Church of San Pedro de Atacama
Admire the whitewashed façade of the Church of San Pedro de Atacama, then head inside for a closer look at its unusual architecture. The church was built using locally sourced materials, including algarrobo and chañar wood. Look up at the roof slats, which have been crafted from cardon (cactus), and check out the church door, which is trimmed with llama leather. Climb the bell tower for a view over the bustling plaza below.
Things to know before you go
- Travelers interested in Chile’s colonial architecture should not miss a visit to this church.
- The church offers welcome shade from the desert heat but if you’re exploring San Pedro de Atacama on foot, bring sunscreen, a hat, and plenty of water.
- The church is free to visit but donations are welcomed.
- The church is accessible for wheelchairs and strollers.
How to get there
The Church of San Pedro de Atacama sits on the west side of the Plaza de Armas in San Pedro de Atacama. It’s a 10-minute walk from the bus station, where local buses arrive from various places around Chile.
When to get there
The church is open daily, although opening times vary. Mass is held on Sundays. An atmospheric time to visit is during the annual Festival of St Peter on June 29, when festivities in the church spill out onto the square.
Exploring San Pedro de Atacama
As the largest town in the Atacama Desert, San Pedro de Atacama is the starting point for tours of the region’s natural wonders. Discover the otherworldly landscapes of the Moon Valley (Valle de la Luna), float in the salt-rich Cejar Lagoon, visit the El Tatio Geysers, or hike to the peak of Cerro Toco. Another popular day trip is to the Atacama Salt Flats, including the Chaxa and Miscanti lagoons, the villages of Tocanao and Socaire, and Los Flamenco National Park.
- Institute of Archaeological Research and R. P. G. Le Page Museum (Instituto de Investigacio
- Rainbow Valley (Valle del Arcoiris)
- El Tatio Geysers
- Pukara de Quitor
- Atacama Desert
- Tulor Village
- Moon Valley (Valle de la Luna)
- Tebenquiche Lagoon
- Puritama Hot Springs (Termas Baños de Puritama)
- Ojos del Salar
- Los Flamencos National Reserve (Reserva Nacional Los Flamencos)
- Cejar Lagoon (Laguna Cejar)
- Atacama Salt Flats (Salar de Atacama)
- Chaxa Lagoon (Laguna Chaxa)