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San Pedro de Atacama

Photo of San Pedro de Atacama

About San Pedro de Atacama

San Pedro de Atacama is a town in the Antofagasta region of northern Chile. It sits on a plateau at over 2,000 metres, overlooks the Licancabur volcano and is renowned as the place to stay for anyone wanting to venture into the Atacama desert. The best places to stay in San Pedro de Atacama will provide you with a comfortable base from which to explore this breathtaking region.

This is a place with something for everyone. There is trekking, climbing and sandboarding for active outdoors types, archaeological sites for culture vultures, amateur astronomy, or simply being dumbstruck by the extraordinary landscape.

In San Pedro itself there is a very notable archaeological museum - R.P. Gustavo le Paige - which contains a large collection of relics and artefacts from all over the region. Indeed, this area has become an important place for people interested in pre Columbian cultures, with its many ruins - notably the Pukara de Quitor a 12th century fort built by the Atacameno tribe. The town also has the Church of San Pedro de Atacama, which is a national monument.

A little further afield you can visit the Chaxas Lagoon with its pink flamingoes, the El Tatio geyser field (there are over ninety active pools high in the Andes), the Licancabur volcano itself, the hot springs at Puritama, the observatory at Llano Chajnantor and the Valle de la Luna (to name but a few).

The climate is dry and mild year round with summer temperatures from 20-25 degrees celcius and the winter peaks just a bit below. But don't come without a jumper, the nights are often chilly and clear - but ideal for stargazing!

One thing to note if you're planning a trip. Because of the high altitude you should book for about four days. That way you get to relax and acclimatize before you start the more strenuous activities on offer.

Here is our pick of the best places to stay in San Pedro de Atacama:

For volcano views

  • Hotel Altiplanico is a charming hotel with great views of the volcanoes from its desert location. It is traditional in style - built from mud brick. The rooms are simple yet atmospheric and dotted with artefacts. There is a lagoon style pool.

For the town centre

  • Hotel Pascual Andino is a small boutique hotel with just ten rooms, in the centre of town. The design is mud brick and wood. All of the town’s historic attractions are within walking distance. An authentic Chilean experience.

For a bit of seclusion

  • Cumbres Hotel and Spa is situated some 2km out of the village, on the edge of the Atacama desert. Interiors feature a mixture of the traditional and the modern being all glass walls and wooden furniture. There is a lovely relaxing spa and the desert views are stunning.

For an elegant stay

  • Tierra Atacama resort and spa is an elegant hotel in the Atacama desert. The rooms are chic and white washed with four poster beds, bathrooms are contemporary and smart. The views are great, and there's a truly pampering spa as well!

For desert chic

  • Awasi Atacama is an ultra cool desert retreat. The style is rustic, the cabins have polished wood floors, adobe walls and traditional hangings. The food is top notch. Great for the outdoors.

For couples

  • Explora Atacama is a contemporary hotel offering simple styled rooms with glass, wood and white background, and spectacular views. Desert expeditions are available and there's a relaxing spa to unwind in afterwards! The restaurant serves excellent regional fare - a unique stay.
  • Alto Atacama is a chis property set in the heart of the world’s highest desert. The feel is contemporary style meets traditional charm. The rooms are light and airy and there's a lovely spoiling spa.

Still not sure what to book?

Best Hotels in San Pedro de Atacama

  • Hotel Altiplanico 31 rooms from £138

    San Pedro de Atacama

    A charming hotel located in the stunning Atacama Desert, boasting spectacular views of the surrounding volcanoes. Atmospheric rooms, built from mud brick, are simple in style and dotted with artefacts. The lagoon style pool is the perfect spot for lounging in the sun.

    Active Holiday  -  An ideal spot for those seeking the thrills of the great outdoors, and to relish the epic landscape.
    Birdwatching  -  Spot flamingos, plovers and geese in the highland lagoons.
    Secluded setting  -  For escaping.
    Remote  -  Off the beaten track.
    Recommended by  -  I Escape
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  • Hotel Pascual Andino 10 rooms from £169

    San Pedro de Atacama

    A small boutique hotel in the heart of the historic town centre. Atmospheric mud brick and wooden rooms are traditional in style. Quiet terraces are perfect for unwinding with a good book. Find many of the town's attractions within walking distance. Ideal for an authentic Chilean experience.

    Local exploring  -  Well located within the town's historical centre with many attractions nearby.
    Sights nearby  -  Just 150m from the town's traditional Church.
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool.
    Full of character
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  • Hotel Cumbres 60 rooms from £306

    San Pedro de Atacama (Parcela 2)

    A secluded hotel and spa located next to the stunning Atacama Desert. Rooms mix traditional materials with contemporary style; think glass walls and wood furnishings. A glorious spa will soothe any aches and pains and numerous guided expeditions will satisfy the most adventurous souls.

    Total relaxation  -  Boasting a remote location and a spoiling spa this is the ideal spot to get away from the rat race.
    Active Holiday  -  The Cordillera de Los Andes provide plenty of opportunity for outdoor pursuits.
    Sights nearby  -  Embark on an archealogical tour of the Tulor- Quitor and Inca ruins.
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool.
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  • Tierra Atacama Resort & Spa 32 rooms from £415

    San Pedro de Atacama (Las Condes)

    A chic hotel in the stunning Atacama Desert. Elegant white washed rooms featuring four poster beds, contemporary bathrooms and lovely views. The Uma spa is totally pampering and the pool heavenly. The surrounding landscape is primed for outdoor pursuits. A fabulous stay.

    Active Holiday  -  Situated in the epic landscape of the Atacama Desert, ideal for those searching for outdoor pursuits.
    Remote  -  Off the beaten track.
    Secluded setting  -  For escaping.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Recommended by  -  Tablet, I Escape, Kiwi Collection, Mr & Mrs Smith
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  • Awasi Atacama 8 rooms from £663

    San Pedro de Atacama (SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA)

    A rustic chic hotel set in the outstanding Atacama Desert. Atmospheric cabanas have smart polished wood floors, abode walls and traditional wall hangings. Superb cuisine is served up using mainly local produce. Find an abundance of adventures and outdoor pursuits in the surrounds.

    Active Holiday  -  A myriad of landscapes from volcanoes to salt flats, lagoons and sand dunes, all primed for outdoor pursuits.
    Restrictions on children  -  Children over five years old are welcome.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Outstanding location
    Recommended by  -  Tablet, Kiwi Collection, I Escape, Relais & Chateaux
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  • Explora Atacama 50 rooms from £729

    San Pedro de Atacama

    A contemporary hotel in the spectacular Atacama Desert. Simply styled rooms feature plenty of glass and wood set against a white background. Feast on regional fare, marvel at the spectacular views, unwind in the spa and embark on one of the many desert expeditions. A truly unique stay.

    Active Holiday  -  Located in the stunning Atacama Desert and with 40 curated expeditions in foot, horseback or bicycle.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Outstanding location
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
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  • Alto Atacama 42 rooms from £898

    San Pedro de Atacama (Ayllú de QuitoR)

    A chic property that's all about the location. Sat in the heart of the world's highest desert. Contemporary style meets traditional charm in the light and airy rooms. A spoiling spa is a must visit when you get time from visiting the spectacular natural sights in the area. A truly unique stay.

    Back to Nature  -  Located in the the heart of the Atacama, the world’s highest desert.
    Sights nearby  -  Visit the altiplanic lagoons and the geysers at El Tatio.
    Birdwatching  -  Go flamingo spotting at the Salar de Atacama salt flats.
    Remote  -  Off the beaten track.
    Check prices