Atacama Salt Lake Tours

31 reviews
Atacama Salt Lake (Salar de Atacama), a salt deposit–coated lake, lies amid the Atacama Desert plains, framed by distant Andes peaks. Stretching more than 40,000 square miles (100,000 square kilometers), it’s one of the largest salt flats and the largest lithium reserve in the world.
 
The Basics
Explore several lagoons, most notably Miscanti and Chaxa lagoons in Los Flamencos National Reserve and Ojos del Sala, which resembles a gigantic pair of eyes. Or, swim in the salt-rich waters of Cejar sinkhole.
 
Explore at your own pace with a rental car or a private driver. Or, join day tours from San Pedro de Atacama, which typically combine a stop in traditional towns, such as Socaire and Toconao, with a visit to one or more lagoons. Alternatively, multi-day tours from Santiago take in all Atacama Desert highlights, including Valley of the Moon (Valle de Luna), El Tatio Geysers, Red Stone desert, and Atacama Salt Lake’s salt flats and lagoons.
 
Things to Know Before You Go
  • Pack sunscreen, a hat, and plenty of water to combat the desert heat. Bring warm clothing for the evening, too, as temperatures can drop quickly—even in summer.
  • Most desert roads are unpaved and the terrain uneven, so a 4WD is advisable, and comfortable walking shoes are a must.
  • The desert has scarce cellphone service, and only a few San Pedro de Atacama hotels offer Wi-Fi.
 
How to Get to There
Atacama Salt Lake, at the Atacama Desert in northeastern Chile, is less than an hour’s journey from San Pedro de Atacama, the gateway to the desert. Regular taxis, shared taxis, and tours run from San Pedro de Atacama to the lake. The closest airport is in Calama, from where buses run to San Pedro de Atacama, 60 miles (97 kilometers) away.
 
When to Get There
Summer (December–February) is the most popular time to explore; with warm weather fit for swimming in the lagoons. Winter (June–August) visits can be equally rewarding, although temperatures can plummet below freezing at night. A trip after one of the rare periods of rainfall can be spectacular, with blooming wildflowers adding a burst of color to the dusty plains.
 
Atacama Wildlife
Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on earth with less than 3 mm of annual rainfall, is home to some surprising wildlife, including southern viscacha, the llama-like vicuna, and Darwin's leaf-eared mouse. The salt lakes also attract a number of rare birds, including the endangered Andean flamingo. You might also spot Chilean flamingos and James flamingos, Puna plovers, Andean gulls, swallows, and giant hummingbirds.
Location
Address: Ruta 23, San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
ticket-star
Admission: Free
Read More

5 Tours & Activities to Experience

times
icon-filterFilter
Clear all
Select Dates
Sort by:Default

Atacama Salt Flat Day Trip from San Pedro de Atacama including Los Flamencos National Reserve and Socaire Village

Discover the natural splendor of the Atacama Salt Flats on a full-day tour from San Pedro de Atacama. Accompanied by a knowledgeable guide, visit the luminescent salt flats of Soncor; observe fabulous flocks of brightly colored flamingos in Los Flamenco National Park; and explore the luscious lagoons of Miscanti and Miniques. Feast upon a traditional Chilean lunch in the charming village of Socaire, and browse the bespoke boutiques of Tocanao for special souvenirs and artisan treasures.
  • Duration: 10 hours
From
USD99.00
See Details
  • Duration: 10 hours
From
USD99.00

Cejar Lagoon Half-Day Tour from San Pedro de Atacama

Cool off from the desert heat of San Pedro de Atacama on this 4-hour tour to the Cejar Lagoon. Keep your camera close by as you journey through the otherworldly landscape of the Atacama Salt Flat. After soaking up the magnificent scenery, experience the unique sensation of floating as you bathe in the salt lagoon.
  • Duration: 4 hours
From
USD33.00
See Details
  • Duration: 4 hours
From
USD33.00

4-Day San Pedro de Atacama Desert Adventure

This 4-day tour of the Atacama Desert takes the planning and guesswork out of exploring the region’s highlights. Your guide accompanies you to the otherworldly landscape and salt caves at Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley), vibrantly colored red rock formations Chaxa Lagoon, and off-the-beaten-track sites that you might miss on your own. All transportation is included with daily hotel pickup and drop-off, so you can choose your own accommodation and meals to suit your tastes.
  • Duration: 4 days
From
USD276.00
See Details
  • Duration: 4 days
From
USD276.00

Atacama Salt Flat and Toconao Tour from San Pedro

Experience one of South America’s most startling natural wonders, the vast Atacama Salt Flat, on this 4-hour tour from San Pedro de Atacama, including hotel pick-up. Snap photos of the third largest salt plain in the world, which stretches over 1,200 square miles (3,000 sq km), then spot rare Andean flamingoes at the Los Flamencos National Reserve and visit the beautiful Quebrada de Jerez valley. You’ll also have chance to browse the handicrafts market and shop for souvenirs in Toconao village.
  • Duration: 5 hours
From
USD47.00
See Details
  • Duration: 5 hours
From
USD47.00

Atacama Salt Flat Lagoons Tour Including Ojos del Salar from San Pedro de Atacama

Experience the unearthly splendor of the Chilean desert landscape on a 4-hour afternoon and evening tour from San Pedro de Atacama. Float in the unique Cejar Lagoon, famed for its exorbitant salt concentration; admire the proximate lagoons of Ohos del Salar, renowned for their distinct appearance of eyes; and watch a spectacular sunset over the desert while sipping sweet pisco sours.
  • Duration: 5 hours
From
USD39.00
See Details
  • Duration: 5 hours
From
USD39.00


mobile_o
Having trouble booking online?
(888) 651-9785
Call (888) 651-9785