With stunning coastlines, exotic wildlife, pristine rainforests, and diverse cultures, Central and South America are also increasingly home to some of the world’s best resorts. Offering everything from unrivaled outdoor adventures to incomparably idyllic locations, these are the top 15 spots to visit.


ONE-iguazu-grand-resort-lobby-cr-courtesy-21. Nayara Springs, Costa Rica

Smack in the middle of the Arenal Volcano National Park rainforest, this sixteen-villa adults-only resort is a study in seclusion—and indulgence. Five dining options are available, and range from imaginative Costa Rican cuisine (tropical bouillabaisse, anyone?) to Spanish tapas; and spa treatments like a hydrating chocolate/aloe vera wrap and exfoliating cocoa-bean body scrub offer novel ways to get pampered in paradise. Hoping for a swim? You needn’t go far: Private plunge pools are fed by nearby hot mineral springs.

Courtesy Nayara Springs


TWO jw-marriott-guanacaste-cr-courtesy-22. Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens, Costa Rica

The sister resort of adults-only Nayara Springs, family-friendly Nayara Hotel is designed to meld seamlessly and sustainably with its lush jungle home. And it does: The 50 freestanding wooden bungalows offer staggering views of the rainforest or the majestic Arenal Volcano, while private gardens play host to resident toucans, parrots, and other exotic friends. During the day, take a horseback ride to a nearby waterfall for a dip; come evening, go on a forest walk to observe nocturnal sloths, bats, and even butterflies.

Courtesy Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens


THREE casa-andina-valley-sagrada-cr-courtesy3. Mukul Beach, Golf & Spa, Nicaragua

“Mukul” means “secret” in the Mayan language of Tzotzil—a fitting moniker, as guests will want to keep word about this resort on a sweep of Nicaragua’s western Emerald Coast from getting out. Sleep 300 feet above secluded Playa Manzanillo in one of the resort’s “bohios,” which are tucked like treehouses into the rainforest canopy; or stay closer to ground in a beach villa featuring mussel-shell chandeliers and a private swimming pool. The resort’s 18-hole golf course is the country’s best.

Courtesy Mukul Beach


FOUR four-seasons-costa-rica-cr-courtesy4. Ponta dos Ganchos, Brazil

On a private peninsula just 25 miles from Florianopolis and backed by verdant rainforest, this adults-only resort exemplifies casual elegance in the best sense. Its 25 suites have views of Ganchos de Fora Bay; many feature infinity-edged plunge pools, Jacuzzis, and en-suite saunas. First-rate cuisine served at the beachfront restaurant includes fresh-caught seafood like local oysters and mussels—regarded as some of the best in the world for their delicate texture and flavor—and dishes made with ingredients from the resort’s organic garden, which is carefully tended by gardener Nono and scoured daily by a chef for fresh produce and herbs.

Courtesy Ponta dos Ganchos


FIVE llao-llao-hotel-argentina-cr-courtesy5. Hotel Punta Islita, Costa Rica

On a mountainside overlooking the Pacific, this 30-room resort earns high marks for both its spectacular setting and unique terraced design. There’s also something for every kind of traveler: couples can swim up to the infinity-pool bar for a signature Harry’s Own (brandy, Kahlúa, vanilla ice cream, and coconut milk) while taking in views of the Guanacaste coastline, and families can go bird-watching, horseback riding on the beach, and kayaking on the nearby Ora River.

Courtesy Hotel Punta Islita


SIX arenas-del-mar-costa-rica-cr-courtesy6. El Silencio Lodge & Spa, Costa Rica

Designed as a luxurious respite from the stresses of everyday life, this 500-acre riverside resort in Costa Rica’s central volcanic valley serves up unrivaled mountain views along with unspoiled serenity, where nature’s “symphony” is virtually the only sound—hence the hotel’s name. Accommodations range from suites with private viewing decks and handmade rocking chairs to private villas with outdoor heated whirlpools and gas fireplaces. The on-site restaurant, Las Ventanas, emphasizes ingredients from the resort’s organic mini-farm, where guests can catch their own main dish from the trout pond and have the chef prepare it to their liking for $30.

Courtesy El Silencio Lodge & Spa


SEVEN sol-y-luna-lodge-cr-courtesy7. Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort, Costa Rica

Offering stunning views of Culebra Bay from its perch on the lush shores of the Peninsula Papagayo, this singular resort blends modern and organic aesthetics to dazzling effect. Its cocoon-like, vaguely futuristic public spaces are conversation-starters, while the 153 “eco-chic” rooms with gloriously oversized showers incorporate distinctive light fixtures and local, woven textiles. The ONDA spa offers an indulgent array of treatments like a “gallo pinto” body scrub made from rice and beans to improve circulation, and two infinity pools (one adults-only) are perfect for soaking up sun.

Courtesy Andaz


EIGHT-tambo-del-inka-peru-cr-courtesy8. Tambo del Inka Resort & Spa, Peru

Take a train straight to Machu Picchu from the private onsite station at this 128-room resort in the heart of Peru’s Sacred Valley. Distinctive treatments at the nearly 20,000-square-foot spa include a “24K Gold from the Gods” facial, while outdoor activities like kayaking, cycling, and hiking along the nearby Urubamba River satisfy adventure-seekers. Indoors, ancient motifs are woven into the contemporary décor throughout: think towering fireplaces crafted from Inca-style stone walls, and oversized local pottery.

Courtesy Tambo del Inka Resort & Spa


NINE-andaz-costa-rica-19. Sol & Luna Lodge Spa, Peru

An atmospheric hotel in Peru’s Sacred Valley, the Sol & Luna Lodge Spa has 43 casitas surrounded by flower gardens teeming with more than 35 species of birds. Rooms outfitted with wood-beamed ceilings, Peruvian folk art, and marble bathrooms are hard to leave, though activities like tandem paragliding and horseback riding on the stable’s famous Peruvian Paso horses lure guests outdoors. The hotel’s restaurant, Wayra, is a renowned local standout for its artfully presented Peruvian cuisine, while the cozy wine cellar accommodates private dinners for up to 14 guests.

Courtesy Sol & Luna Lodge Spa


TEN el-silencio-lodge-costa-rica-cr-courtesy10. Arenas Del Mar, Costa Rica

Located close to Manuel Antonio National Park on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast, 11-acre, eco-friendly Arenas del Mar pairs indulgence with pioneering sustainability initiatives: think roof tiles made from the banana industry’s discarded plastic bags, solar-panel-heated waters, and underground electricity systems designed to protect local wildlife. Most of the resort’s 38 rooms overlook the ocean, and all feature organic cotton linens. Interested in some exploration? Nature trails on the property are good for spotting white-faced monkeys, three-toed sloths, and birds galore.

Courtesy Arenas Del Mar


ELEVEN-hotel-punta-islita-costa-rica-cr-courtesy11. Llao Llao Hotel & Resort, Argentina

At this 205-room resort in Nahuel Huapi National Park, guests are spoiled for choice. Facilities include an 18-hole golf course, marina, beach, heated indoor and outdoor infinity pools, and spa; activities like skiing, fly fishing, and white-water rafting keep guests active during all seasons, while five restaurants serving everything from locally sourced grilled meats and fish to fresh pastas keep them well fed. Light-filled rooms in the newer Moreno Wing, built in 2007, offer hard-to-beat views of Moreno Lake and Mount Tronador, an extinct volcano and popular mountaineering destination.

Courtesy Llao Llao Hotel & Resort


TWELVE ponta-dos-ganchos-brazil-cr-courtesy12. Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo

The venerable chain’s knack for blending luxury with local culture shines at this resort in one of Costa Rica’s most exclusive enclaves: across 182 rooms you’ll find rattan and bamboo furnishings, local artwork, and indigenous wood and stone finishes. Activities like hiking and rainforest tours are available, but chocolate-making classes that detail the process from the roasting of the cocoa beans through the shelling, grinding, and mixing gives guests a rarer sort of behind-the-scenes access.

Courtesy Four Seasons


THIRTHTEEN mukul-luxury-resort-and-spa-guacalita-de-la-isla-nicaragua-116675-213. Casa Andina Private Collection Valle Sagrado, Peru

Take in views of the Andes from one of the 92 rooms at this lush mountain resort, located some seven miles from the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley’s Inca ruins. Amenities include sprawling, beautifully tended gardens and an on-site planetarium that hosts thrice-daily shows highlighting the importance of astronomy in ancient Andean culture. The resort’s “exceptionally friendly” and “superb” service earns rave reviews from guests.

Courtesy Casa Andina


FOURTEEN nayara-hotel-spa-gardens-cr-courtesy14. JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa, Costa Rica.

This luxurious, hacienda-style resort sits close to the town of Tamarindo on Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula. Its 310 rooms, all with balconies, have views of the garden, pool, or beach, while closer to ground, guests can spend lazy afternoons in hammock-lined courtyards. Families love the infinity pool and complimentary supervised activities for kids aged four-12, while couples gravitate to the full-service spa featuring locally inspired treatments like a body-wrap of rice, turmeric, and cuculmeca, an indigenous jungle plant recognized for its slimming properties.

Courtesy JW Marriott


FIFTHTEEN-springs-villa-nayara-springs-cr-courtesy15. Iguazú Grand Resort Spa & Casino, Argentina

Located just 15 minutes from Iguazú National Park (and one of the world’s largest and most dazzling waterfalls), this full-service, 134-room resort has a little something for everyone. A “playland” for kids age five and under boasts a ball pit and bouncy castle, while the resident recreational team organizes pool games, mini-golf tournaments, and art workshops daily for pre-teens and teens. A spa with a sauna, indoor pool, and Roman bath attracts grown-ups, as does the on-site casino.

Courtesy Iguazú Grand Resort



Source: www.cntraveler.com/galleries/2016-03-01/the-best-resorts-in-central-and-south-america-readers-choice-awards/1

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