Amazing Escapes has built lunar dome hotel Kachi Lodge on the white salt flats of Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, meaning travellers can now stay in this remote, pristine location overnight. Anthony Pearce reports
The Salar de Uyuni, found in the Andes in the southwest of Bolivia, is the world’s largest salt flat, an isolated expanse that stretches 11,000 sq km.
Formed by a prehistoric lake that dried and left behind an otherworldly area of white salt rock formations, it was previously only accessible by day trippers.
Now visitors are able to enjoy the area’s unique geography by staying at Kachi Lodge, made up of futuristic domes at the foot of the Tunupa volcano.
Opened this spring, Kachi Lodge comprises six domes, each one raised above the flats on connected wooden platforms. This protects the ground beneath and the camp during the wet season, when the surface becomes like mirrored glass.
Designed by Amazing Escapes, each dome has a private bathroom, double bed and heating, which is important given night-time temperatures drop to -15ºC in the dry season.Kachi Lodges says that the decor is “cosy and rustic with natural timber, neutral tones, fluffy blankets and dangling lanterns.”
Sections of the geodesic walls are transparent so guests can gaze up at the stars at night – telescopes are available to take a closer look.
A wooden trunk is placed on the side of the bed to host lanterns, while light wooden stools and a small ladder add to a minimalist set-up around the central stove.Dinner is served in the larger central dome, known as the Lodge. The long wooden table is designed for communal dinners while watching the sky fill with stars through the transparent wall. The cuisine is provided by La Paz’s award-winning Gustu restaurant’s fine-dining school.
Kachi Lodges says that despite the isolated location of the hotels, there are many excursion options in “one of the most beautiful places in the world”.
There is the Island of Huasi Inca, 30 minutes from the camp, as well Coquesa, a village on the northern edge of the salar, where guests can explore the ruined ancient villages and burial grounds nearby.
Ceramic, gold and copper artifacts have been discovered at some of the sites in the region.
The lodge is also about an hour and a half from archeological site of Alcaya, an old pre Colombian city near Salinas.
All meals, drinks, activities and airport transfers are included under the introductory rate of US$1,980 per person for a double-occupancy, two-night stay. An extra night is an additional US$990 per person.