Apacheta Hotel is located only 15 minutes from the center of Arica, between La Lisera and El Laucho beaches, recognized for its sustainable focus, and for being a favorite destination for surfing and paragliding enthusiasts.
The apachetas are stacked rock piles that Indigenous people from the Andes put on paths. From the Quechua “apachita,” it is believed that these monoliths were an offer for the Pachamama, and that to leave a rock protected the traveler who passed through here.
This concept inspired the name of the Apacheta Hotel, located only 15 minutes from the center of Arica, between La Lisera and El Laucho beaches. Santiago Truffa, founder of the hotel, explains in Trade News from Chile Travel, the keys that have consolidated the place as a reference in matters of sustainability.
-How was Apacheta Hotel born?
Look, I had never been involved in the hotel field or in the tourism field before, but during that time I did paragliding. There was also a hotel in Iquique I frequented, which was for paragliders. It was near the coast, and I, well, went flying and landed at the same hotel.
Then I got the idea that in Arica I could also do something similar. I started to search for places on the coastline, near the flight point there, and then the project started to develop. I asked for a marine concession, which was not easy to get, a very blurry and long process, but I finally got the concession and could materialize the project.
-What is the focus of the hotel?
This started with that focus towards sports such as paragliding and surfing. We are located on the coastline, next to the sea, where there is the entrance to a wave that is very important in Arica like El Buey, one of the biggest waves in Chile for surfing.
Then we started with tourism. It is a hotel where we have received many foreign tourists. The foreign tourist looks for -first of all- the beauty of the place, contact with nature, contact with the sea, with the birds. That is highly valued by them.
They also value the concept of the hotel, which is the concept of a sustainable hotel, designed so that it does not have an impact on nature because since it is in nature itself, it does not have an impact on nature, and went as ‘unnoticed’ as possible.
It is a hotel that considered sustainable variables from its design. For example, in the energy consumption, the hotel does not have any air conditioning nor heating. All the heat control in the building and rooms is made due to crossed ventilations. The sun heats it in winter, and the wind from the sea cools it in summer.
Apacheta Hotel and the harmony with nature
Santiago Truffa explained to us that the construction of Apacheta Hotel started in 2014, while it opened in 2015.
The hotel has 18 rooms, all with an ocean view, and they are divided into three kinds: standard (super king bed), double (two twin size beds), and shared room (with four twin size beds). It also has a room equipped for people with physical disabilities.
-How does the hotel adapt to the natural setting that surrounds it?
It is a two-floor high building, completely built out of wood. On the outside, it is lined in eucalyptus wood sticks, which is all recycled from the wood I used in agriculture in the tomato plantation fields. We benefited from all those un-used sticks to create a cover that is well-integrated for the place.
The hotel is built as a stilt-house, so water passes under the hotel when there are large swells.
-How do you relate with the other tourism services in the area?
We have like a pool of suppliers, tourism operators, that we offer to guests. There are tour operators that go on trips to the altiplano, in fact, to diverse sectors, or that also do adventure tourism. We function as a nexus.
-How can you access and make a reservation for the hotel?
We have a website, www.hotelapacheta.com, where there is a reservation button, and you can book there, or you can get in touch with the hotel by writing to the mail email@example.com, or directly through agents such as Booking, Despegar, or Expedia.