Geography is destiny. For proof, look no further than Easter Island. It sits in blessed isolation, in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean, with nothing around it for over 1,000 miles. The closest continental point is in Chile, over 2,000 miles away.
As one of the world’s most remote inhabited islands, it has managed to preserve much of its aboriginal Rapa Nui culture. Its isolation, however, has also created some unique challenges, many of which LAN Airlines is helping to solve.
By Carlos Serrano, in Magazine
Photos by: Alvaro Delgado
With a cool, new vibe that has earned it the nickname “JetSetManí,” this neighborhood represents the best and most cosmopolitan aspects of the city where Gabriel García Márquez wrote some of his most memorable stories.
Chile’s gastronomic scene is hopping, with new ingredients, and new spins on old ingredients. And now, a new (to Chile) spin on a meal itself, the introduction of brunch to the Saturday and Sunday culinary scene in Santiago. Brunch is a combination of breakfast and lunch, and can include savory and sweet at the same meal, and essentially flies in the face of both the Chilean breakfast (it’s too big), and the Chilean lunch (it’s too varied). And while that might be the case, it’s catching on like crazy, with options at nearly every price point, and much of the length of the red line metro, from Las Condes down to Santiago Centro.
On a tiny, far-flung island—thousands of miles from any other populated land—that 6,000 people call home, hundreds of giant stone statues that used to stand sentry, lay in various states. Half-buried, fallen over, repurposed, and most famously, standing tall and photogenic, the moai of Easter Island are part of the mystery that makes this such an enticing tourist destination.
There’s a long oral history, as well as recent archaeological investigations, to answer questions about why they were erected, why the culture of carving and transporting moai stopped, and later, why the people themselves decided to topple them. There exists a living culture that involves traditional dance, music, food and carving, mostly Polynesian-influenced, but with touches of South America as well.
There’s no denying the island’s appeal, for cultures present and past, as well as its stark natural beauty. It’s an island with volcanic craters, just a handful of paved roads, few vehicles, a postcard-perfect white sand beach, and a calm vibe that means you can be as active or as relaxed as you like.
There are four world-renowned 5-star hotels on Isla de Pascua, each with a different architecture and focus, allowing travelers to choose the luxury experience that best suits them.
Photo: Ponta dos Ganchos
Let me preface this blog post by saying I have stayed in a lot of insane hotel rooms around the world. A lot. There was the absolutely ridiculous bungalow at the Six Senses Yao Noi, overlooking Phang Nga Bay in Ko Yao Noi, Thailand; there were the postcard-perfect vineyard views from the Poetry Inn in Sonoma, California; there was the memorable granite bathtub suite at Sabi Sands Game Reserve in South Africa; there was the insanely perfect Andes views from Cavas Wine Lodge in Mendoza, Argentina. The list goes on and on, nearly 80 countries deep at this point (don’t hate the player, hate the game).
Photo: Paul Silva
While it’s only recently received a nod from the international food community for its innovative dishes, creative ingredients and chefs who are committed to nothing less than perfection, Peru is (and has always been) a serious food country. Case in point – each September it hosts Mistura, South America’s largest and most popular food festival. This year half a million hungry food enthusiasts are expected to visit Costa Verde de Magdalena for the ten-day event which kicks off September 5.
Photo: Bridget Gleeson
Perhaps you’ve heard: in Buenos Aires, the aperitivo is back. The resurgence of the leisurely old tradition – sipping a cocktail, often vermouth-based, to stimulate the appetite before a meal – is partly due to the efforts of the one organization, the Movimiento Aperitivo Argentino (MAPA). Here’s what they’re up to, and a short list of the best places in the city for classic apéritifs.
Photo: Kevin Raub
When Brazilians talk food, they’ll usually tell you the gauchos in the South are the best at beef, Paulistanos are the best at pizza and everything gourmet and the Mineiros are the best at pretty much everything they pour their hearts into. Well, way up in the middle of the Amazon jungle is Belém, the second biggest city in the Amazon after Manaus, and people say folks from there and throughout the state of Pará, the Paraenses, are the Mineiros of the North. That is to say, they take their food muito sério!
You know that neighborhood with the wide streets, overarching trees and interesting boutiques, antiques, bookshops, clothing shops, yarn stores and furniture and design stores all laid out on a couple of compact blocks perfect for an afternoon stroll? That’s Santiago’s Barrio Italia.