Friday, March 9

At the Airport:
We will meet at 1:00 PM at the American Airlines counter at Ronald Reagan National Airport (Terminal C) to get our boarding passes and drop off checked baggage. If you are late and cannot meet up with us at that time, please go ahead and check your bags, get your boarding pass and proceed to security. We will all meet up at the gate (#TBA). Don't forget your Passports!!!

Flight Information:
Washington DC (Ronald Reagan National Airport, Terminal C) to
New York, NY (JFK Airport)
American Airlines, flight #4540 (operated by Republic Airlines):
Depart 3:04 PM - Arrive 4:30 PM

Travel from New York  (JFK Airport, Terminal 8) to
Santiago, Chile (Merino Benítez International Airport)
American Airlines, flight #7718 (operated by Latam 0533):
Depart 7:00 PM - Arrive 7:40 AM

Refer to the Packing List for items you should plan to bring on this trip. You should be able to pack all you need into one large checked bag and one carry on backpack, though you may want to bring one more additional small duffle bag or collapsible bag to use on the 3-day trip to Uyuni. Keep in mind when packing that there is a 50lb limit per bag. If your bag is over 50 lbs you may get charged an extra fee.

On the flight:
This is an overnight flight. To make sure you are able to sleep, wear comfortable clothing. Sometimes this flight is very warm, other times cold - be prepared for both. You might want to bring a neck pillow. Dinner and breakfast will be served. During the flight you'll be given two forms to fill out on the plane: an IMMIGRATION form and a DECLARATIONS form. You MUST fill these out. On the immigration form enter the following information as your address during your stay in Chile:

Hostal KM Zero
Address: Toconao 535, San Pedro de Atacama
Telephone: 56-9-4881-8566

When we arrive in Santiago you'll give this form to the customs agent along with your passport. He or she will stamp it and return it to you. This form is very important and you will need it when you leave the country. So store it in a very safe place along with your passport.

On the declarations form, fill out "NOT declaring" anything (not bringing any goods into the country). You will give this form to the luggage inspectors after we retrieve our bags. Very Important: You cannot bring any unpackaged food - or any agricultural products - into Chile, such as fruit, and nuts (including trail mix). Do not put these in your luggage. If you do and it is found, it will be confiscated and you could be delayed and possibly fined. You could miss the connecting flight.

Emergency Contact Information:
Jerry Habarth, Program Leader
Cell: 304-290-3067

Vanessa Yerkovich, Education Abroad Coordinator
B-3 Purinton House
Phone: 304-293-7231

Caroline Snyder, Faculty-led Program Specialist
B-3 Purinton House
Phone: 304-293-6872



Saturday, March 10

After getting off the plane, we'll proceed to Immigration and present our passports. Next we'll retrieve our bags and go on to Customs and Declarations. After Customs and Declarations we'll proceed to the LAN Chile domestic counter to check our bags and get our boarding passes. Then we'll go to next gate (TBA)

Flight Information
Travel from Santiago to El Loa Airport in Calama
Latam Airlines, flight #150:
Depart 10:00 AM - Arrive 12:10 PM

  • 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM: Retrieve bags and get boarding passes for next flight
  • 10:00 AM - 12:10 PM: Flight to Calama
  • 1:00 PM: After retrieving our bags, we'll rendezvous with our driver and travel by chartered bus southeast up towards the mountains to to San Pedro de Atacama. About a 90 minute drive.
  • 3:00 - 6:00 PM: Arrive at hostel. Assign rooms. Unpack. Rest.
    Hostel Information:
    Hostal Km Zero El Senor del Lascar
    Toconoao 535, San Pedro de Atacama Antofagasta
    Phone: +56 9 4881 8566
  • 6:00 - 8:00 PM: Explore San Pedro de Atacama. We'll spend a couple of hours getting to know the small town of San Pedro de Atacama and the lay of the land, walking the main street of Caracoles, visiting the main plaza, the Church of San Pedro, the artisan's market, the soccer stadium, the market and nearby neighborhoods.
  • 8:00 - 10:00 PM: Dinner in San Pedro. Discussion about the week ahead
  • Return to hostal
  • Reflections/Journals

Sunday, March 11

Exploring the ancient past of San Pedro de Atacama. Morning bike trip and hike to Pukará de Quitor and afternoon bike trip to Aldea de Tulor.

  • 8:00 - 9:00 AM: Breakfast (hostal)
  • 9:00 AM: Bike trip to Pukará de Quitor (Fortress of Quitor) a pre-Columbian Inca installation on the outskirts of San Pedro. This is a short ride and moderate hike. Distances: Bike, 4 miles roundtrip; Hike: 2.5 miles. Duration: about 4 hours.
    What to bring: water, sunscreen/lip balm, backpack, hat or scarf for the sun, camera, snacks.
  • 1:00 PM: Return to San Pedro
  • 2:00 - 3:00 PM: Lunch, San Pedro
  • 3:00 PM: Visit to the Museo Arqueológico Padre Le Paige (Father le Paige Archeological Museum)
  • 4:00 - 7:00 PM: Rest/ Free Time
  • 4:00 - 7:00 PM: (Optional): Bike trip to Tulor Archeological site. Distance, bike: 10.2 miles roundtrip.
    What to bring:  jacket (for evening return ride), water, snacks, camera.
  • Hostal: Reflections/Journals
  • Dinner in San Pedro de Atacama
  • Return to hostal

Monday, March 12:

Excursion: River Hike along the Quebrada de Quatin (Guatin gorge) and the visit to the thermal pools of Puritama.

  • 8:00 - 8:30 AM: Breakfast (hostal)
  • 8:30 AM: Depart for morning hike. We'll travel up into the mountains by bus to the Quebrada de Guatin. (Guatin gorge)
  • 9:00 AM: Hike up through the Quebrada de Guatin. This will be a moderate hike up into the Guatin gorge following alongside the Purifica River. We will explore the rich flora and fauna and fascinating topology surrounding this river that cuts a deep channel into the mountainside. Duration: about 2-3 hours. What to bring: water, sunscreen/lip balm, hat or scarf for the sun, camera.
  • 12:00 PM: Lunch
  • 1:00 PM:  Termas de Puritama: This will be chance to relax in the crystal clear, warm thermal pools of Puritama river. There are rooms where you can change into a bathing suit. What to bring: bathing suit, towel, jacket and long pants.
  • 4:00 PM: Return to Hostal
  • 5:00 - 7:00 PM: Rest/ Free Time
  • 8:00 PM: Dinner in San Pedro de Atacama
  • Return to hostal
  • Pack and store luggage for Uyuni trip
  • Reflections / Journals

Tuesday, March 13

Excursion: 3-Day trip to Salar de Uyuni
Times TBA. This is a tentative schedule for Tuesday - Thursday. Final decisions on departure times will be made based on weather and road conditions as we will be traveling over the mountains to Bolivia.

  • Travel towards the Bolivian border at Hito Cajón border crossing. Get Bolivian Visas. After border crossing we will transfer to 4x4 jeeps for the remainder of the journey to Uyuni.
  • Breakfast at border (provided).
  • On the road towards Uyuni we will stop at several remarkable sites through the amazing high Andean plateau of Bolivia, including to Laguna Colorada and the Siloli Desert. Along the way we see many lagoons, geysers, wide open vistas and strange rock formations.
  • Lunch on the road (provided).
  • Continue on to Lagunas Altiplánicas (high lagoons). We'll visit several high altitude lagoons, including:
    • Laguna Cañapa
    • Laguna Chiarcota
    • Laguna Honda
    • Laguna Hedionda.
  • Continue on to Paso de León, (lookout towards the Ollagüe volcano).
  • Brief stop at the Salar de Chiguana and visit with an indigenous community.
  • The day’s journey ends at Puerto Chuvica where we will stay the night Hostal d Sal
  • Dinner at Salt Hotel (provided).
  • Astrophotography workshop, weather permiting

Wednesday, March 14

Day of exploration on the Salar de Uyuni

  • Very early morning departure to see the sunrise over la Isla Incahuasi (Incahuasi Island) located in the center of the Uyuni Salt Flat. 
  • Breakfast on Incahuasi Island (provided).
  • Visit to Playa Blanca, the Ojos del Salar, and los Montones de Sal (Salt Mountains).
  • Visit with the Colchani community where we will witness the traditional process of salt extraction.
  • Lunch on the road (provided).
  • Continue on the the Cementerio de Trenes (Train Cemetery) of Uyuni.
  • The day’s journey ends in the town of Uyuni.
  • Dinner in Uyuni (provided)
  • Overnight at the hostal de Villa  Mar.

Thursday, March 15

Day-long return journey to San Pedro de Atacama

  • Early morning departure. We will head back towards the Chilean border and on to San Pedro. On the way we will stop at several sites including:
    • Geyser de Sol de  Mañana (Geyser of the Morning Sun)
    • Polques Thermal Hot Springs
    • The Salvador Dali Desert
    • Laguna Verde and Laguna Blanca (Green and White lagoons)
  • Late afternoon arrive at Chilean border
  • Evening arrival in San Pedro de Atacama.
  • Rest / Reflections / Journals
  • Dinner in San Pedro de Atacama
  • Return to hostal

Friday, March 16

Visit to the ALMA Observatory and Sandboarding in Death Valley

  • 7:00 AM - 8:00 AM: Breakfast (hostal)
  • 8:30 AM - 12:00: Visit to ALMA observatory
  • 12:00: Lunch, San Pedro
  • 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM Sandboarding in the dunes of Death Valley
  • 7:30 PM: Sunset over Valley of the Moon
  • 9:00 PM: Dinner in San Pedro de Atacama
  • Return to hostal

Saturday, March 17

Travel to Santiago. Walking tour of Downtown.
Overnight return to the US.

  • 6:30 AM - 8:00 AM: Travel to Calama by charter bus. Breakfast on the bus.
  • 9:00 AM: Flight from Calama to Santiago
    Latam Airlines, Flight #143
    Depart 9:00 PM - Arrive 11:00 AM
  • 11:30 AM: Transfer to Downtown Santiago
  • 12:00 PM - 8:30 PM: Walking tour of downtown Santiago. We will visit major sites and attractions in Santiago beginning with the famous Santa Lucia hill, a former fortress and site of the original founding of the city by Pedro de Valdivia. From there we'll visit the colonial church of San Francisco. We'll pass by La Moneda, the presidential palace, La Bolsa (the Chilean stock market) and walk down calle Huefanos (one of several pedestrian streets in downtown). Next we'll go to Plaza de Armas, where we'll visit the main Cathedral and soak up the sites and spectacles of this always active and lively square. From there we'll walk over the the Mercado Central (Central Market) for lunch and the take in it's extraordinary early 20th century cast iron construction. After lunch we'll walk along Santiago's best known park, El Parque Forestal, and later visit the El Museo de Bellas Artes (the Chilean national art museum). We'll end our tour with a stroll through Barrio Bellavista, a popular and fun neighborhood with lots of small cafes, shops and galleries.
  • 8:30 PM: Transfer to airport
  • 11:30 PM: Flight from Santiago to New York (JFK Airport, Terminal 8)
    American Airlines, flight #7666 (operated by Latam #0532):
    Depart 11:30 PM - Arrive 8:45 AM




Sunday, March 18

  • 10:36 AM: Return to Washington, D.C.
    New York, NY (JFK Airport, Terminal 8) to
    Washington DC (Ronald Reagan National Airport, Terminal C)
    American Airlines, flight #4332 (operated by Trans States as American Eagle):
    Depart 10:36 AM - Arrive 12:10 PM