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“Awesome” 4 of 5 stars
Review of El Tatio

El Tatio
Antofagasta, Chile
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Type: Geologic Formations
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Attraction Details
Owner description: This incredible desert spectacle can only be viewed in the early morning, but the sight of the world’s highest geysers shooting up from the ground is well worth an early wake up call.
Hitchin, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
171 reviews 171 reviews
60 attraction reviews
Reviews in 82 cities Reviews in 82 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
“Awesome”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2013 via mobile

Despite the very early start, freezing temperatures & long drive, it was well worth the effort to see these amazing geysers. Watching the sun come up over the surrounding hills was simply beautiful as was the wild life. A dip in the nearby hit springs was great, despite the hot bits. Take care with regard to altitude sickness as despite taking prescription medicine to limit effects, I felt very ill following my visit.

Visited March 2013
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Los Angeles, California
Top Contributor
114 reviews 114 reviews
35 attraction reviews
Reviews in 68 cities Reviews in 68 cities
72 helpful votes 72 helpful votes
“not the easiest to visit but well worth it while at Atacama”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2013

This is one of those "unique places on Earthy" tours one can take while at Atacama. This area is apparently the largest geyser field in the southern hemisphere and the third largest field in the world. But despite rumors, this is not the highest geyer field in the world.

But this tour is by no means easy. The trip usually starts at 4-430am, then takes a 2 hour drive to the Tatio. Then the breakfast was set up to be enjoyed at ~15000ft in elevation, at 6 am, in below freezing termperate at -7C/19F. Then the sun finally comes up and the area then gets a little warmer. We walked around the geyser area for 2-3 hours and saw many geysers, some erupting, some pudding, and some just pouring out steaming water. There is also a hotspring for those who want to bathe in. We went to several other smaller attractions after the geysers too and didn't come back to Atacama until 2pm. Bring some snacks/water and extra warm clothing - you will need them.

Visited March 2013
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Fayetteville, North Carolina
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Early wake up, long drive, great pictures.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

You'll have to wake up at about 4 am in order to take a tour bus out to the geysers unless you have decent transportation. Negotiate with the tour companies for a good deal, at the end of the evening they are willing to give you a bargain in order to fill up the remaining seats for the next day.

Visited December 2012
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Melbourne, Australia
Top Contributor
100 reviews 100 reviews
36 attraction reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“Unmissable”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

It's sad to hear that some people have found this place disappointing. Judging from their reviews, it sounds as though they should've done more research before coming to San Pedro, like seriously... you're in the driest desert in the world, with high altitude and a high difference between the highest and lowest temperature everyday...if you come here, walk it off.

There are several tour agencies in the town, but ensure you don't go with the cheapest. Expect to pay around 20.000 per person. The tour I did with my friend took us to the geysers at around 4am (they did let us sleep and advised us to keep our eyes shut so as to reduce the impact of altitude sickness - going from San Pedro to the geysers involves going up a lot in a very short time so bear this in mind when going there). Also remember it's extremely cold!....We went in winter and it can be 25 degrees celsius in the afternoon but at 4am it was -17 (minus!)...so take warm clothes and ensure your feet are also protected! Lots of us complained that we were warm, but couldn't feel our feet from the cold.

After looking at the amazing geysers they gave us a nice breakfast that included chocolates, a sandwich and a hot drink. We then went to some hot springs... it was still pretty cold... but the tour guide dared us to get in hahaha....he said there's always someone who does it ...and someone did do it for a minute...brave guy.

We then went to a small village and after that we returned to San Pedro. It was a great experience!

Visited June 2012
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Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Very average experience”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2012

We signed up for a tour of El Tatio with a company in San Pedro de Atacama. The woman who signed us up failed to tell us it would be -10 degrees Celsius up the mountain at El Tatio and it would be around 4, 200 meters altitude. Awoken at 4:00am to depart we were completely unprepared, wearing thin clothing and having only had a few hours sleep. Many of us felt ill at the altitude. The bus that took us to El Tatio was freezing cold and the driver would not let us sleep on the drive playing loud music. The gysers themselves were not very unspectacular and the guide had very limited knowledge of the landscape. Breakfast was provided but was very poor with very little food for the amount of people on the tour. We were promised a well-deserved swim in a hot pool which turned out to be luke-warm and extremely dirty - making us even colder. Overall an extremely bad experience and a waste of money.

Visited December 2012
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