Best Lodge in Torres del Paine, Chile: Awasi Patagonia

Best Lodge in Torres del Paine, Chile: Awasi Patagonia

Awasi Patagonia is a luxurious adventure lodge located in the Torres del Paine National Park in Chile, offering breathtaking views of the Patagonian Steppe, the Torres del Paine Mountain Range, and Lake Sarmiento.

As the southernmost Relais & Chateaux hotel in the world, it is a highly sought-after destination for those seeking an exclusive and personalized experience. The lodge features 12 intimate villas, each with a private guide and 4WD vehicle for exploring the surrounding wilderness.

Guests can enjoy soaking in their own hot tub, sipping drinks by the fire, and indulging in long evening meals at the Relais & Chateaux restaurant after a day spent adventuring. Awasi Patagonia’s location outside the national park’s eastern border offers more wildlife and unique excursions to areas such as the Sierra Baguales’ Mountains, where fossils and herds of guanacos can be seen.

Guests should plan well in advance and book at least six months ahead during South America's summer, as the lodge fills up quickly.

Awasi provides transfers only from Puerto Natales, so supplementary transfer costs apply. It’s important to know the schedules of the flights that depart daily from the airports of Punta Arenas and Puerto Natales in order to take advantage of the transfer service offered by the resort from Torres del Paine to the airport.

Bookings including stays at both Awasi Patagonia Lodge and Awasi Atacama Lodge qualify for discounts and complimentary hotel nights.

Is it for me?

If privacy and intimacy are paramount for your ideal Patagonia and Torres del Paine National Park trip, then Awasi Patagonia is the ideal choice.

Bear in mind that …

LIGHT, MODERATE, OR VIGOROUS TRIPS are flexible and can include hiking, photography, horseback riding, cultural opportunities, and spa.

LENGTH: 3 nights and up, recommended minimum stay 4 nights.

BEGIN / END Generally Punta Arenas, Chile and/or Calafate, Argentina. Some flights for Puerto Natales exist during certain times of year.


To get to Awasi, you can fly into Santiago, Chile or Buenos Aires, Argentina. Please note that the cost of airfare is not included in the land cost of our trips. You can either make arrangements for your international airfare on your own, or we are happy to provide assistance with booking both your regional and international flights.

To reach Awasi, there are two main options: flying from Santiago to Punta Arenas or, in rare cases, Puerto Natales, with an average cost of around $300. Another option is to fly from Buenos Aires to El Calafate and cross the Andes Mountains into Chile, providing a comprehensive Patagonia experience. Guests can exit through Punta Arenas to Santiago, making for an excellent Chile-Argentina combination. If you plan to arrange your own regional flights, please consult us beforehand so we can confirm the departure and arrival times.

HAVE QUESTIONS? Send us an email and our local expert will contact you and answer to any questions you may have

From $4,310 per person / 2 travelers based on 4 nights
All costs are subject to seasonality and room category. We guarantee same or better pricing than booking directly with the lodge. All IDEAS trips are custom and exact pricing is provided in your trip proposal.

We offer door-to-door trip planning services; IDEAS will navigate fixed-date entries, seasonal differences, logistics in transportation, and coordinate your accommodations and excursions for a holistic, seamless itinerary.


Ready for the trip of a lifetime? CONTACT US  and reserve your spot.

Best Luxury Hotel in Iguazu Falls: Awasi Lodge

Best Luxury Hotel in Iguazu Falls: Awasi Lodge

Awasi Iguazu is our preferred hotel option when visiting Iguazu Falls, situated within a private Atlantic Rainforest reserve in Misiones, Argentina, and a short 30-minute drive from the Iguazu National Park gate.
The 14 individual villas are nestled in lush jungle foliage, each featuring its own private plunge pool and sundeck.
Guests of Awasi Iguazu will have the exclusive service of a private guide and 4WD vehicle, offering complete flexibility to explore the region at their own pace and preferences.


Located within a vast private rainforest reserve, Awasi Iguazu is just a 20-minute drive from the Puerto Iguazu Airport and the Argentinian entrance to the Iguazu National Park. The park is home to the world-renowned Iguazu Falls, which consists of up to 275 cascades within a two-mile wide, horseshoe-shaped curve, and the magnificent La Garganta del Diablo, or “The Devil’s Throat,” where the Iguazu River plunges 240 feet.
In addition to the falls, the park boasts over 2,000 species of plants and a diverse range of wildlife, including howler monkeys, jaguars, and giant anteaters.


Nestled within the dense rainforest, Awasi Iguazu’s 14 villas – 13 standard and 1 master villa – offer a secluded escape surrounded by nature. The villas are thoughtfully designed to minimize environmental impact and are elevated on stilts, providing a unique perspective on the surrounding jungle.
The interior of each villa is adorned with traditional baskets handcrafted by the indigenous Guarani people, adding to the authentic experience. Guests can enjoy the comfort of a well-equipped villa including a mini-bar, bathtub, robes, slippers, ambient-temperature plunge pool, sundeck, and Wi-Fi. For those seeking extra relaxation, in-room massages can be arranged for an additional fee.

Standard Villas
Measuring 1,076 square feet, each of the 13 standard villas has a coffee corner and large living room, as well as a large deck, lounge chairs and a plunge pool. These villas are primarily designed for couples or two friends.

Master Villa
Measuring 1,614 square feet, this exclusive master villa has a spacious living area and a larger plunge pool allowing plenty of space for two couples or families.


At Awasi Iguazu, Chef Aarón Castillo Tellería creates dishes that are bursting with flavor, using fresh, seasonal ingredients, local inspiration, and vegetables sourced from the on-site kitchen garden. The cuisine is a delightful blend of sophistication and simplicity, with each meal tailored to meet the specific dietary requirements and preferences of guests.


Awasi Iguazu has collaborated with renowned biologists to curate a selection of adventures that extend beyond the falls. From its topography to its past, the Misiones Province is a blend of diversity.

The Iguazu Falls are situated in the Atlantic rainforest, which is home to over 400 bird species. Orchids, ferns, tapirs, monkeys, and pumas are all unique to the rainforest. Jungle trail hiking, visiting crystal pools, exploring archaeological ruins, and observing local Guarani people practicing ancient artisan crafts are some of the rainforest excursions available.

Private guided tours that are customized to your interests are also included. You’ll meet with your guides when you arrive to select your excursions. You can choose between one full-day excursion (lasting approximately 6 to 8 hours) or two half-day excursions (lasting 2 to 4 hours) per day.

Airport transfers to either airport (IGR or IGU) are also included. Entry visas for Brazil must be obtained in advance.

If you are interested in staying at Awasi Iguazu, Landed offers personalized and customized travel services for Central America, South America, and the Antarctic. We specialize in creating unique itineraries that are tailored to your interests and preferences, ensuring that you experience the trip of a lifetime. 

CONTACT OUR EXPERT TRAVEL PLANNERS today to start planning your dream vacation.

Best Hotel in Atacama: Awasi Lodge

Best Hotel in Atacama: Awasi Lodge



The Awasi Atacama, a Relais & Chateaux hotel, is situated in the stunning desert landscape of San Pedro de Atacama, Chile. With its rootsy charm and proximity to the authentic town life, it offers a unique front-row view of one of the most captivating and surreal landscapes on earth.

Guests at the hotel can enjoy dining and drinks under the starry night sky, with uninterrupted views of the world’s clearest skies. Each of the 10 rooms comes with a private professional guide and a 4×4 vehicle for fully customized exploration of the Atacama Desert. The hotel offers over 47 different full-day and half-day tours, enabling guests to discover the rich cultural and natural history of the region on foot, by Jeep, on horseback, by bike, or a combination of these methods. All meals and guided excursions are included, ensuring guests have an unforgettable and personalized experience.

About the Tours and Activities in Atacama Desert with Awasi

The excursions offered by Awasi Atacama can be customized according to your preferences and interests. The duration of each activity depends on the pace of the trek and the stops preferred by guests. These are the most popular tours to do in Atacama.

Zone A - Atacama Salt Flats

This tour takes place at an altitude of 2,400 meters above sea level and covers the low basin characterized by flat and regular surface. The notable geological events in this area are the Cordillera de la Sal mountain range and the Salar de Atacama salt flat. San Pedro de Atacama, known as the archaeological capital of Chile, has two significant archaeological sites, Pukará de Quitor and Tulor, which guests can visit along with the town square and the church.

Ayllus, the Quechua word for family, refers to how people were organized in the Tawantinsuyu, the Inca kingdom, for collective work tasks. The ethnic Lickan Antay’s peaceful agrarian way of life has been preserved for millennia, and the 15 Ayllus surrounding the old town represent this lifestyle. Guests can visit cultivation fields and observe the irrigation channels, native and introduced flora, and fauna.

Kari Canyon
Valle de la Luna or the Valley of the Moon is the most famous natural attraction of the Antofagasta region. It is located in the Cordillera de la Sal and is characterized by gigantic sedimentary rock walls with red and white tones. The Kari Canyon, less popular but equally beautiful, has a serpentine path of water and copper ores.
Difficulty: Medium – Duration: 3:00 – By car and on foot

Death Valley offers a panoramic view of San Pedro, the Andes, and the Cuenca de Atacama basin. Piedra de la Coca has rock art engravings of animals and people, a testament to the commercial routes built in prehistoric times. Garganta del Diablo, with its walls of clay and gypsum, has fantastic views behind every nook and cranny of the route. Katarpe, located north of the town, has the remains of the Kallanka (Inca center), surrounded by the Cordillera de la Sal mountains and the salty waters of the river.
Difficulty: Easy – Duration: 3:00 – By car and on foot / horse

Piedra de la Coca
Thousands of years ago, the people of San Pedro created an extensive trade network that extended to the coast and the Bolivian Altiplano. Today, evidence of their presence can be seen in the form of enigmatic rock carvings of animals and people. Visitors can walk in the same paths as these prehistoric inhabitants, and admire not only the fascinating rock art but also the stunning natural formations of the Cordillera de la Sal.
Difficulty: Medium – Duration: 3:00 – By car and on foot / bicycle / horse

Garganta del Diablo
The Cordillera de la Sal boasts an otherworldly landscape reminiscent of the red planet, with dry stream beds that may deceive with their serene appearance until the rainy season arrives. Among these streams, one stands out for its massive walls of clay and gypsum that offer breathtaking vistas at every turn. This mesmerizing route culminates at the imposing Devil’s Ravine, also known as Throat of the Devil, where a grand dry waterfall awaits. However, caution is advised during the rainy season as the otherwise tranquil streams can become treacherous.
Difficulty: Medium – Duration: 3:00 – By car and on foot / bicycle / horse

In the sector north of the town, following the course of the Río San Pedro river, you come to the Katarpe sector. Here officials of the Tawantinsuyu (Inca kingdom) were assigned to administer the Lickan Antay, collecting taxes and recruiting people to form compulsory armies for the Inca. The remains of the Kallanka (Inca center) can still be seen, surrounded by the majestic Cordillera de la Sal mountains and the salty waters of the river.
This destination can be combined with other excursions, like La Garganta del Diablo or La Piedra de la Coca.
Difficulty: Easy – Duration: 2:30 – By car and on foot / bicycle / horse

Cejar Lagoon
The Salar de Atacama, with its unique morphology, is the third largest salt flat globally, shaped by the harsh aridity of the climate. Surprisingly, at its core lie deep lakes, having high salinity and hosting an array of peculiar and stunning bird species, along with salt-tolerant plants. Visitors often explore Cejar and Piedras lakes, where one can relish a dead sea-like bathing experience, and admire the breathtaking Laguna Tebinquiche and Los Ojos del Salar, both offering spectacular scenic views.
Difficulty: Easy – Duration: 3:00 – By car and on foot / bike


Toconao and Sóncor Sector

Zone B - Intermediate Ravines

The region situated at an altitude range of 3,000 to 3,800 meters between the salt flats and volcanic peaks is known as the intermediate Ravines. This area is predominantly composed of solidified volcanic rocks and serves as a conduit for the small rivers of the Altiplano to flow down towards the desert.

Matancilla and Yerbas Buenas
There are unique places on Earth, due to their unusual geography and conditions, or because they represent something original in human history. On this excursion the two are combined ideally: the site of Yerbas Buenas contains an extraordinary wealth of petroglyphs from the Lickan Antay culture. It is also in close proximity to the Matancilla valley, where the geological history of the desert is laid bare in a symphony of colors within the rock.
Difficulty: Easy – Duration: 3:30 – By car and on foot / bike

Between the dryness of the salt flats and the impressive Puna are the intermediate ravines. That of the Vilama river is counted among the most beautiful and interesting, where only the Cardón or Pasakana cactus grow. There are two possible routes to be taken from Guatin: you can ascend towards the Puritama Hot Springs or descend to the archaeological site of Gatchi. Both routes present a similar duration and level of difficulty.
Difficulty: Medium – Duration: 3:00 – By car and on foot / bike

Puritama Hot Springs
The volcanic activity of the Andes always takes a leading role due to the beauty of its summits, the eruptions that revitalize the richness of the soil, or the endless thermal springs that it produces.
Among these geothermal features, the Puritama river is particularly noteworthy, springing from the volcanic rock at a temperature of 37ºc and which is ideal for bathing. This location has high class facilities and is organized in a series of handcrafted pools.
Difficulty: Easy – Duration: 3:00 – By car and on foot / bike

The Atacama Desert is renowned for its authentic and untouched locations that embody the traditional and meditative way of life. Talabre is a quintessential example of this Atacameño spirit, where visitors can witness ancient cultivation terraces that are still in use today. Additionally, the Patos and Quezala ravines are home to ancestral petroglyphs, all while the active Lascar volcano provides a dramatic backdrop to this cultural and historical experience.
Difficulty: Easy – Duration: 3:30 – By car and on foot / bike

Zone C - Puna

Above 4,000 meters altitude there is an important increase in precipitation which results in green meadows and highland wetlands, called bofedales. Most of the fauna and flora of the region is concentrated in this area.
*It requires altitude acclimatization prior to your visit and is not recommended for visitors who suffer from heart disease.

The Machuca village is one of the few located above 4,000 meters which is still inhabited, in the region of Antofagasta. The ascent in a 4×4 truck is both quick and safe and allows one to almost touch the sky, in a landscape much more fertile and rich in animals than the desert of San Pedro. There are excellent opportunities for bird watching in the town’s environs.
Difficulty: Easy – Duration: 3:30 – By car and on foot

Géisers del Tatio
The Tatio geysers are a major tourist attraction in the region, boasting the largest geothermal field in the southern hemisphere. The site offers a diverse range of features, from small fumaroles and bubbling springs to impressive water fountains known as geysers.
As you travel through the area, you can catch glimpses of various wildlife, including vicuñas, foxes, wild donkeys, and even flamingos. You can take in the panoramic views from the comfort of your vehicle, or explore the area on foot, taking advantage of the many trails and alternative routes available. Additionally, visitors can enjoy a relaxing soak in an artificial swimming pool that has been specially installed within the geothermal field.
Difficulty: Medium – Duration: 7:00 – By car and on foot


Alto Loa Villages
At the beginning of the Altiplano there are some villages that still keep to the thousand-year old traditions of the Lickan Antay culture, such as Caspana and Chiu-Chiu. Caspana is located at almost 4,000 meters altitude and preserves one of the oldest cultivation systems in the region, within a privileged landscape that combines desert, oasis and the altiplano. Chiu-Chiu was regarded as the capital of Atacama la Baja, or Lower Atacama, counterpart to the power centered in San Pedro, and boasts the oldest church in Chile, the San Francisco de Chiu-Chiu Church.
Difficulty: Easy – Duration: 7:00 – By car and on foot

Machuca and Río Grande
Among the multiple commercial routes frequented by the Lickan Antay in their age of glory, a very traditional one is still used in our times. This follows the shepherds’ route between the villages of Machuca and Río Grande, used to move the livestock to higher ground in summertime, then to bring them back down before the snows. The trail starts in a distinctly Altiplano landscape, passing through many levels into an intermediate ravine area.
Difficulty: Medium-High – Duration: 7:30 – By car and on foot

Lagunas Altiplánicas
This tour encompasses the Toconao and Sóncor areas, along with a visit to one of the region’s top tourist attractions: the Miscanti and Miñiques lakes. Located at an elevation of 4,500 meters, these lakes are a magnificent sight to behold. The larger of the two, Miscanti, offers breathtaking views of the Andean volcanoes, as well as herds of vicuñas and horned coots. The smaller lake, Miñiques, provides a stunning view of the Miñiques volcano, the Callejón Varela, and a diverse range of species.
Difficulty: Easy – Duration: 7:00 – By car and on foot

Altiplano Salt Flats
Situated almost on the border with Argentina are the salt flats of Aguas Calientes and Tuyactu. Both are wrapped in absolute silence, mainly thanks to their low visitor numbers. The Salar de Aguas Calientes has a splendid view of the surrounding volcanoes and reddish waters. The Laguna de Tuyactu is, in contrast, a mirror of salt water, which looks like snow in the dry season.
Difficulty: Medium – Duration: 7:00 – By car and on foot

Tara Salt Flats
On the country’s border, literally, is a simply impressive water system: the Salar de Tara. Almost 5.000 meters in altitude, it is possible to admire a sky bluer than any other, surrounded by colorful mountains and a startling silence. On the salt flat there are llamas, vicuñas, flamencos, goldfinches, cholulos and many other species, and it is crowned by the imposing Monjes de la Pacana(Pacana Monks), columns of volcanic rock sculpted by erosion.
Difficulty: Medium – Duration: 7:30 – By car and on foot

Salar de Kapur and Salar de Talar
One of the most rewarding ways to explore the Altiplano is on foot, despite the challenges and difficulties that come with it. This route is one of the simpler ones, taking you through the salt flats of Kapur and Talar, and offering breathtaking views of the southern territories of the “Abrazo de Mendoza”.
Difficulty: High – Duration: 8:00 – By car and on foot

Zone D - High Mountain

The high summits of the central Andes represent an undeniable attraction for the imagination, reaching up to an altitude of some 6,000 meters. This requires appropriate physical and mental preparation, as well as acclimatization to the lack of oxygen. Most of the summits close to the hotel are between 5,000 and 5,700 meters.

Saciel Volcano
Located on the border of Chile and Bolivia, this volcano offers a unique experience as you pass by border signs during the ascent, surrounded by a breathtaking landscape that transcends nationality and nomenclature. The journey begins at an abandoned sulfur mine, a testament to the determination and resilience of the people of Atacama, and ascends 300 meters to the summit. From the top, you can witness the extinct crater of Saciel volcano, and marvel at the stunning views of the Bolivian Altiplano and the Atacama Basin.
Difficulty: High – Duration: 8:00 – By car and on foot

Toco Hill
The Cerro Toco hill, 5,600 meters above sea level, is the least difficult ascent for mountaineers. The trail is well marked and does not present technical challenges. In spite of this, the high altitude can cause problems for those who are not acclimatized and therefore deserves respect. From the summit it is possible to see not only the Salar de Atacama but also the white and green lagoons in Bolivia.
Difficulty: High – Duration: 7:00 – By car and on foot

Láscar Volcano
The journey to the most emblematic volcano of the north of Chile is long and difficult. It ascends by the route to the village of Talabre and it continues towards the abandoned Huatiquina pass, passing close to the beautiful Laguna Lejía. The path to the summit is long, but not extremely difficult, and is remarkable by its proximity to the crater of the volcano, from which it is possible to observe multiple smoking sulfur vents. Subject to weather and safety conditions
Difficulty: High – Duration: 9:00 – By car and on foot

Sairecabur Volcano
The Mountain of the Rains, as it is named in Kunza, is an inactive volcano with an altitude of almost six thousand meters. The ascent is extremely difficult, complicated by the slope of the mountainside, the presence of sulfuric gases from sulfuric vents and the thin air at such altitude. It requires prior acclimatization, in addition to great willpower and endurance to reach the summit. An acclimatization period is necessary prior to the ascent
Difficulty: Very High – Duration: 9:00 – By car and on foot

Copa Coya Hill
On arrival at the Tatio geysers, a great peak provides the background: the Cerro Copa Coya. You can ascend the western slope or walk around from the east. In both cases it is possible to appreciate the geothermal field from its heights and discover the flora and fauna of the Altiplano. At the end of your journey you can enjoy an unforgettable lunch facing the geysers.
Difficulty: High – Duration: 7:30 – By car and on foot

Astronomical Observation
Currently, professional telescopes around the world are primarily focused on just three locations, with only one in the southern hemisphere, making San Pedro de Atacama a particularly privileged location for observing the universe. Awasi offers a three-stage astronomy excursion, beginning with a general explanation of the universe covering topics such as sizes, distances, stellar evolution, and Andean cosmology. The second stage involves observing the night sky with the naked eye, providing an opportunity to see stars, constellations, and the Milky Way.


In the third stage, guests enter a small dome containing an 11-inch automatic telescope that enables them to observe deep-space objects that are otherwise impossible to see. This stage is subject to favorable weather conditions and begins after dinner (usually after 9 PM). Guests should check with the receptionist for exact times and dates of the activity.
Duration: 1:30

Would you recommend staying at this hotel?

Absolutely. This hotel offers unparalleled views of one of the most captivating and surreal landscapes on the planet. Additionally, since there is no light pollution in the area, you can enjoy some seriously mind-bending views of the sky.

Ideas South America is a top provider of bespoke, premium private tours in Chile, Argentina, Patagonia, and other South American destinations. If you want to create a personalized itinerary for a luxurious trip to Chile and Argentina, including a stay at Awasi, don’t hesitate to CONTACT US 

Everything you need to know to plan a trip to the 7th continent

Everything you need to know to plan a trip to the 7th continent

If you’re planning to visit Antarctica for the first time, know that no matter how much research you do, the trip will be full of surprises, likely surpassing any expectations you have. Still, there are a few things you need to know before going to Antarctica so that you have a successful, stress-free trip.

Here are our recommendations and important considerations:

Planning and preparation:

A trip to Antarctica requires planning and preparation, including obtaining appropriate gear, arranging travel insurance, and getting medical clearance. By booking in advance, you have more time to prepare for your trip and ensure that everything is in order before you depart.

Booking a trip to Antarctica should be done well in advance due to several reasons:

It can ensure availability, provide flexibility in scheduling, and allow ample time for preparation and planning. It can also potentially save you money and ensure a smoother travel experience. You can also get the best deals, cabins, and the opportunity to participate in other activities with limited capacities, like camping, kayaking, among others.

I recommend planning your trip a season ahead of your intended travel season. For example, if you’re thinking of traveling in the 2023/24 season, start planning your trip a year ahead.

Limited availability: There are only a limited number of ships and cabins available for tourism in Antarctica, and they book up quickly, especially during peak season. Some trips are only available once a year or for a limited time, so it’s essential to book early to ensure availability.

Weather conditions: The weather in Antarctica is unpredictable, and ships may have to change their routes or schedules due to weather conditions. Booking in advance can help you secure a spot on a ship and increase the chances of finding a suitable departure date that works for you.

Travel arrangements: A trip to Antarctica usually involves several travel arrangements, including flights, accommodations, and transportation to the embarkation point. By booking in advance, you can secure your travel arrangements and potentially save money on flights and accommodations.

Permits and visas: Travel to Antarctica requires permits and visas, which can take some time to process. By booking in advance, you can ensure that you have enough time to obtain the necessary permits and visas before your trip.

Can you plan your trip last-minute? Yes, you can, but you’re limited to what’s available. Antarctica cruises are very popular, so availability might be very limited. Additionally, there may not be any capacity for offshore activities for last-minute bookings.

When planning your trip, it is important to schedule your flights to your departure port to arrive at least a day before the ship’s departure to avoid missing it due to unforeseen delays.

How long do Antarctica trips last?

The most common Antarctica expeditions last approximately nine to eleven days, including five full days of exploration in Antarctica and about one and a half to two days at sea crossing the beautiful Drake Passage if you’re sailing from Ushuaia.

If you’re looking to reach the Antarctic Circle, you’ll be looking at 14 to 16-day trips, but other journeys extend beyond those days to up to 30+ days, to include even more islands and destinations.

For those short on time, there’s also the option of “flying and cruising.” You could fly to King George Island, skipping the famous Drake Passage’s crossing, and begin your 5-9 day’s journey from there.

It’s important to note that the duration of your trip will also depend on factors such as weather, ice conditions, and other logistical factors. Be sure to research the specific itinerary and trip details when planning your Antarctica adventure.

When is the Best Time to Go to Antarctica?

The best time to visit Antarctica is during the Southern Hemisphere’s summer months, which run from November to early March. During this time, the weather is milder, and the days are longer, allowing for more exploration and activities. Here are some reasons why visiting Antarctica during the summer months is the best option:

Weather: Although the weather in Antarctica is still cold during the summer months, it is milder and more stable than during the winter. The temperature typically hovers around -10 to 0 degrees Celsius (14 to 32 degrees Fahrenheit) during the summer.

Wildlife: During the summer months, Antarctica’s wildlife is at its most active, with penguins, seals, and whales coming to the surface to feed and breed. This provides the best opportunities for wildlife viewing and photography.

Ice conditions: During the summer months, the sea ice around Antarctica starts to melt, allowing ships to navigate more freely and reach more remote locations.

Activities: Many activities, such as kayaking, camping, and hiking, are only available during the summer months when conditions are milder and daylight hours are longer.

Research stations: Some research stations in Antarctica are only accessible during the summer months, providing a unique opportunity to visit and learn about the scientific work being done in the region.

It’s worth noting that even during the summer months, the weather in Antarctica can be unpredictable, and delays or changes to itineraries can occur. However, overall, the summer months are the best time to visit Antarctica for a more enjoyable and adventurous experience.

Should You Pick an Expedition Ship or a Cruise?

The decision to choose an expedition ship or a cruise to Antarctica largely depends on your personal preferences and travel goals. Here are some factors to consider when deciding between an expedition ship or a cruise:

Itinerary and activities: Expedition ships generally offer more adventurous itineraries and activities, such as kayaking, camping, and hiking, while cruises focus more on sightseeing and lectures. Consider what type of activities and experiences you want to have in Antarctica.

Ship size: Expedition ships are generally smaller and more nimble than cruise ships, allowing them to access more remote and off-the-beaten-path locations. However, larger cruise ships may offer more amenities and comforts, such as larger cabins and more extensive dining options.

Time and budget: Expeditions tend to be longer and more expensive than cruises, due to their more extensive itineraries and activities. Consider your available time and budget when deciding between an expedition or a cruise.

Expertise and education: Expedition ships usually have a team of experts on board, such as naturalists, historians, and scientists, who provide in-depth lectures and insights about the Antarctic environment. Cruises may offer educational programs as well, but not to the same extent as expedition ships.

Comfort level: Expedition ships often have more basic accommodations and facilities than cruise ships, as they focus more on adventure and exploration than luxury. Consider your comfort level and willingness to forgo some comforts for the sake of adventure.

Ultimately, the choice between an expedition ship or a cruise to Antarctica depends on your travel preferences and goals. Consider the factors listed above and research your options thoroughly before making a decision.

CONTACT US  if you want to know about other expeditions to Antarctica for 2024 and 2025.

Don’t forget to prep for Buenos Aires

If your trip involves a couple of days, predeparture, in Buenos Aires, make sure to bring lighter layers. The city is hot at the time of year when most Antarctic cruises take place, with temperatures ranging from 70 to 80 degrees. Remember to bring a universal adapter. It’s good to have a few pesos on hand, but many places accept U.S. dollars—and credit cards are widely accepted in hotels and restaurants. Your cruise line will typically offer a packaged experience, but even 24 hours is enough time to explore on your own in a more local way

AMIA: Tour the main Jewish institution of Buenos Aires

AMIA: Tour the main Jewish institution of Buenos Aires

With a centennial history, AMIA is the main institution of the Jewish community in Argentina. Created in 1894 by a group of Jewish immigrants, AMIA holds a bond with several Argentine people from the beginning up to the end of their lives. AMIA’s goal is to strengthen educational environments to guarantee continuity and reflect the diversity of the Jewish-Argentine community. The institution works in many different ways, all leading to dignified quality of life for Jewish individuals and families throughout the country, especially those at social risk.


AMIA’s origins

Established as the Chevra Kadisha in 1894, the initial activities were geared toward complying with Jewish traditions and one of the first actions was to open a community cemetery. This sought to legitimize the Jewish presence as a minority in Argentinean society.

Soon, its activities grew and diversified with the increase of the country’s Jewish population and its progressive integration to society.  AMIA soon became the place where all the Jewish people could come together and participate in Jewish life.

In 1994, to commemorate its centennial, AMIA organized a series of celebrations that were interrupted on July 18 by the deadliest terrorist attack in Argentine history.

On July 18, 1994, 85 people were killed (and hundred more were injured) in the deadliest terrorist attacks in Argentine history. The moment shocked the nation. The bombing of AMIA left its mark on the country’s history and have inflicted a devastating emotional toll on Jewish citizens of Argentina. It was the second attack against Jewish and Israeli targets on Argentinian soil – the attack on the Israeli embassy took place only two years previously.

The sorrow and grief caused by this attack is compounded by the fact that those responsible for this horrifying act, as for the one preceding it, have not yet been brought to justice.

Every year, AMIA and thousands of people gather in Once district and by AMIA’s new building  to commemorate the anniversary of the AMIA Jewish community center bombing. 

In these community-wide memorial ceremonies, relatives of the victims, friends and people close to the institution, gather not only to remember their loved ones: the search for justice and truth are the great links that keep the whole community united.

Rebuilding of AMIA

Five years after the bombing, on May 26, 1999, AMIA’s new building was inaugurated in the same place where the old one was located. Under the motto “For Justice and For Life”, the institution officially reopened its doors at 9:5am, the exact time the bomb had exploded.

Presently, AMIA offers a wide array of activities and services, including social services; the provision of basic goods such as food, medicines, housing, health and clothing to vulnerable families; educational activities;  supporting, coordinating and facilitating joint projects with other community institutions; employment programs aimed at strengthening the employability of thousands of candidates; and cultural activities such as theatre, conferences, courses and festivals, among others.

AMIA has deep ties with Israel and other Jewish worldwide communities; they also encourage the observance of Jewish traditions and cultural heritage.

On June 13, 2006, AMIA inaugurated its new building at Uriburu 650, where the center of Senior citizens (CIAM, for its Spanish acronym) and the Social, Childhood, Disabled, Volunteer Service area of AMIA’s Employment Service and the Program Valor are located.

Yaacov Agam’s monument

Yaacov Agam a world famous Israeli artist, is the creator of the Monument to the Memory of the Victims of the Terrorist Attack on AMIA. The work asserts both the commitment to the victims’ memory by honoring their spirit and vital legacy, and the demand for justice for their relatives and society at large.

Tour of AMIA Buenos Aires

You can visit AMIA an Institution that is proud to share the cultural heritage of the Argentine Jewish community, within the framework of its most emblematic institution.

The guided tour includes:

  • Reception outside the AMIA headquarters
  • Entrance to the headquarters (declared a National Historic Site)
  • Yaacov Agam Monument
  • Areas to honor the victims of the attacks on the Embassy of Israel and the AMIA
  • Art piece by Argentine artist Sara Brodsky*
  • Temporary exhibits located in the Art Space
  • Visit to the Interpretation Center
  • Audiovisual projection in microcinema

    * The memory of the disappeared Jews is present in AMIA through the work “They are here”, by the artist Sara Brodsky, mother of Fernando, one of the disappeared Jews of the last Argentine dictatorship.

Bear in mind that visits can only take place during week days. So plan accordingly and book ahead of time to make sure you can visit this exceptional institution.

For more information about days, hours and admissions, please contact us

Best-kept secrets of foodies in Buenos Aires

Best-kept secrets of foodies in Buenos Aires

These are the 10 best-kept secrets of foodies, the restaurants that don’t always get the attention they deserve. It could be because they’re new or out of the way. Sometimes they don’t have a mainstream menu.

We talked to many local foodies about their favorite underrated restaurants — the ones they recommend to friends who want to try a place they’ve never been.


Atte. Pizza is a Neapolitan pizza restaurant in the heart of Palermo Hollywood run by Ángeles Zeballos, sociologist and designer, Lucila’s sister (owner of Birkin and Tora) and sister-in-law of Aldo Graziani (Tora, Aldo’s Restorán y Vinoteca y Aldo’s Wine Bistro, BeBop).

The entrepreneur summoned the renowned international pizza consultant (especially Neapolitan) Anthony Falco and together they worked for four months to define Atte’s identity. Falco is credited for creating Roberta’s, an iconic New York pizzeria.

You can start the meal with the small dishes –meatballs with arrabiata and pecorino sauce; fried pizza gnocchi, stracciatella, prosciutto and arugula; smoked aubergine, ricotta cream, tomato confit, almonds and fried sprouts, among other snacks– or go straight to the pizzas.

Among the most popular pizzas are: the classic Margherita, with tomato sauce, mozzarella fior di latte, basil and Parmesan; the Atte, with mozzarella fior di latte, gorgonzola, parmigiano and provolone; the Pistacchio, with pistachio pesto, mortadella, brie and mozzarella fior di latte; and the Girgola, with roasted garlic cream, mozzarella, garlic, girgolas and roasted portobellos, parsley and black pepper.

Address: El Salvador 6061 – Palermo Hollywood

Phone number.: +54 11 7508-112


The house specialty is the fried meat empanada: they are filled with ground meat, onion and a slightly spicy sauce and tomato pieces. Among the most popular empanadas are the classic ham and cheese empanada; spinach empanada corn, tomato and mozzarella). Another specialty is the Locro de San Juan.  Locro is a hearty thick squash stew, associated with Native Andean civilizations, and popular along the Andes mountain range. It is one of the national dishes of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile, Paraguay, Northwest Argentina and Southwestern Colombia. The restaurant is very small and you can also buy empanadas to go. The empanadas are very inexpensive and filling. We strongly recommend trying the fried meat empanada with a Quilmes beer (local beer).

Posadas 1515, Recoleta
Phone Number: +54 11 4804-2909


La Rambla is most known for its sandwiches, and the Lomito Completo is our favorite. Lomito Completo is a beef tenderloin sandwich topped with ham, cheese, tomato, and lettuce between two lightly toasted pieces of French bread.

At La Rambla you will also find Sandwich de Milanesa de Lomo, which is the same meat (tenderloin) but pounded flat and breaded. This Milanesa style comes from Italy and is very popular throughout Argentina. The chef at La Rambla cuts all the sandwiches in half, so it is easy to share.

Posadas 1602. Phone Number: +54 11 6679-8333


In “La Crespo” the person who prepares the Hot Pastrami is Clarisa Krivopisk, a chef graduated from IAG and owner of the restaurant together with Tito, her husband. For this dish, Clarisa goes back to her family: an old bobe recipe, which she passed down to her mother and today she uses with great pride. The sandwich brings 200 grams of homemade pastrami with sweet and sour cucumbers and Dijon mustard emulsion, caramelized onions, wrapped in a dark rye bread with kummel, and accompanied by baked potatoes.

They also offer a salmon bagel, just like you would get in New York, one of the best bagels in Buenos Aires according to the web portal “Pick Up The Fork” when visiting the city. The sandwich is loaded with homemade salmon gravlax, a light sour cream cheese, and capers. It comes with baked potatoes as a side.

Vera 1001. Phone Number: +54 11 4856-9770


La Bondiola is a particular cut of pork, unique in its dimensions and presentation, that can be found at any typical restaurant in Buenos Aires.

The bondiola sandwich, with thick slices of pork and criolla or chimichurri sauce,  is one of the flavors you can’t miss when you come to Buenos Aires. Head down to Costanera Sur in Puerto Madero to sample this reasonably priced delicacy made by a professional. With an array of fresh veggies and salsas to choose from, you can’t go wrong. Order it “complete” if you want them to add ham, cheese and a fried egg on top of all that delicious pork.

Costanera Sur Puerto Madero
(Most Food trucks are located by the Statue of Lionel Messi)


Fugazzeta is a variation of the popular Argentinian treat called fugazza, which is an onion-topped pizza that is very similar to Italian-style focaccia. Fugazzeta is a double-crusted version of fugazza, stuffed with cheese, and topped with the same sweet onions. Fugazzeta de verdura has all of this plus a layer of sautéed spinach and vegetables. Locals could debate for days over which pizzeria serves the best slice, but the perfect balance of history, quality, and consistency is found in the fugazetta cheese and onion slice at La Mezzetta.

Av. Álvarez Thomas 1321, Buenos Aires. Phone number: +54 11 4554-7585


Located inside San Telmo Market,  Hierro Parrilla, an Argentinian grill serving up delicious steaks and delicious sandwiches. Among the most popular sandwiches are: the choripan XL (which lives up to the name with a 200 grams pork sausage halved and grilled over wood coals topped with the house blend chimichurri) and the Sandwich “Tapa de Asado” which is a roasted brisket sandwich cooked over seven hours and topped with chimichurri, lettuce, and smoked mayo. Super tender and packed with beefy goodness, this brisket sandwich is like the Argentinian cousin of an Italian beef sandwich from Chicago, filled to the brim with super tender, thinly sliced meat with plenty of sauces. 

Mercado de San Telmo
Defensa and Carlos Calvo streets, San Telmo

La Kitchen

Located in the Saavedra residential area, this favorite North Side bakery and cafe produces highly memorable baked goods. Sweet and savory matchsticks are often found at birthday parties and family gatherings, but it’s always a good time to indulge in a sweet glazed puff pastry stuffed with ham and cheese. Many customers come for chipás, pastrami sandwiches on pletzalej and croissants smothered in raspberry jam. La Kitchen recently expanded its original small location and now has ample indoor and outdoor patio seating.

Núñez 3400. Phone Number: +54 11 6850-0658


Despite his past lives as a pilot, actor, doctor, director, and activist, serial entrepreneur Enrique Piñeyro says his most challenging role yet is his new calling: restaurateur. His industrial-style restaurant, specializing in grilled meats, river fish, and pasta, temporarily closed during the pandemic (and will reopen in February 2022). But the shutdown gave the team time to focus on opening a bakery around the block serving up dreamy croissants, breads and churros with hot chocolate. 


Juan Ramírez de Velasco 1520. Phone Number: +54 11 4854-9334


Rogel cake is a classic Argentinian decadent dessert made of crispy, thin pastry layers sandwiched between Dulce de Leche and topped with meringue.

Maru Botana started as a pastry assistant being the only woman in a men’s kitchen, and little by little she earned her place through sacrifice and commitment. Maru Botana is a successful entrepreneur and today She owns many pastry shops throughout Buenos Aires where Porteños (locals from Buenos Aires) go for coffee and a portion of one of his delicious cakes.

Suipacha 1371, Retiro
Phone number: 11 4326-7134

While we do our best to ensure the accuracy of our listings, some venues may be currently temporarily closed without notice. Please confirm status on the venue website before making any plans.

If you are planning a trip to Buenos Aires and need help from a local travel agent, contact us and tell us your interests, preferred travel dates and we will design your ideal trip.

Jewish tour of Buenos Aires

Jewish Tour of Buenos Aires

An in-depth historical tour of Jewish life in the country from the formation of the Argentine state to the present.

Argentina is home to Latin America’s largest Jewish population, with a community of around 240,000, whose history goes back to the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisitions when Jews fled to Argentina to escape persecution. During the last quarter of the 19th century and the first decades of the 20th century, the Argentine Republic underwent unique and far-reaching changes. One of them was the growth of its population (due to immigration from Eastern and Western European countries sponsored by the Argentine government) in such a magnitude that it quadrupled the numbers of its inhabitants in forty-five years. In turn, this increase was made under conditions that substantially modified its composition in proportions that have not changed until today. Today, Buenos Aires is an international hub of Jewish life and boasts a sophistication that is unmatched in South America.

This comprehensive tour is an exploration through Buenos Aires districts that reveals landmarks and institutions of a vibrant Jewish heritage. Lead by experienced guides, this Jewish Tour of Buenos Aires is an unique learning experience that educates visitors about Jewish life in the country from the formation of the Argentine state to the present.

What will I experience?

Jewish Quarter and the Garment District

Begin with a scenic drive through the vibrant neighborhood of Once (Buenos Aires’ most important garment district) an exciting opportunity for immersion in a fascinating religious and cultural experience.

The growth of the population in the city and the urban modifications of the time meant that by 1910 the Jewish presence began to move from east to west, towards the neighborhood popularly called “Once”, named after the September 11 train terminal located in the neighborhood. The Garment District is home to a number of well-known designers, their production facilities, warehouses, showrooms, and suppliers of fabric and materials.

Ashkenazi Jews from Eastern Europe as well as Sephardim from the Middle East settled in Once neighborhood along with its institutions, synagogues, retail stores and best kosher restaurants of Buenos Aires.

Argentine Israeli Mutual Association (AMIA)

Founded in 1894, A.M.I.A’s initial mission was to promote the well-being and development of Jewish life in Argentina and to secure the continuity and values of the Jewish community. A.M.I.A soon became the place where Jewish people could come together and participate in Jewish life. Tragically, a terrorist bombing on A.M.I.A in 1994, killed 84 people and left the facility destroyed. The center was re-built in 1999, featuring an original Agam memorial monument to the Victims of the AMIA Bombing 1994 by the Israeli artist Yaacov Agam.

Today, AMIA continues offering responses in employment, childhood, the elderly, youth, care for vulnerable families, disabilities, education, youth, community burials, culture, and support to Jewish communities throughout Argentina.

Paso Synagogue (Ashkenazi Traditional)

The Great Paso Temple is one of the most beautiful in all of South America. The first Talmud Torah (house of religious studies) of the City of Buenos Aires was located here, founded in 1894. Its imposing construction, a historical heritage of the city, was erected in 1929 and contemplates the most beautiful Ashkenazi iconography from which its founders originated.

Gran Templo Paso is a vibrant, intense and thriving community experience, Modern Orthodox oriented, open and friendly.

Shoah Museum of Buenos Aires

The Holocaust Museum of Buenos Aires has re-opened to the public after a two-year refurbishment. It hosts groundbreaking exhibits, most notably “Dimensions in Testimony,” a curated, interactive experience—already showing at select museums around the world—where visitors can virtually engage with survivors of the Shoah.

The Buenos Aires Shoah Museum, the only of its kind in Latin America, serves as a museum, memorial and moral reminder by telling the story of the Holocaust and its impact in Argentina and wider South America.

Under the motto, ‘To remember is to avoid repeating history,’ the foundation’s mission is to keep the memory of the Holocaust present, honor those lost and to serve as a poignant reminder of the atrocities that can stem from racism and xenophobia.

Nazi Artifacts

In 2019 the museum took custody of the largest collection of Nazi artifacts to ever be discovered in Argentina. A collector in Buenos Aires was discovered to have more than 70 Nazi artifacts in a house raid. The items were most likely brought to Argentina by Nazis escaping to Argentina to avoid prosecution in Germany after World World II. The collector faced criminal charges for having possession of items of illegal origin.

The museum also has a library of over three thousand volumes of Holocaust-related literature in Spanish, German, Yiddish, and Polish.

Libertad synagogue and the Jewish museum of Buenos Aires

The Libertad synagogue was founded in 1862. In 1932 with an influx of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe, the congregation built a new building. Today it is recognized as a historical monument by the city of Buenos Aires- and houses a museum and a Kosher restaurant.

The Israeli Embassy Memorial Plaza

This is the last stop of our tour. The Israeli Embassy Memorial Plaza in Buenos Aires recalls in stone the void left by a terrorist attack. At 14.45 on March 17, 1992, a powerful bomb shattered the building of the Israel Embassy in Buenos Aires, taking the lives of 29 people.

On 20 November 2007, a memorial was inaugurated on the site of the former embassy. A marble monument, a replica of the column of the original embassy building, stands today in the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, in memory of those who died who died on that fateful day in 1992, bearing the verse of the prophet Amos:  “I will raise up its ruins and rebuild it as in the days of old.”

*This tour is available during week days except for Jewish holidays. The duration of this tour is 4 hours.

Don’t miss this one in a lifetime opportunity of an in-depth discovery experience of immersion into an ancient culture living in the modern times and very best of Jewish Buenos Aires.

Libertad Synagogue in Buenos Aires

Libertad Synagogue in Buenos Aires

Libertad Synagogue enjoys a vibrant history in Buenos Aires City dating back to the early 1800s and it is proud of its rich and well-documented past.


The history of Argentinean Jewry begins with a legend: the story tells that by the end of 1862, on the occasion of the High Holidays, the first minyan in Buenos Aires was gathered. Even though its members had been anonymous, they were responsible for putting down the roots of the communal life in Argentina, and as a result of their initiative some years later the Israelite Congregation of Argentina (CIRA) was founded.  

The origins of a Jewish quarter and Libertad Synagogue

At the beginning of the 19th century, the present-day Lavalle square  was a vacant lot that became important due to the installation of the Artillery Park. Around 1857, with the inauguration of the train station in the place where the Colon Theater is located today, the landscape was transformed until it became an important center of urban circulation. Plaza Lavalle was one of the most attractive spots for recently arrived Ashkenazi Jews from Eastern Europe.

In 1895, 62% of the Jews lived in the area limited by Lavalle, Viamonte, Libertad and Talcahuano streets. It was there that the first ethnic restaurants, libraries, precarious workshops arose, and the Yiddish press took its initial steps. In this vibrant environment, the Israelite Congregation (CIRA) stood out, established in 1862 by a small group of Jewish immigrants of French, German and English origin. Its temple, erected in 1897 on Libertad street, was the first in the city. During the festivities, the tall galleys of the men of the Congregation mixed with the caps of the humblest.

As a result of the wide range of Jewish immigrants who arrived in the country between 1920 and 1930, there was a need to broaden the goals of the organization and also to enlarge the facilities of the synagogue. Thus, in 1932, the new building was founded.

About the stunning architecture of Libertad Synagogue

Its cornerstone is from 1897 but the current headquarters belongs to a new building built in 1932.

The work could be carried out thanks to the important economic contribution of the Austrian businessman Max Glücksmann, who lived in Argentina for work, in part, due to his activity as a representative of the German record company Odeón. His passion for music and his cultivated knowledge of architecture were the reason why Glücksmann worked closely on the design of the synagogue together with the commissioned architect Alejandro Enquin, with whom they shared the same taste and constructive interests.

In the Jewish liturgy, music is one of the key elements. That is why Glücksmann insisted that the ceiling be vaulted to achieve outstanding acoustics that would allow one to enjoy the sound of the tubular organ that he had installed in 1931: a spectacular German Walker-brand instrument that today is one of the three that survive in the world, due to because the others were destroyed by Nazism during World War II.

With an austere aesthetic, the style of the work ranges from Romanesque to Byzantine with one foot set in Art Deco, the quintessential architectural style of the time. There is a great influence from the synagogues of northern France and southern Germany. The semicircular Roman arch is the main element that is repeated throughout the construction. Even at the base of the chandelier – in Romanesque style – that crowns the space, the arches are also repeated.


The synagogue has been named a historical monument by the city government.

 The facilities include a museum that addresses the history of the community, exhibits of a diverse range of items related to Judaism, a kosher restaurant, and of course, the synagogue. Within the synagogue two Conservative minyanim are carried out, one traditional and one egalitarian.

We invite you to attend the Kabbalat Shabbat services of the egalitarian minyan every Friday of the year at 7:30 p.m. The daily trades take place in the auxiliary temple, you can send us an email to check the updated schedules.


Keep in mind that for security reasons, it is necessary to present an original passport or ID at the time of admission.

Jewish Museum of Buenos Aires “Salvador Kibrick”

The museum was the first of its kind in Latin America and is located next to Argentina’s first synagogue in Calle Libertad, in the old Jewish neighborhood.

The museum was founded in 1967 by Doctor Salvador Kibrick, member of the Congregación Israelita de la República Argentina. He was the first person to donate personal objects to the collection, including torah scrolls, siddurim, paintings, religious objects, old books, coins, and mezuzot.

The Jewish museum of Buenos Aires narrates the stories of the immigrants, our traditions and the Jewish colonies. Committed to transmit what is characteristic of the Jewish people, we present an interactive tour through a permanent collection in constant dialogue with the present aiming to create a link between the exhibition and interpretation.

The museum is open Mondays through Fridays from 10am to 6pm. It’s mandatory to present your original passport upon entry. Photocopies and digital photographs will not be accepted.

If you want to book a Jewish tour in Buenos Aires with a private local guide, contact us and we will customize a tour that will be meaningful and unforgettable.

Best Atacama Desert luxury hotels: a review of San Pedro de Atacama’s top lodges

Best Atacama Desert luxury hotels: a review of San Pedro de Atacama’s top lodges

A couple of years ago, the Atacama Desert was an unknown destination for many travelers. Accessible only to backpackers and the most adventurous explorers, this unique place, a desert between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes mountains, was a hidden gem. It is full of oases where it bursts, both in the fertile river valleys and in the semi-arid Altiplano thousands of meters above sea level. Add to the mix the tallest volcano on the planet, the tallest geysers, the oldest mummies, and the clearest skies, you have a recipe for an epic adventure. Its growing popularity among the world’s most discerning travelers stems from the arrival of luxury accommodations in the area that offer a combination of world-class comfort and active adventure.

While you can’t go wrong at any of the high-end hotels reviewed here (Explora, Tierra, Awasi and Alto), people often ask me which one is the best. It is not the same if you travel as a couple, if you travel as a family or if you travel alone exploring the region. Each hotel has its characteristics, facilities and program that make it attractive for those who travel as a family or as a couple. Read on to learn the differences between the best luxury accommodations in the Atacama Desert in Chile.


Awasi is a collection of three small luxury lodges that offer all-inclusive private programs in South America’s most iconic destinations ( Awasi Atacama desert, Awasi Iguazu falls  and Awasi Patagonia in Torres del Paine). Rather than having large facilities and common areas, they have gone for privacy and intimacy as their driving attributes.

What makes Awasi Atacama different from other hotels in Atacama?

  • Small luxury lodge with just 12 rooms
  • Private guide and 4WD for each room
  • Located in the village of San Pedro Atacama
  • Best chef – Relais & Chateaux-quality cuisine
  • An exclusive experience with a focus on privacy and solitude

    Awasi Atacama is located in the heart of charming San Pedro de Atacama town and it is a small property with just 12 rooms made in the local adobe fashion and with all the comforts and pleasures of a five-star experience. One private guide and a 4WD are assigned to each room, resulting in tailor-made excursions.

    Having a private guide and vehicle during your stay allow guests to build your trip excursions around your interests. No matter which excursions you choose, having a private guide allows you to experience the area at your own pace – you never have to worry about slowing others down or wishing things would speed up in a group setting. Plus, San Pedro de Atacama sits in high altitude with many excursions taking you higher, so a private vehicle can whisk guests back to the hotel at a moment’s notice if the altitude is taking its toll.

Bear in mind that the hotel offers free WiFi in the main building only. The therapists offer massages, reiki and other treatments at the hotel but there is no Spa.

As a Relais and Chateaux hotel, it should come as no surprise that the cuisine is really fabulous. Meals are served in a beautifully-designed indoor/outdoor space that feels exceedingly private and plush.It definitely offers a more private and quiet experience and so would suit those that are after these elements on their trip.

If you are thinking of traveling the last two weeks of December, we strongly recommend booking a year in advance. Awasi fills up far in advance, so it’s never too early to talk to our trip specialists   about a trip to this ultra-luxurious setting.


Explora lodge in Atacama is an all-inclusive lodge. It is located near San Pedro de Atacama, on the beautiful Ayllu de Larache, once inhabited by ancient Atacameño families. Because of their early investment in the area, Explora offers crafted excursions that are completely exclusive to their guests. The company owns the Puritama Hot Springs, for example, giving guests access to their own pool, and can take trekkers into otherwise off-limits areas in the Moon Valley (two of the region’s top attractions). And for high-altitude treks up the side of volcanoes, Explora is the only way to go.

What makes Explora Atacama different from other hotels in Atacama?

  • Exclusive excursions to Puritama Hot Springs, Moon Valley, and Tatio Geyser
  • Best choice for horseback riding (only lodge with their own stables)
  • Widest range of crafted tours (trekking, horseback riding, biking, drives)
  • Exceptional service and highly trained guides

talk to our trip specialists for more details, and be sure to ask about the special offers for honeymooners and multi-destination travelers if either those sound like you.


Alto Atacama is a little further out of town than other properties in the area, 2 miles or a 10-minute drive from San Pedro de Atacama and very close to the Pukara de Quitor, a pre-Inca fortress. Settled in a quiet valley, surrounded by terracotta-colored mountains, it has been built with local materials to blend in with its natural environment and the typical Atacameño construction style.

What makes ALTO Atacama different from other hotels in Atacama?

  • Best hotel for stargazing – unique observatory experience + personal terraces for private viewing
  • Great for history lovers and those looking to learn more about the region
  • Unique location near archeological ruins and the Cordillera de la Sal mountain range
  • All of the hotel’s 42 rooms come with a private terrace.
  • Spa with 6 open-air swimming pools, indoor and outdoor jacuzzi, sauna and steam bath.
  • Restaurant serves a changing menu prepared with organic locally sourced ingredients

His excursions are designed to take you through the extensive history of the Atacama region, beginning with the oldest ruins and rock formations. Its spa is also a welcoming oasis, and a new “spa excursion” is popular with guests looking to spend a day on the grounds.

If you are drawn to the desert for the crystal clear night skies, Alto is the place to be. the lodge has an observatory where you can gaze at the stars on revolving loungers while enjoying a hot drink. Your on-site astronomer will give you a guided tour of the Milky Way, and Alto’s purpose-built property ensures near-zero light pollution.


With so many great hotels up in this region of Chile, it is difficult to pick an out and out winner as each offer something different.

Tierra Atacama is a lodge recognized for its spa facilities and services. It has a heated indoor pool in addition to its outdoor pool and Jacuzzi, and spa treatments that use local elements such as volcanic mud, desert herbs, and lithium-rich salts. The spa and pool are excellent options after a long day of trekking or horseback riding. It also has many facial and body treatments that can be reserved in advance.

What makes ALTO Atacama different from other hotels in Atacama?

  • Best spa and widest range of spa services
  • Beautiful views of Licancabur volcano
  • Yoga classes on an outdoor platform
  • Outdoor fire pits and plenty of places to lounge

Another Tierra highlight is the view: Many of the rooms and common areas face a stellar view of Licancabur, the most impressive volcano in the region. The interior common spaces have a modern aesthetic but are smaller and less spacious than Explora’s, so if you’re visiting Chile during the winter months (June to August) it may feel a bit cramped due to Tierra’s popularity.

Tierra also has a great variety of local wines, and the chefs are experts at integrating local ingredients (some straight from Tierra’s gardens) into the kitchen.

Like Explora, Tierra will sometimes include up to two nights free in Santiago if you’re making your way to one or more of their lodges, which can help take some of the stress off the timeline and budget. You can get even more value if you visit more than one Tierra location—they’re the only lodge with a location in Chiloe, a lush contrast to the Atacama Desert. If you’re traveling as a family, two apartments on the property are perfect for groups looking to sprawl in their own space.

Since the lodge fills up fast, it’s best to check on availability with one of our trip specialists.

Best of Chile’s Atacama Desert


What is so special about Atacama Desert?

The Atacama Desert in Chile is a unique and stunning destination that offers a range of outdoor activities and experiences.

Chile’s Atacama Desert, the driest nonpolar desert on Earth, stretches across a roughly 600-mile (1,000 kilometers) tract of land wedged between the coastal Cordillera de la Costa mountain range and the Andes Mountains. The driest desert in the world is a territory of vast horizons, without shadows, where tourism coexists with avant-garde astronomical projects. San Pedro de Atacama is the capital and starting point to explore its lunar valleys, geysers, salt flats, a sacred volcano and a lagoon where it is possible to float like in the Dead Sea, under an always blue pre-altiplano sky.

San Pedro de Atacama: the town

San Pedro de Atacama is the most visited tourist destination in the country. The popularity of this adobe town stems from its position in the heart of some of northern Chile’s most spectacular scenery. However, before there were luxury hotels there and Caracoles Street was home to as many tourists as Fifth Avenue, Atacama was a cult destination for unconventional travelers, romantic and adventurous hippies. And, in part, it still is. Only now the segment has widened to the point that this desolate portion of northern Chile, pure excess of salt, volcanoes and cracked earth, receives more tourists than Easter Island and Torres del Paine.

Old, hot and dry

The Atacama is the oldest desert on Earth and has experienced semiarid conditions for roughly the past 150 million years/ Scientists estimate that the desert’s inner core has been hyper arid for roughly 15 million years, thanks to a combination of unique geologic and atmospheric conditions in the area.

The Atacama is tucked in the shadow of the snow-capped Andes Mountains, which block rainfall from the east. To the west, the upwelling of cold water from deep in the Pacific Ocean promotes atmospheric conditions that hamper the evaporation of seawater and prevent the formation of clouds and rain.

In other deserts around the world, like the Sahara, the mercury can soar above 130 degrees Fahrenheit (50 degrees Celsius). But temperatures in the Atacama are comparatively mild throughout the year. The average temperature in the desert is about 63 degrees F (18 degrees C).

Geologic wonderland

Much of the Atacama Desert’s core is caked in thick salt deposits called playas, which can stretch for miles and are nearly half a meter thick (1.6 feet) in some places. The desert is speckled with stones that have been carried across the playas by powerful wind gusts. Alluvial fans, which are large, fan-shaped sediment deposits, connect the desert plateau with the mountains that surround it and suggest that water once flowed from the Andes into the desert.

The Atacama also features a 435-mile-long (700 km) and 12-mile-wide (20 km) swath of desert known as the nitrate belt. Nitrate minerals can be found in everything from explosives to fertilizer and were mined extensively in the Atacama before the 1930s.

Traditionally scraped from the desert’s crusty surface or mined from rocky veins, nitrates were initially thought to be carried to the desert by wind-swept sea spray. Recently, scientists discovered that one of the sources for the desert’s “white gold” might be ancient, evaporated groundwater.

Other materials, such as lithium, copper and iodine, have also been mined nearby.

Our top recommendations for the best attractions and places to visit in Atacama:

  • Star gazing: With some of the clearest skies in the world, the Atacama Desert is a popular destination for stargazing and astronomical observation. Visitors can go on guided tours or visit one of the many observatories in the area.
  • Moon Valley: This moon-like landscape features otherworldly rock formations, sand dunes, and canyons, offering a unique and breathtaking experience for visitors. The circuit goes from the Quebrada de Cari, the salt caves –not suitable for claustrophobic people– and the Duna Mayor, ideal for climbing in the late afternoon, to the Tres Marías formation.
  • Geysers del Tatio: This geyser field is one of the largest in the world and is an incredible sight to behold. Visitors can take a guided tour and witness the geysers erupting at sunrise.
  • Salt flats: The Atacama Desert is home to several vast salt flats, including the Salar de Atacama, which is one of the largest salt flats in the world. These stunning landscapes are ideal to explore and capture stunning photographs.
  • Hot springs: The Atacama Desert is home to several hot springs, including the popular Puritama Hot Springs. Visitors can soak in the warm, mineral-rich waters and enjoy the scenic surroundings.
  • Cejar Lagoon and Piedra Lagoon: The Cejar lagoon is part of a hydrological basin caused by an accumulation of salts. The most curious thing is that, in the midst of this saline material (with a high toxic content), abundant swampy vegetation grew, called a bofedal. These reed beds, wild straw and pitch are enough to house small families of flamingo, ducks and seagulls.
  • Bird Watching: Chaxa Lagoon is located in the eastern sector of the Atacama salt flat. It is the largest lithium reserve on the planet. But the reason everyone goes there is to get a meal of altiplano birds. There is the Chilean flamingo, the small parina and the great parina and at certain times of the year the Puna plovers, the eaglet, the Andean gull and the Baird’s sandpiper also arrive.
  • Sandboarding and dune buggies: The Atacama Desert is known for its vast sand dunes, which provide a thrilling and unique experience for adventure-seekers.
  • Explore San Pedro de Atacama: The largest oasis in the Atacama desert has a stable population of five thousand inhabitants, almost the same number of dogs that roam among the adobe houses, a colonial church of brilliant white and, paradoxically, one of the most expensive square meters in Chile in its most sparsely populated region with the fewest services.
  • Cultural tours: The Atacama Desert is also home to several indigenous communities, including the Atacameños, who have lived in the area for thousands of years. Gain knowledge about the history, traditions, and way of life of these communities.

These are just a few of the many activities and experiences available in the Atacama Desert and that can be done daily from San Pedro de Atacama. Whether you are looking for adventure, relaxation, or cultural experiences, the Atacama Desert has something to offer for everyone.

How to get from Santiago de Chile to San Pedro de Atacama

Sky Airline, LATAM Chile and JetSMART fly from Santiago to Calama every 2 hours. Alternatively, Pluss Chile operates a bus from Santiago to Calama hourly. (The bus takes 22 hours). A shuttle can be arranged ahead of time for transport from the Calama airport to your accommodations in San Pedro de Atacama, which takes just over an hour.

If you plan to travel…

  • The Atacama Desert is a very popular destination. If your dates are not flexible and you plan to travel in the high season (especially the last two weeks of December and the first week of January), book your accommodations one year in advance if you can only travel during that time.
  • The desert sun burns even if it is cloudy. Dark sunglasses, a hat, and sunscreen are essential. A flashlight is also useful.
  • In San Pedro there is no bank, but there are three ATMs. In any case, it is advisable to carry cash in Chilean pesos.
  • Although it is a desert and it is very hot, at night it is very cold. Take a lot of warm clothes.

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