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San Pedro de Atacama

 

At an elevation of 2,400 meters, San Pedro de Atacama is a small village in the desert in northern Chile. Because of the spectacular sights in close proximity to the town, it has been transformed into a tourist haven. It is a short ride to Chile’s largest salt flat that is home to flamingos and geyser fields, along with beautiful landscapes and rock formations.

As one would expect, the charm of narrow dirt streets and adobe houses is beginning to wear thin as overpriced hotels spring up and try to take advantage of gringos on vacation. Still, the highlights of the town far outweigh the annoyance of the growth spurred by the tourism industry. There is no better place on the planet to learn to sand-surf, speed down dunes on a mountain bike or ascend a volcano. The hot springs at Termas de Puritama will soothe the bones, the Salar de Atacama is an incredible sight and the Geysers del Tatio should not be missed. In town, the Museo Gustavo le Paige has an extensive display of local artifacts and Iglesia de San Pedro at the Plaza de Armas is a welcoming Andean church.

There is plenty of accommodation available for budget travelers as long as you are fine with sharing a room. Hotel La Ruca and Casa Adobe are good, reasonably priced options. As is common with tourist towns, some trendy hotels cost more than they are worth. Don RaĂşl Hotel is a pleasant option for travelers in need of a nicer place with amenities. There is no shortage on restaurants in San Pedro de Atacama and the prices are relatively affordable even at nicer locations. A lot of establishments lure guests in with a decently priced meal and keep them there with happy hours and late-night live music - La Casona is one such place.

Telephone code: 55, Population: 5,000.

 

Also read Michelle Hopey's poetic article about San Pedro de Atacama.

 

Neighborhoods in San Pedro de Atacama: Around San Pedro de Atacama,

Other places nearby San Pedro de Atacama: Iquique, Mejillones, Tocopilla, Toconao, Pica, Putre, Calama, Arica, Pisagua and Taltal.







By Chris Hughes
Traveling South America to give Viva readers the most up-to-date information...
08 Jul 2009

Things to do in San Pedro de Atacama

Iglesia San Pedro de Atacama

131798Iglesia San Pedro, built in 1744 on the western edge of the Plaza de Armas, is one of the most interesting Andean churches in the region. The bell tower was added in the late nineteenth century, and ...
Historical Building
Around San Pedro de Atacama, San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

Iglesia San Pedro

Iglesia San Pedro built in 1744 on the western edge of the Plaza de Armas is one of the most interesting Andean churches in the region. The bell tower was added in the late 19th century, and the ...
Historical Building
San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

Tambo de Catarpe

Travel an additional 4km past Pukará de Quitor and find the ruins of Catarpe - an interesting place, though most believe it is not worth the trip as they pale in comparison to the closer Pukará de ...
Ruin
Around San Pedro de Atacama, San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

Pukará de Quitor

Pukará de Quitor are the ruins of a 12th-century fortress originally built on a steep hillside on the Río San Pedro to protect locals. Indigenous forces attempted to repel Pedro de Valdivia’s ...
Ruin
Around San Pedro de Atacama, San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

Termas de Puritama

Approximately 28km from San Pedro de Atacama are the volcanic hot springs Termas de Puritama. These falls and pools of hot water that reach 30 degrees Celsius, produced by the hot water of the RĂ­o ...
Other Activity
Around San Pedro de Atacama, San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

Museo Gustavo le Paige

The Museo Gustavo le Paige is a must-see in San Pedro de Atacama. Belgian Jesuit priest Gustavo Le Paige, who arrived in town in 1955, started to collect artifacts of great archaeological value after ...
Museum
Around San Pedro de Atacama, San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
Mapa
View San Pedro de Atacama Map
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