Location: Places >> South America >> Chile
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Wanna hang out or travel around from March 4th to 13th ?
Posted February 16th, 2013 - 10:17 am from Paris, France
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Posted February 16th, 2013 - 1:56 pm by from Santiago, Chile (Permalink)
hello if i have time im voluntary for to show the city and i can give you advice for to know other places here
have a good time :)

Posted February 16th, 2013 - 7:52 pm by from Vina del Mar, Chile (Permalink)
Hi Mili!

I've been in Atacama Desert before, I have a lot of recommendations.

There's 2 ways to get there from Santiago.

- By Flight: From Santiago to Calama airport and then take a taxi or transfer to calama bus station, buy a bus ticket "Calama-San Pedro". Sometimes it's possible to find transfer service from the calama airport straight to san pedro, but it's a little bit expensive but comfy ;)
Santiago- Calama: 2-3 hours
Calama - San Pedro: 1:30 hour by Bus ($2.500 CLP), 1 hour by Transfer ($12.000 CLP).


- By Bus: from Santiago bus station (Terminal del Sur) (but don't go with TURBUS, I don't recommend at all!) and then take another bus "Calama-San Pedro". It will be a long trip..27 hours or maybe more from Santiago .

- Feb-March are perfect, but at night might be a bit cold, so, bring warm clothes because most of tours starts at 4am (a tour to Tatio Gayser was -15 Celsius)

- Biking is a must: everybody prefers bikes, there's a lot of bikes for rent. San Pedro is a small town, perfect for walking or biking. Price: $5.000 CLP per day.

- Party: there's no discotheque in the desert but during the high season, secrets parties are always at night and it's a must! Just ask to the Staff in your hostel or waiter/waitress where's the party. (advice: forget about the party if you have booked a tour. Believe me, hangover in 4500mts with -15C° is not funny).

Hostels:

- Most of hostel has their own tour agency or asociated agencies.

I stayed at Hostal Rural, I payed $9.000 CLP por night, the location was excelent, the staff was good, helpful and friendly but the hostel only had 2 bathrooms and it wasn’t very clean and the beds were not comfy...So I recommend to search a better hostel in hostelworld.com or hostelbookers.com (prices per dorm are around $7.000 and 10.000 CLP). You better read the reviews before booking ;)

Most of hostel have kitchen (I bougth a lot of meals to cook from Calama but was a big mistake, meals were almost the same prices that San Pedro. So, if you want to cook your own meal, buy them in San Pedro stores).

Camping: I’ve never tried but it’s a good option if you want to save money and make new friends. Website: www.takhatakha.cl

Restaurants:

- You will find a lot! some of them are very expensive but there's another that not (where the young backpaker goes). The prices starts from $4.000 CLP for 2 chilean empanadas or 2 pieces of pizza + coke.

About the tours in San Pedro.

-First, if you buy a Tour or want to rent a bike, make sure to ask in every agency.

Most popular tours are:

- Valle de la Luna, Valle de la Muerte y Quebrada de Ckari (moon valley, death valley and Quebrada de Ckari). It's more funny (and cheaper) if you have a travel partner because both can rent bikes and go there biking, but if you go alone i recommend to buy a tour (in my opinion, tours are pretty boring, but it's your option) or if you like adventure, you can go alone biking trough the desert (remember, San Pedro it's very visited, you won't be the only one, there's a possibility to know more people biking alone)
Most of Moon valley and death valley tours cost $7.000 CLP. Rent a bike: $5.000 CLP per day.

- Sandboarding at the Moon valley. By far, was the funniest experience in San Pedro. There's 2 options: The cheaper: rent a bike and a sandboard table and go by your own, or, the expensive way: buy a tour, that includes the sandboarding table, 1 class and transportation. Most of sandboarding tours cost between $7.000 CLP - $10.000 CLP

- Geyser del Tatio. You will need to buy a tour to get there. The tour starts at 4am. Price: between $12.000 and $18.000 CLP. The entrance is not included in the price ($5.000 CLP). Bring warm clothes! But also your swimming wear, there’s hot spring!

- Laguna Cejar (Cejar lagoon): There’s 2 options; the cheaper: rent a bike (you will save $10.000) and go biking 30 km. Bring money because the entrance cost $2.000 CLP, and bring your swimming wear ;). Go early because after midday it's full of tourist!

The expensive option: buy a tour for $15.000 CLP. Entrance is not included.

- Lagunas Altiplanicas (Miscanti and Miñique Lagoons): You will need a tour to get there. the tour starts at 4am. Beautiful photo tour - birdwatching tour. Price: $35.000 CLP, entrance not included ($5.000 CLP)


TO UYUNI (I had plans to go there but never been there, so this info is about the reviews i read in travel forums).
You have 2 options:

The cheaper: buy a 3 days Uyuni salt flats tour in Uyuni, Bolivia. To get there from San Pedro, take a bus or a van early in the morning to Chile-Bolivia border and then take a 4x4 jeep from Bolivian border to Uyuni. The trip takes between 6-8 hours.

The expensive: buy a 3 days tour to Uyuni in San Pedro.
Most recommended travel tours are Andrea Tour, Estrella del Sur and Indigena tour. I read the reviews in tripadvisor and viajeros.com

Have a nice trip!!


Posted February 19th, 2013 - 8:17 am from Paris, France
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