Ever wanted to sandboard in outer space? Chile is home to the Atacama Desert, the driest desert in the entire world, which comprises of a series of red craters and a landscape which will make you feel just like you are exploring the surface of Mars. What’s more, you can actually sandboard on some of the dunes! The so called Valle de la Muerte (Death Valley) near San Pedro de Atacama is without doubt one of the most interesting places where you can practice this sport.
Death Valley (a.k.a. Mars Valley) – San Pedro de Atacama
Chile’s Death Valley is located in the Atacama Desert, approximately 2km away from the small town of San Pedro de Atacama in the Andes Mountains . It is also known as Mars Valley because the landscape resembles that of another planet, comprising mostly red rock formations and craters. Sandboarding can be practiced on some of the soft sand dunes, which reach up to 120 metres in height.
You can rent a sandboard directly in San Pedro de Atacama and head to the valley yourself or join a guided tour. Sandboard San Pedro offers group tours for 20.000 CLP which include transportation to Death Valley, a sandboard instructor, and all the gear and equipment you need (board, shoes and helmets). There are cheaper options if you only want to rent a sandboard without joining a tour, ask around.
If you are planning to head to the valley by yourself, after renting your board from San Pedro de Atacama take the route to Calama and turn left after 2 kilometers. From there enter through the Salt Mountain Range and be ready to pay the Death Valley entrance fee of 3.000 CLP (5.000 CLP at night). Enjoy the landscape walking until you reach the colossal dunes. Climb them to the top and get ready for some action!
Whether you are heading to the dunes by yourself or with a tour, you are going to need a travel insurance that covers sandboarding. You can arrange this online with World Nomads Insurance, which is available in over 130 countries – their standard plan covers activities such as sandboarding, sand skiing, volcano boarding and sand duning. Have a look at the full list of activities covered or feel free to get a quote without commitment.