Tel: 55, Pop: 750
Toconao is a tiny traditional Andean village located approximately 40km south of San Pedro de Atacama and 2,500m above sea level. This colonial town is built with liparita volcanic stone - in fact, most of the inhabitants here work in agricultural or use the volcanic stone to make handicrafts to sell.
There are orchards full of fruit trees, herbs and flowers on the perimeter of Toconao. The Quebrada de Jere (Tel: 55-852010) is worth a visit, as is a stroll around the town simply to view the unique homes. Iglesia de San Lucas with a separate bell tower was erected in 1750. There are also a few artisan shops selling llama-wool ponchos and gloves, along with various handicrafts. To the east of town there is a narrow yellow sandy canyon called the Valle de Jeria with a crystalline stream, fruit trees and palms.
Buses Atacama 2000 and Buses Frontera have daily service to and from Toconao. Residencial y Restaurant Valle de Toconao (Tel: 55-852009) located at Lascar 236 is on the small side but a single bed cost approximately $7. The on-site restaurant also serves local dishes for less than $5.