It may be the driest desert in the world, but the remote Atacama is full of surprises.
A visit to San Pedro de Atacama will unveil indulgent hotels and astounding photographic opportunities, a great escape on a luxury holiday to Chile. The people who live in this unforgiving habitat, still maintain many of the traditions that date back to their Incan heritage. The region is widely regarded as one of the best places on earth for stargazing, and a project to create the most powerful telescope is currently underway here. Take a trip deep into the desert after nightfall to marvel at the countless stars that together form the spectacular Milky Way, and gaze through huge telescopes at planets in incredible detail. By day the main town is a laid back place, the centre of San Pedro has a bohemian feel, and the dusty streets are home to an eclectic mix of boutique shops, terraced cafes and local markets. As quaint as this little town is, the true desert treasures are found outside of civilisation and in the remote high altitude landscapes that surround San Pedro. The unearthly scenery plays host to huge white salt lakes, energetic geysers producing large swathes of steam, turquoise lagoons dotted with bright pink flamingos and richly coloured jagged rocky outcrops. There are areas which are so highly coloured and vast, that they can only be likened to a Salvador Dali painting. Jump in a 4×4 with a local guide for an exciting off road journey into the wilderness, where you can observe bizarre rock formations in areas such as Moon Valley. The best thing about this area of Chile, is the outstanding luxury hotels that grace the region. From romantic private huts with thatched roofs to boutique properties with fully equipped spa’s, you are sure to find somewhere unforgettable to stay in the Atacama.