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Peter, the Great

Pablo Etchevers Pablo Etchevers (1) Jorge González (2)

Only 100 kilometers away from Calama, lies one of the most popular destinations for international tourism, the small village of San Pedro de Atacama. Small, but great at the same time.

Visit to San Pedro de Atacama from Calama

Once visitors leave the City of Calama, the road and the desert are combined and decorated by huge electrical energy cables leading to the City of San Pedro de Atacama.
There, the desert sand was replaced by the color of adobe, which took hold of the streets, the houses and everything visitors may imagine.
One village, dozens of tours
The feeling the visitor gets from walking down its streets is hard to describe. Everything is brown: from the hostels and restaurants to the travel agencies where tourists choose their excursions everyday. There they make up their minds to visit the Tatio Geysers, the Valley of the Moon or climb some of the large volcanoes that put the city in the shade.

Visit to San Pedro de Atacama from Calama

An adobe kind of brown has tinged everything around. The only facilities that have not copied this kind of trend are the historical church, the town hall building and the main square. All the rest is brownish. Wonderfully brownish.
It is considered the archeological capital of Chile. The deserts around it, just like its salt deposits and the primitive peoples which are preserved untouched till this date, have turned it into a destination preferred by archeological and anthropological tourism.
From Death to the Moon
Pucarás like the ones at Quitor and Catarpe let us travel back in time and find vestiges of the Atacameño people, which has dwelled the region since over 10 thousand years ago.

Visit to San Pedro de Atacama from Calama

Today, these communities have been integrated to the local tourist development. They may be appreciated on a bike tour or on foot, as they are located very close to the city.
The Valley of the Moon and the Valley of Death are a clear sample of the development of these communities. The former was declared “sanctuary of nature” and is known for its morphological aspect by every tourist reaching San Pedro. On nights of full moon, crowds attend the natural show.
The Valley of Death is a large dune, ideal to practice adventure sports such as paragliding and sand-boarding. Hiking tours to these fine sands leave everyday.
The City of San Pedro de Atacama is small, but it is its minimal essence that makes it unforgettable. Historical buildings such as its church or its main square or the crowded Caracoles Street make us feel as if we were inside a story by García Marquez. Here, magical realism is breathed at every minute.

Visit to San Pedro de Atacama from Calama

Back to Calama
Everything happens in cycles. There is a certain speed every morning before the tourists get on some of the excursion shuttles, but quietness rules in the afternoon, when it is time for siesta, or at sunset.
Before the sun goes down, everybody stays watching it at the Valley of the Moon. When the night falls, Caracoles Street becomes busy again until midnight. At that time, just like Cinderella, everyone must go home to bed according to town regulations.
The bars, pubs and hostels slowly begin to turn off their sounds and voices and only some tourists wander about the beautiful peaceful streets. Most visitors have already gone to bed leaving small San Pedro as desert as the desert around it.

It is time to go back to Calama, a city that sleeps quietly in the small hours because it knows that tomorrow will wake up early.

Visit to San Pedro de Atacama from Calama
Welcome Chile - Outings in Calama
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all day. Visitors may stay at San Pedro



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Bear in mind

The road dividing Calama and San Pedro de Atacama is a straight line. Both districts are two oases separated by a desert and standing almost one hundred kilometers from one another. Therefore, visitors may travel from one city to the other in less than two hours. There are fuel stations at both destinations.

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