The Best Hotels
In South America, you’ll find a wealth of world-class accommodations that allow you to check-in for a stay among the continent’s greatest natural, historical, and cultural treasures. Wake up to the sounds of an Ecuadorian cloud forest. Start your day mere steps away from the sprawling expanse of the Bolivian Salt Flats. Or simply relax in a luxurious oasis in the heart of Sao Paulo. With its range of eco-lodges, dreamy hideaways, and glamorous properties, South America’s best hotels aren’t just a jumping-off point for your adventure—they are the adventure.
Casa de Uco
Nestled in the heart of Argentinian wine country and framed by the Andes Mountains, this peaceful and sprawling modern estate overlooks the property’s own organic vineyard. The modern boutique hotel of stone, wood, and marble, complete with an outdoor pool, offers many area-inspired activities: paragliding or biking through the mountains, tasting wines, or horseback riding through the vineyards. Meals here consist of choice cuts of meat, grilled over an open fire and paired with vegetables fresh from the property’s organic garden.
One of the oldest buildings in the city and once a private mansion for aristocratic nobility, Casa Pombo is now a contemporary fairytale stay: an architectural maze-of-a-palace filled with a network of swimming pools and terraces, high ceilings, stone archways, and marble floors. Bedrooms are cavernous apartments with sleeping lofts, lavish seating areas, and private terraces or poolside decks. While inside this peaceful kingdom, it’s hard to believe that the best of Cartagena waits just outside its doors—with many of the city’s great restaurants and sights a quick few blocks away.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
A stay at this modern, intimate villa is like visiting the mansion of a friend with very posh taste. The decor is minimal and tony, with the finest mid-century modern furniture and contemporary art inside; the outdoors include a rooftop terrace, garden, and other well-designed spaces. Rooms have sleek modern bathrooms and balconies with views of the lush surrounding forest, the coast, and nearby Sugarloaf Mountain. Perhaps even more luxurious than the hotel itself is the unique location on a hilltop surrounded by forest, the perfect peaceful—but convenient—retreat between the city and popular nearby beaches.
Fasano Las Piedra
Punta del Este, Uruguay
Hotel Fasano sits near the Punta del Este coast in an elegant building overlooking a vast horizon and rugged landscape—a world far, far away from the resorts and hotels you’ll find closer to the beach. The large outdoor pool, set in a natural rock garden, sets the tone of the resort, one of luxury beckoning nature, a melding of modern design and untamed natural elements. The grand estancia—with tennis courts, a golf course, and a supreme equestrian center—appears ultra-modern, but the interior is that of a sophisticated but rustic farmhouse, with stone floors and homey, communal spaces.
Weird & Wonderful
Punta de Lobos, Chile
Wood, stone, and low-lit fireplaces blend into the vast natural surroundings at this rugged-yet-refined surfer shack—complete with rock climbing, skate and surf instruction, and an in-hotel Patagonia store. Relaxing in the barrel soaker hot tubs, among dreamcatchers and gorgeous sky and water views, feels like you’re at the edge of the world. At the sharp restaurant, you’ll dine on local quinoa, spices, and hand-caught rockfish, served with fine wines from the Colchagua Valley. Nearby, the Commune of Pichilemu is home to five Chilean national monuments and the region’s acclaimed Punta de Lobos surfing beach.
Weird & Wonderful
Hotel Parque Quilico
On Chiloe Island, off the coast of southern Chile, you’ll find whimsical accommodations made for the characters in a fairy tale. At Hotel Parque Quilquico, the sheep roam free on the grounds and grass grows wild on the rooftops. The hot tub could pass for an extraordinarily oversized wine barrel. Wooden cabin-like guestrooms house crisp, silken linens accented with indigenous textiles, and standalone villas rise over the mountain on stilts, an ode to the local palafito houses. But while you might come for the charming rustic-elegance of the Quilquico, you’ll stay for the sunset views overlooking farmland, wetlands, and forests that meet the placid Dalachue Channel, all enjoyed with a glass of locally-sourced wine drunk on your private balcony.
Luxurious furnishings, meals courtesy of one of La Paz’s most talked-about restaurants, custom art by Bolivia’s foremost contemporary artist—it’s easy to forget you’re technically camping. Kachi Lodge is the first property of its kind—a permanent luxury property located directly on top of the Uyuni Salt Flats. The camp is made up of six private domes and one large “common area” dome, all of which have been outfitted with beautiful, carefully considered furnishings. During their stays, guests can choose from a range of excursions (including visiting the giant cacti of Incahuasi Island during the dry season or paddling a canoe across the salar during the rainy season) that truly can’t be had anywhere else in the world.
High above the world on a serene private reserve, Mashpi Lodge lies in the mountainous rainforest only about 100 kilometers from Quito. This modern creation seems to emerge out of light and air, with floor-to-ceiling windows throughout overlooking the misty, canopied forest where you’ll spend your days adventuring. The lodge houses fewer than 50 guests, with friendly, personalized service and nature guides to take you through the unique world of flora and fauna outside. The two-story dining room is surrounded by glass walls; here, the kitchen and bar celebrate all of Ecuador’s diverse ingredients and culinary influences.
Rich & Famous
São Paulo, Brazil
Palacio Tangara is the way to feel like royalty (on a relatively modest budget) while staying in Sao Paulo. Tucked deep inside Parque de Morumbi (Burle Marx Park), this architectural behemoth has a remote feel, palatial rooms, a Jean Georges restaurant (with a Michelin star), indoor and outdoor pools, and saunas and steam rooms. Dinner at the award-winning restaurant is a memorable experience, but the bar—the atmosphere, friendly service, and well-mixed cocktails—and the generous breakfast are unsung heroes.
Lake Titicaca, Peru
There’s a sacred hush to this private peninsula on Lake Titicaca, where land and water melt into each other, and private beaches and acres of wilderness provide for an experience that is often described as magical. During the day, between stunning sunrises and sunsets along the lake, thoughtful excursions take you to explore the area: Aymara culture on the Uros Floating Islands, legendary Pre-Incan treks, local dances, marketplaces, festivals, and a choice of watersports at the resort’s own boathouse.