most breathtaking and beautiful trails of the valley, we’ll cross to Tambo de Cartape. Perched on high ground, this pre-Incan fortress (constructed over 600 years ago!) was reconstructed in recent years. Its jagged red walls of stone give way to impressive views of the Andes Mountain range and its numerous peaks reaching almost four miles above sea level. As beauty like this is well worth cycling across the desert, we’ll then head home along additional breathtakingly beautiful valley trails. 11:00 AM: Return the Hotel / Free Time – Cold towels await you back at the lodge. After cooling off and cleaning up, you’ll have time to enjoy the hotel’s varied services and amenities, whether slipping into a Jacuzzi, taking a dip in an Awasi pool or socializing at the bar until your mid-day meal is served.

PM: 1:00 PM: Buffet Lunch – The focus at Awasi Atacama is health and wellness, ensuring only the freshest local ingredients are used to prepare your daily meals. For lunch, the Awasi’s Relais & Chateaux restaurant and its friendly staff will have specially prepared Andean and Chilean cuisine for your pleasure. You can opt to try one of the local specialties like parrilladas (a mix of grilled meats), seafood risotto, Mediterranean-style salad, and Chilean staples such as pastel de choclo (maize casserole). 2:00 PM: Piedra de La Coca Horseback Riding – This afternoon, you’ll saddle up on an Awasi mount to ride north of San Pedro along a road that leads to the scenic “Salt Mountain Range” (Cordillera de la Sal), where we’ll then ride through an ancient tunnel. This point begins a descent that will take us to a point along the large network of commercial routes that the early Atacameño people built to link themselves to other regions, such as the coast and the Bolivian Altiplano. Here, stone-etched traces of these prehistoric inhabitants of San Pedro remain visible today. Their mysterious inscriptions represent foxes, flamingos, and lamas, but also human beings. One of these is a ceremonial petroglyph called the Piedra de la Coca (“the Stone of Coca”). Once here, it’s possible to not only see this stone art but also walk where the people of this bygone civilization did thousands of years ago. At the same time, you’ll appreciate the beautiful natural formations of the Salt Mountain Range. We’ll continue our ride to the stony Paciencia Plains and pass through the picturesque Mars Valley on our way back to the hotel. 5:30 PM: Return to the Lodge / Free Time – Returning to the hotel, you’ll have time to shower, rest up and relax before dinner. 7:00 PM: Gourmet Dining – For tonight’s dinner, you might select mushroom quinoa risotto or lamb with tabbouleh and hummus. The chef’s focus is always firmly fixed on using innovative techniques and a modern approach to both the flavor and presentation of such dishes, while also staying true to regional recipes and seasonal ingredients. 8:30 PM: Briefing on the Next Day’s activities – Your private guide will again outline the details of tomorrow’s activities, explaining the places you’ll visit, as well as more details on the history and geography of the Atacama. 9:00 PM: Socializing / Relaxing / Turning in for the Night – Following an already full day, you may want a nightcap before retiring. The perfect spot for this is Awasi’s outdoor lounge, where you’ll witness a kaleidoscope of stars and other heavenly bodies in the clearest Chilean sky. As the temperature dips to perhaps become even chilly, the roaring fire in the lounge-bar makes for a warming and convivial spot in the evening. A sense of place is also created by the traditional Inca artworks and wall-hangings.

AM: 7:00 AM: Buffet Breakfast – This morning, you can dig into another sumptuous buffet breakfast of fresh fruit, jars of avocado with a soft-boiled egg, pancakes with fruit syrup, Chilean specialties, ham & cheese sandwiches – plus hot coffee, of course. 8:00 AM: Antiplanic Lagoons – Starting out on this full-day tour, we’ll drive for an hour and a half, ascending the vast and barren Altiplano high plateau. Arriving at this morning’s destination, you’ll soak in the stunning scenery of Miscanti and Miniques Lakes, two natural jewels of northern Chile. Split from a single body of water by a volcanic lava flow, the two brackish-water lakes lie in the shadows of the mighty Miniques Volcano and the towering Cerro Miscanti Mountain. As such, these two lagunas provide a magical contrast, with their deep blue surfaces perfectly reflecting the white snowcapped mountains that surround them. Located in the breathtakingly beautiful Los Flamencos National Reserve, these lagoons were witnesses to the first human settlements in the area – some 6,000 years ago! Today, this mix of highland deserts, mountains, and ice is the ideal site for not only photography but also wildlife watching, as you’ll see the lakes’ colorful waters and white shores welcome a large variety of flamingoes and ducks, as well as foxes, llama-like vicunas and alpacas, and ostrich-like ñandus. Finding yourself immersed in this postcard-perfect valley surrounded by arresting mountain relief, you’ll see for yourself how the scenic beauty of the heart-shaped Miscanti Lake and the Miñiques Lagoon are true gifts of nature.

PM: 12:00 PM: Antiplanic Picnic Lunch – While still in this high plateau region, you’ll be served an Awasi Atacama picnic lunch that takes advantage of local produce, filling the menu with innovative twists on northern Chilean cuisine. With the potential for cool days in the Antiplanic Lagoons’ high-altitude location, the lodge’s expert chefs will have prepared piping-hot picnic meals that are hearty and filling, complementing local traditions with fresh, colorful salads, Peruvian corn, quinoa and a range of appetizing meat or vegetarian mains. 6:00 PM: Return to the Lodge / Free Time – Returning to the hotel after your full-day Antiplanic excursion, you’ll have just enough time to shower, rest up and relax before dinner. 7:30 PM: Gourmet Dining – Tonight’s dinner will be in the main indoor dining room or the outdoor dining room – the choice is up to you. Awasi Atacama created this variety of intimate indoor and outdoor settings to provide guests the opportunity to be in the company of interesting people from around the world while tasting fine dishes and sipping its incredible selection of Chilean wines. 8:30 PM: Briefing on the Next Day’s activities – Your private guide will again outline the details of your next day’s activities. 9:00 PM: Socializing & Relaxing / Turning in for the Night – As with every afternoon and evening, guests have the run of a free open bar, including a selection of eminently sippable Chilean wines. Softly lit, decorated with artwork by local artisans, and dotted with comfy couches and overstuffed chairs, the indoor bar is just the place to curl up in as you work your way through the wine list and mingle with other international travelers. Then too, as Chile’s star-filled sky serves as a ceiling for the Awasi’s restaurant and bar, you can always sit back and do some stargazing into the world’s clearest skies.

AM: 7:00 AM: Buffet Breakfast – A savory international breakfast will be served this morning, with a range of excellent buffet options. Guests find the level of comfort, service, and cuisine on offer truly exceptional, especially in such a challenging desert environment. 8:00 AM: Kari Viewpoint & Gorge Hiking – To fully take in Atacama’s mesmerizing lunar-like landscape, this morning you’ll visit the Kari Viewpoint, also known as the Piedra del Coyote (“Coyote Rock”). This rocky outcrop rests high above the valley, affording sweeping views of the otherworldly setting below. Given that this overhanging rock is a perfect vantage point, it has become a famous spot for taking take pictures that reflect the essential jaggedness and intense color of the Atacama Desert. Rugged and rocky, part desert and part alpine, it’s a bizarre scene to step into, but that’s exactly what we’ll do as we begin hiking along a narrow path down into the Kari Gorge below. Here, you’ll find crackling walls of salt crystals and sand dunes, along with spectacular rock formations of gypsum, clay and crusted carpets of even more salt. With volcanoes featuring across the skyline, and jagged rocks filling the foreground, you’ll have to fight the urge to fill an entire memory card with shots along this extraordinary trail.

PM: 1:00 PM: Buffet Lunch – Returning to the hotel, from the lunch buffet you’ll be able to choose from at least a half-dozen options: Perhaps an Asian-inspired lunch featuring spring rolls with shrimp, or maybe a dorado fish grilled with peppers and onions. And what about preceding any of this with a salad entree made with queso de cabra (local goat cheese), shrimp, and merkén – a Mapuche condiment made from red smoked chili peppers? 2:00 PM: Death Valley Hiking & Sand Boarding – This afternoon, we’ll hike through ominously named “Death Valley” (Valle de la Muerte), where we’ll pleasantly find it a place that invites sand boarders to practice their favorite sport. So after greasing up your board with some soap, try surfing down these waves of untouched sand. As this mountainous, sandy valley near San Pedro is a surprising spectacle of amazing forms, hills, and minerals that shine in the distance, we’ll also trek between huge sand dunes to view the natural sand and salt formations that seem like sculptured works of art. Then too, while hiking through here you’ll find that all of the salt, sand and red rock that forms the landscapes of Death Valley offer jaw-dropping photo-ops. (Note: The name “Valle de la Muerte” itself has nothing to do with death, but with a slip of the pen. The pioneering explorer of this territory meant to write, “It looks like a Mars [Martes] Valley,” but mistakenly wrote, “It looks like a Death [Muerte] valley.” In any case, the name stuck). 5:30 PM: Return to the Lodge / Free Time – Making our way back to the lodge, you’ll have plenty of time to shower, rest up and relax before dinner. 7:00 PM: Gourmet Dining – Like all nights, dinner at Awasi Hotel will be world-class. You will be able to enjoy a menu of fresh, delicious Chilean fare (with a bit of continental influence), whether served in the indoor dining room or the al fresco lounge. Promising to be a culinary feast for the senses, this evening’s dinner will be paired with select South American wines or freshly pressed juice if you choose. 8:30 PM: Briefing on the Next Day’s activities – Your private guide will again outline the details of the next day’s pre-dawn Tatio Geysers excursion, explaining what to wear at this chilly site and what to bring along. 9:00 PM: Socializing & Relaxing / Turning in for the Night – In the evenings, fires are lit and “sundowners” and snacks can be enjoyed under the open sky to celebrate your stay in the Atacama Desert. At night, sitting out under the velvety Chilean sky, you can unwind to glimmering stars above, shadows in the distance, and the absolute silence of the magnificent Atacama Desert.

AM: 5:00 AM: Buffet Breakfast – As your full-day, Tatio Geysers excursion will take you out into the cold, high-altitude, pre-dawn Atacama, the lodge’s expert chefs will prepare a hot and hearty breakfast for your morning ahead. In addition to Chilean specialties, international breakfast standards like pancakes and French toast will be in the buffet. 6:00 AM: Tatio Geysers – The Atacama Desert is an endless wonderland when it comes to natural geology, and the El Tatio Geysers prove just that! You’ll have to get up early to enjoy the show just as the sun comes up, which is when El Tatio is most impressive, given the angle of light that casts through the haze while steam billows from the ground. Driving off before sunrise, we’ll spend the whole morning exploring the largest geothermal field in the southern hemisphere. Referred to by locals as “Grandpa crying,” the Tatio Geysers sit at 2.7 miles (4,321 m) above sea level and consist of some 70 beautiful fountains of water and steam spewing into the air. Along with these are 60 pools of boiling water and bubbling mud, in addition to a number of natural hot springs and small fumaroles (openings in the ground that emits steam and gases). Once at this chilly site, you’ll also have a chance for some warm bathing in a swimming pool specially installed in this volcanically heated geothermal field. While traveling to and from the site, this will be a good chance to appreciate the unique plant and animal life that has adapted to this extreme environment; so keep your eyes peeled for llama-like vicuñas, foxes, wild donkeys, and flamingos, among several other species.

PM: 1:00 PM: Lunch – Later, while returning to San Pedro, we’ll stop in the village of Machuca for lunch in a typical local restaurant. Here, you might want to choose from Chilean specialties such as quinoa, lucuma, traditional Atacama patasca stew, and papas andinas (native purple potatoes). More daring adventurers may even want to sample the llama meat served-up in town. You can also sample some ice cream made from desert fruits like algarrobo or chañar. 2:30 PM: Machuca: While in Machuca, we’ll tour this tiny village situated high up in the Chilean Altiplano. Seemingly suspended in an ancient past, this traditional settlement is known for its Andean handicrafts, as well as for its picturesque homes made of adobe, cactus-wood, and straw. To get a good sense of life in the Andes, we’ll walk among this settlement’s handful of houses, meet with locals, and learn all about this small community’s history and traditions. We’ll then visit the Machuca church, a simple, picturesque white building with sky-blue doors. You can also discover the traditional handmade products of the inhabitants; whose livelihood largely depends on these handicrafts and on rearing llamas. 4:00 PM: Return to the Lodge / Free Time – Returning from a full-day overland expedition, rest up and relax before later dining. 7:00 PM: Dinner – Tonight’s à la carte dinner will feature enough options to please a range of different tastes and diets. Sit down with your companions for a freshly prepared à la carte dinner. Enjoy a delicious three-course meal, paired with a choice of fine international wines. The modern sophisticated menu is light on carbs and sauces, but also extensive. Most guests order seafood menus of tuna ceviche, squid ink risotto or green banana-breaded pan-fried fillet of grouper stuffed with crabmeat, though meat-lovers can select grilled rib-eye steak, roasted pork or another hearty fare. Desserts —- like pears simmered in red wine or moist chocolate cake with chocolate sauce — simply sparkle at Awasi. 8:30 PM: Briefing on the Next Day’s Activities – Your private guide will outline the details of tomorrow’s full day of activities on the Atacama Salt Flat, explaining more about this site and what to bring along on this excursion. 9:00 PM: Socializing & Relaxing / Turning in for the Night – Relax in comfy couches and overstuffed chairs as you enjoy Awasi’s open bar while sharing stories about your Atacama excursions with other international guests. A lengthy list of Chilean wines features a 2008 Amaral Sauvignon Blanc and a very snack-friendly 2007 Aliwen Cabernet Sauvignon–Syrah, while Awasi also offers a selection of premium wines for an additional fee. Before turning in for the night, you can also do some end-of-the-day stargazing in the Atacama skies from the lodge’s own observatory.

AM: 6:30 AM: Buffet Breakfast & Packing up – For your final breakfast at Awasi Atacama, join everyone in the main dining room and order up some eggs any way you like …even benedict- or omelet-style with your choice of filling. In addition to international breakfast standards like pancakes and French toast, Chilean specialties will also be in the buffet. Following breakfast, you’ll have time to pack your luggage and take a good last look around the lodge. 8:00 AM: Atacama Salt Flat & Floating in Cejar Lake – For your final Awasi excursion, we’ll drive across the Salar de Atacama. This 1,000 square mile salt lake is an unbeatable sight and the center-stage of surprise. One of its wonders is the Cejar Lagoon, a turquoise jewel whose waters are even saltier than the Dead Sea, meaning they provide for a great floating effect. When testing their incredible saltiness, you’ll see for yourself how your body floats without the least difficulty, like you’re flying, making it almost impossible to sink! You’ll also be surprised by the lake’s pleasant, almost warm waters – despite being located at over 2,000 meters above sea level. This makes any visit here a fun-filled but also relaxing experience. Adding to the dreamlike character of this aquamarine lake in the middle of the world’s driest desert are the occasional pink flamingos that feed here. All of this combines into a color-filled spectacle for the eyes …an unforgettable experience

PM: 12:00 PM: Return to the Lodge / Free Time – After returning to Awasi Atacama after a morning on the salt flat, why not complete the revitalization of your spirits through the experienced hands of Awasi’s expert masseuse? 1:30 PM: Lunch – For your farewell lunch, the lodge’s outdoor bar and the pool-area dining room give you the choice of enjoying a leisurely meal by the water, where your lunch will be paired with a slightly chilled glass of Chilean white wine as the sun warms your body. 3:00 PM: Drive to the Calama Airport – After lunch, while being driven back to the airport in Calama, enjoy your last look back at the spectacular Atacama Desert, a unique region of inspiring natural wonders. 4:30 PM: Departing Flight to Santiago de Chile – Reaching the Calama airport, Awasi Atacama staff will be on hand to help you with your luggage, get your boarding pass, and help you check in. At the airport’s security gate, your guide and Awasi staff will say goodbye, truly hoping that you enjoyed your stay and your Atacama travel experience. If you’re like most travelers to Atacama, your departing flight will take you back to the city of Santiago, the capital of Chile, where you will be met by Surtrek representatives if planning to continue your tour in the country (otherwise, you’ll be able to easily catch your connecting flight home or onward).

Prices

Round Room (Single)

USD$ 7500

Round Room (Double)

USD$ 5000

Superior Round Suite (Single)

USD$ 9300

Superior Round Suite (Double)

USD$ 6200

Included in the price

  • Private transfers from/to Calama airport, according to the hotel check-in and check-out schedules
  • Accommodations, as indicated in the itinerary
  • All meals, as indicated in the itinerary
  • Beverages (open bar for soft drinks, most alcoholic beverages and a variety of Chilean wines)
  • Private excursions (one full-day excursion daily or two half-day excursions daily)
  • Services of a private guide and a 4×4 vehicle

Not included in the price

  • International flights & domestic flights
  • Tips & gratuities
  • Health & travel insurance (highly recommended)
  • Personal expenses (phone calls, etc.)
  • Premium alcoholic beverages

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Trip Advisor Reviews

star rating  Estuvieron todo el tiempo que estuvimos por el Ecuador muy atentos a nosotros y tuvieron todos los detalles y nos dieron todas las facilidades que les fue posible en nuestra Luna de miel. Volvemos encantados a España, pensando en nuestro próximo viaje con Surtrek!

EM M
October 13, 2018

star rating  De inicio a fin, una experiencia única! La agente de ventas muy amable, respondió todas mis inquietudes previas al viaje y se aseguró de que todos mis requerimientos fueran atendidos durante el crucero. El guía asignado nos dio toda la información acerca de cada lugar visitado y se encargó de complacer con distintas actividades para que cada miembro de su variado grupo se sintiera atendido. En el crucero la tripulación muy atenta, sobre todo Carlitos que cuidó muy bien a nuestros niños durante la actividad de snorkeling. La comida variada y deliciosa. Y qué decir de esos paisajes maravillosos, quedarán grabados en nuestra memoria.
Conocer las islas encantadas de la mano de Surtrek es la mejor decisión. Les recomiendo!!

Scenic434694
December 16, 2020

star rating  Hola, estuve viajando con mi familia por Bolivia y Chile a través de Surtrek y el servicio fue excelente.

ebuenavida
January 29, 2020