Comfort in the desert: Explore Chile from a luxurious home base

  • Serene desert oasis

    An oasis in San Pedro de Atacama

    While the Atacama Desert is one of the driest places in the world, Explora Atacama, an adventure-based luxury resort, is a wonderful oasis set just outside of the small tourist center of San Pedro de Atacama in Chile. It's the perfect base to start any desert journey and provides a unique and top-notch experiential-focused vacation unlike any other.

    Photo courtesy of Explora Atacama

  • An escape from the crowds and daily bustle

    Sitting on a 42-acre plot, surrounded by high volcanoes, salt flats, sand dunes and surreal moonscape, Explora Atacama offers a comfortable retreat, a fantastic place to relax, and at the same time, the perfect place to head out to see a side of the Atacama Desert that few others do.

    Photo courtesy of Explora Atacama

  • Climbing big volcanoes

    Explora Atacama offers its guests over 40 different types of explorations, which are opportunities led by trained expert guides to get out and experience the desert and its surroundings. The options offered by the resort are vastly different and suitable for every type of traveler. For example, there are excursions for those who want to do a van trip to a relaxing hot spring or those who want to challenge themselves climbing the biggest volcanoes in the Atacama, such as Licancabur, a stratovolcano that is almost 20,000 feet high.

    Photo courtesy of Explora Atacama

  • Horseback riding in the Atacama, Chile's wild west

    You can also go horseback riding with Explora Atacama, heading out into the desert to satisfy all of your wild west fantasies. Beginner and novice riders receive instructions as to how to mount, ride and handle their horses; riders are outfitted with chaps and comfortable saddles and safety is of the utmost concern. Veteran riders are also catered to, with opportunities to take harder routes at faster clips.

    Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis

  • Bicycling above the Moon Valley

    If horse riding isn't your thing, but two-wheeling is, you can go mountain biking in the Atacama. There are both paved and off-road options, the traffic is minimal and it's easy to escape the crowds. Climbing up to the top of the Moon Valley for sunset is quite stunning, as is zipping around the Mars Valley in back canyons where few ever go. 

    Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis

  • Deep sleeps in the desert

    Airy rooms with lots of natural light

    There are only 50 rooms at Explora, and they are designed to take advantage of the desert surroundings, offering plenty of light, privacy, silence and space. Rooms come with rain showers and bathtubs, are provided with herbal tea infusions and feature plenty of comfort, perfect for deep sleeps after full-day excursions. 

    Photo courtesy of Explora Atacama

  • The Catur Suite

    Catur Suite at Explora Atacama

    Catur Suites feature a whopping 538 square feet of living space to go with large balconies, plenty of natural daylight and views of the surrounding mountains. You won't have any thorny desert sleeps here, and this is Explora's top stay option.

    Photo courtesy of Explora Atacama

  • Gude heading out for a trip

    Private guiding at its finest

    The guides at Explora are what make the property really stand out as far more than just a luxury hotel. All go through professional training at the Explora Guide School. They not only know their specialties, whether it be trekking or horseback riding, but they also know the desert flora and fauna inside and out, as well as the history of the Atacama, making them the perfect companion for a day out exploring the surroundings.

    Photo courtesy of Explora Atacama

  • Planning out journeys in the Explorations room

    Explorations room at Explora Atacama

    Every morning or afternoon, guests meet in the Explorations room in the resort, where comprehensive maps, guides and descriptions are located. Here they can plan their excursions for the day. There are a range of trips, from full-day hikes, peak climbs or drives far into the desert, to shorter half-day options, of which you can choose one or two if you want to make the most of your time. Level of difficulty, choice of route, type of adventure – all are explained by the guides in comprehensive detail. 

    Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis

  • Exploring the back side of the Moon Valley

    Off the beaten track in the Moon Valley

    Not only are the guides superb, but so are the routes chosen. While San Pedro de Atacama sees thousands of tourists each high season and while the standard trails and viewpoints in the Moon and Mars valleys can be overcrowded, the paths that Explora takes are off the beaten track, going to the back sides of the popular valleys, or in between side canyons which you'll have all to yourself.

    Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis

  • Traversing sand dunes in the Atacama

    Exploring the far reaches of the desert

    It's a magical feeling to wander across sand dunes into empty valleys, feeling like Lawrence of Arabia, and the Atacama is big enough to ensure a true sense of wonder, solitude and awe. Not to mention, being in experienced hands, with guides having radio contact with the resort and drivers should any problems occur, makes for a safe, secure and truly fun visit.

    Photo courtesy of Explora Atacama

  • Observatory in the desert

    No light pollution in San Pedro de Atacama

    Another great feature at Explora Atacama is its on-site observatory. The Atacama Desert is one of the most light pollution-free places in the world, and you can see abundant constellations, planets and stars on most nights here. The resort offers a stargazing session each night, pointing out the features of the galaxy as well as letting guests get hands-on use of its telescope.

    Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis

  • Moon craters viewed up close.

    Closeup of the craters on the moon

    The Meade 16” f/10 LX200R Advanced RD, with a main mirror of 40 centimeters in diameter and with extraordinary resolution and sharpness is the showpiece of the Explora Atacama observatory. Special arrangements can be made for budding astral photographers to attach their camera bodies to the telescope and let it act as a lens, offering one the chance to get extreme closeup views of the craters on the moon, or rings around Saturn, along with other astral highlights.

    Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis

  • Taking the desert plunge

    Cooling off in the desert

    Despite being surrounded by the arid desert, Explora also features plenty of water and ways to cool off or warm up. The resort has four swimming pools and a variety of Jacuzzi hot pools, a steam room, sauna and spa for rejuvenating massages. Where you'll find time to use all these is another question, as the outdoor explorations offered by the resort can keep you busy for days. Then again, all the more reason to stay an extra day just to be truly on vacation!

    Photo courtesy of Explora Atacama

  • Soaking in Puritama hot springs.

    Hot springs bliss

    Explora also has its very own hot spring as well. While the Puritama Hot Springs are open to the general public and accessible by road, Explora has taken stewardship of the area, and is turning it into a natural protected reserve. The springs sit at the end of the beautiful Guatin Canyon, one of the resort's featured hikes through the desert, and there are a series of eight cascading pools that flow down into a river. The highest, hottest and best one is saved exclusively for Explora guests! 

    Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis

  • Exploring the Mars Valley

    Trekking into the Mars Valley

    While there are plenty of resorts out there that can offer guests a pampering stay, there aren't many that can expertly guide them through their surroundings, offering a thrilling adventure that won't easily be forgotten. From silent descents and ascents through the desert terrain, to coming close to vicuñas and viscachas, getting to know the age and species of the different type of cacti and having an overall intensive fun and learning experience, Explora Atacama comes highly recommended.

    Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis

  • Desert magic at Explora

    Northern Chile's most unique stay

    Not only is Explora the best resort in the Atacama Desert, it's also one of the top places to stay in all of South America. Put it on your travel bucket list and start preparing to explore the high desert, its geography, wildlife and incredible contrasts now. It's a trip you won't ever forget.

    Photo courtesy of Explora Atacama