Our South America travel blog

A Room With A View

We may have shamelessly stolen E.M. Forster's title but fear not, we're not embarking upon a literary critique of 20th Century English society (that's next week). We've instead been pondering the very best views from some simply spectacular hotel rooms across the planet… a guaranteed bestseller, you'll agree. And whether you're jetting off in search of a great holiday adventure or simply looking forward to some much deserved R&R, nothing says 'holiday' quite like luxuriating in the new surroundings of your hotel room and gazing out on the scenery you'll soon be exploring. Our team of experts has scoured the globe one panoramic vista at a time (tough gig) and compiled a list of our very favourite spots…

Best Honeymoon Hotels in Brazil

Brazil is the antidote to the cliché fly and flop honeymoon. From sleek hotels and stylish beach lifestyle, to countryside fazendas and barefoot beach bliss, the country is a cocktail that shakes and stirs the senses making a trip here exciting at every turn. That is of course if you know where to go. The sheer size of Brazil may have you in a tailspin when thinking about where to begin, but the silver lining is that you can sit back and leave the hard work to the experts. We've handpicked the properties that offer a seamless journey within this jaw‐ dropping country of contrasts. What can we say? We revel in a challenge. The Olympics may be over but in the long run Brazil raises the bar.

Find Your Travel Tribe

Which Travel Tribe do you belong to? Perhaps you're a Gastronomic Globetrotter; you crave the delectable delights of the world's best foodie destinations. Or maybe you're a Lounger Lizard, chasing the sun around the globe one deck chair at a time. Or are you a Culture Vulture, enjoying nothing more than gnawing on the bones of the finest museums, galleries and theatres? Well, wonder not because the Original Travel Human Behavioural Studies Department (sounds dangerous) has come up with a truly groundbreaking survey (read: 45 second quiz) to delve into your inner psyche (with intensely scientific questions like 'what do you seek?' and 'who are you like?') so you can find your very own Travel Tribe. And once you've taken the quiz, here are a few of our favourite destinations...

Find Your Inner Olympian: Sit-Down Sports Around the World

The Olympics are in full swing and that means just one thing: as a nation we're collectively glued to our telly boxes. We're all suddenly experts on fencing ("excellent use of the appel there") and can't tear ourselves away from the table tennis ("did you see that slow spinny topspin?"). And while we've all been cheering on Team GB to gold medal glory, something of a trend has become apparent: we're awfully good at sitting down. Cycling, rowing, dressage, sailing - the Brits really do excel at the sedentary sports. So the team here at Original Travel took a leaf out of Sir Ben Ainslie et al's book and had a good sit down and a think about the best places on the planet to partake in such derriere-dedicated activities. If only sitting on the sofa and having a cuppa qualified for the Olympics…

Our Top Six Cities Around the World

When asked to picture their perfect holiday, many people's minds immediately hit the beach; warm white sand between the toes, sparkling azure waters and someone rather good-looking fanning you with a large palm leaf. And who are we to deny such glories? But here at Original Travel we're also partial to something a little more… rousing. That is to say we love a good city. Oh yes, we rub our hands together in veritable glee at the prospect of bustling markets, burgeoning foodie scenes, street art, botanical gardens, booming nightlife and incredible architecture. And whether you're in need of a short sharp hit of culture with a classic weekend city break or are exploring as part of a longer trip, we've got the inside track (and a network of concierge contacts), to ensure the ultimate city adventure…

Do You Suffer From FOMO?

FOMO. Otherwise known as fear of missing out - a modern-day interpretation of keeping up with the Joneses, if you will. Yep, this is is how trends start, be that donning the latest fashion item, brunching at the newest hotspot or exploring the destination of the moment. And when it comes to preventing holiday FOMO, we've got you covered. We're here to give you the inside track on the best 'it' destinations at the moment, and a couple that will make you a real trend-setter...

Chilean Spanish: ¿Cachai, Po, Weón?

You've been to Spain a few times, you've had a couple of Spanish classes and you feel you've more or less grasped the language - and then you go to Chile…

Eating in Santiago

When people think of Chilean cuisine the idea of slightly bland, hearty home cooking often springs to mind. An image that's partly true as Chilean food traditionally involves stews, pies, and mounds of meat and carbs. But Chile, and Santiago in particular, is experiencing something of a foodie renaissance with chefs becoming more and more daring with their ingredients and techniques. The influx of tourism has also brought with it a range of fusion foods and international cuisines, resulting in numerous restaurants popping up serving exciting, delicious and very reasonably priced Indian, Peruvian, Japanese, Italian and Lebanese food all over Santiago.

Five of our Favourite Cool Combos

Question: what do the following have in common? Gin & tonic, Rodney & Del Boy, Andy Murray & Wimbledon (and while we're on the subject, strawberries & cream), bacon & eggs and finally, a nice strong wind & Donald Trump's hair. Yes, you got it; they're all cool combos, and the same principles apply to travel as well - some destination double acts just work. With our own cool combination of insider intel on the latest flight routes and knowledge of where's hot right now (in both senses of the word), we present the following perfect pairings...

Early Summer Escapes 2016

The summer holiday: that most glorious and precious of holidays. All the more so for us Brits given that summer in dear old Blighty can be, how to put this, a bit of a damp squib (cue flashbacks of windy beach escapades, sandy sandwiches and rain, lots and lots of rain). And this year we thought we'd get on the holiday bandwagon early because between storm what's-his-chops (there seems to be a new one every week) and the fact that winter just won't go away, summer can't come quickly enough. So here are a few of our very favourite destinations for getaways this May and June - you can take the summer out of Britain but not the Brit out of their summer holiday.

A Little Country called Peru

Having travelled extensively through Latin America, I thought I knew what was coming as I landed in Lima: incredibly friendly people, vibrant and colourful markets, weird, but delicious food, jaw-dropping landscapes and great weather. Although I wasn't wrong, I was by no means prepared...

8 of the Best Places on the Planet to Throw a Rugby Ball Around

Let's be honest - rugby is not for the faint hearted. It's a game of fervent patriotism, fierce rivalry and tough men running around hitting each other (a highly technical assessment, we think you'll agree). And with the Rugby World Cup gathering pace, it's hard not to get swept up in the excitement. Which led us to think (always dangerous) about the very best places on the planet to chuck a rugby ball around, from beautiful beaches to frozen lakes, and everything in between. So here goes, eight of the best places on our dear earth for a casual game of rugger…

Let's Talk "Deep Cuts"

Nope, we're not making a political commentary on the state of the economy and we've not been listening to too much Cat Stevens (obviously that's not possible). We're talking about the Urban Dictionary definition (which technically pertains to music… but let's not dwell on that): true gems that are found later in an album. To put a travel spin on it, we're talking about destinations and experiences that offer a similar vibe to some of the most loved places on the planet but are more under the radar. That is to say, they are the deep cuts of the travel world. So if you're a 'been there, done that, where's next?' kind of traveller, or are just looking for somewhere a bit different, here are a few of our favourite deep cuts...

Late Summer Sun

If you've not managed to get away this summer and you're tiring of sun-kissed colleagues and friends, September and October are perfect months to soak up some late summer sun. Whether you want to jet off to somewhere in Europe for a long weekend or fly and flop further afield, we can arrange it all. Maybe you've already had your fix of vitamin D this summer and just fancy topping up your glow? Who knows…what we do know are the destinations that will make perfect SUNNY getaways.

The World on Sale

So what's up? It's more a question of what's down, and particularly against the Pound, thanks to a resurgent British economy. The rest will inevitably catch up (we're good sports like that) so the exchange rate bonanza won't last, but in the meantime there are bargains to be had. The World's on sale - get shopping!

24 hours in: Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is one of the most vibrant and appealing cities in South America, combining chic European influences with a true Latin atmosphere. You'd want to spend a whole lot longer than 24 hours, but if you were really going for it...

Fourteen destinations for 2014

14 for '14? Sounds like a set of Mitchell Johnson's bowling figures from the recent Ashes debacle (one for the chaps there) but on this occasion referring to our predictions for the 14 destinations that are going to be big news in 2014.

Trancoso, My Favourite Place in Brazil

Brazil is a destination that brings the heat, in every respect of the word. The destination on every cool hunter's radar at the moment? Trancoso. Our Latin America expert Saskia has just returned from a trip to beach idyll and reckons it's the dream luxury break destination...

Top 10 Honeymoon Destinations

In need of some inspiration for your honeymoon? We are here to help! Want to know where in the world is best at a particular time of year? Or where you can dine alone on the beach at sunset? Or even where you can be pampered at a spa under the sea? We are here to help you create a completely bespoke luxury honeymoon. Give us a starting point and we will guide you through the process with your own personal travel consultant. Here are our top 10 honeymoon destinations...

Christmas Breaks: Embrace or Escape Santa

Whether you're a lover or a hater (of the festive season, that is) there are many wonderful places to spend the holiday. If you want to embrace or escape Father Christmas and all that he brings, allow us to suggest a few luxury getaways; from quiet couples escapes to large family get-togethers, low key retreats or celebratory breaks…

Top Honeymoon Destinations

Original Travel's honeymoons, be it a pampering mini-break or a far-flung exotic escape, will provide a welcome respite from wedding stresses and prove the most happy of starts to life as man and wife. Here are just some of our top honeymoon destinations …

10 Best Explore Holidays

If fly-and-flop holidays just aren't your thing, consider one of our best explore holidays. Not only do they give more structure to your time away, but new skills can be learnt and developed along the way, making them truly unique holiday experiences. Many of the active trips we offer are open to all abilities, and can be enjoyed alone, in couples or as families.

Top 5 Toddler Holidays For Your Little Terrors!

Lydia Gard is a freelance writer specialising in luxury family travel, since having two boys she is determined to find truly luxurious places that celebrate rather than simply tolerate young families. In her first of 6 blogs Lydia talks us through the her top 5 toddler holidays...

Colombia: Tayrona National Park (Part 2)

Colombia is doing an excellent job at shedding it's sinister image, as Latin America expert Steph found out on her latest visit. Read on to find out why the country makes an unusual and unique holiday destination...

Colombia: Visiting Cartagena (Part 1)

Colombia is doing an excellent job at shedding it's sinister image, as Latin America expert Steph found out on her latest visit. Read on to find out why the country makes an unusual and unique holiday destination...

Sports Holidays: On Your Marks

Rumour has it that a particular sporting bandwagon is rolling into town this summer. If, like us, you missed out on tickets, take a more Original stance and indulge in your favourite disciplines some place else.

80 Senses: #68 - The Salar de Uyuni Salt Flats

The weirdest view in the world... In the southwest corner of Bolivia lies the Salar de Uyuni: one of the most surreal places on earth. Spread out over more than 4,000 square miles like an ivory ocean, these are the largest salt flats on earth.

80 Senses: #36 - Huayna Picchu, Peru

An original take on a classic view... Huayna Picchu - 'Young Peak' in native Quecha - is the mountain that towers behind the citadel of Machu Picchu in the classic shot of this iconic destination. Few tourists know that it's also possible to climb the steep rocky path to the top to see Macchu from a completely different perspective.

80 Senses: #24 - Learn the Argentine Tango

You could be tangoed. Some wag once described dancing as the vertical expression of a horizontal desire, and if that's the case then the Argentine tango is positively x-rated. In Buenos Aires it's more often than not performed by really, really good looking locals, which only adds to the attraction. The Argentinian national dance developed from the various immigrant populations that make up the majority of the Argentine populous, with roots that combine African slave music with Andalucian melodies and Italian influence. That influence, presumably, being the ability to flirt like a pro.

80 Senses: #19 - Island of Fernando de Noronha

The most fun you can have with your swimmers on...Brazil is about the trendiest travel destination on the planet right now, and with the World Cup (2014) and an Olympics (2016) due in the next five years this flamboyant South American country is only going to get more airtime, and more popular. As you'd imagine, there are plenty of highlights in a place this huge, but after lengthy discussion the immensely influential 80 Senses Selection Committee have cherry-picked one particular highlight, and we bet our bottom Brazilian real you haven't heard of it.

A client view... Visit Argentina

In part 3 of a two week Latin America adventure, guest blogger Rosemary tells us all about her recent trip toArgentina.. From the capital to the countryside, Argentina offers once in a lifetime experiences to everyone...Arriving in Buenos Aires after two weeks exploring ancient sites and marvelling at nature's wonders requires a shift of gear! I couldn't wait to visit Argentina, where cosmopolitan, sophisticated, busy, are all words that come to mind.

The Lost World Project: Mount Roraima Venezuela (Part One)

Friend of Original Travel Robbie Miles recently won the trip of a life time on an expedition to the top of Mount Roraima Venezuela to accompany Adrian Warren, David Attenborough's camera man of 25 years and Jesse Wilkinson of 'Springwatch' during their shooting of "The Lost World Project". Here are his thoughts and feelings while on his fantastic adventure.

Mendoza Wine & Salta

I have just returned from Argentina after performing the arduous task of wine tasting...

Thank you so so much for all your help with our holiday; I cannot recommend all your efforts highly enough. Everything went so smoothly.

Fiona & James

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