La Vida Natural

These days, it can seem difficult to get away from the everyday hustle and bustle of city life. So why not leave it all behind for the total peace and quiet of these remote South American destinations?

These days, it can seem difficult to get away from the everyday hustle and bustle of city life. So why not leave it all behind for the total peace and quiet of these remote South American destinations?

Not only will the natural beauty of these one-of-a-kind resorts bowl you over, you will find your entire body and soul nourished and rejuvenated by the natural resources and ancient remedies of their enchanting surroundings…

Machu Picchu, Peru

For a unique retreat into nature, travel to Machu Picchu, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World and, still today, one of the most mystical and astonishingly beautiful places on the planet. Nestled high atop the Andes Mountains, this ancient settlement, often referred to as the “Lost City of the Incas,” will dazzle you with its natural beauty and enigmatic architecture.

Machu Picchu, Peru

To reach Machu Picchu, take a scenic four-hour train ride from the southern Peruvian city of Cusco (which can be accessed from the U.S. by connecting flights through Lima), or travel by car from Cusco City to Ollantaytambo and then continue by train for about 90 minutes.

Machu Picchu offers a wealth of touring options. If you’re feeling particularly energetic, take a one-day walking tour along the Inca Trail and explore the area’s remarkable archeological remains. Once arrived at the ancient Inca city, take some time to marvel at the breathtaking views and then visit the mythical Machu Picchu Citadel, a striking limestone structure that spans over five square miles and was built by the Incas, most likely in the 15th century, as a favored retreat for the Inca nobility.

While communing with nature and the wonders of the ancient world, there is no need to forgo the luxuries of modern life. For a naturally luxurious experience, try the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Hotel, located at Machu Picchu Pueblo. The hotel, which occupies a private 12.3-acre mountainside reserve that sits 8,038 feet above sea level, offers unparalleled services and amenities. Indulge in a variety of replenishing natural spa treatments at the Unu Spa and Yoga center, such as an Andean eucalyptus sauna, a hot-stone treatment or an Inka purification massage, and top it all off with a star-lit pool dip. Choose among six levels of traditional hotel accommodations, from the hotel’s Superior rooms to the 1,900 square-foot Inkaterra Suite, which features a personal garden and covered terrace, an expansive sleep area and separate living and dining areas. Or, for a more intimate experience, select one of the Inkaterra Villas, which offer the ultimate in seclusion and luxury, including two adjoining guest suites per villa, an open wood-burning fireplace, an expansive marble bathroom with indoor and open-air showers, tub and separate commode area, as well as a private terrace, garden, and pool; the Villas also feature private VIP registration, round-the-clock butler service, and an optional private dining service.

And if you’re thirsting for more of the Inkaterra experience, extend your Peruvian getaway with one or several nights at the distinguished Inkaterra La Casona in Cusco (either on the way to or back from Machu Picchu), or explore the lush, tropical beauty of the Amazon Rain Forest with a three-night stopover at the comfortably luxurious Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica Lodge on the banks of the Madre de Dios River, near Puerto Maldonado, just a short flight away from Cusco or Lima. inkaterra.com.

Inkaterra, La Casona

Córdoba Province, Argentina

If a down-home, rustic experience with all of the perks is what you seek, consider a getaway to the Province of Córdoba in the geographical center of Argentina. With its magnificent vineyards and its expansive, unspoiled farm and ranch land, a getaway to the Córdoba region will transport you back to a simpler time, when our connection with animals and the land around us was the most precious thing we had.

While visiting the Córdoba region, a stay at the Estancia El Colibri in Santa Catalina, about a 75-minute flight from Buenos Aires, may be just what the doctor ordered – a chance to recapture that authentic connection with the land, without sacrificing the ultimate in elegant, modern-day luxury. At the heart of the bucolic El Colibri ranch lies a meticulously-restored, early 20th century country mansion, with its nine suites and rooms, each with hardwood floors, four-poster beds, double-height ceilings, satellite television and fireplace. On the premises, you will also find a full-service spa, featuring a Jacuzzi, Finnish sauna, Turkish bath, relaxing showers and massage treatment room. The ranch also features two majestic polo fields and offers guests a number of invigorating activities, ranging from horseback riding and trekking, to mountain biking and tango lessons.

Estancia El Colibri

After a full day in the outdoors – or on the dance floor – replenish with a gourmet meal or just relax by the exquisite swimming pool, which faces the awe-inspiring Córdoba Mountains. And you can enjoy the pool even during the winter months (which run from June to September in Argentina), as its deck features a solar heating system that allows it to be used nearly all year long. In the evening, curl up with a book in the mansion’s lavishly-appointed living room, or enjoy a nightcap in the cozy bar area. estanciaelcolibri.com.

Easter Island, Chile

For a getaway that is truly unforgettable, Easter Island (also known as “Rapa Nui” in the Island’s native Polynesian language) cannot be beat. The island, located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, some 2,300 miles west of the central coast of Chile, is the farthest island from any populated land on the planet, giving its visitors the feeling of setting foot on the edge of the earth. The island boasts a marine subtropical climate and lush, vibrant vegetation, thanks in part to the island’s position above a volcanic cone that formed it hundreds of thousands of years ago by pushing land up from the ocean floor to about 1,600 feet above sea level.

Easter Island

Remarkably, the island is still, to a great extent, untouched by human development, which makes it an ideal retreat from the modern world – a place to rest and relax, far from the nagging noise and distractions of 21st century life. With temperatures ranging from the high 60s to low 80s year-round, it’s never a bad time to enjoy the island’s outdoor pleasures. But undoubtedly what makes Easter Island one of the most unique places on Earth is the island’s mystical sculptures – monolithic stone statues depicting human torsos and other forms, carved from ancient volcanic rock. These iconic statues, most likely built during the 13th, 14th, and 15th centuries, continue to fascinate visitors to the present day.

The island can be accessed by a five-hour direct flight from Santiago, Chile. Stay at the Explora en Rapa Nui, a luxurious all-inclusive resort located on the southern coast of the island. All-inclusive rates start at $2,280 per person for three nights for standard rooms and $3,030 per person for suites, and include transfers to and from the local airport, three meals per day, and unlimited cocktails and wine. All rooms feature hydromassage bath and ocean view. During your stay, be sure to treat yourself to a sumptuous dinner on the outdoor patio and watch the sunset over the Pacific Ocean from the outside bar. The Explora staff can also arrange for walking, hiking and cycling tours that will allow you to work up an appetite, while giving you a closer look at the natural wonders of Easter Island, with its natural bathing pools, deep cliffs, and spectacular mountain and ocean views. explora.com.

Explora, Rapa Nui

Each of these out-of-the-ordinary destinations offers a return to nature and a more simple, unencumbered life, while pampering you with the ultimate in luxury – all with just a touch of South American flair. Maybe you really can have it all.

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