What to expect
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Last 5 reviews
Absolutely worth it
Stayed at this place for a week with family. We did multiple excursions and every one of them is worth experiencing. The tour guides- Angela, Felipe, Meme, Jesilia, Danny, Luis, Bernie, and Rey- were excellent. They were very knowledgeable and friendly, and their hospitality was impeccable. The manager was very helpful, as were the waiters and waitresses at the restaurant. I would like to give a special mention to Jesilia and Danny for taking care of us during the horseback riding, and Luis for the wonderful astronomy lessons. The manager, Max, was awesome. I highly recommend this place for your next vacation.
Our second Explora experience...which is what it is - so much more than just a place to stay. So very well organized, we were well tended to and fed and our excursions were superb. They do such a great job of hiring wonderful young guides who are curious themselves, well educated and trained in each field, so make each adventure so much more interesting. The desert is truly amazingly beautiful. We went to the ALMA Array - signed up months in advance and only got on the waiting list, but went to the bus pick up, as told, and were able to get on. Well worth it!! Fascinating! The stargazing at the Explora was also a highlight.
stupendous hotel and incredible service- superior food, great open bar with superb bartenders making inventive drinks. Massages great- the swimming pools are incredible- all of them are 93 feet long at varying temperatures. the guides on the excursions were top notch and Atacama itself is incredible experience- extraterrestrial!!
Great for exploring Atacama sights
Great resort with stunningly modern public areas. Accommodation was of a good standard, although not luxurious in anyway and could, in fact, do with a bit of a makeover. We had a view across a meadow, and could see horses grazing. There is a viewing platform on the top of the hotel which gives good views across the town and countryside; some good sunsets in the evening. The food was very good, well served with a reasonable choice of wines. The food was very good, with menu driven choices for lunch and dinner. Breakfast was buffet style, although egg dishes were to order. There was flexibility to have some main courses as starters. There was a good variety of included trips which were mainly half days returning to the hotel for lunch. The afternoon sessions generally started at about 5pm to avoid the heat of early afternoon. All the guides were knowledgeable about the area and its geology, and were good company. The highlight mut be the trip which included walking barefoot down a large sand dune in late afternoon... amazing! We also did a two hour horse back ride from the resort’s own stables; a first for one of us and a 50 year gap for the other! As with Explora in Rapa Nui, we thought this was a great way to explore the area.
We didn't know what to expect at Explora or in the Atacama, but ended up with a truly memorable week. The property is gorgeous: they kept much of the old adobe parts/feel, while adding in a modern main building, with rooms arranged around courtyards. We were in one of their suites, and it was perfect: a view of the volcano, huge bathroom, nice big closet and separate space for dusty shoes, and a table and chairs and sofa. Bed was very comfy, and the housekeeping staff did a wonderful job keeping things tidy and replinished. I have to commend this resort for doing all they can to get things done in a sustainable way: not a plastic water bottle to be found! Even the lunches that were packed for the explorations were sustainably managed. And a note on the food: perfect! They do smaller portions than most Americans are probably used to, but we learned that part of the reason was that smaller meals help with altitude adjustment. We never left a meal feeling hungry, and they always have snacks available. I still remember the pumpkin gnocchi and crepe with manzar and ice cream. The drinks at the bar were creative and well-prepared, and the service by the pool was attentive and speedy. Of course the real story here is the daily explorations: The staff is great at making sure you see everything Atacama has to offer, and that you are exploring at the right altitude each day. We loved each outing, and every single guide (we had 4 over the course of 6 days) was well-trained, informed, spoke several languages, and pleasant to spend time with. We also liked being in small groups -- we liked everyone we met, and it was a little bonus to run into our new friends on the grounds or in the dining room. We tried out massages at their spa, and it was uber-relaxing. That is the one original adobe building on the property, and hearing the birds chirp, the wind blow, and getting a top-notch massage is a memory I will try to keep next time I go to the dentist. In terms of timing, we added an extra night because we wanted to tour ALMA (nearby astronomy project), but if we hadn't done that, 5 nights would have been perfect. You can see a ton with a 4 night stay, but I personally wouldn't go below that. The only downside was that 2 of our 6 nights we could hear a band or noise from town. I think one night was a festival, so that could have been a one-off problem. Just bring your earplugs, turn your fan on, and buck up. It's worth it!
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