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Main Sights

 

 

San Pedro has a significant archeological museum: the Gustavo Le Paige Archeological Museum, with a large collection of relics and artifacts from the region.

 

Native ruins nearby, attract now an increasing number of tourist interested in learning about pre-Colombian cultures. Tourists also visit our town for other popular activities including: sandbording and stargazing, with the sky stars of Atacama, unrivalled across the continent. Because of its high altitude, its nearly non-existent cloud cover and because of its lack of light pollution, the desert is one of the best places in the world to conduct astronomical observations.

 

Other main attractions nearby*:

 

         The Death Valley:

 

    Located 4 km west of San Pedro de Atacama in the middle of the cordillera de la Sal (Salt mountain range), the death valley is a place devoid of life. Geological phenomenon of enormous mineral sculptures formed by the wind and rain can be observed there. Its geological origin comes from an emerged lake, where the ancient horizontal layers of sediment and rock, dating back around 23 million years, were pushed and folded by the movement of the Earth’s crust, lifting the Andes Mountain Range and leaving some layers in a vertical position. The Atacama Salt Plains have been shaped throughout time by the rain and the wind, giving rise to enormous shapes and mineral brilliance, spectacular natural sculptures of various colors as a result of the minerals that from part of this natural attraction.

     

    The Moon Valley:

 

    This site, located 19 kilometers from San Pedro de Atacama, was declared a Nature Sanctuary. Its landscape is really similar to the moon with small but sharp crested hills formed by the wind, 22 million years ago.
    The wind and the atmospheric conditions have carved sculptured shapes with sharp crests, hilltops and waves that transform the landscape into the most extraordinary of our country. The absence of animal and vegetable life as well as the lack of humidity makes this the most inhospitable corner on Earth.

     

    The Tatio Geysers:

 

    Located in the Andean mountain range, 99 km from San Pedro de Atacama, is 4 320m above sea level and can be easily reached in few hours by car. At down temperatures below zero, you will witness an extraordinary and amazing sight, generated by violent spouts of boiling waters at a temperature of 85°C that reach a height of up to 10 meters. The geothermic field is made up of 40 geysers, 60 hot springs that extend over 3 kms².

     

    Miscanti and Meñiques Lagoons:

 

    These Lagoons are located at over 4 000m in height and are surrounded by vicunas, foxes, and flamingoes. This beautiful landscape is located 110 kms from San Pedro de Atacama. These 2 lagoons are situated approximately 3 kilometers apart and each of them is located at the foot of a volcano bearing the same name. The eruption of the Meñiques Volcano 1 million years ago is responsible for the stagnation of water thus forming these two intense blue water lagoons surrounded by white banks.

     

    The Salar de Atacama:

 

    Giant salt area (8,000 km2) located in the middle of the Atacama Desert. There, next to the Chaxas Lagoon, different kinds of flamingoes can be found. On the surface of the Atacama Salt Flats you can observe salt crusts generated by the accumulation of crystals produced by the evaporation of the underground saline waters.

     

    Salar de Tara:

 

    “The place of Flamingoes” in the Kunza language. It is a desolate plain, 4 000 m above sea level and located 100 km from San Pedro de Atacama. With a surface of 48 km², it lies between fertile plains, rivers and semi-frozen lagoons, where it is common to see Altiplano families shepherding llamas. Enormous stone columns, commonly known as the “Moais of Tara” dominate the Landscape, together with a monumental stonewall carved and shaped by the wind.

     

    Rainbow valley:

 

    The Rainbow Valley is an area surrounded by mountains and multicolored rock formations. Here you will find mountains in ochres, greens, blacks, purples, browns and endless shades of colors to feast your eyes on.

     

    Puritama Hot springs:

     

    Located 30 kilometers from San Pedro de Atacama in a rocky canyon where these hot springs form pools, one after another like terraces. These hot spring waters (30°C) contain minerals that help cure rheumatic illnesses and are good for therapeutic baths.

          

 

       Volcano ascensions:

 

    Licancabur (5950m), Lascar (5550m), Cerro Toco (5604m)…

     

     

*This tours can be realized by local agencies that will drive you to these different places.

Most of them cannot be realized by horse except the Moon valley and Death Valley. It’s just to give you a glimpse of what can be visited in the surroundings.