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  • Melanie Beard

Alto Atacama

A world of pure magic awaits us in the dream-like beauty of the Atacama Desert. Lording over sweeping views of the valley and the Andes in the distance, facing the lush San Pedro River, The Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa is totally enveloped by natural surroundings.

Located in the stunning Catarpe Valley, with a low-slung adobe style that blends seamlessly into the orange salt mountains that make up the Catarpe Valley walls, The Alto Atacama is a Paradise of tranquility and silence.

The Atacama Desert is an adventure traveler’s dream destination, with trekking through lunar-like landscapes; mountain biking through the salt-encrusted ridges of Death Valley or across sand dunes; and, for those with the physical strength and ability, climbs up one of four volcanoes. The region is a living archeological museum, with Incan and Atacameño ruins just outside the door of the Alto Atacama, ruins that date back thousands of years, as well as remnants of ancient trade routes.

The Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa is a stunning example of ecological architecture designed to adapt harmoniously to the lodge's natural surroundings in the stunning Catarpe Valley. The lodge is long and low-slung, and almost imperceptible from a distance. An oval shape gives the lodge the appearance of embracing its surroundings rather than competing against nature.

Even at night, low-lit walkways with LED lights provide just enough illumination for guests’ comfort without "polluting" the Atacama night sky.

The natural areas of the lodge’s property measure 20,000 sq. meters, including an orchard, a llama and alpaca corral, an open-air mineral display, an oasis-like pool and spa area, thermal Inca baths, and Atacama-style terraces frequently seen in local agriculture. The building materials of the landscaped area are 90% local and were all purchased from the local Atacameño and Aymara communities, using local labor and building techniques.

This magnificent Lodge is a destination unto itself that seeks to open a traveler’s eyes and invites them to explore, to feel, to connect, and to return revitalized and changed by a truly authentic experience one will never forget.

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