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“An amazing and adventurous holiday” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Explora Atacama - All Inclusive

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Explora Atacama - All Inclusive
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“An amazing and adventurous holiday”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 2, 2012

My family holiday earlier this year to explora Atacama was one that we will never forget. This is the second time we have been there, because we loved it so much the first time around. It is the perfect place to go and bond with the family, and feel shut off from the outside world. We are quite an adventurous family so took advantage of the explorations and were out for hours on end each day. I would have to say that our favourite was either the treks or horseback riding. The leaders of the expeditions are so incredibly knowledgeable, that it was always fascinating not only experiencing the various activities, but also listening to their stories about the company, the environment, and explora's contribution to preserving it. We can't wait to go back again!

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Sarah B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
exploraSA, CEO / Gerente General at Explora Atacama - All Inclusive, responded to this review, July 25, 2012
Dear traveler,

Thank you so very much for your very kind review. Naturally, I am delighted to hear that you and your family decided to stay with us again.

Thank you also for pointing out explora’s long-standing efforts to contribute to the well-being and preservation of the destinations that we call home. In fact, we are relatively quiet about our contributions, but have only recently decided to dedicate a separate web site to our Foundation’s work. Fundación explora as it is called, it is a private, independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to care for and promote the development of the natural and cultural heritage in the areas where explora operates (Atacama, Easter Island and Patagonia). The Foundation promotes concrete initiatives that contribute toward conserving the nature, culture and also developing the local communities in the aforementioned places.

We hope that we may welcome you again at one of our lodges or on an explora Travesías.

With kindest regards,

Jesús Parrilla
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Cherry Hill, New Jersey
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 30, 2012

My wife and I are very adventures, and this was an amazing experience from the breath taking scenery all the way to the friendly staff and the food was out of this world! We're definitively coming back or even try Patagonia which we heard it's an amazing place, next time we're bringing our friends as well.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank ChrisCastillo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
exploraSA, CEO / Gerente General at Explora Atacama - All Inclusive, responded to this review, July 25, 2012
Dear traveler,

Thank you so very much for your very kind review.

For explora the days of planning a honeymoon on the beach with an umbrella-drink in hand, never existed. We encourage being active and exploring together… followed by a Pisco Sour, relaxation and a gourmet meal. Our honeymoon benefits have been very popular and in 2011 close to 10% of our travelers were on their honeymoon.

Lastly, please remember that after visiting one explora lodge, you are entitled to the benefits of our CESA - Club Exploradores del Sur de América - a recognition program with benefits including rate discounts and room upgrades for repeat guests.

We look forward to having you again at explora.

With kindest regards,

Jesús Parrilla
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 28, 2012

This trip was my first time to South America but it certainly will not be my last.
Travelling with a few friends I stayed in all 3 explora locations and would rate them all as highly as possible.
Atacama was our second location, having first been to Rapa Nui, so I had a good idea of what to expect in terms of accommodation quality, service excellence and variety and quality of excursions. Atacama, did not disappoint, in fact it exceeded even the high expectations I had built from my stay in Rapa Nui.
The room I had was very well appointed with a spacious and very comfortable bed. The bathroom was also well set out with a large spa bath and great shower. Views from the room were panoramic including the magnificent volcano Licancabur (which I had hoped to climb but snow and ice conditions and my own lack of fitness and slow acclimatisation conspired against me!).
All the staff in the hotel are very friendly and welcoming. The explora approach of an all inclusive tariff allows you to relax totally as there is no concern about signing for expenses and such. We were there in off season and there were not many other guests so we experienced very personalised service, though my friends who have experienced explora at high season assure me that this level of service is the norm.
As good as the hotel is, the real highlight of the stay was the daily excursions, with a great range of half day and full day ones, catering to a wide range of requirements, to choose from . Myself and another friend were interested in some of the more physically challenging excursions. Our hike around Copa Coya which took us above 4,500m was incredible. We saw plenty of wildlife and very interesting plants. Our guide was knowledgeable and informative and pointed out many interesting features. He also was very attentive to ensuring our safety and comfort, and though it was a very demanding hike given the terrain and the altitude we never felt pushed or hurried by the pace he set. We finished the hike with a great picnic lunch (brought in the support vehicle) in the fantastic surroundings of the El Tatio geysers. We completed many other excursions during our stay, including 2 full day trips to the alto plano, each of which showed us the vast range of environnments available in the Atacama (it is not just all desert!). Regardless of the type of excursion, I was never disappointed with how well they were planned, how well they were run and the beauty and interest of the locations.
I very much look forward to getting a chance to visit again and bring my family with me.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank John L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
exploraSA, CEO / Gerente General at Explora Atacama - All Inclusive, responded to this review, July 25, 2012
Dear traveler,

Thank you very much for your very kind review.

Please do not be disappointed, volcano Licancabur can be a tricky hike that is very dependent on weather conditions. But it does sound as if you did a multitude of challenging excursions during your explora Atacama experience. Thank you also for pointing out the fascinating environment that a desert offers when explored on foot or horseback. With a knowledge guide and time for the journey, the Atacama Desert presents an amazing location for in-depth and challenging excursions.

We hope that we may welcome you at explora Patagonia in the future and since you are an experienced explora traveler, you are of course entitled to the benefits of our CESA - Club Exploradores del Sur de América - a recognition program with benefits including rate discounts and room upgrades for repeat travelers. Please know that year-to-date June 2012, over 15% of our guests are repeat clients that go to another destination or choose to go back to the same explora.

With kindest regards,

Jesús Parrilla
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Level Contributor
16 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 24, 2012

My husband, myself and two friends visited explora Atacama in June 2012. My husband and I had been there before and thought we knew what to expect, but we were mistaken. It was even better than before. The hotel has undergone some changes to the large communal areas and they are fantastic. Particularly, we loved the fact that the guides are more involved with the guests now as their 'office'/meeting room is next to the bar! The rooms are lovely and we were lucky enough to have a view from our windows of Volcan Licancabur - a majestic sight if ever there was one.

The desert is amazing. Our friends participated in a few of the more demanding walks and could not get over the beauty of the scenery and the knowledge of the guides. As we were staying for a few days, we were acclimatised to the altitude sufficiently to do two altiplano full day excursions. Please, if possible, do at least one of these. The scenery is breathtaking, and the picnic lunch is pretty fantastic too! On one of these excursions we were able to visit a small village school where two of the explora guides were helping the children learn English. That is the other thing about explora - they put back into the community.

We managed to see all the wildlife (our particular passion) we could possibly want to - e.g. vicunas, vizcachas, flamingos, beautiful geese and even met Madonna the llama at Toconoa (another experience).

The guides were simply fantastic, a really wonderful team of people. Thanks to all of them - too many to mention individually, and to Silvio, the warm and helpful General Manager who was always there to answer any query and to send you smiling on your way on your next excursion. What I can't understand is how this hotel is only ranked No. 5 on TripAdvisor for San Pedro de Atacama. It surely should be number one.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank JAASydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
exploraSA, CEO / Gerente General at Explora Atacama - All Inclusive, responded to this review, July 25, 2012
Dear traveler,

Thank you very much for your very kind review and enthusiasm for explora.

You’ve said many wonderful things about explora, but I want to comment on one aspect that I am very proud of as explora’s General Manger – our commitment to giving back to the communities that we work in.

explora Atacama guides have been involved in English classes in the Atacama community for several years now. We’ve only recently launched a website with all explora initiatives, the Fundación explora. The foundation is a private, nonprofit organization that was set up by the Founder and Chairman of explora, Pedro Ibañez.. Our mission is biocultural conservation, which is understood to be concern for and care of the habitat, habits and inhabitants (human and non-human) in the areas of environmental, aesthetic or historical where explora operates.

The Fundación aims to bring together and regulate a series of environmental and social initiatives developed in recent years by the explora, such as teaching English in schools, collecting waste and collaborating with recycling projects at the Orito Center on Easter Island and working with homes for vulnerable children and senior citizens in Atacama to name a few.

I sincerely hope that we may welcome you again in the near future.

With kindest regards,

Jesús Parrilla
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
20 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 22, 2012

As someone who travels a lot and is lucky enough to visit high-end hotels in many different countries, my stay at explora Atacama still stands out as probably my most outstanding experience.
The highlights of the stay have remained with me and my husband for many months. My favourite horse pictures are still my screen savers. Where else can you lead your horse through a horse bath after you've returned from the ride and see him cared for so wonderfully? This is a place where the unimaginable comes true: we hiked through canyons where it hadn't rained for hundreds of years, and ended up at a spectacular hot springs, where lunch was laid out for us. We rode beautiful horses every day, either galloping across desert landscapes (the stuff of movies, really), or sliding down mountainous sand dunes, always confident that the horses and the guides were taking good care of us. We watched the stars at night while wrapped in blankets beside the pool (now, there is even a private observatory where you can learn about the constellations) and couldn't believe the density of the stars - something that we never see at home. We really enjoyed devising our next day's adventures with the guides each evening, which made us feel a part of the planning. We joined up with other guests from all over the world for dinner or drinks and kept in touch later with Brazilians and Australians. We took pictures of the sunset over the salt flats and watched birds we'd never seen before. We loved the design of the hotel, which blended gracefully into the San Pedro landscape.
I can't wait to visit explora Patagonia and explora Rapa Nui - if I am lucky enough.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank jlj0511
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
exploraSA, CEO / Gerente General at Explora Atacama - All Inclusive, responded to this review, July 25, 2012
Dear traveler,

Thank you very much for your very kind review.

Allow me to elaborate on the explora Atacama observatory. There are few better settings for the study of astronomy than beneath some of the clearest skies in the world in the Atacama Desert. And since our school of explora guides is currently training our new guides, I am delighted to share, that our guides are trained to explore the Southern night sky utilizing the onsite observatory of explora Atacama at the oasis of San Pedro in the Atacama Desert. Drawn like fireflies to the wonders above, new guides glimpse a range of astronomical wonders through tutelage from Professor Eric Escalera, Director of the nearby Del Pangue Observatory. It is an essential part of ongoing training that ranks explora guides among the best in adventure travel in South America.

We hope that we may welcome you at explora again in the future and since you are an experienced explora traveler, you are of course entitled to the benefits of our CESA - Club Exploradores del Sur de América - a recognition program with benefits including rate discounts and room upgrades for repeat travelers.

With kindest regards,

Jesús Parrilla
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
29 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 11, 2012

I have travelled around the world and can say that my experience at Explora Atacama was exceptional. From the friendly driver Fernando Benito who picked us up from Calama to the charming hotel manager Silvio Bernusconi who met us on arrival, the restaurant staff, and the guides – particularly Gonzalo "GoGo", Oscar and Santiago – the staff were consistently charming. Also the barman, George, who was very friendly and spoke very good english.
The hotel is famous for its excursions and activities ... and everything we did was fascinating from seeing the geysers at El Tatio to the cold, imposing moon valley. A highlight was a barbecue with singing and dancing from the local Andes people in traditional costumes and masks. I have a wheat allergy and felt especially touched that at every meal gluten-free bread was provided for me.
Another lovely touch were little pots of lip balm in the room along with all the usual facilities expected of a five-star establishment. I have to say these were needed as the Atacama is the driest desert in the world and my skin felt parched all the time.
The hotel offers a sauna, steam bath and Jacuzzi and my husband and I enjoyed sitting in the steam bath until we got really hot and then jumping into the cold pool for a refreshing "wake-up" splash. This also helped work up an appetite for the top-notch restaurant where delicious organic Chilean wines were served.
I am extremely fussy about my bed and the pillows – and usually travel with my own pillows – but the bed, pillows and bed linen at Explora were perfect. The hydrotherapy bath and monsoon shower were also a great way to end off a day's explorations in the desert.
The Atacama is a special part of the world indeed and this is one trip that will remain etched in our memories for a long time.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank carolinetravelguru
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
exploraSA, CEO / Gerente General at Explora Atacama - All Inclusive, responded to this review, July 25, 2012
Dear traveler,

Thank you so very much for your very kind review.

Please know that we pass on comments about all explora staff members and that I will do the same with your very kind comments about several explora guides, the restaurant staff and the hotel’s manager. Thank you!

I am very grateful for your mention of small touches, including explora’s ongoing efforts to answer all special dietary requirements and thought-out amenities.

In conclusion, I smiled at your comment about explora being famous “for its excursions and activities”. Naturally we are also continuously working on perfecting our accommodations, service and gourmet meals, but what we really focus on is our traveler’s experience. This can be challenging to convey to future explora travelers, since an experience is by definition something that needs to be filled with life and perspective. It’s travelers like you that help us tell the story what explora is all about. Thank you.

We hope that we may welcome you at explora again in the future and since you are an experienced explora traveler, you are of course entitled to the benefits of our CESA - Club Exploradores del Sur de América - a recognition program with benefits including rate discounts and room upgrades for repeat guests.

With kindest regards,

Jesús Parrilla
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 16, 2012

Found the place reasonably priced considering all it includes and the pampering that comes with the experience. Had little expectations about the desert and I had been told that Explora Patagonia and the area was much better in every sense. It did not find that to be the case. Both locations are remarkably different and beautiful in its own way. Loved the Explora Atacama very much as well as the experience was outstanding - from stargazing to the high mountain (Toko) climb. The guides gave very good explanations of what to expect, but did not disclose all the details that would happen ahead of the excursion. Managed to get on a horse for the first time in my life, and that was a out of this world experience. The female chef (Pillar) prepared delicious meals and the freshness of the food in every meal. Loved the barbecue and the atmosphere around the bar in the evening composed of sophisticated travellers from all around the world. Stay 4 nights and came to the conclusion that you need at least 3 to 4 days longer to savour the region. Hope to return one day.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Soh K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, CEO / Gerente General at Explora Atacama - All Inclusive, responded to this review, June 21, 2012
Dear traveler,

Thank you for your kind review of your explora Atacama experience.

The Atacama desert might be one of the driest places on earth, but it seems that explora was able to show you the wonders of the desert from all possible vantage points; the back of a horse, the top of an extinct volcano as well as through the explora-owned telescope.

At explora, we believe that Chile has very special characteristics, which are best appreciated by travelers who are able to discern the uniqueness of its environment. The explora experience combines interaction with nature and local cultures with relatively demanding physical activity, which is necessary if you want to see the best of what the country has to offer. At the end of the day there is always your explora lodge waiting for you to provide the comforts and pleasures which reward the effort made.

Allow me to remind you that after visiting one explora lodge, you are entitled to the benefits of our CESA - Club Exploradores del Sur de América - a recognition program with benefits including rate discounts and room upgrades for repeat guests.

With kindest regards,

Jesús Parrilla
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Explora Atacama - All Inclusive

Property: Explora Atacama - All Inclusive
Address: Domingo Atienza s/n, San Pedro de Atacama 7580150, Chile
Phone Number:
Location: Chile > Antofagasta Region > San Pedro de Atacama
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in San Pedro de Atacama
#4 Spa Hotel in San Pedro de Atacama
#4 Family Hotel in San Pedro de Atacama
#7 Luxury Hotel in San Pedro de Atacama
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Explora Atacama - All Inclusive 4.5*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our lodge is located on a plain known as the Ayllu de Larache, once inhabited by an ancient Atacameno community. We have respected the original layout of the land and restored and maintained some of the buildings.Opened in 1998, our lodge is situated on 17 hectares (42 acres) of grounds just a few minutes' walk from the town of San Pedro de Atacama. In the area surrounding the lodge, we have maintained the ancient pathways and buildings which form a labyrinth that invites exploration.There are 50 rooms housed in three long buildings, positioned to form a central square planted with large trees for ample shade. On the fourth side of the square is the building which houses the lodge's public spaces. The views from the lodge's broad terraces enable you to enjoy Atacama's vast chain of volcanic mountains.In 2008, we set ourselves the challenge of intensifying your explora Atacama experience, remodeling the furnishings and the indoor and outdoor spaces. Now that the work is complete, we are pleased to be able to offer you new facilities and services. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
De Larache Hotel
Resort All Inclusive De Larache
Explora Atacama - All Inclusive San Pedro De Atacama, Chile

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