Everyone likes unique hotels and South America has no shortage. From the modern glass hotel nestled in the misty cloud forests of Ecuador to the hotel made in entirely from salt in Bolivia, here are 8 of the most unique places to lie your head in Latin America.
Mashpi – ££££
Mashpi Lodge is relatively new. While other lodges in the misty cloud forests that line the foothills of Andes are more traditional in their build, Maspi has created a super modern cocoon-like glass hotel that seemingly floats in the canopy of the trees. Floor to ceiling windows allow massive amounts of light into the rooms and allow visitors to feel connected to the surrounding forests. Hummingbirds casually fly past, as to toucans and other exotic bird life. There are 1,200 hectares of pristine cloud forest surrounding your modern base.
Palacio de Sal – ££
Located near Colchani on the eastern side of the vast salt flats in Bolivia, Hotel Palacio de Sal is built entirely out of salt. The walls, the ceilings, the floors you walk on and furniture you sleep on – everything is made from salt from Uyuni. Though that may sound uncomfortable, it is anything but. The hotel has a spa and in the summer you can play a round on the world’s only salt golf course. When you’re having dinner, just don’t ask them to pass the salt!
Elqui Domos – £££
These dome tents in Chile’s northern Atacama Desert. Born in 2005, the owners created Elqui Domos to allow visitors to observe the grandeur of the skies of the Elqui Valley. The geodesic construction keeps one warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The bed is located in the upper floor, close to the detachable roof which is opened to watch the stars from bed. The popularity of the Elqui Domos has meant expansion, and a few years ago the owners added four more ‘observatory’ domes.
Skylodge – £££
This is perhaps the most unique hotel we’ve ever come across and one that won’t be for everyone. Hanging from the side of a cliff in Peru’s beautiful Sacred Valley are several clear Perspex capsules called the Skylodge Adventure Suites. To access the pods, visitors must first climb up vertically up almost half a kilometre on iron rungs. Once your reach your home, settle in to what is a surprisingly comfortable space. Your guide will bring you a delicious dinner with wine, and you can look out over the views and starry sky. The following morning you return back to earth on zip line.
727 Fusalage Hotel – ££
Another unusual hotel, this time in Costa Rica. As the name suggests, this hotel is houses within a vintage 1965 Boeing 727 fuselage, once used to shuttle eager globetrotters around the continent. It’s small, with just two bedrooms in the metal pod that sits overlooking the lush Costa Rican jungle. The owners salvaged the aeroplane from San Jose airport and brought it to the ocean where it sits today. Inside, the plane is decked out in Costa Rican teak panelling from the cocktail all the way to the tail. Each of the bedrooms have a private bath, queen sized bed and ocean view terrace. It’s canopy location is shared with monkeys, toucans and sloths.
Canopy Tower – £
This award winning lodge is houses within a tower built by the United States Air Force as a radar in 1965. Nowadays, the Canopy Tower is used more in the defence of local wildlife than anything else. The rooms are simple and clean, but the real magic in the observation deck where visitors are treated to close encounters with toucans, tanagers, hawks and honey creepers. Howler monkeys swing past hurriedly, while sloths hang just a few metres away. This is a hotel for real wildlife enthusiasts.
Ecocamp – ££
One of the favourite hotels in Latin America, and for good reason. Ecocamp offers visitors the possibility to stay in very comfortable geodesic domes that resemble igloos in the middle of the spectacular Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia. By day, hike in the wonderful surroundings including the famous W Trek and by night cosy up in your warm dome and watch the stars from the clear panels in the ceiling. The camp also has a dining tent and yoga tent built in the same design.
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