Fast facts about Alto Atacama

  1. *Located in San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

  2. *One of the newest hotels in the area

  3. *Offers a 5 star, all-inclusive package

  4. *Explore the Atacama Desert with 24 different excursions

  5. *Click here to view prices and inclusions for Alto Atacama

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For more information, including full itineraries please contact Unique Destinations via email: info@uniquedestinations.cl

May 2009 - DESTINATION OF THE MONTH

ALTO ATACAMA

Unique Destination’s Review of Alto Atacama

In the north of Chile there lies one of the most extreme places on earth. The Atacama Desert. Known as the driest desert on earth, this virtually rainless plateau is home to the small cultural village of San Pedro de Atacama. A geographic zone made up of isolated lunar landscapes, simmering geysers and salt lakes dotted with pink flamingoes. It is these geological formations and attractions that draw visitors to this tiny town. San Pedro de Atacama is a “must see” on your visit to Chile.


When visiting the desert, many travelers choose to do it “backpacker style” however there is another more inviting option of an all-inclusive package with the new 5 star property, Alto Atacama. From the moment you arrive at the airport you know that you are in for an experience of a different kind. It is evident while you are personally greeted, guided to the spacious, air-conditioned mini van where a chilled bottle of water awaits you, meanwhile the other passengers from your flight are all clambering into an old van with no air-conditioning for the 1.5 hour drive from Calama to San Pedro de Atacama!


The majority of hotels in this area are located within the village’s bustling center. Alto Atacama however, owns an enormous piece of exclusive land located about 3 kilometers out of the village and near the ancient ruins of Pukara de Quitor. The location of Alto Atacama allows guests to experience ultimate privacy and tranquility away from the main tourist hive, while still being in close reach for those that want to explore the local shops. For this purpose, the hotel provides a complimentary shuttle service between the hotel and the village from 8:30am to 11:00pm daily.





















































At a similar altitude level to the village of San Pedro de Atacama are the Atacama Salt Flats. As you walk along the trails towards the Laguna de Chaza your eyes will be fixated on the ground viewing the white salt crunching beneath your steps. Out in front, you will see the brilliant colours of an evolving sunset creeping towards the distant horizon. And finally, on reaching the lagoon you will be greeted by several pink flamingoes frolicking in the waters. As the temperatures are getting cooler you can return to the van, which has been pre-warmed by the driver, and enjoy some snacks before heading back to the hotel.

Other excursions include a van trip to the moon valley – one of the most visited places in San Pedro de Atacama. Known for its interesting stones and sand formations portraying a landscape similar to that of the moon. Then there’s a bicycle ride along the dirt tracks and out to a salt filled lake where your body floats, weightless. Or for those that can handle the early morning rise, there is a trip up to the geothermal fields, home of the Tatio Geysers. Located at an altitude of 4300m these are the highest geysers in the world and their watery craters provide a unique spectacle in the Atacama desert. Each excursion offered is a distinctive experience and the guides, who are truly passionate about what they do, will ensure you have a memorable experience.


Each guest at Alto Atacama is treated like the only guest. A 5 star hotel, providing 5 star services and products. This month, 2 lucky people will have the chance to experience this luxury themselves as we are running a competition where you can win a 3 Night, All-Inclusive Package for 2. To enter, please fill in the missing word below and send your answer to: info@uniquedestinations.cl Entries close on the 30th of May.


Each guest room at Alto Atacama features a private terrace overlooking the ……………. Valley.


In addition to this competition, there is a special offer for all readers – when you book a 3 Night All-Inclusive Package, Alto Atacama will throw in the 4th Night for free! For booking enquiries please email info@uniquedestinations.cl  

Now back to the concept of all-inclusive. Some of you may be wondering exactly what is an “all-inclusive package”? Well it is just that! Almost everything, from the moment you get off the plane to the moment you get back on the plane, is included in the one price you pay. There are the return transfers - to and from the Calama airport, luxury accommodation, daily buffet breakfast, daily 3 course lunches and dinners, an open bar, snacks, daily excursions, use of the swimming pools and mountain bikes plus access to the spa.


Alto Atacama is built in the style of a traditional adobe settlement. While it resembles an ancient Altiplanic Village, the architectural design also offers modern state of the art facilities with a minimalist approach. Each corner of the hotel offers a unique and intimate space for guests to rejuvenate the mind, body and soul.


Centrally located within the property is the restaurant. It provides a quaint indoor or outdoor setting and serves a daily buffet breakfast plus 3 course lunches and dinners. Each meal offers guests a gastronomical experience with a mix of Chilean and International dishes. On the other hand the bar offers a selection of drinks and cocktails including the traditional Pisco Sour infused with the delicious flavour of the local herb Rica Rica – said to have medicinal properties and aid in the healing of stomach problems.

For those wanting to invigorate the mind, the bar and reception area have a large living room filled with comfy couches, a library of books, computers with internet access and board games. There is also an outdoor terrace where small fire pits are lit every night, keeping at bay the cool breeze of the desert night, and allowing you to enjoy the evening sunset or stargaze in the warmth.


Overlooking the Catarpe Valley is the pool area also featuring a bar on the open-air wooden deck. Here you can enjoy an afternoon drink with a cheese platter – just taking in the surrounding scenery. With 6 different pools to choose from, each segregated by a wall of stone, you will be guaranteed the ultimate privacy for a dip in the cleansing waters.


At the end of a long day of excursions the best way to revitalize the body and soul is to visit the Puri Spa which features a Finnish Sauna, Turkish bath, Scottish showers and indoor and outdoor hot tubs. The expert masseuses can assist with releasing any aches and pains or simply enhancing your relaxation.

And of course one of the most important aspects of a hotel are the quality of the guest rooms. Well at Alto Atacama you are in luck! All of the 32 suites at Alto Atacama are decorated in natural, earthy tones designed to compliment the surrounding landscape. Each has a private terrace overlooking the Catarpe Valley; a king sized bed; large bathroom complete with rain shower, double vanity, big fluffy towels and bath robes and not to mention Alto Atacama’s very own brand of sumptuous smelling toiletries. The guest rooms provide such a relaxing atmosphere it is hard to leave them!

Now one of the main motivations for travelers visiting San Pedro de Atacama is to see the remarkable scenery of one of Chile’s major archaeological locations. Alto Atacama has created a program of 24 different excursions allowing guests to explore as much of the desert’s attractions as they want, in the way that they want. Each excursion is graded by the length (half or full day), difficulty and transport method (vehicle, bike, foot) and group sizes are kept to a minimum, allowing guests the full opportunity to interact with the knowledgeable guides.

Each night during your stay at the hotel, you will meet at the bar with the excursions co-ordinator and the guides to discuss your options for the following day. Armed with a large map of the surrounding area the guides will talk you through what they would suggest keeping in mind the weather conditions and altitude.


When choosing what activities to take part in, the altitude can be a major factor. As you may know, San Pedro de Atacama is situated at an altitude of around 2400m with altitude sickness a risk-factor if caution is not exercised. It is recommended that travelers “take it easy” on the day of arrival and participate in an excursion with a similar altitude level. Over the next few days as your body becomes accustomed to the altitude you can gradually increase the levels that you visit.

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