5 tips to survive San Pedro de Atacama

This not to miss spot is located in the middle of the Atacama desert, 2400 meters above sea level, close to the Andes mountain range and around 1600 km from the capital of Chile, Santiago. Mal de puna, altitude sickness, is commun for travelers not use to the weather conditions, so here is how you survive here in 5 easy steps.

 

1.- Drink, Drink, Drink, WATER!

Humidity is 0% most of the time and didn’t you read the part about being the driest desert in the world? So if you drink 2 liters in an average day drink 3, little by little throughout the day and no, beer doesn’t count as water in this case.

2.- It’s Always Sunny In San Pedro

More than 330 days of clear blue sky gives you a warm feeling during day time, even in the cold winter months. Be aware as the UV radiations is quite strong so always cover yourself in sunscreen to avoid sunburn.

3.- Layer Up

Geysers del Tatio, is a must do here, but can get -15º Celsius any given day.  Best tip is to use your layers wisely, as the cold prob will last only 2 hours before is melting temperature again. If you didn’t bring enough warm clothes just wear everything your brought.

4.- More Tea?

Yes please! The locals use plants that grow here and in Bolivia to avoid getting sick as they cross the high altitude, coca tea, rica-rica, chachacoma are some of the names you’ll hear, a cup of hot water and you’re done.

5.- Cash It

Entrance fees for the parks, some agencies and small shops run on cash, as sometimes the power goes off, or ATMS don’t work, or machines just don’t get signal. if you come from the airport, try to get your greens there and always carry some with you. It’s a fairly safe town, so as long as you are not flashing piles of dollars you’ll be fine.