The 10 Best South American Hotels of 2020

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South America is a hotbed of culture, nightlife, and scintillating scenery. It’s also home to many fabulous hotels, from sleek suites in the city to boho bungalows by the beach. Of course, if you prefer the desert or jungle, that’s also an option. Simply put: it won’t be difficult to decide on a property that you and your partner both love. Scroll on for our favorite honeymoon hotels in South America. 

Best for Design Lovers: The Singular Santiago (Santiago, Chile)

The Singular Santiago

The Singular Santiago

A design lover’s dream in the city’s creative hub, The Singular Santiago captures the essence of Lastarria. Neoclassical architecture meets sophisticated decor and sensual ambiance, and guests are greeted with warm welcomes. The artistic heritage of the neighborhood comes through in every facet of this fashionable five-star hotel.

Ink drawings and vintage photographs adorn the walls of the cocktail lounge. Checkerboard marble floors, olive leather armchairs, and wood paneling reinforce the old-school glamour of it all.

In contrast to the common spaces, rooms show off a softer side with ivory hues. Comfy beds and blackout shades ensure undisturbed winks. The rooftop features a pool and bar with expansive views of Santiago’s skyline. On the hospitality side of things, the knowledgeable concierge can assist in coordinating tours of Belle Époque mansions or gallery hopping.

We’d also recommend a trip to the spa. To cap off your evening? A classic cocktail made by a dapperly dressed mixologist. 

Best for Exploring Machu Picchu: Belmond Sanctuary Lodge (Aguas Calientes, Peru)

Belmond Sanctuary Lodge

Belmond Sanctuary Lodge

You won’t find better access to Machu Picchu than the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge. It’s the only hotel located within steps of the Lost City, so you'll be able to visit the mysterious Incan citadel long before or after the midday tourist rush.

That being said, guests don’t even need to leave the room to admire in the majesty of Machu Picchu. Envision waking up to one of the mist-shrouded New7Wonders of the World outside your window. Then it’s off to breakfast and high-altitude adventures.

In between exploring the bucket-list ruins, take full advantage of the relaxing environment and ample amenities by booking a massage on a grassy patch fronting the magnanimous peak of Huayna Picchu, flowing through a yoga class, or unwind in your private plunge pool.

At night, gaze up at the constellations through a telescope and drink at the cozy bar. The specialty tipple is a pisco sour, of course. 

Best Pastoral Escape: La Bamba de Areco (San Antonio de Areco, Argentina)

La Bamba de Areco

La Bamba de Areco

How many newlyweds get to say they watched a world-class polo match on their honeymoon? That's one of the many can't-do-that-anywhere-else experiences you’ll have as a choice when checking into La Bamba de Areco, a member of Relais & Chateaux. If you’re looking for a taste of the gaucho life, a few days at this historic ranch in the Pampa, 75 miles outside of Buenos Aires, is just the ticket.

It’s the embodiment of affluent country chic with a Spanish colonial spin. The La Bamba de Areco’s status as one of the oldest estancias in Argentina doesn’t mean a lack of modern attributes.

Each room is named after a different championship horse—an homage to the property’s long-standing equestrian traditions. Inside are antique furnishings, rich cowhides, and woven textiles.

With acres of manicured farmland, you'll end up spending much of your time saddling up and riding stallions. Be sure to dismount your prize steed for the delicious afternoon asado barbecues. 

Best for Luxury: Palacio Duhau - Park Hyatt Buenos Aires (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

Palacio Duhau - Park Hyatt Buenos Aires

Palacio Duhau - Park Hyatt Buenos Aires

Housed in a Neoclassical palace, Palacio Duhau - Park Hyatt Buenos Aires is a living legend that gives couples the royal treatment. Lauded as the most luxurious stay in the posh Recoleta neighborhood (and the Argentine capital for that matter), this exquisite 165-key hotel oozes Belle Époque grandeur. It’s architecturally stunning with heaps of history. Imagine the countless aristocrats who traipsed through the gorgeous gardens, stopped to smell the flowers, idled on the stately terraces, and were transfixed by the fountains.

Fairytale rooms flaunt King beds, plush bathrobes, and Celedonio Lohidoy toiletries. Suites add crystal chandeliers and crown molding. An indulgent spa, ballroom, museum-caliber art collection, and fine dining restaurant enhance the regal atmosphere.

As you’d anticipate, exceptional service is a given at Palacio Duhau - Park Hyatt Buenos Aires. Because what’s a honeymoon without a personal butler, right? One phone call and you can have a bottle of bubbly or a tempting pastry delivered to your door in minutes. 

Best Desert Digs: Tierra Atacama (Antofagasta, Chile)

Tierra Atacama

Tierra Atacama

The desert entices with its arid beauty, stillness, and solitude. If you fantasize about vacationing in the middle of a vast expanse—with only celestial bodies, cacti, and each other for company—shack up at Tierra Atacama.

A reflection of its wondrous surroundings, this family-owned gem celebrates indigenous materials and the talents of local artisans. The result is a hideaway that’s prime for relaxation and romance. It’s near impossible not to get swept up in the otherworldly vistas.

The serene sensibility extends to the common areas—pool, jacuzzi, decks, and fire pits. Lean into the peaceful energy with a massage. There’s plenty of adventure to be had, too. Watch the sunrise over the Tatio Geysers, voyage to “Coyote Rock” for epic panoramas, or plan an excursion to discover pre-Columbian petroglyphs and decode ancient messages.

Without the burden of light pollution, Tierra Atacama is a spectacular locale for nuzzling up with your hubby and stargazing. Among your choices: visits to the remote lagoons of Aguas Calientes and the otherworldly salt flats of Tuyajto, walking excursions to the Machuca and Rio Grande, hiking in Moon Valley—the list goes on.

Or, stay put at the hotel and relax by the pool or visit the top-notch Uma Spa. We recommend booking the adventure menu, which includes treatments focused on healing sore muscles—you'll need it after all those adventures.

Best Eco-Friendly: Pikaia Lodge (Santa Cruz Island, Ecuador)

Pikaia Lodge

Pikaia Lodge

For years, honeymoon-worthy accommodations in this part of the world were seriously lacking. Pikaia Lodge changed all that. Constructed based on minimum-impact principles, this eco-hotel in the pristine Galapagos Islands blends solar panels and swish style. If you’re worried about missing your eight-hundred-thread-count sheets, fear not.

But sustainability doesn’t come at the expense of luxury. Expect rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows, walk-in closets, soaking tubs, and private balconies. The property also boasts an infinity pool, swanky lobby lounge, and Peruvian travertine marble-swathed spa. Sweeping views of the untrammeled landscape up the appeal. 

Best Boutique City Break: Casa San Agustin (Cartagena, Colombia)

Casa San Agustin

Casa San Agustin

Cartagena is a great honeymoon destination replete with colorful buildings, cobblestone lanes, blooming bougainvillea, and vibrant culture. The steamy climate means you'll definitely want to pick a home base with A/C and a swimming pool. Spread across three exquisitely restored houses in the city’s UNESCO-protected historic center, Casa San Agustin is a white-washed oasis of tranquility, Colombian heritage, and cosseting comforts.

This elegant boutique hotel nods back to its 17th-century roots with original frescoes, terracotta tile floors, exposed timber beam ceilings, and shuttered windows. Accommodations incorporate colonial character as well as contemporary touches like Frette linens and high-end Italian bath products. Some suites even have private patios and Jacuzzis.

The ground-floor piscine provides a refreshing respite from the sweltering heat—and a sultry photo op. There’s also a roof terrace with upholstered sunbeds and compelling sightlines. The air-conditioned library is a lovely indoor spot to read a book or sip coffee-infused rum.

Best for Sustainable Style: Uxua Casa Hotel & Spa (Trancoso, Brazil)

Uxua Casa Hotel & Spa

Uxua Casa Hotel & Spa

Brazil offers more than Christ the Redeemer and partying in Rio de Janeiro. Over the past few years, the picturesque fishing village turned hippie hangout of Trancoso has become sizzling hot. A-listers and trend-setting travelers are clambering to stay at one address in particular. Uxua Casa Hotel & Spa is an intimate oasis with a sustainable ethos and bohemian flair.

Built using reclaimed materials collected across the Bahia state, each of the 11 individually decorated casitas tells a unique story. It could be the tale of a sofa crafted from recycled canvas truck covers or how a splash of magenta paint calls to mind fragrant bougainvillea flowers that grow nearby.

Blissful hours pass swimming in the green aventurine quartz-lined pool and tossing back caipirinhas under the glorious shade of swaying coconut palms.

Guests can also savor responsibly sourced seafood, indulge in organic spa rituals that utilize rainforest ingredients, or try the Afro-Brazilian dance-inspired martial art of capoeira. 

Best for Cultural Immersion: Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba (Sacred Valley, Peru)

Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba

Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba

Inkaterra may not have the same name recognition as a Four Seasons or The Ritz-Carlton, but when it comes to honeymooning in Peru, it's the brand you should know—particularly if you’re keen on an immersive post-wedding getaway.

Nestled among magnificent peaks in the Sacred Valley of the Inca, Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba exudes a deep sense of place. Authenticity is at the core of this soulful and seductive mountain lodge.

Architecture influenced by the Cusco region, indigenous materials, Inca masks, and local artisan-made accents such as alpaca blankets create an unmistakably warm environment that allows guests to fully embrace the Andean spirit and soak in the true magic of the Peruvian highlands while relishing rest and rejuvenation.

Enriching cultural experiences range from learning about the ancestral production of chicha de jora (traditional corn beer) and Pachamama ceremonies with a shaman to climbing the Huasi Challa trail and harvesting of crops at an ecological farm.

Best Beachfront: Bahia Vik Jose Ignacio (Jose Ignacio, Uruguay)

Bahia Vik Jose Ignacio

Bahia Vik Jose Ignacio

Have your heart set on an incredible beach trip, but can’t decide which direction to go? Some couples seek out luxurious all-inclusive resorts, while others prefer something a bit more intimate. If you tend towards the latter, Bahia Vik Jose Ignacio earns our vote. Surrounded by windswept dunes in Uruguay’s coolest coastal town, this art-filled boutique hotel draws gypset daydreamers, models, and honeymooners with its breezy vibe.

West-facing bungalows showcase colorful textiles, rain showers, and oversized windows. With a front-row seat to the awesomeness of the South Atlantic Ocean, we sincerely doubt you’ll miss having a television.

If that’s not enough, how about the fact that you can practically roll right out of bed and onto the sand? Besides basking on the shores of Playa Mansa, loll by the outdoor infinity pool, play billiards, ride horses, and surf or bike to José Ignacio Lighthouse. Cotton-candy pink sunsets are best enjoyed with a pitcher of clericó (a sort of Uruguayan riff on sangría) at La Susana. 

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