When was the last time you crossed the Atlantic? Maybe you’ve never ventured to the other side of the vast Atlantic Ocean. Perhaps, if you have, you’ve only visited the land of the free… North America. But what about the incredible destinations on the South American continent?
After almost two years off the cards, many stunning countries in South America are readying themselves to welcome back international tourists.
South America Is a continent of music and culture. We’ve picked out three breathtakingly beautiful destinations for you to visit.
ARGENTINA & BRAZIL – IGUAZÚ / IGUAĆU
Did you know that Argentina is home to one of the seven natural wonders of the world? The Iguazú Falls are fabled to have been created in a moment of divine rage: a god had fallen in love with a beautiful woman – Naipí – who attempted to flee with her human lover – Tarobá – in a canoe along the Iguazú River. Overflowing with fury, the god slashed the river in half, committing the two eloping lovers to their deaths.
The legend of the Iguazú Falls may or may not be true. What is definitely true though, is that visiting this striking natural wonder is an unquestionably awe-inspiring experience.
The falls are double the width of Niagara Falls, and much taller too, and standing in their presence is a multi-sensory explosion. The rush and roar of the charged water crashing to the lower river; the smell and taste of the water vapour which is carried on the breeze; the unreal contrast between beauty and destructive power.
Experiencing the Iguazú Falls is both a humbling and inspiring moment.
Top Choice to Stay
There’s possibly only one hotel in the world that offers direct views of one of the seven natural wonders. Luckily for you, it’s here in Iguazú. The Gran Meliá Iguazú is easily reached from the local Cataratas del Iguazú Airport, or fly in to the international airport in Brazil (Foz do Iguaçu International Airport) and then cross the border by land.
When you book, make a point of requesting a room or suite with views of the waterfalls. On a gorgeous Argentine evening, swim in the hotel’s luxurious infinity pool, with the sky streaked pink above the plume of mist erupting from the falls.
BRAZIL - RIO DE JANEIRO
Brazil’s second-most populous city, Rio de Janeiro, is within easy reach of the Iguazú Falls and offers a different experience of South American life.
Loved by millions for its beaches, so close to the city centre, this is a city full of colour. Home to the world’s largest Carnaval festival, ahead of Lent, the Rio Carnaval has been a staple of the local calendar since 1840. It’s loud, it’s exciting, and you’ll be buzzing all the way home!
Whatever time of year you visit, it will be warm and mainly sunny, so you’ll be able to trek up to visit the Christ the Redeemer statue in shorts and a t-shirt even in January. In fact, January to March are Rio’s sunniest and warmest months, so a great opportunity to escape the British winter awaits you.
Top Choice to Stay
Named after Rio’s liveliest neighbourhood, the Belmond Copacabana Palace is an art deco masterpiece, proudly situated at the heart of Rio’s famous crescent-shaped beach district.
This hotel offers guests a tranquil sanctuary of luxury, just moments from the throbbing heart of the fiesta. You’re in the midst of the action. You’re also in heaven.
Book a sea-view room over New Year’s Eve and you have the best view of the city’s magnificent fireworks display without the wild crowds. Give yourself time for a spa day too, as the hotel’s spa is one of the best in the city.
ARGENTINA – BUENOS AIRES
Perhaps you want to spend some more time exploring Argentina, following your inspirational visit to the Iguazu Falls. Who can blame you? And if you love Rio’s seaside-city vibes, then we know you’re going to fall head-over-heels for Argentina’s bustling capital city, Buenos Aires.
Also facing out onto the South Atlantic Ocean, Buenos Aires, is an undisputed capital of culture. With streets flanked by 19th Century stately homes, the iconic Presidential Palace – familiar to any Andrew Lloyd Webber fans, as the home of Evita – and the grand opera house, Teatro Colón.
Buenos Aires is one of the most multi-cultural cities in South America with immigrants from all over the world drawn to its vibrant way of life. Think London, but with nicer weather… and a beach.
Top Choice to Say
It’s hard to choose just one place in Buenos Aires. For the discerning traveller, there are many tempting choices.
The Alvear Palace Hotel by the Leading Hotels of the World group definitely deserves a mention. This bastion of luxury offers striking views over the city and you are sure to feel like royalty when staying here. The colonial styling is a nod to Argentina’s history as a European colony, and modern touches show the independent spirit that now pumps through the veins of the city.
If you’re looking for a luxury stay that is more central, then consider the Palacio Duhau, by Park Hyatt. This aristocratic palace is nestled in the traditional neighbourhood of Recoleta, a stone’s throw from the National Museum of Fine Art. The property offers 165 luxury rooms, with views over the tranquil palace gardens. The Ahín Wellness Centre and Spa is stunningly beautiful and will leave you feeling totally refreshed.
Hope you have a wonderful stay.