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Desert dreams

The Property Addict / Travel

Apr 18 2017

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Tucked beneath spectacular terracotta rock walls in a quiet ravine in Chile's Atacama Desert, Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa is a luxurious, eco-friendly launch pad from which to discover the cracked caramel landscapes of the highest, driest desert on the planet. Alto's rates are all-inclusive, meaning you can be as active or as sedentary as you like. A typical day might include exploring the spluttering El Tatio geysers at sunrise, hiking through high-altitude salt flats smattered with fuschia flamingos, and traversing hidden canyons filled with monolithic cacti. Another, cycling to the Wild West-vibed adobe villages, including the main town of San Pedro de Atacama, before exploring the jagged rock formations of Death Valley or the lunar-like Moon Valley. Desert-dreams3 You might, however, choose not to leave the lodge at all - simply basking by their six pools, grazing on the organic locally-sourced cuisine while sipping Chilean carmenere and pisco sours, and soaking in the alfresco Andean baths while indulging in a cranial massage at the Puri Spa. Either way you'll be spoilt for choice, with the lodge offering guests over 30 adventures. Desert-dreams2 There are 42 rooms to choose from, but the 10 Tilo Suites are where you want to be, set within the lodge's native cactus gardens, with terraces overlooking the lodge's private lagoon and the Catarpe Valley beyond. Desert-dreams1 From $AUD847 a night, with all meals and excursions included. See altoatacama.com. How to Get There: It's a direct flight from Sydney and Melbourne to Santiago, then a two-hour connecting flight to Calama. By Nina Karnikowski

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