Atacama Desert Archaeological Excursion

Visit Padre Le Paige Museum in San Pedro de Atacama; see the fortress Pukara de Quitor, the site of one of the first conflicts between Spaniards and Indians; visit the 2,000 year old village of Tulor; and see the Church of San Pedro, a National Monument since 1951. Optional lunch.

REGION: Northern Chile
ACTIVITY LEVEL: 2 (Easy to Medium)
DURATION: 4-5 hrs.
MIN. / MAX. PEOPLE: 4-12
SEASON: Best from May through December. (January to April not recommendable due to rainy season)
INCLUDED: Local professional guide (with Wilderness First Responder Guide accreditation, First Aid Kit, Personal Insurance), VHF radio or Mobile phone, breakfast, 1 bottle mineral water without gas per person and Certified Transport with seat insurance.
NOT INCLUDED: Personal insurance, personal equipment, tips or anything not listed in the program.
GUEST PROVIDES: Appropriate clothes according to the activity, trekking boots or tennis shoes, walking sticks (recommended), backpack, camera, water, cap or hat, sunscreen and sunglasses.
OPERATED BY: Patagonia SouthernLand Expeditions staff.

We start our excursion at 09:00 a.m. from your San Pedro hotel. San Pedro de Atacama is the archaeological capital of Chile, and we begin with the Padre Le Paige Museum which has around 4,000 skulls, innumerable mummies, weapons and utensils in exhibition. Its history starts with the arrival of the Jesuit Priest, Padre Le Paige, who was deeply interested in the study of the prehistoric Atacameñan culture.


We continue our archaeological tour at the Pukara de Quitor to learn about the origin of the Atacama or Lican Antay culture. This Pukara (fortress) is not only important for the local history, but also for the history of Chile in the battle of Quitor (1540), one of the first conflicts between Spaniards and the indigenous Indians.


At an Atacama farm we see how a family combines the ancestral traditions of agriculture and livestock with tourism; we taste some local products; and then visit the 2,000 year old village of Tulor, the oldest settlement in the basin of the Atacama Salt Flat and one of the first tests of non nomadic lifestyles in the region. Finally, we move to the center of San Pedro de Atacama to travel back to the time of the colony. One of the most symbolic structures of this era is the Church of San Pedro, built from adobe, cactus wood, and wood from Chañar and Algarrobo trees. It has been preserved until today and has been a National Monument since 1951. Back to San Pedro and time for lunch (optional).

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