OPTIONAL PRE TOUR
14 - 19 February 2018
Like nowhere else on earth, Chile’s Atacama Desert is THE destination for those who want to get off the beaten track, thrive on adventure (soft or not so soft - you choose) and have a passion for photography. Marvel at the incredible landscape of jagged, rust-coloured ravines; vast rocky white salt pans; volcano-topped horizons. From your base in a state-of the-art eco lodge, you can immerse yourself in one of the most remote and spectacular environments on the planet.
Wednesday 14 February 2018 - Australia – Santiago de Chile
Depart Australia and arrive in Santiago early afternoon and stay overnight. You may wish to rest or take an optional tour of the city.
Thursday 15 February 2018 - Santiago de Chile to Calama
Fly from Santiago de Chile and arrive in Calama in the early afternoon Transfer to your hotel, the design of which has been influenced by local indigenous architecture. You can enjoy the sweeping views and tranquillity of the hotel’s outdoor spaces. Stroll through the “Andescape” gardens where decorative local flora and materials reflect the native culture. This evening you may wish to join an astronomer to appreciate the spectacular night sky. Accommodation: Alto Atacama Desert Lodge and Spa – 3 nights stay
Friday 16 & Saturday 17 February 2018 Atacama Desert
Over the next 2 days choose your own adventures from close to thirty options depending on your fitness, interest or mood on the day. You may wish to take an early morning trip to El Taito geyser field and watch the sun rise through the billowing smoke of hundreds of craters that pock the barren ground; Visit the Chaxas lagoon , part of the Atacama salt flats, which beautifully reflects the snow peaked Andes and is home to three species of flamingos; Explore local villages where car-free dirt streets create a languorous vibe; discover colonial churches and shop in vibrant markets.
Travel to the Valley of the Moon and as the sun slips below the horizon watch the transformation as the distant ring of volcanoes, the rippling salt pans and the surreal lunar landscape are suffused with intense purples, pinks and gold.
Explore Rainbow Valley, where mineral deposits have left vibrant red, green yellow, brown and purple colouration in the rocks. Discover some petroglyphs carved into rocks and caves by the Atacameno people 10,000 years ago. Float in the icy waters of Cejar Lagoon which is so salty all you can do is lie back and take in the views. Not for the faint hearted! Or, just hang around the gorgeous lodge enjoying breathtaking views from the swimming pools or decks or indulge yourself at the hotel Spa.
Sunday 18 February 2018 Calama –Santiago
Enjoy your final morning in the Atacama desert.
This afternoon fly to Santiago to stay overnight in the Holiday Inn Airport hotel.
Monday 19 February 2018 Santiago - Punta Arenas
Fly to Punta Arenas to join the main conference group
End of arrangements
Please note that this itinerary and costs may be subject to change.