San Pedro de Atacama

On Nick’s birthday, it was time to reach our next stop in Chile, San Pedro de Atacama. It is a small town in the middle of the Atacama desert, located on the north-eastern side of Chile close to the Bolivian border.

3 years ago, when traveling in South America for a month, we spent 3 days in the Bolivian salt flats in Uyuni and absolutely loved it. So we decided to head back to this part of the world, this time to visit the Chilean side of this desert region.

After a very frustrating time at the airport, realising our flight got delayed for the 3rd time, we finally made it to San Pedro de Atacama. As it was Nick’s birthday, I had booked a nice hotel, NOI Casa Atacama, to celebrate.

The hotel is located on the outskirts of the town. We had a beautiful room and the hotel was nice enough to organise a birthday cake in our room as per my request, as well as enjoying a nice welcome drink of Pisco Sour & Rica Rica (a local plant). A great start to our stay.

We tried to use their Jacuzzi but it was a bit too cold for our liking, so we got ready for a delicious 3 course dinner at the hotel’s restaurant, a nice break from our daily empanadas diet (which are very nice though!).

We had initially planned for an astronomy tour that night too, but as it was cloudy that day we had to reschedule it for another day.

The next morning, after enjoying a lovely breakfast (a bit of luxury felt so good after living on cost effective food and accommodation for months), we got notified by the tour company that our tour for that day (Moon Valley) was cancelled due to a national protest day. Everyone told us we wouldn’t have any issues with protests out of the capital region. I guess that wasn’t true…

We were gutted as we were really looking forward to finally doing something, after days of waiting around!

Luckily we could chill in the hotel by the pool in the afternoon until we reached the time to check-in to our next accommodation in San Pedro, so there could have been worse outcomes.

A real downgrade from Casa Atacama though – back to reality!

After reshuffling our tour schedule due to cancellations, the next couple of days were now jam packed with activities to ensure we could see everything we had planned to see.

Fingers crossed for no further cancellations!



  • NOI Casa Atacama was a beautiful small boutique hotel. Rooms are gorgeous, pool area is great and so is the food. A lovely place to relax after long days exploring.
  • Not so much a tip but Sky Airlines sucks. Planes are constantly delayed and customer service is appalling. Avoid at all costs.
  • Pisco Sour is an alcoholic beverage widely consumed in Chile. Locals would claim it as their national drink, but so would Peruvians… It’s an ongoing argument. It’s very tasty, and the Rica Rica plant extract was a nice addition.
  • Wear suncream at all times! We didn’t realise this, but it is home to the strongest UV rays in the world, frequently clocking up 11 and 12 on the UV index. To put that in perspective, the scale goes to 10.

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