Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa

Before I move on to our tour through Chilean Patagonia, I would like to answer a few questions I have been asked about our hotel in the Atacama, the Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa.  Located in the Catarpe Valley on 7.5 acres, just two miles from the plaza of San Pedro de Atacama, the Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa appears to be nearly indistinguishable from its natural surroundings.  The lodge’s design for 42 accommodations was influenced by local village architecture and conceived to blend seamlessly into the terra cotta-colored ridge that rises behind it.  The Alto Atacama offers guests over 30 different excursions (see my post and is currently the only hotel in the region with an open-air observatory, making star-gazing a wonderful way to cap an already exhilarating day.  The setting, the views, and the tranquility of the outdoor gardens make the Alto Atacama a destination in and of itself.  I was particularly fascinated by the landscaping, and this concept of “Andescape” created by the on-site landscape architect, Verónica Poblete.  Poblete, a Paris-trained landscape designer and botanist, has developed this new concept using local vegetation, emphasizing both the conservation and celebration of the Andean scenery and its ecology. Veronica sourced all the materials from the Atacama, after having roamed the surrounding villages and mountains for six months.  What she has created is spectacular, a testament to the land and people who have struggled to live in this harsh but beautiful environment.



The view from our room onto the Catarpe Valley.

The lodge blends right into the surroundings.

The lodge blends right into the surroundings.


Every stone was meticulously placed in this field, creating the illusion of a river of stones.


Another perspective of the river of stones gives one the impression of an hourglass.


Poolside, where you will actually find 6 small pools of varying degrees of temperatures from which to choose.


A visit to ruins of a small village inspired Poblete with this idea to create several small pools surrounding the outdoor restaurant.


It was our first stop after 36 hours of traveling.


Verónica Poblete overlooking the Tilo Lagoon in one of the many gardens on property.


Outdoor soaking tubs.


This peaceful garden offers a different view of the Catarpe Valley.


Poblete created an outdoor museum showcasing indigenous rocks and minerals.


Poblete took an image of a petroglyph she found on her travels, and placed the stones in a pattern to resemble the rings of water created by the rower’s oar.


Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa

Camino Pukará s/n, Suchor

Ayllú de Quitor, San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

+(56) 2 2912 3945

PS, this is not a sponsored post…I just like what I like and write about it.  xoM

Liked it? Please share:

Leave a Reply