We may be decades away from holidaying in space, but that doesn’t mean you can’t experience otherworldly accommodations here on Earth.
For now, this space station-looking lodge, surrounded by nothing but white rubble and jagged outcrops as far as the eye can see, might just be the closest you’ll come to sleeping on another planet.
Sitting at an altitude of 3,600 metres atop Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni – the world’s largest and highest salt flat – Kachi Lodge is the first and only permanent property in this vast and largely undiscovered region.
Each of its six heated geodesic domes boasts minimalistic furniture, vibrant local art, bespoke textiles, handwoven blankets, clear panels for stargazing and – of course – sweeping views over the white desert and Tunupa volcano on the horizon.
During the wet season (December to April), Uyuni receives less than five inches of rain and, due to the lack of drainage, the desert is transformed into the world’s largest mirror.
For astronomy enthusiasts, there are onsite experts who can educate you on constellations, Andean cosmology and ancient Bolivian cultural theories about the night sky.
Meanwhile, adventurers can explore nearby archaeological sites – including a 1,200-year-old mummy tomb – hike to the lower edge of the dormant Tunupa volcano, or mountain bike around the salt flat and the nearby cactus islands.
At Kachi Lodge, food is considered one of the most important ways to discover authentic Bolivian culture. In the communal lounge, you’ll savour delicious local meals created by the multi-award-winning Gustu Restaurant in La Paz.
Gustu works exclusively with Bolivian products and suppliers and is the first project of the Melting Pot Bolivia Foundation, which helps people from vulnerable communities improve their living conditions.
Inspired by the ‘blank canvas’ of the Salar de Uyuni, Kachi Lodge wanted to become a place of expression and exhibition featuring Bolivian and foreign artists.
Its first collaboration is with internationally renowned artist Gaston Ugalde, whose work spans photography, land art and installations that use vibrant local textiles and carry spiritual meanings.
Designed to operate entirely on solar energy, Kachi Lodge aims to be a model of sustainable tourism and make as little impact on its surroundings as possible.
Its water management system prevents any discharge of wastewater into the environment and ultimately minimises water consumption. In-room incineration toilets burn organic matter into minimal ash residue and stoves are fuelled by pellets made from leftover local wood.
In terms of waste management, Kachi Lodge aims for a 0% plastic policy and puts firm pressure on suppliers to use recyclable packaging. Recognising the importance of collaborating with the community, it uses drivers from Uyuni and employs and upskills local guides.
Prices start at US$1,980 per person.