With its rich history of healing philosophies, natural remedies and incredibly diverse landscape, the South American continent has something to offer every type of wellness traveller. From Colombia to the tip of Argentina, there’s a variety of traditional wellness remedies rooted in history, state-of-the-art facilities steeped in luxury, and customisable retreat experiences designed to leave travellers feeling revived, restored and with a spring in their step. We’ve rounded up the luxury wellness retreats in South America on our list for a next-level experience well worth travelling for.
1. Tierra Atacama
In the high-altitude Chilean desert, this boutique resort is one of the most unique luxury wellness retreat in South America, and offers guests an authentic experience that draws on the region’s rich history. Listed by National Geographic as one of its ‘Unique Lodges of the World’, this all-inclusive luxury wellness retreat offers guests full-board and daily excursions. Rooms boast floor to ceiling views of the surrounding scenery, while the UmaSpa features an outdoor hot tub, treatments utilising natural local ingredients and a wide range of spa treatments, including those derived from volcanic mud (in tribute to the resort’s proximity to the stunning Licancabur Volcano). The spa also hosts indoor and outdoor yoga sessions and boasts several quiet spaces for moments of quiet reflection and meditation.
Prices start from US$8,729 for a 7-night stay | tierrahotels.com
2. Casa San Agustin
This boutique resort in Colombia’s Cartagena restored the 17th-century building and transformed it into a modern wellness property that pays homage to its living history. It boasts exclusive access to a private beach on the island of Baru, while the Aurum Spa offers guests a range of revitalising body treatments, massages, hammam ritual experiences and more. Named after the Latin word for gold, Aurum spa’s aim is to awaken the inner power and light within guests through its restorative treatments.
Prices start from US$375 per night| hotelcasasanagustin.com
3. Uxua Casa Hotel & Spa
Uxua Casa Hotel and Spa is steeped in a rich history. Half of its casas date back more than half a century and were painstakingly restored back to their former glory with the work of designer Wilbert Das and a team of local artisans who used traditional and restored materials throughout the process. In Brazil’s Bahia state near the pedestrian, UNESCO protected town square, laidback is a way of life here, and one which guests find themselves quick to adopt. The hotel spa uses local produce and healing herbs, including almescar trees, virgin coconut oil and cacao.
Prices start from US$419 per night | uxua.com
4. Belmond Sanctuary Lodge
Belmond Sanctuary Lodge at Machu Picchu is the only hotel located at the entrance of the 600-year-old historic Inca citadel. With just 31 rooms and suites, the boutique property boasts a relaxing orchid garden, delicious Peruvian delicacies from its Tampu restaurant made from produce grown on-site, and a restorative spa space. Choose from a wide range of wellness activities, from yoga to shamanic ceremonies to spiritual coco leaf readings. Spa treatments are conducted outdoors overlooking Huayna Picchu, offering restorative experiences steeped in Inca traditions.
Prices start from US$549 per night | belmond.com
5. Rosewood Sao Paulo
Put this one on your bucket list for the new year: scheduled to open in 2020, Brazil and South America’s first Rosewood Hotel will be housed in a historic early 20th-century building in Citade Matarazzo. Restored with the help of renowned architect Jean Nouvel, designer Philippe Starck and artist Vik Nunez, the hotel will feature 277 rooms and suites, two restaurants, a rooftop and ground-level swimming pool and a spacious spa with six separate treatment rooms.
Price available on request | rosewoodhotels.com
6. Tierra Patagonia
Set among the rugged mountains of the Torres del Paine national park, Tierra Patagonia is a sustainable lodge that focuses as much on the luxurious experience it provides its guests as its ethical and environmental footprint. Outdoor excursions include hiking, horseback riding and tours of stunning glaciers. The Uma Spa features an indoor pool with floor to ceiling windows offering unparalleled views of the surrounding scenery, while nourishing, locally sourced meals keep guests well-fed and energised throughout their stay.
Prices start from US$11,250 for a 7-night stay | tierrahotels.com
7. The Vines Resort & Spa
Argentina is renowned around the world for its high-quality meat and wine, and this resort and spa offers you the chance to have the quintessential Argentinian experience with a healthy twist. Named one of Conde Nast’s Best New Hotels in the World, The Vines Resort & Spa lie in the Andean heartland, in Argentina’s Uco Valley and boasts its own vineyard where guests can join in with the vine-to-bottle process. Chef Francis Mallmann specialises in open-fire cooking, and while beef is what Argentina is famous for, vegans and vegetarians can also find plenty of culinary delights from the barbecue. Making the most of its surroundings, several fitness activities are organised outdoors overlooking the Andean mountain range, while a state-of-the-art indoor gym boasts treadmills, weights and a wide range of fitness equipment. Outdoor excursions, including heli-skiing, horseback riding and fly fishing, can be arranged upon request.
Prices start from US$770 per night | vinesresortandspa.com
8. Tambo del Inka Luxury Collection Resort & Spa
A trip to Machu Picchu is a once-in-a-lifetime, bucket list experience for many. And if you’re only going to do it once, there’s something to be said for doing it in style. Tambo del Inka is the only hotel in Urubamba with a private train station leading to Machu Picchu. The luxury property’s elegant rooms have balconies overlooking the Vilcanota River, while organic and local produce forms the basis of local delicacies. The hotel’s fitness centre is open 24 hours a day, while the Kallpa Spa water sweet comprises an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, Jacuzzi and water massage beds, among other facilities.
Prices start from US$273 per night | marriot.com
9. Cavas Wine Lodge
Situated in the heart of Andean wine country in Mendoza, Argentina, Cavas Wine Lodge is a sustainable resort, with solar panels, organic waste processing and recycling facilities on site. Just a 90-minute flight from Buenos Aires and with 320 days of sunshine each year, there’s never a bad time to visit. Four-night, five-day yoga packages are inclusive of accommodation in a luxury room with a private plunge pool and outdoor fireplace, three nutritious meals each day, morning and sunset yoga practice, a Tai massage, a healthy cooking class and a guided hike and meditation to Quebrada del Falso 55—and of course, time for a little tipple of the region’s famous wines, too.
Prices start from US$3,300 |cavaswinelodge.com
10. Hotel Las Islas
This Colombian eco-resort along the coast from Cartagena is nestled among the tropical forests and azure waters of Rosario and San Bernardo Corals National Natural Park. The peninsula juts into the Caribbean Sea, where most of this underwater national park lies. Accommodating guests in luxurious yet quaint thatched-roof treehouses, beach-side suites, or private-island villas. Las Islas boasts a comprehensive range of on and off-site wellness activities. In addition to a spa, gym, yoga studio and pool, the resort elevates its wellness offerings with cutting-edge neurostimulation technology, while on the beach, guests can kayak, canoe, paddleboard and snorkel. More intensive diving tours to see the coral, visit Cartagena, or go island hopping can also be arranged. Offering different two-night all-inclusive programmes with meals, two bicycles per room, water activities and a cooking class, this is the perfect South American beach wellness getaway.
Prices start from US$1,770 | lasislas.com.co