Marvel at the magical Atacama Desert flower field in the middle of nowhere, and hone your nature photography skills in the company of a professional photographer. Travelers can stay in a locally inspired design hotel, enjoy organic meals with deserted views, and fall in awe under shooting stars.
After a rich cultural day getting to know the main monuments in the capital of Chile, Santiago, experience one of the rarest and most incredible natural phenomena of the world: the flowering desert, an unforgettable once-in-a-lifetime experience. Taking place once every four years, it awakens the Atacama Desert by far the driest place on Earth transforming barren land only inhabited by cactus into a colorful and luminous ocean of flowers. This wonder of nature can be explained by unusually high rainfalls caused by the mysterious “El Niño” phenomenon, a band of abnormally warm water that occasionally develops in the Pacific Ocean right in front of the Coast.
The Atacama Desert, whose surreal landscape at night is often compared to that of Mars or the Moon, will inspire travelers to take extraordinary photos. In this Atacama Desert Experience, travelers will spend nights photographing the brilliant stars in Atacama’s clear sky and days traversing through the deserted scenery.
Start the safari with the glittering purple sunset in the Valle de La Luna and Valle de la Muerte, and take stunning shots at the National Flamingo Reserve and the salty Chaxa Lagoon.
Continue the photo shoot in the historic town of San Pedro de Atacama, where travelers will photograph an old church with peculiar architecture, an archaeological museum with mummies from ancient cultures, and markets with beautiful artisanal crafts. Dry, expansive, yet full of life, Altiplano highland is a field of serendipity.
No one imagines life will blossom in such a high plateau, but Atacama is in fact a hidden oasis full of fauna, but it actually offers so much more than wildlife. The often-visited geysers, salt lagoons, historic churches and Pre-Colombian traditional communities make the Atacama an enchanted land.
Llanos de Challe Park, with its coastal wetland and white sand beaches, hosts the largest population of guanacos in the Atacama region, together with other species like black-necked swans and Andean flamingoes.
A nature specialist will show travelers the best treks through the seemingly endless flower fields. Professionally qualified as nature and wildlife photographers, our guides know the best places to spot the local animals and flora.
Llanos de Challe National Park is located on the region’s coast and is one of the best places to see the flowery desert in full splendor. When visiting the flowering desert, travelers will stay at the region’s best property, the Hotel Wara, located at the foot of a sea of dunes in the Atacama Desert. It is a one-of-a-kind hotel with locally-inspired design, a luxurious spa and impeccable service. When going on a night walk, some of the largest sand dunes on Earth can be found in this area.
Several other alluring places are in close proximity, such as Nevado Tres Cruces National Park, with its extraordinary mountain lakes, or Playa de la Virgen beach, with its quiet turquoise waters. Towards the south, and facing the Pacific Ocean, Matetic Vineyard awaits amidst Casablanca Valley before your onward journey.
Lost World Adventures itineraries can be tailor-made according to your plans and preferences: budget, hotel selections, travel dates, optional excursions, length of trip, etc.
You will be met upon arrival in Santiago and transferred to your hotel. Overnight Santiago hotel, breakfast included.
You will be met at your hotel and transferred to the Santiago Airport for your flight to Calama.
Upon arrival in Calama, you will be met by a representative of Awasi and set off for an approximate 1-hour transfer to Awasi.
Located in the heart of the Atacama Desert, Awasi Atacama will be your base for exploration. Each of the 8 rooms is assigned a private professional guide and 4x4 Jeep for the duration of your stay. Excursions are always private, without the need to compromise what you want to do based on other guests differing interests.
The lodge offers a menu of over 47 different quarter-, half- and full-day excursions which explore the cultural and natural history of the Atacama desert by Jeep, on foot, on horseback, on bike or any combination of the above. The Awasi experience is ultimately 100% tailor made.
The Atacama Desert, running over 600 miles betyouen the Pacific Ocean and the Andes Mountains, is one of the driest regions on earth. In fact it has hardly ever rained here in recorded history. During your stay here you'll enjoy full days of exploration with your guide in the Atacama Desert, an incredible world of soaring volcanoes, stark lava fields, and huge rolling trackless dunes. In addition, you'll learn of the ancient civilizations that once inhabited this region.
Meals and guided excursions are included.
A menu of Awasi's guided excursions can be found here.
Days to explore the Atacama on guided excursions.
Transfer to the Copiapo Valley. Overnight Wara Hotel.
The Wara Hotel is located about 10 miles from the town of Copiapo.
Wara restaurant will surprise you with a cuisine based on traditions food from the north of Chile. Supported by our organic garden, where the green leaves emerge from the driest desert in the world.
Fresh fish, ceviche, meats and pastas fine selection made by our chefs accompanied by a selection of the best wines of chile.
Highlights and excursions from Wara:
Sea of Dunes - where the Dakar Rally passes.
Caldera port and Bahia Inglesa beach - the bay is characterized by warm turquoise waters and white sand.
Into the mountains, you find the Nevado Tres Cruces National Park and some lakes like Laguna Santa Rosa and Black Francisco. These were classified as “ramsar sites”, with international importance for waterfowl conservation.
In the surroundings you can see flamingos, vicuñas and guanacos among others. There is also the Ojos del Salado volcano, which is the world’s highest active volcano.
On the coast is the park Pan de Azucar and Llanos Challe, where you can sometimes see the flowering desert.
Transfer to Matetic Vineyards in the Casablanca Valley. Matetic Vineyards is located in Rosario Valley, a subdivisión of San Antonio Valley, 120 kilometers from Santiago between Casablanca and San Antonio.
La Casona at Matetic Vineyards is an 8-room boutique hotel, all rooms with en suite bathrooms and fitted with a king size bed or two single beds, central heating, private terrace and an elegant and sophisticate decoration.
In room amenities include 600 thread count cotton bedding, daily housekeeping and turndown service, Cable TV with a wide selection of national and international programming, complimentary mineral water, L’Occitane bathroom amenities, hair dryer, bathrobe, complimentary Wifi service.
Hotel features captivating views of the surrounding vineyards and countryside, outdoor swimming pool with poolside bar, a cozy and elegant living room with a fireplace and pool table, complimentary Wifi.
Half-board plan includes dinner and breakfast served at Restaurant El Emporio, visit to the winery with tastings.
Transfer to the Santiago Airport...or your next destination.
All our guides and drivers were there waiting for us. The accommodations were suberb. You could not ask for more.
- Sharon K, December 2013