Mountain Bike & Hike Atacama Desert 7D Tour

Ecotours Chile Mountain Bike & Hike 7D Tour in Atacama Desert will take you off the beaten path, into areas not accessible by vehicle and trodden only by local natives and their llama or goat herds. We will encounter small villages, geysers, altiplanic lagoons, valleys, archeological remains, Andean wildlife along with the most spectacular desert and mountain landscapes, always crowned by high dormant volcanoes. This tours covers most highlights of Atacama Desert combining bike rides with day Hikes

Highlights:

  • Capur, Aguas Calientes, Cejar and Tebinquinche Lagoons
  • Tatio Geysers and natural hot springs
  • Rides in Moon Valley, Death Valley, Catarpe Valley and Rainbow Valley
  • Amazing landscapes dominated by Volcanoes and Salt Flats
  • 6 nights lodging at comfortable Hotel in San Pedro de Atacama
  • Local English speaking guides
  • Support Vehicle when necessary

Day 01

CALAMA AIRPORT – SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA – MOON VALLEY

Once you’ll get to the airport, a shared transfer will be waiting for you and you’ll be transfer to San Pedro de Atacama on a 90 minutes drive and arrive to selected Hotel in town.

Our guides will meet you at 3 PM aprox and check out bikes for tour. Then, we’ll bike from San Pedro de Atacama towards Moon Valley, a valley of statuesque, rocky formations. Salt emerges to the surface, covering the surface with a dry, whitish layer that gives the place a lunar aspect. We’ll visit the statues of salt called “Las Tres Marias“ , the salt mine, the salt caves and we will walk up by the sand dunes of the area until we reach the summit of the Big Dune. Here, you will see the whole valley at the sunset, while a spectacular change of colors happens in front of your eyes and enjoy a delicious cocktail.
Afterwards we return to San Pedro de Atacama by van and drop you off at Hotel or town.
Lodging at Hotel in San Pedro de Atacama

Bike distance: 35 km aprox, mix of asphalt and dirt road.
/ Cocktail /

Day 02

MACHUCA – RIO GRANDE HIKE

Today we’ll set off early and drive in the van to Machuca Village.

We’ll hike from Machuca village, located at 4000 masl, to Rio Grande village, famous for its terrace cultivation. Its location was strategic, as it was the forced passageway for caravans traveling between San Pedro de Atacama and Chiu-Chiu. Proofs of this are the surrounding archeological sites that show petroglyphs of the guanaco hunters during the pre-Hispanic period.
We’ll walk along the valleys formed by Peñaril River and with the possibility to see the typical flora and fauna of the Altiplano, framed by breathtaking colors that emerge from rocky formations. Once we end the hike, we’ll jump in the van and go to San Pedro de Atacama, dropping you off at your Hotel or in town.

/ Breakfast / Box lunch /
Hiking distance aprox: 19 KMS
Time hiking aprox: 7 HRS

Day 03

RAINBOW VALLEY + CEJAR LAGOON

After breakfast, we’ll head by vehicle towards Yerbas Buenas petroglyphs and visit this archeological site. Then, we’ll start biking towards one of the most beautiful and unknown places in Atacama, The Rainbow Valley, where you’ll bike by hills of amazing colors like violet, grey, calypso, red and blue, super rich on minerals. You’ll visit the Moai area and visit the east part as well, being able to see tall cactus on the way. We’ll head back to San Pedro at 13:00 hrs aprox so you can enjoy lunch in town and be ready for our next ride together, the Cejar Lagoon bike ride.

On this ride together, we’ll head towards The Cejar Lagoon, where you’ll get the change to swim, enjoying the gravitational effect caused by the amount of salt condensed, floating very easily. Your eyes will be amazed with the beautiful turquoise color of the lagoon.
Afterwards, we continue to Ojos del Salar, seeing two small lagoons and end our day and tour enjoying a farewell cocktail at Tebinquinche Lagoon, admiring one for the best spots for sunset in Atacama Desert.
Once our picnic ends, we’ll drive back to San Pedro de Atacama and say goodbye to your guides.

Bike distance: 35 km aprox, dirt road
/ Breakfast / Cocktail /

Day 04

CAPUR SALT FLAT – PÌEDRAS ROJAS HIKE

At morning we’ll depart towards Salar de Atacama and enter the National Flamingo Reserve. This National Reserve is formed by a gigantic depression of more than 3.500 km2, located 2.300 masl. The Salar is the biggest salt field in Chile and its large quantities of salt make the surface white and rough. The dryness and altitude of the salt field allow an excellent panoramic view of the area. The bottom of the salt field is composed of an enormous lake, which receives water from Mountain Rivers and melting snow. As it has no runoff, several small lagoons have formed, where we can observe the three types of flamingos living in the area, the James, the Andean and the Chilean.

Afterwards, we’ll continue to Capur Salt, a relatively small catchment area of 121.8 km² with eleven inflows. On a total area of 27 square kilometers, there is seasonally changing open water from 0.07 to 6.15 km². The volume of water varies from 65,000 to two million cubic meters. The hike will last 4 hours and you’ll be able to see wild life like Rheas, Vicuñas, Flamingos and different kind of little birds.

Then, we will continue hiking to Aguas Calientes Salt Flat, limited to the west by the Caichinque volcanic complex, which formed the Medano hill. This last mountain is characterized by shades of grey and brown, contrasting with the sparkling white of the salt surface. Furthermore, its shores, colorful crop marginal lagoons, which in total add an area of between 2 and 3 square kilometers.

The climate of the area is arid with an average annual rainfall of 150 mm 2 and an average temperature of 1 ° C on the surface of the Salar. The vegetation of the area is characterized by the presence of tussock grasses.
Afterward, we’ll head to Socaire village to take lunch and continue our way back to San Pedro

/Breakfast / Lunch /
Hiking distance aprox: 7 KM
Time hiking aprox:
4 HRS

Day 05

AM: TOCO HILL DOWNHILL TO SAN PEDRO

After breakfast we’ll drive to Cerro Toco camp base at 5.200 masl and start an amazing downhill until reaching town of San Pedro, admiring incredible views of the Atacama Salt Flat and Licancabur Volcano. On the way you’ll be able to get close to some Llamas and Alpacas and combine dirt road with a fast descent to town. Once in town, you’ll have free time to enjoy lunch and get ready for the ride we have prepared for you at afternoon.

Bike distance: 35 km aprox, mix of asphalt and dirt road.

PM: CATARPE VALLEY – CORNIZAS AND DEATH VALLEY

We’ll cycle from San Pedro de Atacama towards the greenest area called Catarpe Valley. We’ll have to climb towards an old tunnel until reaching Cornizas, where you’ll have one of the most spectacular views of this bike tour, admiring the Catarpe Valley and San Pedro River. The ride continues by Cornizas trail and ends at Death Valley, observing a geological phenomenon of enormous mineral sculptures formed by wind and rain, one of the highlights for this trip. Once we end, we’ll go by van back to your hotel in San Pedro de Atacama.

Lodging at Hotel or Hostel in San Pedro de Atacama

Bike distance: 30 km aprox, dirt road

/ Breakfast /

Day 06

GEYSERS – WETLANDS – COPACOYA HIKE + GUATIN AREA HIKE

Today we’ll set off very early and drive in the van towards Tatio geysers. We’ll reach the 4.350 masl and enjoy breakfast. Geysers are shaped by a series of fumaroles that erupts water and steam of volcanic origin. We will walk this spectacle at and then continue with a Hike around Copacoya Hill.
We’ll walk by old paths, surrounded by yaretas, a bush that Atacama people used for several proposes. The hike last approximated 4 hrs and we’ll end the hike by enjoying a bath on a geyser bore.
Afterwards, we’ll continue to Guatin area, famous by it cactus and rock formations. We’ll hike for 90 minutes by a canyon formed by the Vilama River, characterized by its warm waters, being able to pass by a waterfall until reaching the oldest cactus on the area, The Grandfather!

/ Breakfast / Snack /

Hiking distance aprox: 10 KMS
Time hiking aprox: 5 HRS

Day 07

TRANSFER SAN PEDRO / CALAMA AIRPORT

After breakfast, you will have time to walk on town and buy some souvenirs for family or friends.
Depending on your departure flight, a shared transfer will pick you up at your hotel and take you to Calama airport.
/ Breakfast /

• Professional English speaking local guide and professional local driver
• Lodging at 3*,4* hotels and Inns
• Private vans and support vehicle when possible
• Mentioned meals on itinerary (breakfast, lunch and dinner) on-route snacks include: mineral water, energy drinks, trail-mix, fresh fruit and gourmet sandwiches)
• Tips at restaurants for lunch and dinners
• Transfer Airport Temuco / Malalcahuello and Pucon / Temuco
• Entrance fee at National Parks and all activities according to the itinerary.

• International and local flights (we can help you buy local flights)
• Accident Insurance (you MUST have your own insurance)
• Laundry
• Beverages & cocktails not included on menus
• Bike rental (available upon request)
• Tips for drivers and guides.

Mountain Bike, Hot springs & SPA, Chilean culture and history

Tour dates 2017-18 – You can set your own date with a minimum of 2 persons
-07/13 MAY 2017 – CONFIRMED DEPARTURE
-25 JUN / 01 JUL 2017
-23/29 JUL 2017
-27 AGO / 02 SEPT 2017
-24/30 SEPT
-22/28 OCT
-26 NOV / 02 DEC 2017
-27 JAN /02 FEB 2018
-25 FEB / 03 MAR 2018
-25/31 MAR 2018

DIFFICULTY
Medium – High, designed for people who lead active lives and are comfortable participating in up to [5] hours of physical activity per day. Programs at this level generally involve some activities of higher intensity and/or a more vigorous pace.

PACKING TIPS
We advise you to bring clothing for warm and cold weather; also including helmet and cap, brightly colored cycling jerseys, arm and leg warmers, base layers, windbreaker, booties, gloves, two pairs of sneakers, a waterproof jacket and any other waterproof item, sunglasses, bathing suit and sandals. Don’t forget your camera!

HOTELS
As indicated in the program or similar

VEHICLES
Modern vans Mercedes Benz Sprinter and 4X4 support vehicle. Air-conditioned

AIRLINE INFORMATION
We can help you buy local flights at the best rates for you, just let us now

INSURANCE
Any policy you purchase should, at the very least, cover trip cancellation, loss of baggage, accident/life coverage, travel delays, and non-refundable airline tickets. Carriers for travel insurance include Travel Guard and Travelex. You may also consider insurance that covers emergency medical evacuation. Search the web to find the best deal that suits your needs – read the fine print.