Kingdom of Copiapoa and Eriosyce Overview

Posted On: Dec 30, 2019

Kingdom of Copiapoa and Eriosyce Overview

A specialist tour of the two most loved Chilean cacti genera, this 8 day/7 night journey begins in La Serena and ends in Antofagasta, Chile.

Tours run on request all year – Contact us direct to book!

Featured plants:

Copiapoa: cinerea, columna-alba, solaris, kranziana, haseltoniana/gigantea, montana, tenuissima, cinerascens, atacamensis, laui, dealbata, longistaminea, calderana, echinoides, corralensis, griseoviolacea and more! Eriyosyce: aurata, occulta, esmeraldana, napina (+ various subspecies), odieri (+ various subspecies), rodentiophila, villosa, taltalensis, paucicostata + many more! Eulychnia: breviflora and iquiquensis. Trichocereus deserticola and coquimbanus. Miqueliopuntia miquelii. Euphorbia lactiflua (Euphorbiaceae), Deuterocohnia chrysantha and various Puya species (Bromeliaceae), Tillandsia landbeckii and geissei (also Bromeliaceae), various bulbs from Amaryllidaceae, Bomarea (Leontochir) Ovallei (Alstroemeriaceae) + more!

This morning we meet at your hotel in La Serena and spend a full day exploring various hidden valleys to see over fourteen unique forms of Copiapoa and Eriosyce! Some highlights being various subspecies of Eriosyce napina and the newly described Copiapoa corralensis and griseoviolacea.  O/N Huasco.

Today we travel into to Llanos de Challe National Park, seeing everything from huge clumps of Copiapoa dealbata to the smallest forms of Eriosyce napina! We continue north to find more geophytic Eriosyce in some of the most arid areas of the Atacama Desert. This evening we arrive in the coastal oasis of Bahia Inglesa. This area also showcases some of the most spectacular beaches (and cacti) in the country! O/N Bahia Inglesa.

Today we take the coastal route to Chañaral. On the way we explore grand coastal monoliths to find the biggest Copiapoa marginata you’ve seen in your life, to the small geophytic wonder which is Eriosyce oderi. We continue into to a nearby valley to see several more species of Copiapoa and then search again for another geophyte, Eriosyce oderi subs. krausii on our way north. We finish off the day by seeing Copiapoa hypogea and the southern form of C. cinerascens, plus a spectacular view of the Atacama coastline! O/N Chañaral

Today is one of our personal favourites and includes the picturesque locations of Pan de Azucar National Park and Cifuncho. These places are home to Copiapoa cinerea subs. columna-alba, longistaminea, cinerascens, grandiflora, serpentisulcata and laui among many others. Eriosyce esmeraldana and odieri ssp. malleolata are special finds in the area too! O/N Taltal.

Eriosyce sp

Today we will explore one of the most famous places in the world for cacti lovers – Taltal! We begin with a morning hike into the San Ramon Valley and surrounds to find Copiapoa kranziana, montana, cinerea, haseltoniana and of course more forms of Eriosyce! We will also find some other botanical gems such as Euphorbia lactiflua (Euphorbiaceae) and Deuterocohnia chrysantha (Bromeliaceae). O/N Taltal.

Continuing north, we visit more enchanting places along the Atacama coast where cacti literally grow up to the oceans edge. We thoroughly explore the northern Taltal, Paposo and Bodija area to see various Copiapoa, including: solaris, ahremephiana, tenuissima,  humilis, and cinerea ‘Albispina’. Eriosyce and Eulychnia species also make an appearance, as well as more incredibly large and thriving populations of Copiapoa haseltoniana/gigantea! O/N Antofagasta.

We begin our final day adventure in a place locally known as the Pearl of the North, the city of Antofagasta. We begin by driving along a spectacular peninsula to explore National Parks north of the city. Here we will see an incredibly intact but delicate ecosystem that relies on the formation of dense, stratocumulus cloud banks known locally as camanchaca. These parks encompases a large populations of Copiapoa atacamensis along with Eriosyce recondita and Eulychnia iquiquensis. This day trek has spectacular views the entire way! On our return to the city we visit La Portada, which is a spectacular coastal sedimentary rock formation and wildlife conservation area. We relax in Antofagasta afterwards to celebrate our journey together! O/N Antofagasta.

Today is our final farewell and airport transfer.

What’s Included?

All private transportation, transfers and excursions. Bilingual English/Spanish speaking guide. Admission fees to all nature reserves. Accommodation on a twin/double basis. All breakfasts, box-lunches, dinners. Fresh water in the vehicle. Emergency supplies are also carried. Tour inclusions will begin from lunch on day one to breakfast on day eight. Your full time tour leader will be your primary contact, accompanying you from your arrival to departure.

What’s Not Included?

International/domestic airfares, airport taxes. Tips to guides, drivers, hotel & restaurant staff etc. Drinks with meals in restaurants. Personal travel and medical insurance. Anything not specified under “What’s included?”

Arrival and Departure

Airport details – La Serena International Airport – LSC, Antofagasta International Airport – ANF.  It is recommended that you arrive at least one day before your tour begins, however we accommodate any travel arrangements you have. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about our tours or need assistance with planning.


To secure your group tour booking, please transfer 30% of the overall price via the Plugin Service Payment link below. Full payment options also available. Contact me directly for  private tours and bank transfer options. I am happy to split any bank transfer costs 50/50 with you. Complete payments are required no later than 60 days before your tour departure when we will also send specifications of what you need to bring for your trip. We look forward to seeing you in Chile!

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Tour Details

  • Tour Interest: Cacti and flora
  • Tour Type and Mode: Overland, all inclusive
  • Tour Duration: 8 days - 7 nights
  • Tour Dates: Private tours run on request all year.
  • Starts/Ends: Starts in La Serena, ends in Antofagasta Chile
  • Difficulty: Moderate but can be adjusted depending on fitness level
  • Best time to Go: September - February to see cacti in flower
  • Price: Private tours based on group size. Larger groups reduce cost per person. Consult us directly for pricing.
  • Objectives: