Highland Lagoons & Wool Manufacturing Process of Socaire

Highland Lagoons & Wool Manufacturing Process of Socaire

We travel south, going up to the "puna" (highlands) to marvel at its unique vegetation, wildlife, lagoons and salt flats. Here, Miscanti Lagoon, the largest lagoon in the Antofagasta region, is certainly the one that impresses travelers most. Later, we visit the village Socaire, where the indigenous community still preserves part of the traditional atacameñan lifestyle.

Driving back towards San Pedro for about 50 kms., we will get to the lagoons Miscanti and Meñiques which – administrated by the indigenous community of Socaire together with CONAF (National Forest Corporation) – form part of the Flamingo National Reserve and are located at 4.350 and 4.100 meters respectively. They are magnificent reserves of crystal-clear water that impress with their intense blue color. Surrounded by a mountainous backdrop marked by the volcanoes Miscanti and Meñiques, the lagoons are the natural habitat of many rare and beautiful birds, including Chilean Flamingos, Puna Flamingos, Baird´s Sandpipers and Horned Coots amongst other species.

This visit will allow you to truly enjoy the overwhelming solitude and peace of this sanctuary of nature.

We continue our journey towards Socaire, a village at 3.300 m.a.s.l. with around 360 inhabitants who traditionally work in agriculture, cattle-breeding, wool handcraft, mining industry and of late also in tourism. Here we have lunch at the ´Guest House´ (Casa de Huéspedes), a treasure of the indigenous community of Socaire.

After that we take the time to get to know the village´s traditional agricultural system in more detail, as well as the manufacturing process of wool. The agricultural land is arranged in the form of terraces. Remarkable is the cultivation of some peculiar products like horsebeans or purple potatoes that only grow in this area. Over the last few years, the craft production of fine textiles made of alpaca, llama or sheep wool – a process which starts with the breeding of the animals – has increased. The ´Weavers of Socaire´ (Tejedoras de Socaire) sell their products mainly in a local store. Apart from that they receive orders from retail and private parties all over Chile.

The origin of Socaire´s church dates back to the colonial era (). Of special beauty is the picturesque bell tower which is built on cut stone and adobe milled from the local region.
8:00-8:30 Pick-up from your hotel
Please be ready at the stated time.
(Departure and return time depend of the time of the year and will be confirmed in the moment of the reservation.)

Highland Lagoons
We walk on the established trails to get to closet o the Miscanti Lagoon (30 minutes approximately). We then sight the Meñiques Lagoon.

Lunch in Socaire
We have lunch at a local restaurant. A vegetarian menu is available, if desired.

Cultural Activity
We learn more about the traditional agriculture and we participate in an activity focused on the manufacturing process of wool production offered by the Weavers of Socaire.

16:15-16:45 Hotel

  • Duration: 8 1/2 hours
  • Altitude: 4200 msnm.
  • Difficulty: Medium (altitude)
  • Age: 8+

Travelling through the harsh Atacama Desert you really encounter with the powerful climate and fast temperature changes that is a everyday fact in this land.

The dryness, the solar radiation, the strong winds, the abrupt changes of temperature between day and night, are some of the fundamental characteristics that your Atacama adventure will show you. Around San Pedro the altitude measures between 2,000 – 3,500 m.a.s.l, and the climate is characterized by having an average annual temperature between 12 and 13 ° C.

As the temperature swings it can reach up to 35 ° C in summer (December to March) and the minimum degrees below zero in winter (June to September).

What to bring?
  • Comfortable clothing, walking shoes. Several layers.
  • Warm clothing for the highlands (fleece and windbreaker, gloves, woolen hat).
  • Sunblock, hat, sunglasses, lip balm.
More recommendations
  • Admission tickets
  • Lunch
  • Bilingual Guide
  • Cultural Activity
  • Water
  • Pick-up from your hotel
  • DEPARTURE TIME: 8:00-8:30 hrs.
  • RETURN TIME: 16:15-16:45 hrs.
Departure and return time depend of the time of the year and will be confirmed in the moment of the reservation.
  • $95.000, minimun 2 persons.