As the holidays creep closer you might be facing the stress of awkward family reunions or just dreading the colder days of winter. Why not break with tradition and spend the holidays exploring new lands with your closest girlfriends in Latin America?
Breathtaking views and one of a kind experiences can be found from the lively beaches of Brazil all the way to the moon-like landscapes of Chile’s Atacama Desert.
As the weather gets warmer in the Southern Hemisphere the list of ideal destinations for girls’ trips in Latin America only gets longer, so we’ve narrowed it down to our favorite five locations to help you relax, adventure, and create unforgettable memories on a girls’ trip of a lifetime.
♦ Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rio de Janeiro is often referred to as the “Cidade Maravilhosa” or “Marvelous City” by Brazilians and it’s easy to see why.
Hugged by a thick jungle and lined with dreamlike beaches, the rhythm of the city calls for playing in the golden sand by day and sipping fresh caipirinhas in open-air bars by night.
Whether you opt for tanning on the famous Copacabana or venture outside of the city to the less-crowded Ilha de Paquetá, you won’t miss out on the opportunity to strike up conversation with locals who are there to surf or catch a game of beach futebol. Rio is so much more than its idyllic beaches too – travelers can catch unrivaled views of the city at the top of Sugarloaf Mountain or snap selfies in front of the remarkable Christ the Redeemer as he looms atop majestic Corcovado Mountain. However you choose to spend your warm Rio days, be sure not to miss the urban jungle’s thriving gastronomic scene and unbeatable Samba nightlife.
♦ Buzios, Brazil
Buzios, just three hours away from the bustling streets of Rio, is one of our favorite South American beaches. Chock-full of luxury hotels, beachfront restaurants, and boutique spas, the small resort town creates a leisurely atmosphere where visitors can enjoy everything wonderfully Brazilian at a relaxed pace. Visitors can walking alongside colorful boats anchored at the beach while mingling with Brazilians and their Argentine neighbors who frequent the tranquil jewel on their own vacation time.
The quaint colonial town has twenty secluded beaches where you and your girlfriends can spend your days surfing, snorkeling, and swimming in turquoise waters before enjoying creamy coconut milk and freshly caught seafood on a beachfront patio.
Wandering the cobblestone streets after dark will reveal Buzio’s fantastic lineup of bars and sophisticated restaurants where musicians charm vacationers with local sounds. It’s no wonder Brigitte Bardot fell in love with the whimsical beach town in the late 60’s, with it’s natural beauty, exquisite hotels and friendly locals, it’s just the right combination of activity and relaxation.
♦ Ambergris Caye, Belize
Located 35 miles northeast of Belize City and fondly called, “paradise island,” Belize’s Ambergris Caye is home to the second largest reef in the world, making it a tropical sanctuary for divers, snorkelers, and anyone who appreciates a good ocean view.
With flights from New York to Belize City averaging 6 hours and flights from Los Angeles just under 7, it’s white sandy beaches are perfect for a quick girls’ getaway from the States.
The Caye’s weather hovers between 75 and 85 degrees fahrenheit year round with high humidity but don’t let that discourage you, a dip into the stunning Caribbean waters followed by a fruity cocktail are the perfect recipe for beating the heat. Islanders pass the time by sailing, fishing, swimming, kayaking, windsurfing, diving, snorkeling or enjoying fresh seafood in one of the town’s charming tiki bars or restaurants. If “barefoot luxury” sounds right up your alley, make sure to ask your Encounter Latin America Belize Specialist to book you a suite at the the Portofino Beach Resort where you and your friends can relax in the outdoor freshwater pool or treat yourselves to massages on the beach.
♦ Coffee Region, Colombia
Nestled at the western end of the Andes, Colombia’s coffee region is perfect for coffee-lovers and groups eager to escape to the jungle. More commonly known as the “Coffee Triangle,” the lush rainforest is filled with family run coffee plantations and was deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011 because of its cultural importance and commitment to sustainability.
After learning all about the Arabica coffee-growing process on guided tours through working coffee plantations you and your girlfriends will be able taste subtle differences in the various flavors of the region as if you were seasoned coffee connoisseurs.
While the main attraction is obviously tasting some of the world’s most delicious coffee, the region is home to gangly wax palms and rare endemic birds that are sure to keep your eyes and ears busy if you choose to delve into the surrounding jungle on foot or horseback. Because the farmers grow, harvest, and process the beans by hand, seeing the coffee region during the main harvest from September to December is absolutely captivating.
♦ Atacama Desert, Chile
The thought of light dancing across an airy salt flat while flamingos roam around volcanoes might sound like a scene from “The Little Prince,” but it’s a common sight at Salar de Atacama, Chile’s largest salt flat in the heart of the Atacama Desert.
For girlfriends who wish they could adventure to another planet together but are maybe waiting on space travel to develop, the 40,000 square mile desert in the northern half of Chile is the next-best thing to Mars.
The vast region is home to otherworldly rocks, ethereal salt flats, and the driest climate in the world. The celestial wonderland of the Atacama Desert offers visitors unique experiences from sunrise to sunset, whether it’s visiting the hissing El Tatio Geysers in the early in the morning, or watching the sun set over rock formations at Valle de la Luna. Because of it’s high altitude and clear skies, the fun continues into the night – the desert is a perfect place to stargaze at any of the nearby astronomical observatories.
Thanks for visiting our Central & South America Travel Blog! Feel free to contact one of our Travel Specialists via email, phone or chat to plan your perfect Girls’ Getaway to Belize, Brazil, Chile and Colombia.