Itinerary 2019


Friday, March 8

(Subject to Change)

At the Airport:

We will meet at 3:00 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
Miami (Miami International Airport)
American Airlines, flight #1803,
Depart 5:37 PM - Arrive 8:32 PM

Travel from Miami to Santiago, Chile (Merino Benítez International Airport)
American Airlines, flight #957,
Depart 10:55 PM - Arrive 9:15 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 4-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 an Immigration and Declarations form. You MUST fill this out.

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



Saturday, March 9

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 (Gate# TBA)

Flight Information
Travel from Santiago to El Loa Airport, Calama
Latam Airlines, flight #340,
Depart 12:35 AM - Arrive 2:40 PM

  • 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM: Retrieve bags and get boarding passes for next flight

  • 12:35 AM - 2:40 PM: Flight to Calama

  • 3:00 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.

  • 4:30 - 6:00 PM: Arrive at hostel. Assign rooms. Unpack. Rest.

  • 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.

  • Dinner in San Pedro. Discussion about the week ahead

  • Return to hostel

  • Reflections/Journals



Sunday, March 10

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 hostel


Monday, March 11

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

  • 8:00 - 9:00 AM: Breakfast (hostel)

  • 9:00 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/video camera, a couple energy bars or snaks. Your shoes will get wet.

  • 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 Hostel

  • 5:00 - 7:00 PM: Rest/ Free Time

  • Dinner in San Pedro de Atacama

  • Return to hostel

  • Pack and store luggage for Uyuni trip

  • Reflections / Journals



Tuesday, March 12

Excursion: 4-Day trip to Salar de Uyuni
This is a tentative schedule. Final decisions on sites, routes and 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 and back.

  • 9:00 AM: Breakfast at border (provided).

  • On the first day on the road towards Uyuni we’ll visit multiple lagoons, geysers, wide open vistas and strange rock formations as we travel through the amazing high Andean plateau of Bolivia, including:

    • Laguna Blanca (White lagoon)

    • Laguna Verde (Green lagoon)

    • Salvador Dali Desert

    • Geyser de Sol de Mañana (Geyser of the Morning Sun)

    • Laguna Colorada (Colored lagoon)

  • Lunch on the road.

  • The day’s journey ends at the Hostal Huayllajara where we will stay the night.

  • Dinner

  • Astrophotography workshop, weather permitting


Siloli Desert2.jpg

Wednesday, March 13

High Altitude Lakes and the Ollague Volcano

  • 8:00 AM: Continue on to The Siloli Desert.

  • 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.

  • Evening arrival at the small town of San Juan and Puerto Chuvica where we will stay for the night at the Hostal de Sal.

  • Dinner at the Hostal de Sal.

Laguna Canapa.png

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Thursday, 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).

  • Next we will visit Playa Blanca, the Ojos del Salar (the Eyes of the Salt Flat), and Las Minas de Sal (Salt Mines).

  • Lunch on the road (provided).

  • Short stop in the small town of Colchani.

  • 2:30 PM: Arrival at the town of Uyuni.

  • 2:30 - 4:00: Explore Uyuni.

  • 4:00: Begin journey back towards the Chilean border. 3-hour ride to the town of Villa Mar, where we will stop for the evening.

  • Dinner in Villa Mar.



Friday, March 15

Morning Return to San Pedro / Afternoon Sandboarding in Death Valley

  • 5:00 AM: Early morning departure. We will begin the 3-hour ride back to the Chilean/Bolivian border where we will switch back to the minivan

  • After Passing back through Chilean customs, we will begin the return trip back to the town of San Pedro.

  • 12:00: Arrival in San Pedro / return to hostel

  • 12:00 - 1:00 PM: Lunch, San Pedro

  • 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM (Optional) Sandboarding in the dunes of Death Valley

  • 9:00 PM: Dinner in San Pedro

  • Return to hostel. Reflections / Journals

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Saturday, March 16

Morning Bike and Hike to the Valley of the Moon / Afternoon Visit to the ALMA Observatory

  • 7:00 - 8:00 AM: Breakfast (hostel)

  • 8:30: (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.

  • 9:30 AM: (Optional) Bus to the Valley of the Moon for non-bike riders

  • 10:30: 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.

  • 12:00: Lunch in San Pedro de Atacama

  • 2:00: Bus to the ALMA Observatory

  • 2:30: ALMA Observatory. We’ll visit the ALMA Operations Support Facility (OSF) halfway up the mountain to the . Our tour will include the main OSF building, where most of the scientific and technical operations take place, and have a chance to chat with some of the scientists about the advanced research they are conducting there.

  • 6:00 - 8:00 PM: (Tentative) Evening visit to the Atacama Salt Flat to see the sunset.

  • 9:00 PM: Dinner in San Pedro de Atacama

  • Return to hostal



Sunday, March 17

  • 6:30 AM - 8:00 AM: Travel to Calama and airport. Breakfast on the bus.

  • 9:16 AM: Flight from Calama to Santiago
    Latam Airlines, Flight #143
    Depart 9:16 AM - Arrive 11:18 AM

  • 11:30 AM: Transfer to the small town of Melipilla, 30 minutes outside of the capital of Santiago.

  • 1:00 PM: Lunch in Melipilla. Typical and authentic Chilean food and Barbecue.

  • 1:00 - 4:00 PM: Afternoon tour of the countryside on the outskirts of Melipilla.

  • 4:00 - 7:30 PM: Explore the small artisan village of Pomaire

  • 7:30 - 9:00 PM: Transfer to airport

  • 11:30 PM: Flight from Santiago to Miami International Airpot
    American Airlines, flight #7700 (operated by Latam #0500):
    Depart 11:30 PM - Arrive 6:50 AM

  • 10:26 AM: Flight from Miami to Washington DC (Ronald Reagan National Airport, Terminal C)
    American Airlines, flight #2832
    Depart 10:26 AM - Arrive 12:59 PM