One of the most popular excursions to take from San Pedro de Atacama is to see the Moon Valley. The best times to visit are either at sunrise or sunset, as the views are most spectacular.
The valley looks like in those movies where astronomers go on Mars, with sand dunes and monoliths to enjoy during your hike. Towards the end of the tour, you'll get to see the sunset or sunrise with the Andes Mountains in the background. You can also book online a tour in the Valley for yourself or for groups.
Another half-day excursion we recommend is to see the Atacama Salts Flats and some of the lagoons. This trip really immersed us in the Atacama desert's beautiful landscapes.
We got to see some of the highest volcanoes in the area and the fascinating salt flats. We also floated in the Cejar lagoon and jumped into another 28-meters deep lagoon. You can also book online this tour for yourself or for a group.
This is definitely one of the most amazing excursions to make in the Atacama desert as Chile has the clearest skies in the world. Even if you're not passionate about astronomy, this excursion will still fascinate you.
Fun fact: Chile owns 40% of the world's Astronomic Observation Centres.
Our tour started at around 10 PM in the evening. We left San Pedro by minivan and 15 minutes later we were in the middle of the desert. The tour usually consists of an introductory lesson about the stars and then you go to the desert to see what you have learned in class. Finally, you get a closer look through the huge telescopes and take pictures with the amazing sky. You can also book online for yourself or groups.
If you are a flamingo fan, this is definitely one of the best excursions for you to take. At the border with Bolivia, this is an oasis in the middle of the desert filled with flamingos. The views here are spectacular and you can finally take those Instagram photos where you mimic a flamingo. With actual flamingos in the back this time!
It is a little bit far from San Pedro de Atacama and will definitely take you a full day but it's totally worth it. You can also book online this tour.
Last but not least in San Pedro de Atacama we have the Rainbow Valley. This place is full of hills naturally painted in earthy colors, offering a very unique landscape for any traveler. This is one of the most impressive excursions to make, especially if you didn't yet get the chance to visit the Rainbow Mountains in Peru.
Take a trip through time, where you will experience the traces of ancient tribes and the natural wonders of the Rainbow Valley at the Domeyko Mountain Range. You can book this tour online for yourself or a group.