The Atacama Desert ranks among the driest regions on earth, fifty times more arid than California’s Death Valley, with some regions having never had any recorded rainfall.
Located in the far north of Chile, it is a place of truly other-worldly landscape of towering volcanoes, flamingo frequented lagoons, salt-flats, geysers and shifting sand dunes. Indeed, the Atacama has been used to test Mars-bound NASA rovers and, thanks to its utter lack of weather, high altitude and low-to-zero light pollution, it is a stargazing haven home to the world’s most advanced observatories.
What’s more, despite its remote location and arid climate, the Atacama is home to a handful of luxury hotels. Based around the remote oasis town of San Pedro de Atacama, you can venture out and explore this incredible wilderness on foot, 4WD vehicle, horseback or mountain bike. The borders of both Bolivia and Argentina are relatively close by too, making it a great stop while exploring the great Salar de Uyuni and Argentina’s northwestern provinces of Jujuy and Salta.
When to go
October to December or March to May are great times to visit as you can enjoy the region in its more relaxed, tranquil and remote period. Due to potential heavy rains in February, we generally recommend not to visit the Atacama then.
What to do
- Visit the Tatio geysers
- Take a tour of the Moon and Death valley
- Explore the salt lakes in the region
- Star gazing
- Walk around the sleepy desert town of San Pedro de Atacama
Itineraries including Atacama Desert
Whatever you want your luxury tour or safari itinerary to include, we’ll create something fully bespoke for you… and only you.
Accommodation in Atacama Desert
Here are some of our travel designers' favourite options
Nayara Alto AtacamaAlmost imperceptible from its backdrop of baked red rock, emerging as a perfectly placed traditional adobe settlement, it takes an even closer look to discover that this is, in fact, the very conscientiously designed and luxuriously authentic Nayara Alto Atacama. Its beauty is matched by its sustainable ideals, with the resort dedicated to integrating into the environment without causing harm to the immediate landscapes or ecosystems. In the shadow of the Cordillera de la Sal and with the San Pedro River coursing by its enviably remote and magical position in the Atacama desert means it is well placed to explore the surrounding natural sights of deep, sweeping valleys and canyons, kaleidoscope skies, serene lagoons, ancient ruins and tempestuous geysers. Yet the location is only part of the hotel’s unique allure; its design both in and out stylishly embraces the aesthetic of the Altiplano and Atacama. Varying textures in the form of colourful earth-tone tiles, Brea lamps, cave paintings, local iconography, sculptures, and coarse Aguayo tapestries and Amerindian textiles, blend to create an inviting, warm and intimate atmosphere to the contrasting wilderness outside. Each comfortable room features its own terrace and is equipped with many modern appliances and luxuries. What’s more the hotel’s activities and expeditions are expertly planned and personalised to you, with private guiding available. The staff will do their utmost to look after you and there are many facilities to enjoy at the hotel, such as yoga, spa treatments, hot springs, or just sitting under the patio awnings gazing at the spectacle in front of you.