SOUTH AMERICA IS NOT SO OFF THE BEATEN PATH AS IT USED TO BE. TODAY, TRAVEL AGENCIES MAKE GOING TO BRAZIL AND PERU AS EASY AS EVER.
By Carlos Edery
Luxury travel chains such as Belmond, are now offering the opportunity to visit two must-see countries in South America: Brazil and Peru. A flight between hotspots Iguazu and Lima means there has never been a better time, or an easier way, to tick the main sites off of your bucket list.
In Brazil, travelers can head to vibrant Rio de Janeiro for a stay at Belmond Copacabana Palace. A prime location on Copacabana Beach, combined with the Art Deco glamour of the hotel which opened its doors in 1923, make this one of the best places to stay in Rio. Dine at MEE, one of the first restaurants in South America to be awarded a Michelin Star, for a true fusion of Asian cuisines and an effortlessly stylish experience.
After soaking up the sun and glamour of Rio, guests can journey to Belmond Hotel das Cataratas to experience the majestic Iguazu Falls. As the only hotel situated inside the Iguazu National Park, guests of the hotel are afforded unparalleled access to the falls in the evening and at dawn, when the park is closed to outside visitors. Visitors can explore the stunning surroundings on foot or bicycle, an adventure made easier with custom-built trails in the park, and after a day full of new experiences, retreat to Bar Tarobá for a refreshing signature cocktail.
A flight from Iguazu to Lima means travelers can combine the falls with the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Machu Picchu with ease. A stay at Belmond Miraflores Park is the perfect reprieve before journeying to Cusco, where there are two exceptional Belmond hotels to choose from.
A former monastery and national monument, dating back to 1592, Belmond Hotel Monasterio is one of the most unique hotels in the city. The central courtyard gardens provide an oasis of calm in the middle of bustling Cusco, and with plenty of activities for guests young and old, the whole family will be entertained.
Belmond Palacio Nazarenas is a former palace and convent which, following years of renovation, has emerged as one of Cusco’s most exclusive hotels. An all-suite hotel, guests have their needs tended to by their butler.
Travel from Cusco to Machu Picchu is in true style on board the Belmond Hiram Bingham luxury train, taking in the Peruvian landscape from the comfort of the observation car. Guests can enjoy brunch on the trip up to the ancient citadel, and be treated to a sumptuous dinner on their return journey.
Alternatively, guests can choose to travel to Belmond Sanctuary Lodge, the only hotel located next to Machu Picchu. Like Belmond Hotel das Cataratas, the location offers guests unique access to the citadel at times when most day visitors haven’t arrived yet, or have already left. Local guides with top expertise can be arranged for guests to make the most out of the experience, with a range of excursions in the surrounding areas.
Before traveling back to Cusco for the flight home, guests can make one last stop at Belmond Hotel Rio Sagrado in the Sacred Valley. Built to resemble an authentic Andean village, the hotel is situated amongst verdant fields and towering mountains. Perfect for those who enjoy Mother Nature, a vast array of activities making the most of the surroundings are available, from horse riding and cycling, to feeding the hotel’s baby alpacas.