Between the dirt streets of this ancient village, melts the mysticism of the ancestral cultures with the modern tourism. At 102 km from Calama is San Pedro de Atacama, land mainly of indigenous ethnic groups today devoted to agriculture and tourism. In the old Plaza you will find the church, dating from 1774, which is revealing the customs of its inhabitants: Skeleton of cactus wood, adobe and beams of algarrobo tied with leather. Very near is the Archaeological Museum R. P. Gustavo le Paige, where you will be impressed with the mummies and everyday objects that reveal the richness of the cultures in the area. The village is full of craft stalls, where you can buy fabrics, jewelry or herbs, as coca leaves, whose infusion can save you from the puna (or “evil height”) if you climb to the Tatio Geysers at 4,300 meters above sea level.
Leave San Pedro in a motorhome, toward the southeast, and you will find other atractive places: the town of Toconao, the Salar de Atacama and the Chaxa Lagoon; home of flamingos and other birds plateau. There are places that is best explored at sunset, as the Valley of the Moon or the Valley of Death. At that time only offer beautiful shadows and changing colors, ideal for photography. The strange rock formations and the dunes of the valley of the Moon, and the Mountain Range of the salt will be your best photos. At night, are optimal locations for contemplating the stars. To round off a day full of sensations, in San Pedro de Atacama await you pubs and restaurants that will seduce you with excellent gastronomic proposals. Finally, when the night falls, you will have a nice sleep surrounded by stars and listening to the singing of the Owls.
If you wake up very early, go visit the craters of the Tatio, geothermal field which attracts hundreds of visits throughout the year, in spite of rising to 4,200 meters of altitude. If you come to San Pedro de Atacama, there will be no tomorrow as to spend in the Tatio, with the rays of the sun through the white columns of steam issued by the geisers. A marvel in the Cordillera of the Andes that, to see it, there is to get up early. The best time of the fumaroles is between 6:00 and 7:00 in the morning. Therefore, whether you travel on his own account or on a tour, the rule is to get out of San Pedro de Atacama near 5:00 am. But the wonder of the landscape does not end there; while dawns, leave the vicunas, vizcachas, rheas and other birds that are moved between the llaretas, giant cactus and paja brava. And for the return, there is a prize: you can go through the Puritama Hot Springs, surrounded by greenery and with comfortable wooden walkways that unite the different pools.