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San Pedro de Atacama is a town in northern Chile and is one of the main hubs to visit the extraordinary beauty of the surrouding landscapes. It's a real tourist town, with all the amenities one desires (or not, depending on your taste!): luxurious hotels, small scale hostels, restaurants and a cold beer after a day in the desert.
San Pedro itself hardly has to offer anything, although it's nice narrow streets with adobe structures and a nice church (Iglesia San Pedro) are a few small highlights. One exception is the Museo Gustavo Le Paige.
Still, the oasis village has most of its attraction elsewhere, starting outside the build-up area:
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It's located at more than 2,400 metres above sea level and although nights are generally cool to cold, days (even in winter) can still be hot during the afternoon. Temperatures rise quickly during the first hours of the day. Summers last from December to February when temperatures are usually between 25 °C and 30 °C, winters from June to August with around 18 °C to 24 °C. Nights during winter can plummit to -10 °C! Rain is almost absent, it's one of the driest towns in the world!
El Loa International Airport near Calama is the nearest airport, where there are shuttle services to/from San Pedro de Atacama.
LAN Chile flies to/from Santiago, Antofagasta, La Serena and Iquique. Sky Airline flies to/from the places mentioned above plus Lima, Salta and Arica.
San Pedro is reached by well maintained tarmac roads from other Chilean cities, like Calama which is a few hours away. Roads to Argentina are also paved, but to Bolivia they are just partly paved, after which roads are rough and not recommended to travel with your own wheels.
There are regular buses to Calama and overnight buses to Santiago (20-24 hours).
Arica and Antofagasta are among other places with (multiple) daily connections.
On Tuesday, Friday and Sunday, there are buses to Salta and Jujuy in Argentina, leaving at 11:30am and taking around 12 hours to complete the journey over the Paso de Jama in the Andes. The road is also completely paved.
There are a few taxis, but they are pretty useless.
Within the town, there is no need to take any transport other than your legs or bike.
San Pedro itself is easily explored on foot in 30 minutes. If you go outside town, be sure to take other modes of transport.
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Bikes are for rent to explore the region.
Most of the establishments mentioned above, have bars as well.
|Hostal Iquisa||Calle Puripica 172||Guesthouse||81|
|Hostal Solor||Volcan Tatio 737 Poblacion Licancabur||Guesthouse||-|
|Incahuasi B&B||El Carmen 132||Guesthouse||-|
|Rent a House San Pedro||Domingo Atienza 3a San Pedro de Atacama||Apartment||78|
|Hostal Laskar Cabur||Las Parinas 478||GUESTHOUSE||79|
|Hostal Campo Base||Toconao 535||Hostel||88|
|Puripica Hostel||Guadalupe 446||HOSTEL||75|
|Hostal Candelaria||Calle Candelaria 170||Guesthouse||85|
|Hostal Sumaj Jallpa||Volcán el Tatio 703||Guesthouse||-|
|Hostal Vilama||Lascar 346||Hostel||-|
|Hostal Rural||Centro, Calle Calama 257||HOSTEL||-|
|Viento del Norte||Pasaje Vilama 432-B||GUESTHOUSE||78|
|Backpackers San Pedro||Portal del Inca #486, Condeduque||HOSTEL||79|
|Hostal Millantu||Aduana s/n Villa Alto Mirador||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|La Casa del Sol Naciente||Tocopilla 310||HOTEL||-|
|Towanda Hostel||Ignacio Carrera Pinto no633||HOSTEL||-|
|juriques hostal||Calle Toconao Esquina||Guesthouse||79|
|Incanorth||San Jose 443||HOSTEL||-|
|Hostal Tuyasto||28 De Agosto 535||HOSTEL||-|
|Sol Atacama Hostel||Ignacio Carrera Pinto 664||GUESTHOUSE||76|
|Hostal Quinta Adela||Toconao 624||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Hostal Mamut||Las Parinas 471||Apartment||-|
|Mamatierra Hostel||Pachamama 615||HOSTEL||88|
|Hostal Tikaisy||Ignacio Carrera Pinto 692||HOSTEL||-|
|Hostal Masairi||Los Tamarugos 147||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Hotel Pachamama||Domingo Atienza 352 San Pedro de Atacama||HOTEL||-|
|Hostal Talar||Pachamama 657||HOSTEL||-|
|Hostal Atacama Tatai's||Las Parinas 471||HOSTEL||-|
|Cabañas Zamora de Solor||Cerro MIscanti 19||APARTMENT||-|
|Hostal Harickuntur||tocopilla 8f-a||HOTEL||-|
|Hostal Lickana||Caracoles 140||HOTEL||-|
There are cybercafes in every major and midsize city and at all tourist destinations. Some libraries are in a program called Biblioredes, with free computers and Internet. Wifi is getting more and more common. They're usually in metro stations, airports, malls, cafes, public buildings and several public spaces. Check for the ones that say gratis - for free. McDonald's and Starbucks are chains which almost always have free wifi.
See also International Telephone Calls
The country calling code to Chile is: 56. To make an international call from Chile, the code is: 00. Emergency phone numbers include 131 (Ambulance), 132 (Fire) and 133 (Police).
Public phones located on streets are very likely to be tampered or vandalized, so it's better to use a phone located inside a commerce or a station. Prepaid cards for mobile phones and public phones are sold at most newspaper kiosks, supermarkets, gas stations, pharmacies and phone dealers. Mobile GSM networks are ubiquitous in all major cities and most of the territory of central and southern Chile. A basic prepaid cellular phone usually costs about 15,000 pesos, most frequently charged with 10,000 pesos worth of prepaid minutes. No ID is required to buy a prepaid phone. GSM SIM cards from ENTEL, Movistar or Claro are usually available for 5,000 pesos, but without credit, so you'll need to buy some prepaid minutes to be able to call. Money can be charged into a cellphone from some pharmacies (Ahumada, Cruz Verde and Salco Brand) on the counter and in cash, or by using a credit card through an automated service operator, with directions in Spanish or English.
Correos de Chile is the national postal service, and although relatively slow it is reliable with post offices throughout the country. On the website you can find more information about prices to send letters, postcards and parcels, both domestically as well as internationally. Post offices are generally open Monday to Friday from 9:00am to 6:00pm and Saturday until 2:00pm, although there are sometimes longer opening hours in the bigger central post offices and shorter ones in small places. Ask around. If you want to send packages internationally, you might consider companies like DHL, TNT or UPS, which are fast, reliable and usually competitively priced as well.
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