Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa
San Pedro de Atacama, Northern Chile
At a Glance
Stunning work of architecture set against a dramatic desert backdrop
Six outdoor pools and extensive areas for relaxing
Outdoor lounge areas with small fire pits
Great base for numerous adventure activities
Every room has its own private terrace
Wonderful Puri Spa
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
Day time temperatures are luminous and agreeable all year round. A characteristic of the desert climate is the marked fluctuation in temperature between day and night. In winter (June, July and August) the average temperature is 22ºC during the day and at night it goes down to around 4ºC; temperatures can occasionally go below freezing. In summer (December to February) the temperature varies between 28ºC during the day and 16ºC at night. During these months the temperature can reach 32ºC. January-March can sometimes receive a little rainfall and cloudy skies.
On February 2, the biggest festival in San Pedro, Festival de la Candelaria, features a large parade of bands and dancers.
Call us on to start planning your vacation to Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa or take a look at our itineraries to Northern Chile
Tucked away in a valley of serene beauty, Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa is blessed with a most spectacular location, flanked by dramatic mountain ranges, iconic archaeological sites, and the San Pedro river trickling its way alongside.
The Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa is a superb base for visiting the Atacama Desert and blends seamlessly into its surroundings very much like the typical dwellings of the area and is located 10 minutes outside of the oasis village of San Pedro.
The interior decoration is faithful to the local aesthetic; rustic yet elegant, with local crafts adding warmth and character. All guest rooms have a private terrace; the perfect spot to absorb the color and silence of the valley. Guests can choose from over thirty cultural and adventure activities, with everything from a visit to the workshop of a local artisan or a meeting with a shaman, to bike rides, volcano treks and visiting high altitude salt lakes and geysers further afield.
The Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa also offers a myriad of drives into the most stunning landscape, unique locations for outdoor lunches, and unforgettable sunsets. At the hotel’s observatory the intimate, small-group star gazing experience has been designed to be more sensory than technical, focusing on the magnitude of the magnificent night sky of Chile’s north. For a more relaxing time, the ‘Puri’ spa has six outdoor pools, indoor and outdoor whirlpool baths, and a wide range of spa treatments.
Alto Atacama has 42 comfortable rooms, designed in an elegant, rustic style featuring local crafts, which differ slightly in size and position, with the top level Tilo rooms having a privileged position with patios overlooking the lagoon. They are the widest rooms and an additional exterior shower located in the court deprived of every room. All rooms have their own private terrace, perfect for enjoying a good book, or simply relaxing and admiring the views of the gardens and the mountains.
Children are welcome at Alto Atacama. Triple rooms are available and extra bedding can be provided on request. It is important to note that small children may not always adapt easily to the high altitude.
Alto Atacama has six small outdoor pools surrounded by extensive decked areas, an outdoor bar and restaurant, perfect for relaxing with a chilled glass of Chilean white and enjoying the desert mountain views. The cuisine at the hotel blends Mediterranean flavors with local organic ingredients, many of which are seen and collected during excursions in the area. There is also a spa featuring a Finnish Sauna, Turkish bath, Scottish showers and indoor & outdoor hot tubs. There is also a cosy indoor lounge area, library, and dining room decorated with local crafts and furniture.
Activities on offer from Alto Atacama include guided tours to the surrounding desert and mountains, climbing, trekking, mountain biking, and star gazing. Guests can also indulge in a variety of relaxing treatments at the hotel's onsite spa.
Jules Maury (Staff)
Nestled amongst pink clay rocks, Alto Atacama sprawls between manicured terraces and pools which are the perfect place to relax, do some yoga, try one of their amazing juices or simply lie by the pool chilling after one of the daily Atacama excursions. Everything about this charming Art Deco property centers around their wonderful Spa and beautifully designed outside areas which all look onto a striking desert background of pinkish clay and cobalt skies. Rosario will cater to your every need and she and her team will ensure you have everything you need to make your stay in The Atacama truly memorable.
Katie Aston (Staff)
Alto Atacama Desert Lodge and spa has the most remarkable location, just 10 minutes away from the oasis town of San Pedro, surrounded by burnt orange mountains, so you really feel immersed in the majestic scenery and silence of the desert. The whole essence of Alto Atacama is to pay tribute to the Atacama, from the design of the building which is inspired by the typical Atacama houses. to the six solar heated swimming pools which are a nod to the Puritama hot springs and the food which uses unusual local ingredients - the Algorrobo ice cream was a revelation.
In a similar vein to the safari lodges of Africa, Alto Atacama Lodge offers a wide range of exciting experiences around the Atacama and on arrival they discuss the options with you over a glass of Pisco sour. They stress the importance of acclimatising to the altitude so recommend the highest experiences, such as the impressive El Tatio Geysers for your final day. I would recommend at least three nights in the Atacama to make the most of your time: from cycling to the turquoise Cejar Lagoon to watching sunset over the Moon Valley or watching flamingos on the Chaxa Lagoon or star-gazing at the open-air Observatory. Alto Atacama's guides are excellent - friendly and knowledgeable and surprise guests with cold drinks and nibbles when least expected.
The Alto Atacama offers some of the largest guest rooms of the lodges in the region and they have a couple of interconnecting rooms so it is a great choice for families (although children over the age of 8 would probably get the most out of the experience). Nevertheless children of any age will love the lodge's resident Llama family!
The Alto Atacama is a striking adobe structure that was designed to blend into its environment. It has six swimming pools, a spa, a lounge, an outdoor bar (the site of a nightly bonfire) and grounds with alfalfa (tended to by a small herd of llamas and alpacas). Taking it all in with a glass of Chilean wine in hand makes for an experience that is - like the surroundings - out of this world.
Atacama ATV Lake Safari
Drive across the vast lunar Atacama desert on ATVs for an exhilarating adventure! Explore the driest desert on Earth and reach stunning lagoons where you can hop in for a refreshing swim, before crossing back over beautiful sand dunes and riverbeds.
Stargazing in the Atacama
The pristine skies of Atacama Desert are a stargazer’s paradise. The altitude and bone-dry atmosphere make them incredibly clear, and you can see the planets, stars and galaxies up close with philosopher-cum-astronomer Alain Maury.
Toconao & Salar de Atacama
Head into the Atacama Desert to visit the atmospheric village of Toconao, before continuing to the great Salar de Atacama, a huge saltpan where flamingos and many bird species feed against a majestic backdrop of the high Andes.
Highlights of Chile
Atacama Desert, Santiago, Torres del Paine and Winelands
from $7200 pp 11 nights
- A great first-time introduction to Chile's diverse and spectacular landscapes
- A wonderfully varied combination of desert adventure, wine and wild Patagonia
- Stay in carefully selected properties that allow you to experience each destination fully
Location & directions
San Pedro de Atacama, Northern Chile
In the shadow of the Pukará de Quitor ruins and near the San Pedro River. Alto Atacama is located 10 minutes outside the oasis of San Pedro de Atacama, in the North of Chile, in the Atacama Desert.
How to get there
14-hour flight from London to Santiago, followed by a 2-hour domestic flight to Calama and 1-hour car transfer to San Pedro de Atacama.