Luxury Dome Glamping On The Bolivian Salt Flats

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Experience Bolivian food, arid landscapes and luxury dome glamping on Salar de Uyuni

Seven geodesic domes sit on the Uyuni Salt Flats, overlooking a breathtaking landscapes of dazzling white salt creating top of the line luxury dome glamping and awaiting exploration. Six luxury bedroom domes and one oversized lounge dome sit on a wooden deck above the dazzling surface of the Salar. They are the first of their kind on the Bolivian Altiplano. Amazing Escapes, the designers of this dazzling experience, call them: the Kachi Lodge.

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These domes overlooking the Bolivian Salar de Uyuni, shown hear with rain water. All photos: Amazing Escapes

Dome Glamping

Standing directly on the Uyuni Salt Flats, at an altitude of 11,811 ft (3’600 m), under the foot of Tunupa Volcano,  you will find dome glamping and scenery to inspire the creative mind. From a distance, the white domes look like a space station designed by Buckminster Fuller. The dome camp also has something of an observatory, or an absurd camp built for a passionate astrophysicist! Composed of repeating triangles, their metallic structure is the very essence of mathematical elegance. The skylight and bay windows offer wide-open views on the Salar and its star-studded sky. Lit up at night, with solar panels placed in between the domes, the domes are one of the coolest, and most surrealist viewing stations ever seen in the arid region.

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When the rain water recedes the reflective surface of water is replaced by white salt.

Pacific Domes manufactured the domes, and >Amazing Escapes designed the Kachi Lodge as a link — to connect the traveler with Bolivian culture. The landscape is impressive and the furnishing is fitting, but perhaps the most impressive aspect to the Kachi Lodge experience comes from a partnership with Gustu, an award winning restaurant in La Paz. Food, more so even than dazzling views, has a way of describing the culture and history of a place. the New Yorker, The Guardian, and Food And Wine among many others praise Gustu and the surrounding beauty of the Andes mountains; here, Amazing Escapes has created an experience that captures the best of both. 

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The Kachi Lodge is where guests can enjoy the views and food prepared by Gustu Restaurant

Bolivian Food

Food is a great way to discover a country and its culture. Gustu restaurant delivers authentic and inventive cuisine at Kachi Lodge, aiming to become a showcase of the great potential of Bolivia’s production, culture and biodiversity, with the dream of making Bolivian gastronomic culture an engine for national development.

Creative cuisine by Gustu Restaurant based out of La Paz, Bolivia.

But Gustu is not only a fine dining restaurant. It is the first project of the Melting Pot Bolivia Foundation , a foundation dedicated to driving gastronomic projects that benefit people from vulnerable backgrounds aiming to provide them with opportunities to improve their life conditions, those of their families and those of their communities. 

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Dome with an endless view onto the Bolivian salt flats

Eco Tourism

In general, the desire of the promoters of Kachi Lodge is to make it a model of sustainable tourism development both through its environmental approach and its interaction with local communities, through joint development projects, training in tourism-related jobs and exchanges between Kachi Lodge hosts and community members.

Every precaution was taken while engineering the domes. The whole lodge is secured on a wooden floor whose pillars are simply standing on the Salar. No anchoring or excavation was done in the salt crust. The entire lodge is designed to operate on solar energy and a wind turbine will soon add supplemental energy.

For water management, a complex system of pumps brings the grey water back into a dirty water tank that is eventually connected to a high performance filtration system, all in a closed circuit. The system already prevents any discharge of wastewater into the environment and ultimately minimizes water consumption.

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Luxury bathrooms in every dome

In each room, an incineration toilet instantly burns all organic matter, leaving only a small ash residue after a few days of use, so there is no black water to discharge or treat.

Waste management is a priority for Kachi Lodge. It is done first of all upstream, by organizing as much as possible the packaging of supplies in recyclable packaging and by putting pressure on their suppliers to do the same.

There is a strict 0% plastic policy. No plastic bottles or packaging. Even the cover of the domes are reusable. Waste sorting is the rule and they hope to be able to set up their own waste treatment structure in the near future.

For the construction and operation of Kachi Lodge, they focused on Bolivian companies and buy as much as possible locally. The wood used for the Kachi Lodge platform is a Bolivian wood with FSC certification.

Artists In Residence

The lodge highlights Bolivian cultural heritage,  through collaboration with the famous Gustu restaurant, which only works with small Bolivian producers,  and by exhibiting the work of Gaston Ugalde, the most famous contemporary Bolivian artist. This cultural heritage is also discovered through activities and tours offered by Kachi Lodge in collaboration with the local community.

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Gaston Ugalde is Bolivia’s best-know contemporary artist, he uses the landscape for inspiration.

To support their clients, Kachi Lodge hires local guides whom they train with the help of professionals with years of experience in tourism.

For transport, they use drivers from Uyuni, whom once again train to meet the expectations of high-end customers.

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Interior comforts in the individualized “rooms” which are actually domes

Recreation

Recreation is not to be missed on the Salar. Morning is best for a hike to a nearby «island» covered with giant cactus and offering amazing views on the Salar. It is usually prefered to avoid the Island of Inca Huasi, the most famous island but very, very touristy, 30’ from the camp.

Afternoon is best for a visit to the charming village of Coquesa and its mummies sheltered in a cave 2000 feet (600 m) above the village, again with beautiful views on the Salar.

An hour and 15 minute drive from the lodge lies the interesting archeological site of Alcaya, an old pre columbian city near Salinas.

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Sunset on the domes.

Another activity is a visit to the Salinas ( where locals collect the salt from the Salar) this will  help you to understand how locals collect the salt form the surface.

You can also use one of the lodges mountain bikes and experience the flatness of the Salar around the camp.

At night, a telescope is at your disposal to observe the starry night of the Altiplano and to top off your luxy dome glamping experience.