Northern Chile Vacation Packages
Two unique natural landscapes combine in Northern Chile to create an incredibly beautiful region. High mountain plateaus sit alongside what is said to be one of the driest deserts in the world. Discover mining centers and ghost towns, lounge on sunny Pacific beaches and visit exciting cities, where for much of the year there is not a single cloud in the sky.
Explore the mysteries and beauty of the Atacama Desert, where in some areas no rainfall has ever been recorded. Not only does it boast beautiful natural wonders, but also fascinating man-made features. Head to Cerro Pintados and Tiliviche to see large geoglyphs left by indigenous peoples on the desert hillsides and ravines.
Venture to abandoned towns, slowly crumbling beneath the desert sun, which tell the story of the once-booming sodium nitrate industry. The best preserved of these towns is Humberstone, where workers’ houses, an old theater, church, hotel, and workshops with abandoned tools and paperwork still remain. Reach Humberstone easily from nearby Iquique, one of several coastal cities in the region known for their cloudless skies and duty-free shopping.
To see today’s heavy industry in action, take a tour of the giant open-pit copper mine at Chuquicamata, just 10 miles (15 kilometers) from the city of Calama. Calling itself “the land of sun and copper,” Calama, together with the nearby port town of Antofagasta, is at the heart of the important Chilean mining industry.
To the east, the desert climbs towards the Altiplano. This windswept plateau, with lakes and salt flats ringed with snowcapped volcanoes, gets some tropical rainfall, but the high altitude means only the hardiest flora and fauna can survive. Admire the spectacular scenery and search for wildlife at the Parque Nacional Lauca.
After outdoor adventures, unwind in the hot spring oases of Pica and Matilla or hit the soft sand and warm waters of the beaches close to La Serena, a coastal town set amid rolling valleys where some of the most famous Chilean grapes are grown.
To reach Northern Chile, fly into El Loa Airport near Calama. Travel around the region via buses and minibuses.