16 day tour
North Chile

From € 2389,-

  • Santiago de Chile and Valparaiso
  • San Pedro de Atacama in the Atacama Desert with its overwhelming nature with highland lakes, salt plains, geysers, volcanoes and flamingos
  • Iquique, city on the coast
  • Parque Lauca, beautiful national park at the Bolivian border
  • Arica, city of eternal spring with its attractive beaches
  • Can extend with the San Pedro de Atacama-Uyuni tour on the Andes plateau, or Easter Island

During this 16-day journey through north Chile you will discover the endless nature of this extreme region and get acquainted with the traditions and customs of the Chileans. You start your journey in Santiago de Chile and will visit Valparaiso on the coast. Your trip continues to the far north of Chile to San Pedro in the Atacama Desert with its overwhelming nature with highland lakes, salt plains, geysers, volcanoes and flamingos. You travel further north, to Iquique and through Codpa again into the high Andes. You drive your rental car along the Andes to Putre. You end your visit with a stay in Arica, city of eternal spring, known and praised for its pleasant climate and endless beaches.

This is simply an example trip, you can tailor this journey through north Chile to suit your wishes and travel plans. For this you can request a travel proposal directly from Marion, our travel expert who has been living there for years.

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See our other travel suggestions for more ways to explore Chile.

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16 day tour of Chile:

Route: Santiago de Chile – San Pedro de Atacama – Iquique – Codpa – Putre – Arica – Santiago de Chile

north chile

Day 1/2: Arrival Santiago de Chile
After your arrival, you’ll be taken by private transfer to a pleasant hotel in the relatively quiet district of Providencia, close to public transport, the centre of Santiago and various restaurants. In the hotel follows a meet-and-greet with your Better Places Travel local expert and an introduction to the city with extensive information about the journey and the routes to be followed, tips on time use, restaurants, safety and more. The next day you have the time to get to know Santiago de Chile at your own pace. You spend the night in a pleasant boutique hotel in the relatively quiet Providencia district.

Optional: City tour or wine tour.

Day 3: Santiago de Chile and Valparaiso and Viña del Mar
Today you will get to know Valparaiso. Visit the hill Concepcion with its special lifts, murals and views. Valparaiso is built on many hills and her painted houses make it a special day trip. You spend the night again in your hotel in Santiago de Chile.

Expansion: Cajon del Maipo:
You can extend your trip here with a one or multi-day visit to Cajon del Maipo, a valley in the foothills of the Andes with overwhelming nature and a quiet and traditional life.

north chile

Day 4: To Calama and San Pedro de Atacama
A transfer will bring you to Santiago airport and you will fly to Calama, a city in the far north of Chile. This area is better known as the Atacama desert, one of the driest areas in the world. At the Calama airport your rental car will be waiting for you and you will drive in about 2 hours to San Pedro de Atacama. San Pedro de Atacama is a quiet and traditional town in the middle of the desert at 2,500 metres above sea level. It has a pleasant town centre and many small restaurants and places to have a drink. You can visit the Chuquicamata mine today. This is the largest copper mine in the world to which Chile owes its prosperous economy. During the tour, you will find beautiful views of the impressive copper mine, which is visible even from space. The visit to the mine is free, but must be booked in advance. Good (closed) shoes, long sleeves and long trousers are required. It’s also only possible with an early arrival in Calama. You’ll spend the night in a pleasant hotel.

north chile

Day 5/6/7: San Pedro de Atacama
These few days you can spend however you like, depending on your interests. You can explore two beautiful natural phenomena, the Moon and the Mars Valley. Both are characterized by special formations in beautiful colours. You can climb to a viewpoint for a beautiful overview of the Atacama desert. A visit to the geyser Tatio, at 4200 metres altitude, is a spectacular experience. You leave before dawn to see the sun rising over the geyser, a special experience. You can drive out to some of the many highland lakes, with large flamingo populations and visit the salar de Tara. Or explore a number of traditional villages in the area. Another spectacular experience is the salt lake of Cejar, where you can float in the salt water. Or you can climb one of the many volcanoes found here. There are plenty of opportunities to make your stay unforgettable. You can do all the tours by yourself with the rental car, and in this way only pay the entrance fees. In the evening you can set off on a star gazing tour. San Pedro de Atacama has a number of planetariums and is famous for its starry nights. This tour must be reserved well in advance. The tours will not leave around full moon. You spend the night in your pleasant hotel in San Pedro de Atacama.

Expansion: San Pedro to Uyuni (or vice versa)
You can expand your journey here with an overwhelming tour across the Andes plateau to Uyuni. This tour is all about high altitudes, takes 3 or 4 days and is an unforgettable experience.

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Day 8/9: To Iquique
Today you travel further north to Iquique. You sleep in a pleasant hotel on the coast. Iquique is the capital of the Tarapacá region and one of the most visited cities in north Chile. It’s famous for its beautiful beaches and is ideal for surfers, swimmers and athletes in general. Today you can make a trip to the Volcán Isluga National Park. The park has a remarkable relief of heights and fantastic flora and fauna. Tradition and modernity merge in this park and create a unique environment. It is the area of cacti, quinoa and the typical flora of an elevated Andes area. If you want to relax, the Mamiña Hot Springs are an option. Here you can enjoy a warm bath in a beautiful setting in the open air.

north chile

Day 10: To Codpa
Today takes you even further north. You travel part of the day over the ruta 5, Chile’s most important north-south connection. On the way you can visit the saltpeter quarries of Humberstone and Santa Laura. In 1960, the quarries were abandoned and have been on the World Heritage List since 2005. The quarries were opened in 1872, at that time still on the territory of Peru. After the Saltpeter War (1879 – 1884) the quarries came into Chilean hands. The visit does not have to be booked in advance. Admission: 4000 CLP per person. You spend the night in a nice lodge in Codpa.

north chile

Day 11/12: To Putre
Today you travel further into the Andes to the border with Bolivia. Here you will find traditional villages and overwhelming nature. You spend the night in a local hotel in Putre. Today you can visit parque Lauca, situated high up in the Andes, with its volcanoes and beautifully coloured highland lakes. On the day off, we recommend a trip to the Salar de Surire. The salar is surrounded by mountains and covers about 150 km2. There are three types of flamingos and you can encounter vicuñas and ñandus, as well as a variety of waterfowl.

north chile

Day 13/14: To Arica
Today you will travel to Arica, the northernmost city in Chile. The Pacific Ocean here is beautiful with its white waves in a blue sea. Arica is called the city of eternal spring and has beautiful beaches. From the Morro de Arica, you have a beautiful view of the city and the beaches. You spend the night in a hotel on one of the beaches of Arica.

Day 15: To Santiago de Chile
You deliver the rental car at the airport of Arica and fly back today to Santiago de Chile. In Santiago, a transfer awaits you to take you to your hotel in the Providencia district.

Expansion: Easter Island
You can expand your trip here with a 3 or 4 day visit to the mystical Easter Island. 3800 km west of Santiago Easter Island is the most remote island in the world. You will visit the island’s highlights in a tour and you still have enough time to go on your own to walk around, go horse riding or explore the island by bike or car. You can also go diving here.

Day 16: To airport
Today a transfer brings you to the airport of Santiago. Your Chile adventure ends here.

north chile

Price details
North Chile

Travel duration
North Chile
16 days/15 nights
Travel costs
North Chile
Based on 2 persons travelling in low season
Including Overnight stays including breakfast, transfers, car rental with kilometres free
Excluding International & domestic flights, other meals, optional tours/excursions, personal expenses, service fee
Accommodation Chile Overnight stay in a double room

This information is based on the above mentioned travel suggestion. All our tours are completely personalized, and costs will vary depending on availability, travel period, number and age of travellers, etc. Marion would be happy to help you design your ideal travel experience.


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