Life is too short to sleep in boring hotels. Don’t get me wrong. I love staying in hostels as much as the next aging backpacker, but I’ve never been willing to spend extra money just to sleep in a place where the sheets match the pillowcases. A night inside a stargazing dome, on the other hand…? Bring it on. I’m always into a strange stay, and the unusual hotels in South America take it to the next level.
Rather than all-out luxury or gaudy themes, the unusual hotels of South America were made strange by the materials they were made of or their outlandish locations.
Want to sleep in strange places? We’ve got luxury haciendas, seashell-shaped suites, and geodesic domes. Here are the 11 unusual hotels in South America that you really can’t miss!
Palacio de Sal | The Salt Hotel | Bolivia
Where: Uyuni, Bolivia,
What makes it unique?: You’ve never slept in a hotel made entirely of salt before, have you?
Plan your Trip: Feel the Salt Between Your Toes at Palacio de Sal | Read More: Stay Strange at Palacio de Sal
SkyLodge | The Hanging Luxury Capsules | Peru
Where: Urubamba, Peru
What makes it unique?: SkyLodge is a collection of transparent luxury capsules suspended some 1,300 ft above the Sacred Valley. The pods are accessible only by a series of ferratas and ziplines, so getting there is half the fun. Hope you’re not scared of heights!
Plan your Trip: Get High at Natura Vive
Hacienda el Porvenir | The Traditional Hacienda | Ecuador
Where: Cotopaxi, Ecuador
What makes it unique? Hacienda el Porvenir is a family-run hacienda offering guests a traditional Ecuadorian experience at the base of Cotopaxi Volcano. Sleep on indigenous-style mats in the Machai rooms or get a luxury room with a view in one of the cozy suites. For the adventurous types, Hacienda el Porvenir is set on a sprawling grounds and guests can rent bikes to explore the extensive network of trails, go for a guided horseback excursion, or learn a new skill on the high ropes course.
Plan your Trip: Experience Ecuadorian Hospitality at Hacienda el Porvenir | Read More: Stay Strange at Hacienda el Porvenir
EcoCamp | The Domes of Patagonia | Chile
Where: Torres del Paine, Chile
What makes it unique? Ecocamp offers genuine comfort, good service, and fine dining in one of the world’s most beautiful national parks. If you’re braving the O Circuit, consider spending all that money you saved by camping to rest your tired everything.
Plan your Trip: Rest up at Ecocamp | Read More: Ecocamp Patagonia on NOMADasaurus!
Elqui Domos | The Stargazing Domes | Chile
Where: Pisco Elqui, Chile
What makes it unique? Valle del Elqui is recognized as one of the world’s best spots for stargazing. At the Elqui Domos, you’ll sleep inside a surprisingly spacious private dome with stargazing hatch so you can get into the constellation spotting yourself.
Plan your Trip: Stargaze at the Elqui Domos | Read More: Stay Strange at the Elqui Domos
Las Olas | The Seacastle Suites | Bolivia
Where: Copacabana, Bolivia
What makes it unique? Sleeping inside of a giant snail might not be high on your to-do list, but perhaps it should be. Las Olas is a collection of 3-story terra cotta suites offering spectacular views of Lake Titicaca. At <$100 per night, it is undoubtedly one of the best value unusual hotels in South America.
Plan your Trip: Book your Night in a Snail at Hostal Las Olas | Read More: Stay Strange at Las Olas
Huilo Huilo Biological Reserve | The Jungle Ecolodges | Chile
Where: Huilo Huilo, Chile
What makes it unique? The properties of Huilo Huilo are way the hell away from anything else in Chile, but the uncommon properties are totally worth it. At the Huilo Huilo Biological reserve, you can spend the night in Montaña Magica, a volcano-shaped hotel with daily eruptions, or Reino Fungi, a fungus hotel. Can you think of anything weirder?
Plan your Trip: Sleep in Montaña Magica | Spend the Night at Reino Fungi
Uros Floating Village | The Floating Village | Peru
Where: Puno, Peru
What makes it unique? Get a taste for Uru hospitality with a homestay on the totora reed village floating on Lake Titicaca. While the accommodations are basic at best, the experience of sleeping on a reed island is truly unique to the region.
Plan your Trip: Spend the Night on a Reed Village in Uros
Loma Wasi | The Traditional Farmstay | Ecuador
Where: Near Otavalo, Ecuador
What makes it unique? Indigenous cultures are fading fast in South America’s rapidly modernizing countries, but there are still some places where people truly live off the land they inhabit. At Loma Wasi, you’ll stay in a simple room on a working farm where you can care for the livestock, learn about local medicine, or dine on homegrown vegetarian meals.
Price: $30 + food
Plan your Trip: Stay at Loma Wasi