Any of you who have traveled to or researched the South American continent are probably familiar with the Bolivian Salt Flats, aka Salar De Uyuni. But did you know that you can camp at 11,811 feet above sea level in a luxury eco-dome on the Salar? That’s right, the Kachi Lodge has seven geodesic domes that sit just above the salt flats on raised decks—the perfect place to take in this spectacular yet stark landscape of the altiplano. But the Kachi is much more than a hotel.
More Than Just a Place to Rest
The Katchi Lodge is more than just a place to sleep at night; it is a retreat that immerses visitors in the vibrant and diverse country of Bolivia. A mixture of culinary, environmental, and cultural experiences await guests who stay there, all of which are organized with guides who are intimately familiar with the region. The list of offerings is plentiful and includes the two options below.
Alcaya – Visiting this pre-Columbian civilization provides insights into the infrastructure, agriculture, and daily life of the 12th century. Intact mummies are still present, as well as various tombs and village structures.
Tunupa Volcano– Taking a 4×4 across the Salar to the city of Coquesa, the road eventually winds upward to the base of the volcanic cone at 4,600 meters above sea level. For those that can handle the high elevation and the physical challenge, a hike up the ridge to the volcano’s summit at 5,321 meters will be the high point of the day (literally).
No matter where visitors choose to venture during the day, the comfort of the geodesic domes will be a welcome retreat in the evening. Each dome has 28 square meters of interior space that can sleep up to three people. All are decorated with an eclectic collection of locally made art, textiles, and furniture. Each dome has its own private bathroom with hot running water. A pellet stove provides heat, keeping the domes at a comfortable of 19-23℃. All of the domes are wheelchair accessible, and there is intermittent WiFi available in the main lounge.
A Focus on Sustainability
Bringing tourism to a remote and delicate environment can be a touchy subject, especially for local communities. For this reason, Amazing Escapes, the company behind the Kachi Lodge, made sure to develop this project with input and participation from the community of Jirira, who welcomed them with a surprisingly warm embrace. To this day, locals are employed at Kachi and are integral to its operation.
Kachi was designed to be minimally invasive. No permanent foundation was constructed, meaning that the entire structure can be moved if necessary. The domes were constructed on a deck platform with stilts that rest on top of the Salar instead of penetrating the salt crust.
The entire facility operates on solar power that provides electricity and hot water, and they are currently planning on installing a wind turbine for additional electricity production. A series of filters creates a closed-loop greywater filtering system so that no wastewater is evacuated into the surrounding environment. All the bathroom facilities utilize incinerator toilets, burning organic waste which results in a small amount of ash that can be removed from the facility and disposed of appropriately. The lodge also operates on a 0% plastic policy, avoiding all plastic bottles and packaging.
In addition to their infrastructure sustainability efforts, Kachi hires and employs local guides, sources building materials locally, and serves local organic food. They believe that through their efforts, they are helping to establish the importance of responsible, sustainable eco-tourism that delights and educates visitors while supporting local communities.
Learn more about the Kachi lodge or book your stay here.
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