Sunday, 13 July 2014

Top tips for San Pedro de Atacama

There's lots to do in San Pedro and the surrounding areas. Here are some top tips for making the most of your time there!

For more posts on San Pedro de Atacama, see: Hanging out in San Pedro de Atacama and Trying to escape from San Pedro de Atacama

1.  For an amazing view into the Valle de la Muerte and
over the town, walk or hire a bike and cycle out to the Quitor de Pukuara. Its only 3km out of town and pretty well signposted. And the views are great!

Valle de la Muerte
As you are leaving town the road goes through a river. You don’t need to go through the river! There is a bridge up to the left!

2. The cycle ride to Laguna Cejar is easier and flatter than the cycle into Valle de la Luna for sunset. Tours for the Laguna leave late afternoon, so if you go at lunch time you’ll have the place all to yourself.

The cycle to Valle de la Luna is fine. But, there is an annoying hill inside the park that at altitude is a bit of a challenge. And if you go for sunset you have to cycle back in the dark. So, depending on your wallet and your cycle fitness, think about cycling to Laguna Cejar and getting a tour to Valle de la Luna.

Sunset at Valle de la Luna
3. Eat massive empanadas! Empanadas are sold throughout South America, but the biggest we’ve seen them is in Chile. There’s a great little shop on the main drag in San Pedro that sells them – they are a great value lunch option.

4. If you’re going to the El Tatio geyser field (and you should) wrap up warm! The tours leave very early in the morning and it was -9c when we were there. We felt colder there then we did on the Bolivian salt flats.

El Tatio Geysir field

5. Research any stargazing tour properly. Most of the tours in San Pedro are pretty similar but the prices of the stargazing tours seem to vary considerably in price and quality. It might just be worth splashing out a bit to get a guide who knows what they are talking about and decent equipment to look at the skies with.

6. Don’t get stranded! If you are heading from San Pedro de Atacama to Argentina in the winter, check the weather! To get into Argentina you have to go over the mountains and when it snows the road might close – sometimes for days! When we were there, snow closed the road and we were told it  wouldn’t open again for another 5 or 6 days. We travelled further south in Chile and we were able to cross the mountains into Mendoza, but only just. Snow meant that the road was closed the very next day.

Have you been to San Pedro de Atacama? What are your tips for making the most of your time there?

No comments:

Post a Comment