One of the great mountain drives of the world – the transfer from Salta to San Pedro de Atacama is not to be missed. It is possible to cross the Argentina/Chile frontier as part of your privately guided tour with Spirit and for us to drop you at Calama airport. Argentine law requires drivers to have special permits and that all foreign visitors travel in a 4×4 vehicle licensed to make the border crossing.
Other options are one of the three public bus companies make the twelve-hour trip on odd days of the week. Driving Salta to San Pedro de Atacama requires an inordinate amount of paperwork and excessive cost for taking a rental car across the border- expect a great deal of hassle at immigration.
Driving Salta to San Pedro de Atacama
Spirit of South America private clients may continue their tour of the north and the Humahuaca Gorge into Chile. We pick up from your Purmamarca or Tilcara hotel in the early morning for the border crossing at Paso de Jama. First, we will climb the Cuesta de Lipan and drive right across the immense Salinas Grandes Salt Flats. From here, the scenery of the Andes Altiplano is a spectacular lunar landscape to rival any in Chile or Bolivia. We will stop for photos at various points along the route and for lunch break (at expense) in Susques, then assist your passage through immigration formalities and arrive in San Pedro in the early evening for drop off at your hotel.
We offer private tours around San Pedro, including to Tatio Geysers, the Flamingo National Reserve, Moon Valley, Salt Mountain, Toconao and Socaire – bespoke itinerary available depending on your time, which can be combined with drop off at Calama airport for onward travel to Santiago or Lima.
We also offer a pick up service from Calama Airport or from San Pedro for the transfer across the border into Argentina, to continue a three to six day tour of Purmamarca, Tilcara and Salta, continuing on to Cachi and Cafayate. The Chilean highlights listed above, are the same as the tour to Tolar Grande.