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DESTINATION FEATURE Nature Calls Day 1-3 Fly in to Santiago. Catch a quick flight to Calama to start your all-inclusive journey at Tierra Atacama. It's a family- owned, 32-room boutique hotel created by the Purcell family, owners of Ski Portillo, one of Chile's most famous ski resorts. Like Portillo, Tierra Atacama is all about sharing it's nearby geo¬ logical wonders. In other words, you bask in nature and then come back to indoor comforts each day. (The perfect combo, if you ask me.) Outside: It's galvanized metal and sandblasted glass next to ado- be and shale. Inside: It's sheepskin-lined banquettes, a fire place and long communal tables painted robin's egg blue. In other words, the midcentury modern design is done just right. Settle into your room, and glance at the snowcapped Licancabur Volcano from your private terrace. Next, meet with your adven¬ ture concierge, who is about to kick the fun factor up a notch. You'll plot it out on the giant, hand-painted map and have sweet dreams until the cool desert air greets you in the morning. One thing's certain, with the comforts of this hotel, you can be downright sloth-like for days on end. However, the real celebrity here is the topography. To-do list: Scale one of the eight nearby volcanoes, photograph Moon Valley (which closely resembles Mars) and visit the Tatio Geysers. Since you are still jet lagged, start slowly with a hike to the Puri- tama Hot Springs. Pass by pampas grass and cacti before mak¬ ing your way to the bottom of a steep-sided gorge. Here, you have your pick of eight natural pools that sport 91-degree temps year round. Yourllama! Day 4-5 Wake before the sun does. It's time to tackle El Tatio geysers where you'll see huge steam columns spew 40 feet in the air. A delightful Chilean breakfast is served as dawn breaks. On the way back to the village, be on the lookout. Chinchillas, vicunas (a relative of the llama) and Andean ostrich frequent the area. Be sure to stop in the hamlet of Machuca where snacks come in the form of barbecued llama kebobs and cheese-filled empanadas. The perfect pit stop. By now you deserve a detox afternoon at Uma Spa (Uma means "water" in the local Aymara language). Here, your lucky limbs get slathered with volcanic mud and you can soak in a private, Turk¬ ish hot tub. Enjoy a dinner of grilled mahimahi with quinoa; you'll need some extra protein for what comes next. 82 S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2012 S O U T H F L O R I D A L U X U R Y G U I D E . C O M


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