Our South American sojourn

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Picking up where I left off in my last post, about a week into our honeymoon we arrived in Chile's dramatic Atacama Desert. It's the driest place on earth (some weather stations here have never recorded rain!) and full of utterly fascinating geological phenomena.

During our four-day stay at the ultra-romantic Awasi resort, we visited a field of steaming geysers, soaked in bubbling hot springs (my husband calls them nature's Jacuzzis), biked to a salt lake in which it's impossible to sink, explored ancient archeological remains and hiked beside 500-year old cacti and cute indigenous critters like vicuna and viscacha. The highlight was scaling an untouched sand dune to watch the sun set while surrounded by glowing red volcanoes in the Valley of the Moon. Our guide brought a bottle of local wine and two glasses in his backpack so we could toast the moment—now that's service.

Back at the hotel, we relaxed by the pool in the afternoon and by a bonfire at night (due to the desert's high elevation, the temperature drops substantially when the sun goes down) and enjoyed some of the best food we've ever tasted. We were sad to leave but thrilled to arrive in Buenos Aires for our final three days. We'd heard so much about Argentina's capital, and it definitely lived up to its reputation as a chic and worldly city. I couldn't imagine a more glamorous base than the Palacio Duhau - Park Hyatt, where we stayed, in the fashionable Recoleta district. By this point, we were a little worn out so strolling the tree-lined streets, sampling empanadas and taking in a tango show was our only agenda. But it was enough to make us smitten with the city, and by the time we touched down at JFK airport, we were already planning a return visit for our first-year anniversary.

If this trip sounds like your idea of honeymoon heaven, be sure to pick up our October/November issue—on newsstands August 25th—and read the feature on South America. It's chock-full of inspiration for romantic itineraries in Chile and Argentina, as well as Brazil, Ecuador and Peru. —Elaine Stuart, senior associate features/travel editor, Modern Bride

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