San Pedro de Atacama on budget | How to visit

San Pedro de Atacama on budget | How to visit

Are you planning on visiting San Pedro De Atacama on a budget? Do you want to know our tips and tricks on how to visit= So continue reading, you will find everything in the article below!

San Pedro de Atacama is a beautiful desert town located in northern Chile, known for its stunning landscapes and unique natural attractions. While it can be a bit expensive, there are ways to enjoy San Pedro de Atacama on a budget.

I have to disappoint you. San Pedro de Atacama is pretty expensive, especially coming from Peru as we did. You need to book a tour for most activities, the food is really expensive, and accommodations are as well. But there are still ways you can enjoy San Pedro de Atacama on a budget.

Our tips on how to visit San Pedro de Atacama on a budget:

Eat in Local Restaurants – San Pedro de Atacama on budget

There are many small, local restaurants in San Pedro de Atacama that offer affordable meals. Look for places that serve traditional Chilean dishes like empanadas, pastel de choclo, and cazuela.

Find a place with a kitchen or stay in a hostel

San Pedro de Atacama has several hostels that offer affordable accommodation. You can also look for guesthouses or campsites if you prefer.
Another alternative is to find a place to stay in the kitchen where you can cook your own food. We decided that we will eat one hot meal outside and cook the second one, it saved us some money.

Get discount prices for tours – San Pedro de Atacama on budget

We took just one tour during our San Pedro visit, we went to see the geysers. We asked around at different places and the prices were 25.000 CLP (36,6$;32,2€) for a tour. After asking around we managed to find one with a discount of 18.000 CLP (26,3$;23,2€) each. So if you taking a tour ask around before buying it. And ask for discounts.

El Tatio Geysers tour (How does it work)

You start at 4:30 am (yes it is brutal, especially cause it’s so cold outside the bed), and they pick you up at your hostel. You drive approx 2 hours and you arrive at Tatio geysers, 4300 m high above sea level. You reach the geysers just before sunrise, it will be very very cold, dress well. By dress well I mean two pairs of socks, gloves, a scarf, a hat, and so on, otherwise you will be freezing, we had minus 10 degrees. I also recommend you dress like an onion cause later it gets warm, so you can take your clothes off. You will probably have breakfast included, ours was pretty good (baguette, eggs, cheese, salami, tea, coffee or chocolate, and even some sweet snacks). After breakfast, you will have the chance to try the thermal baths.

The tour is worth the money, if your hostel doesn’t arrange a tour with a discount, my advice would be to ask around until you find one for 18.000 CLP (26,3$;23,2€).
The entrance fee to the park is not included, it will cost you 10.000 CLP (14,6$;12,9€).

Tatio geysers, San Pedro de Atacama on a budget
San Pedro de Atacama on budget
Happy cause the sun finally came out
San Pedro de Atacama on budget
A lot of wildlife animals

Rent a bicycle

Renting a bike is a great way to explore the surrounding area on a budget. There are several bike rental shops in San Pedro de Atacama that offer affordable rates. It is cheap, if you rent it all day, it will cost you 6.000 CLP (8,8$;7,7€). You can also rent it for half a day, which is half the price. It is popular to rent a bike in San Pedro and it is a nice way to spend a day and explore the city.

Walk to Pukara de Quitor

This is a beautiful way to spend the day, especially if you like archeological sites. One fortress is overlooking the valley of the river San Pedro, the view is amazing. There is a memorial site and if you look closely, you will find faces carved into stones. Most people include Pukara de Quitor on the day they rent bikes but we walked there. The area is 3 km away from the city, the walk should take 40 to 50 minutes. You will need to pay the entrance of 3.000 CLP (4,4$;3,8€) and you can easily spend 2 to 3 hours there, it is much to explore.

San Pedro de Atacama on budget
Beautiful Pukara de Quitor
San Pedro de Atacama on budget
View from Pukara de Quitor
Pukara de Quitor

Where to stay in San Pedro de Atacama

We stayed in 2 places there. The first one was Sami Atacama Lodge, a really nice place, with beautiful accommodations and a big delicious breakfast. The only downside was the distance from the city center, it was a long 2 km walk each time. We also couldn’t cook our meals there. It cost 32$ per night for both of us.
When our 2-night booking ended we decided to move close to the town.

The second place we stayed at was 10 minutes away from the town center, just next to the bus terminal. We had a kitchen and a shared bathroom with hot water. We also had free hot beverages all day. Good value for the money, the place is called Hostal Alabalti and it cost us 24$ per night. They also arranged a discount price for the tours, you can rent bicycles there as well.

San Pedro de Atacama on a Budget

These are just a few ways to enjoy San Pedro de Atacama on a budget. With a little planning and research, you can experience the beauty and culture of this amazing destination without breaking the bank.

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