The traditions still live in religious festivities, in its crafts and in the local folklore. Built on the Ayll (neighborhood) de Larache in San Pedro de Atacama, the hotel develops along a main building and three patios. Rooms are lined up with corridors opening to a patio. Corridors meet in the main building, crossed by two ample passages: the Pasaje de la Luz and the Pasaje del Agua.
The architecture evokes, from the materials used inits construction together with its form, the suggestions made by the nature and cultures of the area. The hotel assures hospitable refuge inviting to enjoy in freedom and security. More than a home, the hotel is an experience, an open balcony towards the surrounding beauty.
Our Explore Atacama journies have no set itinerary - only a set number of days - 2 to 7. Within that time the following activities are available as part of your trip price.
Each day guests can join a variety of explorations which have been carefully created. Everyday you can choose from 5 to 10 different options specifically selected according to the weather, the guest desires, the duration and the level of difficulty. Walking, horseback riding, in a van or by bicycle and accompanied by guides, you can explore with emotion the nature or the history of Atacama.
On day 1 you will be met on arrival into Calama - the nearest airport - and transferred to your hotel.
San Pedro de Atacama is 2, 443 meters (8, 015 feet)above sea level. Some of the explorations may take you to over 4, 000 meters (13, 123 feet) for a short while. If you select to go up the peaks you will find yourself between 5, 500 and 6, 100 meters (18, 044and 20, 013 feet).
Duration: 3 to 3.5 hours (half-day), 2 to 2.5 hours of walking.
Distance On Foot: 4.8 km (3 miles).
Itinerary: Departure by van (20 min.) along the road towards Calama. Trekking along Quebrada Kari, a small canyon formed by water erosion and flanked by it's enormous salt walls. Return by van (15 min).
Level: Easy, with the exception of two 8 foot-high vertical descents.
2. GUATIN - PUNTA DEL INCA
Duration: Half-day, 2 to 2.5 hours walking. Distance by foot: 4.2 km (2.6 miles).
Itinerary: Departure from explora by van (35 min.) on the road towards the North-East. The excursion starts out by descending from the Guatin settlement until Punta del Inca, following the river's course down through the ravine /canyon. Return by van (35 min.)
Level: Easy descent through rocky terrain, with a bit of loose ground.
Duration: Length: 3 to 3.5 hours (half-day), walking for 2 to 2.5 hours.
Distance On Foot: 4.2 km (2.6 miles).
Itinerary: Departure by van (30 min.) towards Catarpe Valley. Trekking along the cornices of the Cordillera de la Sal with panoramic views of the oasis, the Salar de Atacama and the Andes, ending at the dunes of Valle de la Muerte. Return by van (15 min.).
4. KAMUR (VALLE DE LA LUNA)
Duration: 2.5 to 3 hours (half-day), walking 2 to 2.5 hours.
Distance On Foot: 8.5 km (5.3 miles).
Itinerary: Departure from Hotel de Larache by van (35 min.) towards the Valle de la Luna. From there the trekking will allow visitors to appreciate the variations of sunlight and the spectacular landscapes at Cordillera de la Sal. The highest point at 2, 520 m (8, 400 ft) is reached near the end of the walk.
5. ATACAMA CULTURE
Duration: 3.5 hours by van (half-day). Distance: 15 km (9.5 miles) approx.
Itinerary: Departure from explora by van to Museo Padre Le Paige. This is a good introductory approach to this area. Then, departure by van towards Pukara de Quitor. Trekking with an optional climbing to the Pukara's summit. By van we visit Ayllu de Solor with a chance to observe how the Atacama people live nowadays.
Duration: 3.5 to 4 hours (half-day), walking 2 to 2.5 hours.
Distance On Foot: 4.8 km (3.0 miles).
Itinerary: Departure from Hotel de Larache by van (50 min.) towards the bocatoma of San Pedro river. Uphill walk to Alto de Cuchabrache, identifying petroglyphs along the trail, with views to Catarpe and Quitor valleys. Return to Hotel de Larache by van(35 min.).
7. SALAR DE ATACAMA (LAGUNA CHAXA)
Duration: 3.5 hrs. (half-day), 30 minutes walk.
Itinerary: Departure from explora by van towards the town of Toconao located 38 km. (23.5 miles) South from San Pedro de Atacama. Once in Toconao you visit the Plaza de Toconao, the Church and the historic Bell Tower, all of them historic symbols of this town. After 25 minutes of exploring through the village, we make our way towards the "Reserva Nacional los Flamencos" to the Laguna Chaxa, were the Salar de Atacama is located and bird watching is amazing. Here we wait for dawn to arrive in order to head back to the Hotel de Larache.
8. GUATIN - PURITAMA
Duration: 3.5 to 4 hours (half-day), 2 to 2.5 hours walking.
Distance On Foot: 5 km (3.1 miles).
Itinerary: Departure by van (35 min.) to Guatin, where the trek begins climbing along a 820 ft slope towards Puritama (11, 574 feet). The trail passes through ancient settlements and hundred year old cacti; the terrain is rocky at times.
9. MACHUCA - RIO GRANDE
Duration: 7 to 8 hours (full-day), 4.5 to 5.5 hours walking.
Distance On Foot: 14 km (8.7 miles).
Itinerary: Departure from explora by van (1.5 hrs.) towards picturesque village of Machuca (3, 930 m / 13, 100 ft). Downhill trekking on a slope of approx. 787 m (2, 625 ft). along the river bed. Picnic lunch at Penaliri. A trail follows along the edges of the crop terraces of the Rio Grande village. Return by van.
Level: Moderate. Daypack required.
10. CASPANA - CHIU-CHIU
Duration: 8 hours by van (full-day). Distance: 200 km (125 miles).
Itinerary: Departure from explora by van (2.5 hours) crossing the altiplano towards the picturesque village of Caspana (3, 270 m/ 10, 900 ft), passing by the Geysers del Tatio. Trek across the Caspana farmlands. Lunch at the village. The trip continues with the visit of the ancient Lasana Pukarn (pre-Columbian fortress), the Chiu-Chiu church, and finally towards the airport in Calama.
Level: Very Easy. trekking (4, 000 - 5, 000 m / 13, 120 - 16, 400 ft) These explorations can be done starting from the 3rd day.
11. COPA COYA
Duration: 10 to 11 hours (full-day), 4.5 to 5.5 hours walking.
Distance On Foot: 10.5 km (6.5 miles).
Itinerary: Early departure from Hotel de Larache by van (2 hrs) towards geothermal field (4, 320 m / 14, 176 ft). Descending hike following an ancient "llaretero" road, with views of the volcanoes. Uphill to our picnic lunch spot. After lunch, we begin an ascending trek (328 m / 1, 094 ft. slope) on the edge of Copa Coya hill. Return to explora by van with an optional bath at the Puritama hot springs.
Level: Demanding. Daypack required
12. SALAR DE TARA
Duration: Full day. 1 to 2 hours walking.
Itinerary: Departure from explora, traveling by van (2 hrs) towards the Salar de Tara (Tara Salt Flat), located approx. 3, 936 m (13, 120 ft). above sea level. The road flanks the Bolivian borderline, passing through the aguada de Quipiaco (Quipiaco Lagoon), the monjes de la apacana and the cathedral-like rock formations before reaching the salt flat, habitat to altiplanic fauna. Lunch at the site, a short trek and back to Hotel de Larache.
13. SALARES DEL ALTIPLANO
Duration: Full day. One hour walk.
Itinerary: Departure by van (2 hrs.) towards the salar de Aguas Calientes and Laguna Tuyayito, located over 3, 960 km (13, 200 ft) above sea level, where we will take a short trek. Buffet lunch at the salar de Aguas Calientes. Along the road we will pass directly through the altiplano observing its flora and fauna. Return to explora.
14. TATIO - PURITAMA
Duration: 5 hours (half-day), 1 hour walk through the geothermic field of the Geisers del Tatio (4, 320 m / 14, 176 ft).
Itinerary: Departure by van towards the Geysers del Tatio (2 hours approx) passing through the town of Machuca. After an hour of exploration through the geothermic fields, we go to the Termas de Puritama for a (5, 000 - 6, 000 m / 16, 400 - 19, 680 ft) Climbing high-altitude mountains and volcanoes are demanding excursions which are suitable for people who are in good physical shape. These are not permitted for people who have trouble with heights or a heart condition. In some areas there are trails, although they are generally ascended by rope or rocks, and there is a chance of ice or snow. Climbing these mountains allows guests to observe the beauty of the surrounding landscape and interesting land formations in the area. Competition is not the goal (neither competing against oneself nor against others). It is necessary to acclimatize for two or more days beforehand by trekking in high altitudes. The recommended season for these climbs is September to April, keeping in mind complications that may arise from the altiplanic rainy season (January and February). The coldest season at high altitude level is from May to August.
15. CERRO TOCO (5, 604 m / 18, 381 ft)
Duration: 6 to 7 hours (morning), 1.5 to 2.5 hours walking, depending on the amount snow. Slope: Approximately 540 m (1, 800 ft).
Itinerary: Departure from Hotel de Larache by van, reaching an old sulfur plant (1.5 hrs); from this point begins an ascent, climbing along a well marked step path. Summit offers panoramic views of Chile, Bolivia and Argentina.
16. CERRO CORONA (5, 291 m / 17, 359 ft)
Duration: Full day. Slope: 738 m (2, 460 ft.)
Itinerary: Departure from Hotel de Larache by van towards Talabre (2hrs.). The ascent begins across volcanic rock and ash, lasting between 2.5 to 4 hrs. depending on snow conditions. Lunch is served at the summit, on the crown. Descent through volcanic rock fields for 2 to 2.5 hrs.
Level: Moderate to Demanding.
17. VOLCAN SAIRECABUR (6, 010 m / 19, 712 ft)
Duration: 8 to 9 hours (full-day). Slope: approx. 639 m (2, 130 ft).
Itinerary: Departure from explora by van towards Azufrera Sasiel. 2.5 to 3 hour ascent across large rock and loose stones. Arrival at the highest summit of the region. Climbing down is difficult and takes 2.5 hours. Lunch and optional bath at Puritama hot springs.
18. VOLCAN COLORADO (5, 748 m / 18, 853 ft)
Duration: 11 to 12 hours (full-day). Slope: Approx. 1, 230 m (4, 100 ft).
Itinerary: Departure from explora by van to El Tatio. 6 to 7 hour ascent across large rock and loose stones. Arrival at summit. Picnic lunch with views. Climbing down is difficult and takes 3 to 4 hours.
19. VOLCAN LICANCABUR (5, 916 m / 19, 404 ft)
Duration: 2 full days. Slope: 1, 329 m (4, 430 ft) approximately, depending on the amount of snow.
Itinerary: Departure by van, crossing the Bolivian border. Base campsite at 4, 560 m (15, 200 ft). Afternoon trek towards Laguna Verde. Early morning ascent with flashlights along Incas ruins. We reach the summit after 7 or 8 hours and get a view to the crater and the world's highest lagoon. Climbing down is difficult and takes 3 to 4 hours.
Other: this exploration requires confirmation 60 days prior to arrival at explora. Visa to enter Bolivia is requested.
Horseback Rides: Horseback riding explorations that are described in the following pages have been devised for people with riding experience and who feel comfortable riding for several hours in the desert. Guests must know how to trot and/or gallop. explora has the finest Chilean and English saddles, leather gaiters, and helmets. Those who do not know how to ride a horse and would like to learn to do so, or those who have some experience but would like to improve their riding skills, can take 1-hour lessons in the morning (for no more than six people) before the walking or biking explorations they choose for each day. After at least two lessons, the instructor will determine whether the person is qualified to go horseback riding on these explorations. Half-day horseback riding explorations will be combined with trekking and bicycle explorations.
20. LAS CORNISAS
Duration: 3 hours on horseback (half-day).
Distance: 20 km (12.5) miles.
Itinerary: Departure from explora on horseback towards Valle de Catarpe, trotting and countering before climbing to cornices of Cordillera de la Sal. Panoramic view. Return descent across dunes towards Valle de la Muerte.
21. QUEBRADA DEL DIABLO
Duration: 3 hours on horseback (half-day).
Distance: 16 km (10 miles).
Itinerary: Departure from Hotel de Larache to Quebrada del Diablo. This is a narrow and uneven road, with ascents and descents, leaps and curves which requires trotting and countering. Overview of Cordillera de los Andes, the Salar (salt flat) and the oasis during the return to the village of San Pedro.
22. CATARPE / VILAMA
Duration: 3 hours on horseback (half-day).
Distance: 17 km (10.6 miles).
Itinerary: Departure from explora into the Cordillera de la Sal. Visit of the Catarpe church. Spectacular view of the Cordillera de los Andes. Return along the village of San Pedro.
23. RIO SALADO
Duration: 5 to 6 hours on horseback (full-day).
Distance: 30 km (18.6 miles).
Itinerary: Departure from explora to the cornices of Cordillera de la Sal, and then to Rio Salado. Picnic lunch. Return is made following the river's course and along abandoned villages of Cuchabrache and Catarpe.
24. VALLE DE QUITOR
Duration: 1.5 to 2 hours on horseback (half-day).
Distance: 9 km (5.6 miles).
Itinerary: Departure covering the northern part of the oasis and from there on up to the viewing of the Pukarn and the farmlands of the Valle de Quitor. Upon returning we pass nearby Cordillera de la Sal.
25. DUNAS DE LA CHULA
Duration: 2 hours on horseback (half-day).
Distance: 9 km (5.6 miles).
Itinerary: Departure from explora on horseback to Cordillera de la Sal. Panoramic views of the ayllus, the salt lake and the Cordillera de los Andes, before entering Cordillera de la Sal. The trail follows along dunes and rock formations.
Duration: 2 hours (half-day). Distance: 8 km (5 miles).
Itinerary: Departure from Hotel de Larache towards the Ayllus de Larache, Yaye and Sequitor. Through the way, we pass by the Rio San Pedro, were you can see a variety of vegetation and local agrarian fields.
27. BETER / TULOR
Duration: 3.5 hours on horseback (half-day).
Distance: 17.8 km (11.1 miles).
Itinerary: Departure from Hotel de Larache to the southern ayllus. Walk around the oasis and the desert. Galloping in the dunes and nearby Beter's ruins.
Level: Moderate. explora offers the opportunity to travel along desert trails and ridges on a mountain bike. Using the equipment we provide to assure comfort and safety, biking allows our guests to fully enjoy the geography of Atacama. The use of helmets, gloves, sunglasses and adequate footwear are an important element for each of these outings. Half-day bicycle explorations will be combined with trekking and horseback riding explorations.
28. LAGUNA CEJAR
Duration: 3.5 to 4 hours. On bicycle 1.5 to 2.5 hours (half-day). Distance: 19 km (12 miles).
Itinerary: Departure explora by bicycle towards the south, crossing the ayllus until reaching the entrance to the Salar de Atacama area, with its interesting vegetation. The trail is flat, going over some sandy areas. Bathing in the Sejas and Agua Piedra lagoons, floating in their salty waters. Return by van (45 min).
Other: Flip-flops are necessary to bath in the lagoons.
29. CIRCUITO DE LOS VALLES
Duration: 3.5 to 4.5 hours on bicycle (half-day). Distance: 45 km (28 miles).
Itinerary: Departure by bicycle. Crossing the Cordillera de la Sal with a descent allowing views of the Cordillera de Domeyko and Llano de la Paciencia, where a winding road leads to another crossing of Cordillera de la Sal, this time along Valle de la Luna. Return to the hotel.
30. PUTANA TO GUATIN DESCENT
Duration: 10 to 12 hours (full-day). On bicycle 6.5 to 8.5 hours. Distance: 33 km (20.5 miles).
Itinerary: Departure from explora by van (1.5 hrs) to Altos de Putana. Descent by bicycle along an unpaved road with descents and ascents along the gorge, until reaching picturesque town of Machuca. Picnic lunch along the road. The trip continues with a view of the Salar de Atacama and over-looking the settlement of Guatin. Return to Hotel de Larache by van (30 min.).
Level: Demanding. Other: It is optional to go down by bicycle to San Pedro (70 km / 112 miles), or to the Puritama hot springs. exploration
Additional nights are available on request.
Exchange rates differ from time to time. For the most up-to-date prices of this holiday idea please fill out our Latin America Travel Quote form.
- Special rates for youngsters (up to 15 years old) accompanying their parents are subject to availability based in double, triple or quadruple occupancy.
- Additional bed for children (4 to 12 years old) sharing their parent's room. Maximum one extra bed per room.
- Children under the age of 3 complimentary when sharing room with their parents.
- Dining room serving exceptional cuisine
- Gift shop featuring explora apparel and local crafts
- In-room telephones with national and international direct dialing service
- Laundry service
- Art gallery featuring Atacama Indian art crafts
- Quiet sitting areas inside, on outdoor verandahs and patios
- Four connected outdoor pools
- Massage service
- Private stables
- Chilean international departure tax $30 USD. This fee should be included in your international airfare
- US$160(CA$132) reciprocity fee, payable in USD cash on arrival is charged. The receipt is regarded as a multiple entry visa and is valid until expiry of passport.
- Chilean domestic departure tax $10 USD
- Local currency is Pesos
- Time Zone: GMT/UTC -4
- Dialing Code: 56
- Electricity: 220V, 60Hz
- Weights & measures: Metric
San Pedro de Atacama: explora Lodge
- Transfer between Calama Airport and San Pedro de Atacama.
- Full board. 3 meals per day
- Choice of daily activities as listed above
- Groups no larger than 10, with bilingual guides, equipment, horses, vehicles and food.
- Domestic Flights
- Visa fees (if required)
- Passport & Visa Costs
- Vaccination Costs
- Personal Spending Money
- Meals where not listed
- International Flights
- Travel Insurance
- Airport departure taxes
- Border taxes or fees