Sun gazing may have gone out of style, but stargazing is something that even optometrists can get behind. The Elqui Domos are kind of like a retreat for stargazers.
A stay in the geodesic domes outside of Pisco Elqui is just about as whimsical as it sounds. By day, you can lounge by the pool with a piscola in hand or rent a bike to explore the lush surrounds. After dark, there is little more than crickets to pollute the silence as a whole universe of stars comes into view. Pop open the hatch of your dome, and drift off to sleep while watching the night sky change.
Looking for a unique stay in Chile? The Elqui Domos may have your name all over them (figuratively, of course). Here’s what you can expect from a night in the Elqui Domos.
About the Elqui Domos
We’re usually more into camping than glamping, but who can pass up an experience like this? Here’s a peek inside the hotel.
The Elqui Domos hotel is made up of seven geodesic domes – metal structures covered by PVC tent – and three observatory rooms. Each dome has a two story floor plan with a living room, a basic kitchenette, and bathroom on the lower floor, and a double bed on the upper floor. The domos were designed with stargazing in mind, so you can open the top hatch both to let in cool air and to check out the stars. The observatory rooms are three-story wooden cabins. The first level has a living room and a bathroom, the second a double bed with a stargazing window, and the third story, a deck.
Value: A stay in the Elqui Domos will run you a cool $130,000 CLP ($196 USD) in high season or $100,000 ($155 USD) in low season. The domos are meant to sleep two, but you can sleep up to four with a surcharge of $20,000 ($30 USD) per person.
We will say that the Elqui Domos are far outside of our usual price range. Staying here is quite expensive by any standards, but we’ve paid more for less. Do what we did – check in, make yourself a drink, and use all the time you’ve got. We left feeling like it was totally worth it.
It’s no Cancun, but there’s something pretty excellent about laying poolside in a climate like the Valle del Elqui. We had the swimming pool at Elqui Domos to ourselves, and it made for a stellar place to spend the afternoon.
As we’ve said, the real highlight of sleeping in the Elqui Domos is the stargazing. Since the bed is on the second floor, you can pop open the hatch and check out the stars before bed. If you’re looking for something a bit more serious, you can reserve a stargazing tour, complete with guide and telescope.
Value: Stargazing on your own is absolutely free, while guided stargazing costs about $35,000 ($55 USD) – $43,000 ($65 UDS) per room. Service on demand only, must be booked at least 24 hours in advance.
Wanna stay in the Elqui Domos?
Booking.com: Elqui Domos on Booking.com
How to get to the Elqui Domos: The Elqui Domos are located in Horcón, about 2 hours from La Serena on a Pisco Elqui bound bus. Busses passing by the Elqui Domos depart La Serena 5x per day and cost $3,500 CLP ($5). The bus “Sol de Elqui” must have a sign that says “Pisco Elqui-Horcón”. As of 2017, the busses leave La Serena at 11:00am, 2:30pm, 4:30pm, 6:00pm and 7:15 pm. If you prefer to have more autonomy, you can also rent a car.
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