Argentina: Bariloche and Buenos Aires ~ Brazil: Paraty and Rio

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Apparently, Buenos Aires means good air in Spanish, and that’s exactly what my Brownell Travel colleagues and I were seeking last week when we fled – well, more like motored in a bus outfitted with blankets and cookies – the erupting volcano in Chile.  The air there was thick and smoky, definitely not buenos, but the moment we entered the heavy doors of the beautiful Four Seasons in Buenos Aires, our spirits lifted along with the grey skies.

There are many hotels in this sprawling, cosmopolitan city dubbed the Paris of South America, and we experienced the best of them in one way or another.  We lay our sleepy heads on marshmallow-soft pillows each night after enjoying a few too many Caipirinhas in the Four Seasons’ Pony Line Bar.  We sipped the region’s finest wines at a tasting hosted by the Alvear Palace.  And we enjoyed cocktails in the Park Hyatts gorgeous gardens before sitting down to an elegant and authentic Argentinean dinner indoors.

When we eventually grew weary of the city pace, we ventured farther afield.  Most notably, there was La Bamba de Areco, a hacienda-like resort in the countryside where horses roam and humans relax.  Low-key cool is how I would describe it – the complete opposite of my next destination:  Rio!  Pulsing with activity, this is a place you’ve got to see to believe.  I had a good vantage point for people watching from the rooftop pool of the Hotel Fasano.  The sights!  The sounds!  It was sensory overload.

One of my favorite places in Brazil – and where I look forward to returning with friends in January for my annual art trip – is Paraty, a colonial Portuguese town with cobblestone streets. At Casa Turquesa, guests are welcomed warmly by Tete, the charming owner who doles out complimentary cake and…flip flops!  Baskets stand sentry by the doors so that street shoes can be deposited in favor of her wonderful turquoise havannas. The cares, frustrations, and stresses of every-day life slip away…         

It’s all there waiting for you, fervid travelers.  South America is an incredible destination often overlooked by Americans.  Easily accessible – no jet lag!- and affordable.  Exotic and entertaining.  Fresh and fun.  Good in any language.  Discover it soon. #carolinetravelstheworld

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