The Magic of Moon Valley

While Moon Valley (locally named Valle de la Luna) isn’t actually on the moon, it’s the next best thing to it. It is a MAGICAL place located in the middle of the Atacama Desert (driest desert in the world!) in Chile.
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We booked our tour to Moon Valley with Denomades who hooked us up seamlessly to local company, Tourismo Layana. With all the tours we went on in The Atacama desert, going with them was definitely our most comfortable experience (and believe me, you want comfortable in the Atacama Desert!)
Moon Valley is only about a 20 minute ride from San Pedro De Atacama. Our tour left at 4 p.m. from town so that we could do some hiking and finish watching the sunset (my heaven!!). It’s also a little cooler in the afternoon hours making a world of difference. The bus was so comfortable, brand new and even had air conditioning.
We started our trip all the way at the far end of the park where we were able to see salt flats and some insane rock formations. They called these (shown below) the praying women and the Pac-Man (thought that was pretty funny). This first glance of moon valley was surreal but still didn’t do justice for what was to come.
Next we drove further into moon valley and pulled over by the most perfect sand dunes we’ve ever seen. The sand looked unbelievably smooth and mystical.
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We walked down the gravel road a bit, marveling at the rock formations surrounding us until we got to the trail head for our short hike.
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Our guide from Tourismo Layana, Diego, was so great. Chris and I talked with him for a long way up on our hike.
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We hiked until we got to the top view point of a sand dune and then continued to hike even further on a narrow strip to see my favorite view of the entire trip.

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We took our time there to soak it all in and Diego took some of the group to see the other side of the dunes from the top while some of us decided to stay in the middle of the dunes and enjoy the views.
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After our hike was over, the bus made another stop at a bathroom and small store where we could pick up a drink or snacks to watch the sunset over moon valley.
We were then taken to the sunset spot and my God, it the most beautiful sunset we have ever seen. The unusual cloudy sky in the desert added to the magic of it. We could have watched it for hours on end.
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Once the sun was down, we headed back into town arriving no later than about 8 pm. I have to say, this was the only tour we went on in the Atacama Desert that I didn’t come back from starving, exhausted and over-headed. They plan this tour out perfectly so you are able to enjoy every second.
This is a MUST see when visiting the Atacama Desert and an item to add to your bucket list! Be sure to book with Denomades and go with Tourismo Layana because there are a ton of tour companies offering Moon Valley tours and I’ll tell you not all of them are great. You want to make sure you are in good hands in such a dry climate and in high altitude– you can trust them to take good care of you. Click HERE to book our tour!
If anyone is planning a trip to the Atacama desert, let us know! We saw so many things and learned a lot from our time there.
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*This post is sponsored by Denomades but all thoughts and opinions are our own*

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