How to get to San Pedro de Atacama

San Pedro de Atacama is located near the tri-nation border with Bolivia and Argentina, therefore you can arrive directly to San Pedro from those countries through Paso Jama or Paso Sico if you come from Argentina (Provinces of Salta and Of Jujuy) or of Hito Cajón if it comes from Bolivia.

If you come from a foreign country by air you must travel to Santiago first, from here there are several ways to get to San Pedro de Atacama.

Below you will find a number of alternatives to get to San Pedro de Atacama according to your comfort and budget needs.

a. En Avión:

Sin duda es la forma más rápida de llegar a Calama desde Santiago, hay vuelos todos los días de la semana, El viaje demora entre una hora y cincuenta minutos a tres horas dependiendo de si hace escala en Antofagasta.

Las empresas que realizan este vuelo son:

Sky airlines:

El Loa puedes tomar un transfer que te llevará a San Pedro de Atacama, con una duración de una hora y media (98 km) y un valor de alrededor de $10.000 por persona. Otra alternativa es arrendar un vehículo en el Aeropuerto, o bien tomar un taxi que cuesta $40.000 por un máximo de 4 pasajeros.

Un viaje en Taxi puede costar sobre los $50.000 pesos, por lo que sugerimos tomar el transfer y hacer su reserva con anticipación.

Transfer Andino: +569 98792912
Transfer Pampa: +569 52260722 / +569 52260720

Mas info acá:

b. En Bus:

El viaje demora 20 horas desde Santiago. Existen distintas empresas con las que puedes hacer este viaje, y distintos tipos de servicios y precios con alternativas económico, semicama, salón cama y Premium.

Desde Calama existe una alta frecuencia de buses hacia San Pedro de Atacama, ya sea de Turbus, Buses Frontera del Norte o Atacama 2000. Los buses salen desde los terminales o agencias de cada empresa, no desde un mismo lugar

Más información en:

c. En Vehículo

Si vienes desde el sur por la ruta 5 norte debes tomar el desvío hacia Calama aproximadamente a 100 Kms de Antofagasta, aquí tomar la ruta 25 hasta llegar a Calama, luego debes tomar la ruta 23 que te llevará hasta San Pedro de Atacama, son 98 Kms en el cual primero ascenderás cerca de los 3.000 msnm para cruzar la Cordillera de Domeyko y luego descenderá abruptamente hacia el Salar de Atacama. Toda la ruta está pavimentada y en buen estado. Si vienes desde Santiago lo aconsejable son dos dias de viaje, alojando en Caldera o Bahía Inglesa (870 Kms aprox) y el segundo día recorrer 800 Kms mas para llegar a San Pedro de Atacama.

a. By plane

You can fly directly to Calama only from Iquique. The airlines that make this route are the following:

Sky airlines:
Principal airlines:

b. By Bus

There is a daily frequency of buses from Iquique and Arica to San Pedro de Atacama. The two bus companies that have a direct trip to San Pedro de Atacama are Turbus and Frontera del Norte. Usually this is an overnight trip.

The other option is to take a bus to Calama and then take a new bus to San Pedro de Atacama.

c. In Vehicle

If you come from the north either by the coast (route 1) or by the pampa (route 5) you must take route 24 that takes you to Chuquicamata, then take the route to Calama, which is 13 km. The route 23 that will take you to San Pedro de Atacama, is 98 km in which you will first ascend near 3,000 msnm to cross the Cordillera de Domeyko and then descend abruptly towards the Salar de Atacama. The whole route is paved and in good condition.

a. By Bus

There are 2 companies that operate this route Pullman bus and Geminis. Departures are on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. The trip takes between 9 and 10 hours from San Salvador de Jujuy and between 10 and 11 hours from the city of Salta.

b. In Transfer

You can take a transfer from Salta or Jujuy to San Pedro de Atacama only as a private service, for this you should contact the local tourism agencies to check if the service is available. Generally this is an expensive service.

c. In Vehicle

There are 2 steps that connect with Argentina, the Sico pass in the province of Salta and the Jama step in the province of Jujuy, both are a wonderful experience. The great difference between this is the state of the road, as the Jama step is a completely paved route, which offers a more comfortable and safe journey.

By step Jama:
Whether you are coming from Jujuy or Salta by the Jama pass, you must take route 52, which passes through the town of Purmamarca, then ascends the Lipán hill until reaching more than 4,000 meters (rising more than 2000 meters in 42 Kms). Following the same route you will pass through the Salinas Grandes, a beautiful white blanket, and then you reach Susques, the last town 155 kms from the border. Jama’s customs complex is located at 4,200 meters above sea level and is 160 km from here, reaching almost 4,900 meters above sea level, ending with an abrupt descent in the last 40 km.

More info:

By step Sico:
From Salta take route 51 towards San Antonio de Los Cobres (almost all paved, 164 Kms.) And then continue along the same route to the SICO pass (path ripped, 127 Kms). Continue on route 23 in Chile to Socaire (road gravel, 120 km). From here are 90 km to San Pedro de Atacama by a paved road that borders the Salar de Atacama.

More info:

a. In Train

You can take the train from Uyuni in the direction of Calama on Monday. It is a freight train and passengers without any amenities. It lasts between 18 and 20 hours. You have to be prepared for a lot of cold.

More info:

b. By Bus

There are 2 departures heading to Calama, on Wednesdays and Sundays at 3:00 AM. Transhipment is made at the border, the journey takes approximately 12 hours. You have to be prepared for a lot of cold.

c. Through an organized tour

There are tours of 2 days and 3 nights that go from Uyuni to San Pedro de Atacama by the Bolivian plateau entering Chile by the passage milestone cajón. You will pass through the Salar de Uyuni, the Geysers Sol de Mañana, Laguna Colorada and Laguna Verde. It is a wonderful experience, but the services are precarious and the route is very poor.

d. In Vehicle

We only recommend doing it through the Abaroa-Ollagüe international route. This is a journey of 550 kilometers, of which 150 are paved, from Chiu Chiu to San Pedro de Atacama. In Ollagüe / Chile there is accommodation, restaurant and telephone. It is a good place to rest.

Customs and immigration procedures are made in Abaroa and Ollagüe. There is service station only Uyuni, San Cristobal and Calama.

Departing from the city of Uyuni take the direction of the train cemetery, take the road leading to the San Cristóbal mine, cross the vast plains and small towns classified as authentic villages of the Sierra including San Cristóbal, Culpina and Villa Alota, between others. You can reach Abaroa, where you have to do customs and immigration procedures, the same in Ollagüe and Chile later.

In Chile, take the Route N ° 21, the road is diverted by the train and passes by the edge of two salares, Carcote and Ascotan. Then you will pass a police control, to start descending, to Chiu Chiu, where you will start a paved road to Calama, there you have to take the highway 23 towards San Pedro de Atacama.