The Atacama Desert is a conflicted prospect—unflinchingly flat in parts, yet fringed by the last, westernmost outriders of the Andes; a 49,000-square-mile (78,850 square kilometer) pocket that sits at an elevation of 7,900 feet (2,408 meters) yet manages to be one of the most persistently dry corners of the planet (receiving only 15 millimeters of rainfall a year), an inhospitable context for human life that’s sustained busy settlements for millennia—barren and yet beautiful.
Atacama is not the easiest place to get to. It's a 15 hours+ flight with a stop at Santiago and there is another 2 hours drive once we get to the local airport in San Pedro De Atacama.
After days spent exploring the impressive natural scenery of the Atacama Desert, return to Awasi Atacama for a swim in the pool, a drink by the fire pit and long evening meals in our Relais & Chateaux restaurant.
Awasi Atacama is nestled behind an ancient adobe wall, so you could easily pass by and not realise that a small lodge lies within.
With private patios, tall trees providing natural shade and open-air communal areas so you can enjoy the world’s clearest skies, Awasi is the perfect place to enjoy the very best of the Atacama.
We didn't need to find restaurants in town. The resort provides amazing drinks and food prepared with local ingredients. The menu is different every day! It felt like a private chef cooks for us.
“The tours you undertake are private
so you can stop if you see a photo
opportunity without inconveniencing
others, or being inconvenienced
yourselves waiting for other people.”
Each villa comes with its own private car and tour guide. So we can completely customize our adventure however we like, stop at any places and our tour guide even prepare snacks and set up picnic table while we were enjoying our excursion!
Laguna Cejar, Chile’s salt lagoon
As one of the most spectacular lakes on Earth (or, rather, a sinkhole filled with water in the desert), Laguna Cejar is a popular tourist attraction. The lake’s high concentration of salt allows swimmers to float comfortably on the surface.
Geyser del Tatio
El Tatio is a geyser field located in the Andes Mountains of northern Chile at 4,320 meters above mean sea level. Its name comes from the Quechua word for oven. It is among the highest-elevation geyser fields in the world. El Tatio has over 80 active geysers, making it the largest geyser field in the southern hemisphere and the third largest in the world. Its geysers erupt to an average height of about 75 centimeters, with the highest eruption observed being around 6 meters. Tour normally starts at dawn because there is a huge temperature discrepancy between the underground hot water and super cold outside temperature! So you need to dress like you are going to a snow mountain! It's SO cold!!
Patagonia is a sparsely populated region located at the southern end of South America, shared by Argentina and Chile. And again, not the easiest place to get to >.<
We stayed with Awasi again for a completely customized trip, this is the only way I can do zero research and really enjoy the trip! Well, we still need to book flight tickets and that's more complicated than usual for this leg. Flying in from Santiago, we landed at Punta Arenas airport, a private car service picked us up for a 2 hours drive to Puerto Natales where Awasi's private vehicles pick us up from a little town. Then it was another 2 hours drive...
*If you are lucky when the weather is nice, you can fly to a closer airport at Puerto Natales where a private vehicles from Awasi can pick you up for free if you stay with them.
We were surrounded by nature and wild animals! It was such a surreal experience!
Torres del Paine National Park
The Balmaceda and Serrano glaciers
In Patagonia, being a gaucho is more than a job—it's a near spiritual identity that requires rugged resilience and a lust for adventure. The gauchos live hard and are deeply connected to this windy, vast corner of the earth.
A post on Santiago, Chile is coming up next!
As a professional blogger, I pursue fashion trends from New York city, to the edge of the world. Feel free to send candy.