When visiting San Pedro de Atacama, you will find that most tourist agencies, shops and restaurants only receive cash. There are four ATMs in the village, so make sure you bring enough cash for the trip and withdraw money before reaching the village, e.g. at ATMs located within the Calama El Loa Airport.
ATMs in San Pedro de Atacama
- Salcobrand Pharmacy (BCI): Caracoles 241, Tocopilla intersection.
- Cruz Verde Pharmacy (BCI): Caracoles 359, Toconao intersection.
- BCI Bank: Vilama 425-D, Caracoles intersection (Business hours: Monday to Friday, from 9 am to 2 pm).
- Banco Estado: Gustavo Le Paige, in front of ex Museo Arqueológico (Business hours: Thursdays, from 1 pm to 5 pm)
You can find currency exchange offices in Toconao road with Caracoles. However, for better exchange rates, we recommend you convert your money in Santiago.
To find the exchange rate in Chile, visit the Central Bank of Chile’s website.
Whether you visit San Pedro de Atacama during winter or summer, you must bring a good sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses with UV filter and a bottle of water to stay hydrated. Why? Because you will be exposed to a very strong UV radiation, therefore protection is essential.
In San Pedro de Atacama, you will enjoy sunny days almost year-round. Located 2,400 meters above sea level, the weather in this village is mild and dry. However, remember that temperatures tend to lower at higher elevations.
Fall – winter season
From April to September, temperature in San Pedro de Atacama ranges between 9 ° C and approximately 24 ° C. It is a season of clear skies, total lack of rain and colder nights due to thermal oscillation. It is an ideal season for those who want to avoid crowds and get better rates.
Spring – Summer Season
From October to March – high season in San Pedro de Atacama- temperature ranges between 13ºC and 25ºC, with highs of 32 ° C. A season with hot days and occasional rainfall due to the Bolivian Winter phenomenon (January-April). Highlights of the season: Fiesta de la Candelaria ( January 31 to February 3) and Santo Carnival (seven weeks before Easter).
WHAT TO WEAR
What to bring to San Pedro de Atacama? Well, everything! Regardless of the season, you can feel cold and hot on the same day, especially if you are visiting nearby attractions or taking tours early in the morning or in the evening.
Keep in mind that in tourist spots such as El Tatio geysers or some highland lakes, temperatures can reach below zero, so it is recommended to dress in layers and also wear hat, gloves and comfortable shoes. Tourists who choose to bathe in the natural hot springs, should bring swimsuit, sandals and a towel.
Those who venture into the desert or the salar, must wear pants to avoid the discomfort of sand in contact with the skin when facing wind gusts. Therefore, you should also bring a windbreaker.
If you consider visiting Puritama hot springs during your journey to Quebrada de Guatin, don’t forget to bring your bathing suit, towel and sandals.
As mentioned , always remember to wear a hat (hopefully one that can tie to your neck), sunglasses, sunscreen and bottled water. San Pedro de Atacama is one of the areas with the highest ultraviolet radiation in Chile.
- Hat / Cap
- Thermal hat
- Flip – flops
In Toconao street you will find the only gas station in San Pedro de Atacama. which belongs to Copec company. You won’t find gas stations between Calama (airport) and San Pedro de Atacama, and on the roads to other tourist attractions such as Chaxa and Cejar lagoons. Therefore, it is very important to fill up the tank before touring the area.