Amid the surreal, lava-sculpted, salt-glazed landscapes of northern Chile, there is Tierra Atacama Hotel and Spa, a stunning figment of glass and adobe surrounded by natural beauty of incredible proportions. From afar, the lodge blends into the windswept plateau, landscaped into the native vegetation and built inside the clay walls of a centuries-old cattle corral. From within, it is a different story. The grandeur of the volcano-dotted Atacama Desert is on display everywhere here, to be gazed at through immense windows of each guestroom, from private terraces or the cozy lounge, even from the infinity pool.
The focus at Tierra Atacama is getting out into those landscapes to discover their myriad wonders—the snow-dusted volcanoes and bubbling, steaming geyser fields; the moonscapes and the glittering salt pans; and all the wild creatures that have made this harsh but spectacular place home. Join the lodge’s guides to explore Atacama on hikes, horseback rides, cultural excursions, and much more, and cap off each day at the pool or the spa. As the sun goes down on Licancabur volcano, sip cocktails around an open fire on the terrace and watch the desert sky fill up with a million stars.
To build Tierra Atacama, the owners tapped into some of Chile’s leading creative talent, used local materials, and wherever possible, hired local craftspeople. The result: a luxury lodge where cutting-edge architectural details are designed to be subtle so that the authentic character of the surroundings shines through.
The architects were careful to leave the ground intact out of respect for the indigenous people who once lived here, and preserved the original adobe walls that are part of the history of San Pedro de Atacama. Adobe and local rock are an integral component of the design, and furniture and crafts were sourced from local artisans. To benefit the nearby community, the lodge hosts students from secondary and technical schools for internships, training them in guiding and hospitality at the lodge.
When you reserve your space through National Geographic Unique Lodges, you'll have the opportunity to take an exclusive, behind-the-scenes tour of the lodge with a manager. Learn more about the concept and history behind the lodge's creation, and visit the solar energy and water treatment facilities that help it function sustainably. Then take a walk through the garden, discovering the properties of indigenous plants such as rica rica, a medicinal plant native to the Altiplano.
Located in the high, arid ecosystem of the Atacama Desert region, Tierra Atacama has preserved unique native vegetation around the lodge and emphasizes local agriculture in its kitchen gardens with seasonal plantings of corn, quinoa, figs, and other fruits and vegetables. Solar panels provide nearly half of the lodge’s electricity and the desert night sky is undisturbed for stargazers thanks to a policy of minimizing light pollution. With water conservation of particular concern in the dry climate, the lodge uses recycled wastewater to irrigate the gardens. Kitchen waste is composted, and the lodge has also spearheaded an active recycling program that other area lodges have now joined.
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