In the northern region of Chile, San Pedro de Atacama awaits tourists from around the world with the majesty of its desert, the Valley of the Moon, the Puritama hot springs, the Cejar Lagoon, and other unforgettable attractions.

For many national and foreign tourists, San Pedro de Atacama is the best destination in the northern region of Chile. Located in the Antofagasta region, this commune in the El Loa province has dozens of attractions, and its majestic desert landscape has even been compared to images of the surface of Mars. It is an otherworldly destination.

Known for its natural beauty, rich history, and cultural heritage, San Pedro has a temperate and dry climate, regardless of the season. It is located at 2,400 meters above sea level, a key point of interest for hiking enthusiasts due to the physical demands of touring the locality.

Some of the most popular tourist attractions in the area include the Valley of the Moon, a desert landscape reminiscent of the lunar surface; the Atacama Salt Flat, the third largest in the world with a surface area of over 3,000 km²; the Tatio Geysers, a geothermal field with over 80 geysers and fumaroles that spout from the ground; the Altiplano Lagoons, a set of stunningly colorful lagoons located at an altitude of over 4,000 meters above sea level; Pukará of Quitor, a fortress built by the Atacameños in the 12th century; the R.P. Gustavo Le Paige Archaeological Museum, which houses an important collection of pre-Columbian artifacts; and the acclaimed Puritama Hot Springs.

It is important to note that the Cejar Lagoon is open to the general public, but only in the afternoon with guides and by reservation.

In addition, San Pedro de Atacama is a starting point for exploring the Los Flamencos National Reserve and the Lauca National Park, two of Chile's most important protected areas. It is also an ideal place for astronomical tourism, as it is located in an area with very little light pollution and there are several tours that can take you to the stars.

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Five things you should know before visiting San Pedro de Atacama this season

This season, there are five important things to consider before visiting San Pedro de Atacama that any tourist should know. We detail them below.

1. If you are traveling from Santiago de Chile, you can fly from Monday to Friday with LATAM Airlines, Sky Airlines, and Jetsmart, which offer daily flights of approximately two hours. There are also direct connections to cities such as La Serena and Antofagasta. As a reference, a flight with a layover to the latter city can take almost 3 hours. By bus or car, a direct trip to San Pedro de Atacama can take 24 hours: it is 1,680 kilometers.

2. To get to San Pedro de Atacama from the El Loa de Calama airport, you can travel the 100 km that separate it from your accommodation in a transfer with the official companies operating in the area. To take a bus, go from the airport to the center of the city of Calama and choose the company of your preference, always considering a wait of at least one hour to start the trip.

3. Due to the reduction of capacities after the pandemic, it is important that if you are planning to travel to San Pedro, you book your preferred tour in advance, especially due to the high demand for this wonderful Chilean natural treasure.

4. The temperatures in this locality are high during the day, so it is suggested to use sunscreen and stay hydrated. Also, wear appropriate clothing and comfortable shoes so you can explore the magical tourist spots of San Pedro de Atacama. Remember that the thermal sensation changes when the evening falls and the nights can be cold, so don't forget your coat.

5. When being at more than 2,000 meters above sea level, it's important to adapt to the altitude of San Pedro. Try not to engage in demanding physical activities during the first few days of your trip while your body adjusts.

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