Atacama, Chile: A Desert Oasis of Unique Experiences

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Curated By

Barbara Hinojosa

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Atacama, Chile: A Desert Oasis of Unique Experiences
Curator’s statement

I am delighted to share my recent experience in Atacama, Chile, an extraordinary destination that left an indelible mark on my memory. Over the course of four days, my journey through this desert wonderland was nothing short of magical.

The Fora Difference

Book with Barbara to access exclusive perks and experiences on your trip.

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Killer perks

Free upgrades, spa credits and more—we got you

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Personalized recs

Customized travel planning for your style

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Insider knowledge

Expert advice from people who’ve actually been there

Where to stay

Explora Atacama

The iconic lodge that pioneered the style so many have followed.

Fora Perks
  • $100 credit for use in the hotel store.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Tierra Atacama Hotel & Spa

Luxurious Atacama hotel with panoramic views over the desert.

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Arrival and Accommodation

Upon landing in Calama, a brief and picturesque hour-and-a-half drive brought us to the town of San Pedro de Atacama. Our stay at the newly opened Our Habitas was an epitome of relaxation, offering delectable cuisine and serving as the perfect base for our desert explorations.

Exploration Highlights

Valle de la Luna

Our first day took us to the mesmerizing Valle de la Luna, where Martian landscapes unfolded before our eyes. The breathtaking cliff views, combined with an unforgettable afternoon sunset, proved to be the perfect first-day introduction to the desert.

Lagunas

The Lagunas on the salt flats provided a unique experience. Swimming in the mineral-rich waters felt akin to floating effortlessly, reminiscent of the Dead Sea. The cold water felt refreshing in the desert sun.

Geysers del Tatio

An early morning wakeup call led us to the Geysers del Tatio, where steam rose from the ground, creating a one-of-a-kind spectacle. On our return journey, we got to see flamingos against the backdrop of stunning landscapes.

Stargazing

Atacama's desert skies are among the best for stargazing worldwide. We embarked on a night tour that included viewing planets through telescopes, capturing mesmerizing photos against the star-filled night sky, and contemplating the vastness of the universe.

Middle of dessert
Dinner at Habitas

Need to Know

Diverse Landscapes

Contrary to what you might think of a dessert vacation, each tour in Atacama presents a unique and ever-changing landscape. From the otherworldly Valle de la Luna to the serene Lagunas and the mystical Geysers del Tatio, Atacama proved to be a destination of unparalleled diversity.

Half-Day Tours for Relaxation

Opting for half-day tours allowed us to strike a perfect balance between exploration and relaxation. The afternoons were well-spent unwinding at the hotel and exploring the charming town of San Pedro.

This trip report is part of our ongoing series on travel to Atacama, Chile. In need of further inspiration? Check out Maria Hollweck’s guide, 4-Day Atacama Desert Itinerary: An Unforgettable Journey.

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Travel Advisor

Barbara Hinojosa

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