Chile has many hidden gems and San Pedro de Atacama is one of them. Numerous foreign travelers come here to explore the marvels of the place. With only two thousand people calling the city home that stands at an amazing 2,500 meters above the level of the sea, the region is appreciated for its mystic atmosphere.
The people living here used to work on the land and their main activities included weaving, ceramics and basketwork. You can still see ruins of the old fortresses erected on the most elevated points to stave off attacks coming from other tribes in the area.
If you want to travel back in time and trace the way the atacamenian people used to live, you will have to visit the museum at Padre le Paige, go to Pukara of Quitor (where the old fortifications still can be seen), and stroll around Tulor, a quaint little village located close to San Pedro de Atacama. Historical travels are just one of the town’s highlights. The area is beautiful and rich in mountains, geysers, volcanoes, and other natural attractions. From the vantage point in Tulor you can easily reach the Moon Valley and the geysers at Tatio as well as the natural reserve called Los Flamencos.
The city is mainly populated by tourists and some of the most exciting activities take place in the afternoon at the bustling Snails Street, where shops, restaurants and other businesses strive to please the foreign guests. There are many hotels to choose from and you will never fail to find accommodations up to your standards.
The national monument, the Church of San Pedro, is located near the main plaza of the town. The cuadra is stone paved and it is considered to be the most interesting in the area. The mire straw wall that surrounds it still stands even though it is over three decades old. The church’s walls were burnt to the ground and then reconstructed again and a beautiful tower now adorns the building.
Within close proximity of the church you will find the Artisan Fair, where you can browse through items made by local artisans and purchase some souvenirs to take back home with you.
The R.P. Gustavo le Paige S.J. museum is located in a new building and illustrates the development of the people that used to live in the area. Thousands of years of evolution are showcased in the many exhibits that will teach you about the town’s main activities and their development in time.
Another site to see in San Pedro de Atacama is the Incaica House. This is the oldest building still standing in the town; although it was built with branches and straw and an interior stone wall kept the building standing.
There is also a more modern part of the town that offers hotels, camping options, pleasant restaurants, and vivid pubs, These modern amenities will serve your every need while staying in San Pedro de Atacama.