Alto Atacama Desert Lodge has been designed to blend into its valley setting with the ochre colour of its adobe walls matching that of the surrounding hills. The architecture is partly inspired by local dwellings, and the strong link with the environment and community is evident during your stay, from the local staff and guides to the deco and artworks, and varied excursions that allow you to explore and enjoy the region.
All rooms and suites come with terraces where you can unwind and take in views of the garden and Catarpe Valley as you enjoy a refreshing drink from the minibar. There are plenty of places throughout the hotel where you can relax and socialise with other guests including outdoor seating areas by firepits and a cosy lounge complete with an open fire. The gardens, designed by a qualified botanist, include endemic plants, soil and stones carefully arranged to provide a mini portion of the desert. Several plunge pools are set within the grounds, and there's a spa where you can indulge in your choice of treatments. Meals showcase local, organic produce and are served in a variety of indoor and outdoor locations and can be accompanied by some fine Chilean wine.
An extensive range of excursions spanning adventure, culture, astronomy and cuisine enables you to make the most of your time here as you venture into the Atacama Desert with a local guide. Highlights include the strange rock formations of Moon Valley, impressive lagoons, gushing geysers and watching flamingos at the Salar de Atacama salt flats.
Open: Alto Atacama is open all year.
Location: Alto Atacama is in the Catarpe Valley in the Salt Mountain Range, about 1.6kms from the centre of San Pedro de Atacama. It is at an altitude of 2,400m. The closest airport is Calama, about 100kms and a 90 minute drive away.
Rooms: The hotel has a total of 42 rooms and suites. There are 5 quitor rooms, each covering 50sqm, located on the ground floor and with an en-suite shower room, minibar, safe and garden-facing terrace. There are 27 catarpe rooms, at 52sqm they are slightly larger than the quitor rooms. They have the same facilities and their terraces are more secluded and have views of the valley and mountains. There are 10 tilo suites, each with 70sqm of space. In addition to the standard facilities these also have a private courtyard with an outdoor shower. 2 of the suites are interconnecting and can be used by families. There is room service.
Activities: The hotel offers around 30 different excursions, so you can select those that most appeal to you. You can explore the Atacama Desert on foot and by bike, visit local communities, see Inca ruins and petroglyphs and use the hotel's open air observatory to do some star gazing.
Facilities: The hotel has a restaurant and outdoor dining areas, a lounge-bar with an open fire and outdoor seating areas with firepits. There are 6 outdoor plunge pools. Puri Spa offers massages, a sauna, Turkish bath, Scottish showers and indoor and outdoor jacuzzis. The hotel has its own observatory with an astronomical telescope on a nearby hill.
Dining: Meals are made from local organic ingredients and eaten indoors in the main restaurant or outside where there are 2 further dining areas and a barbecue area. There is a choice of Chilean wines to accompany dishes.
Children: Children of all ages are welcome. The 2 interconnecting suites make good family accommodation.
Health: Be aware of the effects of altitude when visiting here.
Communication: There is free WiFi internet access in public areas.
Experience Chile's stunning scenery, from giant glaciers to lunar desert, and explore the cosmopolitan cities of Santiago and Valparaiso
Alto Atacama operates according to strong eco principles and has a Tourism Sustainability Policy. The hotel supports the local economy by sourcing food and other materials locally, by selling locally made crafts in the shop and by employing and training local people.
"We didn’t stay the night here but had the pleasure of being offered lunch here when coming to look at the hotel. The food was outstanding, and mirrored the impression I came away with of this lodge. It’s high quality, in a lovely quiet spot outside of San Pedro de Atacama town, its staff seem very professional and friendly, the spa was quite something, and the vehicles very comfortable too. It had a very serene and calm feel to it, I’d say it was a good choice if that is important to you."