Where to Travel for Luxury in South America

From vibrant capital cities, towns nestled in the snow-capped Andes and spectacular beach resorts to pristine national parks, colossal glaciers and remote islands, South America is an incredibly diverse continent. If you crave all of this but would also like to add some luxury to your holiday then we think that these five destinations fit the bill perfectly.

Chiloé Archipelago, Chile

Chiloé Archipelago

Visiting Chiloé in Chile’s Lake District is like being transported back in time a hundred years. It’s a destination of pristine islands shrouded in ancient folklore and mythology and home to mouthwatering cuisine. Whether your idea of fun is trekking in national parks, kayaking around sea channels, admiring unique architectural styles or spotting whales, Chiloé has it all. Stay at Tierra Chiloé, a boutique and eco-conscious hotel built to reflect the natural scenery. You’ll wake up to views of the ocean and mountainous landscapes that make the archipelago famous. The in-house chefs take inspiration from the rich fishing heritage while the bar stocks a vast collection of Chilean wines.

Conceição da Ibitipoca, Brazil

Conceição da Ibitipoca, Brazil
Take a break from Brazil’s glorious coastlines and flamboyant cities to relax in Conceição da Ibitipoca, a village set in the lush green foothills of the Mantiquiera Mountains. With Ibitipoca State Park on the doorstep there’s plenty of opportunities to enjoy intimate interactions with Brazil’s mountainous scenery. You’ll encounter caves, quartzite rocks and waterfalls when walking trails that run alongside a narrow, forested lake. Reserva do Ibitipoca is an eco-retreat set in verdant farmland with direct access to the park. It has a rustic feel inspired by an 18th-century fazenda and a spa that’s perfect after a biking, hiking or horseback riding excursion.

Galápagos Islands, Ecuador

Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
Situated in the Pacific Ocean about 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) from Ecuador, the Galápagos Islands are where exotic creatures roam freely while turning a blind eye to snap-happy tourists. Lunar-like landscapes decorate this mystical archipelago, which has been attracting biologists, naturalists and adventuresome tourists to its crystalline waters for almost 500 years. Experience this natural paradise on a luxury cruise. Spend your days swimming with giant sea turtles, sunbathing alongside marine iguanas and discovering lava tubes before returning to the boat for lunch, dinner and a peaceful night’s sleep.

José Ignacio, Uruguay

José Ignacio, Uruguay
Once a tranquil fishing village, today José Ignacio is the epitome of bohemian chic throughout the South American summer months. Sun-kissed jet-setters with gym-honed bodies descend upon the two beautiful beaches and restaurants presided over by celebrity chefs. Naomi Campbell, Ronnie Wood and Shakira have all been spotted vacating here in recent years. Bahia Vik is the perfect place to enjoy the stylish vibe of this beach town. Choose a private waterfront bungalow with uninterrupted beach and sunset views. If you prefer utmost privacy then a short drive into the countryside is Estancia VIK, a 12-room ranch-style hotel decorated with works by notable Latin American artists.

Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta National Park, Colombia

Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta National Park, Colombia
This unblemished natural park stretches from Colombia’s Caribbean coastline to 18,700-feet (5,700-meter) tall snowy peaks via emerald valleys and cloud forests. It’s a place to go rafting on crystal-clear rivers, spot howler monkeys in jungles, visit Kogi tribal villages and trek to the terraced ruins of the Ciudad Perdida. Make your way to Reserva One Love, set on a bend of the Palomino River, and stay at a luxurious bungalow encompassed by colorful flora and the sounds of exotic wildlife. When you want to get active the hotel staff is on hand to arrange paddle boarding, trekking and tubing activities.

About the author: Bradley | Writer for The Discoverer

From as early as he can remember Bradley was road-tripping across the UK, France and Spain with his family. Since then he’s visited 40-plus countries and lived on four continents. Today he divides his time between Buenos Aires and the beaches of Punta del Este, Uruguay and puts his wanderlust to good use by writing about his travels.

The 6 Most Jaw-Dropping Train Routes in the World

1. Rocky Mountaineer – Vancouver to Banff, Canada

Rocky Mountaineer – Vancouver to Banff, Canada
This breathtaking train route will give you access to some of the most awe-inspiring views ever! Soak in an endless landscape of snow-capped mountain peaks as the Rocky Mountaineer takes you from the shores of the Pacific Ocean to Banff, Canada’s majestic national park. You will set out from the cosmopolitan city of Vancouver and weave alongside steep canyons ending up in the untamed wilderness of the Canadian Rockies. Along the way, you will be spoiled with first-class service, food, drinks, and scenery as luxury meets wilderness.

2. Tranzalpine – Christchurch to Greymouth, New Zealand

Tranzalpine - Christchurch to Greymouth, New Zealand
The only way to take in the Southern Alps of New Zealand is aboard the TranzAlpine, New Zealand’s jaw-dropping rail journey. Climb aboard and experience the South Island’s stunning natural landscape. Along this journey from Christchurch to Greymouth, you will witness epic vistas, voyage along the edges of the ice-fed Waimakariri River and wind through miles of native beech forest. The perfect stop along the way is Moana, which is set amid a remote mountain paradise midway between Arthur’s Pass and Greymouth, and home to the idyllic Lake Brunner. This trip will certainly be a journey of a lifetime.

3. West Highland Line – Glasgow to Mallaig, Scotland

West Highland Line - Glasgow  to Mallaig, Scotland
Fans of the Harry Potter movies will be departing from Platform 9 ¾ for a magical trip to the Scottish Highlands. The West Highland Line is a brilliant way to experience Scotland’s western coast. You will set off from the bustling city of Glasgow and gently wind your way through verdant glens and serene lochs. After a trip through secluded heather moors, the train will pass Ben Nevis, the highest peak on the British Isles. If you would like a wee dram of Scotch, make sure to take a tour of the Ben Nevis Distillery and experience “Uisge beatha” – the water of life.

4. Orient Express – Paris, France to Istanbul, Turkey

Orient Express – Paris, France to Istanbul, Turkey
The Orient Express has been associated with both stylish adventures and the golden age of travel for more than a century and its celebrated route takes you between the two most exotic destinations in the world—Paris and Istanbul. After a brief hiatus, its most celebrated route is back! You can journey across Europe and into Turkey’s most famous city in a rolling realm of style and comfort. But you need to really plan this one out because it only makes the journey once a year. Once on board, you will be transported back in time as you explore a collection of romantic cities such as Paris, Budapest, Bucharest and Istanbul.

5. Golden Eagle (Trans-Siberian Railway) – Moscow to Vladivostok, Russia

Golden Eagle (Trans-Siberian Railway) – Moscow to Vladivostok, Russia
The Trans-Siberian Railway is arguably one of the world’s most amazing railway journey’s. It winds across a once secretive Russia, connecting east and west. This fabulous route runs from Moscow over the regal Urals, across the magnificent and endless plains and ends at the port city of Vladivostok. alongside the shores of Lake Baikal, the world’s largest freshwater lake. Start your visit with a couple of days in Moscow and take in the grandeur of the Kremlin and see the treasures of the Tsars in the Armory Chamber. As you roll on west towards Vladivostok, a stop at Lake Baikal will leave you speechless as you stand on the shores of the crystal-clear waters of the world’s oldest and deepest freshwater lake. End your train trek taking in the still waters of the sea surrounding the historic city of Vladivostok.

6. Glacier Express – Zermatt to St. Moritz, Switzerland

Glacier Express - Zermatt to St. Moritz, Switzerland
The Glacier Express has to be on any list of greatest train journeys in the world. Express is a relative term on this awesome trip because the train is billed as the “slowest express train in the world.” The route takes you across 291 bridges and through 91 tunnels, up to the mile-high Oberalppass. Travel in comfort as you soak in the traditions and centuries-old Swiss culture. You will be given a front-row seat to the “window of the Alps” as you travel through the unspoiled natural beauty of a land rich in ancient, fragrant mountain forests, peaceful Alpine meadows, and roaring mountain rivers. Highlights of your journey will be a stop in St. Moritz and the alpine village of Zermatt where you can take in breathtaking views of the Matterhorn. Better practice your yodeling skills.

About the author: Jim Stewart | Writer for The Discoverer

Born in Paris, Jim is a retired lecturer of African Studies and self-described life-long global trekker. His career as an Air Force officer gave him the chance to experience amazing and exotic destinations in Europe, Asia and Africa. He is at home on the golf cours

Audio Bible’s Study

To hear Brian Hardin read today’s Scripture selection, click here and then click the audio button in the top .left

Ecclesiastes 10-12

10 A dead fly causes a stench in mixed anointing oil,
so a little folly is more weighty than wisdom and honor.
The heart of the wise inclines to the right,
but the heart of a fool to the left.
Even when a fool walks on the road,
he lacks sense,
and he shows everyone that he is a fool.
If the anger of a ruler rises against you,
do not leave your post;
for calmness pacifies great offenses.

There is an evil that I have seen under the sun
like an error that goes out from a ruler:
Folly is set in many high places,
but the rich sit in a low place.
I have seen slaves riding on horses,
and officials walking along the ground like slaves.

He who digs a pit will fall into it,
and whoever breaks through a wall will be bitten by a serpent.
He who quarries stones is injured by them,
and he who splits wood is in danger from them.

10 If an iron piece is blunt
and there is no one to sharpen it,
then he must prevail with more strength;
but wisdom is a benefit to succeed.

11 If a serpent bites before it is charmed,
there is no advantage to the charmer.

12 The words of a wise man’s mouth bring favor,
but the speech of a fool consumes him;
13 the beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness,
and the end of his talk is evil madness.
14 A fool multiplies words,
though no man knows what is to be;
who can tell him what will be after him?

15 The labor of the foolish makes him weary,
such that he does not know the way to the city!

16 Woe to you, O land, when your king is a lad,
and your princes are feasting in the morning!
17 Happy are you, O land, when your king is from nobility,
and your princes are feasting at the appropriate time—
with self-control and not drunkenness!

18 The roof beams sink in with slothfulness,
and with the idleness of one’s hands the house drips.

19 They make feasts for laughter,
and wine gladdens life;
but money resolves everything.

20 Even in your mind do not curse the king;
and in your bedchamber do not curse the rich;
for a bird in the sky may carry your voice,
and a winged creature may declare the matter.

The Value of Diligence

11 Cast your bread upon the waters,
for you will find it after many days.
Give a portion to seven, or even eight,
for you do not know what calamity may happen on the earth.

If the clouds are full of rain,
they empty out on the land;
and if a tree falls to the north or south,
in the place that the tree falls, there it will be.
He who observes the wind will not sow,
and he who regards the clouds will not reap.

As you do not know the way of the wind,
or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child;
likewise you do not know the work of God
who has made everything.

In the morning sow your seed,
and in the evening do not let your hand rest;
because you do not know which activity will find success,
this way or that way,
or if the both will be good.

Remember Your Creator in Your Youth

Light is sweet,
and good for the eyes to see the sun;
for if a man lives many years,
may he rejoice in all of them.
But let him also remember
that the days of darkness are many.
Everything that comes is vanity.

Rejoice, O young man, in your youth,
and in your early years may your heart do you good;
walk in the path of your heart
and the desire of your eyes;
but know that in all these things
God will bring you into judgment.
10 Take away anger from your heart,
and remove distress from your body,
for youth and the dawn are vanity.

12 Remember your Creator
in the days of your youth,
before the difficult days come
and the years arrive when you say,
“I have no pleasure in them”:
before the sun, light,
moon, and stars are darkened,
and the clouds leave after the rain;
in the day when those watching the house tremble,
and the strong men are bent over;
when the grinders cease because they are few,
and those looking through the windows have dimmed eyes;
and the doors on the street are shut,
and the sound of grinding is low;
and one rises up at the sound of a bird,
and all the daughters of song are brought low;
when they are afraid of heights,
even the terrors along the road;
the almond tree blossoms,
the grasshopper drags itself along
and desire fails,
because man goes to his eternal home,
and the mourners go about the streets.

Remember your Creator before the cord of silver is snapped,
or the bowl of gold smashed,
or the jar by the spring broken
or the wheel at the cistern crushed.
The dust returns to the earth where it was,
and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

It is all vanity, says the Preacher;
all is vanity.

Epilogue

And in addition to being wise, the Preacher still taught the people knowledge, and he considered, sought out, and arranged many proverbs. 10 And the Preacher sought to discover words of delight, and to write in uprightness words of truth.

11 The words of the wise are like goads, and the collected sayings are like firmly embedded nails, given by one shepherd. 12 My son, beware of anything beyond these.

Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness to the flesh.

13 Now all has been heard.
Let us hear the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep His commandments,
for this is the whole duty of man.
14 For God will bring every deed into judgment,
including every secret thing,
whether good or evil.

Modern English Version (MEV)The Holy Bible, Modern English Version. Copyright © 2014 by Military Bible Association. Published and distributed by Charisma House.

2 Corinthians 8:1-15

Liberal Giving

Moreover, brothers, we want you to experience the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia, how in a great trial of affliction, the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty overflowed toward the riches of their generous giving. For I bear record that according to their means, and beyond their means, they freely gave, begging us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of ministering to the saints. This they did, not as we expected. First, they gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God. So we urged Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also complete this gracious deed for you. But as you abound in everything—in faith, in utterance, in knowledge, in all diligence, and in your love to us—see that you abound in this grace also.

I say this not as a command, but to prove through the authenticity of others, the sincerity also of your love. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that through His poverty you might be rich.

10 And in this matter I give my advice. It is appropriate for you, who began last year not only to give, but also to willingly give. 11 Now therefore complete the task, so that, as there was a willingness to do so, there may be a performance of it according to your means. 12 For if there is a willing mind first, the gift is accepted according to what a man possesses and not according to what he does not possess.

13 I do not mean that other men have relief, and you be burdened, 14 but for equality, that your abundance now at this time may supply their need, and their abundance may supply your need—that there may be equality. 15 As it is written, “He who gathered much had no excess. And he who gathered little had no lack.”

Modern English Version (MEV)The Holy Bible, Modern English Version. Copyright © 2014 by Military Bible Association. Published and distributed by Charisma House.

Psalm 49

Psalm 49

For the Music Director. A Psalm of the sons of Korah.

Hear this, all you people;
give ear, all you inhabitants of the world,
both low and high,
rich and poor together.
My mouth will speak wisdom,
and the meditation of my heart will be understanding.
I will incline my ear to a parable;
I will expound my riddle with a harp.

Why should I fear in the days of evil,
when the iniquity of my stalkers surrounds me?
Those who trust in their wealth,
and boast in the multitude of their riches,
none of them can by any means redeem the other,
nor give to God a ransom for anyone,
for the redemption of their souls is costly;
even so people cease to exist forever,
making efforts to live eternally,
and not see the pit.
10 For one sees that wise men die,
together the fool and the brute perish,
and leave their wealth to others.
11 Their graves become their perpetual homes,
and their dwelling places to all generations,
though they call their lands after their own names.

12 But a man does not abide in honor;
mankind is like the beasts that come to ruin.

13 This is their way, it is their folly;
yet their posterity approve their sayings. Selah
14 Like sheep they are appointed for Sheol;
Death shall be their shepherd;
the upright shall rule over them in the morning,
and their form shall waste away in Sheol,
far from their dwelling.
15 But God shall redeem my soul from the power of Sheol,
for He shall receive me. Selah
16 Do not fear when one is made rich,
when the glory of his house is increased,
17 for he takes nothing away in death;
his glory does not descend after him.
18 Though while he lives he blesses his soul—
and men will praise you when you do well for yourself—
19 that soul will go to the generation of his fathers;
they will never see light.

20 A man in honor, and yet without understanding,
is like the animals that perish.

Modern English Version (MEV)The Holy Bible, Modern English Version. Copyright © 2014 by Military Bible Association. Published and distributed by Charisma House.

Proverbs 22:20-21

20 Have I not written to you excellent things
in counsels and knowledge,
21 that I might make you know the certainty of the words of truth,
that you might answer the words of truth
to those who send to you?

Modern English Version (MEV)The Holy Bible, Modern English Version. Copyright © 2014 by Military Bible Association. Published and distributed by Charisma House.