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Los Flamencos National Reserve (Reserva Nacional Los Flamencos) Tours

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Los Flamencos National Reserve (Reserva Nacional Los Flamencos)
Covering 286 square miles (740 square kilometres), Los Flamencos National Reserve (Reserva Nacional Los Flamencos) is home to some of the most stunning scenery in the Atacama Desert. Between the Andes and Chile’s Pacific coast, the park has glittering salt flats, wind-sculpted moonscapes, and high-altitude lagoons surrounded by wild flamingos.

The Basics
Los Flamencos National Reserve includes different protected zones around the Atacama Desert region: the salt lakes of Pujsa, Tara, and Aguas Calientes; the Altiplano lakes of Miscanti and Miñiques; Moon Valley (Valle de la Luna); the tamarugo forests of Tambillo; and vast Atacama Salt Lake. 
 
Most visitors opt to explore the reserve on a day tour from San Pedro de Atacama. With its dramatic landscapes, Moon Valley is the most popular destination, with most tours stopping at the Great Dune to watch the sunset. Full-day tours also run to the salt flats and lagoons, offering plenty of wildlife-watching opportunities, and stop at desert towns like Toconao or Socaire along the way.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • Pack sunscreen, a hat, and plenty of water as there’s little shade in the desert, but bring warm clothing for the evening hours too, as temperatures can drop quickly, even in summer.
  • Most of the desert roads are unpaved and the terrain uneven, so a 4WD is advisable, and comfortable walking shoes are a must.
  • Cell phone service is scarce throughout the desert, and Wi-Fi is only available at a few hotels in San Pedro de Atacama.

How to Get to There
Most people visit Los Flamencos National Reserve from the town of San Pedro de Atacama. There’s no public transport to the valley itself, although taxis, shared taxis, and tours run from here. The closest airport is in Calama, from which buses run to San Pedro de Atacama, 60 miles (98 kilometers) away. You can rent cars in town, but to explore farther than Moon Valley, it’s most convenient to hire a guide or join a tour. 

When to Get There
The most popular time to explore is during the summer months (December–February). Winter (June–August) visits can be equally rewarding, although temperatures can plummet below freezing at night. When to visit depends on what you want to see—Moon Valley is most impressive at sunset, while morning and late afternoon are the best time to spot birdlife around the lagoons. 

Wildlife of Los Flamencos National Reserve 
Los Flamencos National Reserve takes its name from its huge number of wild flamingos, and there are three different species to spot—Chilean, James’s, and Andean flamingos. There is also an abundance of other bird life, especially around the lakes, including hawks, swallows, Andean seagulls, condors, and rhea. Other common sightings include vicunas, culpeo foxes, and viscachas.
Address: Chile
Admission: Varies
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10 Tours and Activities to Experience Los Flamencos National Reserve (Reserva Nacional Los Flamencos)

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Route of the Salares4WD, ATV & Off-Road Tours

Route of the Salares

Tara Salar Tour, Monjes de la Pacana and Quisquiro, two of the best kept secrets of the Atacama Desert.
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  • 10 hours
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US$72
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4-Day Best of Atacama: Moon Valley, Tatio Geysers and Altiplanics LagoonsMulti-day Tours

4-Day Best of Atacama: Moon Valley, Tatio Geysers and Altiplanics Lagoons

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Most visitors to San Pedro de Atacama just take a day trip into the desert, but you can thoroughly explore Atacama on this four-day tour. See the desert's most spectacular sights, including the Moon Valley and El Tatio geysers, and choose from three types of accommodation to suit your budget.
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  • 4 days
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US$550
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Route of the Salares and Monk of the Pacana - Full Day - Local gastronomyNature & Wildlife

Route of the Salares and Monk of the Pacana - Full Day - Local gastronomy

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We are dedicated exclusively to this route, putting all our knowledge and experience to make your trip to San Pedro de Atacama unforgettable.
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  • 8 hours
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  • 8 hours
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Atacama Express: 2-Day tour visiting Tatio Geysers & the Moon ValleyMulti-day Tours

Atacama Express: 2-Day tour visiting Tatio Geysers & the Moon Valley

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Most visitors to San Pedro de Atacama only see the wonders of the surrounding Atacama Desert on a day trip. Get a more in-depth view on this two-day excursion. Explore the desert's spectacular landscapes, including the Moon Valley and El Tatio geysers, and choose from three different types of accommodation to suit your budget.
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  • 2 days
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US$250
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Full Day Trip to the lookout Red Stone, Altiplanics lagoons & SalarBus & Minivan Tours

Full Day Trip to the lookout Red Stone, Altiplanics lagoons & Salar

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See multiple attractions around the Atacama Desert on this full-day guided tour from San Pedro de Atacama. Enjoy a hassle-free pickup from your hotel and start your day with breakfast (included) in the Miscanti and Miñiques highland lagoons. Continue your day exploring Salar de Talar, the village of Socaire, and Salar de Atacama, Chile's largest salt lake where you can see flamingos. Your final stop is town of Toconao before you get dropped off back at your hotel.
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  • 12 hours
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US$81
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  • 12 hours
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Small-Group Tour to Moon Valley from San Pedro de AtacamaNature & Wildlife

Small-Group Tour to Moon Valley from San Pedro de Atacama

San Pedro de Atacama, a laid back oasis town on the edge of the driest desert on the earth. Little adobe houses, cozy restaurant are the base to explore one of the Chile's most spectacular sceneries. With this semi-private tour, you will have the opportunity to visit one of the highlights in a more intimate way, sharing your day with other travelers but avoiding big groups.
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  • 4 hours
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US$38
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  • 4 hours
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Atacama Salt Flats, Toconao and Altiplanic Lagoons Day TripBus & Minivan Tours

Atacama Salt Flats, Toconao and Altiplanic Lagoons Day Trip

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Discover one of Chile’s most unique natural landscapes on this 10-hour tour from San Pedro de Atacama, including hotel-up. Marvel over the stark white plains of the Atacama Salt Flats, see the shimmering Miscanti lagoon and spot pink flamingos bathing in the Chaxa lagoon. Finally, get a taste of life in the Atacama Desert as you visit the traditional villages of Socaire and Toconao.
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  • 10 hours
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Honeymoon on the salar de Atacama - 7 Days4WD, ATV & Off-Road Tours

Honeymoon on the salar de Atacama - 7 Days

Live a unique experience, an extraordinary environment, through the salar de Atacama, the largest salt flat in Chile.
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  • 5 days
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Marvel of Atacama4WD, ATV & Off-Road Tours

Marvel of Atacama

Live a unique experience, an extraordinary environment, through the salar de Atacama, the largest salt flat in Chile.
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Puna Salt Flats - Full Day Tour - San Pedro de Atacama - Must VisitNature & Wildlife

Puna Salt Flats - Full Day Tour - San Pedro de Atacama - Must Visit

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A tour for the Atacama Desert heights, the antithesis of the region. Escaping from the ambient temperature to border the low temperatures, to feel the wind in the face and to fight against the hills’ heights and the volcanos slopes alongside the road that leads to Paso de Jama, frontier mountain pass with Argentina.Nonetheless, this tour invites you to know a more exclusive part of San Pedro: unique places with low traffic, where the sun touches the neck and the back, but the heat is unnoticed when the altiplanic cold goes through your arms and wraps you in its soft breeze to take you to cross the hills’ slopes over 4000 meters high.In this tour you visit unique lagoons, salt flats at the foot of hills, volcanoes and its erosions, and viewpoints with incredible sights that will take you to know the other side of the Atacama Desert.
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  • 7 to 8 hours
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US$120
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  • 7 to 8 hours
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