CHILE: THE ATACAMA DESERT

The Atacama desert is one of Chile’s most beguiling destinations, the jagged volcanoes, vast salt flats and moon-like rock formations are out of this world!

The Atacama Desert is the most arid place on the planet situated on Chile’s high northern plateau. The alien landscapes are unlike anything else on earth. Red sunsets turn into purple moonscapes and ancient rock formations, glistening salt flats, shooting geysers and multicoloured lagoons are surrounded by jagged volcanoes that climb to almost 6000m. A wealth of hotel options are located in and around the only town in the area, San Pedro, a cluster of adobe buildings, dusty streets and a quaint main plaza and church.

Best Time To Visit the Atacama Desert

The Atacama Desert is one of the driest places on earth and can be visited year round. However, occasionally there will be brief but very strong rains in January and February that can cause some disruption and some of the main sites will have to close for a few days. The winter months of June to September bring snow at these high altitudes which can also be a bit hazardous. Generally, however, you can expect clear skies most of the year with warm days and cold nights.

best time to visit the atacama desert

Weather Averages in the Atacama Desert

The Atacama Desert Weather Averages

The Atacama Desert Highlights

The awe-inspiring landscapes of the Atacama are undoubtedly one of Chile’s greatest sights. Here are our highlights and best reasons to visit.

  • Ethereal scenery in the Moon Valley
  • Spot Andean flamingoes at the mystical Atacama Salt Flat
  • An early morning walk among the El Tatio Geysers
  • Visit the desert oasis of Cejar Lagoon
  • Magical high altitude Altiplanic Lagoons

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Other Destinations in Chile

Continue to explore Chile with our destination guides below.

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