A short drive outside the town of San Pedro de Atacama, Tierra Atacama has wonderful views of fields and Volvano Licancabur. The hotel is part of the Tierra hotel group owned by the Chilean-American Purcell family (who also own Tierra Patagonia, Tierra Chiloé, and Portillo Ski Resort). The property originally served as a cattle corral, but Chilean landscape artist Teresa Moller has transformed the grounds, preserving the ancient algarrobo and chañar trees and restoring the adobe walls.
The bedrooms are decorated in natural colors, with local touches like ceramics marching along the sills of the extra-large windows. Animal-skin rugs and alpaca throws provide a touch of warmth for the cool desert nights. You can see the incredible silhouette of Volcano Licancabur from all the rooms, but the Poniente rooms are slightly larger and have better views. There is a friendly communal vibe at the hotel, and upon arrival guests meet with the head guide in the main lounge to choose from the range of group activities on offer each day.
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San Pedro de Atacama is a charming town with adobe houses and dirt roads leading to a colonial plaza with a little church. Popular among backpackers and high-end travelers alike, people come from far and wide to see the region’s sights. From visiting the Tatio Geysers at daybreak, to trekking in the Valley of the Moon and riding through the Valley of the Death, there is no end to the options. Some of the most popular excursions at Tierra Atacama (most guests book on an all-inclusive basis, which involves full board and activities) are visits to the Altiplanic Lagoons, seeing flamingos on Chaxa Lagoon, and floating in the Puritama Hot Springs.
Need to Know
Rooms: 32 rooms; from $1,350 for two nights, all-inclusive (based on double occupancy). Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: 11 a.m. Dining options: The open-plan restaurant has a casual vibe, and many guests enjoy an aperitif by the open-air fire pits before heading in for dinner. The focus is on incorporating Andean ingredients into the dishes, so quinoa is widespread, as is Chilean ostrich, which is served in a red wine sauce. Spa and gym details: The Uma Spa (uma means “water” in the native Aymara language) has a pool with water jets, plus three massage rooms and two saunas. There’s also an outdoor pool and Jacuzzi.
Who's it for: Families, couples, or groups who want an active adventure in the Atacama Desert. Excursions take place in groups, so the atmosphere is convivial. Our favorite rooms: The Poniente rooms, with views of Volcano Licancabur. And the Family Rooms, with three separate bedrooms in each. Limber up:Sign up for complimentary daily yoga classes at the spa.