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Atacama Photo Tour with Explora

Atacama, the driest desert in the world, is one of the most inspiring locations for photography, especially because of the sharp contrast between light, shade and colors: burning red desert at sunset, the verdant green of the oases and the crystalline white of the salt lakes laid out between the Andes Mountains. Beautiful plays of light and shadows with sunsets and sunrises only possible here.

moon valley sunsetDay 1 | Calama-Explora de Atacama
Transfer from the airport in Calama to explora Atacama’s Hotel de Larache, situated in the San Pedro Oasis (1 ¼ hours by van). The explora Atacama team will be waiting to welcome you to the lodge and show you to your room. In the afternoon you will meet Katsuyoshi Tanaka and our guides to discuss the program for the coming days. Situated close to the lodge, Moon Valley with its stunning panoramic views of the desert, mountains and its unique combination of light, shade and color, is one of the best spots for photographing sunsets. Learn how to capture the changing light, color and ambience as the sun sets. Dinner, welcome slide presentation and initial lecture.

atacama salt flat tour Day 2 | Atacama Desert
You will be taken deep into the desolate desert to witness the sensational sunrise. Learn how to photograph the different textures of nature as you walk through the cactus field. Breakfast. Visit the Atacama Salt Flat and enjoy a bike ride along desert trails followed by swimming in the salt water lagoons. There will be plenty of opportunities to do action shots during the bike ride and at the lagoons. This exploration will also give you a chance to acclimatize before heading to higher altitudes. Lunch and critique session. This is another great location to capture the sunset as the white salt lake turns orange while the sun sets. Flamingos add the final touch to this unique landscape. Learn how to frame images with various natural elements to add patterns, shapes and colors.

tatio geysersDay 3 | Atacama Desert
Pre-dawn departure by van to the Tatio Geysers. Get a closer look at these incredible erupting springs. Learn how to capture the back-lit vapor and the splash of the water. During the afternoon there’s a stop at the Puritama Hot Springs for lunch and bathing. Afternoon trip to Putana Lake where you will be able to photograph a variety of birds and wildlife along the way. Dinner and critique session.

Day 4 | Atacama Desert
A full day exploration with fantastic opportunities for landscape photography around the Altiplano lakes. You will visit the volcanic lakes and salt flats in the high plateau of the Andes, at an altitude of over 4.000 meters above sea level (13,000 feet). You will also learn how to position yourself and how to choose the right lens for high impact pictures. Dinner and critique session.

miscantiDay 5 | Atacama Desert
Our team will give you a morning orientation. If you have an afternoon flight you will have time to photograph San Pedro village and have lunch at the lodge. Departure.

Please note: this program may be subject to change without notification, due to weather conditions, safety and availability of routes.

Read more about Explora Atacama

Whether you are interested in this tour or you would prefer a custom private photo tour of the Atacama Desert, email Donna. She is not only one of our South America Travel Specialists, but an avid photographer who carries more camera gear than clothing on her travels. She will be travelling on a 4 week independent photography trip of Easter Island, northern Chile and Argentina in August 2013.

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