Cerro Toco

Top ways to experience Cerro Toco and nearby attractions

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.


5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles99 reviews
Excellent
89
Very good
10
Average
0
Poor
0
Terrible
0

Daniel Almeida
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2023 • Business
This is a must-go tour!!!

It can be done by total beginners if you go slowly. Wait a few days before you go because of altitude sickness.

Go with Gerardo, from the White and Green tour agency. Hands down the best guide ever! Very welcoming and patient, even though we took a lot of breaks to catch our breath.
Written September 6, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

thomastsc
Manly, Australia56 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2018 • Family
At 5620 metres (higher than Everest base camp which is 5360 meters) this is one of the highest mountains in the world that inexperienced folks can ‘climb’ . Having read a bit about it we thought we should give it a go as it would likely be the highest any of us would ever get as we are not climbers and rarely visit counties with such high mountains. According to google maps it was a simple 36km drive from San Pedro De Atacama on the route 27 followed by an 11km drive on a dirt road to get to the spot where you start the climb, near a set of observatories. We had a decent 4wd vehicle with low range gearing and had warm clothing (ski jacket, gloves) and plenty of water and snacks as per advice we had read so were feeling confident.
The first challenge was to find the turnoff onto the dirt road to the right off the route 27; it’s not marked AT ALL so you really have to watch out for it by checking your odometer and going slowly - you can see the road snaking up the mountain so this is a clue. Once we got onto it it seemed pretty easy apart from some initial soft sand and rocks but a after a few km gets quite gnarly - very steep with deep ruts and nasty sharp rocks just waiting to slash a tire; not the place to try to change a wheel!,used low range 2nd or 3rd gear much of the way. I had some 4wd experience so knew what I was doing but this is not a place for first time 4wdrivers . Next challenge is to find the spot where to park , it’s not marked and we drove past and had to back track after realizing we had gone too far. The parking spot is just beyond the observatory but we would not have seen it were it not for another car leaving. Then we were the only ones there. You can see the summit to the left of a valley which has a number of trails up it to the summit. You start at 5200 meters . We checked each other for signs of altitude sickness and made sure we were hydrated and set off. It’s really tiring and easy to get out of breath even though it’s not too steep and not too uneven at first. Got into a rhythm of walking 20 -30 steps and then stopping to catch breath. Even at this pace the total distance to the top of 2km took only 2.5 hours. Gets very loose halfway up and you have to keep an eye on direction (keep to the left when in doubt) else you can end up climbing the wrong peak ! The view from the top was worth the exhaustion and dull headache from altitude, magnificent! Windy and cold at the top so did not linger for too long. We were the only people on the entire mountain! The descent was much quicker, less than 1 hour but you need to watch it on the loose shale.
Our headaches started getting better as we got back to the car where we rested before starting the slow drive back down, once again you need low range gearing so you can ‘idle’ down using engine braking.
All in all an experience well worth having including bagging a 5620 meter mountain!

Written December 11, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

D J
Montreal, Canada122 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2018 • Couples
The easiest way to go high. One is dropped off at about 5,250 and the summit is 5,604m. Need a few high hikes to acclimatize beforehand. Dress for real cold, can be very windy! Wonderful views into Bolivia, Argentina, observatories in the area including the 66 radio telescopes of ALMA in the distance.
Written September 22, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LeaDaluz
San Pedro de Atacama, Chile44 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2014 • Friends
I learned on Toco that I am not a mountaineer. It is a great introductory mount to hike up. No big technical challenges, just a volcano you can climb up to its peak, 5640 meters above sea level. You start in san pedro village at 2450 meters above sea level, where presumably you have acclimatized for at least two days, doing lower hikes, then they drive you 45 minutes to the base which is close to 5000 m.
You will drive right near Lican Cabur, who is really the big papa, a beautiful incredible majestic and perfect strato volcano right across the llano- the plain - where paso jama leads from Chile to Bolivia and Argentina. So at the top you will see beautiful views, sacred Lican kabur and Juriques his brother, the green and white lakes and all around more high peaks and expanses seen from above is magnificent.
If you are a mountaineer, this is probably a fun and easy peak. You might want to consider this one if you are going with someone who is not so sure (yet) about high mountains.
I made it up okay. But I felt horribly awful coming down. I have lived here, at 2500masl for the past 21 years, but am not very good at heights. The Italian couple who had never been any higher than 4500 before, and smoked cigarettes on the way and after, were FINE. They wanted to go visit Pujsa salt flat afterwards! And we did. It was a great day, but I was miserable from the PUNA - altitude malaise (headache and complete fatigue). It takes a day to get over. I am grateful that I did it.
Written January 20, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SheldyC
Hong Kong, China125 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2015 • Solo
OK, so I was totally unprepared for this hike. I had a free day in San Pedro with nothing arranged so popped by the local tour agencies to look for something that did not shuttle me around the place in a bus. Well I sure got what I asked for.

We were a small group of only three people plus the guide. Drove less than an hour in a car from San Pedro (2400 metres) to about halfway up the mountain (5000 metres). Already, the thin air was hitting me. Spent the next 2 hours hiking up the 600 metres to 5604 metres, which incidentally, is higher up than Everest Base Camp by about 200 metres. The hike itself isn't very difficult or steep. What makes it hard is the thin air. Depending on your level of fitness and how well you do in high altitudes, it could be an easy hike or a very hard hike. For me, it wasn't easy, I felt every step and was out of breath a lot. I had to take my time, but I made it and the view from the top is amazing! Incredible sense of accomplishment. Cerro Toco is also one of the few attractions in San Pedro where it doesn't feel like PIccadilly Circus on the weekend. We came across two other hikers the whole time and was able to really enjoy and appreciate the vastness of the volcano and desert landscape. Highly recommended to anyone who wants a bit of an active day - it's worth it!
Written January 12, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bah
Vancouver, Canada85 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2014 • Solo
Cerro Toco was the first volcano I climbed. The way to the top is not so hard, actually is easy the only problem is the height. If you have not got used to the thin air maybe is better to wait, because it makes all difference!
The view from the top is AMAZING! You can see the Licancabur, Laguna Verde and Laguna Blanca, really worth to go and you'll spend just half day.
Written October 15, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lorna Mc
Glasgow, UK100 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019 • Solo
Great hike!! Must do if you’re in San Pedro!! I would advise you don’t book prior to arrival and get a tour when you get here - you’ll pay at least 70% less
Written December 23, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

pamelagoya
Sao Paulo, SP121 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2018 • Solo
It's one of the cerros that you can hike. It's at 5600 meters of altitude. Some people has difficulty to reach the top because of the altitude that can causes headaches and low pressure. But for me it wasn't that hard... the only thing I felt was difficulty breathing sometimes. My group have reached the top in 2 hours and half, but to go down it was very easy and took about 30 minutes. You can hike this cerro with a guide or can do it by yourself (I saw some guys doing that). It's important to use properly clothes, to bring water and some snacks. Oh... and the view is amazing! You can see the Licancabur and Juriques volcanoes, also a lake behind them that it's in Bolivia. Totally recommended! One of the best thing to do in Atacama.
Written August 4, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Claire
4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Couples
This hike almost killed me. I don’t know what I was thinking hiking this mountain with zero mountaineering experience and very little acclimation to the altitude (2 days in San Pedro before we hiked). The hike itself was amazing but I was so so sick all night from an extreme headache and nausea. Also, two people from our party (eight people total) barely made it down the mountain, they were puking and collapsing. I didn’t know them but they looked healthy and fit, so I don’t think it was a question of fitness. I am also very fit and again, this hike took me down for the whole evening. ALSO the wind was absolutely insane and hiking on an ice sheet was wild. At multiple times during this hike I seriously questioned whether I was going to make it.

Anyway, this hike is awesome. I would just recommend having a healthy respect for the altitude.
Written July 23, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

adiz
9 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2019 • Solo
I went climbing Cerro Toco with Emmanuel and Ronald from Nortrek agency in San Pedro de Atacama. It was my first time climbing over 5500m, and the guides were attentive and patient, so I had a great experience. We left San Pedro at 8:30 AM and were back at 15:00 PM, after we walked in a slow and steady pace and reached the summit. Before climbing - you should spend at least one day walking above 4000m (and even then - take it slow).
Written June 22, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 24
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

Cerro Toco - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

All San Pedro de Atacama HotelsSan Pedro de Atacama Hotel DealsLast Minute Hotels in San Pedro de Atacama
All things to do in San Pedro de Atacama
Boat Tours & Water Sports in San Pedro de AtacamaDay Trips in San Pedro de Atacama
RestaurantsFlightsVacation RentalsTravel StoriesCruisesRental Cars