For those of you who want to take advantage to see more oft he Central Andes, its volcanoes and spectacular landscapes, here are some suggestions for your own private pre- and/or post conference field trips.
You can take advantage of the many tourist agencies that offer tours (ne day or longer) from San Pedro. Alternative, you can rent a car (not in San Pedro but in Calama) to drive yourself.
This geysir field is about 90 km N of San Pedro (1,5 h easy drive). Make sure to be there shortly after sunset, when the air is cold it is most impressive.
Vale de la Luna
10 km from San Pedro, folded salar sediments, spectacular at sun set. You can rent mountain bikes to go there.
Pucara de Quitor
Inca fortress 3 km from town centre
About 35 km from San Pedro, on your way (back) from El Tatio.
ALMA is a set of international radio telescopes about 60 km fron San Pedro at 5060 m. a.s.l. It is open every Saturday and Sunday morning to members of the public who want to visit its facilities.. Visitors must register in advance.
Chuquicamata, worlds largest Copper Mine
The worlds largest and deepest man-made hole is one of Chiles most productive copper mines. The mine offers visitors tours. Chuquicamata is just N of Calama and would be an option to visit on your way in / out from San Pedro.
Beyond these selected suggestions, (northern) Chile offers spectacular landscapes which can be best experienced by renting a car and drive through the Atacama desert and the Western Andean Cordillera. There are nitriate ghost towns, petroglyphs thousands of years old, spectacular valleys with all its geology exposed, salars with Flamingos, Vicunas, Viscachas, Condors and weird endemic plants…. and of course volcanoes everywhere.
For more information, you may visit my home page, where I show short movies and give information on student field trips. You ay also find a flyer to the road-side geology between Arica and Parinacota volcano.