I have to admit to being a bit apprehensive before I set off with the bus in San Pedro de Atacama as I am considerably older than the average traveler in South America but it was great. I travelled south to Santiago and then on to Puerto Montt on the lake district route. Both trips were good although I would agree with the person who said the hostels are not always the best. However, the observatory more than made up for it as did the priviledge of being able to walk along the beach in the Pan Azucar national park with no one else in sight. Brilliant!