Desert Boom

Life in Chile's Atacama Desert is hot, dry, and tough. That is, unless you're lying poolside at Tierra Atacama, the latest luxury hotel to open in the unlikely tourist boomtown of San Pedro. Just blocks down the street from Explora's iconic Hotel de Larache, 32-room Tierra Atacama is run by the same family that owns Portillo, Chile's most famous ski resort. The three-month-old hotel and spa features your standard fare of stress relievers (massages, saunas, volcanic mud treatments). But Atacama's real lure is its namesake. During the April–June shoulder season, temperatures rarely top 80 degrees, making desert mountain-bike trips surprisingly comfortable. Alternately, you can scale one of eight nearby volcanoes—or nibble on some local peyote and imagine you already have. From $300;

Filed To: Chile / Snow Sports
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