It’s hard to beat Peru where Belmond oversees an enviable portfolio of luxury hotels and bucket-list experiences, including the Andean Explorer sleeper train, with its choice of three-day itineraries, and its Hiram Bingham train to Machu Picchu, where it also operates the adjoining Sanctuary Lodge.
Elevate a visit to the majestic Iguazu Falls by adding a stay at Belmond’s Hotel das Cataratas on the Brazilian side, including one of its sightseeing helicopter flights, or the Awasi Iguazú on the Argentinian side.
Operators who cruise the Galápagos archipelago in style include Ecoventura, whose 20 passenger ‘yacht’ MV Theory had its inaugural sailing in March; and Metropolitan Touring, which combines tours on its elegant small ships with stays in its high-end hotels, such as nearby Finch Bay; Casa Gangotena in Quito; and Mashpi Lodge amid the rainforest.
Small-ship expedition cruises to Antarctica are another good high-end bet, featured by the likes of Aurora and One Ocean Expeditions — both of which also feature Central American itineraries.
In Argentina, stays in high-end estancias centred around Mendoza’s or Cafayete’s wine country, combine well with Uruguay’s glamorous coastline, where José Ignacio is served by the VIK portfolio and Punta del Este offers headturners such as Fasano Las Piedras. In Chile, the operators Explora and Tierra offer design hotels in regions such as the Atacama, Chiloé and Patagonia, offering convenient all-inclusive packages featuring private tours and first-class gastronomic experiences.
Happy hunting grounds on Mexico’s coastline include the Riviera Maya and Los Cabos, home to Rosewood’s Las Ventanas al Paraiso. Areas on the rise include Belize’s secluded cayes, with hot properties such as actor Leonardo DiCaprio’s eco-resort Blackadore Caye, due to open next year, and the Four Seasons development on Caye Chapel, opening in 2021.
“Brazil is unbeatable for inspirational luxury wildlife and conservation experiences, getting way off the beaten path,” says Simon Heyes, founder of Senderos, a representation company specialising in Latin America. “Senderos represents some unique and extraordinary lodges including Caiman in the Pantanal, Cristalino Lodge in the Amazon, and our newest partner Pousada Trijunção in the world’s most biodiverse savannah, the Cerrado.”
The Ultimate Travel Company’s 14-day Ultimate Argentina tour features some of the region’s finest stays, including Algodon Mansion in Buenos Aires and The Vines Resort in Mendoza. From £8,120pp, including flights.
Rainbow Tours’ 12-day Luxury Peru with Belmond tour features properties such as the Hotel Monasterio in Cusco with journeys on the Andean Explorer and Hiram Bingham to Machu Picchu. From £5,490pp including flights.