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We get very overexcited when we discover a place like Butterfly House. Most guests arrive by boat from a nearby fishing village. That’s how things work in northern Brazil’s MaraÃº Peninsula.
The lodge sits amid pristine rainforest and opens onto warm sands and crashing surf. There are coral reefs and freshwater lakes to explore, and the surrounding jungle is home to marmosets, anteaters, armadillos and plenty of rare plant and birdlife. The village of Barra Grande is half an hours zoom up the beach on one of the lodge’s quads – fun for samba and sundowners.
The emphasis at Butterfly is on homespun charm and character. Its six rooms – all suites and private bungalows – are individually designed. Thatched grass roofs, Colombian bamboo and 300-year old Brazil nut wood meet warm interiors adorned with Moroccan textiles, French ceramics and local Bahian art.
This is tipped to be Brazil’s next hotspot, so get booking! We recommend 4-5 nights to make the most of it.
'Leave your worries at the door. Here, there is only heart' reads the hand-painted plaque at the threshold of El Puesto, one of Cordoba province's most enchanting treasures. This is not a place for room service and massages – more an ode to simple bucolic living.
The deckchairs on the veranda and hammock in the garden are made for afternoon siestas, but days are generally spent riding out with Maxi, the estancia owner and one of Argentina's most convivial hosts. Every detail is seamlessly coordinated, with surprise riverside picnics and barbecues set up at strategic points each day. Dinner is served at a 6-table bistro at the end of the drive, where old friends of Maxi's cook up a storm for his guests. The whole experience is refreshingly unpretensious and often cited as a highlight of our guests' time in Argentina.
We're back in the saddle this month, roaming the sierras of northern Cordoba. Agustin Dorado has been spoiling guests at his family farm for years and his current six-day ride showcases the very best of the province.
The trip starts with a couple of nights at the charming La Constancia, while guests get to know the horses and sink into some fabulous Cordoban hospitality. Time, then, to mount up and head for the hills, pausing occasionally for riverside picnics, refreshing dips into plunge pools or to cast a line for trout. Needless to say, obliging packhorses come laden with delicious rations and good local vintage.
Accommodation is simple and cosy during the ride, culminating with a final night's indulgence back at the ranch. Contact Us for departure dates and further details.
Rio Carnival @ Citywide (Friday, 28th February 2014 – Tuesday, 4th March 2014)
The World's greatest street party – a kaleidoscopic five-day festival of music, dance and Brazilian culture.
Yayoi Kusama Endless Obsession @ Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil (until Jan 2014)
This wonderful collection of paintings, sculptures and installations of one of Japan's most celebrated artists chart a journey through minimalism, pop art and the rise of the feminist aesthetic.
Genealogias do ContemporÃ¢neo @ Museu de Arte Moderno (1st January – 31st December)
The Permanent Collection of Gilberto Chateaubriand is on display on the top floor of the Museum of Modern Art titled "Contemporary Genealogies". Bringing some of the leading artists of Brazil from 1920 to 1970, the work is organised in four sections where the viewer is encouraged to explore new perspectives on the modern world, through the eyes of Portinari, Tunga, Tarsila do Amaral and Di Cavalcanti.
All glass and hardwood, Refugia ('The Refuge') showcases the richest and wildest elements of ChiloÃ©, Chilean Patagonia's most enchanting – and little-explored – Pacific island.
Juan, our impossibly charming guide, greets us like an old friend. Boarding a beautiful eucalyptus boat, he enthuses over life on the island – its folkloric history, penguin colonies and pristine beaches. That afternoon, we settle in front of the log fire, steaming mugs in hand, to take in wilderness views over the ReloncavÃ Sound. It is then time to saddle up and explore the archipelago on horseback before returning to hot-stone massages and a table-warping spread of local seafood.
Calling all coffee connoisseurs. Fiona Grant is the heart and soul behind the wonderful Glen Lyon Coffee Roasters. Her search for the perfect bean has taken her across Central and South America, Africa and Indonesia. Standout South American blends hail from Bolivia, Colombia and Peru. All flame roasting takes place in highland Perthshire, where she and her family live, and the end product is always traceable back to the individual farmer who grew it. You can read more and pick up some of their delicious, beautifully packaged coffee HERE!
ArteBA @ La Rural (24 – 27 May)
Buenos Aires' leading contemporary art fair and a crucial date in the diary for South America's galleries, critics, curators, artists and collectors.
Buenos Aires Tango Festival Citywide (13 – 27 August)
The world's biggest tango extravaganza – two weeks of shows and recitals, classes and milongas (dances), culminating in the Tango World Championship.
Vinos & Bodegas Wine Festival @ La Rural (4 – 7 September)
The highlight of the Argentine wine calendar and an excellent excuse to sample the best vintages from across the country.
At the edge of the south Chilean archipelago, almost at the end of the world, sits one of South AmericaÃ´s most remarkable hotels. Chilean architect Pedro Kovacic has transformed a 1915 meat-processing plant into a labyrinth of soaring interiors laden with Victorian-style comforts – each of it 57 rooms feature roll-top baths, king-size beds and mahogany writing desks. The spa is the largest in Patagonia and the hotel restaurant every bit as spectacular as the landscape that surrounds it.
Wake up to floor-to-ceiling views of snow-capped peaks and turbulent seas – ample inspiration for the day ahead and an excellent excuse for breakfast in bed. Heaven for the active-minded, days are filled boating, hiking, pedaling and riding, or visiting the nearby Torres del Paine National Park.
We love supporting locally-inspired projects – better still when they belong to friends. Waddler Clothing is the creation of Philip and Marina Thompson whose travels in South America inspired this fabulous handmade children's clothing range. Gloriously soft, warm alpaca wool – washed, dried, spun and dyed in Bolivia – coupled with irresistible designs ensure maximum brownie points for bambino birthdays and Christmases. Visit Waddler HERE!