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Explora Atacama - All Inclusive
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Reviews (525)
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Reviewed January 12, 2013

...this is what my husband said to the staff as we were leaving the resort.

As service industry executives ourselves, we especially appreciated the well-orchestrated, while personalized, working of the staff (among the best I've seen in any industry). We were greeted at the car, and personally introduced to various staff members upon entering the property. Planning the next day's excursions BEFORE lunch (not at dinner, as perhaps was done previously) allows for flexibility (you'll get ideas from guides and guests, so better than planning all of your days in advance) while allowing time for the 20+ guides to organize themselves across excursions. We had different guides for all of our excursions (trekking, biking, horseback riding). It was fun to meet a variety of well-trained professionals, who all showed a great passion for what they do (special shout out to the energetic Angela, who led our Kari trek, which Roberto highly recommended for us, as we then recommended to others).

The property is awesome-- we really appreciate explora's focus on sustainability and incorporating the existing environment and landscape. It's understated-- although one of the larger resorts in San Pedro de Atacama, there's no big sign in front announcing the property-- you'd never find it if you weren't driven there, but only a 10-minute walk to town (we walked to town, though I found no real reason you'd need to go). The pool and jacuzzi were awesome-- though we really didn't have time to enjoy until our last afternoon. Finally, the food... I didn't have high expectations for a hotel in the middle of the desert, but wow! I appreciated their creativity in providing ample variety without waste, and suggested wine pairings (despite the altitude, we always indulged).

The only things we had wished to enjoy we're the star gazing (telescope broken) and new photography excursions (we forgot to ask, but were never told about it, so ask if of interest to you). Internet access was slow, and unfortunately not available in guest rooms (or at least ours).

We loved Chile, and Atacama. Thank you, explora, for making this such a special experience.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Sojourners2000
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 reviewResponded February 26, 2013

Dear traveler,

Thank you so much enthusiastic and detailed review.

Please allow me to insert at this point information about the relatively new photography excursions, which we only launched in November. Please visit the Special Interest section of our website.

I am so sorry to read that you did not get to experience the observatory. The motor of the telescope malfunctioned and the part needed to repair it has taken longer to arrive in Chile than expected.

You’ve pointed out many initiatives that are very important to explora, such as sustainability and the training of our team of guides. Thank you for that.

After visiting one explora lodge, you are entitled to the benefits of our CESA, a recognition program with benefits including rate discounts and room upgrades for repeat guests. For information, kindly visit our website.

Yours sincerely,

Jesús Parrilla

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 8, 2013

The architecture of the hotel is fantastic and allow much space to feel at ease inside.
The room was spacious, clean and well provided. The laundry service was perfect.
The pools are absolutely outstanding, althoug the water was a bit chilly. It would have even been better if during the day one would have removed the leaves and fruits falling on the floor around the pools.
The food was fresh and good but lacked variety and he dishes too repetitive.
The disappointment came from the activities. Having been previously at Torres del Paine we were expecting to receive some talks or lectures about the environment, the geology, volcanos, stars, population, etc.... We asked for such talks on our arrival, but six days later and several reminders, nothing happened. We found that the guides were friendly but with very limited knowledge of the world surrounding them. And the telescope was out of order ! Thanksfully, we visited the very interesting museum of San Pedro, but again without any recommandation from the staff. Compulsory stay of six days was too long.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank biquet1368
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 reviewResponded March 18, 2013

Dear traveler,

Thank you so much your detailed review.

While I am very happy to read that you enjoyed the explora accommodations and facilities, I am very sorry to read that you did not get to experience the observatory. The motor of the telescope malfunctioned and a new piece had to be purchased. The part, which we had to source in the United States, took much longer to arrive that we had anticipated.

You’ve clearly articulated that your expectations with regards to the explorations were not met, and I am very sorry for that. In Atacama we offer upon request a variety of lectures including Geology, Astronomy, Local Flora and its medicinal purposes, Volcanology, etc. Why these were not offered is something that we have not been able to ascertain during our investigation of your comments.

We are sorry for failing to meet your expectations.

Yours sincerely,

Jesús Parrilla

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Reviewed January 7, 2013

We revelled in a six-day return visit to explora’s marvellous Hotel de Larache, the pioneer luxury hotel in the area and a unique - if expensive - way to engage with the wondrous Atacama desert.

The hotel is located anonymously at the edge of rapidly expanding San Pedro de Atacama and about a 75 minute drive from Calama airport, where guests are met and transferred by van.

The local downtown is a ten minute walk and the small museum there is well worth a visit.

The modernist architecture and meticulously executed design are an exceptional example of 'practical minimalism' and despite its size the property merges into and engages with the environment. Design doesn’t stop with the infrastructure and the entire experience is micro-managed to high standard.

The deal is a minimum stay of four nights - we recommend at least six - with all meals, drinks and trekking/riding/biking/cultural tours included in the price. Trekking choices range from the relatively easy (but nothing is a cakewalk at 2400 m +) to the challenging - how about summiting a 6000 m volcano before (a late) lunch?

The public areas are large interconnecting spaces with magnificent views and comfortable furniture. There are four connected swimming pools, rather too many given the limited time available to use them after the other activities. Massage is available but there is no conventional spa. WiFi - free but slow - is available only in the indoor public areas, where guest computers are also provided.

Our room was well-sized, well designed and well-equipped, but without excess - ‘the luxury of the essential’. The view was a stunning combination of cultivated oasis, desert and volcanoes.

The menus are limited choice but the quality is excellent (carnivores might feel under-appreciated).

The guide team is well-led, professional and caring.

This is not a conventional resort and there are less expensive local options for those who prefer to spend the day sunbathing at a pool or in a spa. There is no public entertainment and no TV anywhere. The focus is on the trekking/riding/biking programme, designed for those who are fit and comfortable with strenuous exercise and serious hiking - don’t waste your money here if that is outside your comfort zone.

If Trip Advisor permitted a score of six, we would award it to this property, one of the most outstanding hotels we have ever enjoyed. We highly recommend it to those fortunate to be able to afford it and fit enough to enjoy it.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank globaltraveller200
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 reviewResponded February 26, 2013

Dear traveler,

Thank you so much your kind review. I am very grateful for your feedback and you enthusiasm for explora. I am unsure for which email address you are inquiring, but please send a mail to reserve at explora dot com and we will make sure that the appropriate person received your mail. Thank you very much.

After visiting one explora lodge, you are entitled to the benefits of our CESA, a recognition program with benefits including rate discounts and room upgrades for repeat guests. For information, please visit our website.

Yours sincerely,

Jesús Parrilla

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 13, 2012

Five star food, wine, views, rooms, guiding, service, attitude. Breakfast on the terrace, Colombian coffee and the early sun making shadows of the Andes on the sky. Dusk reflecting gold and purple on the salt lakes, flamingoes deep pink in the sunset. Hiking at 4000 metres on the altiplano, vicuna and vizcacha and condors, and guides carrying hot soup and tea, how good is that. And along the river valleys, giant cardon cacti and spring flowers in the canyons. Oh yes and if you have time back at the actual hotel, a garden of swimming pools and jacuzzis. One of the few places I would go back to in preference to going somewhere new.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled solo
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2  Thank ralf 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 reviewResponded December 10, 2012

Dear traveler,

Thank you very much for your enthusiastic feedback.

I am so happy to read that you indeed live the explora philosophy. That’s not to say, that other reviewers don’t, but you’ve added so nonchalantly “back at the actual hotel,” that it’s clear that the lodge wasn’t your focus. Despite of all our efforts to provide travelers with the luxury of the essentials, great design and comfort, explora really isn’t about the lodge, it’s about the excursions and the experience you have with our guides in the remote. Allow me to quote from the explora manifesto: “Leave home: Disconnect, leave aside for a moment your history and your usual way of looking at things. When we aren't clinging to our own ideas and habits, we can learn about and gain greater enjoyment from everything again.”

After visiting one explora lodge, you are entitled to the benefits of our CESA, a recognition program with benefits including rate discounts and room upgrades for returning guests. For information, kindly visit our website

Yours sincerely,

Jesús Parrilla

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 13, 2012

Lovely hotel with lots of free extra outdoor activities.Staff very pleasant and helpful.Food first class.
Many local attractions.
Wished we could have stayed longer.
Come here and I promise you will not be disappointed!

Stayed: November 2012, traveled with friends
Thank dessie n
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 reviewResponded December 10, 2012

Thank you very much for your kind feedback.

Allow me to elaborate very briefly about what’s included with your explora rate. Naturally your accommodations, transfers to and from the airport, all gourmet meals, an open bar and most importantly all excursions with explora’s own bi-lingual guides. Depending on the explora destination, these excursions may take place on foot, horseback, by boat, bicycles or by car.

Minimum stays start at 3 nights and I couldn’t agree more, 3 nights is simply not enough. Our Year-toDate November 2012 stats show that the average stay for our travelers in Atacama is 4.8 nights.

Please allow me to point out that after visiting one explora lodge, you are entitled to the benefits of our CESA, a recognition program with benefits including rate discounts and room upgrades for repeat guests. For information, please visit our website.

Yours sincerely,

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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