History of San Pedro de Atacama

It is the main tourist destination of the region and recognized as the archaeological capital of Chile. The tourist activity is mainly based on the desert landscape, archeology and astronomy. It is located 105 kms southeast of Calama and 2,436 meters high.

It was the most important center of the pre-Inca culture “Atacameña”, of which it is still possible to appreciate important archaeological remains in its neighborhoods, among them the defensive fortress, or “Pukará de Quitor”. Its population still conserves the ancestral distribution of 15 “ayllus”, that are areas of land cultivated and watered with water channeled of the Great river.

In this locality there are several alternatives of tourist services. The difficulties of access to some areas are a real challenge that motivates the reunion with nature and the past, it is possible to access such interesting attractions as Geysers del Tatio, El Valle de la Luna, The Salar de Atacama, lagoons and gorges , Andean summits and volcanoes, indigenous peoples of patrimonial value, pukarás, ayllus, petroglyphs, pictographs, ancestral caravans, preparation of arrope and other sites of a culture, the “Atacameña”, which lasts until today.

Weather: The core of the Atacama Desert can be classified, according to temperature and humidity, as an arid zone. There are frequent clear skies, and there are places where rainfall is never recorded.

As the height increases, there are marked climatic differences, with abundant winter rains occurring. In the “puna”, at more than 4,000 meters altitude, the temperature differences between day and night are remarkable, reaching temperatures below zero.