September 28, 2015
Geysers del Tatio is one of the top attractions out of San Pedro de Atamaca. Rather than taking one of the group tours offered by numerous agencies in town, we opted for the more expensive private tour offered by the Hotel Kimal.
The evening before, we were told that our guide would meet us at 6AM. Unfortunately Juan didn’t arrive until nearly 6:45 claiming that he had not set his alarm properly. Otherwise the tour went smoothly. Juan spoke good English and was polite and informative. The vehicle was the ubiquitous 4×4 Toyota, Hilux, comfortable and in good condition.
Although it’s important to get to the geysers early for the best show of steam (colder temperatures produce higher funnels) we still had plenty of time at the site before the warming temperatures reduced the steam activity. It was -9 Celsius when we arrived and 4 above when we left 2 hours later.
Took about and an hour and half to reach the geysers.
When we arrived the back section of geysers was still shrouded in shadow. A number of vehicles were already at the site but it didn’t feel overly crowded.
Although there are numerous bubbling, steaming pools, the geysers are more funnels of steam and sputtering than anything else. If you have seen geysers erupt before you may be disappointed with the minimal activity. It’s a great excuse to get out and enjoy the Altiplano at day break, but it isn’t the fabulous eruptions you see in other parts of the world.
Included in the tour was a picnic breakfast with a nice selection of fruit, sweets and savories including French press coffee, a real treat after weeks of instant.
The drive back to town included several stops to view and photograph the colorful landscape and wildlife. I loved the gold greens and pinks here in contrast with the monochromatic desert of the previous day. Wildlife included vicuñas, various birds, including flamingos at a distance.
Quick stop at a village rebuilt as a tourist destination. The church, we were told, is original.