Thursday, 22 June 2017

Exploring The Atacama Desert in Northern Chile!


There are few places on earth that feel so far removed from civilization and the tech-boom of the 21st Century as the Atacama desert in Northern Chile. I landed in Calama airport after a short 2 hour flight from Santiago to an empty airport. My Explora driver was nowhere to be seen, no one spoke English, and only 3 out of 4 wheels on my suitcase were in tact. What a journey, I thought to myself. It was just the beginning.

Explora have reinvented the Art of Travel by placing luxury hotels smack bang in the middle of nowhere and offering an experience unlike any other. I had just experienced Explora Patagonia a few days prior to my visit to Atacama, so my expectations were high after what seemed like the best 4 days of my life.

But the Explora lodges aren't your typical luxury hotel - they lack the pretentiousness, opulence and grandeur of typical luxury hotels. Instead they offer luxury 'in the experience, not the appearance'.

Each day guests set off on an exploration around 8:30am to various points of interest near to the lodge. There are half day explorations and full day explorations, depending on your preference and physical conditions. Once you return from your exploration you are rewarded by a gourmet lunch or dinner and complimenting wines. But this isn't indulgence in the traditional sense - you've earned it. Whether you trekked for 7 hours in the desert or climbed a volcano 5,000+ metres above sea level, you have indeed earned the right to indulge a little more than the ordinary.

In the evenings Explora offer informative talks on everything from astronomy to flora and fauna - so you walk away from the experience feeling as though you have learned all you could, walked more than you thought your body capable of, and immersed yourself in an experience unlike any other.

If you've overworked yourself on a morning excursion you can always take the afternoon off to enjoy the pools, sauna, or steam room. Fancy a massage? The lodges are equipped with trained professionals and massage rooms to cater to your every need.

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