Fifty years ago, San Pedro de Atacama was little more than a green patch in the desert, an oasis in the driest desert in the world. A few small adobe huts and a white church at the foot of a breathtaking mountain panorama – there was not much more. Things are different today: Hotels and restaurants, tour operators and souvenir shops, in San Pedro there is now everything that makes the tourist’s heart beat faster.Every year, around 50,000 visitors from all over the world come to bring money and wealth – more than can be earned with farming in the desert.
San Pedro de Atacama is made up of many small Allyus, oasis patches managed by indigenous communities. They are distributed over an area of almost 120 km². The San Pedro oasis with its almost 2,000 inhabitants is the administrative center of this area – during the season, of course, it is much more.
Although San Pedro may well be overcrowded during the season, it’s worth the detour. The desert in the immediate vicinity of the oasis is one of the most beautiful things the Atacama has to offer.
Attractions in and around San Pedro de Atacama
In the village itself you can look at the church , it is one of the oldest churches in Chile.Their attic was built from cactus wood – the material that gave the environment. The archaeological museum Le Paige displays local finds, ceramics, jewelery and textiles. Originally one could also visit some of the famous Atacama mummies; but they were taken in 2007 at the request of the natives from the museum. The Valle de la Luna: The Valley of the Moon should be viewed at sunset. In the warm evening light, the reddish rocks are particularly beautiful. The second classic tour leads to the geysers of El Tatio, This field of hot springs is particularly impressive at sunrise, because then the frozen water in the ground thaws. If you want, you can even take a hot bath from a thermal pool. The tour to the highest geyser field in the world can be booked in San Pedro on every corner. You should definitely ask if the organizer carries oxygen, the hot springs are at 4,500 m altitude, just, if you have not already spent several days in San Pedro (which is at about 2,000 m), you can get problems with the height , Also worth a visit is theSalar de Atacma , a wide salt lake that offers a habitat for the swarms of flamingos.