What to see in San Pedro de Atacama

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Many people are attracted to San Pedro de Atacama for the tours and the days of trekking, but if you are waiting for your tour to begin, or have just returned from your hike, don’t rush out of this dusty little town. What to see in San Pedro de Atacama.

There are many interesting things to do within the city or in the vicinity that will make you feel even more fond of San Pedro de Atacama.

What to see in San Pedro de Atacama

Meteorite Museum

Meteorite MuseumMeteorite | © Jonathan Hood / Flickr

Being so far away from city lights in a vast expanse of empty land, the Atacama Desert offers incredible stargazing opportunities and attracts meteorologists to study the depths of the universe. The Meteorite Museum, right in the middle of San Pedro de Atacama , gives you the ability to see, and even touch, some meteorites, and gives you a glimpse into the 4.6 billion year old past.

Pukara of Quitor-what to see in san pedro de atacama

This ancient fortress is located 3 kilometers (1.86 miles) north of San Pedro de Atacama and is not only a very interesting piece of history, but also offers a beautiful view of the surrounding area. This archaeological site dates back to pre-Columbian times, from the 12th century, and was built by excavating into the existing hillside. what to see in san pedro de atacama

Puakara de Quitor, San Pedro de Atacama, Chile


Pukara of Quitor

Kari viewpoint-what to see in san pedro de atacama

An outcropping of land looming over a cliff that, from certain angles, looks a lot like Pride Rock from the Lion King, especially as the sun sets over the surrounding red landscape. Another great place to get a spectacular view of the changing topography, valleys, mountains and the changing colors of the compressed rock layers. what to see in san pedro de atacama

Baltinache Lagoon-what to see in san pedro de atacama

It is not located within the city of San Pedro de Atacama, but only an hour’s drive to the southwest, and is worth the trip no matter what you have seen on your incredible days of trekking. . This beautiful and unique natural pool, when captured in the right sunlight, can resemble crystals inside an open rock, lined with different colors, like a Caribbean pool.

Lagunas Escondidas de Baltinache, Chile
Lagunas Escondidas de Baltinache, Chile

San Pedro Church and Toconao bell tower-what to see in san pedro de atacama

The size of the towns in Latin America does not matter, you are almost as guaranteed to find a central square with a beautiful church as you are not to find rain in the Atacama Desert. San Pedro de Atacama has the San Pedro Church in the center of town and the Toconao Bell Tower as well, and both add a much needed touch of color in a very plain brown setting.

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Toconao and Atacama Salt Flats

Our excursion to Toconao and the Salar de Atacama will take you to explore beautiful natural landscapes to discover the native fauna and flora, as well as an old town, witness of the Atacameño culture;

Among the places of interest that we will visit are: the Flamingos National Reserve, the Chaxa Lagoon and the town of Toconao. Definitely a trip not to be missed.

Tulor Village- What to see in san Pedro de Atacama

On the outskirts of San Pedro de Atacama is the Tulor Village, the remains of an ancient settlement in the middle of the Atacama Desert. The village is formed by the remains of bubble-shaped structures that were the result of native inhabitants digging into the ground to find water sources over a thousand years ago.

Ciclo Las Calles-what to see in san pedro de atacama

San Pedro de Atacama does not have a very uniform layout in terms of its streets, and if you walk, you may end up going between your favorite restaurant, cafe and hostel, and not wandering through other streets. . But do yourself the service of renting a bike to explore the city, the side streets and some of the out-of-town attractions, as you never know what you might find.

Horseback riding

Do you want your transportation to work for you? Well, there are some companies in town that offer horseback riding so you can trot through the streets and out into the desert to see the sights. It’s not the fastest, easiest or most comfortable way to get around, but it will certainly be one of the most memorable, much more so than a bumpy bus ride.

Pueblo de Artesanos – what to see in Atacama

To visit the town, it is not necessary to leave San Pedro, since it is located within the town.

It is an area where you can buy unique and special gifts or souvenirs of your time in the desert. On display here are blankets, sculptures, gloves, art and more, all handmade in the traditional way so you can find something really special to take home.

Socaire Street s / n, San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
Socaire Street s / n, San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

Camping – what to see in San Pedro

San Pedro, being so remote, has a high price for basically everything from food to drinks and lodging. If you have a tent and camping gear, take advantage of the many camping sites in the city, or the ‘luxury’ site south of the city known as Alberto Terrazas. Cool off in the pool during the day and enjoy waking up to a fresh morning in the middle of the desert.

Alberto Terrazas Campground, San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
Alberto Terrazas Campground, San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

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About the author

I am Matias, born in Patagonia, and a lover of my land.

For more than 20 years I help foreign travellers to organise their trip to Patagonia.

I also manage this exotic accommodation on the Atlantic coast.