Mapplr’s favorite hotels in San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

If you are going to San Pedro de Atacama, try to stay for at least three days to give yourself time to enjoy the stunning desert landscapes and visit the El Tatio geyser field, Moon Valley, Rainbow Valley, Laguna Cejar and Lagunas Altiplanicas. Excursions to these areas require six or more hours, and they are quite tiring as some of them involve getting up before 4:00 a.m. (Read our Travel Guide to San Pedro de Atacama).

There are dozens of accommodations in San Pedro ranging from backpacker hostals to more luxurious digs, some of which have swimming pools and restaurants on the premises. Outside San Pedro there are even more extravagant hotel and spa resorts, which charge over $1500 per person for a two-night stay, but are all inclusive (i.e. they include excursions, transfers and meals).

I stayed in two hotels in San Pedro, Hotel Altiplanico and Hotel Poblado Kimal, both of which are not super cheap backpacker hostals but are not extravagant either.

Of the two, I prefer the Hotel Poblado Kimal because it is in the center of town close to the cafes and restaurants. Hotel Altiplanico is a bit outside the center, requiring a 10 minute walk, which isn’t bad during the day but at night, you would need a torch (flashlight) to navigate the dark streets. Other than that, the hotels are fairly similar in the quality of accommodations and service.

(1) Hotel Poblado Kimal

The other “half” of the Hotel Kimal, the Hotel Poblado Kimal has 21 cottages constructed out of adobe and wood. The hotel is only a few minutes away from the cafes and restaurants of San Pedro, but it is very quiet and private. These cottages offer much more privacy than the rooms at the Hotel Kimal and are eco-friendly because they are cool during the hot days and warm during the cold nights. No airco or artificial heating required!

atacama hotel

There is a swimming pool (the water is cold and refreshing, which is fantastic in the hot desert afternoons) both here and at the main hotel; a restaurant; and free, fast Wi-Fi but not in the rooms. The hotel is very quiet and is constructed in such a way that guests have cozy little corners where they can curl up with a book or an iPad. I spent the afternoons sitting on a verandah overlooking the pool at the Hotel Kimal, with a view of the volcanoes, reading and writing while sipping freshly made juices. Room rates start at $165 per night for a double ($200 for a double superior or a triple). This would be my choice to stay in San Pedro de Atacama.

Hotel Poblado Kimal
Domingo Atienza 452
San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
+56 55 851030 / 851152 / 851524

(2) Hotel Altiplanico

A ten minute walk from the center of San Pedro de Atacama, this hotel has 29 rooms individually located in adobe cabins with outdoor and indoor showers, spread over on a beautifully designed desert landscape garden. Guests have private terraces where they can enjoy the sunsets and take in views of the volcanoes.

atacama hotel

There is a large swimming pool and a restaurant that is open for lunch and dinner. We had a large room which was very quiet and indeed we enjoyed sitting out on the patio one late afternoon enjoying the mysterious colors of desert at sunset. Dinner was very good: a tasty, healthy sopa de verduras (vegetable soup), fresh salmon and bottle of excellent Chilean wine. The only reason I prefer the Hotel Poblado Kimal to the Altiplanico is the location. This hotel is a bit outside town. Other than that, the gardens and pool of the Altiplanico are much prettier, and the views are more expansive. Rates for a double room are between $200 and $240 per night.

Hotel Altiplanico
Domingo Atienza 282
San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
+56 55 851 212

Luxury desert hotels with spa near San Pedro de Atacama

If you want a truly luxurious hotel and spa experience in the desert, check out these four hotels around San Pedro de Atacama. All of them operate on an “all-inclusive” basis (i.e. they include tours in the region and transfers) and have wonderful restaurants serving sophisticated Andean cuisine.

(3) Hotel Kunza: one and a half kilometres from San Pedro de Atacama, this 5-star hotel offers an all-inclusive spa program and half-board arrangements.

atacama hotel

Hotel Kunza, San Pedro de Atacama

Hotel Kunza
Ayllu de Yaye, San Pedro de Atacama
Chile
+56 2 294 90 44

(4) Tierra Atacama Hotel and Spa: a stunning boutique hotel only a 20-minute walk from the center of San Pedro de Atacama, this is truly an oasis in the desert. All rooms have private terraces and views of the Licancabur volcano.

Tierra Atacama Hotel and Spa
Calle Séquitor S/N, San Pedro de Atacama
Chile
+56 2 263 0606

(5) Hotel de Larache: This lodge is set on 17 hectares of land a few minutes walk from San Pedro de Atacama. It even has its own observatory where you can view the night sky. The Atacama desert is one of the best places on earth to see stars and galaxies. It boasts of four interconnected swimming pools, two of which are heated by solar panels.

San Pedro de Atacama hotel

Hotel de Larache

Hotel de Larache
Domingo Atienza s/n
Ayllu de Larache
San Pedro de Atacama
Chile
+56 2 395 2800

(6) Awasi: Only 8 cottages built of stone, adobe and wood, Bolivian wool rugs, contemporary interior decor, private patios and indoor/outdoor showers, an intimate getaway in a luxurious boutique hotel just outside San Pedro de Atacama.

Awasi
Tocopilla 4
San Pedro de Atacama
Chile
+56 2 233 9641

About Esme Vos

Esme Vos is the founder of Mapplr, a travel site featuring boutique hotels, luxury resorts, travel guides and restaurant reviews. You can find her on and Twitter.