Tierra Atacama Hotel and Spa
Experience the authentic beauty of Atacama staying at Tierra Atacama located on the edge of San Pedro De Atacama. At Tierra, you will be welcomed with our casual and friendly service to ensure you are comfortable as if you were in your own home. Enjoy a range of outdoor activities from hiking, biking, volcano climbing, and horse rides to exploring the flora & fauna. When night falls, be sure to take in the brilliant stars while relaxing in peace in the Atacama Desert.
PLEASE NOTE : Tierra Atacama will be closed 1 April - 1st March 2025 due to renovations.
For travel in March and April 2024
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- Witness the beauty scenery of the Altiplanic landscape, with its mountains, many contrasts and extraordinary colours
- Enjoy the spectacular views of the Licancabur volcano and spot bird life
- Hike to Chile’s most active volcano, Lascar Volcano, and see its active smoke vents and multiple craters while enjoy the panoramic view of the Salar de Atacama and Laguna Lejia
- Take on horse riding and discover the desert scenery while sprinting through the sand dunes
- Observe the universe with the naked eye just above the Atacama Desert
- Relax and spend time in the Uma Spa with both outdoor and indoor swimming pools
- Enjoy the welcoming private corners of the hotel such as a seat by one of the terrace fire pits, lounge next to the pool or relax on one of the shady outdoor decks
Quebrada del Diablo
Feel the exhilaration of pedaling through spellbinding landscapes towards the Quebrada del Diablo ‘Devil’s Canyon’, witnessing scenic sights across the Atacama as you go. Having geared up and prepared our bicycles at the hotel, we will start our exploration of the local area, beginning with a ride along the banks of the San Pedro River, at 2,400m (7,900ft) above sea level. Bumble along the dusty pathways, with the beautiful mountains accompanying you along the way, before crossing the cool, gentle waters of the river to reach the other side. Soon after, we will arrive at the Quebrada del Diablo, a dried-up riverbed with towering walls of red clay and beguiling rock shapes; a naturally formed bike trail for us to zip along. The path leads us up higher and higher until we reach the end of the canyon and our lookout point, looking out over rugged, rocky earth juxtaposed with the lush green of the Catarpe plantations. After taking in this view, we make our way back to the hotel, following the meandering waters of San Pedro River as our guide.
Ojos del Salar
If you're looking to see water in the Atacama desert, this is the perfect ride. We leave the hotel heading south by bicycle, towards the edge of the Atacama Salt Flat at an altitude of 2,300masl approx. (7,500 feet) We will reach the “Ojos del Salar” two small pools of fresh water which are incredibly deep, in the middle of the driest desert in the world. We then continue to the Tebinquinche waterhole, which is a true mirror in which you can see the reflection of the Andes. We wait for the sunset here before returning to the hotel by vehicle.
This challenging, invigorating bike ride is the perfect choice for thrill-seekers looking to venture into Death Valley on two wheels. The route is filled with plenty of ascents to get your blood pumping, though you’ll also be rewarded with welcome downhill sections that will have you flying. Setting off in a north-westerly direction, we will be treated to divine views of the Cordillera de Sal, the imposing peaks of mountains and volcanoes jutting up into the cobalt sky ahead of us. You will get to admire Death Valley’s unforgiving terrain from above, rewarding us with a superb perspective of this undulating rockscape, before we take to the old roads that lead down to the valley below, immersing ourselves into the awe-inspiring grandeur of this eerie, gentle place.
This is a morning excursion to make the most of the temperature at this time of day. Depart the hotel heading south by bike towards the edge of the Atacama Salt Flat. The terrain is mainly flat and slightly uneven in places. On arrival at the Cejar lagoon, the view of the thick salt crust which has formed around the water hole is amazing. The salt concentration is incredibly high here and one floats in the spectacularly clear waters. Following a swim and a rest, we return to the hotel by vehicle.
By vehicle we will leave the hotel and head toward Calama. After a 15-minute ride, we will come to the Cornisas lookout point, which offers a spectacular view of Valle de Marte (Mars Valley) in all its splendor. From this point, we can see the region’s volcanos. At approximately 2,600 meters above sea level, we will walk about 3 kilometers around the cornice, viewing clay formations at our feet. We will then descend to the Mars Valley dunes, across from an enigmatic landscape that invites contemplation.
Quebrada del Diablo & Vilama Fortress
Discover the beguiling land formations of the Quebrada del Diablo and enjoy a dose of local heritage, here in the Cordillera de la Sal. Having driven to the cusp of the ‘Devil’s Canyon’, we’ll begin our hike through this dried-up river bed, meandering along flat terrain which is flanked on each side by ethereal, craggy rock walls. This trail will then lead up a steady ascent to a lookout point, rewarding all effort with far-reaching views out towards the rippling mountains and volcanoes that surround us. From here, we’ll come across historic petroglyphs etched into the rock walls – a sign of travelers and traders having used this very same route for hundreds of years – all before finishing the hike at Vilama; a historic fortress that blends seamlessly into its earthen-hued environment.
Guatin Gatchi Valley
Expect a confection of distinctive desert plant life and trickling rivers, on this tour to the Valle de Guatin. A short drive takes us to this flourishing valley, where we’ll start by hiking through a Cardon forest, encountering the giant cacti that are known to thrive in the area before hiking to the confluence of two rivers: the Puritama and Purifica. What’s notable about these colliding rivers is that the former is made up of warm, thermal waters while the latter is cool, mountain meltwater, and together they merge to give birth to the Vilama River, which in turn brings life to Guatin Valley’s delicate ecosystem. We’ll continue our way through the valley, over a rocky pathway dotted with small waterfalls and across the gushing river, passing interesting vegetation endemic to the region along the way. Then, a captivating panorama of the sweeping valley below makes for a worthy finale to this refreshing walk in Guatin Gatchi.
Machuca & Rio Grande
Llamas, Alpacas, Giant Cacti and desert flora abound on this immersive exploration of Machuca and the Río Grande. With a relatively consistent altitude of around 4000m (13,200ft) above sea level throughout the trek, you will follow a rough route which surrounds the Peñaliri riverbed, a sparsely populated stretch of desert tundra, hardy plants and unusually high number of native animals and birdlife for such arid plains. Along the way, you will pass the settlements of Peñaliri and Río Grande Village to witness, among the dramatic backdrop of lofty peaks and an unforgiving wilderness, the traditional agricultural plantations of crops suited perfectly to an extreme, high-altitude environment, predominantly consisting of native potato species, corn and members of the onion family. This snapshot insight into the adaptability of both mankind and nature in such extreme conditions, serves as an evocative highlight during any time spent in the Atacama Desert.
For the people of the High Andean Plains, budding explorers and visiting travelers alike, there are few places as evocative as the Valle de la Luna or ‘Moon Valley’. The myriad of peaks, rock formations and canyons are a bewildering natural spectacle, one which can never be fully understood in either its natural beauty or tangible, spiritual atmosphere until you get there. Being a morning exploration, we will aim to avoid large visiting crowds in order to make the most of irreplaceable lookouts, eerie silences and moments of contemplation, all of which the sprawling landscapes of the Valle de la Luna are known for. There will be a chance to make your own peace with the desert, hike to stunning vantage points with our expert guide as well as enjoying time at leisure, before returning to the hotel and back down to earth.
We will leave the hotel and head by vehicle to the Kari lookout point, located 2,550 meters above sea level. Known as the “Coyote Rock,” this lookout, seen on one of San Pedro de Atacama’s most famous postcards, offers a panoramic view of the Salt Mountain Range, where water, wind and temperature worked together to produce this interesting ravine. From here, we will head down a large dune until arriving to the canyon, where we will cross dry rivers on salt paths that contrast with the intense colors of the clay walls. Through difficult accesses and labyrinths, we will tour caves and rock formations that tell the geological history of the area.
Cerro Toco Volcano Climb
Located just 6km from the border between Chile and Bolivia, Cerro Toco is as awe-inspiring to look at from the ground, as the expansive panoramas are to be enjoyed from its summit. The ascent can be taken at a steady pace, as this high-altitude trek is very much about the enjoyment of the climb, ensuring enough energy is left to indulge in its aerial rewards. Having traversed the trails to 5,600m (18,700ft), take a moment to revel in the surrounding mountainscape, with views out to Laguna Blanca and the Salar de Atacama being of particularly spectacular note, before gradually making the descent back to the awaiting support vehicle and home.
Conquering the elements, altitude and weary legs to reach the rim of the Lascar crater is a mission that promises all the thrills of a strenuous mountain climb. You’ll earn effortlessly beautiful scenery along the way and an opportunity to boast that you climbed the most active volcano in northern Chile! The rocky trails do not require technical ability, though the climb is relatively steep, snaking your way up the south-eastern side of this famous Chilean landmark. Upon reaching the crater’s edge, the resulting vistas are all about the sprawling salt flats and adjacent Laguna Lejía below. The sheer spectacle of witnessing the inner workings of a slowly depleting volcano up close is an irreplicable and unforgettable experience.
Soak up the stunning scenery as you walk, trot, or canter along, feeling closer than ever to nature on whichever route you opt for at Tierra Atacama. The difficulty level and duration of the horse rides are up to you: they can take between 2-5 hours and be as easy or challenging as you like! What’s more, as part of our commitment to sustainability, we always work with small, local providers; our guides are true experts in their field and take great care of their beautiful horses, using typical Chilean riding gear. So, saddle up and prepare for an energizing excursion deep into the Atacama.
Salar de Atacama
Uncover the breathtaking sights of the Salar de Atacama on this captivating excursion to Chaxa Lagoon, where vivid colors and resident Flamingos abound. We’ll begin with a trip south to visit Toconao, a secluded village and desert oasis which was built using soft white stone, known for its fruit cultivation thanks to the natural irrigation it is bestowed with. We’ll wander through Toconao itself, passing the main plaza, the church adorned with an 18th century bell tower and artisan workshops, before continuing onward. Our destination is the Los Flamencos National Reserve at Chaxa Lagoon, home not only to the various Flamingo species but also to Andean Gulls, Highland Chorlos and more birdlife. As we take a gentle walk along the trails that wind their way around this watery haven, there’s no doubt you’ll want to reach for your camera and capture this landscape of vast open skies, imposing peaks looming on the horizon and the colors of the sunset mirrored in Chaxa Lagoon, as the Flamingos fly across the sky.
We will arrive to the remote Miscanti and Miñiques lagoons, at more than four thousand meters of altitude, for an excursion with a surprising backdrop featuring the peace and quiet of the desert and colorful salt lakes. We will visit the town of Socaire and two lookouts over the Salar de Talar, also known as “Hot Waters.” From there, we will see the area of Piedras Rojas with its impressive geological formations, a very exciting landscape. We will visit Tuyajto Lagoon and, if the weather permits, we will have lunch outdoors and contemplate the varied palette of the Altiplano.
Feast your eyes on the Tatio Geysers, one of the world’s most impressive geothermal sites and certainly an icon of the Atacama Desert. We’ll set off early this morning to reach the Tatio Geysers just as the sun begins to emerge above the horizon, casting an ethereal glow on vapor columns which tower over us at heights of up to 12 meters. We’ll spend some time appreciating the wonder of this geothermal field, home to over 80 active geysers which protrude from bubbling pools of boiling water, then have breakfast with the geysers as our views. As we head home, we will often spot wildlife roaming outside, including Vicuñas, Foxes, Vizcachas and Andean Ostriches. We will stop at the picturesque, adobe village of Machuca. Home to no more than a dozen locals, Machuca is small, cultural site to behold with its church built from wood and handicraft stalls, a charming interlude before taking the return road to Tierra.
Full Moon Hike
When the moon is full, the Atacama Desert is exquisitely illuminated; and in this light, we will experience its natural splendor from a whole new perspective. After dinner, we will leave the hotel and set off away from all light pollution to reach a truly scenic desert spot. This leisurely hike allows us to marvel at the lunar landscape beneath the silvery glow of the moon, contemplating the silhouettes and shadows found at every taken, appreciating its spectacular geography in an altogether alternative way. After about half an hour of walking through this twilight world, we’ll stop to make a campfire and enjoy a snack here, taking in the pure magic of the Atacama under moonlight.
The Atacama Desert is known to be one of the best places on earth for stargazing. So, armed with the largest public telescope in the region as well as the help of our expert guides, we’ll enjoy a fascinating evening of astronomy together, something not easily forgotten. Look up to the jet-black canopy above you, studded with glittering stars and their constellations, easily visible to the naked eye thanks to the Atacama’s lack of artificial light and endless expanse of untouched desert. The night sky transforms throughout the year, so depending on the time of your visit, it may be Saturn’s rings, craters on the moon, nebulas and even supernovas on show. All the while, pick the brain of your guide for astronomic worldviews or the way traditional Andean communities saw cosmic constellations, because if you thought the Atacama Desert was beautiful by day, just wait to see things in all its glory by night!
Petroglyphs & Rainbow Valley
Unearth ancient petroglyphs and admire a kaleidoscope of colour at Rainbow Valley on this half-day excursion; a geological and archaeological treat. The drive leads us westward to the Domeyko Mountains and Rainbow Valley, whose stripes of copper, silver, jade, violet and everything in-between lend this sacred place its name. A 30-minute walk will allow us time to marvel at the terrain, the result of erosion and environmental processes that created this mineral-rich rock face. Once you’ve experienced the charms of Rainbow Valley, we’ll make for the town of Hierbas Buenas, where pre-Columbian petroglyphs await. Emblazoned on the rock walls of a natural shelter – which was hewn out of compacted volcanic ash before being used by local farmers, these intricate images depict animals and ancient hidden messages still little understood; something truly extraordinary to behold.
For birdwatchers, the Atacama is an unexpected haven, with the wetlands of Putana and Machuca brimming with all sorts of ornithological delights. This half-day tour will get you up close to the surprising species living at these high altitudes, in a delicate ecosystem found 4,000m (13,000ft) above sea level. As we head past the Tatio Geysers, towards Putana and Machuca, the journey itself promises sporadic sightings of local wildlife, though by the time we reach the wetlands you may well be in the company of endemic birds such as Flamingos, Andean Geese, Andean Seagulls, Giant Taguas, Puna Teasl, Crested Ducks, and Tyrant Flycatchers, to name just a few; as well as non-bird species like Vicuñas and Llamas in Machuca. Witnessing such a rich variety of birds, against a backdrop of craggy mountains and volcanoes, makes for a birdwatching tour unlike any other.
About the Hotel
Tierra Atacama is a boutique hotel on the edge of San Pedro de Atacama. It was created by the Purcell family, long time owners and operators of the Ski Portillo, famous in Chile for its excellent skiing, food and warm hospitality. Like Portillo, Tierra Atacama provides guest experiences that combine outdoor adventure and sports with indoor comforts, hospitality and excellent service.
Tierra Atacama's architecture, interior design and gardens were designed by some of Chile's leading creative talent. Our objectives were to be as authentic as possible, using furniture and accessories handmade with local materials while also creating a place that allows guests to relax, spoil themselves and enjoy the good life in this magical part of the earth.
- Accommodation with private facilities
- Hotel taxes
- Transfers to and from Calama Airport
- All meals, mineral water, sodas, juices, house wines & liquors during stay
- Daily excursions accompanied by local guide
- Full use of all the hotel facilities, including pools, saunas and jacuzzi
What’s not included?
- Air transportation
- Airport entrance/departure taxes
- Passport, visa, and immigration fees
- Travel protection plan
- Additional hotel nights
- Spa Treatment
- Premium alcoholic beverages
- Laundry services
Check in time is 3:00 pm, check out time is 11:00 am.
Please note: Tierra Atacama will be closed 1 April - 30 November 2024 due to renovations.