Active + Adventure

Paradise Unleashed

by Jeff Harris

High and Dry
When the folks who run the acclaimed Explora lodge in Patagonia went looking for an even more extreme locale for their next property, they hit the jackpot: northern Chile's Atacama desert, which lies between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes Mountains. One of the driest, least forgiving places on earth, it's a 29,000-square-mile wasteland edged with volcanoes that soar to 20,000 feet, yet those who've been there say it's one of the most beautiful places on earth. Hike to the Valley of the Moon with Explora's expert guides and you'll agree: Petrified salt sculptures, eerie sand lakes, and brick-hued mountains grooved by eons of wind may exist elsewhere in the universe, but you can't order a Pisco Sour on Mars. Explora, on the other hand, mixes a pretty fine one.

Explora Atacama
Tel. 56 2 206 6060
Doubles from $900, including meals and activities

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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