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San Pedro de Atacama to Salta return

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean San Pedro de Atacama to Salta return

1. Posted by Hayley99 (Budding Member 14 posts) 8y

Hayley99 has indicated that this thread is about Chile

Hi Everyone,

My boyfriend and I are travelling through South America for 3 months next year and should be in Chile in April.

We are wanting to travel from Santigo to Peru up the Chilean coast stopping off along the way to break up the journey. We would also like to check out Salta, Argentina, if possible.

Is the best route to go from San Pedro de Atacama and bus it to Salta, spend a day or so there, then bus it back to San Pedro then continue to Iquique? Does anyone know how long this will take?

We want to visit Iquique on our way to Arequipa, Peru.

Thanks in advance for your advice.


2. Posted by Reece Sanford (Travel Guru 1368 posts) 8y

First thing you may want to think about is whether you want to see the salt flats from either Salta (i presume thats why you want to go there) or on a 3/4 day tour from San Pedro De Atacama,Chile into Uyuni,Bolivia.

Personally i would skip out Northern Chile and spent abit of time in Bolivia.I was never going to go to Bolivia and im really glad i did.Bolivia is a fantastic place and theres the Pampas Tour which is amazing and cycling death road.

It all depends on where you fly into and fly out of and what you want to see.
Chile i wasnt impressed with too much to be honest.The people just didnt seem as nice there as they do in Argentina.
I only really liked the far south like trekking in Torres Del Paine and Pucon and then the far north in San Pedro De Atacama.

Santiago i disliked probably more than any place ive ever been to and due to a national holiday i got stuck there for a week.It was hell and every bus in every direction was booked.

The way i did it was

Lima to Cusco (Fly)
Cusco to Arequipa (Bus)
Arequipa to Puno (Bus)
Puno to La Paz,Bolivia (Bus)
La Paz,Bolivia to Rurrenabaque (Fly)
Rurrenabaque to La Paz (Fly)
La Paz to Oruro (Bus)
Oruro to Uyuni (Train)
Uyuni to San Pedro De Atacama,Chile (4 day tour in jeep)
San Pedro De Atacama to La Serena via Antofagasto (Bus)
La Serena to Valparaiso (Bus)
Valparaiso to Santiago (Bus)

3. Posted by Hayley99 (Budding Member 14 posts) 8y

thank you, that is very helpful :)

4. Posted by Reece Sanford (Travel Guru 1368 posts) 8y

No problem and if you need any more information feel free to ask :)

5. Posted by evadiva (Budding Member 30 posts) 8y

ok i havnt been to bolivia but i can offer advice as ive travelled in chile and argentina....
you can find a bus most days to salta from san pedro de atacama, and it leaves at 10.30 in the im thinking that the buses back from salta are like at 9 or 10. but yeah those buses arent necissarily frequent. i took the bus to jujuy, but i think it takes 10 hours to get to salta by bus. just for me say skip salta and go to jujuy....its a bit closer and there´s just as much to see like pumamarca and 7 colors mountain....plenty of pre columbian ruins too. o and dont miss the salinas in san pedro! be there for sunset! santiago is just a huge city, so i mean, usually people say they hate it....its its kinda just a polluted industrial mass of buildings....i spent less than a day there. i didnt go to patagonian chile....but Valparaiso was my favorite place i visitd on my whole trip!!! there´s an awesome mountain to hike really close, too..La Compaña, a darwin´s trek :)
yeah id suggest a tour, a lot of people do the jeep to bolivia...but shop around for a good price! and btw the bus to salta...10 about 50 dollars!
i did all of this about 1 month still in argentina right now and ive been travelling for 4 months. and also btw the water in chile is cold (pacific currents) year round. you planning on surfing?
enjoy your trip! and dont plan too much! they always change!:)

6. Posted by i c e (Respected Member 326 posts) 8y

Hey much better on your typing format, Yeah?


7. Posted by Aden (First Time Poster 1 posts) 7y

"Is the best route to go from San Pedro de Atacama and bus it to Salta, spend a day or so there, then bus it back to San Pedro then continue to Iquique? Does anyone know how long this will take?"

Its depend on you, how you would like to travel if you go there by doing some stop and stay then it will cover almost one to two weeks. In my opinion you have to go there by staying some time at Salta and also stay at Iquique.

8. Posted by clark40 (First Time Poster 1 posts) 6y

You should check to see if you need a Tourist Visa to enter Brazil.. Many people do. It would be a shame to travel 44 hours on a bus only to be told you need a visa to enter.
Americans, Canadians and others NEED a Travel Visa to enter Brazil. Do YOU


[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]