- Trip Reviews
- Read More
- Alto Atacama
The Atacama region is described as Mars on Earth due to its vivid red hues and exotic, wind-carved landscape. The luxurious Alto Atacama Desert Lodge and Spa, a manmade oasis that blends seamlessly into its terracotta surroundings, lies amidst the Atacama Desert’s many geologic wonders. Located in the lush Catarpe Valley and surrounded by the Salt Mountain range in the shadow of the Pukara de Quitor ruins, this tranquil 32-room lodge has comfortable accommodations, with private patios and sweeping views. Enjoy Mediterranean cuisine prepared with local ingredients and paired with superb Chilean wines. The gardens are planted with local flora using ancient agricultural techniques. There are friendly llamas and alpacas to pet, several pools, and restorative massages or facials available in the Puri Spa. Alto Atacama offers guests a range of active or leisurely desert excursions during their stay and follows a no-trace philosophy of outdoor ethics and sustainability.
Considered one of the best ski resorts in Chile, Valle Nevado is known for its vast amount of quality terrain, modern chair lifts, and superior customer service. At an altitude of 3,670m/12,040 ft and with average snowfall of 7m/276 inches, Valle Nevado has some of the most consistently great snow conditions among the major resorts in the region. The resort is about a 90-minute drive from Santiago.
- MON ARRIVE SANTIAGO – CALAMA – ALTO ATACAMA
- Your driver will meet you at the airport in Calama to take you to the Alto Atacama Lodge, a mile outside of San Pedro de Atacama. After checking in, enjoy a relaxing evening exploring your tranquil surroundings on your own. (D)
- TUE-WED (2 Days) ATACAMA DESERT
- The Atacama offers many photogenic destinations: dramatic geysers, therapeutic hot springs, volcanoes, lagoons, salt flats, petroglyphs, Incan ruins and flamingoes. Choose which of the many wonders you’d like to explore:
By van: Choose between four half-day and eight full-day excursion options to take you to lagoons, salt flats, villages, cave paintings or the Tatio Geyser Field. These trips are paced to allow for ample photographic stops and timed for when light conditions are the most ideal.
Treks: Hikes from easy to difficult are offered to nine different locales, including half-day routes to craters of the Valley of the Moon or the Great Dune of Mars Valley.
Mountain biking: There are ideal conditions here for Atacama mountain biking through scenic terrain. Choose from six guided half-day routes that range from easy to difficult. One includes a buoyant swim in a salty lagoon. All biking equipment provided.
Mountain climbing: Mountain climbing enthusiasts will have their choice of two three-day Chile treks to the local volcanoes, Licancabur and Toco. Mountain climbing trips require a minimum of three days to allow you to acclimate to the elevation. If you’re interested in one of these excursions, contact us about extending your trip.
Stargazing: A dry climate, lack of pollution and high elevation make the Atacama a draw for scientists from around the world. With the exception of the nine days surrounding a full moon, astronomy lectures are offered nearby at a telescope-equipped observation deck on a nightly basis.
- THU ALTO ATACAMA – CALAMA – SANTIAGO
- Spend one final day exploring the Atacama before you meet your driver in the hotel lobby to head back to the Calama airport, where you will continue on to Santiago for a night. (B)
- FRI SANTIAGO – TRES VALLES
- Meet your driver in the lobby after breakfast to head to your lodgings at the Valle Nevado Resort. (B,D)
- SAT-MON (3 Days) TRES VALLES
- Three full days of skiing/snowboarding in Valle Nevado. Or, alternatively, you can enjoy the surrounding scenery and activities available at the Valle Nevado Resort. (B,L,D)
- TUE TRES VALLES – SANTIAGO
- After a full day of skiing, your driver will take you back to the Santiago Airport to make international connections home, marking the end of your adventure with Southern Explorations. (B)
Most Popular Chile Trips & Tours
|Australis Glacier Cruise & Patagonia Hiking||$5,195||12 Days||Mt. Fitz Roy & Cerro Torre, Cape Horn, Tierra del Fuego National Park, Los Glaciares National Park, Perito Moreno Glacier|
|Chile Triangle||$4,890||12 Days||Chile's most famous regions, Easter Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site , Atacama Desert, Torres del Paine National Park|
|Classic Patagonia & Torres del Paine||$4,925||10 Days||Los Glaciares National Park, Torres del Paine National Park, Perito Moreno Glacier, Classic Treks to Mt. Torre and to Mt. Fitz Roy|
|Lake District and Chiloe Island||$3,095||7 Days||Myths and legends in Chiloe Island, Lake District, Llanquihue Lake and majestic Osorno Volcano|
San Pedro de Atacama & Valle Nevado Ski
- Rates, per person:
$4125 San Pedro de Atacama & Valle Nevado (Regular Season, Hotel Valle Nevado)
$3645 San Pedro de Atacama & Valle Nevado (Regular Season, Hotel Puerta del Sol)
$3365 San Pedro de Atacama & Valle Nevado (Value Season, Hotel Valle Nevado)
$3040 San Pedro de Atacama & Valle Nevado (Value Season, Hotel Puerta del Sol)
$350 Airfare Santiago/Calama/ Santiago – Price Subject to change
Value season runs from August 25 – September 22. During value season, there is no minimum stay requirement, except for the week of September 1 to 7 when bookings must be made for 7 nights, from Friday to Friday.
Regular season runs from June 23 to July 13 and from July 28 to August 24. Bookings must be made on a weekly basis (7 nights from Friday to Friday) or by mini-week (4 nights from Friday to Tuesday or 3 nights from Tuesday to Friday).
Contact us for Single Supplement.
- Included in tour cost
- All airport/hotel transfers
- All hotel accommodations
- All listed activities
- English-speaking certified guides
- Entrance fees for all scheduled tours, national parks & archaeological sites
- Meals as indicated
- Southern Explorations pre-departure services
- Excluded from tour cost
- Airport taxes, international and local
- Domestic airfare within South America
- International airfare to and from Central & South America
- Tips and gratuities
- Medical & travel insurance (highly recommended)
- Ski/Snowboard equipment and other personal gear
- Optional activities
San Pedro de Atacama & Valle Nevado Ski
- Trip Dates
- Friday, June 22, 2018 to Sunday, September 23, 2018Available
We had a tremendous experience. Patagonia is truly heaven on earth and Southern Explorations enabled us to safely and efficiently spend 2 weeks in this paradise. Eri was a superb guide and traveling companion. Knowledgeable, smart, humorous and patient. He has a wonderful laid back style. We developed a genuine bond with Eri and we hope to see him again. He was superb with my 9 yr. old son. The estancia Tercera Baranca was wonderful, we could have stayed there indefinitely. I can't make enough positive statements to describe our experience. - Will, Beth and Max Mondzac (Patagonia)
Vira Vira was awesome - it was the perfect start to the perfect trip. Michael and his family are totally hands on and committed to creating a top notch experience for their guests. The property, the food, the excursions, the attention to detail - we could not find a single fault with anything. It literally felt like we were their personal guests. Everyone else staying there seemed very satisfied as well. Two thumbs up! Dimple (Honk Kong) (Custom Chile)
The Southern Explorations team did a fantastic job helping us plan our Galapagos adventure in 2011 and our Torres del Paine/Australis Magellan Straits cruise 2015. They were extremely helpful in planning our trips and quickly responded to each of our questions. We will definitely seek their services to assist in any future travels. - Sharon McRae (Torres del Paine/Galapagos Islands)
Our experience from our first exploratory call to the Seattle office was excellent. Prompt and courteous responses and they accommodated our specific needs for a combined Patagonia and Galapagos trip. I cannot think of anything that was not satisfactory. I recommend Southern Explorations highly. -Lyn Arscott (Patagonia & Galapagos Island Cruise)
Basically the trip was perfect. Our wishes about big things were totally fulfilled, like exploring Rio Brian, going up Valle del Silencio, etc. Our wishes for small things (low sugar, low gluten, good photo opps) were exceeded. It was a totally excellent trip. Your ability to deal with the unexpected was amazing .. weather, my injuries, our changing our minds. It was an amazing trip! And SE agent gave us all kinds of good advice before we left. -Brian & Lynne Collins, USA (Chile)Our words to describe our trip are Spectacular, Exciting, and Remote! We got to see basically everything we had hoped for, and more! - Ann Huston, California (Patagonia)
Thank you for a wonderful introduction to South America and excellent vacation. We will be returning to other SA venues in the coming years and will be sure to contact Southern Explorations for assistance. -Gordon McPhee, South Carolina (Chile & Argentina)
This was a trip of a lifetime. The highlight was the Explora Lodge with unbelievable hikes and horseback riding. Also, the Perito Moreno Glacier was fantastic. I wouldn't change a thing. - Kyle Craig, Colorado (Patagonia)
“The Southern Explorations team did a fantastic job helping us plan our Galapagos adventure in 2011 and our Torres del Paine/Australis Magellan Straits cruise 2015. They were extremely helpful in planning our trips and quickly responded to each of our questions. We will definitely seek their services to assist in any future travels.” - Sharon McRae (Cruceros Australis + Hotel Las Torres)
Our experience planning a trip to Patagonia in South America with Southern Explorations exceeded my highest expectations! Everything was incredibly well organized, the hotels they booked for us were very nice, the guides and people who transported us all spoke our language (English). When my husband got very sick and we had to alter our plans, they were on top of rebooking flights and canceling excursions, and handled all of the logistics for us. I would highly recommend the services provided by Southern Explorations, and will certainly use them for all future travel planning that we do!! - Kristi Holland, Alabama (Patagonia))
Our two sons, ages 19 & 22, said it was the best trip they'd ever been on. (And we've been to southern Africa game camps, New Zealand, Galapagos, numerous SCUBA diving vacations all over the globe, not to mention dozens of other less dazzling spots around the world and the US). (Patagonia) is really gorgeous. Jorge (Guide) was exceptional--just perfect for us! The tents are fantastic--lots of room to put huge backpacks inside along with lots of other gear--kudos on the tents. La Tercera (estancia) was marvelous and charming--we're so glad you planned two nights for us there. The food by Carmen was the best we ate on our entire trip to Chile--really extraordinary both nights!