The first tour I have decided to take is, I believe, one of the most popular ones: the sunset tour of the Valle de la Luna. You can also do this activity by renting bikes (about 3000 pesos per person for 6hrs), but as you know how much I like biking, I decided to relax and just go with the tour bus. Moreover, the road to get there is quite long and dusty-bumby, so I would suggest you budget quite a lot of time to do it by bike (otherwise you won’t have much time left in the valley itself!).
The tour left around 3PM directly from the travel agency office in town. We walked to the municipal parking where all the tour buses are, and we drove! The first stop is a mirador higher up in the valley which allows to have a very nice view of the Cordillera, the volcanoes and the valley itself.
After we drove straight into the valley and made a pit stop in a zone with lots of salt caves. It is really interesting to see how the salt has crystalized and was shaped by water in all these caves. We were able to walk within a few caves, although with all the tours coming at the same time, for me it was a bit disappointing. Let’s just say it takes away from the experience with you feel like walking into a salt cave is like walking on a highway… reminds of hiking the Stawamus Chief in Squamish, BC on a Saturday in the summer.
The highlight of this tour was the sunset at the Puerta del Sol. We stopped near the main sand dune and hiked on its side up to a ridge, where we had a 360 view of the sunset, the valley and the Cordillera. We stayed there for about an hour to enjoy the sunset, and to look at the colors changing on the mountains as the sun is down and its reflection keep changing over the peaks.
We went back to town around 645PM. Overall I think it is a great area to visit. Better to do it with your own car or if you like biking, take the full day to do it by bike (I would not recommend biking back in the dark, but up to you). Otherwise the tours remain the best option to have a great overview of the area!