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  1. 1. { Special Advertising Section } (Latin)america Passportto Adventure Discover the natural beauty, colorful culture, and welcoming people of Brazil, Costa Rica, Panama, and Peru. Latin America’s majestic scenery is dominated by awe-inspiring panoramas of lush valleys, rain forests, and waterfalls—without any harsh city angles getting in the way. Overhead the crisp sky is free of pollution and a calm hangs in the air where birds twitter and playful monkeys scamper. Indeed the experience is so priceless one might even see jewel tones in Latin America’s ecological riches—the turquoise plumage of the quetzal, the sapphire wings of the morpho butterfly, and the ruby accents of the colorful macaw’s feathers. Amid this invigorating natural splendor, lazy beach days and once-in-a-lifetime adventures await, from canopy tours and rain forest expeditions to kayaking trips. And that’s only the beginning, today’s Latin America offers an abundance of luxury resorts, sumptuous spas, and gourmet restaurants: Imagine a thermal spa at the base of a misty volcano, a resort nestled in a serene nature sanctuary, or a meandering cruise down the grand Amazon. Indulge your curiosity and be amazed by Latin America’s natural treasures. Praia do Forte, Bahia, Brazil
  2. 2. With over a fourth of its land protected in national parks and other nature areas, Costa Rica has made its legacy as a premier destination for eco-tourism and adventure travel—60 percent of visitors go to a national park while here. Its paradise-like appeal expands throughout a blanket of colorful rain forests, pristine beaches, wondrous rivers, and amazing volcanoes, all ready-made for grand experiences from rain forest hikes to diving and surfing. In the Central Valley, the Reventazon and Pacuare rivers provide exhilarating white- water rafting; the Pacific Coast offers excellent snorkeling and kayaking in Carara National Park, Manuel Antonio National Park, and Drake Bay; and in the north, Monteverde has several amazing cloud forest reserves for canopy tours, bird watching, and botanical exhibitions. As a leader in sustainable tourism, Costa Rica has seamlessly integrated plush resorts, indulgent spas, and gourmet restaurants into its gorgeous landscape. Boutique hotels are tucked into rain forests and spas reside in the foothills of majestic volcanoes, providing breathtaking glimpses of stunning natural splendor without the distraction of city streets or the squawk of traffic. In these lush surroundings, Costa Rica distills its own blend of the dolce vita: the pura vida. This local expression translates to “pure life,” however its true meaning comes closer to “enjoy life” or “right on.” As some of the most hospitable and friendly people in the world, Costa Ricans or Ticos will insist that no trip to their gorgeous country is complete without a visit to one of the country’s dramatic volcanoes. Perhaps the most famous hotspots are Arenal in the north and Poas and Irazú in the Central Valley. Sitting in the foothills of the Arenal, the five-star Tabacón Grand Spa Thermal Resort complements this natural marvel with a pampering spa and a restaurant that looks out over waterfalls and the volcano. When speaking about Costa Rica’s beaches, again, there’s some significance to the word “coast” being right in the country’s name. Enjoying the narrow geography of Central America, Costa Rica’s Caribbean and Pacific beaches are just three hours apart by car (a 45-minute plane ride). Its Caribbean shores are characterized by picturesque black-and-white sand beaches bathed in warm sunlight; perfect for lazy afternoons spent fishing, dozing in the sun, or snorkeling { Special Advertising Section } COSTA RICA When Christopher Columbus landed on the strip of land nestled between today’s Nicaragua and Panama, he christened it “la costa rica,” or the rich coast, believing the area was laden with gold. Even though it would be Columbus’ final voyage to the New World, the name stuck and Costa Rica would live up to his praise becoming one of the most ecologically wealthy, economically strong, and peaceful countries in Central America. COSTA RICA | PANAMA | BRAZIL | PERU Above: Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge, Costa Rica. Below, left to right: Braulio Carrillo National Park, Costa Rica; a scarlet macaw. (Latin)america Top:SergioPucci
  3. 3. amid underwater menageries. The exciting waves on Costa Rica’s Pacific side have made it a popular surfing mecca, but even if you’re more likely to catch a cab than a wave, these lively beaches still have an irresistible pull. In the northwest, the Guanacaste region boasts some of Costa Rica’s finest beaches, standout resorts, and pristine national parks for hiking, bird watching, and horseback riding. U.S. and Canadian carriers, such as American, Continental, and Delta, offer daily flights to the nearby Daniel Oduber Liberia International Airport, making Guanacaste a convenient beach getaway. Opening this December, the new 310-room JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa is one of Central America’s most eagerly anticipated luxury properties. Sitting on a secluded beach within the Hacienda Pinilla complex, a unique residential beach and golf community, the JW Marriott Guanacaste is inspired by traditional Costa Rican handicrafts and the beautiful natural surroundings.The resort’s design embodies rustic luxury with open terraces, exposed wood ceilings, colonial tile work, mosaic floors, and stone patios with sparkling water fountains. Even the resort’s 43,000-square- foot pool has a natural, organic feel with a free-flowing layout of private alcoves for couples and open spaces for families. Intertwined in Costa Rica’s environmental appeal is an emphasis on health and wellness escapes.The country’s radiant sunshine, warm tropical air, and natural beauty inspire an overall sense of well-being, which is only complemented by fantastic spas and fitness centers. At the JW Marriott Guanacaste, the full- service spa will have specialized treatment rooms, a beauty salon, a serenity lagoon with palapas for outdoor massages, and a state-of-the-art, two-level gym. For relaxing on the golf course, the JW Marriott Guanacaste has easy access to the Hacienda Pinilla’s 18-hole championship course designed by Mike Young. This oceanfront masterpiece hugs the landscape’s slopes and contours providing gorgeous vistas and plenty of challenges. { Special Advertising Section } panama Connecting Central and South America, Panama forms the thin isthmus between Costa Rica and Colombia. In some places, it is only about 30 miles across, making it the perfect site for the globe’s most famous shortcut, the Panama Canal. Built to connect the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, the Canal allowed the first ship to sail across the isthmus in early 1914. Today, it expedites more than 13,000 ships per year, representing about five percent of the world’s trade. However, even here at this most remarkable manmade wonder, Panama’s natural beauty still manages to trump human ingenuity. This is true across Panama: Nearly 30 percent of the country is set aside for conservation purposes with 14 national parks and 16 wildlife refuges and reserves that are home to more than 1,000 bird, 220 mammal, and 354 reptilian and amphibian species. Straddling the biospheres of North and South America, Panama has species from both continents.The country encompasses approximately 3.5 million acres of rain forests, jungles, mountain ranges, marine areas, beaches, and desert landscapes, and is home to the second largest rain forest in the Western Hemisphere, a reserve that is only surpassed in size by the Amazon basin itself. Panama’s gateway between nature and culture is the bustling metropolis of Panama City. Deemed the most cosmopolitan city in Central America, this dynamic urban center offers world-class restaurants, chic bars, and lively nightlife. In many ways Panama City is three Bocas Del Toro, Panama. Below: JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa, Costa Rica. COSTA RICA | PANAMA | BRAZIL | PERU (Latin)america
  4. 4. { Special Advertising Section } COSTA RICA | PANAMA | BRAZIL | PERU (Latin)america cities in one—the ruins of Old Panama (Panama Viejo), the charming Old World buildings and plazas of Colonial Panama (Casco Viejo), and the shopping and business centers of modern Panama. And this fascinating city’s sleek skyline sits just 10 minutes from the treetop canopy of the teeming Metropolitan National Park—the only tropical forest park in Latin America that lies within city limits. Throughout Panama, adven- tures await. A visit to El Valle is a true experience for your senses; this crater of a dormant volcano offers a place to relax in warm thermal waters. For a more thrill-packed adrenaline rush, Santa Catalina has waves that rival Hawaii’s Sunset Beach. Or, if sport fishing is what moves you, Piñas Bay holds more International Game and Fish Association (IGFA) world records than anywhere else. Island escapes also tempt visitors: Unwind to the Caribbean rhythm of Bocas del Toro or the Pacific Coast’s Las Perlas Archipelago, where undisturbed beaches leave an open invitation to beach lovers and romantic adventurers. Brazil’s global flair can be seen, heard, and tasted throughout its varied landscape.The mix of indigenous, European, and African cultures here has produced a fascinating melting pot.This multiculturalism colors the country’s art, history, and architecture—not to mention its delicious culinary fusion. The attractions in Brazil range from the calm and simple life in small villages to the fast-paced rhythm of round- the-clock metropolises with breathtaking skyscrapers and city lights. Experiences range from enjoying a leisurely caipirinha by the seaside to indulging in the luxurious atmosphere of high-end resorts. As a thriving business center, Brazil is also replete with places to hold conferences and events. Outside of cosmopolitan pursuits, outdoor adventures span the spectrum from relaxed to pulse-quickening: Unwind with peaceful activities, like bird-watching and golf, or take on some extreme sport thrills. As diverse as its people and wildlife, Brazil’s beaches are another draw, from Rio’s famous Copacabana stretch to the peaceful shores of Santa Catarina. Whether you want to soak up the energy of Brazil’s cities or prefer to meander the country’s nostalgic cobblestone streets and charming countryside, the range of unique experiences is limitless. In fact, discovering Brazil is such a passionate experience that 96 percent of tourists heading back home confirm intentions to return, according to a recent study by the Ministry of Tourism and the Brazilian Tourist Board (Embratur). On average, 65 percent of those return travelers have visited the country more than once, and increasingly, they are diversifying their itineraries. Each of Brazil’s regions offers incredible landscapes and attrac- tions, plus excellent accommoda- tions for all lifestyles, tastes, and budgets. A visit to Brazil is a trip of unforgettable experiences that will inspire you to return—from the moment you arrive. Above: Pernambuco, Brazil. Left to Right: a view of the water from the city of Maragogi, Brazil; Carnival celebrations in Salvador, Brazil; preparing a traditional dish in Salvador, Brazil. Jot These Down For more on planning your trip to Latin America, check out these helpful web sites: Costa Rica: JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa: Panama: Brazil: Peru: brazil Brazil is known worldwide for its endless natural beauty, glamorous Carnival parties, and monumental sights. So powerful is Brazil’s allure, Rio de Janeiro’s famous Christ the Redeemer statue was elected as one of the New 7 Wonders of the World last year. However, all that only scratches the surface of the dazzling reality waiting to be discovered—an adventure that begins with a warm welcome from its friendly people. Top:ChristianKnepper.Bottom,LefttoRight:SergioFecuri/S.F.&PaternostroLtda/Embratur;MauricioSimonetti;ChristianKnepper/Embratur
  5. 5. { Special Advertising Section } peru | brazil | panama | costa Rica (Latin)america When you book with Travelocity, we’ve got your back—all trip long. Undulating down the length of the continent, the mighty Andes reach some of their most dramatic snow-capped peaks in Peru, soaring to heavenly heights of over 20,000 feet in places and stretching nearly 300 miles wide. Nestled in the Peruvian Andes, adventurous spirits will find a wonderland for hiking, camping, mountain climbing, and white-water rafting.There are more than 15,000 lakes, deep canyons, peaceful valleys, and pictur- esque villages tucked into the mountainsides. As a starting point, Peru’s capital city, Lima, is conveniently located at the midpoint of the country’s coastline. Founded in 1535, the historic center’s colonial architecture and ornate wood-carved balconies are typical of the area’s buildings and churches, some of which are designated as UNESCO World Heritage sites. Points of interest include the Convent of Santo Domingo and the Convent of San Francisco. Before heading out to explore the interior Inca ru- ins, visitors can learn about the history of the region and its people at Lima’s archeological museums, such as the National Museum of Archeology, Anthropology, and History and the Rafael Larco Herrera Archeologi- cal Museum. On Lima’s outskirts, the oceanfront pre- Incan sanctuary Pachacamac provides a great way to combine sightseeing with a beach day—nearby Pacific shores offer sunny spots to spend an afternoon relaxing with a book or getting some exercise with water sports. While Lima is modern- day Peru’s capital, Cuzco served as the Incas’ base. Sitting in the Peruvian Andes between high hills, the city flourished under the Inca ruler Pachacutec and developed into a complex urban center with well- organized agricultural, artisan, and industrial systems. When the Spanish arrived centuries later, they preserved the ancient city’s structure, but built Baroque churches and palaces over the Inca ruins. Today Cuzco retains its colonial feel with vestiges of the archaic mak- ing it a popular gateway to Peru’s crowning sites. For many, walking the Inca Trail is a bucket-list- worthy accomplishment— Peru There’s a sense of mystery and magic to Peru that one must experience at least once in their lifetime. Heir to the legacy and grandeur of the mighty Inca Empire, Peru is one of South America’s most impressive destinations for archeological sites, towering mountains, and gorgeous coastline. Peru serves up some of the world’s most tantalizing cuisine. Here’s a sampling of what’s on the menu. Cebiche Freshly caught fish and seafood are tossed with purple onions, lemon juice, salt, and a touch of chili pepper. This coastal specialty is served with a mash of sweet potato and corn. Juane This deliciously aromatic rice dish captures the exotic Amazon with its mix of annatto seed, cumin, cilantro, oregano, pepper, and bay leaf. To prepare it, a mixture of chicken, egg, and olives is stuffed into large bijao leaves and then boiled. Pachamanca This Andean meal is prepared in a dugout pit lined with burning stones. Cooked for hours, this slow-food delicacy combines a selection of meat, corn, potatoes, lima beans, herbs, and spices. For recipes and to read more about Peru’s culinary traditions, visit Above: Huascarán National Park, Peru. Left to right: Lake Titicaca, Puno, Peru; Citadel of Cahuachi, Ica, Peru. Mucho Gusto Top:CésarVega/PromPerú.Bottom,LefttoRight:RenzoGiraldo/PromPerú;BeatriceVelarde/PromPerú.
  6. 6. { Special Advertising Section } COSTA RICA | PANAMA | BRAZIL | PERU and rightfully so. The Incas con- structed a network of trails across Peru connecting their empire’s religious and administrative cen- ters. The trail connecting Cuzco to Machu Picchu is one of the best preserved—and well-trod. When heading to Machu Picchu, visitors have a range of options, from one-day hikes to intense eight-day trips; many hikers follow a four-day excursion that traverses a section of the trail that cuts through beautiful scenery and ecological tiers, as well as archeological sites. Discovered in 1911 by Ameri- can explorer Hiram Bingham, Machu Picchu sits atop a granite mountain covered in bright green grass; the gray stone blocks and steps are true masterworks in masonry. Standing on its slopes, it’s incredible to think that these heavy slabs were once transport- ed up the mountainside and then fashioned by hand into polished pieces that fit together with machine-like precision. This attention to detail continues to be seen today in Peru’s talented craftspeople. Weaving together centuries of influence, Peruvian folk art is cherished around the world for its creativity, colors, and textures. Souvenirs and gifts—such as brightly woven handicrafts with bold geometric patterns, mates burilados (carved gourds), and retablo boxed scenes—capture Peru’s versatile landscape, culture, and people. Throughout Peru, luxury hotels and accommodations give visitors a chance to experience its riches and enjoy its pleasures. The spectacular Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge sits next to the ancient citadel with incompara- ble views of the ruins—especially from the sunlit Tampu Restau- rant Bar that serves up delicious Andean specialties. Nearby the cozy 85-room Inkaterra Machu Picchu feels like a peaceful An- dean village with charming stone pathways. The hotel’s calm ambi- ance sets the mood for a little R&R at the Unu Spa, where natural botanical products are used in therapies that combine mystical Andean healing with expert spa treatments. Latin America is brimming with festivals you won’t want to miss! September 8 Paraty, Brazil Festa de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios: A 300-year-old celebration hon- oring the village’s patron saint. September 15 Costa Rica Independence Day: The holiday kicks off with a torch parade on the 14th. Late September Guarare, Panama Festival Nacional de La Mejorana: Panama’s largest folklore festival is a bright swirl of authentic outfits and music. October 17-27 Tucurrique, Costa Rica Pejibaye (Peach Palm) Fair: Concerts, bullfights, and delicious palm-heart specialties. October 18, 19, 28 Lima, Peru Month of the Lord of Miracles: Vibrant parades process through the city to honor Lima’s patron saint. October 31 Lima, Peru Peruvian Music Day: A jubilee akin to New Orleans’ JazzFest, honoring Peruvian Creole music. November 10 Los Santos, Panama La Grita de la Villa: A convivial street party with a parade and performances. November 20 Brazil Dia da Consciência Negra: The country’s equivalent of Black History Month. December 7-10 Arequipa region, Peru     Immaculate Conception Day: A pre-Christmas tradition. December 20-January 2 San Jose, Costa Rica Festejos Populares: A carnival-like lead-up to New Year’s festivities. (Latin)america Above: artisans sell their goods at the market of Chinchero, Peru. Below, left to right: the Lima Cathedral, Peru; the ancient city of Machu Picchu, Peru. Save the Date writer: Cemile Kavountzis. design: laura gharrity, Photography: getty images, Jupiter Images, Courtesy of Brazil Tourism, Costa Rica, Panama and PromPerú. August 2008. This special editorial/advertising supplement was created by the TRAVEL + LEISURE Special Sections department and did not involve the magazine’s editorial staff. The names of companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners. Reference to such third party companies and/or products herein is for informational purposes only and is not intended to indicate or imply any affiliation, association, sponsorship or endorsement. ©2008 American Express Publishing Corporation, all rights reserved. Top:LuisGamero/PromPerú.Bottom,LefttoRight:AníbalSolimano/PromPerú;CarlosSala/PromPerú.