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15 days/14 nights Atacama Desert Tour

Tour start dates: 2005

4th June
25th June
23rd July
13th August

Flight Santiago - Antofagasta. We will see a variation of desert landscapes, ranging from the lonely salt flats called "salares," in the high mountain ranges, to the splendid "flowering desert" which blooms during the months of September and October.  Map (390 )

We cross the Tropic of Capricorn while traveling to Calama, center of the copper mining industry and head of the captivating and historic towns alog the Loa River valley. Among the points of interest: the world's largest open-pit coppermine, called Chuquicamata, is located here. We leave Calama en route to San Pedro de Atacama, one of the finest and best preserved examples of the old colonial desert town. Along the way we pass the "Salt Range" - sharp ridges formed from erosion that in some places take on the appearance of dinosaurs. We will visit the famous San Pedro church, built around 1745 and the largest and most fascinating of the region. The ceiling of this church is made of cactus stalks, one of the few building materials available in the region. 350 km.

San Pedro de Atacama had its origins long before the arrival of the Spanish.  The town is small, with narrow alleys dating back to its earliest days.  The principal building material here is adobe.  We will visit the archeological museum of Padre Le Paige. Here the display shows the evolucion of the Atacama culture in its estimated 11,000 years of history. Then we will ride out to Chaxsa Lake, within the enormous Salar de Atacama, the Atacama Salt Flats, where we expect to see the famous Andean flamingos.  Along the way we will see the unusual pre-Inca circular dwellings at Tulor, dating to several centuries BC.  If time allows we may also visit the famous Indian defensive fortresses (or “pucaras”) of Quitor and Lasana, and observe sections of the well preserved Inca Trail.


Today we leave very early, at about 4:30 in the morning, to see the justly famous Tatio geyser field, in a valley surrounded by high peaks. We will go with a minibus and return at 12:00 midday. The geothermal activity here is connected with the Tatio volcano, which has an altitude 4280 meters (14038 feet). The geysers are most active right at dawn, producing columns of superheated water more than 30 feet high in places, and filling the area with clouds of steam. The edges of the hot pools are composed of soft mineral salts, and it is extremely dangerous to get close to these pools. When we arrive to San Pedro de Atacama we travel to Calama. We will spend the night in the city of Calama. 500 km.

Today we head for Iquique, stopping along the way at the ghost towns of Humberstone and Santa Laura, formerly among the most important nitrate mining centers of the Atacama desert region. We will have a discussion of the history and importance of nitrate minig and these ghosts towns, along with visits to the old machinery (much of it imported from Europe). We will visit La Tirana, the town where the famous Virgen del Carmen fiest is celebrated between the 12th and 18th of July. About 80.000 people attend this fiesta, dressed in masks and wearing traditional altiplano clothing, bring offerings for the Virgin Mary. We will visit the town of Pica, which is on the old Inca highwayThen we proceed Iquique for dinner and our hotel. Map (390 kb)



Travel to Arica to next day go to Puno in Perú. 316 km.


Arica–Tacna–Moquegua–Puno       (514 Km)

From Moquegua a dirt road can be taken (65 km) that shortens the distance to Puno considerably. The ideal place to lodge is Puno that is on the 4.000 meters it are accustomed to the height. We will try this day to leave very early since it is custom in the border that makes wait for some hours and we want to avoid traveling at night by the cold that is in the height. We will lodge in a very good hotel in Puno.

We will leave to cross the Titicaca Lake in typical boat of the zone to see the Island of Rushes of the Uros. Puno is next to the lake.

We will travel from Puno to Cuzco. In this section the mountain range to a height between 3700 and 4500 ms. The panorama is of a beauty difficult to describe, crossing mountains and steppes covered with coironales and yaretales, and populated by agriculturists who live in constructions with reminiscencias of the rural architecture Andalusian. The way is track (asphalt) and in good state, being the dogs and other animals practically the only danger. This and other neighboring towns live on agriculture and cattle ranch, and at least it is expected, they appear churches and constructions that to one leave it perplex. The highway is enviably clean and our Chilean plastic bottles and bags shine there by their absence. The countryside generally very clean and is respected by its inhabitants. We will lodge in Cuzco.







We will go through Sicuani, town in where one is turned aside to go to Arequipa in the return trip. There is in the seat a famous restaurant to prepare best ceviche of trouts of the south of Peru.
Finally, in the evening we will arrived at a magical and eternal Cuzco. The vision of the square surpass in beauty the mountain ranges and steppes. Lodge in Cuzco.

Sacred Cusco-Valles: The most beautiful way that the previous ones and of an excellent asphalt, one goes towards sacred valleys. We will see first  Sacsayhuaman after some  kilometers of Cusco. It is a prologue to which it comes ahead and, to the other day, when it is arrived at Machu Picchu. After this sacred place of rituals and ceremonies, a route comes towards  the valley, a dream for riders.




Train to Machu Pichu. We will leave to 6:00 in the morning arriving at Machu Pichu to 9:30 hours and we will return to 15:00 hours. Trip in a spectacular and modern train with panoramic view.

Cusco-Sicuani-Chivay-Yanque (Valley of the Colca) 462 km. Of Cusco until Sicuani and we entered a route of 312 km of earth towards Chivay and the valley of the Colca there, in South direction. There are very good sections (like for 120 km/hr) and others not as much (as for 40 km/hr). Again, a landscape accompanies it to one by mountain range, coironales and herds of Flames and lagoons. Lodging in Yanque.


Trip Valley of the Colca - Arequipa. In this same day  we followed South trip in the direction of Arequipa. Long hills, dirt road, passages by on the 5,000 height , all one ventures to remember. Soon way asphalted and after 233 km would come  Yanque, finally Arequipa. We will see again beautiful cathedral, churches, convents, monasteries and much history. Lodging in Arequipa.


Arequipa - Arica.

From Arequipa to Arica they are 421 km of the very good asphalt, Goodbye diner, lodging in Arica.




Flight Arica Santiago, end of the north trip.

Price with all included on the right in double room:

  • 4 rider: U$D 4.900,- each.

  • 6 rider: U$D 4.230,- each

  • Passenger/companion: U$D 1.470,-

  • Single supplement (option) add : U$D 450,-

  • Supplement option motorcycle BMW 650 GS: U$D 420,-

  • Supplement option motorcycle BMW 1150 GS: U$D 660,-

  • Minimum  4 riders for this trip.

Price without the support vehicle:

  • 4 rider: U$D 3.890,- each

  • 6 rider: U$D 3.550,- each




Total km. approx. 4.000

  • Tri-lingual motorcycle guide (German, Spanish, English) for the tour,

  • Tri-lingual guide in the support vehicle (year 2000 Nissan Pathfinder).

  •  Flights Santiago - Antofagasta / Arica - Santiago.

  • Lodging in comfortable 3* and 4* hotels, with breakfast included bases in double room. 

  • Fuel for the entire trip is included.

  • Welcome diner without alcoholic bevarages.

  • The motorcycles included  are 2001/2004 Yamaha XT600 models with side cases, tank bag and top case. 

  • Map of Chile 2004.

  • Documents for Peru borders.

  • Ticket for the modern train with a beautiful view from Cuzco to Machu Pichu.

  • Travel in minibus to Geisers del Tatio - San Pedro de Atacama.




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