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wildlife & nature • 8 days, 7 nights

Chile’s Atacama Desert: Geology, Geoglyphs & Ghost Towns

wildlife & nature • 8 days, 7 nights

Chile’s Atacama Desert: Geology, Geoglyphs & Ghost Towns

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  • Group Size 12 People Maximum
  • Activity Level
  • Travel Style
    Outdoor Expedition
from $5,830 USD per person
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Traveling with Atlas Obscura during COVID-19

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Learn more about:

Traveling with Atlas Obscura amid COVID-19 How We’re Adapting Our Trips Destination Requirements (via Embassy Pages)
Trip Overview

Join us on this thrilling exploration of Chile’s famed Atacama Desert. We’ll discover a land built from violent geologic processes that have left a landscape of volcanic and geothermal features, great salt flats, and salty lakes, where indigenous people carve out a living in this unforgiving environment. Nature has provided a vast playground where we will explore the high altiplano together with our expert local guide. On foot, by bicycle, or by car we will find some amazing rock formations, scenic vistas, lunar landscapes, and the unique communities and wildlife that call this place home. Focusing on the lesser-known B Sides of the Atacama catalog, we will venture deep into the heart of the desert in our own tented camp, to experience the silence and incredible night skies that can be found far from civilization. We’ll conclude our trip on the coast of the Pacific Ocean, exploring ghost saltpeter mining towns and ancient geoglyphs.

  • Otherworldly desert landscapes
  • Stargazing and night sky photography
  • Remote open-air dining in the Atacama
  • Ancestral pottery workshop
  • Natural hot springs and salt lakes
  • Geoglyphs and ghost towns


Itineraries and daily schedules are subject to change. We expect to do everything listed in the itinerary, though the order may be rearranged based on weather or other local conditions.

Additional Info


The listed price of this trip is per person based on double occupancy.

Traveling Solo?

You’re in good company. Solo travelers typically make up about half of our small groups. With curiosity at the center of our experiences, there’s a natural camaraderie that develops over the course of a trip. We have two options for you: 

Shared Room (subject to the latest Covid-19 guidelines): You'll be matched with another solo traveler of the same gender.

Private Room: Have your own room, subject to availability, for a supplemental cost of $1410. After booking your trip, please request a private room when you fill out your traveler information form and we’ll add the option to your booking and final balance.

Arrival & Departure

You should plan to arrive in Calama before 5:00 p.m. on Day 1. Airlines offer multiple flight options daily between Santiago and Calama. An arrival transfer to San Pedro de Atacama will be arranged by Hotel Desertica to meet your arriving flight. Our tour concludes on Day 8 with a transfer to the Iquique airport for your departure flight. 

Activity Level

Travelers should feel comfortable walking two to four miles over the course of each day, remaining on their feet for long periods of time, and walking on uneven terrain. The Atacama Desert sits at an elevation of 7900 feet and some optional excursions take place at high elevations (e.g. Tatio geyser field is over 14,000 feet). Our daily program is flexible to be revised depending on the health and energy of the group.


On this journey, we will be staying in comfortable hotels and a well-equipped luxury tented camp. At Extraordinary Atacama, tents are furnished with real beds and the camp is set up with fully-equipped bathrooms - one for every three tents - with hot water.

  • Accommodation throughout the trip at comfortable hotels and a luxury tented camp
  • All meals described in the itinerary
  • Transportation throughout the trip, including airport transfers
  • An experienced Trip Leader to accompany you for the duration of the trip as well as special guests throughout
  • Admission to all proposed activities, locations, and events
  • A curious group of fellow Atlas Obscura travelers!
  • 24/7 emergency assistance during your trip, provided by Global Rescue (terms apply)
  • Special access to unique places and extraordinary experiences
  • All tips and gratuities except for accompanying Trip Leader
  • Transportation and flights to Calama and from Iquique
  • Pre- and post-trip accommodations
  • Travel insurance (recommended)
  • Additional meals and drinks outside of Atlas Obscura offerings, including most alcoholic beverages
  • Passport and visa fees, if applicable
  • COVID-19 testing requirements
  • Customary gratuities for Trip Leader
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Trip FAQ

Your participation in this trip provides significant financial contributions to the communities we visit, directly supporting small businesses, schools, villages, and local families. In addition, this trip's focus on traditional customs will help to preserve and maintain them for future generations.

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Upcoming Departures

Choose your own private trip dates
Inquire now about a private departure for friends and family. Trip cost may vary based on group size and travel dates.

Choose your own private trip dates

Inquire now about a private departure for friends and family.

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