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It's hard to believe that it was only last month we declared the LAN Airlines lounge at Buenos Aires' Ezeiza Airport the "best in South America." That may have been true at the time but, as of this week, the tides have changed and LAN's home airport in Santiago, Chile now not only claims the best lounge in South America, but the largest.
The brand new Salon VIP opened at SCL yesterday, and it borrows much of the look and South American design influence of that Buenos Aires lounge, albeit on a grander scale.
As the largest lounge in South America, it naturally boasts some impressive numbers, like the facts that it's 23,000 square feet, with 28 restrooms, 10 showers, a 180-foot-long buffet, 46 employees, and the capacity for 460 travelers. It's nearly 24 hours, with operating hours from 3am to 1am daily.
Welcome to Chile. Want to star in an “Indiana Jones” movie? You’re in luck.
Dust off your felt fedora and practice your bullwhip crack, because the Montaña Mágica Lodge looks like something straight out of a Harrison Ford flick. In fact, the only way to access this luxury hotel, which is nestled within a 300,000-acre biological reserve in the southern Andes, is by traversing a swinging rope bridge of wooden planks.
To really up the adventure ante, request that staff hide behind thickets and assail you with poison-tipped blowgun darts! (Just kidding, they don’t do that. Well, maybe if you ask nicely.)
Weather / Perfect Weather / Travel Tips / Chile Travel / LAN / Only in South America / IPC / Island Travel / Easter Island Travel / SCL / → All Tags
If it's cold where you live, then pay attention this week as we profile a few Perfect Weather destinations.
Chile's Easter Island (also called "Rapa Nui" and "Isla de Pascua") is an incredible destination. Travelers to this place in the Pacific Ocean, one of the most remote inhabited islands in the world, go here because it is a dream destination. There's a great deal of planning and passion behind their itineraries, and the great majority fly in on LAN via Santiago, Chile or Papeete, Tahiti, currently the only routes serving Easter Island.
The island's climate is subtropical, most of it is a protected national park, and it's on the Southern Hemisphere's calendar of seasons (January is in summer, July is in winter). Those interested in geology, archaeology, astronomy, hiking, surfing, and general exploration will find Easter Island exhilarating. To best plan when to go, we have some suggestions:
Food Worth Flying For / Chile Travel / Patagonia Travel / Only in South America / Hotels / Punta Arenas Travel / Food Travel / → All Tags
That croissant in Paris. The char kway teow in Singapore. That cup of hot chocolate in Perugia. This is Food Worth Flying For. In this new series, Jaunted's contributors share the foods they'd gladly fly around the world for (and probably already have).
Patagonia is a bucketlist destination for sure, and staying at the 5-star Singular Hotel on Last Hope Sound is certainly elevating an already superlative experience. If ever you find yourself in this corner of the world (and you really should), step into the hotel's restaurant and order the best red meat dish we've ever eaten: sous vide Tierra del Fuego guanaco with native wheat.
What's "guanaco?" Well, it's an animal (a camelid like llamas and alpacas) that enjoys hanging out in the mountainous regions of South America. They have to be seen to be believed, and their meat eaten for the exquisite tastiness to be understood.
Homemade Pastel de Choclo
When visiting the center of Santiago, a walk through the Mercado Central or La Vega is a must for foodies looking to discover the local scene. Always chatty and full of color, these markets carry a lot of personality and plenty of opportunities to munch along the way. But if you want to discover the traditional dishes that Chileans chow down on when they go out for a casual meal, be sure to make the rounds to the local restaurants and order these favorites:
Ski Travel / Chile Travel / Portillo Travel / Valle Nevado Travel / Santiago Travel / South America Travel / Active Travel / Snowboard Travel / Snowboarding / Skiing / Heli-skiing / → All Tags
In this post, we highlight the two most recognizable for out-of-towners, Portillo and Valle Nevado. What's the difference between the two, and which is right for you? Read on to find out.
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View from the top of Toco Mountain at 18,385 feet on the border of Chile and Bolivia
Beautiful, isn't it? The Atacama offers an awe-inspiring combination of desert landscape, towering peaks, and refreshing lagoons, and travelers should spend as much time as they possibly can exploring these incredible outdoor opportunities. Just make sure you don't do it alone.
Hiking alone, or in a group that lacks someone with knowledge of the area, is never a good idea. It's a pretty basic rule of thumb when it comes to the wilderness. But it's even more true in Atacama. One wrong step, and you could find yourself missing half your leg. No, it's not the monsters from the movie Tremors. The real reason is perhaps even more peculiar: There are thousands of active landmines stashed throughout the region.
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When you visit Chile for the first time, you'll notice very quickly that while the locals are technically speaking Spanish, their dialect is 1) very fast and 2) filled with slang words. You will be understood if you speak proper Spanish, but understanding a local will be much easier if you spend some time learning their lingo. Plus, you want to sound cool, right? Below, we've provided a few words that are simple to remember to help get you started:
Monday Five Thirty / Drinking Travel / Chile Travel / South America Travel / Booze Travel / Lists / Santiago Travel / Portillo Travel / → All Tags
Everyone knows that Chile makes one hell of a Pisco Sour, and last year, we told you how you can put a twist on it by adding in some of the Atacama's medicinal plant, Rica Rica. But did you know that the most common way the locals drink Pisco is in soda? When you're ready to go beyond the country's famous cocktail, here's what you should be drinking in Chile:
Starting at the edge of the Laguna Del Inca, skiers take the El Plateau chair lift up to Portillo's on-mountain restaurant, Tio Bob's. As you'll see in the photo essay below, it's one of the most scenic lunch and apres ski spots in South America, if not the world, thanks to its location amongst the jagged peaks. Next week, we'll break down Portillo and how the ski area compares to the nearby competition. For now, enjoy the dramatic views of the Andes Mountains:
Travel Snapshot / Wish You Were Here / Portillo Travel / Chile Travel / Ski Travel / Adventure Travel / → All Tags
It might still be sweltering in many parts of the States, but it's wintertime here in Chile.
This week, we're getting an early start on the traditional North American ski season in Portillo, located in the Andes about two and half hours from Santiago. It's where many Olympians and celebrity skiers come to train during the "offseason." We're here to soak all that in, as well as investigate how Portillo differs from Santiago's other ski region, Valle Nevado.
In-Flight Entertainment / American Airlines / Airline Meals / Chile Travel / Santiago Travel / → All Tags
Last weekend, we flew American Airlines from Dallas-Fort Worth to Santiago. The route was serviced by a 767-300, which, due to maintenance problems, was delayed 12 hours from Thursday night to Friday morning. After we had reached cruising altitude, the flight attendants came on to explain "today's entertainment."
There were five old-school televisions on the plane, all hung up over the center row. Depending on where you were seated, you may or may not have been actually able to see one clearly – a frustration many passengers vocalized to themselves and their neighbors. I was lucky. I was sitting in a G aisle seat, about a half dozen rows back from a screen, and could see it perfectly in all its 9 by 13 inch glory.