you get that sense of latin passion everywhere you go, and can also stay in some really special, quirky boutique hotels
Argentina and Brazil make for a fabulous trip that most couples adore. Not only do you get that sense of Latin passion everywhere you go, but you can also stay in really special, quirky boutique hotels and get a very strong sense of place in each one.
You’d start the trip in Buenos Aires, at a really cosy B&B called the Legado Mitico. It’s right in the hub of Palermo, a really artsy, lively area that’s a bit like Soho. At the flea market on Sundays you can catch locals taking part in impromptu tango dancing, or head to a milonga, a traditional dance competition, to see how it’s done. It’s also great for shopping.
Next stop is the Iguazu Falls. It’s a good idea to visit both the Argentinian and Brazilian sides. The landscape is very lush and exotic, with beautiful butterflies and toucans all around. The Belmond Hotel das Cataratas where you’d stay is in exactly the right location.
After this, you move on to Rio, the best place in the world for people-watching, where you’d stay at the iconic Copacabana Palace. The hotel can organise sunrise picnics to the statue of Christ the Redeemer, or you can try your hand at a bit of Brazilian cookery and learn how to make moqueca, a spicy prawn stew, at one of our guide’s private classes. A cable car up to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain is also really special, and at the weekend the city closes certain boulevards to cars, so it’s a great time to explore by bike.
Next it’s three restful nights at Reserva do Ibitipoca, a secluded countryside retreat three-and-a-half hours inland from Rio, surrounded by stunning scenery. The 18th-century farmhouse was rebuilt from 2006 and has eight individually designed rooms, furnished with local handicrafts. The hiking and horse-riding here are amazing, as you’d expect from a 3,000-hectare nature reserve.
Finally, it’s time for a change of pace, and a flight to the old fishing village of Trancoso. Popular with a glamorous crowd, the area remains very charming and hasn’t been spoilt by tourism. If you’d like to stay right on the beach, the villas are perfectly placed, or alternatively in the town itself there is a set of colourful fishermen’s houses that has been turned into a boutique hotel, called Uxua. From here you can watch the locals playing football during the day, and discover open-air, candlelit restaurants by night. The pace of life here is superchilled. There’s no better place to wind down.