a guide to San Pedro de Atacama

Coming back from my 2015 trip around the globe, I sort of blogged South America in large chunks. One of my {many} goals for this space is to write about everything that happened in more depth. More categorically. 

Tash and I took a long bus ride to the driest desert in the world. San Pedro de Atacama was visually a wonder. Red sand meeting bright, blue sky during the day and the most star-filled 'ceiling' at night. It was worth every hour on the bus and remains a true highlight of my time in South America. 

Where to stay? 

Tash and I opted to stay in a tent. Go big or go home, always. And we were definitely not going home. The tent was an accommodation option at the Aji Verde Hostel.  It was exactly as advertised-- a tent. My advice is to bring a flashlight {there is no electricity in the tent} and baby wipes {sand will get all over you during your adventures}. The main building has outlets for you to charge your phone and camera battery, etc. People are friendly and there is unlimited free tea and coffee. 

What and where to eat?

There are quite a few small convenience-type shops within walking distance of the hostel and along the main road to the town. A staple of the South American diet is Pan Amasado: a round, pita-like bread. I suggest grabbing some for breakfast as there are limited restaurant options on San Pedro de Atacama. Near the plaza is Tierra Todo Naturale, an inexpensive restaurant with classic lunch and dinner options you'll find almost anywhere else-- by that I mean lots of casserole dishes!

What to do?

San Pedro is an adventure traveler's wonderland. I highly recommend sandboarding. Guys...unreal. I sucked at it, but I had an absolute blast! Our instructor looked just like Bruno Mars. There are many locations to find a sandboarding instructor to take you out, so my advice is to stroll the main street and shop around to find the best deal. All sandboarding companies offer boards, boots, helmets, and goggles. You can watch our sandboarding video here

If you are less of a thrill-seeker, you can always hike to the Valley of the Moon {Valle de la Luna}. 

I also recommend star-gazing! You won't find a more clear, wide-open sky. Our star-gazing tour came with a guide who provided blankets and hot chocolate, as well as folk stories about the constellations. 

South America with my main girl was a serious thrill. Adventure around every corner. It was a once in a lifetime journey and I'm so glad San Pedro de Atacama was on our list of stops.