The Atacama Desert – Chile

Don’t let the name fool you, the Atacama Desert in Chile is far from a bleak and sandy wasteland. Instead, it’s a treasure trove of wildlife, culture and history – if you know where to look.

And if you want to see the stars as you never have before, this is the only place to do it…

Officially one the driest places in the world, the desert gets less than 1mm of rain per year (a desert is typically defined as having less than 250mm of rain annually).

This region is famous for its sheer diversity of landscape, including active geysers, huge salt flats, canyons, volcanoes and beautiful lagoons. It has a strange and otherworldly quality that makes it quite unlike anywhere else on earth.

Despite the many action-packed activities you can try out here, there is one reason and one reason alone that many people visit the desert, and that is to see the stars in all their glory. There are multiple astronomical observatories around this region, all taking advantage of the incredibly clear skies. More than 300 clear days per year plus low light pollution makes it ideal for seeing breathtaking views of our universe.

You will undoubtedly spend much of your trip looking at the night sky, but when you’re ready to explore there’s the northern coast to see too. It’s perfect for water sports, and its sandy beaches are just waiting for sun worshippers.

The popular tourist destination town of San Pedro de Atacama sits in the middle of an oasis and is 8000ft above sea level. It has a charming historic centre with a traditional square, and the San Pedro church which dates back to the 16th Century.

You can expect a warm welcome too, with friendly locals being among the key attractions.

Where To Stay

Nayara Alto Atacama

A sustainable retreat which is as blended with the surrounding nature as possible, both in design and also in its local food and drink offering. There’s a spa for relaxation, mineral hot spring pools, and outdoor pavilions.