Horseback riding in Northern Chile, Chile

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San Pedro Atacama Expedition


Itinerary for San Pedro Atacama Expedition



Sample Itinerary: 10-day program - subject to changes

Day 1: Arrival
Transfer from Calama airport and transfer to San Pedro de Atacama via shuttle service.
Meals included: Dinner (if arrival in time)
Overnight in San Pedro

Day 2: San Pedro to Guatín
Departure from San Pedro around 9:00 am to the oasis of Vilama. The horses go upstream in the river bed, then they turn east. The route rises little by little through a valley full of bushes. As we get higher, we find more plants. We are approaching the Andes Mountain Range. Suddenly, a valley appears, Guatín, small oasis with a little alfalfa, where 3 people live with their large troop of goats. In the nearby hills, the giant cactus grows. It is on the edge of the Puritama river, in the middle of the "foxtails" that we will camp. Possible bathroom.
Riding approx. 20 km
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight camping in Guatín


Day 3: Guatín to Valle Arenoso
We go back down towards the hills of Gatchi to reach the small "estancia" (shepherd's house) of Calar, hidden in a canyon on the edge of the Vilama river. One can cool off in the river. Then we will cross the river Vilama to reach the corral of Petroglyphs, resting place of the prehistoric shepherds and where they recorded camelids as well as characters and frets. We go down to the plain by a troop trail and set up camp in a sandy valley at the foot of the cliffs.
Riding approx. 22 km
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight camping in Valle Arenoso


Day 4: Valle Arenoso to Rio Salado
We pass the Pucará de Quitor, a Pre-Inca fortress and the site of the Spanish Conquest of the Atacameño territory, located at the entrance of the San Pedro river canyon. We go up the river whose green valley contrasts with the ocher rocks. We deviate from the valley to penetrate the Garganta del Diablo that meanders in the Cordillera de la Sal, going up a canyon and down another to reach the oasis of Catarpe, on the San Pedro River. We continue towards the North, passing through the oasis of Cuchaorache. Further on, we arrive at the campsite, two steps from the Salado River, where one of the most important petroglyph sites in the region can be admired.
Riding approx. 20 km
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight camping near Rio Salado


Day 5: Rio Salado to San Pedro
After enjoying the view from a large esplanade from which the view over the Andes is great, we continue our ride through a canyon that takes us to Piedra de la Coca, the ceremonial stone of the Atacameños Indians who traveled with their caravans of llamas between the mountains and the ocean. Their routes were used centuries later (end of the XIX century, beginning of the XX century) by muleteers with large troops of cattle. We will follow its tracks that will lead us to the top of a cliff that dominates the entire Valley. We go along the cornice road from where the view is spectacular over the San Pedro plain & the Salar de Atacama. Our sight falls on the crests of the Cordillera de la Sal. We descend towards the plain for an impressive dune and through the beautiful canyon of the Valley of Death. Dinner in a restaurant in San Pedro.
Riding approx. 20 km
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight in San Pedro


Day 6: San Pedro to Béter
Free morning where you can visit the town of San Pedro. Lunch in a restaurant in San Pedro
Afternoon on horseback from San Pedro to Beter. On the way, we visit the oasis of Solor, where they grow corn and alfalfa, but also some fruits. Adobe houses and local trees. We crossed the desert to the south and arrived at the colonial town of Béter, in ruins and almost completely covered with dunes. Very wild, savannah landscape.
Riding approx. 10 km
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight camping near Béter


Day 7: Béter to Cejar
We go even further south, where the immensity is flat and where the earth creaks under our steps: in the Salar de Atacama, the salt desert. We will go first to the lagoons of Tebinquiche, where there are two miraculously sweet water eyes and also a lagoon with salty and blue waters. It is a very lonely landscape. Then, we will go to the lagoons of Cejar, turquoise blue, surrounded by golden reeds, where we will camp. Wonderful sunset in the Andes mountain range. Sometimes, some flamingos fly over the lagoon ... especially in the morning.
Riding approx. 16 km
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight camping near Cejar


Day 8: Cejar to Valle Lunatico
After leaving the Salar de Atacama, we will cross to the ayllu de Béter. We will cross the desert to go to the Ayllu de Coyo and have our picnic lunch under the shade of some old carob trees. We will then take the direction of the Cordillera de la Sal to enter the Lunático Valley, parallel to the Valley of the Moon, of varied and absolutely solitary places. Camp in an old salt mine, with a sunset exclusively for us ...
Riding approx. 25 km
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight camping near Valle Lunatico


Day 9: Valle Lunatico to San Pedro
We pass to the other side of the Cordillera de la Sal to go up the Llano de la Paciencia on the west side of it to access one of the most reputed sites in the region: the Valley of the Moon. Few people are, however, in the morning ... We cross the Valley of the Moon, passing by the sculptural formation of the Tres Marías, going along old salt mines, to reach the foot of the Duna Mayor, place " classic "of the tourist site. Then, we cross the large esplanade at the foot of the greater dune, climb a small dune and we enter a labyrinth of small canyons in the heart of the Cordillera de la Sal, which lead us to a wide ravine, the Kari ravine, dominated by an immense cliff. Kari will take us back to the plain of San Pedro and its town by maze of canyons and dunes. Dinner in a restaurant and night in a B & B.
Riding approx. 25 km
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight in San Pedro


Day 10: Departure
Transfer to the airport of Calama
End of services.
Meals included: Breakfast

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Sample Itinerary: 8-day program - subject to changes

Day 1: Arrival
Transfer from Calama airport to San Pedro.
Meals included: Dinner (if arrival in time)
Overnight in San Pedro


Day 2: San Pedro to Cejar
It is in the immense desert plain that we will meet. We will first visit the oasis of San Pedro (or ayllus) and then move away and enter the Salar de Atacama. The earth becomes more crispy. Suddenly, a turquoise lagoon appears, the Laguna Céjar, surrounded by golden reeds. Sometimes, some flamingos feed there. Possibility to bathe in the lagoon, where a fleet like in the Dead Sea. The sunset is from there a surprising sight.
Riding approx. 20 km
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight camping near Cejar


Day 3: Cejar to Valle Lunatico 
After leaving the Salar de Atacama, we will cross to the ayllu de Béter to visit the abandoned village of Béter, from colonial times but later covered by dunes; Now, ruins of ruins in a wild landscape. We will cross the desert to go to the Ayllu de Coyo and picnic under the shade of some old carob trees. We will then take the direction of the Cordillera de la Sal to enter the Lunático Valley, parallel to the Valley of the Moon, of varied and absolutely solitary places. Camp in an old salt mine, with a sunset exclusively for us.
Riding approx. 25 km
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight camping near Valle Lunatico


Day 4: Valle Lunatico to San Pedro
We pass to the other side of the Cordillera de la Sal to go up the Llano de la Paciencia on the west side of it to access one of the most reputed sites in the region: the Valley of the Moon. Few people are, however, in the morning ... We cross the Valley of the Moon, passing by the sculptural formation of the Tres Marías, going along old salt mines, to reach the foot of the Duna Mayor, place " classic "of the tourist site. Then, we cross the great esplanade at the foot of the greater dune, climb a small dune and we enter a labyrinth of small canyons in the heart of the Cordillera de la Sal, which lead us to a wide ravine, the deep ravine of Kari, dominated by an immense cliff. Kari will take us back to the plain of San Pedro and its town by maze of canyons and dunes. Dinner in a restaurant in San pedro.
Riding approx. 25 km
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight in San Pedro


Day 5: San Pedro to Calar
We start from San Pedro around 9:00 am and make our way to the foot of the Cordillera de la Sal riding through the Canyon del Valle del Tiempo. Then, we go to Pukará de Quitor, a pre-Inca fortress to reach the Vilama River, where we have lunch. Then, we get back on the horses and climb along the Gatchi Hills. We arriv at our campsite near the "estancia" (shepherd's shack) of Calar, located in a ravine, on the edge of the Vilama river where you can bathe.
Riding approx. 15 km
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight camping in Calar


Day 6: Calar to Rio Salado
We will leave the canyon of Calar to descend by the Cerros de Gatchi and arrive again at the Vilama River, crossing it to reach a hidden corral with rock art, the Corral de los Petroglifos. After lunch in this place, we will lose ourselves in the clay canyons of the Garganta del Diablo, in the heart of the Cordillera de la Sal. The Garganta del Diablo flows into the San Pedro River, at the height of the Oasis of Catarpe. We will go upstream, we will go through the Oasis of Cuchaorache and we will arrive at the mouth of the Salado River, which we will go up to reach our campsite, in the vicinity of the River. This place on the Rio Salado stops one of the most beautiful petroglyph sites in the region.
Riding approx. 18 km
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight camping near Rio Salado


Day 7: Rio Salado to San Pedro
It is by a wide plain and then by a canyon that we will arrive at Piedra de la Coca, ceremonial stone of the Atacameños Indians during their caravan trip between the Andes Mountain Range and the Pacific Ocean. After lunch, we will go up a cattle trail used at the end of the 19th century by large cattle troops that crossed our region. When arriving at the top of the cliff that dominates all the Valley of San Pedro, we will return towards the town by all the Cornice. Spectacular view from the top. We will descend through the dunes and the canyon of Valle de la Muerte and return to the town of San Pedro.
Riding approx. 21 km
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight in San Pedro


Day 8: Departure
Transfer out towards the airport of Calama. End of services.
Meals included: Breakfast
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San Pedro Atacama Expedition
Tour Code: IT-CHRT19A
10 days / 9 nights ~$3,000.00
Dates : Mar to Dec

Trip Rating :
Difficulty : Riding Level
Riding Level Explained
ABeginner
Beginner A rider who has limited experience, is unable to post the trot and does not canter.
BNovice
Novice A rider who is capable of mounting and dismounting unassisted, capable of applying basic aids, comfortable and in control at the walk, moderate length posting trots, and short canters.
CIntermediate
Intermediate A rider who has a firm seat, is confident and in control at all paces (including posting trots, two point canters and gallops), but does not ride regularly.
D Strong Intermediate
Strong Intermediate An intermediate rider who is currently riding regularly and is comfortable in the saddle for at least 6 hours per day.
EAdvanced
All of the above, plus an independent seat, soft hands, and capable of handlinga spirited horse in open country.
Lodging: Standard
Lodging Level Explained
   
= Facilities in lodges, estancias, haciendas, resorts, etc.
   
Basic lodging - some with shared bathroom facilities, usually no AC or room service.
Regular standard room - usually with private bath.
 Accommodations with superior comforts.
   
 = Trips with nights in tent camps. Sometimes the first and last night are in hotels.
   
Basic tent camping - everyone helps out with camp chores.
Regular standard with some camp amenities and camp cook.
Camping facilities with superior comforts like camp shower, bathroom facility..
   
 = Trips that combine nights in hotels and camping.
   
Basic accommodation and basic camping facilities can be expected.
Regular standard with some nicer amenities.
Only assigned to hotel and camping facilities with superior comforts.

Online Reservation


Season Seasons  Min / MaxReserve
A 2020 03/15 - 12/14 10d / 9n 10 day trip, AP 2 /6 Reserve
B 2020 03/15 - 12/14 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP 2 /6 Reserve
Introduction
Day to Day Itinerary
Rates | Dates
Accommodation
Tack: Chilean Saddles with English stirrups
Horses: Criollos
Pace: Moderate with 2-3 long trots and 2-3 c...

Airport: Calama
Location on Google Map
Image Gallery
Image Slide Show
Customer Trip Rating
Climate
What To Bring
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