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The Atacama Desert

The world’s most arid wilderness with its serene atmosphere and profound beauty lies in northern Chile’s Atacama Desert. Awe-inspiring surroundings include over 100 geysers which burst forth from the frozen earth at sunrise and the amazing salt flats and altiplanic lakes that are home to a mass of flamingo. Spectacular lunar landscapes at Valle de La Luna are at their most eerie at sunset and a full moon contributes perfectly to this mesmerising natural environment. The remains of lost civilisations and ancient mummies preserved in the dry desert air are on display at the archaeological museum in San Pedro de Atacama, the focal point of a visit to this dramatically barren, fascinating land.

In the north the Atacama .....

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The Atacama Desert

The world’s most arid wilderness with its serene atmosphere and profound beauty lies in northern Chile’s Atacama Desert. Awe-inspiring surroundings include over 100 geysers which burst forth from the frozen earth at sunrise and the amazing salt flats and altiplanic lakes that are home to a mass of flamingo. Spectacular lunar landscapes at Valle de La Luna are at their most eerie at sunset and a full moon contributes perfectly to this mesmerising natural environment. The remains of lost civilisations and ancient mummies preserved in the dry desert air are on display at the archaeological museum in San Pedro de Atacama, the focal point of a visit to this dramatically barren, fascinating land.

In the north the Atacama Desert reveals ancient remains of lost indigenous civilisations, while erupting geysers, salt lakes and volcanoes punctuate the contours of the high altiplano inland. Here the hotels rise like oases from the desert setting. Travel from the desert further south towards gentle landscapes of vineyards which produce Chile’s delicious wines.

In this land of contrast and extremes, whatever choices one makes or resorts one chooses, the result will be a remarkable odyssey; a journey of which the memories will last a lifetime.

Chile excels in a number of unique travesias or crossings. These journeys represent extended adventures and tours in the hands of some of the very best guides that Latin America has to offer, in several of the most extraordinary environments. After a few days of acclimatisation in San Pedro options are available to head east to cross the Andean Mountain Range towards Salta in Argentina, or otherwise due north towards the Bolivian altiplano. The crossing to or from Salta rethreads the ancient steps between the colonial Viceroyalty of Peru and the Viceroyalty of La Plata, with imposing landscapes at up to 4,000 metres and traces of the various pre-Colombian cultures that inhabited the region. The crossing north passes a majestic line of volcanoes to reach Bolivia via hot springs, lakes and old mines before reaching the vast Salar de Uyuni salt flat. With a surface area of over 100,000 square kilometres and as flamingo fly overhead, this is certainly one of the most extraordinary sights the world has to offer.

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Climate & average temperatures

Chile - Calama
Months J F M A M J J A S O N D
Temp °C 19 19 18 16 14 13 13 13 15 17 16 19
Rain mm 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.5 0 0 0 0 0



Key features of this accommodation...

Explora Atacama
A hotel with bold architecture and traditional style, which is the last word in luxury in the world’s driest desert of Atacama
52 rooms, Guided explorations, horse riding & mountain biking

Awasi Atacama
Luxury property situated inside an ancient site surrounded by a historic wall just a stone’s throw from San Pedro de Atacama
2 rooms, 6 suites, Private tours, horse riding & cycling

Tierra Atacama Hotel & Spa
Luxury boutique hotel located in Chile's breathtaking Atacama Desert, with the added attraction of one of the largest private telescopes in the world
32 rooms, Local excursions, hiking, bike riding, horse riding & volcano climbing, 2 pools

3 Properties Listed