Trekking Trip - moderated to strenuous
This trekking tour through Chile's northern desert and the Altiplano region is a genuine adventure in one of the world's great wonders. Unique varieties of fauna, small towns dating back to colonial times and ancient mysterious ruins uncovered by archeologists - all reveal the presence of an ancient world. Splendid hikes allow us to enjoy in deep this region. Travelling from salt lakes to hot springs, volcanoes to oases, we will experience an environment that often does not see any rain for an entire year. Snow capped volcanoes merge with pastel colored expanses that are interrupted only by the outlines of the hills that fade into emptiness. The solitude of the Altiplano becomes infinitely powerful in the areas around San Pedro de Atacama, the bizarre rock formations of the Valley of the Moon, or the huge Salt Lake of the Atacama, with its slender, stylized, rose colored flamingoes silhouetted against the clear blue sky.
Archaeology, pre-Columbian villages, abandoned towns, geyser fields, amazing scenery - all converge to give a truly unique experience.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
DAY 01 CALAMA - SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA
Reception at Calama airport and transfer to San Pedro de Atacama. In the afternoon, brief drive to the Salt Mountains and short hike through the Valley of the Moon, with its impressive geologic formations and extensive sand dunes, and its lovely panorama at sunset. Return to the hotel. (L)
DAY 02 SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA - SAN BARTOLO
Morning walk through town, visit the Church of San Pedro, whose origins date from 1641; the Inca House, oldest in town, and the Archeological Museum, founded by the Belgian Jesuit priest, Gustavo Le Paige. After we visit the Pukara (fortresses) Quitor, carved into the side of a cliff, dating from 12th century. If faded in importance with the arrival of the Incas and was destroyed in 1540 by the Spanish. After Catarpe valley, trekking along to a beautiful canyon, which leads us to San Bartolo. Camp. (B,L,D)
DAY 03 SAN BARTOLO-RIO GRANDE
Today we trek to Rio Grande, a small village who live by farming and herding, where we set up the camp. (B,L,D)
DAY 04 RIO GRANDE-MACHUCA
Trekking up the Altiplano to reach Machuca village (6h). Along the way we will see examples of terrace agriculture, carried out today just as it was in ancient times. Climbing from 2,700 m to an altitude of 3,400 m, we come to the village of Machuca, where we pick up our support team. Machuca was a regular stopover for ancient llama caravans traveling the Inca Trail. Despite the lovely surroundings, rich in flora and fauna, only a few shepherds now live in this lonely spot where we spend the night in our next camp. (B,L,D) )
DAY 05 MACHUCA-BAÑOS DE PURITAMA-TATIO GEYSERS
Morning drive and short trekking to Puritama hot springs (3400m/ 11220ft.), time to enjoy a relaxing bath before continuing to the Geysers del Tatio (4.270m/14107ft.), geothermal phenomena and the highest geyser field in the world, where we set up our camp. (B,L,D)
DAY 06 TATIO GEYSERS - CASPANA - SAN PEDRO
Early morning we enjoy the geological thermal activities of the geysers as the sun rises. We enjoy view of steaming fumaroles against the extraordinary sunrise of the Atacama Desert, with its crystalline clear sky, is an unforgettable, incredibly beautiful sight. From the geysers hiking down to Caspana village, fertile valley in the middle of the barren desert with an old and new village. Return to San Pedro via Calama. Hotel. (B,L,D)
DAY 07 SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA-TILOMONTE-PASTOR
Our morning drive will take us to Tilomonte Oasis, visiting on the way Toconao village and Jería, fertile canyon. Note how the fields are cultivated in the small, irregular patches typical of traditional pre-Hispanic settlements. The white volcanic stone of the village is called liparita, and is quarried nearby. Finally we reach the huge Atacama Salt Flat¸ boasting the world's largest reserve of lithium. From our vantage point, fantastic Chaxa Lake appears, its shores thickly encrusted with salt. Lake Chaxa is a flamingo breeding ground. Trekking along an Inca trail (4h) to Pastor. Nice views on the Atacama Salt Flat. Camp. (B,L,D)
DAY 08 PASTOR-MEÑIQUES LAGOON
We visit Tulan archeological site and Peine village. We drive on to the altiplano and visit Socaire before arriving in Meñiques and Miscanti lagoons, where we set our camp (4100m). (B,L,D)
DAY 09 MEÑIQUES LAGOON - LEJIA LAGOON
Full day trekking in the altiplano. We border Miscanti Lagoon and skirt the Chiliques and Leña Volcanoes. We soon reach the Lejia Lagoon, a beautiful lake at the foot of the active Lascar Volcano. Camp (4250m). (B,L,D)
DAY 10 LEJIA LAGOON - LASCAR - SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA
Short drive towards the Láscar Pass (at 4500m approx.). Full day climbing up Láscar volcano. After tasting the feeling of success we drive back down to San Pedro de Atacama. Hotel. (B,L,D)
DAY 11 SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA - CALAMA
Morning at leisure. Transfer to Calama airport. (B)
 
Note: this itinerary may have changes according to the weather conditions and also we can reduce it in a shorter version at reque
2006-2007 DEPARTURES
July 8
August 5
Sept 23
October 21
November 18
December 2
January 6
February 17
March 3
April 14
May 19
June 18
*Please ask for promotional departures for April, May and June 2006.
 
2006-2007 COST PER PERSON
Min. 2 people
US$ 2.590
Single supplement
US$ 230
 
Note: This program is also available as private trip from min. 2 people for unscheduled departures at request.
 

INCLUDED :

  • All transportation during the whole itinerary
  • All accommodations quoted per person based on sharing a double room or tent
  • All meals in camp and breakfast and lunches in cities at the hotel selected
  • Park entrance fees
  • Spanish, English and French speaking guide and camp staff
  • Full camping gear
  • * Other languages are available previous request.

NOT INCLUDED :

  • Any type of insurance
  • Tips and extra expenses as laundry, meals and drinks out of program and other items not mentioned
  • Personal sleeping bag and pad
  • Air local flights.
QUALIFICATIONS: Easy. Hiking and treks are optional. Members are expected to be in good physical condition.

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ALTUE ACTIVE TRAVEL
Coyancura 2270, oficina 801, Providencia, Santiago, CHILE
Telefóno: (56 2) 333 1390 - Fax (56 2) 234 9783
Email: info@altue.com