Realise your childhood dreams of becoming a cowboy at these spectacular ranch destinations where you are invited to leave city-life far behind you, and plunge into the adventures of the great outdoors. From golden sunrises to magic sunsets, spend your days exploring the wild deserts, sacred valleys and sprawling ranches of South America at these incredible locations.
Image credit: Daniel Wagner
A desert oasis in northern Chile, the Tierra Atacama Hotel and Spa is an ideal spot for those seeking a ranch style adventure with all the luxury comforts. Nestled in the desert on the edge of San Pedro de Atacama, the impossibly stylish destination was designed by some of Chile’s leading creatives – all furniture and accessories are handmade using local materials allowing guests to get a taste of local culture from the minute they check in. The hotel offers guests a huge selection of adventures, from volcano exploring and waterfall spotting to star gazing and bird watching. Horse rides are flexible and can be organised and arranged depending on the level of experience. After a long day of adventure, retreat to the Uma Spa where you can swim in the outdoor swimming pool, taking in the breathtaking desert sunset, or treat yourself to one of the many revitalising treatments on offer. Perfecting the balance between adventure and relaxation, Tierra Atacama even offers an Adventure & Spa pairing menu. From ‘The Saddle & Soak’ to ‘The Warm Up’, these packages allow you to balance the demands of a specific adventure with the physical and mental benefits of a specific treatment.
Priding itself on being the only hotel in South America that offers a 100% tailor made experience, the Awasi Atacama in Chile is a spectacular destination from which to watch the majesty of mother nature unfold around you. The lodge is located on an ancient site in the town of San Pedro de Atacama and specialises in totally bespoke experiences to allow guests to uncover the culture, history and landscapes of the Atacama Desert.
Upon arrival, you will be allocated a dedicated excursion guide and 4WD vehicle giving you the freedom to explore Northern Chile at your own pace. Professionally trained in history, archaeology, flora and fauna, all guides will be able to answer whatever questions you may have about your surroundings and the local culture. From horseback riding, hiking, bird watching, star spotting, visiting salt flats and discovering hidden valleys, the experiences and opportunities to explore the region are endless.
Run by the same family who founded the ranch over 100 years ago, Nibepo Aike is an operating ranch that raises cattle and sheep and is the perfect place to have a real, authentic South American ranch experience. Here, you will be invited to get your hands dirty and immerse yourself in rural life. Watch the ‘baqueanos’, the resident cowboys, as they expertly work with the cattle and herd sheep. They will also act as your guides on all horseback rides, showing you around the 20 000 hectare land. For true horse riding aficionados, the lodge offers a four night program where guests are invited to ride to the corners of Nibepo Aike and Los Glaciares National Park and explore the breathtaking hidden glaciers. There are two lodging options, Nibepo Aike Classic and Nibepo Aike Plus. We would highly recommend the Plus option which allows personalised activities to be organised everyday, ensuring that you make the very most of your visit.
Image credit: Daniel Wagner