Sitting high up in the Altiplano of northern Chile, the desert of Atacama is known for its captivating landscapes of sand dunes, hot springs, canyons and geysers. Here, glowing sunrises and mind-blowing sunsets are the norm.
After dusk, the sky is illuminated with a canopy of blinking stars, a sight unmatched anywhere else in the Southern Hemisphere. Come morning, noon or night, the Atacama’s natural splendor and enigmatic energy is inescapable.
The essence of this unforgettable desert landscape is at the heart of Tierra Atacama. The property was designed with regional sensibilities, eco-friendly design and boutique comforts firmly in mind.
Having arrived at Tierra Atacama in the late morning, our guides will sit down with you to find out what sort of activities and Atacama Desert adventures you might be interested in, creating an excursion plan for the upcoming days as you chat. Activities penciled in, you’ll then be shown around the hotel for an introduction to your new home and enjoy a delicious lunch, before perhaps setting out on an afternoon half-day tour – to the Atacama Salt Flats, for example – to get your Atacama Desert adventure started in style.
After visiting the village of Toconao, this scenic vehicle tour heads to Los Flamencos National Reserve at Chaxa Lagoon, home not only to various Flamingo species but also to Andean Gulls, Highland Chorlos and more birdlife. While taking a gentle walk along the trails that wind their way around this watery haven, there’s no doubt you’ll be reaching for the camera to capture this landscape of vast open skies, imposing peaks looming on the horizon and the colors of the sunset mirrored in Chaxa Lagoon, as the Flamingos go about their own daily business.
We will leave the hotel and head by vehicle to the Kari lookout point, located 2,550 meters above sea level. Known as the “Coyote Rock,” this lookout, seen on one of San Pedro de Atacama’s most famous postcards, offers a panoramic view of the Salt Mountain Range. From here, we will head down a large dune until arriving to the canyon. Through difficult accesses and labyrinths, we will tour caves and rock formations that tell the geological history of the area. We will return to the hotel by vehicle.
As for the afternoon? Spoil yourself with a time out in our Uma Spa, where you can reconnect with a relaxing therapy or two, or simply allow any stresses to melt away by soaking in the hot tub, or enjoying a water circuit as you drift between the indoor pool and steam room.
After a comfortable first night at Tierra Atacama, wake up with the sight of beautiful desert views and head to our dining room for breakfast before meeting with your guide, who will then lead the way on a half-day tour of the Moon Valley. Here, marvel at the raw beauty of the Atacama Desert, its dunes, deep canyons and dramatic lunar landscapes – a place sure to leave visitors feeling awestruck – as your guide explains the finer geographical details of this spectacular place.
Back at Tierra, sit down for a delicious dinner before venturing out yet again for a rather special after-dark astronomy excursion, one of Atacama’s must-see experiences and a perfect way to round off the day.
An early start this morning is more than made up for at the Tatio Geysers, which you’ll reach just as the sun begins to emerge above the horizon, casting an ethereal glow on the vapor columns which tower at a height of 12 meters. Spend some time appreciating this geothermal field, home to over 80 active geysers which protrude from bubbling pools of boiling water, before hopping back in the vehicle to make your way home. In the light of day, you’ll be able to spot Vicuñas, Foxes, Vizcachas and Andean Ostriches roaming outside your window, making a stop at the picturesque, adobe village of Machuca and arriving back at the hotel.
On your final day in the Atacama Desert, head into the town of San Pedro. As you explore the dusty streets you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported back in time. Be sure to pick up some locally hand-crafted souvenirs while you are here – keep an eye out for genuine alpaca wool sweaters and copper jewelry.
Enjoy your final lunch at Tierra Atacama this afternoon, before you bid farewell and are transferred to the airport, ready for your journey home or onward adventure in Chile – to Chiloé or Patagonia, for example!