Atacama has one of the most beautiful skies I have ever seen. Like it’s trying to compensate for the lack of colors on the ground. The colors that the sky is painted with ones the sun starts to set are just mesmerizing- Pink, blue, red, orange, it is no less beautiful than an artist’s color palette.

The Atacama is one of those places where there are tons of things to do if you have tons of money. Exactly the kind of place I don’t like staying longer in. Except walking around in a small place, nothing seemed to be free of cost.

Valle de la Luna (The Valley of Moon):

The very first day I arrived, I rented a bike from my hostel and went on a bike tour to Valle de la Luna. I did miss all the interesting things I might have learned had I taken a guided tour but lack of money helps you take some decisions that you might find difficult to take otherwise.

The place is beautiful nevertheless. It’s named so as it’s kind of a reflection of Moon. There’s a little hill one can climb to get a beautiful view of the sunset. We did that, but once the sun had set, we turned around and saw a prettier view, Moon on a beautifully painted sky.

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Watching the sunset is one of my favorite things to do

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The sky starts playing with colors

We started our return journey as soon as we could as no one fancies riding there in the dark. I had already had some issue with my bike on my way and had to be helped by some fellow travelers.

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Just the alignment of my helmet would tell you a lot about my biking skills

Valle de la Muerte (The Valley of Death):

I wanted to use the extra day that I had to stay here doing something so I decided to go to Valle de la Muerte by walk which meant I was only spending on the entrance fee if I decided to go inside that is. Another reason I chose to walk was, My body was sore from last day’s biking. I started walking pretty late but I was not determined to go inside the park anyway. Initially, it seemed a little creepy walking there all alone and the name of this place doesn’t help. I kept telling myself, a couple of more kilometers and ended up doing the entire walk that ends in a plateau to watch the sunset. Once I reached there, I almost ran through my return and fortunately was offered a ride by two women on a desert bike.

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It was a relief to see this vehicle while walking for some time without seeing another living soul

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That tiny little red spot on the left corner is a car which helps in getting some perspective

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Couldn’t get enough of the skies there

Tip to do the touristy things in the Atacama:

If you club multiple things in one booking, it usually costs way lesser here. I didn’t want to spend on my hostel for another night so I decided not to take any tours.

Tour Options in Atacama:

Tour

Hours

Description

Entry fee (CLP)

Price (CLP)

Valle de la Luna

1600 to 2030 hrs

Max Alt: 2450 m

$12000

Laguna Cejar

1600 to 2100 hrs

Max Alt: 2450 m

$18000

Geiser del tatio

0430 to 1200 hrs

Max Alt: 4200 m

$23000

Peidras Rojas + Lagunas altiplanicas

0700 to 1800 hrs

Max Alt: 4000 m

$5500

$50000

Valle del Arcoiris

0800 to 1300 hrs

Max Alt. 2450 m

$3000

$40000

Salar de tara

0800 to 1800 hrs

Max Alt: 4800 m

$60000

Termas de Puritama

1400 to 1800 hrs

Max Alt: 2480 m

$15000

Laguna Escondida

1500 to 2020 hrs

Max Alt: 2450 m

$5000

$23000

Salar de Uyuni 3 or 4 days

0730 to 1600 hrs

Max Alt: 4800 m

210 bolivianos

$115000/ $135000

** Prices as quoted in Feb 2016

Booking the tour for Salar de Uyuni:

After asking almost everyone I could get hold of regarding booking this tour, I decided to book it from here instead of going to Uyuni to do that. I would strongly recommend anyone who has the same confusion.

You would end up spending more money if you go to Uyuni from the Atacama to do that.

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Camped for the first time on my trip and loved it


Manisha Singh

I'm an HR (IT) Consultant by profession who loves traveling to keep from getting caught up in the monotony of regular life. I quit my job in Oct 2016 to take a career break. I'm using my time to travel around South America. When not traveling I love spending time volunteering for various activities ranging from Art to corporate citizenship. I love Running (5k mostly), reading (interest keeps varying here), playing TT (something I picked up recently), and open to just about any new experience.

2 Comments

VGNP · June 4, 2017 at 03:14

Awesome , love reading your blogs

    Manisha Singh · June 4, 2017 at 04:40

    Thank you 🙂 I love writing to read such comments!

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