Tebenquiche Lagoon is a popular place for watching the sunset. When the sun goes down, the surrounding mountains and snow-capped Lincancabur volcano glow orange and their image is perfectly reflected in the shallow water. You may also see some flamingos, which are most active at sunset.
Multiple tour operators run excursions here from San Pedro de Atacama, typically timed to catch the sunset and ideal for travelers without vehicles or unwilling to tackle the drive. These tours typically include stops at such other nearby salt flat attractions as Cejar Lagoon and Ojos del Salar. This is an excellent way to check off several spots in one day.
Things to know before you go
- There is an admission fee to access the lagoon.
- The temperature can drop drastically after sunset so dress in layers.
- Flamingo photographers should bring a zoom as the birds tend to keep their distance.
- There are restrooms at the entrance.
How to get there
Tebenquiche Lagoon is around a 45-minute drive from San Pedro de Atacama. There’s no public transit so, if you’d rather skip the driving, take a tour from San Pedro de Atacama instead.
When to get there
You can visit Tebenquiche Lagoon year-round. Summer, from December through February, promises pleasant day temperatures and warmer nights, but it is also the busiest time of year: fall and spring shoulder seasons are a quieter alternative. Sunset is the most popular time to visit so you can avoid crowds by coming in the morning or early afternoon.
Just a 20-minute drive away, Cejar Lagoon (Laguna Cejar) is a popular place for visitors to experience floating in salty water: access here is easier than at Tebenquiche, and it’s typically busier. The fun and relaxing experience of floating on top of the lagoon is complemented by the beautiful landscape of turquoise waters and snow-capped volcanoes.
- Atacama Salt Flats (Salar de Atacama)
- Tulor Village
- Moon Valley (Valle de la Luna)
- Atacama Desert
- El Tatio Geysers
- Church of San Pedro de Atacama
- Rainbow Valley (Valle del Arcoiris)
- Ojos del Salar
- Institute of Archaeological Research and R. P. G. Le Page Museum (Instituto de Investigacio
- Los Flamencos National Reserve (Reserva Nacional Los Flamencos)
- Pukara de Quitor
- Cejar Lagoon (Laguna Cejar)
- Puritama Hot Springs (Termas Baños de Puritama)
- Chaxa Lagoon (Laguna Chaxa)