My next Nat Geo trip is just around the corner. Come February I’ll be on my way to Central and South America. Of the eight stops on this itinerary, three are next level when it comes to WOW-factor!
1. Iguacu Falls and Belmond Hotel das Cataratas
- Iguacu Falls is a World Heritage site and one of the most dramatic waterfalls in the world. Its 275 cascades span two miles.
- I can expect to run into tapirs, sloths, and howler monkeys.
- I signed up to zoom into the heart of the waterfalls on a Zodiac boat. It is very dramatic and a bit scary. Hopefully, this was a good idea 😜.
- We’ll be staying at the Belmond Hotel das Cataratas, the only hotel located within the borders of the Iguaçu National Park (pic below).
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Iguacu Falls and the Belmond Hotel das Cataratas
2. Patagonia Torres del Paine National Park, staying at the Explora Patagonia Hotel
Torres del Paine National Park is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, made up of the breathtaking scenery of the Paine Massif. It’s home to eagles, condors, foxes, guanacos, and nandu. The hotel sounds amazing and very remote. It’s 5 hours from the small airport we’ll be flying into on chartered jets.
3. Rio de Janeiro
I am shocked at how intrigued I am to visit Rio. I am not a fan of any of the usual reasons why people love that city (beaches, Carnival, crazy partying). But I am thrilled to check out Christ the Redeemer, the 98-foot-tall art deco statue standing watch over Rio. And I am also signed up for the ride to the summit of Sugarloaf Mountain by cable car.
I cannot believe I am lucky enough to experience these locations firsthand.
Besides these three highlights, I’m also especially excited about Tikal—one of the largest cities in the Classic Maya world and a UNESCO World Heritage site and Cartagena (declared a World Heritage site in 1984).
Here’s a link to the entire itinerary.