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Santiago to San Pedro de Atacama...

New York City, New...
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Santiago to San Pedro de Atacama...

Just wondering if anyone knows about driving in Chile. We would want to goto Valparaiso and check out the vineyards over there, then prob. back to Santiago to fly to Calama to get to San Pedro de Atacama. Does this sound like it's a good idea to drive that little bit and is it easy to get to San Pedro from Calama???

Thanks!!!!

C

Santiago, Chile
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1. Re: Santiago to San Pedro de Atacama...

The vineyards are on the way to Valparaíso but parking in Valparaíso can be a headache. If you are both going to be tasting wine you might consider a tour so you don't have to drive.

turistik.cl/tour/…

You can book a shuttle with Licancabur directly from the airport to San Pedro, which saves you from having to go into Calama.

Santiago, Chile
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2. Re: Santiago to San Pedro de Atacama...

There is a large underground parking lot under the Plaza Prat in Valparaiso. This is right at the harbour outside the metro terminal. The drive from Calama to San Pedro is not long. Everywhere you suggest driving has modern highways much of them are 4 lane.

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3. Re: Santiago to San Pedro de Atacama...

I agree with Molly. We've often gotten feedback from those who have chosen to do self-drive to wine country and onward to Valpo, that they wish they had spent a little more to have a private driver/guide to avoid the headaches. There's also a large benefit in wine country to having a guide/driver, as you're then able to have a richer, more unique experience as they're able to make appointments at smaller, more local feeling vineyards meeting vineyard owners, having much less of a mass tourism feeling experience. Staying a night at Casa Marin's private guesthouse gets rave reviews from intrepid independent travelers. Really unique lodging experience in a private guesthouse overlooking the vineyard with views to the Pacific.

In addition to the headaches of driving in a foreign country and parking/driving in the hills of Valpo (where the best boutique, locally-owned hotels are - try Hotel Acontraluz Oceanview suite, awesome!), is the fact that all of Chile's interstates are toll roads owned by a Spanish concessionary, and that can be a little challenging for those without familiarity and/or Spanish language abilities. Just a consideration for you to be aware of.

Overall you trip sounds great. An itin with Santiago, Central Chile, and Atacama will provide a trip with a unique array of landscapes and clutures.

Cheers and all my best,

Jordan Harvey

Co-Founder, Knowmad Adventures

"One of the best operators" -- Frommer's, Chile and Easter Island

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4. Re: Santiago to San Pedro de Atacama...

Thank you so much guys!

5. Re: Santiago to San Pedro de Atacama...

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