Hiking Excursion through the Purilactis Valley

Level: Medium
Duration: Full Day

Crystalline rivers, impossibly dramatic rock formations and some of the oldest petroglyphs anywhere in the region are just some of the enticing encounters which await on the Purilactis Trek. You will divert off-the-beaten-path in the direction of the Domeyko Mountain Range, a heady stretch of steep spires which line either side of the dried-up river bed in the valley below. Hiking then begins near the shores of the Salado River at an altitude of 3000 m (9842 ft) above sea level, before moving away from its life-giving waters and into the arid expanse of the surrounding gorge. Along the way, a highlight of this excursion comes courtesy of the 10,000-year-old petroglyph carvings of Yerbas Buenas, the former crossroads of several important trading and migratory routes in the region.

Following undulating pathways between rocky outcrops and caves, you will ultimately arrive at the simply remarkable Rainbow Valley, one of the truly iconic destinations in the Atacama region. Formed after many millennia of shifting wind patterns and weather systems, the otherworldly feel of the Rainbow Valley is as tangible as the bewildering, artistic spectacle of its multicolored cliff sides on show.

We will descend and walk through the valley, to meet our driver on the other side of the colorful mountains. At the end of the walk, we will enjoy a lunch and then return to the hotel.

Rainbow Valley

Gallery of Hiking Excursion through the Purilactis Valley