How to get to the Atacama Desert
Where to stay in San Pedro de Atacama
Where are the Tatio Geysers located?
Geyser del Tatio altitude
Travel Tip: Give yourself at least 2-3 days to acclimatize to the altitude before you head to El Tatio. To avoid altitude sickness, best to arrange your tours from San Pedro de Atacama from lowest altitude to highest!
Best time to visit the Atacama Desert?
How to get to the Tatio Geysers?
Tour Geyser del Tatio with a tour company or self drive El Tatio?
How to self drive to Geyser del Tatio
- The El Tatio Geysers are only to be reached via unpaved mountain and desert roads (Geyser Del Tatio altitude: 4320 metres or 14.170 ft) . The trip From San Pedro De Atacama takes about one hour and a half in optimal conditions (see Google Maps screenshot included). We did a self drive in the Atacama desert so we had a rental car at our disposal.
- The early bird catches the worm: though geysers are amazing as they are, the whole experience only gets more amazing when you can admire them at dawn. The moment the sun starts kissing the mountain ridges surrounding the geysers is the most magical moment of the day.
- Up in the Andes mountains (aka Altiplano Andino) it gets pretty cold. Though we were going to visit the geysers during Spring, average temperatures in the early morning are normally not much higher than -10° Celsius. Dressing appropriately was and is key!
Driving up to the El Tatio geysers: an early start
Driving up to the El Tatio geysers: driving in the dark
Travel Tip: Download an off-line map in Google Maps: they work perfectly and are very convenient in an area where good mobile signals are almost non-existing! Hint: make sure you search for Geyser El Tatio and not Geyser Del Tatio in Google Maps.
Travel Tip: Eat a light breakfast and drink plenty of water or coca tea to counter altitude sickness. While driving we didn’t really feel it but when the adrenaline of driving the dirt road washes off, that’s when the dizziness started to kick in.