Alto Atacama: Living on Cloud 9 at the World’s Driest Desert
These days, travelling tends to follow two common paths: a luxurious yet sometimes sheltered getaway at a resort, or a grass-roots level trip with sometimes questionable safety and cleanliness standards. The Alto Atacama Resort and Spa has harnessed the best of both worlds to give you an unforgettable experience inside their oasis located in the heart of the Atacama Desert.
Health is something we incorporate into our lives whenever possible, and it goes far beyond diet and exercise. A truly healthy lifestyle and especially vacation can only be found when you balance delicious and nutritious foods with exploration and adventure, with nourishing spa care, and a hint of peaceful seclusion added on top.
Alto Atacama has developed an atmosphere to harness the peaceful serenity that will bring a calm joyfulness to you as soon as you arrive.
First up, exquisite dining!
A breakfast buffet that tops the scales in Chile and rivals five star resorts worldwide, absolutely kick started us for daily adventure. Their fine dining service for lunch and dinner was unbelievably spot on.
While the menu was somewhat small, their dishes were unique fusions, both intriguing and delicious, using ingredients grown in their on-site organic gardens! And finally, to no ones surprise, an incredible selection of Chilean wines was available to compliment your meal.
Their in-house expeditions were varied and complete. Offering outings to San Pedro’s hot spot tourist places, the staff went out of their way to accommodate everyone’s physical and nutritional (if meals included) specifications.
One thing you’ll have trouble ignoring in the Atacama desert is the incredible view of the stars and other astrological phenomenons visible during the crystal clear nights. And not to worry, Alto’s on site observatory will make the stars above seem almost within reach.
Embracing the motherly traits of self-care are vital whether you’ve just been out mountain biking all day, or if you’re using this visit to relax from your stressful job. How does an underground spa sound? Venture down and be transported to a whole new world.
Spend time in their breathtaking saunas or join your loved one for a couple’s massage, whatever you need to find that new level of relaxation, it will be found here. And if full-on spa services aren’t you’re thing, Alto has created a very unique poolside feel, breaking their areas up into 4-5 small, secluded pools to allow privacy and comfort.
Last but certainly not least…
A massage, a great meal, or a fun expedition can only go so far, if the place you come back to every night just feels “off.” Alto was first opened in 2005, after an incredible amount of time and effort was poured into the details of its construction.
We even said to each other on multiple occasions, “there is not one detail in this hotel that was overlooked!” There are so many highlights worth mentioning that I could write all day, but let me just rapid fire some very cool ones for you;
– Llama carriage with four adult llamas
– Organic fruit and vegetable gardens
– Lounge area by the pools (that’s right, multiple private pools!) where they serve drinks and host an asado (BBQ) every Saturday afternoon around the sunken fire pit!
– Outdoor stone museum with beautiful local rocks
– Man-made lagoon (perfect for meditation or reading!)
– Landscape architecture: the flora throughout the resort is breath-taking and the stonework incorporated takes it to a whole new level.
With these kinds of features, you might be thinking this is like any typical resort that flattens the land to build their masterpiece. However, it is quite the opposite with Alto, as they put a great amount of thought into making their resort eco-friendly, both during its construction and operation.
If there were trees on their land, they built around them, for rocks that were brought in from the surrounding areas, they were diligently placed on the ground exactly how they were found before being moved, and in the driest desert on earth, they developed an intricate tiered landscape design, which maximizes their use of water to irrigate the plants, as water flows from one garden to the next lower one, never letting any go to waste.
The Alto Atacama Resort and Spa is a truly serene place to visit and if it was possible to rate a hotel 5.5 stars, I would! Next time you’re searching for a destination for a yoga retreat, business conference, anniversary or even just a relaxing weekend away, look into Alto and truly experience the state of bliss.
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