As our month in Chile continues we have just finished five days in the Atacama Desert. We stayed at the Atacamadventures Eco Lodge which I reviewed separately and did the all inclusive package for ease. The flight from Santiago was early and once again the Airport Holiday Inn made that an easy transition. We landed in Calama and were met by our driver to travel the 100 km to the lodge. You could feel the lack of humidity immediately but the landscaped was incredible. You climb up to about 2300 m which is the altitude of San Pedro so drink lots of water and don't push it.
We did several excursions which were organised by the Lodge. We had small groups and had the freedom to go off the beaten path a bit so we didn't see that many people. It seemed that every place we visited was very different from the last.
The places we visited were...the Coronisas, Punta del Inca, Valley of the Moon, Rainbow Valley, Tatio Geysers and the Altiplanic Lagoons. Each was very different and beautiful. The altitude was noticeable and we set our pace accordingly. I didn't have any ill effects from the altitude but my husband had a bit of headache at first. The highest we went was 4400 and then you could feel it but it was fine overall. Our guide liked to leave earlier so we seemed to always be ahead of the crowds and a lot of the places we went had no other visitors.
Weather wise it was very hot and dry but cool in the evening. We wore shorts or long pants for hiking with hiking shoes. Usually a t-shirt or long sleeve shirt. Only at the geysers was it cold and then only because the sun wasn't up. Hats are required and wear lots of sunblock all the time.
On our last day my husband and I did a 20 km bike ride from our lodge to a place called Devil's Throat which was past Pukora. It was hot but well worth it and we had the place to ourselves. We have hundreds of photos to sort out from our trip since it was so photogenic.
We only went into San Pedro once and it was interesting. It seemed to have lots of restaurants and shops. If you are making your own tour arrangements there seemed to be lots of choice.
This was part of our trip that I really wanted to do and it totally lived up to my expectations. We saw lots of places but I could go back and do more. Well worth it!!
Onto PatagoniaEdited: 29 November 2013, 11:07