The explora Atacama lodge is located in Northern Chile, in the oasis town of San Pedro de Atacama. To get hear we flew into Calama, and then an hour drive or so. The Atacama desert is the highest/driest desert in the world – but there is a plethora of things to do here! The region is bordered by the Andes Mountains, the Southern Mountain Range, desert, salt flats and sand dunes. Even though this is the desert, there is a river that runs in from the Andes, so you have alot of vegetation in the town itself and some of the surrounding area. Because Atacama is located at 8200ft altitude, and the area is so dry (they get rains in February), the area is famous for the extremely vivid night sky. The explora lodge houses its own observatory and in the evenings they offer talks on the night sky, the universe and various galaxies. Just outside of town there is something called the ALMA project, partnered by a number of countries, they are building the worlds largest radio telescopes.
The town of San Pedro is lovely, it`s very safe, and so welcoming. There are lots of street dogs playing all day, many backpackers and tourists, and the locals. It`s a great town to just walk around, shop, have a beer in the plaza, I love it! One of my favorite South American towns I`ve visited through Peru, Ecuador and Chile for sure. A few of us went into town the other night and enjoyed dinner at La Casona – half inside and half outside, a huge opening in the roof to stargaze, nice warm fire, great atmosphere! The food was amazing, empenadas, BBQ platter of lamb, meat, chicken, really enjoyed it. The food has been good everywhere here, and haven`t had any issues with getting sick, it`s great!
Atacama is a must do for anyone coming to Chile!