San Pedro de Atacama, Chile, renowned for its mesmerizing salt flats, towering volcanoes, and surreal teal lagoons filled with flamingos, is home to the extraordinary Our Habitas Atacama resort. This 51-room haven opened its doors on September 15. It offers a unique experience in a destination where new openings are scarce. The resort’s pricing structure, with rates starting at $300 per night, provides a budget-friendly Chilean travel stay. Those fascinated with outer space will enjoy that the resort is also a Mars-inspired Retreat.
Our Habitas Atacama in Chile reflects the brand’s remarkable journey, originating at Burning Man in 2016 and expanding to 11 locations across four continents. In an interview with Bloomberg, CEO Oliver Ripley emphasizes the resort’s commitment to sustainable design, cultural experiences, and community empowerment. According to him, it creates an inviting retreat deeply rooted in the local culture.
“There is always an emphasis on discovery, adventure (and) nature,” Ripley said. He mentioned that he discovered these elements in the Atacama due to the region’s robust Atacameño culture and the extraterrestrial-like terrains where NASA conducts experiments with equipment destined for Mars.
Local Flair and Sustainability in Chile
Entering the 51 rooms at Our Habitas Atacama feels like stepping into a traditional Atacama home. Thick adobe walls provide temperature control, while grass roofs adorned with native flowering plants create an authentic atmosphere. Pottery and wall tapestries come from Atacameño artisans, and robust wood furnishings are crafted by artisans in Chile. The resort’s sustainability commitment shines through the use of upcycled materials, ingeniously repurposing elements from the former Altiplanico Hotel.
Cultural Experiences and Adventurous Explorations
The resort offers a unique clay sweat lodge experience known as temazcal, an Indigenous practice aimed at detoxifying the body and soothing the mind. Guests set intentions as a trained guide from the Indigenous community of Collasuyo pours herb-infused water over fiery volcanic stones, generating increasing levels of steam.
Despite its unbundled pricing structure, Our Habitas Atacama provides an extensive array of excursions to explore the otherworldly landscapes. Hikes and scenic drives take guests to the high-altitude plateau, Altiplano, on the border with Bolivia and Argentina. Here, flamingo-filled lakes, blinding-white salt flats, and saline lagoons create a surreal setting. A trip to the renowned El Tatio complex, the largest geyser field in the Southern Hemisphere, features gurgling mud puddles, sputtering fountains, and prismatic pools.
Cultural Immersion and Martian-Inspired Views
Cultural experiences are woven into the resort’s fabric. While not an all-inclusive hotel, many wellness activities and cultural programs are complimentary, emphasizing immersion and engagement. Sound baths and movement classes help guests connect with the environment, while local Atacameno musicians frequently perform Andean music in the evenings.
The resort’s location on the outskirts of San Pedro offers a unique blend of village life and breathtaking desert views, reminiscent of Mars’ landscapes. Guests can easily explore the village’s museums, cafes, and craft markets on foot, with the main plaza just a short walk away.
The Grounds and Unique Retreats
Outdoor pathways encourage exploration, winding through native vegetation, including cacti and foxtail grasses. This design aims to immerse guests in the natural world while providing spaces for connection and communal experiences.
Our Habitas Atacama offers four distinct room types, each featuring soothing earth tones and unique touches. The Pioneer Studio, starting at $300, offers a cozy retreat with a plush king-sized bed. The Adventure Room, starting at $345, is slightly more spacious and includes an additional lounge chair. The Explorer Suite, starting at $360, provides ample space and a desk for remote work. The Trekker Villa, starting at $450, is the most spacious option. It offers a private terrace for stargazing beneath the Milky Way.