Tierra Atacama

San Pedro de Atacama – Insider Tips


Find out more about San Pedro de Atacama in Chile


The town of San Pedro is an oasis in the Atacama desert, fed by two rivers: Grande and Salado.


San Pedro de Atacama can be found at 7,900ft above sea level and, with a population of 5,000, is an interesting place to visit in its own right. There’s a range of restaurants, a historic church and handicraft market, as well as streets shaded by gnarled desert trees and lined with hand-made fences. See San Pedro de Atacama on a Map and find out how to get to San Pedro de Atacama. If you would like advice on what to pack for the Atacama Desert, check out our handy Atacama Desert Packing list.

San Pedro has been the home of Atacameños for millennia, with a rich anthropological history dating back as far as 10,000 years ago. Today, local customs are alive and well in the desert of Atacama, from religious ceremonies taking place throughout the year, to craftwork and folk art. Local craftsmen create with the same passion as generations before, demonstrating the endurance of artisanal passion. You can see examples of these regional cultural expressions in our living spaces and rooms at Tierra Atacama.



What is the altitude of San Pedro de Atacama?

San Pedro sits at a height of 7,900ft (2,407m), which may lead some visitors to initially experience mild altitude sickness. We recommend that you drink plenty of water in order to avoid dehydration, and take it easy on the first day with only light meals and avoiding alcohol. For those who are keen to climb Licancabur Volcano or one of the many other volcanoes in area, a stay of at least five nights is required at Tierra Atacama in order to acclimatize adequately. It is also important to note that acclimatization must be done gradually, and our guides advise on whether high altitude excursions can be done, depending on weather conditions and the physical aptitude of each individual guest.

Do people speak English in San Pedro, Chile?

As one of Chile’s most popular destinations for international visitors, you will find that many of the local shop-keepers and restaurant owners in San Pedro de Atacama speak at least some English.

The Tierra Atacama hotel staff and guides speak Spanish and English, though with advance notice we can arrange guides who speak French or German, at no extra cost. If you require a guide who can communicate in another language, please contact us to organize this with some advance notice.

Is San Pedro de Atacama, Chile a good place for families?

There are so many activities and places to visit in and around San Pedro that it is a great place for a family vacation. Kids will love the variety of unusual ice-creams made out of local ingredients such as rica rica, algarrobo or Chañar – perfect for cooling down on a hot day.

Tierra Atacama is a family-friendly hotel in San Pedro de Atacama, offering facilities, rooms and services to accommodate everyone comfortably. We have two swimming pools, games to play together in the living room, and fun-filled excursions which can be tailored for kids. Our family rooms sleep up to six, though we can also provide cribs and cots for babies and toddlers if needed. We do not have nursery or day-care facilities within the hotel, but we can arrange babysitters upon request.

What electricity, voltage and plug-type are used in Chile?

Electricity in Chile is 220V/50Hz and the plugs are a European, two pin round style, as shown.

Can you get cash at ATMs in San Pedro de Atacama?

The Chilean currency is the peso. Should you need cash, you can find ATMs and Currency Exchange facilities in the village of San Pedro de Atacama. At the hotel, we accept credit cards including Visa, Master Card and American Express cards.

Are gratuities expected in Chile?

While gratuities are not obligatory, please note that it is customary in Chile to leave a tip when you receive a high quality service.  We normally suggest between USD $50-$100 per person per night, but the amount is completely under the discretion of the guest in accordance to the service they received.