San Pedro de Atacama is a Chilean town and commune in El Loa Province, Antofagasta Region. It is located east of Antofagasta, some 106 km (60 mi) southeast of Calama and the Chuquicamata copper mine, overlooking the Licancabur volcano. It features a significant archeological museum, the R. P. Gustavo Le Paige Archaeological Museum, with a large collection of relics and artifacts from the region. Native ruins nearby attract increasing numbers of tourists interested in learning about pre-Columbian cultures.
As many people head for San Pedro to continue their travel into Bolivia doing the popular Salar de Uyuni tour. The Valle de la Luna is a must when in San Pedro and cannot be skipped for anything along the Salar de Uyuni tour. Likewise, the Laguna Cejar, and a bicycle, hiking or sandboarding tour around San Pedro are not substitutable. Furthermore note that the tours in San Pedro are a good way to acclimatise against altitude sickness. The Salar de Uyuni tour almost touches the 5,000-m mark. So, the Piedra Rojas tour for instant might actually be a good thing, because at the Lagunas Miscanti and Miñiques you will cross the 4,200-m mark.
4 – 5 Days: Five days is ideal to properly explore the Atacama and experience different types of excursions, allowing for time to properly acclimate to the environment.