This is an incredible place to visit not only because of the chilled out atmosphere, but also because of its location. San Pedro de Atacama is a small town in the north of Chile, right in the heart of the Atacama desert. There are some nice little restaurants and hostels in town. So it’s an excellent place to base yourself if you want to explore the region.
Some nearby outlying sites include the Salar de Atacama (a huge salt flat), the Moon Valley (Valle de la Luna), the Death Valley (Valle de la Muerte), the Puritama Hot Springs, Pukará de Quitor (Fort Quitor), the majestic Licancabur, El Tatio (a geysers field) and the Miscanti and Miñique Lagoons – two altiplanic lagoons that are surrounded by volcanoes. I went there back in 2005 and met lots of nice people and saw some stunning landscape views.
I definitely recommend this place as a destination for those who want to see a combination of natural beauty and nice atmosphere.
The Moon Valley is certainly the main tourist attraction in the region! It is an amazing place with lots of things to see located only 13 km west of San Pedro. Every afternoon lots of people gather there to watch the sunset.
The stone and sand formations and the salt covering parts of the valley give it a unique look that resembles the surface of the moon, hence its name.
The Death Valley is located right outside San Pedro. From there you can see Licancabur, which stands on the border with Bolivia.
The Miscanti lagoon is at 4200 mts above sea level and is surrounded by snowcapped volcanoes. It’s about 120 km from San Pedro.
The Puritama Hot Springs are about 30 km northeast from San Pedro at 3500 mts above sea level. This is a cool place to relax and enjoy the 33 C hot waters.