Stunning Photo Guide To Valle de la Luna in Chile that you’ll love

When I planned my 4-week epic adventure across South America, I knew I had to include Chile. I wanted to include San Pedro de Atacama in the north of Chile. This amazing town is the jumping-off point for some amazing tours of the Atacama desert. I looked for a half-day tour, closer to town and found the Valle de la Luna. This desolate landscape with dramatic rock formations is easily accessible and fits my itinerary perfectly!

This post will give you an insight into what the Valle de la Luna in Chile is about, what it looks like, and how you can visit it too.

I paid for everything in full myself. I was not paid or sponsored. All my opinions and experiences are my own.

Probe around the Globe does use affiliate links. If you decide to follow one of my links and make a purchase, I’ll earn a small commission. This is at no extra cost to you.

Woman sitting at the edge of a cliff overlooking a red rocky landscape with odd rocks.

Valle de la Luna Chile

The Valley of the Moon is located right next to the little settlement of San Pedro de Atacama in the Antofagasta region in northern Chile.

Wind and water eroded this valley and therefore the Valle de la Luna displays different sand and stone formations. The colors are spectacular and to see them all, you can take a Valle de la Luna tour or explore on your own by renting a bike.

A tour of Valle de la Luna San Pedro

As I was quite sick and wanted to take things easy, I opted to take a tour. But you can also rent a bike and cycle the 13 km/ 8 miles to the Valley of the Moon.

I saw some people cycling and if you bring enough water and protection from the sun and sand, you can do it independently.

Because I felt lazy sick, I took the tour in a Mini Van. Together with 10 or 12 other people, the tour company toured us around the sights.

We left around 3.30 pm but depending on the summer or winter time this could be 3 or 4 pm. You pay separately for the tour with the tour operator and separately for the entrance to the national park.

Be inspired by my photo guide and start planning your trip to northern Chile to visit the Valle de la Luna near San Pedro de Atacama.
No mistake about it! You are in the Valle de la Luna

As I don’t have an epic guide or how-to or ’10 things to see in the Valle de la Luna Chile in San Pedro de Atacama’, I’m just sharing my pictures with you. That’s why I call this a photo guide.

Be inspired, be amazed, and start planning your trip to northern Chile!

The Rim of the Valle de la Luna

We first drove out to the Rim of the Moon Valley. From here we had almost 180-degree views of the Valley of the Moon with the mountains and the volcanos in the back.

Be inspired by my photo guide and start planning your trip to northern Chile to visit the Valle de la Luna near San Pedro de Atacama.
Overlooking the Valley of the Moon

At first, I thought: that can’t be snow right?

At the bottom of the Valley, you could see some small white stuff.

Our guide soon explained it is salt, giving the Valle de la Luna an even more alien look. Did you know NASA even tested the Mars rover at the Moon Valley in Chile?

Be inspired by my photo guide and start planning your trip to northern Chile to visit the Valle de la Luna near San Pedro de Atacama.
It’s not snow, but salt in the little nooks and crannies of the Valley of the Moon

The 180-degree views of the Valle de la Luna were stunning. We were pretty high up so we could look down on the valley, but we were also surrounded by mountains and volcanos.

Be inspired by my photo guide and start planning your trip to northern Chile to visit the Valle de la Luna near San Pedro de Atacama.
Valle de la Luna Panorama

Although I traveled solo, I could still hear the voice of my boyfriend in my head: not too close to the edge.

Be careful!

Standing up was not so scary, but getting back up after I sat down was quite frightening as some loose rocks tumbled into the deep.

Be inspired by my photo guide and start planning your trip to northern Chile to visit the Valle de la Luna near San Pedro de Atacama.
Flying pose at the rim of the Valley of the Moon

Caves and Rock climbing

I could hardly walk around because of all the blisters on my feet from hiking the Colca Canyon in Arequipa, so I was in shock to find out we would walk through the caves.

I was even more mortified to discover we had to climb up and down again to get back to our van. So much for this lazy easy tour of the Valle de la Luna!

Be inspired by my photo guide and start planning your trip to northern Chile to visit the Valle de la Luna near San Pedro de Atacama.
Crawling through the Valley’s caves

Although I didn’t enjoy crawling through the small caves, it was worth it. As we got to see where the water goes, and how it meanders through stone and rock.

And to be honest, the views from this side were equally amazing.

Be inspired by my photo guide and start planning your trip to northern Chile to visit the Valle de la Luna near San Pedro de Atacama.
It’s not snow but salt

It was also really nice to feel the rocks. The granite is so hard and yet, wind and water carve their way through it and leave a scared surface behind.

Be inspired by my photo guide and start planning your trip to northern Chile to visit the Valle de la Luna near San Pedro de Atacama.
There is so much erosion going on between the rocks

The 3 Marias of the Valley of the Moon

After our rock climbing on the other side of the Valle de la Luna, we returned to our van and discovered another side of the Moon Valley.

The area is huge and I was happy to hop back in the van. We were dropped at the Tres Marias.

These are rock statues in the shape of praying Marias. I think I lost my imagination, can you discover the shape of a Maria? Or even all three?

Be inspired by my photo guide and start planning your trip to northern Chile to visit the Valle de la Luna near San Pedro de Atacama.
Tres Marias, Rocks in the form of praying Marias. Can you see them?
Be inspired by my photo guide and start planning your trip to northern Chile to visit the Valle de la Luna near San Pedro de Atacama.
Valley of the Moon with the Volcano lurking in the back

Sunset on the moon

After this, we walked along this gigantic sand dune.

I was thinking to myself: No way we were going to climb that?

Right?!

But the guide promised cola and crisps at the top, so I trotted along.

It’s safe to say I obviously came in last, but I still made it to see the sunset over the Valle de la Luna.

Be inspired by my photo guide and start planning your trip to northern Chile to visit the Valle de la Luna near San Pedro de Atacama.
Sun setting over the giant sand dunes overlooking the Moon Valley

Nothing but sand, rocks and the sun dropping behind the dunes.

We moved to another viewpoint where we had (almost) uninterrupted views of the mountains and volcano in the back.

The setting sun colored the rocks all hues of pink and red. There was no wind, no animals. People got quiet. It wasn’t a dramatic sunset with loads of clouds, but this sunset over the Valle de la Luna was mine.

Be inspired by my photo guide and start planning your trip to northern Chile to visit the Valle de la Luna near San Pedro de Atacama.
The sunset colors the volcano in a soft red and orange

Valley of the Moon in Chile

I hope you enjoyed the pictures in the photo guide to the Valle de la Luna in Chile. Have you ever been to San Pedro de Atacama? Is Chile on your list of places to discover? Let me know!

Do you wish to book a tour of the Valle de la Luna in Chile? Check here for prices and availability.

You can also go into the village of San Pedro de Atacama and ask around and book a tour once you get there.

Helpful tips and tools for your Chile trip

  • Read all my content on Chile here
  • Get a guidebook for more travel tips on Chile. Buy your copy here
  • Book your hotels in Chile via Booking.com or Hotels.com
  • Find your direct flights to Santiago here
  • Book your tours and activities direct with GetYourGuide or Viator
  • Travel in style with these cool travel-themed designs (I made them myself!)
  • Unfortunately, things can and do go wrong when you travel to Chile. World Nomads offers coverage for more than 150 activities as well as emergency medical, lost luggage, trip cancellation and more.

Let me know if you have any specific questions or need help planning your own trip. If you thought this post was helpful or fun to read, let me know in the comment section below. Or share it with your friends or on social media! And make sure to come back for more travel stories next time.

Be inspired by my photo guide and start planning your trip to northern Chile to visit the Valle de la Luna near San Pedro de Atacama.
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Be inspired by my photo guide and start planning your trip to northern Chile to visit the Valle de la Luna near San Pedro de Atacama.
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Be inspired by my photo guide and start planning your trip to northern Chile to visit the Valle de la Luna near San Pedro de Atacama.
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Woman sitting on a rocky outcrop overlooking a desolate red rocky landscape with text overlay saying: Valle de la Luna Chile, Probe around the Globe
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Read more: Incredible and Mind-blowing photos of the Atacama Desert.

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