Valle de la Luna

Moon Valley, Ayllus, Atacameñan Tasting

With a delicious breakfast we enjoy the serene magic and beauty of the sunrise in the Salt Mountain Range. We visit the impressive landscapes of the Moon Valley. We explore two Ayllus of San Pedro and taste typical atacameñan food. We get to know the history, culture and challenges of San Pedro de Atacama.

The Moon Valley, in the middle of the Salt Mountain Range, is an area of sculptural rock formations whose salinity abounds at the surface, covering the landscape in a white coating, as if it were the surface of the moon. Between dunes and rock formations of crystallized gypsum appear small hills and sharp ridges in which the erosion has created diverse figures whose forms change dramatically according to the angle of the sun. The valley forms part of the National Reserve Los Flamencos (CONAF) and is administrated by the indigenous communities of Coyo, San Pedro, Quitor, Séquitor, Larache and Yaye.

We will take advantage of the early hours around sunrise, when the silence makes it possible to hear the salt crack and the subtle morning light allows us to walk along empty trails – getting to know this magnificent place and observing its impressive formations in detail.

The tour takes us through the Salt Mountain Range where we observe a spectacular geological phenomenon. Being composed of huge deposits of salt, gypsum and reddish clay, this mountain range depicts a landscape full of natural sculptures. Here we can find magnificent grottos with stalactites, pointy ridges, a landscape of a unique morphology and an impressive view over the Atacama Salt Flat and the volcanoes of the region.

We continue our way towards the Ayllus, the name given to old social units of the Likan Antai or Atacameño culture where several families lived together in agro-pastoral communities created by lineage and descendants. Today, this kind of territorial organization represents rather a geographic delimitation, but the narrow and mazy labyrinth-like alleyways live on, surrounded by cultivatable lands with gardens, big native trees, irrigation canals and old adobe houses largely still inhabited by descendants of the Likan Antai culture, which now belong to the Atacameñan communities. We will savor some typical flavors of the desert and highlands with a tasting prepared by an atacameñan family, using fresh, organic ingredients from their vegetable garden.

6:00 - 6:30 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.)

Breakfast in the Salt Mountain Range
While we observe the sunrise with an incomparable view, the guide prepares a fresh, healthy and tasty breakfast.

Moon Valley
After breakfast we visit the Moon Valley with its impressive main dune and the salt caves. Getting there early means that we are nearly the only ones in this other worldly place. The tour includes little hikes that allow us to get an in depth impression of the place.

Tour through the Ayllus
When the sun gets stronger we leave the Salt Mountain Range and head towards the Ayllus of Coyo and Séquitor where we will enjoy a tasting of typical atacameñan products.

11:00 - 11:30 Hotel

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
  • Warm clothing for the coolest hour around sunrise, especially in winter (May to August)
  • Sunblock, hat, sunglasses, lip balm
More recommendations
  • Admission tickets
  • Breakfast
  • Bilingual Guide
  • Tasting of traditional products
  • Water
  • Pick-up from your hotel
  • DEPARTURE TIME: 6:00 - 6:30 hrs.
  • RETURN TIME: 11:00 - 11:30 hrs.
Departure and return time depend of the time of the year and will be confirmed in the moment of the reservation.
  • $43.000, 2 persons minimum.