The San Pedro de Atacama oasis, in the middle of the driest desert in the world, has an altitudinal peculiarity: it is situated at 8,200 feet above sea level, making the Atacama not only the driest, but also the highest desert on earth. For this reason, the year-round climate is pleasant and the transparency of light is unique. The outlandish geography of volcanoes, salt flats and high-altitude wetlands, has an unparalleled appeal. But the oasis of San Pedro is simply an introduction. It is the last area where human life is possible; where a visitor can still be harbored.
Once you leave San Pedro towards the altiplano and the volcanoes, you can truly perceive remoteness, where one experiences an entirely different world, an untamed place far from civilization as we know it.
Located between the Pacific Ocean and the Cordillera de los Andes, the Atacama is an immense extension of land and mystery. For centuries, the desert and oasis have been agents of repose and change for the pre-Columbian Andean cultures of South America. The remains of their past are landmarks in the area; their presence shares with other cultures in the maintenance of their traditions; giving life to small villages, cordilleras, volcanoes, salt flats, and hot springs. The Atacama culture had an important agricultural development and produced particularly beautiful textiles and metallurgy. Their lands were the commercial crossroads for the peoples of Bolivia, Argentina, and the Pacific coast. In Atacama, it is possible to appreciate multiple facets of this history, expressed in archeological monuments, cemeteries, churches, and villages. The traditions still live in religious festivities, in its crafts and in the local folklore.
Each guests is picked up by their personal guide and assigned 4×4 vehicle at the airport in Calama and transported to the ancient town of San Pedro and to the delightful 10 suite Awasi Hotel.
First sights of San Pedro de Atacama –
Arriving to the Awasi, A Relais & Chateau Hotel in San Pedro
Welcome drinks by the master bartender and sommelier – Mate Mojitos
Exploring San Pedro de Atacama –
Watching football and drinking beer with the locals
Let the Explorations begin!
The explorations will allow you to become acquainted with the multiple aspects of this region: its geography, history, fauna, geological features, volcanoes and ancient villages. Explorations have been designed to allow for gradual acclimatization to the altitude.
Each cottage at the Awasi is assigned a personal guide and 4×4 Jeep, allowing guests to choose what is most attractive to them without having to adjust to the pace or preference of others. This way, they customize every excursion to the interests, expectations and physical conditions of each guest. This is perfect when traveling with a group of friends so each couple does what is most meaningful to them but always running into friends along the way.
A stunning desert Oasis –
The vastness and remoteness is real –
The Awasi team is always ready with refreshment –
Welcome back for cocktail hour!
Meals at the Awasi are spectacular and prepared with care – and always started with a delicious surprise cocktail concoction –
I love this charming place setting –
Hiking in the Atacama is mind-blowing because of the beauty but also because of the vastness, a person can completely and literally lose oneself.
A Pisco Sunset!
Horseback riding in the Atacama –
Welcome back to another unreal dinner. It was so much fun to come back and share stories of the day’s explorations over cocktails and a wonderful meal! The hospitality at the Awasi is also otherworldly!
A delicious mini sandwich to start –
Our last day took us to well over 13,000 feet and a chance to see the highest elevated town in the desert –
Geyers and Fumaroles –
An abandoned copper mining village (Chile is the world’s largest copper miner in the world and it is evident throughout the region)
I never imagined the desert could have so many shades of reds, golds, browns and blues – stunning to the eye!
Natural Hot Springs –
And of course always – “MAS VINO!”
Simply being in the Atacama, makes you more contemplative –
… quiet and peace in the desert is otherworldly – I vow to return one day!