Friday, March 9

Travel from Washington DC Dulles / Santiago (overnight, Time: TBA)

Saturday, March 10

Arrive in Santiago AM, Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport. You will proceed to Customs where you will present your passport and your IMMIGRATION form (which you will have filled out on the plane). We'll proceed to baggage claim. After retrieving your luggage, all bags have to pass through a final scanner. At that point you will be asked to present your DECLARATIONS form to the baggage inspector. (You cannot enter Chile with unpackaged food of any kind!)

Travel from Santiago to Calama to San Pedro de Atacama
•   Proceed to LAN Chile domestic counter (check bags and get boarding pass) and proceed to gate.
•   Flight to El Loa airport, Calama (CJC), Time TBA
•   Arrive at El Loa airport (CJC), afternoon/evening, time TBA
•   Travel to San Pedro de Atacama by chartered bus
•   Arrive at Hostal, unpack, rest.
•   Evening: Explore San Pedro de Atacama.
•   Evening: Dinner in San Pedro de Atacama
•   Evening: Reflections / Discussion about the week ahead
•   Return to Hostal


Sunday, March 11

Day of Archaeology: Exploring the ancient past of San Pedro de Atacama. Bike trip to Pukará de Quitor

•   Breakfast (hostal)
•   Bike trip to Pukará de Quitor (Fortress of Quitor) a pre-Columbian Inca installation on the outskirts of San Pedro. Short ride and moderate hike. Distances: bike, 3.7 miles; hike: 2.5 miles. Duration: About 4 hours.
What to bring: water bottle, sunscreen/lip balm, backpack, hat or scarf for the sun, camera, snacks.
•   Lunch, San Pedro de Atacama
•   Museo Arqueológico Padre Le Paige (Father le paige Archeological Museum)
•   Rest/ Free Time
•   (Optional): Bike trip to Tulor Archeological site. Distance, bike: 10.2 miles.
What to bring:  jacket/warm clothing, water bottle, snacks, camera.
•   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.

•   Breakfast
•   Travel north towards Puritama. We'll travel up into the mountains by bus to 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.
•   Lunch (provided)
•   Continue on to Quebrada de Guatin. (Guatin gorge).
•   Hike through the Quebrada de Guatin. (Guatin gorge). This will be a moderate hike down 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 3 hours. What to bring: water bottle, sunscreen/lip balm, hat or scarf for the sun, camera
•   Return to Hostal
•   Rest/ Free Time
•   Reflections / Journals
•   Dinner in San Pedro de Atacama
•   Return to Hostal


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: 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), Laguna Cañapa (Cañapa Lake), and the Chiarcota, Honda, and Hedionda lagoons.
•   Continue on to Paso de León, (lookout over the Ollagüe volcano).
•   Brief stop at the Salar de Chiguana and visit with Indigenous community.
•   The day’s journey ends at Puerto Chuvica where we will stay the night Salt Hotel
•   Dinner at Salt Hotel (provided).
•   Astrophotography workshop


Wednesday, March 14

Day of exploration in 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); the  Polques Thermal Hot Springs; The Salvador Dali Desert and the 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

Valle de la Luna (the Valley of the Moon) and Sandboarding in Death Valley

•   Breakfast (hostal)
•    (Optional) Long bike ride to Valley of the moon. For those more adventurous or looking for a work out we will bike from San Pedro to the Valley of the Moon. This is about 20 miles round trip. Duration about 4 hours. We'll meet up with the second group and return to San Pedro by 1:30 pm and for lunch.
•   (Optional) Bus to the Valley of the Moon for non-bike riders
•   Explore Valley of the Moon: We will take a short hike exploring the marvelous and odd rock formations and topology of this other worldly valley and meet up with the biking group halfway through the valley. What to bring: water bottle (2 if biking), sunscreen/lip balm, hat or scarf for the sun, snacks, backpack (if biking), camera.
•   Lunch in San Pedro de Atacama
•   (Optional) Sandboarding in the dunes of Death Valley
•   Dinner in San Pedro de Atacama
•   Return to Hostal


Saturday, March 17

Morning visit to ALMA observatory and afternoon/evening return flight

•   9:00 AM – 12:00: Visit to ALMA observatory
•   12:00: lunch, San Pedro
•   Travel to Calama, bus
•   Late afternoon flight from Calama to Santiago
•   Late evening Flight from Santiago to Washington, D.C. Dulles


Sunday, March 18

Return to Washington, D.C. Dulles