It’s a new year and with it comes a world of opportunity, including a new list of travel destinations to tick-off. From Brazil to Peru and Colombia to Costa Rica, South America’s epic and varied terrain has something for everyone. Whether you plan to camp out under the stars, indulge in a luxury villa rental or return to paradise in an eco-lodge, this huge continent is once again open for business.
For the year ahead, here’s some of our top pics for your next vacay…
South America’s rawness is half of its appeal, but if you prefer to walk the road more travelled, Uruguay is a smart choice. It’s one of the safest South American countries and heavily relies on tourism. It’s unspoilt setting also provides a serene space for a much needed break. Top of the list – take in the local culture with a visit to Colonia del Sacramento – a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is home to some of the best vineyards and wineries in the country.
Guanacaste, Costa Rica
From land to sea, Costa Rica is a diverse landscape that never fails to impress. One minute you can be scaling the jungle, exploring its biodiverse parkland, the next you can be catching a wave at several surf spots dotted along the coast. Could it be Costa Rica’s best kept-secret…. not for long. There’s already an influx of visitors and eco-lodges popping up to cater to the growing demand, like the award-winning Costa Rica villa known as Villa Kamala. With endless beaches and plenty of golf courses for those who prefer to be on dry land, it really is worth the trek.
For a truly authentic experience, leave the luxury villa rental behind and sleep under the stars in Bolivia. There’s plenty of outdoor activity and spectacular scenery to soak up, with mountainous ranges and salt lakes to discover along the way – especially Salar de Uyuni, a breathtaking place to visit with a guided tour. Next, onto the Amazonian rainforest down in Rurrenabaque, as you take in the exotic wildlife and picturesque scenery. It won’t be a restful holiday, but it certainly will be a memorable one.
Off the beaten track from the luxury villas nearby, head to the Atacama Desert for an experience like no other. The dramatic landscape includes giant volcanos, natural spas, salt lakes adorned with flamingos and a host of animals you’ve never seen before. Bring your camera and plenty of bird-watching kit, you might just come back with a new hobby.
The Galapagos Islands
Experience more nature than you’ve ever seen in your life, and hot-foot it to the Galapagos. A 600-mile journey off Ecuador, it’s unspoilt terrain feels like going back to a time that the world forgot. Today a protected UNESCO World Heritage site, the landscape is simply breathtaking.
If you enjoy history and architecture, then Cartagena tells its story on its historic walls. This is a city to discover by foot, and when you’re done, it’s beaches are the closest place to paradise you’ll find. A little known gem, the Rosario Islands are flung off the coastline – an archipelago dotted in the sea surrounded by nothing but beauty. While you won’t find any luxury villa rentals here, it’s worth it for the experience alone.
The famous peaks of Patagonia stretch for 4000,000 square miles, from Argentina to Chile. If the thought of exploring these piques your attention, then read on. This region is known for its spectacular scenery, crisp fresh air and stunning glaciers set against the mountain range. A true wilderness, it’s wonderful for whale watching and hiking, penguin spotting and conquering national parks. There are fewer places in the world as ready to explore as Patagonia, just remember to bring your hiking boots!
For the very best in luxury villa rentals visit Villazzo to secure your next first-class vacation home.