Top 4 Luxury Hotels in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Sep03

Top 4 Luxury Hotels in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro is famous for its vibrant culture, sought after beaches and iconic landmarks. The Rio carnival brings in hoards of visitors during the sunny February months, and is considered to be the largest carnival in the world. The city pulsates with activity and there’s an overall atmosphere of absolute happiness washing over Rio! There’s a lot more to Rio than carnivals and parties. The city is home to the endless white beaches of Copacabana flanked by the famous towering Sugar Loaf mountain. Another popular beach region in Rio is the Ipanema beach and coastline, a place that draws in a hippie surfer crowd. The contrasting hilly region of Santa Teresa, a remote village defined by cobbled streets and magnificent views. These are our top 4 uxury hotels in the most popular regions in Rio de Janeiro. Belmond Copacabana Palace This classic landmark of a hotel is steeped in history, and lords over it surrounds. Resting on the shores of Copacabana Beach, the Belmond Copacabana Palace is most certainly a timeless hotel. The 239 roomed hotel opened its doors in 1923 and has certainly aged gracefully. It’s a glamorous destination once frequented by the Hollywood elite of the 1950s. It’s still home to an elite crowd in Brazil and is the perfect place to kick back and enjoy a caipirinha or two. This art deco masterpiece is home to a Michelin-starred restaurant and a massive swimming pool – two perfect places to unwind ! Hotel Fasano Rio de Janeiro Fasano is vastly different to Copacabana Palace in that it’s a modern, designer hotel with designer brands and stylish finishings everywhere you turn. Ideally located on the exquisite Ipanema Beach, Hotel Fasana is nothing short of exceptional. Ipanema Beach sees scores of surfers, sun worshippers and beach-goers lapping up the pristine beach lifestyle. This 89 roomed hotel is Philippe Starck’s first hotel in Brazil and is designed to reflect the 1950s and 60s era, where  bossa nova was in its heyday. Not only is Hotel Fasano located in one of Rio’s most coveted addresses, but it’s also an absolute design masterpiece created with flair. Each room has a balcony with sweeping views of Ipanema and when guests aren’t taking in the vistas of Brazil, they can enjoy indulgent spa treatments. Marina All Suites This is a luxury boutique designer hotel located in the Leblon area of Rio. Rumoured to be a favourite of supermodel Gisele Bundchen, the Marina All Suites is certainly aesthetically pleasing so we’re not surprised that it attracts a wealth of interest. The restaurant is the place to be and the be seen, and you’ll be...

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The best of South America: top traveller attractions, by region
Jun28

The best of South America: top traveller attractions, by region

South America is a continent simultaneously erupting with ancient history and vibrant, modern culture. It flows from the frosty peaks of the Andes Mountains, to desert landscapes that look like the surface of the moon. It has a vast tropical jungle basin, Caribbean shores, wine country, bohemian port towns, and exotic wildlife. With so much to offer, the biggest question of all is where to begin? It is easiest to break South America down into its four portions, each offering something iconic and different. There’s SO much to choose from and we recommend getting in touch with Liselle, our South America expert, to ask questions about the continent and what will best suit you. Below are some of our top traveller attractions, by region. The North Coast On the Caribbean coastline is the North Coast and the northernmost reaches of the rainforest, where you’ll find Colombia and Venezuela, palm-fringed beaches, the hard evidence of European colonisation and residual African settlements that stem back to the days of slavery. Lifestyles seem lackadaisical, colours are vibrant, history is everywhere, and nature is close by.   Museo del Oro, Bogotá, Colombia: The home of Colombia’s gold heritage. The museum is a testament to the country’s metalwork expertise of the old days when gold was extracted from the earth, reworked into figurines and jewellery and then buried as a gift to the Earth. While much of the south was plundered for gold treasure, Colombia was overlooked for many years and managed to retain its treasures for longer. Today, what remains – some 36 000 pieces – is on display in Museo del Oro where it is guarded by the bank. A truly exquisite exhibition. The Caribbean Coast, Santa Marta, Colombia: This city is the gateway to the northern attractions, including the tropical, sensual coast and El Rodadero beach. Stroll the popular promenade, sit at pavement restaurants and watch the comings and goings of locals and tourists alike. Salsa dancing is present everywhere you look – a part of the culture. Visit the Cathedral Basilicá, which is built on the ground where the oldest Catholic cathedral in Colombia used to stand after it was founded in 1951. Tairona National Park is easily accessed from Santa Marta and is popular because of its sparsely populated, white, sandy beaches and tropical jungle, which spans out below the jagged Sierra Nevada mountains. The Southern Cone The Southern Cone is the name given to the part of South America that has the most European influence and is most frequently travelled. This is where you’ll find Patagonia and its mountainous hiking routes and windswept shores. Chile – wedged between the Pacific Ocean...

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Patagonia Hiking Guide: Day Hikes in Torres del Paine
Jun10

Patagonia Hiking Guide: Day Hikes in Torres del Paine

Patagonia is one of the world’s most renowned hiking and trekking destinations. A place for adventurers and nature lovers where the elements can be challenging, but the scenery and landscape majestic… staggeringly so. Torres del Paine is Patagonia’s most famous trekking hotspot and it is where you will find a variety of different day-hikes and multi-day trekking excursions among a host of other outdoor activities, such as boat cruises, kayaking, horse-riding, glacier trekking, etc. We’ve got an article dedicated to the experience of puma trekking in Torres del Paine, and in this article we’re highlighting two of the region’s best hikes for day-packing – one easy and one not so easy! First things first: Weather First, it is important to know that Patagonia is almost as famous for its weather as it is for its rugged landscape. The wind can be very gusty and icy cold, and from about May to October, the winter season takes hold and everything turns white – this is not the time to hike! We recommend hiking in the seasons in between, when the cold is manageable, and in summer when the days are long and pleasantly warm. There is always a chance of rainfall, even during the summer months from December to February, and the wind pumps regularly, so there is no avoiding that altogether, but that’s all part and parcel of a visit to Patagonia! The Autumn months of March and April are also a very pleasant time to be in Patagonia and it is less busy with tourist traffic, so that’s a bonus if you are looking for more privacy and exclusivity. Summer is very busy in terms of visitors and your hiking trails are going to be bustling with other hikers. March and April are better for quieter visits and the wind blows less vigourously, which is nice for campers, but it is a bit colder and the closer to winter you go, the higher the chance of rainfall, so April-May is risky. Spring in October and November is also a favourable time of year, but it still packs that winter chill, so make sure to bundle up and keep warm. Rainfall is less likely to put a damper on things at this time of year, and there are no crowds comparable with summer, so, bonus! Gear Patagonia is an incredibly social place and it is very popular with young couples and groups of friends, as well as solo travellers who are on a soulful mission to realign with nature. Backpackers and hitchhikers are seen all over the quaint little towns in southern Chile, and especially in Puerto Natales, which...

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Let Us Organise Your Beach Honeymoon in Brazil
Mar24

Let Us Organise Your Beach Honeymoon in Brazil

Newlywed sun worshippers and lovers of sugar-white beach sand framed by turquoise oceans, absolutely must book a beach honeymoon in Brazil. Sophisticated bays, snazzy yacht cruises, and a hint of classic celeb life in the once famous Copacabana region is exactly what beach lovers require from a honeymoon. We can smell the coconut oil from here, taste the fresh mint of refreshing caipirinhas and feel the mild sandy breeze wafting through from the azure oceans. Of course, you can’t fly all the way to Brazil without exploring the major highlights, culture, landscape and bustle of surrounding areas. Our tailor-made beach honeymoon in Brazil package has been tried and tested by one of our own, and she certainly enjoyed all that paradise had to offer. Armed with an arsenal of knowledge, we decided to create this perfect Brazil honeymoon package. Of course, this is merely our suggested itinerary – we can add in a few extra days and destinations. Here are the main regions highlighted in our beach honeymoon in Brazil suggested itinerary : Copacabana Beach : The Place Musicians Write Songs About. Copacabana beach is Rio’s beach paradise, and is a pulsating beach destination that adds a bustling beach dimension to your otherwise peaceful honeymoon. The region experience a golden-age many years ago, but it still maintains its reputation of being a go-to destination for a sophisticated, yet party style beach holiday. During the ever famous Rio carnival, the beach and its cafes burst at the seams with life and the atmosphere is electric. Copacabana is always full of life, but if you’re chasing a more tranquil honeymoon experience, then head there outside of carnival season. Night markets on the promenades and cocktail bars provide plenty of entertainment should you tire of tranquility. And the accommodation? You will stay at the famous palatial Belmond Copacabana Beach, which adorns the shores of the beach. It’s a classic hotel built in 1923, and is currently ranked as one of the great beach hotels of nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Búzios : Quaint Bays, Cobbled Village Streets, and Upscale Beaches. This is one of the top destinations on the sunny Costa do Sol Brazil coast, and comprises a stretch of upscale resorts located in pristine bays. The area is ideal for an array of water sports, and the calm horseshoe bay of Ferradura is famous for water-based activities. The quaint villages of Búzios are lined with cobbled streets (Rua das Pedras) with traditional restaurants and bars knitted into the street corners. Known as the Brazilian St Tropez, Buzios certainly holds its own in terms of being a sought-after luxury beach destination. The area...

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Three fun things to do in El Chaltén, Patagonia Argentina
Feb28

Three fun things to do in El Chaltén, Patagonia Argentina

El Chaltén is a small town – probably more accurately described as a village – at the foot of a looming icy peak in Patagonia Argentina. This isn’t to say it’s a dozy, quiet place for reflection in the mountains. It is a hub for hikers and backpackers and it’s bustling with tourist activity. El Chaltén, in Argentina’s Los Glaciares National Park. is the centre of adventurous excursions, hiking trails, glacial melt lakes, water rafting, and ice trekking. It’s surrounded by rises and valleys, peaks and turquoise rivers, waterfalls, and smooth, rocky, rapids. In the village itself, tarred roads are lined with cosy cafes and restaurants, craft breweries, and traditional barbecues. Adventure centres and outdoor stores are well signposted so that wandering travellers know where to go to book their activities in the mountains. If there is anything you do in El Chaltén, make sure it’s at least one of these things… Hike Mount Fitz Roy El Chalten has the unmistakable air of back-backer heaven and just about everything is within walking distance. It’s the trekking capital of southern Patagonia, and there’s no doubt you’ll fall in love with its energy. There is so much on offer, starting with hiking the icon of El Chaltén: Cerro Fitz Roy. This jagged peak stands tall above the little town at its feet and it is the first thing you’ll see as you approach El Chaltén. Most often, the peak is shrouded in cloud, so you won’t even see it in all its glory, but in good weather when the granite tower is fully revealed, there is no question why it is one of the best-known mountains in the Deep South of the continent. Climbing Mount Fitz Roy is a challenge plenty of hikers take on, but the last stretch of vertical rock climbing is reserved for the most experienced of cliff-scalers, and not ordinary trekkers without proper experience and gear. The ascent to the foot of the tower is, however, a challenging full day excursion most keen hikers conquer happily. Fitz Roy was named after the captain of the HMS Beagle, who navigated South America in the early 1800s with Charles Darwin in tow! After that, the avid climber who started the clothing brand, Patagonia, used the image of this peak to illustrate his logo after he successfully scaled Fitz Roy in the 1960s. So, this imposing mountain at El Chaltén really is worth the effort! It’s a full day excursion to get to the base, where a magnificent, blue lake shimmers between the granitic rocks, and return to El Chalten. The hike takes you through green forests full of birds, like...

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Hotels in South America’s best locations you won’t want to miss
Jan30

Hotels in South America’s best locations you won’t want to miss

Latin America is a place of cultural wealth, untamed wilderness, and ancient history that is preserved in the geological magnificence of the Andes Mountains, the Atacama Desert, the Patagonian steppe, and the Amazon Forest. At the top of travellers’ bucket lists and sought after by Instagrammers and spiritual souls alike, the most naturally beautiful, culturally popular, and all-round unforgettable landscapes of Chile, Peru, and Brazil are not to be missed. World-class hotel groups and leaders in terms of adventurous experiences, fine dining, accommodation comfort, these select luxury hotels in the South American outback come with our stamp of approval. Peru Sanctuary Lodge, Machu Picchu This mindful retreat is all about consciousness in the shade of the Machu Picchu citadel. A zen garden in the tranquil greenery of the Inca Empire, a testament to the peaceful nature of the ancient people. There are blessing ceremonies, coca leaf readings, orchid gardens, and rejuvenating spa treatments to soothe the soul and provide some much-needed relaxation from the general pace of life. Access to Machu Picchu is second to none, as Sanctuary Lodge is the only establishment adjacent to the ancient citadel, so guests have the freedom to arrive earlier and stay later than the day visitors who arrive to pay tribute to Pachamama. The gardens are brimming with the phenomenal birdlife and the botanical beauty of this cherished place, and every inch of the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge celebrates the old Peruvian life that has been encased in history at the one and only Machu Picchu. Las Casitas, Colca Canyon Celebrating one of the deepest – if not the deepest – canyons in the Americas, Colca Canyon, this remote hideaway makes the most of the astounding views, mountainsides, rock-work, and chasms of the great Andes Mountains. Las Casitas is a representation of the local Peruvian art and culture and has produced some of the most blissfully luxurious casitas that cherish the surroundings you find yourself in. The captivating flight of the condor can be seen out in the deep, open crevasses of the Andes, while traditional activities like horse riding through the Colca valley, and learning how to make the perfect Pisco cocktail add incredible Peruvian value to this hotel stay. Painting in the great outdoors, trekking and bird watching, cycling, and taking tea in the orchards are among the many activities to keep you busy in between spectacular meals, luxurious nights of comfort and rejuvenating spa treatments. Chile Awasi Patagonia Patagonia’s wild and hostile landscapes are irresistible to adventurers who flock to the Andean peaks to hike with backpacks and leg warmers in the terrain ruled by mountain lions. The Deep South of...

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All you need to know about visiting Perito Moreno Glacier in Patagonia, Argentina
Jan28

All you need to know about visiting Perito Moreno Glacier in Patagonia, Argentina

Perito Moreno Glacier is located in the Los Glaciares National Park near the popular town of El Calafate in Patagonia, Argentina. It is the region’s most famous glacier, standing out as one of the most impressive and easily accessible sights of its kind. An enormous expanse of jagged, blue-white ice rising 80 metres up from the turquoise waters of Lago Argentino and damming it up with a statement of rock-solid freeze between the mountain rises on either side. Part of the Andean ice fields, which spread throughout areas of Patagonia and create the dozens of glaciers in the region. It’s staggering to see up close and it is easy to get to, plus visitors can choose to take a walking tour themselves or book a spot on a boat cruise, or with an adventure, guide to go ice trekking. In this piece, we’re talking facts, activities, how to get there, and when to go. This one is not to be missed! Facts about Perito Moreno Glacier Named after explorer Franciso Moreno, this glacier shares it’s named with the town of Perito Moreno, which is (confusingly) a full day’s drive north of Los Glaciares National Park, in which this world-famous glacier is located. It is part of the world’s third largest reserve of fresh water – the southern ice fields of Patagonia – and it is exceptional in that it is one of the world’s only glaciers that is not retreating, and is in fact, advancing. It is said to have started forming during the last ice age 2.6 million years ago, making it alluringly ancient and full of history. The size of Perito Moreno Glacier is estimated to be about 250 square kilometres in size, 170 metres deep, and 30 kilometres in length. At its terminus, where visitors can view part of the wall of the glacier, the ice rises about 80km above the lake’s surface and is 5km wide. Every couple of years the glacier ruptures and enormous chunks break and fall off into the lake due to the immense pressure, but the calving of the ice on a much smaller scale can be seen often if visitors wait long enough during their visit. Sometimes, pieces of ice break off every 20 minutes. How to get there Certainly, the most popular way to get to the glacier is by road from El Calafate, which is a bustling yet quaint and very pleasant town about 80 kilometres away. There are bus rides that depart from El Calafate and take visitors right to the park’s entrance where visitors pay a fee of about US$30. It is not for nothing, but...

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