Excursion 2: San Pedro de Atacama

Read all the exciting things our scholars have been up to!

So let me tell you about San Pedro!

My mejor amiga, Christina and I headed out on a parade of transportation for one of the most unique gems in Chile that is (or should be) a travel destination for anyone ever in the area. Located in the Atacama Desert in Antofagasta Region of Northern Chile is this tiny pueblo and sustained makeshift home to travelers from all over the world; body-sized backpacks like an entrance free, the streets are filled with accents, languages and faces of all sorts. It’s like a corner of the Tower of Babble staged with clay-constructed buildings and sometimes straw, sometimes stick woven roofs all the color of rust.

 It was a relief to find such beauty and refuge after a plane, bus, taxi, and then final bus ride. We celebrated our feat that first Friday morning with an omelet and jugo natural. Delectable. From then we spent our 3 days there touring, meeting other courageous and interesting folk, and learning lots about this slice of Chile so very different from the urban and developed Viña/Valpo region we know so well.

The highlights:

Valle de la Luna & Valle del Muerte

We hiked through probably the most popular attractions in all of Atacama and it was splendid, concluded with the sunset over the valley with colors ranging from magenta to aquamarine and the best seat in the house. 


During the previous tour we met a group of 5 Australians who were staying at our hostel as well. To explain all of their, literally epic, adventures is another blog post in and of itself and one that I hardly have confidence in myself to do justice. But long story short…they were an awesome crowd to have adopted Chirstina and I. After the tour we went out to dinner at a restaurant that was know for, wait for it: it’s llama. So, I’m not a big meat eater and trying this alone is super out of characteristic for me but, when in Atacama… Anyway, it was superb. I was so impressed and beyond satisfied with my enjoyment in the delicacy.

Salar de Atacama & Lagunas Altiplanicas

So this was my favorite tour. It included the Salt Flat, which was not only interesting in itself, but also the home of a flamingo reserve! They are one of my favorite animals, so, Chile aside; this was a big moment for me. It was absolutely amazing the flat lagoons all enclosed by purple hued mountains in every direction. Then we headed on a long drive up one of the mountains to one of the most beautiful landscapes I have ever seen. I’ve attached the picture- that’s the only way to, somewhat, convey its awe. 

El Tatio Geiser

We started out journey at 4.30 AM…I was tired, it was freezing and we picked the best morning of all to do this…the morning of daylight savings where we lost an hour! Anyway not only was the thermal park awesome but we were able to swim in the naturally heated bath and rounded the tour at an indigenous pueblo where we tried queso and goat empanadas- rico! 

All and all it was one of the places I was most looking forward to traveling to in Chile and it exceeded all of my lofty expectations. All I can say is, “Que linda” (hoe beautiful) to the sites, friends, and life in San Pedro.