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Lagunas Altiplanicas del Atacama

Among the most beautiful scenery in the Atacama Desert, the Altiplanic Lagoons are undoubtedly at the top of the list. In our opinion, this is an attraction that cannot be left out of your itinerary.

Located at more than 4,000 meters above sea level, Laguna Miscanti and Miñiques form one of the most incredible postcards you can see on this trip.

Also visit the Lagunas Escondidas

How to visit the Altiplanic Lagoons

To experience the charms of this place, travelers should set aside a full day in their itinerary. Agencies usually leave San Pedro de Atacama very early in the morning and the beautiful roads leading to the lagoons already reflect the beauty of what lies ahead.

Along the way, as the altitude rises, you can see the vegetation change. While in the lower part the scenery is very dry, the altitude reveals very vibrant yellow vegetation.

On this route, if you’re lucky, you can see wildlife very close to the road. It’s not uncommon to come across vicuñas, foxes and also, a little more difficult to see, the small vizcatias, a species of rodent that lives among the rocks.

Upon arriving at the attraction, the beauty of the Miscanti Lagoon is the first thing that strikes the traveler. With the Miscanti Volcano in the background and other high points in the Cordillera, the blue hue of the larger of the two lagoons reflects the colors of the sky.

At this point, travelers have the opportunity to walk around and feel the energy of this place intensely. When you take the tour with an alternative agency, which prioritizes smaller groups and more time in each place, you can walk in silence and appreciate every moment of this incredible attraction.

Walking at altitude should be slow and without sudden movements, so that you don’t feel the effects of the 4,200 meters above sea level.

Walking on, you’ll reach the second lagoon, Laguna Miñiques, which, although smaller, is incomparably beautiful. On days with little wind, the lagoon becomes a perfect mirror and reflects the volcanoes around it.

It’s worth noting that the hiking route between the Altiplanic Lagoons is marked out and well signposted, and cannot be crossed outside the markings. As this is a place of fragile nature where a large number of travelers visit every day, it is essential that the rules are respected.

Each agency formats this tour in a different way. Some include meals such as breakfast and lunch, while others include other attractions combined with the Altiplano Lagoons on the same day.

It’s important to check what’s included in your tour and make sure that the time available won’t make your trip too rushed. For us, more than knowing the destination, it’s important that the experience in each place comes first.

That’s why, taking all these points into account, we recommend the work of the FlaviaBia Expediciones agency as one of the best options for your trip to the Atacama Desert.

We know Flavia’s work, the guides and all the structure she offers travelers. That’s why we believe it’s the right choice for those looking for quality tours. We make this recommendation transparently, having already tested all the experiences offered by the agency.

Information about the Altiplanic Lagoons

The Altiplanic Lagoons, like many places in the Atacama, are controlled by the local community. As it is a National Park, the entrance fee is not normally included in the price of the tours offered by the agencies, and payment in Chilean pesos is required. Credit cards are not accepted for paying the entrance fee.

Park entrance fee: $ 3,000 CLP per person

We can consider the Altiplanic Lagoons an easy walk. Even the short walk between Laguna Miscanti and Miñiques is easy, as the route is marked out on a stone path. You just need to be aware of the altitude of the walk.

Tips for enjoying the tour to the Altiplanic Lagoons

As it’s a high-altitude tour, going over 4,200 meters above sea level, it’s important to be well prepared for low temperatures and strong winds. In the winter months, care must be taken. But make no mistake, even in the hottest months of the year it is possible to encounter low temperatures on high altitude tours.

Our suggestion is that you dress in layers so that, if the temperature rises during the day, you can take off the warmer layers.

As the wind can greatly affect temperatures, we recommend wearing windproof jackets and pants. For footwear, sneakers or light, well-sealed hiking boots are great options. Also remember gloves, caps and, if possible, scarves to protect you from the cold and wind.

It’s important to take a bottle of water with you to keep you hydrated throughout the day. Using sunscreen and moisturizer for your skin, especially your lips, will make a big difference during the tour.

If you haven’t booked your hotel yet, book safely here!

Photos of the Altiplanic Lagoons of Atacama

Which agency to hire in Atacama

We always recommend that you book your tours with registered and well-rated agencies. Our suggestion for your trip is FlaviaBia Expediciones, an agency we’ve known since it began operations and which has an excellent track record in terms of traveler satisfaction.

If you value a good experience and are looking for tours without a large number of people, with comfortable and safe cars and, of course, professional guides, this is one of the best alternatives for your trip.

We recommend FlaviaBia's work transparently. We know the work closely and have already done all the activities offered, testing and guaranteeing the quality of the service.

You can contact the agency directly using the form and receive all the information you need for your trip.

The FlaviaBia Expediciones agency was created by Flavia, who raised her family in the desert and today is a benchmark for quality service in San Pedro de Atacama.

Travelers who have already visited the Altiplanic Lagoons

Robson Franzoiauthor of the blog Um Viajante

One of the most beautiful and incredible places in the Atacama Desert. I always recommend the Altiplanic Lagoons as an unmissable excursion that cannot be left out of any itinerary. A real painting!

Diogo Fernandespassionate about coffee and travel

It's hard to describe the beauty of the Altiplanic Lagoons. When I got there I was speechless and even a little moved by this place. The design of the mountains and volcanoes are reflected in the lagoons... it looks like a mirage.

Viviane OliveiraCollaborators

Lagunas Altiplanicas is a beautiful walk and I can say that it is the most incredible in the Atacama. I'm completely in love with this place. You can't go to the Atacama and not visit the lagoons.

Gabriel AmorimCollaborators

The most incredible place I've been to in the Atacama. You can't fail to be impressed by the beauty and perfection of the Altiplano Lagoons. It's worth putting on your itinerary, it's top notch!

Debora VasquesCollaborators

I cried when I arrived at the Altiplanic Lagoons. The first photo I saw of Atacama was of this place and getting there was a dream come true. I can't tell you how much this place represents... just go and see for yourself.

Valle de la Muerte

Salar de Tara

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