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Explora Atacama

Northern Chile

Rating: Deluxe    

Explora Atacama overview

Set in 17 hectares of grounds, that feature a range of native plants and offering a choice of over 40 excursions and activities, Explora Atacama is the ideal base from which to enjoy the fascinating scenery of Atacama Desert, Andes highlands and Puritama hot springs.

The hotel has been carefully designed to fit into this precious environment. The low rise structure makes use of effective recycling and energy efficiency practises to minimise its impact. The gardens have been sensitively designed, retaining ancient buildings and pathways of the Aymara people who once lived here.

Communal areas have picture windows so you can enjoy desert and mountain views as you relax, dine and socialise with other guests. Rooms and suites similarly have large windows and are deliberately free of distractions such as TV and wifi. Instead you are invited to enjoy your surroundings to the full, even when resting in your own room. After a day out exploring you can relax with a massage, sauna or swim in one of the pools. After nightfall you shouldn't miss the opportunity for some top quality star gazing at the lodge's observatory.

The main emphasis is on the great outdoors and at the start of your stay you liaise with a guide to help you choose a series of excursions that match your interests and physical abilities. These include hikes of varying durations, biking, mountain climbing, and horse riding for beginners and experienced riders using the hotel's own stable of specially bred steeds. These trips allow guests to experience the varied terrain including salt flats, lagoons and geysers, visit archaeological sites and enjoy panoramic views. A visit to Puritama hot springs, coupled with a walk along the river, is a more relaxing option.


Open: Explora Atacama is open all year.

Location: Explora Atacama is set in grounds of 17 hectares in Ayllu de Larache, near the town of San Pedro de Atacama. The nearest large airport is in Calama. 98kms away. The lodge is 2,500 metres above sea level.

Rooms: There are 50 guest rooms in 3 categories. There is no distracting TV or wifi, and you have large windows so you can enjoy your surroundings. The 27 Yali rooms measure 33sqm, have either a double or 2 single beds, a table and chairs, desert views, a wash basin in the bedroom and a bathroom. The 19 Tulur rooms are the same size, have similar facilities and look out towards the mountains. They include some interconnecting rooms. There are 2 Catur suites, each with 50sqm, a table, chairs and sofa, private terrace, twin hand basins and a walk in shower, bath and separate toilet. All rooms have ceiling fans.

Activities: There are over 40 excursions to choose from, some using vehicles, some involving hiking, cycling and/or horse riding. These trips take you into the Atacama Desert and Andean highlands. Trips can be organised to the Puritama hot springs.

Facilities: The hotel has a bar, restaurant, barbecue area and shop selling outdoor clothing and equipment, books and gifts. The spa includes a massage area, 4 interconnected pools, a sauna, steam bath and outdoor jacuzzis. The gardens include a range of endemic plants. There is an observatory on site with a powerful telescope you can use for star gazing each night, weather conditions permitting. The hotel has its stable of 10 plus horses for riding trips.

Dining: The cuisine is light and healthy, to give you the necessary energy without leaving you feeling too sated for activities. Picnic lunches are included on full day trips. Special barbecues are occasionally held in the Quincho, a traditional adobe house and patio, near the hotel. Chilean wines are available to accompany meals, with premium wines at additional cost.

Children: Children of all ages are welcome. Children aged under 4 stay free of charge when sharing the room with parents. There are some interconnecting rooms for families. Cots and extra beds can be provided on request. Many activities are suitable for families.

Health: Be aware of the effects of altitude when visiting here.

Communication: There is complimentary wifi internet access in the reception area. There is mobile phone coverage at the hotel.

Notes: Your stay includes meals, drinks, excursions, national park fees, use of the spa facilities and return shared transfers from and to the airport in Calama.

Map for Explora Atacama

Lodge IconLodge Yacht IconVessel Tented Camp IconCamp Hotel IconHotel National Park IconNational Park Historic site IconHistoric site Place of Interest IconPlace of Interest UNESCO world heritage site IconUNESCO heritage site

Guy Marks
Paul Cook
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An Explorer's Chile
15 days from £6955 pp

From north to south, desert to glacier, with the bonus of Easter Island, you experience the rich variety that is Chile.

A room with heart
a room
with heart

The Explora hotel group has a strong commitment to the natural environment, local communities and sustainable tourism, and practise recycling, waste management and energy efficiency.  Explora Atacama created the Puritama Natural Reserve, a conservation project involving local communities, carrying out scientific research into the local flora and fauna.   



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