The easiest way to reach San Pedro de Atacama is by plane from Santiago to Calama, and then transfer by vehicle from Calama Airport. LAN Chile and Sky Airlines operate several daily flights from Santiago to Calama, which take approximately two hours. Transfers from Calama Airport to the hotel take about one hour and 15 minutes, and are included in the lodge’s all-inclusive package. Other options include flights to Calama from La Paz, Bolivia via Iquique or Antofagasta, Chile. The lodge can also be reached by road from Bolivia and Argentina.
As Tierra Atacama is at an altitude of 7,920 ft (2,400 m), guests may feel a little light-headed at first. To get acclimated to the altitude, take it easy the first day and try to eat light foods and avoid alcohol. The excursions vary in altitude and difficulty and the guides will advise guests on the best order to do them, making the most of their stay without putting them at risk for altitude sickness. Guests who plan to climb the volcanoes should consider staying at least five nights in order to acclimatize adequately.
There is an emergency first-aid clinic in the village of San Pedro and a local doctor for non-urgent conditions. The nearest hospital clinic is in Calama, an hour away.
Any month is a good month to stay at Tierra Atacama, as the weather is mild and dry year-round. Parts of the Atacama Desert have not seen rain for many years, which means that the climate is extremely arid. Temperatures can drop drastically at night at higher altitudes: El Tatio Geysers in the early morning in winter can reach a low of -17°C/0°F. At the altitude of the hotel (about 8,000 feet), temperatures tend to fall within the following ranges:
As temperatures in the desert can fluctuate, dressing in layers is recommended. Dress code is smart casual for dinner and casual at all other times. Please note that on the high-altitude excursions, temperatures can be extremely cold, and you will need a warm jacket, gloves, and a hat.
Tierra Atacama is a great place for families, as the swimming pools and the range of excursions balance discovery and unstructured fun. Children 3 years old and younger stay free of charge. Family rooms sleep four to six, and cribs and cots are available for babies and smaller children. Babysitters from the village can be arranged, but there are no nursery or day-care facilities within the hotel. The excursions are designed for children age 10 or older, however, many can be adapted so they are suitable for younger children.
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