Reminiscent of a scene from a deep-space film, an otherworldly congregation of six white pods sit like miniature space stations against the epic landscape of the expansive Salar de Uyuni. Fit for even the most passionate astrophysicist, the domes are composed of recurring equilateral triangle structures and transparent panels that offer sprawling views of the salt flats by day and star-studded sky by night.
Solar panels placed in between the pods ensure that they are warmly lit at night, ready to welcome their weary residents after a day full of activities in this surreal and arid region. The domes have private bathrooms, comfortable bedding, stylish interior decoration and heating, featuring soft beige carpets that add to the cosy feel, and there is a communal living and dining dome in which meals and stories can be shared.
Uniquely set within the salt flats themselves, far from inhabited towns, the lodge is the epitome of exclusivity. Beds are deliberately placed to take in uninterrupted panoramic views of the surrounding landscape and wooden trunks host lanterns that cast a radiant glow over the light wooden stools and other minimalist furnishings.
Trusting in their steadfast philosophy that visitors can truly discover a country and its culture through its food, Kachi Lodge has partnered with the inventive and multi-award winning Gustu Restaurant (based in La Paz) to showcase the gastronomic culture of Bolivia.
Widely acknowledged as one of the best restaurants in the continent, Gustu boasts strong relationships with its local produce suppliers with the goal of strengthening Bolivian national identity through food and propelling economic development.
More than a fine dining experience, the restaurant was the first project of the Melting Pot Bolivia Foundation that benefits those from vulnerable backgrounds by providing them with opportunities to improve their lives through education programmes.
While you would be forgiven for presuming that this unique high-end camp is located on some faraway interstellar planet, Kachi Lodge is positioned on Bolivia’s Uyuni Salt Flats at an altitude of 3,600 metres, right at the foot of the Tunupa Volcano.
Its unique location, directly on top of the world's largest salt plain and over one hours’ 4x4 drive from the nearest large town, means that the approach alone is an exhilarating and memorable experience.
Despite the extremely remote placement of this one-of-a-kind dome camp, comfort is not compromised. Kachi Lodge boasts six climate-controlled, two-person pods (30m2 in size), each with private en-suite bathrooms.
A large living and dining dome is at the nucleus of the camp, acting as a comfortable base in which to compare adventure stories while sipping an ice-cold Bolivian gin or singani cocktail.
Accommodation pods are poised atop individual wooden platforms that are connected by a raised half-moon walkway, ensuring that it is business as usual even in the months when the Salar may be flooded.
Owing to the exclusive and secluded nature of this base in the heart of the Salar de Uyuni, activities typically avoid the most famous and tourist-dense sites. Intrepid travellers can visit the charming village of Coquesa and view the mummies that lie in a cave set 600 metres above the township or drive for just over an hour to the curious pre-Colombian archaeological site of Alcaya.
Those craving a fitness challenge can hike to the lower lip of the Tunupa Volcano crater, the inquisitive might choose to learn how to collect salt from the surface, and stargazers are encouraged to use the telescope to observe the starry night sky of the Altiplano.
Why We Like It
To ensure that the environmental impact on the landscape is minimal and that Kachi Lodge is almost completely self-sufficient in terms of its natural resource use, the camp has been constructed with innovative technologies such as an advanced water filtration system, water-free combustion toilets and solar energy.
Set amongst one of the wildest and most phenomenal landscapes on the planet, Kachi Lodge merges innovative design, modern technology and well-appointed comfort on the isolated Bolivian Altiplano in the altitude of the Andes.