Self Drive Atacama Desert & Northern Argentina
8 DAYS / 7 NIGHTS
DAY 1: CALAMA, SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA AND MOON AND DEATH VALLEY (APPROX. 120 KM)
Pick up your rental car at Calama Airport or downtown rental office. In the evening you should not miss a visit to the Moon Valley. Overnight in San Pedro de Atacama.
DAY 2: HD SALAR DE ATACAMA & HD PURITAMA HOT SPRINGS (APPROX. 162 KM)
Today we recommend visiting the Atacama Salt Lake. In the afternoon you may relax at Puritama Hot Springs, a set of volcanic hot springs located 38 km north of San Pedro.
DAY 3: SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA, SALTA (APPROX. 455 KM)
Today you will have a very panoramic drive, yet challenging. Leave San Pedro de Atacama and head in south-eastern direction towards Salta, Argentina (first part on paved road, then on gravel roads) taking the Sico Pass, located at 4.093 m above sea level. Upon arrival to the border, continue driving through the Toro Canyon until reaching the city of Salta.
DAY 4: SALTA AND SURROUNDINGS
We suggest a visit of the city of Salta including the Cathedral and the old city hall, San Francisco Church and San Bernardo Convent. Worth to visit is the High Mountain Archaeology Museum. You can also take the cable car and enjoy a wonderful view of the city form San Bernardo hill.
DAY 5: SALTA, CAFAYATE (APPROX. 198 KM)
Your today’s drive takes you to Cafayate. On your way you will pass by various lookout points of great beauty. Overnight in Cafayate.
DAY 6: CAFAYATE, PURMAMARCA (APPROX. 344 KM)
Before leaving towards Purmamarca, we recommend a morning visit to Cafayate and its very interesting wineries. According to your time you can also explore Quilmes ruins. After having passed Salta and San Salvador de Jujuy, you will finally reach Purmamarca. Overnight in Purmamarca.
DAY 7: PURMAMARCA, SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA (APPROX. 414 KM)
Today you will drive back to San Pedro de Atacama via the Lipan Slope, one of the nicest roads in Northern Argentina. The road cuts its way a series of hair-raising curves, giving you beautiful views of the massive mountains with their variety of green, grey, ocher and reddish colors. Cross the border via Jama Pass, at 4.200 m above sea level. Arriving at Chilean territory you pass various plateaus, lagoons and the Los Flamencos National Reserve before arriving at San Pedro de Atacama.
DAY 8: SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA, CALAMA (APPROX. 94 KM)
Leave San Pedro de Atacama and drive to Calama to drop off your rental car.
Passes between Chile and Argentina may be closed in winter season due to snow and weather conditions (heavy rains in January and February and snow fall during July and August).