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Travel Advisor Michele MacDonald knew the Atacama Desert was going to be isolated and spectacular. But she didn’t realize there would be such a variety of landscapes. Sand dunes. Salt flats. Volcanoes. Magnificent lagoons. And of course, the desert.
“A stay at Tierra Atacama is an all-encompassing experience,” says Michele. “Everything, from meals, transfers and excursions, is included in a seamless, luxury adventure deep into Chile’s other-worldly Atacama Desert. Everything–adventure, relaxation, hydration, good food and a good night’s sleep–is taken care of by Tierra.
“Upon arrival, I was immediately struck by the view. Every room has a drop-dead view of the Andes and the volcanoes beyond. Although Tierra is a small, boutique property, the amenities are abundant and world-class. The spa, indoor and outdoor pool, saunas, steam rooms and hydrotherapies are all perfectly paired with the scenery.
“For me, the excursion to the salt flats was a highlight,” Michele continues. “First, I saw the national reserve for flamingoes – in lush lagoons. Then, the beautiful salt flats. As the day ended, our group enjoyed a sundowner spread featuring cheeses, crackers, fruit, chocolate and nuts. We thought we would be viewing the sunset, but instead, faced the opposite direction to watch the sunset reflect off of the landscape and volcanoes. It was unbelievable to behold.
“One of my personal interests is mountain biking, and Tierra Atacama arranged a wonderful biking excursion into the desert. I enjoyed a 90-minute bike ride to a salt lagoon, where I was able to take a dip. The feeling of floating in the salty water was similar to the effortless float of swimming in the Dead Sea – and is not to be missed. Tierra takes care of every detail, providing lush towels and bathrobes and a van to accommodate bikers who might only want to bike half of the way, or need a rest.
“I advise anyone traveling to Tierra Atacama to set aside at least four nights to ensure the perfect conditions to experience the best stargazing on earth. Plus, this time frame will help acclimate to the arid environment. Staying hydrated is very important, and Tierra makes sure water is always available.
“I love too that travelers can combine a longer trip with stays at all three Tierra (Chiloe and Patagonia) properties to really immerse in the many beautiful regions of that area of the world. All with a consistent level of comfort and service throughout. It’s such a relaxing way to enjoy a true adventure.”
The Core Traveler
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