Don't miss this early morning tour to El Tatio geyser field, one of San Pedro de Atacama’s most popular surrounding attractions and one of the biggest geothermal fields in the world with more than 80 geyers. With a local guide, you'll arrive at El Tatio at sunrise, when the cold, high-altitude air creates a mystical landscape of steam. Then enjoy a light breakfast. End your tour with a stop in the small adobe village of Machuca.
Your tour starts with hotel pickup by van before dawn — yep, that's early! — for the drive north of San Pedro de Atacama to El Tatio, an approximate 1.5- to 2-hour trip. That way, your arrival at the geyser field coincides with the rising sun, which gives the geysers their most spectacular appearance. In the cold, early morning air of sunrise, each geyser is topped with a white column of steam that disappears when the temperature warms up. You have about two hours to walk around the field, marveling at the geothermal wonders and taking pictures. Then enjoy a light breakfast that typically includes a ham and cheese sandwich, biscuit, fruit, juice, tea and coffee. After about three hours total at El Tatio, head back toward San Pedro de Atacama, stopping in the village of Machuca. You have about an hour here to explore the very tiny village (about 10 residents) at your leisure, checking out its wooden church, handful of adobe houses with thatch roofs, and artisan shop. If you wish, try a llama empanada, the local specialty (own expense).Finally, make the drive back to San Pedro de Atacama, where your tour ends with hotel drop-off around midday.