Chile may have travel restrictions in place due to COVID-19.

Find out moreOpens in new tab or window

San Pedro de AtacamaChile

View some of the most fascinating natural elements you will ever see in this salty desert landscape reminiscent of a sci-fi film.

San Pedro de Atacama is a small town in the center of one of the world’s most spectacular geological landscapes. In the arid Atacama Desert, where rain has not touched much of the terrain for centuries, find all sorts of otherworldly features, from gurgling geysers and hot springs to moon-like valleys and salty lagoons full of flamingos.

Make the town a stopping point on the way to the National Flamingo Reserve. Here, find the remarkable Chaxa Lagoon and take photographs of flamingos and other colorful birds around the salty water.

Take a short trip to a terrain that looks like the harsh environment of space at the Valle de la Luna. Hike through its eerie lands full of natural statues, caves and white dry lakes. For a more colorful walk with fewer crowds, head to the Arco Iris Valley, which takes its name from the Spanish for “rainbow.”

Perhaps the most memorable experience is at sunrise in El Tatio Geyser Field, where jets of steam rise from volcanic openings in the crust. Enjoy a hot bath in a spring with a dreamlike backdrop of volcanoes forming a ring around the field.

Learn about humankind’s presence in the region at the elegant San Pedro Church and the Petroglifos de Hierbas Buenas. See the artistic imprints from Atacameño people.

The climate varies with the elevation of the attractions around the town, although the weather is always extremely dry. Prepare for mild altitude sickness, as the town rests at 7,900 feet (2,400 meters) above sea level.

This area is in northeastern Chile near the borders with Bolivia and Argentina. Fly to the small airport of Calama from Santiago, Antofagasta or Iquique. The airport is about 1 hour west of the town by bus. Many buses also travel here from cities across Argentina and Chile.

Viewing the sights of San Pedro de Atacama is like seeing the world through a kaleidoscope.

Top hotels in San Pedro de Atacama

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Terrantai Lodge Hotel
Terrantai Lodge Hotel
4 out of 5

Located in the heart of San Pedro de Atacama, this romantic hotel is steps away from San Pedro Church and Plaza de San Pedro de Atacama. Meteorite Museum and ...

4.6/5Exceptional! (183 reviews)
Wonderful staff

"This is a great place to stay. The staff were absolutely brilliant ; very helpful, welcoming and genuinely friendly. It is well located and creates a real ‘home from home’ atmosphere."…"

Reviewed on 14 Mar 2020

Terrantai Lodge Hotel
Noi Casa Atacama
Noi Casa Atacama
4.5 out of 5
The price is £183 per night

Located in the heart of San Pedro de Atacama, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Plaza de San Pedro de Atacama and San Pedro Church. Meteorite Museum ...

4.3/5Excellent! (154 reviews)

"We liked the room and restaurant and thought the staff was both friendly and helpful. We also enjoyed the excursions."…"

Reviewed on 14 Jan 2020

Noi Casa Atacama
Hotel Cumbres San Pedro de Atacama
Hotel Cumbres San Pedro de Atacama
4 out of 5

Situated in a rural location, this luxury hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Plaza de San Pedro de Atacama, San Pedro Church and Meteorite Museum. R.P. Gustavo ...

4.4/5Excellent! (289 reviews)
Great stay

"Really chilled out and nice atmosphere at the resort. Was able to relax during my stay. Rooms were big, breakfast was nice, some nice touches (such as suncream, water and snacks provided). Only negative was I was in a room 1900 which was a 10 minute walk to reception."…"

Reviewed on 27 Jan 2020

Hotel Cumbres San Pedro de Atacama

Popular places to visit in San Pedro de Atacama

Cejar Lagoon
Image for Cejar Lagoon

Cejar Lagoon

4/5(3 reviews)

Float effortlessly in the salt water of this extraordinary lagoon situated in the heart of Atacama’s salt plains.

Valley of the Moon
Image for Valley of the Moon

Valley of the Moon

4.5/5(6 reviews)

Treat your eyes to the variety of colors in a deserted valley that looks like a scene from a science fiction movie.

El Tatio Geyser Field
Image for El Tatio Geyser Field

El Tatio Geyser Field

Watch steamy geysers erupting and bathe in natural hot springs at one of San Pedro de Atacama’s principal attractions.

Los Flamencos National Reserve
Image for Los Flamencos National Reserve

Los Flamencos National Reserve

4.5/5(4 reviews)

Explore the great outdoors at Los Flamencos National Reserve, a lovely green space in San Pedro de Atacama. You can seek out the local tours in this quaint area.

Piedra del Coyote Overlook
Image for Piedra del Coyote Overlook

Piedra del Coyote Overlook

Explore the great outdoors at Piedra del Coyote Overlook, a lovely green space in San Pedro de Atacama. You can seek out the local tours in this quaint area.

Arco Iris Valley
Image for Arco Iris Valley

Arco Iris Valley

4.5/5(2 reviews)

Spend hours clambering over the cliffs and hills of this vast rock formation to view its spectacular natural colors.

Top things to do in San Pedro de Atacama

Altiplanic Lagoons, Atacama Salt Flat & Red Stones Full-Day
Image for Altiplanic Lagoons, Atacama Salt Flat & Red Stones Full-Day

Altiplanic Lagoons, Atacama Salt Flat & Red Stones Full-Day

£78
Per adult
80% of travellers recommend
Uyuni Salt Flats Tour - Start and End in San Pedro (4 Days)
Image for Uyuni Salt Flats Tour - Start and End in San Pedro (4 Days)

Uyuni Salt Flats Tour - Start and End in San Pedro (4 Days)

£263
Per adult
Full-Day Excursion to the El Tatio Geysers
Image for Full-Day Excursion to the El Tatio Geysers

Full-Day Excursion to the El Tatio Geysers

£37
Per adult
84% of travellers recommend
Atacama Salt Flat & Toconao Half-Day Tour
Image for Atacama Salt Flat & Toconao Half-Day Tour

Atacama Salt Flat & Toconao Half-Day Tour

£37
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend
Half-Day Excursion with Sunset Experience at the Moon Valley
Image for Half-Day Excursion with Sunset Experience at the Moon Valley

Half-Day Excursion with Sunset Experience at the Moon Valley

£20
Per adult
Astronomy Tour San Pedro de Atacama
Image for Astronomy Tour San Pedro de Atacama

Astronomy Tour San Pedro de Atacama

£41
Per adult

Reviews of San Pedro de Atacama

4.5

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
6
5 - Excellent 46.15384615384615%
4 - Good
7
4 - Good 53.84615384615385%
3 - Okay
0
3 - Okay 0%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

19 Mar 2020

Beautiful area. Town was expensive compared to other places I visited in South America

5/5 - Excellent

Rob

12 Feb 2020

Loads of day excursions available and many tour operators to choose from. The scenery is stunning but be warned, many of the excursions start early.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

29 Nov 2019

It was a great place to visit with so much to see, a very interesting area.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

18 Aug 2019

Very touristy but had authentic feel still and a nice vibe, would spend 4 days or more here. You can get your own car easily and drive around, more cost effective than tours if there are a few of you or a family

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

9 May 2019

Small friendly tourist town in the heart of the Atacama desert - a perfect base for activities or just relaxing by the pool

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

6 Apr 2019

Hotel Naturalis, has a lot to learn to make it worth $200 a night. The organisation of the staff & services has a long way to go. With only 8 units, it shouldn't be too difficult. We desperately wanted to love it: left feeling barely lukewarm.

Cities near San Pedro de Atacama

Antofagasta

Antofagasta

Machuca featuring landscape views, cuddly or friendly animals and tranquil scenes

Machuca

Toconao

Toconao

Other places like San Pedro de Atacama