What We Love
- Unique accommodations — seven domes with the perfect layout for stargazing
- Nighttime horseback rides, astronomy lectures and amateur telescopes provide outstanding opportunities for viewing the starry skies
- Ideal for families with the wide range of activities, swimming pool and the fun of sleeping in a dome
- Friendly, helpful staff
- Short walk to the Los Nichos pisco distillery
- Year-round warm and sunny weather
What To Know
- Domes can get stuffy and hot during the day and chilly at night; however, there’s an electric heater and a warm duvet
- Guests must carry their own luggage up a steep pitch of dirt stairs to their dome
- Domes are very close to one another, so there isn’t much privacy
- WiFi and cell service is spotty, but most visitors are happy to be released from urban distractions
- The property is located two miles from town, and taxis are available, but most visitors prefer the freedom of rental vehicles
- It is best to visit three to four days before or after a new moon for a better view of the stars
- The pool is closed in the winter
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
Everything about the Elqui Domos is configured to bring you closer to the stars (the ones in the sky, not on TV). And for good reason: The hotel is located in the heart of the Elqui Valley, in Chile’s “Norte Chico” region, known for its crystal-clear skies. It’s two miles from the nearest village, so there’s almost no light pollution to keep you from the nightly sparkling show above.
You’ll see the sky from the glass-enclosed restaurant, the enormous domed lounge, the swimming pool and the seven identical white geodesic domes on platforms that descend a steep, wooded slope. There is also a full range of starry activities, from evening horseback rides and astronomy lectures to lessons in the amateur observatory with a variety of high-quality telescopes.
The split-level domes are spacious, with semi-sunken living areas and loft beds, and can sleep up to four people. Be sure to call dibs on the upper loft bed, where you can unzip and detach the roof and cuddle under your marshmallowy duvet while watching the twinkling lights above.
City slickers take note: Elqui Domos definitely falls closer to glamping than a relaxing stay in a luxury hotel. The function-over-form decor consists of simple wood furniture, muted colors and small throw rugs. But for outdoors fanatics who want their creature comforts, it’s a perfect fit. And the Elqui Valley’s Zenlike aura adds a healing element to your stay. Consider booking a meditation or Reiki session. Then sit back, relax and take in the heavens.
How to Get There
This was my 2nd time at the Domos, as I had the luck of going when they were "young and wild". Now it's a grown-up guy, ready to take you through a really cool journey.
If you're taking the decision to visit Elqui, you might be driven by one of these: sky & stars, trekking & hiking, nature & horses, pachamama. Then, this "Domos" option will help you in anything you need to make it enjoyable.
This time I stayed at the (newer) "Cabañas", which I didn't exist over 13 years ago, and really liked it! Almost pure wood & glass loft-like structure, covered by the mountains, with WIDE windows to enjoy the sky while you're laying on your XL perfectly-white bed. And the coolest surprise was the top terrace, amazing to chill at the end of the afternoon to enjoy the pink sky or spending the night looking at the stars - the best sky-view you'll ever have for sure. One thing to improve? Bathroom. It's good, but could be great. A narrow rectangle didn't help to feel it as it spacious as it should, having one wall always too close (including while you're seated...) A quick shortage of hot water was promptly fixed and everything else ran smoothly during the 4 days I stayed at. Remember that you're in a kind of middle-of-nowhere valley with a lot of dust, dirt, insects and real-nature surrounding you, so the space might not be spotless. For me, it was OK - even if you're a clean-freak-person it's possible to relax and accept a bit of dirt or mud that you brought in your shoes.
Assessing which one was the best discovery I made: the home-made food! It didn't exist and I was positively impressed. A young chef (Juan Pablo) coming from southern-Chile & Santiago, vegetarian-passionate, is responsible for this really nice proposal of tastes, dishes and some inspiration from the area. On my retina, I'll keep the hummus, polenta, grilled vegetables and brownie. Fresh, balanced, not over-seasoned, deep and natural flavors. I liked it so much that I spent the 4 nights eating there (also spoiled by Juan Pablo's assistant and Ximena's wines)!
Breakfast is good, not expecting a super buffet from a BIG/expensive place. Fruits, juices, h&cheese, eggs, some yummy sweets and the star: homebaked bread! Small addicitive buns!
The place it's located at around 4km from the center of Pisco Elqui, where you'll find all the options for tours: horseriding, biking, trekking, stars (observatory, horseride, bike, trekking...) But I chose Ximena's (Hotel Manager) help to make "the magic happen". Everything was properly coordinated and made me feel really at home. On a relaxed way I managed to book everything via Ximena or Eliana (receptionist/concierge) and it was perfect. Horseriding during the afternoon by Cochiguaz & reaching the river (highly recommended) and deep-tissue massage that turned-out into an energy-therapy that took place in a bambu-mini-dome in the middle of the nature, enjoying the birds and insects in the afternoon: wow, simply thankful for it! (and it's in the same "Domos" area)
For me it was a perfect scape-valve from busy & strange city-days. If you're looking for a real detox time, especially mental-detox, don't hesitate to visit Elqui and stay at "Domos" - or "Cabañas" that I loved!
Thanks to everyone up there and hope to visit soon! Keep it up and improving!
PS. Don't miss the most incredible raisins that you'll ever have in your life right in front of the "Domos". Also ask Ximena's local-products tips: jams and Chilean traditional dulce de leche made by Domos' gardener's wife!
Don't recommend visiting this place, don't trust the pictures.
The domes and cabins where in terrible condition, very dirty, let down and furniture in bad shape. From the reception to the accommodation is 15-20 min walk up a dirt slope. Staff was unfriendly and with low disposition to help.
My parents visited from Mexico and wanted to explore Valle del Elqui. We had a reservation made here based on the pictures but did not check online reviews. Upon reaching this place, they felt cheated, as pictures paint a different story, perhaps they are form long time ago.
They ended up going to a different place.
night sky amazing.. but..
cabin 8 dirty bed.. many lights not functioning.. heating not working.. no door locks.. no safe.. no amenities.. no hot water..
cabin 11 dirty bed.. lights malfuntion.. no heating.. no doorlock.. no safe.. no amenities.. no hot water.. humidity damage for some reason and had mold..
no way to contact staff other than in person.. disappointing breakfast.. bad lounge..
NOT AS ADVERTISED