Bohemian Romance in South America
Let the warm Latin American weather and southern hemisphere sun set the tone for a romantic escape this year.
Here are some of our favourite bohemian romance getaways in South America; from surf and gastronomy in Peru, gypset indulgences in Argentina, to pure hedonism on the best beaches of Brazil.
For the Surf Sweethearts
Lima & Mancora
Gone are the days when Peru’s only claim to wanderlust-fame came from the Incan relics hidden in the valleys of the mighty Andes; and gone are the days when Lima—Peru’s coastal capital city—was a quick layover best avoided on the way to Cusco and Machu Picchu. Today, Lima is a thriving cultural melting pot brewing some of Latin America’s most eclectic art, sounds, flavours and ocean swell. Few cities in the world can match Lima’s ever-growing surf scene, which sees people from all ages, backgrounds and places tackle the reliable swell from sunrise to sundown.
Spend a few days in Lima pairing chilled surfing sessions with laid-back strolls in the historic city center and Barranco—Lima’s hip art district. Indulge in its vibrant culinary scene and unique Nikkei cuisine, hopping from delicious hole-in-the-wall eateries like Al Toke Pez, to the more sophisticated Maido or Virgilio Martinez’ Central.
Head north to the often-overlooked region of Piura to discover different side of Peru —one that up to very recently, was only known to locals and the international beatnik (see: Ernest Hemingway). Amidst the arid, mars-like desert of Tumbes is Mancora, a sleepy fishing village-cum-chic hideaway blessed with perpetual sunshine, wild beachscapes, and a perfect breakpoint that has attracted surfers and stylish artists for years. Settle into Kichic, an adult-only boutique hotel that knows how to set the tone for romance-filled nights with linen-draped canopy beds, intimate shaded nooks, outdoor baths, and the relaxing sound of the ocean surf at night.
Between sunrise surf sessions and sunset horseback rides on the windswept beaches of Las Pocitas and Organos, indulge in rejuvenating wellness therapies at Kichic, or late-night dinner dates at Juan Seminario’s La Sirena restaurant.
For the Hedonist Lovers
Rio & Trancoso
Nowhere does sensuality come to life more naturally than in Brazil—a country, culture and people that are defined by the exuberant natural beauty of the South American tropics and an inherent care-free lifestyle that moves to the rhythm of pulsating samba sounds.
There’s no better introduction to the seductive exoticism of Brazil than by touching down in Rio de Janeiro and letting the Cariocas do the talking (and the dancing). It’s said that anything done as a pair in Rio inevitably becomes a romantic affair, as the city’s intense heat and steamy atmosphere penetrate even the shyest of hearts. Mornings are best enjoyed roaming the colourful streets of Santa Teresa, getting lost in Parque Lage or soaking up the sun at Copacabana and Ipanema beach. Beautiful sunset spots abound across the city, and it might just be the perfect romantic adventure to find your favourite nook and watch the sun retreat. And while the evenings might inherently call for sexy samba dancing on the Selaron steps, Rio also knows how to turn up the glamour and sophistication: a night cap at the legendary Copacabana Palace is bound to set the mood for an epic romantic getaway in Brazil.
Brazil also knows how to play the intimate romance card, and nowhere is this more evident than in Wilbert Das’ private bohemian paradise in Trancoso. This secret hideaway has been the preferred getaway of the international gypset since its opening. The 11 bright-coloured casitas with white-washed shutters date back 500 years, beautifully restored by Das with the help of local artisans using traditional techniques and reclaimed materials. A few nights in Uxua Casa & Spa is enough to fall head-over-heels with a quieter rendition of Brazil that does not surrender its characteristic joyful charm.
Whether it’s secluded privacy or five-star treatment that you seek, Uxua’s effortless rustic appeal sets the tone for a nature-filled romantic retreat nestled in the heights of an uber-chic treehouse, or a casita on the steps of the sandy Bahia beach.
For the Epicurean Darlings
Buenos Aires & Jose Ignacio
Argentina boasts a unique joie de vivre devoted to love. Whether it’s in the antique-filled streets of San Telmo that dance to the sound of a heart-wrenching tango, or famous Argentine writers’ odes immortalised across the city walls, love is the essence that drives forward Argentina and its people.
Begin your romance-filled getaway in Buenos Aires, endearingly coined by locals as the Paris of South America—and let’s face it, what’s more romantic that a latin-hearted french love affair? Buenos Aires’ hopelessly romantic character can be felt across its deeply contrasting neighbourhoods, ensuring to keep things interesting and unexpected. Get lost in the vintage markets of bohemian San Telmo, stroll the perfectly groomed streets, palatial facades and galleries of elegant Recoleta, or let Palermo’s trendy energy draw you into some of the city’s most under-the-radar shops and restaurants.
Between Malbec-filled rooftop dinners and intimate local milongas that seriously turn up the heat, you will come to learn that Portenos know a thing or two about romancing—and getting away. If the city gets too much, taking cue from the inner Porteno crowd and head over to the raw and wildly chic Uruguayan town of Jose Ignacio. This small retreat comes to life during the southern summer months, attracting both a local and international crowd looking for the ultimate boho-chic retreat. Unlike its better-known neighbour of Punta de Este, Jose Ignacio is an art and design haven that remains small, rustic and unpretentious. Fall in love with the slow-paced rhythm of Jose Ignacio and the remote Uruguayan countryside, the perfect backdrop to disconnect from the world and reconnect with your darling.