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The Atacama Desert is an adventure playground of geysers, moon valleys and salt lakes where at night the clear skies are littered with thousands of stars.  Stretching 600 miles from Peru's southern border into northern Chile, the Atacama Desert rises from a thin coastal shelf to the pampas - virtually lifeless plains that dip down to river gorges layered with mineral sediments from the Andes. The pampas bevel up to the altiplano, the foothills of the Andes, where you will find Aymara and Atacama Indians herding their llamas and alpacas and growing crops with water from snowmelt streams.

At its centre, a place climatologists call absolute desert, the Atacama is known as the driest place on Earth. There are sterile, intimidating stretches where rain has never been recorded, at least as long as humans have measured it. Extraordinarily, more than a million people live in the Atacama today. They crowd into coastal cities, mining compounds, fishing villages, and oasis towns. International teams of astronomers-perched in observatories on the Atacama's coastal range-probe the cosmos through perfectly clear skies. Determined farmers in the far north grow olives, tomatoes, and cucumbers with drip-irrigation systems, culling scarce water from aquifers. In the altiplano, the descendants of the region's pre-Columbian natives (mostly Aymara and Atacama Indians) herd llamas and alpacas and grow crops with water from snowmelt streams.

The Atacama Desert makes the perfect contrast to the cooler climes, glaciers and glistening lakes of the south. It is a place in which you can indulge in spa treatments, hike, bike or horse-ride through the dramatic red landscapes, all from the comfort of a beautiful oasis hotel in the desert town of San Pedro de Atacama. It makes the perfect place to unwind after crossing from the high plains of Bolivia through the Uyuni Salt Flats. It is also a gateway into the pretty colonial towns and dramatic rock formations of Argentina's rugged North-West region via one of the most stunningly scenic drives across the Andes.

Atacama Tours with Abercrombie & Kent, let our experts design the perfect holiday for you.



Our experts can tailor-make the perfect holiday to suit your individual requirements, however, if you need inspiration or a starting point, below are some of our suggested trips and experiences:

Exploring Mountains and Vineyards in Chile

Nights: 10 | from £7,085pp

Take your time to explore, relax and experience a few of Chile’s best regions. Taking the opportunity to immerse yourself in the Patagonian wilderness... Find out more

Holiday type: Tailor-made

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Tropics to the Arctic 2017

Nights: 25 | from £90,250pp

Set out on a globe-spanning journey designed by A&K's pioneering founder Geoffrey Kent. Sample exotic destinations ranging from Easter Island and the... Find out more

Holiday type: Group departure

Special Interest

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Highlights of Chile

Nights: 9 | from £4,090pp

Chile is astonishingly diverse yet wonderfully accessible – In just 10 days you can hit up sassy Santiago, luxuriate amongst the vines and sophisticated... Find out more

Holiday type: Tailor-made

Adventure & Culture

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Lakes & Fjords of Chile

Nights: 13 | from £4,660pp

Certainly one for water lovers this itinerary will mesmerise as it shows off Southern Chile’s glassy lakes, fjords, glaciers and time trapped islands,... Find out more

Holiday type: Tailor-made

Adventure & Culture | Cruising

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Luxury Small Group Journeys - Patagonia: Tierra del Fuego to Torres del Paine 2017

Nights: 9 | from £7,495pp

Travel to the ends of the earth on this diverse itinerary that ranges from cosmopolitan Buenos Aires to rugged, untouched wilderness and the southernmost... Find out more

Holiday type: Group departure

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Below are some of our suggested places to stay:

Alto Atacama Desert Lodge and Spa

Alto Atacama is a stunning work of architecture set against a backdrop of unique topography, awe inspiring natural beauty, and rich cultural heritage.... Find out more

Price guide: Save | Spend | Splurge

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Awasi Atacama

Awasi stands in oasis-like grounds, where flagstone paths meander through gardens landscaped with local trees and grasses - a rambling furnished patio... Find out more

Price guide: Save | Spend | Splurge

Honeymoons

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Casa Atacama

Ideally located in central San Pedro and only a short walk from its shops and restaurants, is Casa Atacama, a great value option with excellent amenities... Find out more

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Offer A&K Favourite

Tierra Atacama

Tierra Atacama is a boutique hotel on the edge of San Pedro de Atacama. Architecturally, this hotel is superb, mixing the old and the unashamedly modern.... Find out more

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Silversea Cruise - Valparaiso, Chile to Buenos Aires, Argentina

Nights: 21 | from £11,900pp

Tick off a host of bucket list experiences on this South American cruise, from walking with penguins in the Falklands and watching glaciers calve in Patagonia... Find out more

Holiday type: Group departure

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View a selection of our top offers:

The Singular Patagonia

Chile

One Complimentary Night
Stay three nights at The Singular Patagonia on a Full Board basis and receive one free night in The Singular Santiago, in a Patio style room. Valid for travel between 30th September 2016 and 31st May 2017. Subject to availability. Terms and conditions apply.

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Tierra Atacama, Chile

Chile

Save from £485 per person
Stay at the Tierra Atacama and one other Tierra property (Tierra Patagonia or Tierra Chiloé and receive a 15% discount with stays of six nights or more. Offer valid until April 2017. Subject to availability. Terms & conditions apply.

Call 01242 547 701 Enquire

Tierra Patagonia, Chile

Chile

Save from £485 per person
Stay at the Tierra Patagonia and one other Tierra property (Tierra Atacama or Tierra Chiloé and receive a 15% discount with stays of six nights or more. Offer valid until April 2017. Subject to availability. Terms & conditions apply.

Call 01242 547 701 Enquire

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Graeme, Charlie, Melissa, Dave, Kerry and Kelly are experts in designing the perfect holiday in Latin America to suit your personal needs, interests and budget. Their intimate knowledge of our hotels and resorts featured in our portfolio, together with our own network of offices throughout the region, allows us to offer unique in-depth knowledge, unparalleled insider access and the VIP service for which Abercrombie & Kent is renowned.

Read about our lastest experiences in Latin America and the Caribbean in our Travel Blog pages.

To find out more about our Latin America team, click on the consultant links below or call them on 01242 547 701 or enquire online

 

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Call 01242 547 701 to speak to a specialist Enquire


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Guest Testimonial

The Hotels you (Charlie Lockwood) selected were superb in Peru, Chile, Argentina and Brazil, what a pleasure it has been to stay in the Belmond Hotels, everyone was so helpful, and the Four Seasons in Buenos Aires was equally superb

- TW, London


Useful info

chile map

Best time to be there

As the climate varies hugely from north to south, different places are best at different times, although spring (September to December) is universally good. Atacama can be visited year-round, central Chile enjoys a Mediterranean climate with good weather throughout. Patagonia is best for hiking in Spring or Summer.

Fly to

LAN Chile daily via Madrid

flying time

16 hours

time difference

GMT -4 hours

Visas

Not required for UK passport holders

Health Requirements

Yellow fever certificate required if arriving from an infected area 

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