Petra in Alto Atacama

| Petra Horsch

An oasis in the driest desert in the world

Together with my boyfriend Paul I leave the green surroundings of Santiago behind me. We fly over the Andes, see the landscape slowly change and arrive at the driest place on earth. This surrealistic landscape shows a pure beauty like we have never experienced before. We are in the Atacama Desert and visit the special hotel Nayara Alto Atacama.

Everything in Nayara Alto Atacama is perfect

Upon arrival at the hotel we are warmly welcomed with a refreshing drink and we can relax in the garden of the hotel. We are astonished. Despite the fact that we are on the driest place on earth, it is beautifully green here. The garden is a reflection of the special local culture and the decoration is really amazing; lush and yet very well maintained. We immediately understand why garden architect Veronica Poblete gets so much pleasure out of her work. It is an oasis with llamas and various crops are cultivated on a small scale. Local and natural materials have been used everywhere, the stone and wooden yard fences are a good example of this.

We stay in a Catarpe room, overlooking the Catarpe valley. The room is very spacious and tastefully decorated. The style matches the area with many natural elements and pastel shades. The lighting in the room is minimal, which is nice for your eyes. Outside it is very light and in the room, your eyes can relax sufficiently. We walk around a bit and enjoy the lovely peace and quiet. In a welcome brochure of the hotel, it is mentioned that the desert is a place of reflection, it is undeniable that the tranquillity and vastness of the enchanting barren landscape has a relativizing effect.

Refined down to the last detail

In the evening we enjoy a delicious dinner which is served with matching wines. After dinner, we are taken to one of the sand dunes on the outskirts of San Pedro. Our guide leads us through the dark area that is only lit by the moon. She tells us that the dunes where we are walking now border on her grandmother's backyard and that she often used to drive around here as a child. Nowadays she is one of the enthusiastic guides of Nayara Alto Atacama. In the distance, we can see the astronomical observation station from where, just like us here, you get an unprecedented view of the starry sky. We return to the hotel and get settled in our comfortable bed.

The next morning, we enjoy a delicious breakfast buffet where there is more than enough choice and we can even order various dishes from the kitchen. This morning we have a 'Triology' massage planned. We enjoy this very relaxing massage from the skilled ladies. When we think the massage is almost over, we are asked if we want to walk along to the mineral baths. We take a seat and are treated to the last part of our massage. While we are lying in the warm thermal bath, we get another head massage. I secretly hope it won't end, but then it's time to open our eyes again. Luckily there is no reason to grieve, the view of the Catarpe valley is beautiful and we are wonderfully relaxed.

Explore the surroundings

We've only been in the Nayara Alto Atacama hotel for one day and the friendly staff has surprised us several times already. At this place you are literally pampered. If we may believe the staff and guides, the surroundings of the hotel are just as promising as the accommodation. Today and tomorrow we go out to explore the area, eagerly looking forward to what the area will bring us.

Travel through Chile? - And visit the Alto Atacama?

Does the Alto Atacama hotel appeal to you and would you like to stay here during a unique journey through Chile? We are happy to help you organize a luxury trip to Chile that fully meets your wishes and interests. Take a look at the travel itineraries that we have put together for inspiration. You can book these trips directly, but we are also happy to create a personal programme based on your wishes and ideas.

Do you have a direct question? Feel free to contact us. Callr +31 73 610 62 04 or send an email to We are happy to help.

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