Wrapped by the natural surroundings of the valley, Alto Atacama Desert Lodge and Spa was designed to seamlessly blend with the terracotta ridges that rise from the desert around it.

This is a destination for those who want to leave the beaten path behind to interact with both nature and local culture. Trained local guides are available to lead guests on more than 30 adventurous excursions from horseback riding over sand dunes to exploring ancient Inca ruins and tackling volcanic climbs.

Hiking and biking are popular ways to discover the beautiful landscapes here, including desert canyons, geysers and surprising hot springs. You might choose trekking to the Valley of the Moon Kamur  taking a path that traverses smooth ochre sand dunes and winds through jagged rock formations towering skyward. The payoff comes with arrival at the great crater and the Tres Marias lookout, a magical place to watch the rainbows of color dance across the desert at sunset.

There’s a closer observation point just five minutes from the hotel where stargazers climb 50 stone steps before relaxing in lounge chairs to sip hot or cold beverages. Guides brief guests on the planets and major constellations visible in this part of the night sky before inviting the curious to make their own discoveries using manually operated telescopes.

Luxurious rooms and suites are set in the gardens, some with open views of a peaceful lagoon and others looking out over the valley. Private terraces allow for admiring the panoramas while savoring morning coffee or enjoying the relaxing twilight hours sipping a glass of exceptional Chilean wine.

Dine in tranquility in the restaurant’s variety of intimate indoor and outdoor settings where the chef presents Mediterranean cuisine sourced from local ingredients, inventively prepared to bring out the fresh flavors. Sample locally grown Socaire potatoes, native quinoa, and Chanar.

In the heart of this desert, Puri Spa is the stunning oasis dripping with fresh water from glacial snow. Spa options include the Finnish Sauna, Turkish bath, indoor and outdoor hot tubs, and indulgent treatments for tired trekkers. There are six pools – completely private – with purified water to maintain low impact on the environment, and an outdoor bar and restaurant for those who want to enjoy beverages or a meal at the water’s edge.

This exceptional resort offers a uniquely authentic experience for travelers to connect with and explore a revitalized land in one of the world’s most beautiful locations.

Rates start from $850 per night. For more information visit AltoAtacama.com

Photo credit: Hotel Alto Atacama