Red Hot Chile - Trekking the Atacama Desert

Trek to the summit of the mysterious Licancabur Volcano (5920m)

11

days

Trek

From $3,060 Land only

Book this holiday

Holiday Overview

Highlights

  • Jaw-dropping adventure trekking holiday in Chile and Bolivia
  • The flamingos of Laguna Blanca and the stunning Laguna Verde
  • Unforgettable views as the sun sets over the Valley of the Moon
  • Geysers, hot springs, dramatic river gorges and Incan archaeology

Explore one of the most unusual and surreal environments on the earth, the Atacama Desert, and scale the mysterious Licancabur Volcano (5920m) on this adventure trekking holiday in Chile and Bolivia. The Atacama Desert sits at the northern tip of Chile, sandwiched between the Andes and the Pacific Ocean. One of the highest and driest places on earth it is known for its salt lakes, flamingo filled lagoons, sand dunes, bizarre geological formations and mysterious volcanic peaks.  From the pretty laid backed oasis village of San Pedro, we have several days to explore the superb 'Valley of the Moon', trekking through picturesque river gorges to isolated Indian shepherd communities.  Reaching the fringes of the altiplano we make a circuit trek of Copa Coya (4500m), which stands above the famous hot springs and geysers of Tatio.  Well acclimatised, we then transfer to the stunningly beautiful Laguna Blanca and Laguna Verde, across the Bolivian border, where we can see flamingos feeding on the lake.  From a high mountain refuge we make the straightforward ascent of the mysterious Licancabur.  Nestled in the crater of this incredibly beautiful volcano are the ruins of an ancient Inca ceremonial site and the world's highest lake.  The extraordinary beauty of the Atacama and the diversity of its natural and cultural attractions make this holiday a simply unforgettable experience; with its volcanic peaks, mysterious petroglyphs and pre-Columbian ruins.  The Atacama Desert offers a landscapes so endless and rugged that it is known locally as El Norte Grande - The Great North!  If you are looking for an unforgettable trekking holiday that combines San Pedro, one of the friendliest desert villages in the world and some of the world's most spectacular scenery, plus an awesome volcanic summit, then our Red Hot Chile is the only option! 

Is this holiday for you?

This trip offers a truly unique trekking experience in the extraordinary Atacama Desert in both Chile and Bolivia.  It starts out with some easy relaxing days in ad around San Pedro.  Then there are some long and hot days of trekking (around 25km per day) and we will have numerous river crossings.  We spend nights at around 3000 metres and 4000 metres and acclimatisation treks up to 5000m will provide good acclimatisation for our main objective Licancabur (5920m).  Although non technical, the summit day on Licancabur will take around 11 hours and will require an early start and our descent will be on scree. The trip gets its relatively high grade on account of the high elevation and long ascent day on Lincancabur.  During this trekking holiday we will spend 5 nights in a comfortable hotel in San Pedro, 3 nights camping and 2 nights in a basic mountain refuge. 

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the group hotel in San Pedro de Atacama. A single timed transfer from Calama Airport is included.
  • Walk in the Valle de Marte and along the Corniza Trail. Visit the nesting flamingos on Chaxa Lagoon.
  • Morning exploring the Pukara de Quitor fortress and evening sunset walk in the Valley of the Moon.
  • Superb days trekking along the Altos de Catarpe and through the San Pedro River Gorge to San Bartolo (2700m).
  • Trek through barren desert landscape to the Indian village of Rio Grande (3200m).
  • Trek along the Penaliri River to Machuca offering spectacular views of Licancabur.
  • Transfer to Tatio Geysers (4200m) and trek around Copa Coya (4500m). Visit to hot springs.
  • Transfer to Bolivia and Laguna Blanca (4350m). Acclimatisation day in and around the local area.
  • Transfer to Laguna Verde and prepare for the ascent of Licancabur with a short acclimatisation trek to 5000m.
  • Summit day. Early start for the ascent of Licancabur (5920m). Return to San Pedro de Atacama.
  • Departure Day. A single timed transfer to Calama Airport is provided.
2016
Sun 20 Nov - Wed 30 Nov Code CAE /02/16/ Adult$3,060 Status Limited Availability Book now
More information
  • Red Hot Chile - Trekking the Atacama Desert
  • The departure reference for this tour is CAE /02/16/
  • This tour begins on Sun 20 Nov and departs on Wed 30 Nov
  • This departure has limited availability. Don't delay - secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $645 - Group hotel nights in San Pedro only (n/a in mountain refuge or camping)
  • Single Tent $245
2017
Sun 26 Mar - Wed 05 Apr Code CAE /01/17/ Adult$3,380 Status Guaranteed Book now
More information
  • Red Hot Chile - Trekking the Atacama Desert
  • The departure reference for this tour is CAE /01/17/
  • This tour begins on Sun 26 Mar and departs on Wed 05 Apr
  • This departure is guaranteed. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $725 - Group hotel nights in San Pedro only (n/a in mountain refuge or camping)
  • Single Tent $245
Sun 03 Sep - Wed 13 Sep Code CAE /02/17/ Adult$3,380 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Red Hot Chile - Trekking the Atacama Desert
  • The departure reference for this tour is CAE /02/17/
  • This tour begins on Sun 03 Sep and departs on Wed 13 Sep
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $725 - Group hotel nights in San Pedro only (n/a in mountain refuge or camping)
  • Single Tent $245
Sun 05 Nov - Wed 15 Nov Code CAE /03/17/ Adult$3,380 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Red Hot Chile - Trekking the Atacama Desert
  • The departure reference for this tour is CAE /03/17/
  • This tour begins on Sun 05 Nov and departs on Wed 15 Nov
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $725 - Group hotel nights in San Pedro only (n/a in mountain refuge or camping)
  • Single Tent $245
The dates shown are for the LAND ONLY itinerary, joining in San Pedro. For clients making their own flight arrangements, El Loa Airport, Calama, is the most convenient for transfers to the group hotel. Please refer to the 'Joining arrangements & transfers', and 'Flights' sections in the trip dossier for further details.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the trip is showing 'Guaranteed to Run' or 'Limited'.


BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

We have undertaken to guarantee that all of our Land Only prices will not change once you have booked your holiday. Unlike some of our competitors we have decided never to surcharge, whether you are booking for this year or the next.

Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • airport
  • point
  • peaks
  • trip direction
  • transfer
  • trek

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at the group hotel in San Pedro de Atacama. A single timed transfer from Calama Airport is included.

    On arrival in Calama Airport there will be a single timed early afternoon group transfer to the oasis town of San Pedro, which will be our base for the next 3 nights. The drive will take around 1.5hrs. There will be some spectacular views as our route leads us past the impressive rock formations of the Cordillera de la Sal (Salt Mountains). San Pedro is at an altitude of 2450m and sits on the northern edge of the biggest salt deposits in the Atacama. With its characteristic traditional red adobe houses, surprising greenery and distant views of our objective, Licancabur Volcano, this is the perfect base for our visit to the desert. The rest of the afternoon is free to relax and explore the small town which is packed with interesting tourist shops and restaurants. In the evening we will enjoy a welcome dinner with our guide who will brief us about the exciting days ahead. KE land only services begin with the evening meal.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals d

  • Walk in the Valle de Marte and along the Corniza Trail. Visit the nesting flamingos on Chaxa Lagoon.

    After breakfast at the hotel we set off for the Valle de Marte (Valley of Mars), a drive of about 20mins and we begin today's walk on the Corniza Trail (2700m). After a short climb we reach the top of a spectacular sandstone ridge which looks down onto San Pedro, the surrounding desert and on to the mountains beyond. We traverse the ridge for a couple of kilometres before making a fun descent to the valley floor via huge sand dunes. After some time to explore and take photos we return to San Pedro in time for lunch. After a relaxing few hours in late afternoon we make the 50 minute drive to the great Salar de Atacama, an endless white salt flat. Here we will visit the wonderful Chaxa Lagoon, covered with nesting flamingos; this is an extraordinary sight, especially during sunset for which we have timed our visit. We return to spend another night at our comfortable San Pedro hotel.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 100m

    • Distance 7km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals b

    • Descent 260m

    • Time 2 - 3 hrs walking

  • Morning exploring the Pukara de Quitor fortress and evening sunset walk in the Valley of the Moon.

    After a relaxed breakfast it is a 5 min transfer to the atmospheric ruined fortress of Pukara de Quitor, which sits nestled on a promontory overlooking the Rio San Pedro. This Pukara was built by the local Atacamenian people, cattle breeders and farmers, to defend themselves in times of need. The ancient Indian fortress dates back for more than 700 years. Declared a National Monument in 1982, its construction is pre-Inca from the XII century. Parts of the fort have now been reconstructed by archaeologists and a new trail leading to the top of the fortifications has stunning views out across the whole of the oasis. After a morning exploring the area we will transfer back to San Pedro for lunch at a local restaurant and again have time to relax by the pool in the afternoon. Around 5pm we take a 15 min transfer into the famous Valle de la Luna or Valley of the Moon. We spend a few hours exploring its stunning sand dunes, ancient salt mines and extraordinary rock formations, before walking up to a perfect vantage point to witness what must be one of the world's most beautiful sunsets. We watch as the colours of the valley and the Andean peaks beyond change from deep red, to purple and then pink as the sun slowly sinks in the sky; a truly unforgettable experience. Returning to our hotel, there is a choice of restaurants just a short walk away.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 185m

    • Distance 10km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bl

    • Descent 170m

    • Time 2 - 3 hrs walking

  • Superb days trekking along the Altos de Catarpe and through the San Pedro River Gorge to San Bartolo (2700m).

    After breakfast we start trekking straight from our hotel, walking past the Pukara de Quitor which we visited yesterday. We follow the broad valley floor of the San Pedro River gently up stream, after a few kms we leave the main valley and climb onto the ridge of the Altos de Catarpe where the scenery is superb. Then we drop back into the river valley as the sides narrow forming a spectacular canyon. Donning our river shoes for the next 7 kms we cross the shallow river in several places, and actually walk in it for large sections as we head towards our camp for the night situated just before the old Indian mine of San Bartolo (2700m). We will arrive into our shaded camping area in the mid afternoon and will have time to relax before our first camp dinner beneath the beautifully clear and starry Atacama sky.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 475m

    • Distance 28km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 215m

    • Time 7 - 8 hrs walking

  • Trek through barren desert landscape to the Indian village of Rio Grande (3200m).

    Today will be our first challenging day as we climb higher in altitude with our route taking us from an altitude of around 2700m to 3250m.We make an early start; initially passing the old abandoned mine of San Bartolo. As with yesterdays river shoes are on for the first two hours as we trek along the bed of the Rio Grande crossing the shallow river on many occasions. Finally it is walking boots back on and we climb past a forgotten mining graveyard and ancient petroglyphs. The trail continues up onto the side of the valley and into a barren desert landscape where shade is at a premium. There are some areas of the valley that are so dry that scientists have not found any form of life, not even bacteria! In the late afternoon, we arrive at the tiny Indian village of Rio Grande (3250m). This is one of the last remaining indigenous communities of Altiplano people and currently has fewer that 100 inhabitants. We camp within the walled grounds of the village church. There are welcome pools to wash and relax in.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 630m

    • Distance 22km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 100m

    • Time 7 - 8 hrs walking

  • Trek along the Penaliri River to Machuca offering spectacular views of Licancabur.

    So far all the trekking days have been slightly different with changing scenery throughout the day and we follow the same pattern. Now we follow the Peñaliri River and en route we walk through deserted villages with old, eroded terraces, a testament to the agricultural practices of the ancient Indian peoples. During the afternoon we pass through a 'Cactus Garden' and begin to climb through tussock grass out of the valleys we've been walking through for the last two days, to reach the village of Machuca. Situated on a high platform, at a height of approximately 4100 metres this area is renowned for its rich vegetation and great variety of wildlife. Formerly a stopping place on an Inca trade route across the Atacama, only a few shepherds and their llama herds now live in Machuca. Tonight we set up camp next to a water meadow, grazed by llamas and with views across to Licancabur and the volcanoes of Bolivia.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 950m

    • Distance 21km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 190m

    • Time 7 hrs walking

  • Transfer to Tatio Geysers (4200m) and trek around Copa Coya (4500m). Visit to hot springs.

    We have an early morning transfer (45mins) towards the Tatio Geysers (4200m), where we will have time to stop and observe the activity. As the sun rises, the major thermal activity of the steaming waters takes place. From almost 900m below the earth, boiling steam bursts up to 40m over the surface of these spectacular geysers. From here we have a circuit trek around the small summit of Copa Coya crossing a pass just below 4500m. From the geysers we begin our walk, lasting approximately 4 hours, towards a high Andean plateau. The puna grasslands played an important historical role centred around the llareta plant which was used traditionally for combustion, although nowadays, its slow growth means it's not a feasible fuel option. Along the trail we see typical Andean vegetation and maybe viscachas (similar to chinchillas) before stopping to enjoy lunch with a a wonderful view of the Alto Loa villages, showing a different view of Atacama than normally experienced. After descending back to our support vehicle we have time for a refreshing and relaxing soak in the Tatio Hot Springs which are now usually empty from any other tourists. The drive back to San Pedro takes around 2.5 hrs and we check back into our hotel.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 450m

    • Distance 11km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bl

    • Descent 360m

    • Time 4 hrs walking

  • Transfer to Bolivia and Laguna Blanca (4350m). Acclimatisation day in and around the local area.

    After lunch and a morning relaxing in San Pedro we set off on our drive towards the Andes and the perfect volcanic peak of Licancabur. We pass the Chilean customs post on the outskirts of San Pedro and 40 minutes later we reach the Bolivian border post at Hito Cajon (4500m). After 1 hour 40 minutes we reach Laguna Blanca (4350m) and the lakeside mountain refuge that will be our base for the next 2 nights. We also meet our extra local Bolivian climbing guide here. The rest of the day is for acclimatisation and relaxing in this area. There are superb photo opportunities, with the volcanoes Licancabur and Juriques rising majestically above the lagoon. During most seasons there are flamingos to be seen and there are also hot springs nearby.

    • Accommodation Mountain Hut / Refuge

    • Meals bd

  • Transfer to Laguna Verde and prepare for the ascent of Licancabur with a short acclimatisation trek to 5000m.

    After breakfast at the Refugio, we will be transferred to Laguna Verde, where arsenic and copper deposits give a stunning iridescent colour to the waters. This is also the base of Licancabur at 4500m. We complete our preparation for the ascent of the volcano with an acclimatisation trek to an altitude of approximately 5000 metres or even higher if time and fitness permits, we will enjoy our packed lunch before descending to the Laguna. Afterward we transfer back to the refuge and have the rest of the afternoon to relax and rest. It is an early dinner and bed by 9 pm in preparation for the following day.

    • Accommodation Mountain Hut / Refuge

    • Ascent 500m

    • Distance 10km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 500m

    • Time 4 hrs walking

  • Summit day. Early start for the ascent of Licancabur (5920m). Return to San Pedro de Atacama.

    Today is summit day. We will be woken around 2.00am for an early breakfast before we depart our refuge and drive up to Camp Inca at approximately 4600m, where we will begin our walk. The ascent is in no way technical and there is usually very little snow on the mountain, but at this altitude it does provide a very challenging ascent. Most of the climb is on a path which steeply follows a succession of switchbacks up through a rocky ridge. Arriving at the summit after 7 hours or so, we will enjoy spectacular views of nearby peaks and a panorama that extends over Chilean and Bolivian territory to the salt flats of the Atacama. Nestling in the summit crater is a small lake, one of the highest on earth and in several places on the crater rim there are ancient Inca ceremonial ruins. Descent is via a steep scree slope and also retraces part of ascent to Camp Inca in a further 2 to 3 hours, we drive back to San Pedro, arriving late afternoon. Tonight we will enjoy a celebratory dinner.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 1450m

    • Distance 16km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1450m

    • Time 11 hrs walking

  • Departure Day. A single timed transfer to Calama Airport is provided.

    After breakfast we check out of our hotel and there will be a single timed transfer back the airport. KE Land Only services end after breakfast.

    • Meals b

Holiday Information

  • An experienced English-speaking local leader
  • An extra climbing guide in Bolivia
  • Single timed airport transfers
  • All accommodation as described
  • Meals as outlined in the Meal Plan
  • Once on trek a full service including food and all equipment (excluding personal equipment)
  • All land transport involved in the itinerary
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips for trek staff
  • Visa fees if necessary
  • Calama Airport transfers (other than group transfers)
  • Departure tax (if applicable)
  • Some meals as detailed in the Meal Plan
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc

In San Pedro de Atacama there is a wide range of restaurants and bars serving a mix of local and international cuisine. On trek, varied packed lunches will be supplied. Evening meals will be plentiful and will be a delicious mixture of local and international-style, from ingredients purchased in Chile and cooked for us by professional cooks.

All breakfasts, 7 lunches and 7 dinners are included in the holiday price. When staying in San Pedro, with access to a wide choice of dining options and budgets, it makes sense to leave the choice to you. We therefore have not included all meals while staying in San Pedro de Atacama. You should allow approximately $15 - $20 per meal for a total of 3 lunches and 2 dinners.


There will be a single timed group transfer from the airport in Calama to the group accommodation in San Pedro. This transfer will normally be in the mid afternoon of Day 1 of the trip itinerary. At the end of the trip there will be a single group transfer from the group hotel to the airport in Calama. This transfer will normally be early morning of Day 11. The KE local guide or a representative of our local agent will assist with the transfers between the airport and group hotel.

Clients booking a Land Only Package MUST provide the KE office with full details of their flights. Hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation.

(N.B - Please note that even if your bags are checked all the way through to Calama, you will still need to collect your luggage in Santiago to clear customs and then recheck it onto the Calama flight).
During this trip the group will spend 5 nights at a pleasant hotel in San Pedro de Atacama, a wonderful laid-back town with a stunning backdrop and relaxed feel. Here we will stay in charming wood and adobe cabin-like rooms with terraces, nestled in a fruit orchard. There are also 3 nights camping and 2 nights spent in a basic mountain refuge on the trip. All accommodation is based on twin sharing (except in the refuge where the rooms may be mixed sex and typically accommodate 4-8 people). If you are travelling by yourself you will be paired up with another single client of the same sex. For the 5 hotel nights, single rooms are available for a supplementary cost. Whilst camping, single tents are available for a supplementary cost. Additional hotel nights in San Pedro de Atacama are also available. For Hotel prices and single supplement costs please refer to the dates and prices page of the trip on our website. Hotels are subject to availability and prices may vary.

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

A typical day starts with an early breakfast, served in the mess tent. Afterwards, we will try to make a reasonably early start. During the day-walks, you are free to walk at your own pace (within reason), enjoying the scenery and stopping to take pictures. We will usually take packed lunches during the day walks. Dinner is served in the mess tent in the early evening and this is a delicious 3-course meal. The cooks never fail to impress! Dinner is a good time to socialise and to talk over the events of the day. We are usually in bed by 10 p.m. which gives us plenty of time to re-charge our batteries before the next day's walk.

The group will be accompanied throughout the holiday by an experienced, English speaking local leader. In addition, while trekking the group will be supported by a full crew of camp staff and drivers. There will also be one or more support vehicles and drivers and a trek crew including a cook, camp staff and either baggage animals or porters. A Bolivian guide will join us for the ascent of Licancabur.

We estimate that $400 will cover all of your expenditures whilst in Chile, including non included meals, soft drinks, tips for local staff and any airport taxes. If you intend to purchase expensive souvenirs, you should budget accordingly. Credit cards can be useful here. The Chilean unit of currency is the Peso. We recommend that you carry your money in the form of US dollars currency as it will not be possible to exchange traveller's cheques. There a a number of ATMs in San Pedro but we would recommend that you obtain cash using your credit/debit card at the cash machine in the airports at either Santiago or Calama. Visa credit cards are widely accepted in Chile.

Tips are the accepted way of saying ‘thank you’ to your local guides and crew. They do not form part of their wages. KE always pays local crews the best rates of pay, no matter what country they are in and any tips they receive are seen as a personal thank you from group members. For our part, we advise local teams that tips are not a duty or a prerequisite but are a bonus and entirely dependent on the service that was given. For your trek crews we recommend that you give a tip if you feel that their services have met your satisfaction. As a rough guide we suggest you allow a total of $100-$150 for tipping your crew.

You KE trek bag will be carried by the support vehicle. The packed weight of you trek bag during the trip should be no more than 15kg.

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

This holiday involves going to very high altitude. During the course of your trip you will be spending at least one night above 4000 metres and/or trekking to 5000 metres or above. This is not something that you should worry about; the human body is quite capable of adapting to a very wide range of altitudes, but it is important that we follow some simple rules in order to acclimatise successfully. Before coming on this holiday you should read the advice on trekking at high altitude on our website which can be viewed via the link below. Unless you have previous experience of trekking above 4000 metres you should consult one of our trekking experts before embarking on this holiday. On this trip we carry bottled oxygen for use in emergencies. www.keadventure.com/page/altitude.html

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum. The packed weight of your trek bag whilst trekking should be no more than 15 kgs.  Please note when packing you need to be prepared for extreme desert conditions and extreme cold conditions for the early ascent of Licancabur.

You must bring the following items:

  • Hiking boots

  • Walking sandals (TEVAs) or old trainers for use at river crossings

  • Socks

  • Trekking trousers and shorts

  • Waterproof overtrousers / jacket

  • Down / thermal jacket (for the ascent of Licancabur)

  • Underwear

  • Thermal baselayers (shirts / leggings as it can be cold at night)

  • Shirts or T-shirts

  • Fleece jacket or warm jumper

  • Sunhat

  • Warm hat

  • Scarf or buff

  • Sunglasses

  • Good quality thermal gloves or mittens

  • Sleeping bag (comfort rated –5ºC)

  • Daypack 30 to 40 litres

  • Headtorch and spare batteries

  • Basic First Aid Kit including: Antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), painkillers, plasters (band-aids) and blister treatment, insect repellent and re-hydration salts (Dioralite).

  • Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)

  • Water bottles 1 litre (x2)

  • Washbag and toiletries

  • Antibacterial handwash

  • Small towel

  • Selection of dry bags (to keep trek bag contents dry)

  • Small padlock (to lock your KE trek bag)

The following items are optional:

  • Trekking poles (highly recommended)

  • Trainers or sandals for camp use

  • Spare laces

  • Sleeping bag liner

  • Travel clothes

  • Pen-knife (note: always pack sharp objects in hold baggage)

  • Repair kit – (eg. needle, thread, duct tape)

  • Camera

  • Thermarest (camping mats are provided however we recommend a thermarest for extra comfort)

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required. The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice. If you are travelling outside the EU you should have at least 2 blank pages in your passport.

Visa Chile

UK and USA passport holders do not require a visa for short stays. USA passport holders will be issued with a tourist card on arrival.

Visa Bolivia

UK passport holders do not require a visa for short stays. You do require a return or onwards ticket.

USA passport holders do require a visa. The visa fee is $135 and is easily obtained on arrival. Payment must be in cash.

You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations or other preventive measures. You should be up to date with routine courses and boosters as recommended in the UK e.g. diphtheria-tetanus-polio and measles-mumps-rubella, along with hepatitis A and typhoid. A good online resource is Travel Health Pro.

We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

http://www.worldstandards.eu/electricity/plugs-and-sockets/

It makes a lot of sense to spend some time before coming on a trekking or climbing trip getting some additional exercise. Our treks can be physically demanding, but more as a result of altitude and terrain than distances walked. We would suggest that you adopt a weekly exercise regime. Running and swimming are good for developing aerobic fitness and better stamina. You should gradually increase your exercise leading up to departure, and in the month before setting off, we suggest that you try to fit in a number of long walks in hilly country.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: www.fco.gov.uk. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

The Atacama has a climate characterised by blue skies and mild temperatures throughout the year. At average altitudes of around 2500 metres, temperatures range from 28°C / 82°F during the day to 0°C / 32°F at night. Higher, on the altiplano, at altitudes above 4000 metres, average daytime temperatures range from 10°C / 50°F down to minus 10°C / plus 14°F. We can expect little, if anything, in the way of precipitation.

  • Chile & Easter Island - Lonely Planet. 

  • The Rough Guide to Chile. 

  • Chile & Easter Island - DK Eyewitness Travel Guide. 

  • Travels in a Thin Country - Sarah Wheeler. 

  • The Motorcycle Diaries - Ernesto "Che" Guevara. 

  • The House of the Spirits - Isabel Allende.

San Pedro de Atacama Region 1:350,000/1:50,000

San Pedro de Atacama Region at 1:350,000/1:50,000 in a series of contoured, GPS compatible trekking and exploration maps at various scales form Trekkingchile. The maps are annotated with tourist information and most titles include a street plan of the region`s main town. Many are illustrated with drawings of local fauna or flora.

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