Though most visitors to Chile seem preoccupied with Patagonia, we think the lesser-known Atacama Desert in the north deserves equal attention, and this tour offers a lovely introduction. Begin in Santiago, where the highlights include city touring, an excursion to Valparaiso, and a day trip to the Matetic and Casa del Bosque wineries. From Santiago, fly north to the ancient city of Iquique, where indigenous and colonial heritage mingle together in this historic city. Next, fly to San Pedro de Atacama, a romantic desert village located in the heart of the Atacama Desert. Ragged mountains contrast sharply with the flat terrain at the base of the peaks; spend several days touring this mesmerizing world. Among the highlights at Atacama are Moon Valley and Mars Valley, named for their otherworldly resemblance –- indeed, Atacama feels like another planet entirely. Soak in the natural thermal springs, walk through the cacti stands or stroll through the charming town of San Pedro de Atacama. After thoroughly exploring Atacama, return to Santiago for a final day in which a driver and guide are at your disposal.