Floating Around Laguna Cejar – San Pedro Part 2

Just a few days in the desert made us crave the sight of water, especially if it meant we could take a dip. When I heard about an emerald green lagoon, engulfed by white salt in the middle of the dry, red desert plains, I had decided that is where I wanted to be.

Laguna Cejar is located 30km from the centre of San Pedro de Atacama at an altitude of 2,450 metres above sea level. Almost lost in the middle of the Atacama Salt Flats, the best way to get there is with a guide. It’s easy to see why!

We booked a guide with Altiplano Adventura in the town centre and left one afternoon to discover this beautiful spot in the desert. Loaded in a 4×4 minibus with 8 other travellers, we scrambled across the desert plains. The sandy roads often tainted white with salt have no direction. Tracks criss-cross each other and after about the fifth time of taking a left-hand turn on a vast open road that seems to go nowhere you realise the importance of having someone who knows where they’re actually heading.

The entrance of the lagoon is a little wooden hut, where we stopped to pay our 2,000 peso entrance fee. As we continued on to the banks of the lagoon, the bright turquoise green seems to pop out of nowhere and it is a feast for the eyes in the midst of a sandy desert.

We had an hour or so to swim here in the Laguna Cejar. The concentration of salt is so strong that it stings your eyes as you approach. Everywhere bodies were floating upright in the salty water.

Once we had rinsed off in fresh water and jumped back in the car, we headed onto the Ojos de Salar – two “eyes of salt” hidden further up the road in the middle of nowhere.

Juan our guide told us to jump. Apparently that’s the only way in. It was only once we had dived in that we found out it was freezing cold and 22 metres deep!

Awoken and refreshed we headed on to our last stop for the day – Laguna Tebinquiche. Apparently here you can find flamingos, foxes and many different species of birds, although we had no such luck. The deep blue waters are lined with yellow stone and salt crust, and further afield wetlands, all of which provide a stunning contrast against the rising chocolate-coloured volcano in the background.


We took photos, chatted and waited for the sun to set, as Juan set up a picada of pisco sour cocktails (freshly shaken), chips and choccy biscuits.


Watching the sun set behind the far-off mountains as the sky lit up rainbow clouds of blue, purple, yellow and red, we sipped on our piscos and enjoyed the views. A perfect end to a perfect afternoon.

7 Responses to “Floating Around Laguna Cejar – San Pedro Part 2”
  1. Mora Tacconi says:

    I like this post, enjoyed this one thankyou for putting up.

  2. Carole Malinda says:

    Love the colours of the sky.I can see me sitting there painting and sipping a gin and tonic.Go you two.

    • munyivaresponsibletravel says:

      It’s beautiful! You can paint in abstencia. I have many photos that would make good paintings 😉

  3. Carole Malinda says:

    Can see your enjoying the sea.Good to see you both well and happy .wish we were there!

  4. jackluc says:

    Nice Haka , Natasha! Good training for the semi final next sunday against the All Blacks !

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  • Natasha Malinda from Melbourne, Australia
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