I have just spent four days at an event called REMOTE. We had no WIFI or TV for 4 days and were immersed into properties located in remote areas of Latin America. As a travel wholesaler for over 20 years, it is always wonderful to learn about new places and properties to share with world travelers. There are the big players of the world that dominate peoples’ minds – like Cancun, Mexico and all those all-inclusive groups, or the group tours in Europe, or now, the hot trend is river cruising. They certainly have the attention of the travel markets. But what about going to an off-the-beaten-path destination – the world less traveled, where there are no crowds. You may not even know to ask for some of these locations. Latin American locations talk about “sustainable tourism” or “eco-friendly lodges” and it just doesn’t sound sexy to most travelers. Rethink this state of mind, and experience one of these types of vacations or adventures. If you are tired of the same old vacation experience, let me share just a sampling of what awaits you if you think you are that person who wants something new and different.
For the US market, the air lift into Central America is very good so the opportunity to explore some of these amazing lodges is easy to get to. Best known to our market is Costa Rica. This country has captured the hearts of many US travelers, especially the region of Guanacaste. But there is so much more to see and do. You can head to the south Pacific coast to experience nature with luxury rustic-chic at Lapa Rios or Playa Cativo Lodges in the Osa Penisula. These properties are almost 100% self-sustaining and nature abounds. If you want a little less nature and more pampering – head a bit north along the coast to Kura Lodge or Hacienda Altagracia where the food, the staff, the spa, the rooms, and the views will take your breath away.
Panama, which seems to only be known for its Canal, has an entirely different world to explore. Just a one hour flight from Panama City to David, Panama and a 1 hour 15 minute car and boat ride, you can sleep in a beach-front bungalow on a remote island called Isla Palenque. Each luxury bungalow has an outdoor shower and tub. There are only eight “casitas,” and each has green spaces, so privacy is not an issue. Swim as if you are on a deserted island, eat from the fresh gardens and hike the many trails on the island.
If you want culture rather than nature and beach, I can recommend Guatemala. On arrival, head directly to Antigua, and stay in a seven-room boutique property while exploring this wonderful small town and all its history, then head up to lake Atitlan to the Casa Palopo Relais & Chateaux property perched above Lake Atitlan. Then head to Tikal, where you can explore the Mayan Ruins. Here you will stay at the Las Lagunas Lodge luxury boutique in the Mayan World. Do some trekking, kayaking, bird watching or immerse yourself in the spa.
Want to go further south to South America? Then check out some of these hidden gems found in Chile, Argentina and Brazil.
In Argentina, visit Aguas Arriba Lodge in Santa Cruz. This five-room lodge was formerly the home to a local family. In the high season, they have 17 hours of daylight. It isn’t easy to get there, but you will experience the beauty of the famous El Chalten Mountain along the Lake Del Desierto. Thirty days prior to arrival, you will provide your diet preferences, as they grow all they can and the rest has to be brought in. There is no grocery store to pop into and the chef provides an amazing cuisine.
Chile is known for their wine and Patagonia, but there is so much more to this destination. Castro, Chile in Chiloe is a virtually unknown and unvisited archipelago of Chile. Or, head north to the Atacama desert, where you can enjoy the most amazing star gazing experience. The best time to travel here is when there is no moon.
I had the pleasure of getting to know the owner of the Tierra hotels in this area, and her commitment to environmentally friendly travel while experiencing the beauty of each region is heartfelt. You could combine a trip to all three of their properties, including their lodge at Torres Del Paine, which, for me, is one of the most beautiful mountain ranges I have ever seen.
There is an island off the northeastern shore of Brazil called Fernando de Noronha. This island is so small, they do not allow babies to be born there. Women are flown back to the mainland to give birth to their children. This is a diver’s paradise! If you consider yourself a true diver, then this destination has to be added to your dive list. It is not easy to get here – it will take you at least three flights from anywhere and the accommodations are pretty simple, but the diving will take your breath away.
If cruising is your preference, how about a small boat experience? Explore the Amazon from Iquitos, Peru aboard one of the three Delfin boats from one of four oversized luxury suites, or, if you like a bit more interaction, the Delfin III with 22 suites. Each itinerary allows you to experience the wildlife found throughout the Amazon. Each of the boats has been carefully designed to give you beautiful views along the river. Another great option is Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, which you can do on smaller boats to get a true up-close and personal experience at each island. Or, go even further south, and cruise the Straights of Magellan on one of the two Crucero Australis boats.
Avoid the crowds found in all the “touristy” cities, and let us create your lifetime adventure to South America. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at www.condortoursandtravel.com.