When you travel to South America, you’re generally not going for the same reasons you would go to Europe or the Caribbean. Often the highlights are nature, adventure, landscapes, and unique experiences.
So you sign up with a top tour company like explora in Chile because you know they can provide what others can’t: a unique experience. In this environment, luxury means doing what nobody else is doing, getting an exclusive experience you’re not sharing with busloads of others.
I just completed a Travesia tour with explora that started in Potosi, Bolivia. It spent a few days around the massive Salar de Uyuni salt flat, proceeded to several stunning lagoons, and explored the desert before crossing the border to San Pedro de Atacama in Chile. Once there, we spent a few days taking advantage of all the excursions at Explora Atacama adventure lodge.
In the photo at the top, you’ll see where we spent the night one night. We were sleeping on cots, in down sleeping bags, in modified shipping containers. No, this would not be considered luxury in the Departures magazine or Robb Report definition of the word, but take a look at that view! When we looked out at night or day, we could not see another soul. No other vehicles, no lights besides the million stars. We had it all to ourselves for as far as we could see.
The photo below is from one of many dramatic lunch stops along the way. This was in the middle of the Salar de Uyuni, after we had just hiked an island with nobody else on it. We dined on great food while taking in the view, feeling like we owned the place.
I’ll be doing a detailed feature story on this trip next month, after I whittle down my hundreds of photos. Meanwhile see more on the explora Travesias on their site.