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Car Rental in Calama, Chile

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Why renting a car in Calama, Chile

Calama is a city located in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile. Known for its mining industry and proximity to the famous Atacama Salt Flats, Calama attracts visitors from around the world. Whether you’re visiting for tourism or business, renting a car in Calama can be a convenient and practical choice.


For tourists, having a rental car in Calama allows for the freedom to explore the surrounding area at your own pace. From the colorful rock formations of Valle de la Luna to the geysers and hot springs of El Tatio, there are plenty of natural wonders to see within driving distance of the city. Additionally, having a car can make it easier to visit popular attractions like the Chuquicamata copper mine or the Museum of the Desert in nearby San Pedro de Atacama.


If you’re visiting Calama for business, having a rental car can save you time and provide flexibility in your schedule. Whether you need to travel to different mining sites or attend meetings in various locations, having your own transportation can be more efficient than relying on public transportation or taxis.

No matter the reason for your visit to Calama, renting a car can provide the convenience and freedom to make the most of your time in this unique city in the Atacama Desert.

Driving in Calama, Chile

Local Traffic Rules and Customs

When driving in Calama, it’s important to be aware of the local traffic rules and customs. In Chile, you drive on the right-hand side of the road and the legal blood alcohol limit is 0.08%. Seat belts are mandatory for all passengers, and it’s important to obey speed limits and traffic signs.

Parking Tips and Costs

Parking in Calama can be a bit challenging, especially in the city center. There are paid parking lots available, as well as street parking, but be sure to check for any parking restrictions or time limits. The cost of parking can vary depending on the location, with rates typically higher in the city center.

Tips for Driving in Calama

When driving in Calama, it’s important to be aware of the presence of large mining trucks on the roads, especially in the outskirts of the city. These trucks have the right of way and can be quite intimidating, so it’s important to give them plenty of space and to exercise caution when passing them.

Overall, driving in Calama requires attention to local traffic rules, patience with parking, and awareness of the unique driving conditions in the area. By following these tips, you can navigate the city safely and confidently.

Beautiful Things to See around Calama

1. Chuquicamata Open Pit Copper Mine

The Chuquicamata Open Pit Copper Mine is one of the largest open-pit copper mines in the world. Visitors can take guided tours to learn about the history and operations of the mine, as well as see the massive machinery and infrastructure used in the extraction process. It’s a unique and impressive sight that offers a glimpse into the mining industry of Chile.

2. San Pedro de Atacama

Just a short drive from Calama, San Pedro de Atacama is a charming town known for its stunning desert landscapes and rich indigenous culture. Visitors can explore the otherworldly terrain of the Atacama Desert, visit the otherworldly Moon Valley, and take in breathtaking views of the Licancabur Volcano. The town also offers a variety of cultural and historical attractions, including the Pukará de Quitor, an ancient stone fortress.

3. Los Flamencos National Reserve

Located in the heart of the Atacama Desert, the Los Flamencos National Reserve is a protected area known for its diverse ecosystems and stunning natural beauty. Visitors can explore the salt flats of the Salar de Atacama, spot flamingos and other wildlife at the Chaxa Lagoon, and marvel at the colorful rock formations of the Valle de la Luna. It’s a must-see destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

4. El Tatio Geysers

For a truly unique experience, visitors can take a day trip to the El Tatio Geysers, located about 90 kilometers from Calama. These geysers are the largest geyser field in the southern hemisphere and are best visited at sunrise when the steam and boiling water create a surreal and captivating scene. It’s a natural wonder that shouldn’t be missed.

5. Valle de la Muerte

Also known as the Valley of Death, Valle de la Muerte is a striking geological formation just a short drive from Calama. Visitors can hike through the valley to see towering sand dunes, rugged rock formations, and panoramic views of the surrounding desert landscape. It’s a popular destination for adventure seekers and photographers alike.

With a rental car, visitors to Calama can easily explore these beautiful attractions and make the most of their time in this unique and fascinating region of Chile.

Affordable Car Hire in Calama

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