The summer issue

Our summer-packed January issue is out now - featuring our guide to summer rieslings, strawberries and seafood recipes, as well as a look at the best of Bali.

Subscribe to Gourmet

Subscribe to Australian Gourmet Traveller for just $6 an issue - offer ends 29th January, 2017.

Gourmet digital

Subscribe to Gourmet Traveller for your iPad or Android tablet.

South America's top lodges and hotels

Ikaterra Hacienda Urubamba, Peru

Ikaterra Hacienda Urubamba, Peru

Flash new lodges and luxe adventures beckon in South America.

Direct flights from Sydney to Santiago - and, more recently, Auckland to Buenos Aires - have put South America in easy reach of Australians. But once you've ticked off the continent's star attractions (Rio, the Amazon, Patagonia), where to next?

Look north, for starters. Colombia has shrugged off its drug-addled past and emerged as a model for the 21st century. World Heritage-listed Cartagena is surging in popularity as a long-weekend getaway for North Americans; more intrepid travellers are venturing to the interior to discover the urban wonders of reinvented Medellín, the ethereal beauty - and coffee - of the Cocora Valley, and cool neighbourhoods in the capital, Bogotá.

Keep an eye also on Chile's Elqui Valley. It's a place of grapevines (this is Chile's pisco-producing heartland), picturesque villages, "healing energies" - hence all the yoga and meditation retreats - and astrological observatories. Stargaze from bed at the glass-roofed Elqui Domos (elquidomos.cl).

Peru's Sacred Valley and Lares regions are drawing keen interest, according to Alex Burridge, managing director of the South America Travel Centre. A new road and lodge at Huacahuasi have opened up Lares to non-trekkers while, in the Sacred Valley, there's flash new accommodation at the Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba (inkaterra.com) and luxury adventure group Explora has this month opened a 50-room lodge with spa (explora.com).

Glamping and hot-air ballooning are set to become the hottest tickets in the Atacama Desert thanks to Abercrombie & Kent, which launched both experiences this year.

Praful Albuquerque of Natural Focus Safaris says the Pantanal wetlands in Brazil are becoming popular for their "excellent jaguar sightings". "Another great wildlife destination that is slowly picking up is Guyana - English, not French," he says. "The accommodation here is very basic but the wildlife viewing is five-star."

Burridge nominates Mashpi Lodge and Hacienda Zuleta in Ecuador for authentic, immersive experiences where the food is homegrown (Zuleta has its own cheese factory) and the culture is palpable. Places that take time and effort to reach - such as Chiloé Island off Chile's coast, and Cristalino Lodge in the Brazilian Amazon - are increasingly appealing, he says. "With South America's growing popularity you have to make a little more effort to discover something new."

GT
Signature Collection

Find out more about the Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection by Robert Gordon Australia, including where to buy it in store and online.

Read More
Recipe collections

Looking for ways to make the most out of seasonal produce? Want to find a recipe perfect for a party? Or just after fresh ideas for dessert? Either way, our recipe collections have you covered.

See more
2017 Restaurant Guide

Our 2017 Restaurant Guide is online, covering over 400 restaurants Australia wide. Never wonder where to dine again.

See more

You might also like...

Wine on tap in Copenhagen

Wine bars don’t often win art prizes for “beautifying the ci...

Grand Budapest wine revival

The latest crop of Hungarian winemakers has sparked a new fo...

Etihad's private cabin

Cabins with proper beds and butlers feature in Etihad’s plan...

Readers’ choice awards winners

And the winners are…

Julia Morris on Bellapais, Cyprus

On a stay in Bellapais, actress Julia Morris basked in the h...

Cathay Pacific's new airport lounges

Lounge design needs to satisfy loners and more sociable crea...

Qantas reveals new A330 business suites

Qantas has unveiled new business-class seating and the big w...

Baest, Copenhagen

Copenhagen’s Bæst offers diners a truly hands-on experience.

Qantas business class amenity kits get an upgrade

Qantas reveals its brand-new business class amenity kits...

Qantas upgrades its economy-class dining

The airline promises bigger portions and greater choice in t...

Specialist travel agents

When it comes to booking travel, aren’t we flying solo now? ...

Air NZ's new business class

There's no question Air New Zealand is winning the branding ...

Hija de Sanchez, Copenhagen

Ex-Noma pastry chef Rosio Sanchez makes a (taco) stand in th...

Marc Blazer interview

Meet Marc Blazer, talent collector, dream enabler and the ma...

GT Journeys by Abercrombie & Kent

GT Journeys by Abercrombie & Kent kicks off next year with i...

get the latest news

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

×