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Traveling throughout the Atacama Region via Rental Car

San Francisco...
posts: 14
Traveling throughout the Atacama Region via Rental Car

Hello, I was wondering if it is easy to traverse the Atacama Region, and the sites to be seen there, using a rental car? We will be there during the last week of March 2014. I have a car rented when we arrive at Calama Airport and we have lodging in San Pedro during our stay, the gist of my question is will there be parking (or is it allowed to park) and go hike or visit the various sites while in the region? A lot of places have "excursions" that are able to be booked with a guide, but we would rather do many things ourselves, with maybe just be pointed in the right direction every now and then by some at the hotel or in the region. Please let me know if this is a viable way to experience the region. Many thanks!

2 replies to this topic
San Francisco...
posts: 14
1. Re: Traveling throughout the Atacama Region via Rental Car

Also, if anyone has thoughts on how many days is appropriate to spend in Atacama region it would be much appreciated. We are young and active, and never feel like we want to see EVERYTHING when we are somewhere . . . You always want to have a reason to go back later in life. Currently we were thinking 2 full days there, and then we would have the late afternoon on the first day, and until around 1:30 PM on the last day there, with two full days as I mentioned in between. We are active and will be up early and late to bed and don't take long lunch/dinners.

Santiago, Chile
Destination Expert
for Chile
posts: 8,339
reviews: 20
2. Re: Traveling throughout the Atacama Region via Rental Car

You can drive to most places that you might want to go but road signage is not good, so make sure you know where you are going. It would probably be helpful if you spoke some Spanish.

I don't think you will be late to bed as after dinner the town is very quiet. You should add the stargazing tour, Spaceobs, to one of your days if the skies permit.

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