Atacama Desert

Atacama Desert, photo by Francesco Mocellin
 

The Atacama Desert is a plateau in South America, covering a 1,000-kilometer (600 mi) strip of land on the Pacific coast, west of the Andes mountains.

It is the driest non-polar desert in the world.

Most of the desert is composed of stony terrain, salt lakes (salares), sand, and felsic lava that flows towards the Andes.

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Overall Atmosphere: Natural
A Natural Atmosphere includes a diverse range of destinations with outdoor-oriented features, including both water-based (beaches, rivers, lakes, etc) and land-based (mountains, forests, deserts, etc). It also includes specific outdoor activities, ranging from water adventuring (eg, kayaking, sailing) to land adventuring (eg, hiking, biking).

Natural Interests tend to be:
(a) outdoors-oriented, and therefore more dependent on weather conditions
(b) less easily accessible and more physically demanding than other destination categories.

In some cases (eg, rafting and climbing), this includes a significantly increased degree of adventure (or danger, depending on one's viewpoint).
Featuring mainly outdoors-oriented natural attractions.
Recommending Sources:
   Lonely Planet
   Rough Guide
   1000 Places to See Before You Die

 

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Darox Propiedades

Set in Antofagasta, Darox Propiedades offers an outdoor pool and terrace. Regional Calvo y Bascuñán Stadium is 3.7 km from the property. Free WiFi is provided and free private parking is available on site. Average score from 271 guest reviews: 8.2/10.

$60

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Northside Apartments III

Northside Apartments III is an apartment situated in Antofagasta, 1 km from Regional Calvo y Bascuñán Stadium. Guests benefit from balcony. Free WiFi is featured and free private parking is available on site. Average score from 3 guest reviews: 9.4/10.

$51

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Condominio Icono

Featuring free WiFi, Condominio Icono offers pet-friendly accommodation in Antofagasta. Regional Calvo y Bascuñán Stadium is 2.2 km away. Free private parking is available on site. There is also a kitchen, fitted with an oven, microwave and toaster. Average score from 334 guest reviews: 9.1/10.

$59

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La Roca Hostal

Featuring free WiFi throughout the property, La Roca Hostal offers accommodation in Antofagasta, 1.5 km from Regional Calvo y Bascuñán Stadium. Free private parking is available on site. Cerro Moreno International Airport is 24 km from the property. Average score from 175 guest reviews: 9.2/10.

$51

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Casa sector seguro

Located 1.3 km from Regional Calvo y Bascuñán Stadium, this holiday home offers pet-friendly accommodation in the Avenida Brasil area in Antofagasta. Guests benefit from a terrace and free WiFi access. Average score from 5 guest reviews: 8.6/10.

$75

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See all hotels in Atacama Desert.
Hotel NameRooms FromGuest Rating
Northapart Maipu

Northapart Maipu

Northapart Maipu offers accommodation in Antofagasta. Regional Calvo y Bascuñán Stadium is 1.9 km from the property. Free WiFi is featured and free private parking is available on site. Average score from 17 guest reviews: 9.6/10.

$67

 
$679.6
Apart Hotel Armonía

Apart Hotel Armonía

Featuring free WiFi, Apart Hotel Armonía is located in Antofagasta, 1.7 km from Regional Calvo y Bascuñán Stadium. Free private parking is available on site. The accommodation features a flat-screen TV. Average score from 36 guest reviews: 9.6/10.

$70

 
$709.6
Dpto Ejecutivo Costado Inacap Bordemar

Dpto Ejecutivo Costado Inacap Bordemar

Situated in Antofagasta, this apartment features a terrace and a garden with an outdoor pool and a seasonal outdoor pool. The apartment is 12 km from Regional Calvo y Bascuñán Stadium. Average score from 6 guest reviews: 9.4/10.

$65

$659.4
Edificio Altomar

Edificio Altomar

Featuring free WiFi, Edificio Altomar is set in Antofagasta, 1.9 km from Regional Calvo y Bascuñán Stadium. Free private parking is available on site. The accommodation comes with a TV with cable channels. Average score from 220 guest reviews: 9.2/10.

$65

$659.2
Condominio Icono

Condominio Icono

Featuring free WiFi, Condominio Icono offers pet-friendly accommodation in Antofagasta. Regional Calvo y Bascuñán Stadium is 2.2 km away. Free private parking is available on site. There is also a kitchen, fitted with an oven, microwave and toaster. Average score from 334 guest reviews: 9.1/10.

$59

$599.1
Departamentos Parque Costanera

Departamentos Parque Costanera

Featuring a garden Departamentos Parque Costanera offers self-catering accommodation with free Wi-Fi in Antofagasta. Trocadero beach is 500 metres from the property. Average score from 241 guest reviews: 9.1/10.

$60

 
$609.1
Costanera Sur Apartments

Costanera Sur Apartments

Costanera Sur Apartments is an apartment located in Antofagasta, 600 metres from Regional Calvo y Bascuñán Stadium. Guests benefit from balcony. Free WiFi is provided and free private parking is available on site. Average score from 26 guest reviews: 9.0/10.

$67

 
$679.0
Departamentos Ensueños

Departamentos Ensueños

Departamentos Ensueños is a self-catering accommodation located in Antofagasta. The apartment is just 1 km from Paradise Beach and offers free WiFi access. The apartment will provide you with a flat-screen cable TV and a balcony with ocean views. Average score from 41 guest reviews: 8.8/10.

$66

 
$668.8
Norchile Icono

Norchile Icono

Featuring a great outdoor pool, Norchile Icono offers self-catering apartment accommodations in Antofagasta. Free Wi-Fi access is available. Average score from 220 guest reviews: 8.7/10.

$56

 
$568.7
Geotel Antofagasta

Geotel Antofagasta

Located at Jardines del Sur, Geotel Antofagasta offers self-catering accommodations with sea views and free WiFi access. A daily breakfast is included and guests are greeted with a welcome drink. Average score from 41 guest reviews: 8.7/10.

$62

 
$628.7
CVV Apartamentos Copacabana

CVV Apartamentos Copacabana

Located 1.1 km from Regional Calvo y Bascuñán Stadium, CVV Apartamentos Copacabana offers accommodation in Antofagasta. There is a seating area and a kitchen equipped with an oven. A flat-screen TV is provided. Average score from 9 guest reviews: 8.7/10.

$67

$678.7
Departamentos Amoblados Torre del Parque

Departamentos Amoblados Torre del Parque

Featuring free WiFi access, Departamentos Amoblados Torre del Parque offers accommodation in Antofagasta. Regional Calvo y Bascuñán Stadium is 800 metres from the property. All units have a seating area with a flat-screen TV and CD player. Average score from 41 guest reviews: 8.6/10.

$65

 
$658.6
CVV Apartamentos Porvenir Antofagasta

CVV Apartamentos Porvenir Antofagasta

Featuring an outdoor pool and a fitness centre, CVV Apartamentos Porvenir Antofagasta offers self-catering apartments in Antofagasta. Free WiFi access is available here. Average score from 44 guest reviews: 8.5/10.

$59

 
$598.5
CVV Apartamentos Icono Antofagasta

CVV Apartamentos Icono Antofagasta

Situated in Antofagasta, CVV Apartamentos Icono Antofagasta is 2.2 km from Regional Calvo y Bascuñán Stadium. Free WiFi is featured . The accommodation is equipped with a seating area with a cable flat-screen TV and CD player. Average score from 11 guest reviews: 8.5/10.

$63

 
$638.5
Alto del Sol Costanera Antofagasta

Alto del Sol Costanera Antofagasta

Boasting a terrace with panoramic sea views, Alto del Sol Costanera offers rooms with free Wi-Fi and flat screen TVs right in front of Antofagasta Beach. Free parking and breakfast are provided. The casino is 300 metres away. Average score from 436 guest reviews: 8.3/10.

$59 - $152

 
$598.3
Darox Propiedades

Darox Propiedades

Set in Antofagasta, Darox Propiedades offers an outdoor pool and terrace. Regional Calvo y Bascuñán Stadium is 3.7 km from the property. Free WiFi is provided and free private parking is available on site. Average score from 271 guest reviews: 8.2/10.

$60

$608.2
Hotel Marina

Hotel Marina

Featuring a restaurant, Hotel Marina offers accommodations in Antofagasta. Free WiFi access is available. Paraiso Beach is located a block away. Each room here features cable TV and a private bathroom. Sea views can be enjoyed from the rooms. Average score from 287 guest reviews: 8.0/10.

$64

 
$648.0

Highlights:

Click highlighted activity to see details.
Combination
Unusual Local Feature

Rainbow Valley (Valle del Arcoiris)

Among the most interesting features of the Rainbow Valley are:

1. The "Hierbas Buenas" petroglyph site, featuring over a thousand ancient stone carvings from the ancient "atacameño" people. They're from all time periods, from the first caravaners to the Incas.

2. The Rainbow Valley itself -- a series of hills that display countless colors, from white to black, from blue to red.
Natural
Deserts
The Atacama Desert is commonly known as the driest place in the world, especially the surroundings of the abandoned Yungay town (in Antofagasta Region, Chile). The Desert is probably also the oldest desert on earth and has experienced extreme hyperaridity for at least 3 million years, making it the oldest continuously arid region on earth. Geographically, the aridity of the Atacama is explained by it being situated between two mountain chains (the Andes and the Chilean Coast Range) of sufficient height to prevent moisture advection from either the Pacific or the Atlantic oceans.

Mars on Earth

In a region about 100 kilometres (60 mi) south of Antofagasta, which averages 3,000 metres (10,000 ft) height, the soil has been compared to that of Mars. In 2003, a team of researchers published a report in the journal Science in which they duplicated the tests used by the Viking 1 and Viking 2 Mars landers to detect life, and were unable to detect any signs in Atacama Desert soil. The region may be unique on Earth in this regard and is being used by NASA to test instruments for future Mars missions. The team duplicated the Viking tests in Mars-like Earth environments and found that they missed present signs of life in soil samples from Antarctic dry valleys, the Atacama Desert of Chile and Peru, and other locales. Towards Atacama, near the deserted coast, you see a land without men, where there is not a bird, not a beast, nor a tree, nor any vegetation

Valle de la Luna

The Valley of the Moon is another area of the Atacama Desert said to look like the surface of the moon. It lies 13 kilometres (8 mi) to the west of San Pedro de Atacama.
Geologic Formations

Geysers del Tatio

This is the third-largest geyser site on Earth. There are about 80 geysers that lie in a valley, 80 km from the town of San Pedro de Atacama, close to the town of Chiu Chiu. Located at 4,200m above sea level, and a 100km away from town, these are some of the highest geysers in the world.

Salt Pans -- Lagunas Altiplanicas

Laguna Chaxa is a national reservation which three species of flamingos inhabit year-round, located at the heart of the Atacama salt pan. Miscanti and Miñiques lagoons, located above 4,000m, and home to a variety of local fauna.

Laguna Cejar

Set in the northern tip of the Atacama salt pan, this location offers a splendid panorama of the Andes, and the possibility to bathe in waters as salty as those of the Dead Sea.

Salar de Tara

The road is long, but well-paved, until you reach the entrance to the most remote part of the Los Flamencos national reservation: Monjes de la Pacana (Pacana Monks). After that, it's a visit to some peculiar stone formations, obsidian quarries, more stone towers (called 'Catedrales'), and the huge Tara salt lake.
Also of Interest:
Combination
Archeological Sites
Hotsprings
Natural
Unusual Local Feature
Hiking and Trekking
Biking
Climbing
Wildlife and Plants

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Avg Max (° F)747473686563626364666871
Daily Chance of Precipitation8% 5% 6% 4% 3% 0% 6% 5% 4% 12% 6% 5%
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