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traveling from Atacama down to Santiago?

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Charlottesville...
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traveling from Atacama down to Santiago?

My hope is to bus from Uyuni to San Pedro, see the desert for a few days, and then take a bus down to a place like La Serena, stay a few days and then arrive in final destination, Santiago. But the bus rides are very long. Is there a better route you would recommend? Are the towns in between worth seeing, or should I just go to Antofagasta and fly down to Santiago without visiting the smaller towns?

Santiago, Chile
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for Chile, Santiago
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1. Re: traveling from Atacama down to Santiago?

One alternative is to travel at night in a cama or semi-cama seat. The buses are very comfortable.

Charlottesville...
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2. Re: traveling from Atacama down to Santiago?

Thank you! Do you recall which bus companies you used?

Germany
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3. Re: traveling from Atacama down to Santiago?

Atacama to Santiago is indeed a very long journey. We broke out trip up by going from Atacama- La Serena - Valparaiso- Santiago. Stopping in La Serena and Valparaiso for a few days in each place. We took night buses, the journey from Atacama to La Serena was sixteen hours so you can catch a 7.30 pm bus and end up in La Serena by mid morning the following day, we went with Turbus. The seats were cama seats so very comfortable, just make sure you stock up on some snacks because you don't get much food on the bus.

Charlottesville...
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4. Re: traveling from Atacama down to Santiago?

Thanks much! Did you enjoy La Serena? That seems like a town worth visiting.

Germany
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5. Re: traveling from Atacama down to Santiago?

Personally I enjoyed Iquique more, (better beaches), however La Serena is a great place to do observatory tours from, its close to several big observatories, its also the gateway to getting to Vicuna (where the observatories are actually located) and Pisco Elqui, famous for the Elqui valley (stunning, a great place to hike) and the home of many Pisco distilleries (a great place to recover from the hike).

Charlottesville...
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6. Re: traveling from Atacama down to Santiago?

Those beaches do look nice. I'm conflicted whether to linger in northern Chile or to make my way south toward Santiago. I feel like I'd be missing out if I didn't see the big city (Santiago), plus that's the cheapest place from which to fly back to the States....

Singapore, Singapore
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7. Re: traveling from Atacama down to Santiago?

when u are in La Serena u can also do day tour to Damas Island to see the marine birds, humbolt penguins, sea lions n the wild dolphins... awesome...

Charlottesville...
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8. Re: traveling from Atacama down to Santiago?

Sounds amazing. Hopefully if I'm in La Serena long enough, I can visit the island...

9. Re: traveling from Atacama down to Santiago?

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