We have travelled extensively through southeast Asia, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, as well as India and Africa. We decided to visit South America this Christmas/New Year, and focus on Peru and Chile, two countries we didn´t know.
In 2011, I read an article in the New York Times on the Atacama Desert, I cut it out and saved it all these years on my bulletin board! I also have a friend who crossed Atacama by foot with some sort of organized excursion, and I knew it was a place I wanted to visit…
When we started investigating options on where to stay, my husband came across Awasi on the internet. It was only after he found the hotel and its great reviews online that I realized the author of the 2011 NYT article had stayed at Awasi as well, and praised it very much. After that, there wasn’t much left to think about!
Arriving at Awasi was special. It feels like a private home, with the relaxed dining area, all those beautiful sitting areas and fireplaces, and of course the beautiful bedrooms, which are also so comfortable; we loved the outdoor showers!
We stayed for 5 nights (and 4 and a half days) and absolutely loved the excursions. Our favorites were:
· The long day with picnic to the Lagunas Miscanti and Meñiques, and then one more laguna another half hour further, where we saw the flamingos, and had our picnic with our guide Miguel
· We loved the hike along the river where you see all the cactus
· Another highlight was the horseback ride
· Yet another the bike ride through the canyons
· The sandboarding was a huge hit
· And of course floating in the salt lake was such fun!
The personalised service with our own guide and 4WD was excellent… Whenever we wanted to add another bit of walking to a morning excursion, we were able to do so; something impossible to do if you are in a minibus with other guests. Miguel was super, very informed, we learned a lot from him.
Sofia, our youngest daughter at 15 is a big athlete (she plays lots of tennis, golf, and competes with her school team in volleyball), and she ran at 4300m…and was exhausted! She is in excellent shape, but not necessarily a runner.
Sofia was also our videographer, with a little help from our third daughter Natasha; every night Sofia collected everyone´s pictures and videos and put them together, then of course added her music.
I am happy to have visited Awasi, we truly loved our stay there, it was different from any other experience we have had in the past…
We will be back soon!