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Northern Chile

Discover moon-like landscapes, simmering geysers, eerie deserts and salt crystal-encrusted lagoons speckled with flamingos in Chile’s unforgettable northern region.

With scenery that transforms from Pacific Coast to salt-cratered desert, Northern Chile is a land of extraordinary panoramas. See snow-capped mountains, azure lakes and ancient wind-worn salt sculptures amid the desert. Go surfing or paragliding along the breathtaking Pacific Coast or experience the energy of local festivities that combine Christian and Inca traditions.

A great place to start your exploration of Northern Chile is in the coastal town of Iquique. Shouldering the Bolivian and Peruvian borders, Iquique is the gateway to adventure. Go surfing or stroll along the sandy strip of Playa Cavancha. Try sandboarding down the rolling dunes or glide gracefully over the snaking coastline with a paragliding tour.

Make your way to the stunning desert town of San Pedro de Atacama to see the remarkable landscape of Moon Valley. These wind-whipped dunes are dotted with fascinating geological formations, such as Las Tres Marias. Watch the sunset from this eerie moonscape to see the surrounding mountains turn purple and orange in the fading light.

Check out the strange plumes erupting from the Geyser del Tatio and warm yourself in the nearby geothermal springs.

Spot three different species of flamingos at Los Flamencos National Reserve or experience the dramatic beauty and vibrant wildlife of Lauca National Park.

A visit to Northern Chile wouldn’t be complete without exploring the region’s salt lakes and lagoons. From San Pedro de Atacama, you can delve into the breathtaking Andean basin surrounded by mountain peaks and volcanoes and explore the Atacama Salt Flats. The town’s church, museum and ancient Quitor monument are also popular with visitors.

Check out the romantic seaside town of La Serena or head to La Tirana for the lively Festival de la Virgen del Carmen in July.

Reach Northern Chile via El Loa Airport outside of Calama or the gateway town of Iquique. The best time to visit the region is between November and March; however, the coastal towns may become crowded in December and January.

For coastal adventures, arid landscapes and archaeological wonders, Northern Chile is a destination to experience nature’s remarkable diversity.

Q: Should I book a car while on vacation in Northern Chile?

A: If you can't wait to explore the hidden gems of the region of Antofagasta, renting a set of wheels is an awesome idea. You'll have the freedom and flexibility to go wherever you want, when you want. With our handy guide to Cheap Car Hire in Northern Chile, you'll be zooming down the highway in next to no time. If your vacation's more about enjoying the popular cities of Antofagasta or Iquique, public transportation (or ride-share services) is the perfect way to go.

Q: Which airports can I fly in to for a vacation to Northern Chile?

A: When arranging your adventure to Northern Chile, start your travel itinerary near one of these main international airports:

Q: What are the most popular types of hotels for a vacation to Northern Chile?

A: Many travelers seek out apartments in Northern Chile. Having said that, there are plenty of other options. Hotels, budget hotels and hostels are the next most commonly booked hotel types.

Q: What does a vacation booking with Expedia include?

A: Car and flight. Hotel and flight. Car and hotel. Flight, car and hotel. You get the drift. You can lock in as much or as little as you want, all in one place. To maximize your break, check out our activities and experiences too.

Q: What is the best way to save money on my vacation to Northern Chile?

A: You'll score some seriously fantastic prices when you bundle your hotel, airfare and rental car. It's simple (and easy on your bank balance) to craft your dream itinerary with Expedia. Why wait? It's time to turn those travel fantasies into reality and experience more of our amazing world for less.

Q: What are the best things to do in Northern Chile?

A: If you're visiting Antofagasta, there are tons of things to discover. Resguardo Marítimo, Barrio Histórico and El Tatio are a few that should definitely make their way onto your itinerary.

Find an experience that's right up your alley. In Iquique, attractions like Historic Military Museum, Iquique Old Town and Mineralogical Museum are guaranteed to deliver.

Lastly, go straight to Arms and Historical Museum in Arica, Arica Port and Station Arica-La Paz if you intend to stay in Arica.

*Savings based on all vacation package bookings with Flight + Hotel on from January through December 2020, as compared to price of the same components booked separately. Savings will vary based on origin/destination, length of trip, stay dates and selected travel supplier(s). Savings not available on all packages. For Free Flight or 100% Off Flight deals, package savings is greater than or equal to the current cost of one component, when both are priced separately.

Top Flight Deals

These prices were available within the past 7 days. Prices quoted are per person, round trip, for the period specified. Prices and availability are subject to change. Additional terms apply.

Best Lodging Options Near Northern Chile

See all 918 Properties in Northern Chile
Terrantai Lodge Hotel $183
Reviewed on Jan 8, 2020
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Terrantai Lodge Hotel

Terrantai Lodge Hotel

Calle Tocopilla 411, San Pedro de Atacama, Antofagasta
    4.6 of 5
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Location is perfect, gorgeous traditional home that has been modernized into a hotel, staff were excellent

    Hilton Garden Inn Iquique $98
    Reviewed on Mar 1, 2019
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    Hilton Garden Inn Iquique

    Hilton Garden Inn Iquique

    Av. Arturo Prat 1660, Iquique, Tarapaca
      4.5 of 5
      3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Staff a bit hit and miss

      ibis budget Calama $33
      Reviewed on Jun 30, 2019
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      ibis budget Calama

      ibis budget Calama

      Calle Nueva 2, 1857, Calama
        4.1 of 5
        2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        It was clean, bright and fresh, the bed was very comfortable, the breakfast was very good; however, whilst recognising it is a budget hotel the room and particularly the toilet were just too small to be comfortable - a very tight fit!

        Hotel La Casa de Don Tomas $164
        Reviewed on Dec 2, 2019
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        Hotel La Casa de Don Tomas

        Hotel La Casa de Don Tomas

        Calle Tocopilla Sitio 18, San Pedro de Atacama
          4.4 of 5
          3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          staff was extremely helpful and the proporty was clean. close to a lot of bars and restaurants. Amenities can be improved - there was no coffee before 7:45 AM.

          Hampton by Hilton Antofagasta $50
          Reviewed on Oct 2, 2019
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          Hampton by Hilton Antofagasta

          Hampton by Hilton Antofagasta

          Av Edmundo Perez Zujovic 5440, Antofagasta
            4.3 of 5
            3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Excelente atención lo mejor es la vista destacar la atención de Maria belén y dayana

            Diego de Almagro San Pedro de Atacama $100
            Reviewed on Aug 27, 2019
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            Diego de Almagro San Pedro de Atacama

            Diego de Almagro San Pedro de Atacama

            Toconao 460, San Pedro de Atacama, Antofagasta
              3.9 of 5
              3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              The hotel is good but service levels were not very great I signed the bar bills and the lady later added the tips. I am not against tipping but against forced tipping

              Hotel Club La Serena $89
              Reviewed on Dec 3, 2019
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              Hotel Club La Serena

              Hotel Club La Serena

              Avenida Del Mar 1000, La Serena, Coquimbo
                3.9 of 5
                3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Just across the road from the beach. Easy to find and plenty of parking. Friendly helpful knowledgable staff who spoke English. Great breakfast especially the pancake machine. The swimming pool has different levels so you can walk in down a gentle slope or step in from the deep end. The rooms are ...

                Geotel Calama $48
                Reviewed on Dec 31, 2019
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                Geotel Calama

                Geotel Calama

                Cobija 2273, Calama, Antofagasta
                  4.2 of 5
                  3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Very nice clean hotel, large well equipped rooms and kitchen. Very nice staff. I would like to stay more days but already had another reservation.

                  Top Activities in Northern Chile

                  See all 111 things to do in Northern Chile