Welcome to Norte Grande
Devil dusters zoom wantonly through sun-scorched Norte Grande with its undulating curves of rock and stone, Andean lagoons, snow-capped volcanoes, salt flats and sensuously perforated coastline. Famous as much for its hilltop observatories as its massive copper mines, those vast, uninhabited spaces touch the soul and the imagination. Norte Grande's star attraction is the tiny adobe village of San Pedro de Atacama,... Read More
Top experiences in Norte Grande
Norte Grande activities
4-Day Atacama Desert Tour: Moon Valley, Geysers del Tatio and the Chilean Salt Flats
From Death Valley to Moon Valley and the salt flats, see the beautiful landscapes of Chile’s Atacama Desert on this four-day excursion. Airport transfers are provided, and you have a choice of a three-star or four-star hotel, with breakfast included.Itinerary:Day 1: Calama -- San Pedro de AtacamaAfter being met at Calama airport, you’ll be transferred to the village of San Pedro de Atacama. Spend the afternoon with your guide on a scenic drive to Salt Mountain and Valle de Marte (Chile’s Death Valley), and watch a spectacular sunset in the extraordinary landscape of Moon Valley. You’ll then be transferred to your selected hotel, where the rest of the afternoon and evening are yours to explore San Pedro on your own.Accommodation: Casa Don Tomas Hotel (three-star, choice of twin or triple room) or Hotel Kimal (four-star, choice of twin or triple room) in San Pedro de AtacamaDay 2: San Pedro de Atacama -- Atacama Salt Flat -- Toconao -- San Pedro de Atacama (B, L)Following breakfast, you'll be driven out to the Atacama Salt Flat to see three species of flamingos nesting on Lake Chaxa. After visiting the picturesque town of Toconao, renowned for its classic bell tower, continue on to the village of Socaire and the altiplanic lagoons of Meñique and Miscanti. Ringed by volcanoes of the Andes Mountains chain, the vivid blue lakes lie 14,850 feet (4,500 meters) above sea level and are protected by Flamingos National Reserve (Reserva Nacional Los Flamencos). Returning to your selected hotel, you’ll have the rest of the day and evening to spend at your leisure.Accommodation: your same hotelDay 3: San Pedro de Atacama -- Geysers del Tatio -- San Pedro de Atacama (B)It’s a pre-dawn start today, departing your hotel at 4am to reach the Geysers del Tatio by sunrise. Once at the geysers, enjoy a breakfast box before taking a guided walk around the geothermal field, seeing the breathtaking sight of columns of steam rising from the ground as the sun rises over the Andes Mountains. The return drive to San Pedro de Atacama provides fabulous views of the Torcopuri and Sairecabur volcanoes. After being dropped off at your hotel in San Pedro, you’ll have the rest of the day and evening to visit the town’s lively market and spend your time as you please.Accommodation: your same hotelDay 4: San Pedro de Atacama – Calama (B)After breakfast, a transfer takes you to Calama airport to catch your onward flight.
Altiplanic Lagoons and Atacama Salt Mines Day Trip
Your day trip from San Pedro de Atacama begins with hotel pickup by minivan for the drive south of town to the Atacama Salt Flat (Salar de Atacama), the largest salt flat in Chile and one of the largest in the world. Your first stop is Chaxa Lagoon in a part of the salt flat known as the Soncor section, which lies in the greater Los Flamencos National Reserve (Reserva Nacional Los Flamencos). Known for its role as a breeding site for the rare Andean flamingo, Soncor is also home to an array of other birds like yellow-billed teals, sandpipers and crested ducks. Spend about 45 to 60 minutes here, exploring the area via a small path that provides great photo ops, and then hop back in the van and head to Miscanti and Miñiques lagoons, also part of the national reserve. Located at an elevation of 13,780 feet (4,200 meters) above sea level, the altiplano (high plain) lagoons sit at the base of Miñiques Volcano and were separated from each other by a lava flow from an eruption. You have about one hour here to walk around, take pictures and admire the incredible views of the blue lagoons surrounded by the volcanic landscape. Back in the van, continue your day trip to the village of Socaire, about 15 miles (25 km) north of the lagoons. Socaire is known for its typical Atacama cuisine, which you’ll enjoy for lunch at a local restaurant; the menu varies daily but includes an appetizer, main course, dessert and soft drink. After lunch, head to the village of Toconao, about an hour north, back toward San Pedro de Atacama. Stop for a bit to browse the handicraft market and admire the church and bell tower, the village’s one well-known attraction, before returning to San Pedro de Atacama, where your day trip ends with hotel drop-off.
El Tatio Geysers Tour from San Pedro de Atacama
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. Next, take a soak in one of the natural hot springs! While the outdoor temperatures are quite chilly — around 40°F (5°C) at this high-altitude elevation of 13,880 feet (4,200 meters) — the water of the geothermal pool is a toasty 95°F (35°C). You can change into your bathing suit at the onsite changing rooms, and then relax in the pool for about 40 to 50 minutes.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.
Rainbow Valley Day Trip from San Pedro de Atacama
Your half-day tour starts with hotel pickup by van for the 1-hour drive from San Pedro de Atacama to the Domeyko Mountains (Cordillera Domeyko), part of the Andes. This is where you’ll find the Rainbow Valley, named for the multicolored rocks that get their various hues — from white to red to black — from the mountains’ mineral makeup. Hop out of the van and spend about an hour here with your guide, wandering around the valley and admiring the ‘rainbow’ of colors — a great photo opportunity! Then return to the van and head to Hierbas Buenas, the site of pre-Columbian ruins famous for its petroglyphs. Take a 25-minute walk with your guide to see and learn about these messages and drawings — including animals like llamas and flamingos — carved into the volcanic rock by the ancient native inhabitants. Continue your tour to your last stop, the village of Rio Grande, named for the river that borders it. Home to less than 100 residents, the village is known for its agriculture and handicrafts. Learn a bit about its history from your guide, and then walk around to see its distinctive architecture, characterized by stone and mud walls, thatch roofs and beams made of cactus and carob tree wood. After the return drive to San Pedro de Atacama, your tour ends with hotel drop-off.
Valley of the Moon Afternoon Tour
After meeting your guide in San Pedro de Atacama, you will head towards the Valley of the Moon, known as Valle de la Luna. It is located around 10 km away from San Pedro de Atacama and has been declared a natural sanctuary as part of the Los Flamencos National Reserve within the Salt Mountain range. On this tour, you will get to see the beautiful and awe-inspiring place, with multiple colors and formations creating a geological spectacle similar to the moon's surface. You will also visit the Tres Marias statues, the salt cave and go up to the Gran Duna (Great Dune) where you'll get to admire a beautiful panorama as the sun sets and the colors in the sky change. You will be taken back to San Pedro de Atacama afterwards.
Shared Departure Transfer: San Pedro de Atacama Ho
When it's time for you to leave San Pedro de Atacama, your professional driver will pick you up at your hotel and take you on the 60-mile (95-km) drive to El Loa Airport (Aeropuerto El Loa) in Calama. Sit back and relax on the journey with your driver. You’ll be dropped off in time for your flight.When making a booking, you will need to advise your flight details and your hotel details. Your transfer will be confirmed instantly, and you will be provided with a travel voucher to present to the driver.