Hotel Altiplanico was one of the original boutique desert-style lodges in San Pedro de Atacama. It offers simple, but bohemian-decorated style rooms, some with protected outdoor showers. There is a restaurant and small outdoor pool as well.
The location of the hotel is about 1km away from the centre of the village, at the entry to the Quitor Canyon, which offers a degree of quietness.
Altiplanico is part of a small, family network of Altiplanico hotels at key Chilean tourist destinations. Each hotel is unique and personal, the objective being to create a “homely” ambience, as well as being individually designed to blend into the local environment.
For ExperienceChile.Org the Altiplanico has always been one of our favourites. At San Pedro de Atacama the Altiplanico design concept has been to create a building that blends into the natural surroundings, both inside and out. Walls are constructed from adobe, meaning clay bricks mixed with stones, wood and straw. They are then coloured in a deep red, or brown-orange, reflecting a natural earth colour of the desert, combined with interior straw, or wood-beamed ceilings, and indigenous decorations on some of the walls and around the lights.
Rooms are also individual, some larger than others with en-suite bathrooms, some with exterior showers with no roof, but where the user can enjoy bathing under the natural sky. However, there are walls all around providing privacy at ground level at least.
This hotel is definitely “cosy” and an ideal place to receive the Atacama experience, but at a lower cost than some other lodges.
When standing outside the hotel entrance, to left is the impressive Quitor Canyon, with is steep walls and San Pedro river flowing through the canyon floor, which is also a nice place to explore on bikes. On the horizon opposite the hotel is the dominant, perfectly conical and sometimes snow topped Licancabur Volcano keeping watch over San Pedro de Atacama village.
In the main reception building (which is small, and a mix of a lounge with small eating area) is the restaurant, where breakfast is also served. Altiplanico’s ethos is to provide a “homely” ambience and to this degree the restaurant offers food more in line with home cooking, based upon Peruvian, Chilean and Atacameñan dishes rather than “haute cuisine”. Typical ingredients used are purple-coloured potatoes, quinoa, scallops, chañar and indigenous-cultivated corn.