Altiplanico Atacama


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.

Cumbres Atacama


Hotel Cumbres one of the largest hotels in Sa Pedro de Atacama, with 60 guest rooms.

It is located in an area almost opposite the Tierra Atacama, but on the “other side” of the small, dusty road. This is an area on the periphery of San Pedro village.
Overall, this hotel radiates more of a commercial feel due to its large size, and its meeting and conference facilities. There are more people, larger spaces, even T.V.s in the guest rooms, therefore, if this is what you are after then it is a good option.

Facilities include outdoor swimming pools, a gym, massage and even two saunas, plus a restaurant of course.

As with the other higher-end hotels, or lodges in and around San Pedro de Atacama, Cumbres offers excursions with their own vehicles with guides.


Cumbres Atacama is a “desert-designed” hotel, but with a “city-like” hotel feel. It offers spacious guest rooms, each one located next to the other in long “wings” of the hotel. Within the rooms are TV’s with cable service – something the other higher-end lodges do not offer, and exterior, private patio areas outside each room.

Upon entry to the main reception area, one is greeted by a sense of space. The lobby is spacious, the restaurant with many tables, long exterior paths off which are the individual room entrances.

The hotel occupies a large chunk of land within which are native trees and desert plants.


The Kunza restaurant offers “Atacama” gastronomy using ingredients form the area. The actual place where the restaurant is located is in the main, reception sector of the hotel, where quite a number of tables are waiting for guests for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Awasi Atacama

Hotel Awasi in San Pedro de Atacama prides itself as being the only luxury lodge offering custom, private tours and excursions with a dedicated driver/guide allocated to each guest suite.

In San Pedro de Atacama the Lodge is located either side of a side street in the centre of the village. In total there are 12 suite rooms, each one is spacious, decorated both externally and internally with the natural colouring of the surrounding desert.

The Awasi hotel, or lodge in San Pedro de Atacama has positioned itself as a unique product. What is meant by this is that unlike a typical hotel, here, when you book a guest room you will receive a dedicated vehicle with driver, who will also be your personal guide for all excursions and tours that you decide to take during your visit.

The lodge is boutique in style. The buildings relating to the lodge are situated either side of a small village road, with some rooms and the reception on one side and the other rooms, restaurant, terrace and small pool on the other side. Don’t worry, each side is sealed off from the street by a wall and for all intents and purposes no one realises that either side there is a hotel.

The main area, where the restaurant is located, is where people can relax in chairs and around tables in an exterior terrace area. The restaurant is also on the edge of this terrace, open on one side, but also under cover. In addition, the kitchen is adjacent to the restaurant and visibly open to the eye.

Gastronomy is a key piece to the Awasi offering, with each plate crafted to haute cuisine levels accompanied by the best Chilean wines.

In the middle of this outer terrace is a small swimming pool.

One thing, however, that guests should be aware of at Awasi is that there are no particular views to any of the Atacama landscape from the rooms nor any other part of the hotel. However, it is positioned smack bang in the middle of the village and therefore it is easy walking to look around San Pedro de Atacama.

Awasi, like other top-end lodges in the area, specialises in offering an all-inclusive program whereby guests will book 4 and more, on the basis that everything is included. Therefore, transfers in and out, all meals, accommodation, tours, excursions are all included during your stay so all you need do is relax and enjoy.

If you see privacy and discretion, Awasi is a good option.

The Awasi restaurant is located in an outdoor terrace area, but with roof covering leaving one side open. The resident chef has only one mission, which is to provide guests with what they desire and to a level of high gastronomic delight.

Nayara Alto Atacama


Hotel Nayara Alto Atacama began life as a high-end family-owned hotel and opened its doors in 2008. Today it managed by Naraya hotel group, along with the Hanga Roa Hotel on Easter Island.

The hotel, or lodge, itself is an excellent product. Architecturally it radiates high-end design, with large guest rooms, some with equally large outer terraces, a number of exterior bathing pools, its own observatory for star gazing, a fine outdoor restaurant, spa and inner gardens.

All buildings are coloured with tones of the natural, surrounding desert which camouflages excellent into the sand-coloured surroundings.

Another aspect to this lodge is that it is located on an elevation in the entry sector to the Quitor Canyon, offering a certain amount of tranquillity and quietness not found in the centre of San Pedro village.

All Inclusive Program
In line with other hotels of this high-end category, Nayara Alto Atacama offers all-inclusive programs. This means that during your stay everything you need such as all meals, transfers in and out, tours and excursions with educated guides, lodge facilities and, of course, accommodation is included. All you need to do is relax and enjoy.


For ExperienceChile.Org the Nayara Alto Atacama lodge is right up there as being one of the best desert lodges in San Pedro de Atacama, if not in the entire Atacama.

What makes this hotel so good is its uniqueness and attention to detail. All the guest rooms offer a good amount of space along with an exterior, covered, private patio area.

The overall interior decoration of the buildings compliment, in a harmonic way, to the exterior colours of the desert and, the exterior of the buildings has almost the same colour as the orange and red of the desert canyon walls.

The leisure facilities are also finished to a high degree of quality, both the spa and exterior bathing pools.

In addition the is an interior corral where native llamas wander.

Finally, and perhaps the greatest surprise here is the hotel’s own small observatory for star gazing.

Like the other top-end lodges in San Pedro de Atacama, the Nayara Alto Atacama lodge specialises in “all-inclusive” programs. This means that you book, for example, four nights, or longer, and pay for everything that will include accommodation, meals, facilities and tours that are guided by educated guides, along with transport and, when required, high-end picnics.


The main restaurant at Alto Atacama is located near the main entrance and covers and indoor and outdoor area. The menu offers crafted dishes that use locally grown produce, accompanied by a quality Chilean wine selection.

Explora Atacama

The Explora brand began in Torres del Paine in 1993 with an objective to offer those who love the outdoors. Aimed at people who want excursions, and experiences into the natural world, accompanied by educated guides and be able to return to a high-quality lodge each night and sleep in comfort, enjoy good food, good wines and relax in a place offering luxury facilities.

Five years later, in 1998, Explora launched its Atacama lodge. Perhaps ambitiously, the San Pedro building, like its sister lodge in Patagonia, tried to be a pioneering architectural accomplishment. The idea was to have a main building that reflected the immense space of the Atacama Desert with incredibly high ceilings, walls painted white and a minimalist feel. Rooms, too, were designed to mix high-end quality with a minimalist design.

Taking note that many guests did not appreciate the “cavernous” stye of the main building interior and simple guest rooms, Explora adjusted these elements and today the main building is much cosier, rooms are not so minimalist and the overall product is one of the best in San Pedro de Atacama.

Indeed, as with the Explora lodge in Torres del Paine, their Atacama Lodge concept went on to be copied by all the other high-end lodges around the village. However, as pioneers they set the standard and continue to innovate, opening other lodges in key natural areas where guests and enjoy what Mother Nature has provided.

All Inclusive Program
In line with other hotels of this high-end category, Explora offers all-inclusive programs. These include everything you need during your stay, such as all meals, transfers in and out, tours and excursions with educated guides, lodge facilities and, of course, accommodation.

Explora Atacama is a uniquely designed set of buildings that are minimalist on the exterior, but full of life and luxury amenities in the interior. The grounds within which the lodge is situated occupies 17 hectares (42 acres), which was originally 20 indigenous fields. Some of these lands still have the original foot paths and buildings from historic times. Admirably, in line with the Explora ethos to respect culture, these interesting and important marks of history are preserved.

Swimming Pools
Around and within the lodge grounds is pampas grass and other local flora. Placed among this natural vegetation are four long swimming-lane pools, and, close by are outdoor hot tubs, steam baths and a sauna.

The Atacama Desert is renowned for having the clearest skies on Earth. This is due to the air being dry and the high altitude of the Andes. Consequently, the area is a haven for professional, international observatories, as well as the more “hobbyist” telescopes.

Explora is fortunate to have its own observatory for star gazing. The dome contains an advanced optics telescope offering a high degree of potency for viewing the solar system and stars. It is a Meade 16” f/10 LX200R Advanced RD, and a main mirror of 40 cm in diameter offering extraordinary resolution and sharpness.

In line with the Explora ethos to connect people as much as possible to the natural environment and cultures, the gastronomic offering includes local ingredients and “pure flavours”, within each dish. The chef will provide crafted meals that are light and healthy. In addition, Explora offers top Chilean wines to accompany your meal.

Tierra Atacama

Tierra Atacama, like its sister lodges in Torres del Paine as well as Chiloe Island, has, again, managed to pull off a wonderful, welcoming surprise here in the Atacama. The hotel is located on the extremities of the village, allowing for magnificent views of the Licancabur Volcano and Atacama plains.

The outdoor pool area offers a wonderful place to relax and cool off, whilst also taking in the jaw-dropping background view.

In addition, the restaurant, apart from providing excellent cuisine, also offers the incredible Atacamanian view from the window side.

All-Inclusive Program
In line with other hotels of this high-end category, Tierra offers all-inclusive programs whereupon you pay for a certain number of days and nights, and everything is included, such as all meals, transfers in and out, tours and excursions with educated guides, lodge facilities and, of course, accommodation.

The Tierra brand is associated with uniquely designed hotels set in stunning locations. The emphasis is to provide the guest with not only quality accommodation, food and overall services, but also with incredible views of the natural landscape.

Tierra Atacama has accomplished this incredibly well with the location and set up of the lodge at San Pedro de Atacama, offering 32 guest rooms.

There is a stupendous view of Licancabur Volcano and the desert plains from the terrace of all the guest rooms, as well as from the restaurant and outdoor pool area.

Rooms could be considered simply furnished, but beds and cotton sheets are of the highest quality.

The restaurant offers high-level gastronomy, accompanied by a nice bar.

For those seeking to be “pampered” during their stay there is also a fine spa with small indoor pool.

In the middle of the main reception area of the lodge is the restaurant. Here, breakfast is served as well as lunch and evening meals.

The chef uses local produce to infuse into the cuisine of northern Chile. Typically, there will be fresh salads, Peruvian corn, quinoa and meat or vegetarian options. The aim is to provide food that is not too heavy and offers great flavour.

As previously mentioned, outside the floor to ceiling glass walls of the restaurant is the dramatic and stunning view of Licancabur Volcano and the dried-up lava-flow canyons.