It’s Summer in South America—Here’s Where to Go to Escape the Cold – Part 2

salta-argentina-summer-in-south-americaSalta, Argentina
Although Mendoza receives much of northern Argentina’s accolades, it’s northerly neighbor of Salta is home to a historically aristocratic wine-growing province that rivals that of Mendoza, producing some of the country’s most prolific wines in the Calchaquí Valley in Cafayate. Base yourself in Salta proper at Legado Mitico Salta, or opt to stay in one of the town’s luxury estancias (large estates typical of cattle ranches) like House of Jasmines or Finca Valentina, the perfect locale to explore the nearby Andean town’s colonial charm: Order a cappuccino at trendy outpost Bixi Coffee House, and try bars and restaurants with old-world influence like Café del Tiempo, a perfect representation of Argentina’s Italian heritage. For fine dining and a night out, opt for a table at Jose Balcarce or El Solar del Conventoand and a live folk-music session at La Casona del Molino. A meal at Finca Valentina may be your most enjoyable, as Fabrizio and Valentina Ghilardi, the husband and wife duo who run the property, prepare fresh Italian meals on request, utilizing only the freshest ingredients from the Salta province. In the city, drop by the Museum of High Altitude Archaeology to view some of the best-preserved relics of the region’s Inca roots, as three perfectly mummified children were excavated at the nearby 22,000-foot summit of Mount Llullaillaco, where they were sacrificed in a mountaintop religious ritual more than 500 years ago. Before departing Salta, venture south to Cafayate for a stay at Grace Cafayate and a private wine tasting at the province’s best wineries, including La Bodega San Pedro Yacochuya, Bodega Tacuil, and Bodega Colomé. To explore the greater Salta province, enlist the expertise of Finca Lerida’s own Fabrizio Ghilardi, who also runs Socompa, an adventure-travel outfitter delivering travelers to remote locales like the Cona de Arita in Salar de Arizaro of Argentina’s puna, a vast plateaued landscape at the base of the Andes in the country’s northwestern salt flats, rivaling landscapes of the famous San Pedro de Atacama desert, just across the border in Chile.

Trancoso, Brazil
Though most beachgoers flock to the sensual sands of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s northern Salvador de Bahia state is a treasure chest of beaches only locals frequent, and Trancoso, a sleepy fishing village home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the state’s premiere stretch of coastline. Celebrities like Anderson Cooper and design duo Robert and Cortney Novogratz were mesmerized so strongly by Trancoso’s charm that both own homes here, and you can even book the pousada of the later, Casa de Novogratz, a design-forward, totally transformed sanctuary, where open-air, family-friendly spaces are enriched by modern Brazilian textiles. At the center of life in Trancoso is the Quadrado, a five-acre plot landmarked by São João de Batista, a 500-year-old, stark white church: Here, locals convene for soccer games and capoeira, a partner-oriented Brazilian martial art form that blends the best of a healing yoga practice with the rhythmic movements of acrobatics without the single brush of a limb. While at the Quadrado, dine on sea-foraged, Bahian cuisine at Portinha, or book a table at one of the oldest fine dining establishments in Trancoso, Pousada El Gordo, by renowned Portuguese restaurateur Nuno Almeida. For a day of exploration and sunbathing, drive south to the pristine Praia do Espelho, home to one of Bahia’s best local restaurants. Although a haul to reach, Restaurante Da Silvinha is worth the canoe trip: This Bahian shack operates on a no-menu basis, as Silvinha prepares new dishes from scratch each day from her wood-fired kitchen. On your way back to Trancoso proper, opt for an overnight stay at the seductively charming UXUA Casa Hotel & Spa, designed by Wilbert Das, the former creative director of Diesel. Enjoy beachside drinks and dinner at the hotel’s restaurant, and fall into a relaxed Bahia state of mind in your casa, designed in the traditional style of a local fisherman’s home.

Huaraz, Peru
You may have visited Cusco—Peru’s colonial capital of the Andes—in route to the Incan spiritual site of Machu Picchu, but you haven’t seen all of this beautiful country’s adventure travel treasures. In Huaraz, the capital of Peru’s northern Callejón de Huaylas Valley, the gateway to the snowcapped mountains of the Cordillera Blanca awaits, a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the world’s highest tropical mountain range. Located in the Ancash region in the central Peruvian Andes, Huaraz attracts a crop of adventure aficionados, luring trekkers, mountain climbers, skiers, and mountain bikers to its abundant landscape. During a visit, make your basecamp at Cuesta Serena Boutique Hotel, Llanganuco Mountain Lodge, or Copacabaña Lodge, all with architecture symbolic of the mountainous region. The boutique properties are perfect points to begin a trek in Huascarán National Park: You can book into a lodge’s multiday package or create your custom exploration with an operator like Adventure Life, where you can trek for 10 days to the heart of the Cordillero Blanca. While in the park, explore the monumental Pastoruri Glacier, and keep an eye out for pumas, bears, and condors, all native species who breed in abundance here. Tour the turquoise twin Llanganuco Lagoons of Warmicocha and Orcococha before visiting Laguna Sesentinueve (also called Laguna 69), a glacial lake known for its mirrored-mountain reflections. The brave can opt to summit one of the park’s more than 50 peaks over 18,000 feet or Mount Huascaran, Peru’s highest at 22,204 feet. For a glimpse of Huaraz’s Incan roots, visit the ruins of Chavín de Huántar, an archaeological site dating back to 1200 BC. When you’re rested from your adventurous pursuits, swap trail stories over pizza at Mi Comedia Pizzeria and beers at Los 13 Buhos, the home of Huaraz’s first craft brewery.

Related Posts