Where to Travel for Luxury in South America

From vibrant capital cities, towns nestled in the snow-capped Andes and spectacular beach resorts to pristine national parks, colossal glaciers and remote islands, South America is an incredibly diverse continent. If you crave all of this but would also like to add some luxury to your holiday then we think that these five destinations fit the bill perfectly.

Chiloé Archipelago, Chile

Chiloé Archipelago

Visiting Chiloé in Chile’s Lake District is like being transported back in time a hundred years. It’s a destination of pristine islands shrouded in ancient folklore and mythology and home to mouthwatering cuisine. Whether your idea of fun is trekking in national parks, kayaking around sea channels, admiring unique architectural styles or spotting whales, Chiloé has it all. Stay at Tierra Chiloé, a boutique and eco-conscious hotel built to reflect the natural scenery. You’ll wake up to views of the ocean and mountainous landscapes that make the archipelago famous. The in-house chefs take inspiration from the rich fishing heritage while the bar stocks a vast collection of Chilean wines.

Conceição da Ibitipoca, Brazil

Conceição da Ibitipoca, Brazil
Take a break from Brazil’s glorious coastlines and flamboyant cities to relax in Conceição da Ibitipoca, a village set in the lush green foothills of the Mantiquiera Mountains. With Ibitipoca State Park on the doorstep there’s plenty of opportunities to enjoy intimate interactions with Brazil’s mountainous scenery. You’ll encounter caves, quartzite rocks and waterfalls when walking trails that run alongside a narrow, forested lake. Reserva do Ibitipoca is an eco-retreat set in verdant farmland with direct access to the park. It has a rustic feel inspired by an 18th-century fazenda and a spa that’s perfect after a biking, hiking or horseback riding excursion.

Galápagos Islands, Ecuador

Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
Situated in the Pacific Ocean about 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) from Ecuador, the Galápagos Islands are where exotic creatures roam freely while turning a blind eye to snap-happy tourists. Lunar-like landscapes decorate this mystical archipelago, which has been attracting biologists, naturalists and adventuresome tourists to its crystalline waters for almost 500 years. Experience this natural paradise on a luxury cruise. Spend your days swimming with giant sea turtles, sunbathing alongside marine iguanas and discovering lava tubes before returning to the boat for lunch, dinner and a peaceful night’s sleep.

José Ignacio, Uruguay

José Ignacio, Uruguay
Once a tranquil fishing village, today José Ignacio is the epitome of bohemian chic throughout the South American summer months. Sun-kissed jet-setters with gym-honed bodies descend upon the two beautiful beaches and restaurants presided over by celebrity chefs. Naomi Campbell, Ronnie Wood and Shakira have all been spotted vacating here in recent years. Bahia Vik is the perfect place to enjoy the stylish vibe of this beach town. Choose a private waterfront bungalow with uninterrupted beach and sunset views. If you prefer utmost privacy then a short drive into the countryside is Estancia VIK, a 12-room ranch-style hotel decorated with works by notable Latin American artists.

Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta National Park, Colombia

Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta National Park, Colombia
This unblemished natural park stretches from Colombia’s Caribbean coastline to 18,700-feet (5,700-meter) tall snowy peaks via emerald valleys and cloud forests. It’s a place to go rafting on crystal-clear rivers, spot howler monkeys in jungles, visit Kogi tribal villages and trek to the terraced ruins of the Ciudad Perdida. Make your way to Reserva One Love, set on a bend of the Palomino River, and stay at a luxurious bungalow encompassed by colorful flora and the sounds of exotic wildlife. When you want to get active the hotel staff is on hand to arrange paddle boarding, trekking and tubing activities.

About the author: Bradley | Writer for The Discoverer

From as early as he can remember Bradley was road-tripping across the UK, France and Spain with his family. Since then he’s visited 40-plus countries and lived on four continents. Today he divides his time between Buenos Aires and the beaches of Punta del Este, Uruguay and puts his wanderlust to good use by writing about his travels.

The 6 Most Jaw-Dropping Train Routes in the World

1. Rocky Mountaineer – Vancouver to Banff, Canada

Rocky Mountaineer – Vancouver to Banff, Canada
This breathtaking train route will give you access to some of the most awe-inspiring views ever! Soak in an endless landscape of snow-capped mountain peaks as the Rocky Mountaineer takes you from the shores of the Pacific Ocean to Banff, Canada’s majestic national park. You will set out from the cosmopolitan city of Vancouver and weave alongside steep canyons ending up in the untamed wilderness of the Canadian Rockies. Along the way, you will be spoiled with first-class service, food, drinks, and scenery as luxury meets wilderness.

2. Tranzalpine – Christchurch to Greymouth, New Zealand

Tranzalpine - Christchurch to Greymouth, New Zealand
The only way to take in the Southern Alps of New Zealand is aboard the TranzAlpine, New Zealand’s jaw-dropping rail journey. Climb aboard and experience the South Island’s stunning natural landscape. Along this journey from Christchurch to Greymouth, you will witness epic vistas, voyage along the edges of the ice-fed Waimakariri River and wind through miles of native beech forest. The perfect stop along the way is Moana, which is set amid a remote mountain paradise midway between Arthur’s Pass and Greymouth, and home to the idyllic Lake Brunner. This trip will certainly be a journey of a lifetime.

3. West Highland Line – Glasgow to Mallaig, Scotland

West Highland Line - Glasgow  to Mallaig, Scotland
Fans of the Harry Potter movies will be departing from Platform 9 ¾ for a magical trip to the Scottish Highlands. The West Highland Line is a brilliant way to experience Scotland’s western coast. You will set off from the bustling city of Glasgow and gently wind your way through verdant glens and serene lochs. After a trip through secluded heather moors, the train will pass Ben Nevis, the highest peak on the British Isles. If you would like a wee dram of Scotch, make sure to take a tour of the Ben Nevis Distillery and experience “Uisge beatha” – the water of life.

4. Orient Express – Paris, France to Istanbul, Turkey

Orient Express – Paris, France to Istanbul, Turkey
The Orient Express has been associated with both stylish adventures and the golden age of travel for more than a century and its celebrated route takes you between the two most exotic destinations in the world—Paris and Istanbul. After a brief hiatus, its most celebrated route is back! You can journey across Europe and into Turkey’s most famous city in a rolling realm of style and comfort. But you need to really plan this one out because it only makes the journey once a year. Once on board, you will be transported back in time as you explore a collection of romantic cities such as Paris, Budapest, Bucharest and Istanbul.

5. Golden Eagle (Trans-Siberian Railway) – Moscow to Vladivostok, Russia

Golden Eagle (Trans-Siberian Railway) – Moscow to Vladivostok, Russia
The Trans-Siberian Railway is arguably one of the world’s most amazing railway journey’s. It winds across a once secretive Russia, connecting east and west. This fabulous route runs from Moscow over the regal Urals, across the magnificent and endless plains and ends at the port city of Vladivostok. alongside the shores of Lake Baikal, the world’s largest freshwater lake. Start your visit with a couple of days in Moscow and take in the grandeur of the Kremlin and see the treasures of the Tsars in the Armory Chamber. As you roll on west towards Vladivostok, a stop at Lake Baikal will leave you speechless as you stand on the shores of the crystal-clear waters of the world’s oldest and deepest freshwater lake. End your train trek taking in the still waters of the sea surrounding the historic city of Vladivostok.

6. Glacier Express – Zermatt to St. Moritz, Switzerland

Glacier Express - Zermatt to St. Moritz, Switzerland
The Glacier Express has to be on any list of greatest train journeys in the world. Express is a relative term on this awesome trip because the train is billed as the “slowest express train in the world.” The route takes you across 291 bridges and through 91 tunnels, up to the mile-high Oberalppass. Travel in comfort as you soak in the traditions and centuries-old Swiss culture. You will be given a front-row seat to the “window of the Alps” as you travel through the unspoiled natural beauty of a land rich in ancient, fragrant mountain forests, peaceful Alpine meadows, and roaring mountain rivers. Highlights of your journey will be a stop in St. Moritz and the alpine village of Zermatt where you can take in breathtaking views of the Matterhorn. Better practice your yodeling skills.

About the author: Jim Stewart | Writer for The Discoverer

Born in Paris, Jim is a retired lecturer of African Studies and self-described life-long global trekker. His career as an Air Force officer gave him the chance to experience amazing and exotic destinations in Europe, Asia and Africa. He is at home on the golf cours