Self Drive Tour Northern Chile

Self Drive

An organized Self-Drive Tour is a great opportunity to travel around Atacama with maximum freedom and flexibility! Escape to the breathtaking landscape of the Altiplano Highlands and to the Atacama Desert, the driest desert of the world. Along the way you will discover blue lakes, orange sanded and rocked areas in front of snowcapped.

  • 8


  • 7


From US$


Per Person


Explore the Altiplano and the Atacama Desert Chile in one trip.

Enjoy maximum freedom and flexibility with a self drive tour.

Explore different landscapes: ocean, desert, oasis, volcanoes, lagoons, and much more.

  • Self Drive Tours
  • Atacama Desert Chile
  • Atacama Tours
  • Self Drive Chile
  • Atacama Tours
  • Self Drive Atacama Chile

itinerary & includes

Day 1: Arica – Codpa Valley (135 KM / 84 MI)

Day 2: Codpa Valley – Putre (160 KM/ 100 MI)

Day 3: Putre – Lauca National Park – Arica (200 KM / 125 MI)

Day 4: Arica – Iquique (300 KM / 186 MI)

Day 5: Iquique – San Pedro de Atacama (550 KM / 342 MI)

Day 6 & 7: Atacama Desert

Day 8: San Pedro de Atacama – calama (100 KM/62 MI)




Included in this tour:

3 Nights with breakfast. (Referential rate: Casa Don Tomas / Standard Room).
4 Days car rental incl. unlimited free mileage, local tax, full CDW coverage, a selfdrive brochure, a roadmap and descriptions.

Day 1: Arica – Codpa Valley (135 KM / 84 MI)
Pick up your car at the airport or the downtown rental office in Arica. From there you will start your self drive tour towards the Codpa Valley. On your way out of town visit El Morro; a steep hill located south of Arica’s center. There you can observe part of the Azapa Valley, a fertile basin where olives, tomatoes, and tropical fruits are grown. It is also famous for its archaeological sites that date back to the 10th century AD and for its museum “San Miguel de Azapa”. Afterwards continue your drive south in direction of Iquique until arriving to the pristine highland valley of Codpa. Overnight in the Codpa Valley Lodge.

Day 2: Codpa Valley – Putre (160 KM/ 100 MI)
Today’s scenic route will take you to the petroglyphs of Ofargía and pass the villages of Timar, Tignamar, Saxamar, Belen and Chaquipiña. Along the way you will also be able to visit the Tambo de Zapahuira. This resting spot and buildings are located 107 km from Arica and have been declared National Monument. Under the Inca Empire it also served as storage for textiles, food and arms. Once having arrived to the highland village of Putre located at an altitude of 3500 m / 11,483 ft. above sea level, you will be amazed at the surroundings sights and the nearby snowcapped volcano peaks. Overnight in Putre in Hotel Qantati. (breakfast)

Day 3: Putre – Lauca National Park – Arica (200 KM / 125 MI)
During this drive you will discover the captivating beauty of the Lauca National Park with its impressive variety of exotic flora and wildlife such as vicuñas, alpacas, Andean flamingos and many other species. Also at the park you will be able to visit the Chungará Lake known for being the highest lake in the world. Additionally you will be able to explore the village of Parinacota and its beautiful church. Afterwards you will continue your journey to Arica. In the afternoon, as you arrive and descend slowly back to sea level you will be able to enjoy views of the Llutha Valley. Overnight in Arica in Hotel Diego de Almagro Arica. (breakfast)

Day 4: Arica – Iquique (300 KM / 186 MI)
After breakfast head southwards in direction of dry “Pampa” desert situated at 1.000 –1.200m / 3,280 – 3,940 ft. above sea level. There, various deep canyons intersect with this vast plain. From this location, continue on to the port city Iquique that developed during the heyday of the saltpeter mining in Atacama Desert Chile in the 19th century. Overnight in Iquique in Hotel Radisson. (breakfast)

Day 5: Iquique – San Pedro de Atacama (550 KM / 342 MI)
On today’s long drive will you will be heading south through the Pampa del Tamarugal before turning east to in direction of the famous Atacama Desert Chile. Paved roads will be available during the commute. Overnight in San Pedro de Atacama in Hotel La Casa de Don Tomas. (breakfast)

Day 6: Atacama Desert Chile (100 KM / 62 MI)
Taking full advantage of being in Atacama and make a self drive tour to the well-known Salar de Atacama and the Moon Valley. The Salar de Atacama is the largest salt flat in Chile surrounded by mountains and dominated by large volcanoes and the Andes mountain range. The Moon Valley is located in the Atacama Desert Chile. It has various stone and sand formations which have been carved by wind and water. It has an impressive range of color and texture, looking somewhat similar to the surface of the moon. Overnight in San Pedro. (breakfast)

Day 7: Atacama Desert Chile (94 KM / 58 MI)
Before dawn break you will depart from San Pedro and head north to the famous El Tatio Geysers; a geothermal field flanked by soaring peaks. El Tatio is situated at 4.300 m. above sea level on the Altiplano. It is the highest geothermal field in the world and boasts spectacular scenery. At dawn you will be able to observe powerful spurts of steam that shoot out from various geyser blowholes and steaming ponds. Afterwards, on your way back to San Pedro continue on to the Purtima hot springs where you can enjoy some rest and relaxation as you soak in the natural thermals pools. Overnight in San Pedro. (breakfast)

Day 8: San Pedro de Atacama – Calama (100 KM/62 MI)
After breakfast return your car to either the Calama airport or city car rental office. (breakfast)

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