Once home to shepherds, Awasi is hidden away inside ancient adobe walls high up in the Atacama Desert, the most arid place on earth in Chile’s north. Located on the edge of the town of San Pedro de Atacama, this charming lodge hosts just ten gorgeous guest cottages. Round or rectangular, the cottages feature thatched roofs, vaulted ceilings and large bathrooms that lead out onto spacious open-air patios with outdoor showers. Inside you’ll find cosy armchairs with traditional alpaca blankets, chaise longues, writing tables and extremely comfortable king beds dressed with fine linens. Awasi has an inviting outdoor pool surrounded by sun loungers and there are expansive outdoor lounge areas that are warmed at night by fire pits. The restaurant and bar are also open-air and serve Chilean delights that highlight the unique flavours of the Altiplano, balanced with a good range of international dishes. All the food is sourced locally from organic farmers and there is also a BBQ grill and an open kitchen which hosts cookery classes. After dark the lights are dimmed to allow for unhampered views of Atacama’s sparkling skies. The service here is tailor made and each suite is assigned its own personal guide and a modern 4WD vehicle that will take you on special excursions to all the natural Atacama attractions, including volcanoes, dry salt lakes and llamas and flamingos and the like, that reside in the desert. Other activities on offer at Awasi include astronomy lessons, art classes, horse riding, hiking and bird watching.