11 of the Most Amazing Places to Visit in South America If Money Were No Object

Photo of Harry Stewart
10 April 2018

Got oodles of cash to splash and looking to travel South America in style? No worries! Because even though the continent may not be world’s most glamorous, there are some seriously exclusive destinations scattered throughout. So give those proletariat backpackers a wide berth and check out some of our more ritzy suggestions instead.

Ilha de Fernando de Noronha, Brazil

A volcanic archipelago several hundred clicks off Brazil’s north coast, the sheer natural splendor of Ilha de Fernando de Noronha makes it one of Brazil’s true undiscovered gems. Undiscovered, that is, because airfares and accommodation cost a small fortune in this upmarket locale. Beach bumming, boat tours, diving and snorkeling among the country’s financial elite are all par for the course.

Ilha de Fernando de Noronha, Brazil | © Nacho Such/Shutterstock

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio is paradise for those with the financial means, with an abundance of swanky accommodation and glitzy yacht tours to tempt the wealthy traveler. Book out the penthouse suite of a posh hotel during carnival or New Year’s Eve to spend some serious cash.

Guanabara Bay from the Sugarloaf Mountain | © Rodrigosilvestri/Wikimedia Commons

Florianopolis, Brazil

Stretching between a lush island and the mainland, the seaside city of Florianopolis is where Brazil’s affluent go to unwind during the summer months. Nightclubbing is a particularly popular pastime here, just expect to cop Vegas prices in the city’s most prestigious establishments.

Florianópolis | © Papa Pic/Flickr

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Give the plebs on their backpacker tours a miss and opt for a private jeep tour through this surreal salt desert instead. Naturally, you’ll be staying in a series of refined upmarket eco-lodges and perhaps even an extravagant salt hotel rather than some drab dormitory-style digs.

Palacio de Sal | Courtesy of Palacio de Sal

Machu Picchu, Peru

While the masses are confined to sleeping in the haphazard town of Aguas Calientes, the wealthy prefer to stay in the lavish Belmond Sanctuary Lodge instead. This classy establishment is just a short stroll from the ancient Inca citadel, meaning guests can mosey on down whenever they please rather having to catch a bus with the commoners.

San Alfonso del Mar, Chile

Does going for a dip in the world’s largest pool tickle your fancy? Then make a beeline for San Alfonso del Mar whose mammoth man-made pool is big enough to sail a boat in.

San Alfonso del Mar | © Pierre-Yves Babelon/Shutterstock


Departing from Usuia on the southern tip of Argentina, cruises to the great white continent are known for their breathtaking views and unrivaled wildlife-spotting opportunities. Best of all, trips typically run into the tens of thousands meaning privileged travelers will be sure to avoid the rank and file.

Antarctica | © Stu Shaw/Shutterstock

Patagonia, Chile and Argentina

Patagonia is famous for being among the most expensive regions in the continent, largely due to its isolation and the strong economies of the two countries involved. Rather than camping with the great unwashed, sophisticated travelers are able to choose from a plethora of upscale eco-resorts and even hire porters to lug their gear on a hike.

Patagonia Camp | Courtesy of Patagonia Camp

The central wine growing region, Chile

Chile produces among the best wine in the world, and what better way to sample such pleasures than staying in an upscale vineyard hotel. The most exclusive in the region is undoubtedly the billionaire-run Viña-Vik, a sophisticated art and wine boutique which attracts Chile’s most affluent wine connoisseurs.

Viña Vik | Courtesy of Viña Vik

The Lake District, Argentina

Packed full of glistening lakes and lush forested valleys, Argentina’s lake district has an abundance of expensive resorts to choose from. The most distinguished of the lot, however, is the five-star Llao Llao Hotel which occupies an enviable position on a hill overlooking the region’s most pristine lakes.

Llao Llao Hotel | © Karminalucis/Shutterstock

Punta del Este, Uruguay

Well-heeled Argentines and Uruguayans alike flock to this glamorous seaside city, creating a hive of activity during the busy summer months. Lavish apartments, boutique designer stores and extravagant fine dining restaurants do a roaring trade thanks to an influx of opulent holidaymakers.

Punta del Este | © Marcelo Campi/Flickr

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