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SAT NEWS - FEBRUARY 2018



Dear Travel Partner,

this year holds a lot of great things for us, one of them being our 45th anniversary!
For nearly half a century we have been living our passion of welcoming visitors from all over the world to South America and showing them all the different cultures, landscapes, cuisines and hidden secrets that make this beautiful corner of the earth so unique.
And we want to thank you, our colleagues, partners and friends, some of whom have been with us since the very beginning, for these fulfulling and successful 45 years! We appreciate your trust, collaboration and support and look forward to many more years to come.

We like to think of ourselves as a good wine - just getting better with age. One never stops learning and we love discovering new things and creating new products that we then get to share with you. This starts right now, so take a moment and explore what our latest Newsletter edition has in store for you!
 
Also check out our Website, Facebook & Instagram for latest updates!

Enjoy reading!

All the best,
Your SAT Team

HOTELS, DESTINATIONS & BEACHES - TRAVELLERS' CHOICE AWARDS 2018
Millions of traveller's have voted to elect the winners of this year's Travellers' Choice Awards hosted by TripAdvisor for the best beaches and hotels in the world. Three South American countries were among the top 25 in both sections, Brazil, Peru and Ecuador! The best news? Bespoke travel ideas including each of the winners are just a mouse click away! Contact us for tour suggestions!

Best hotels 2018: Belmond Palacio Nazarenas, Cusco/Peru (16), Hotel Estalagem St Hubertus, Gramado/Brazil (19)

Best beaches 2018: Baia do Sancho, Fernando de Noronha/Brazil (2), Tortuga Bay - Santa Cruz, Galapagos/Ecuador (20)
A MUST-SEE FOR 2018 - SANTIAGO DE CHILE
When talking about travelling in Chile, Patagonia or the Atacama Desert first come to mind. But this beautiful country has much more to offer, starting with the city of arrival for most visitors - the capital Santiago de Chile. Once there, you will be surprised by this modern and dynamic metropolis: countless cultural offers, excellent cuisine, bohemian flair, great shopping and a breathtaking landscape are waiting at the foot of the Andes. Need more proof? Santiago was named one of the "Best Trips 2018" destinations by National Geographic! Impressive panoramic views are provided by view points on the hills San Cristobal and Santa Lucia. A stroll through the artistic Bellavista neighborhood can be followed by a museum marathon including the Museums of Pre-Columbian Art and Fine Arts. Nature lovers get their fill of hiking, mountainbiking or camping in the Maipo Canyon just outside the city. And don't get us started on the countless wineries, restaurants and barsContact us to learn more about the Santiago experience!
PROMOTION: HANGAROA ECO VILLAGE & SPA, EASTER ISLAND
In the mood for a visit to the famous Easter Island? With the promotion of  Hangaroa Eco Village & Spa there is no excuse anymore! The promotion is valid from April to October and includes the roundtrip flight as well as the accommodation! The departures are every Wednesday, the availability is limited. Rates start at USD 1,450.00 per person for a 5-day package. Please  contact us for further information and specific requests! 
CALI - THE SALSA CAPITAL OF COLOMBIA
Your heart beats in a Salsa rhythm and your feet are always ready for a spin on the dance floor? Then Cali is just the spot for you! Colombia is famous for its fast-paced Salsa but in Cali its vibrant beat dictates life. The streets are lined with "salsatecas" and you can always find musicians or dancers in the city's parks. Traditionalists prefer to keep their feet on the ground while modernists include elaborate acrobatics in their routines. 60 years ago, the city introduced the "Fiesta de Cali", a week-long spectacle with parades, concerts, contests and other activities that are not limited to the Salsa theme. But Cali has much more to offer! The splendid church La Ermita is well worth a visit, as is the picturesque  San Antonio neighborhood with its cobblestone streets, colorful buildings and trendy cafés. Snack on some "pandebono" (cheese bread) and "lulada" (mixed drink with lulo fruit juice) and get a selfie with the "Gato de Tejada", a giant sculpture of a cat.  Click here for more information and Cali packages!
QUITO, ECUADOR - CITY OF ETERNAL SPRING
It's no secret that Ecuador is a treasure trove of cultural and natural wonders. But what many don't know is that its capital Quito represents this reputation perfectly! Its beautiful colonial center is one of the best-preserved on the American continent and was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978. This year marks Quito's 40th anniversary as a UNESCO site! But 2018 is special for another reason since in August the long-awaited Convention Center for 13,702 visitors will be inaugurated where the old airport was located. Quito is also the literal middle of the earth, proven by the famous Equator Monument and the interesting experiments you can make at the interactive museum that sits on the equatorial line. The city is well known for its unique flavours, among them internationally recognized chocolate, coffee and artisanal beer. Finally, Quito´s natural abundance is unrivaled: volcanoes, cloud forests, lagoons and moors are just some of the gems that can be found close-by. Please  contact us for tour packages and more information!
GALAPAGOS AIRPORT IS NOW CARBON NEUTRAL
The airport of Baltra in the Galapagos Archipelago received the "Carbon Neutral" certificate which is awarded by the International Airports Council (IAC). The evaluation process of the airport´s efforts to reduce CO2 emissions began in 2014 and the airport can now pride itself of being the first "ecological airport" in Ecuador.
MANDATORY MEDICAL INSURANCE FOR TRAVELS TO ECUADOR
The Ministry of Tourism has informed that as per Decree-law No. 111 issued on August 3rd 2017 a public or private Medical Insurance for all international travelers to enter Ecuador will be required. It should be valid for the whole stay in the country. This law has been extended for ninety (90) additional days, after the entry into force of Executive Decree No. 310 of January 31st 2018. This means that the health insurance will be mandatory from May 1st 2018 on. The Ministry of Tourism of Ecuador is still working on the control and legal procedure of this new requirement.
CARNIVAL IN BRAZIL - AN ENTIRE COUNTRY CELEBRATES
Carnival is celebrated with different customs in many countries but most people would agree that the festivities in Brazil are unrivaled. The country's biggest and most famous celebration in Rio de Janeiro is on the bucket list of almost every party-lover. This year´s Carnival has once again attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the world and sales for 2019 have already started! Besides the official parades at Sambadromo and elegant Carnival Balls, there are more than 300 Carnival Street Parties all over the city. Condé Nast Traveller even considers Rio's Carnival  one of the "Seven Wonders of the World for 2018"! But there is one Brazilian city that makes a serious competition: the Carnival festivities of Salvador da Bahia are regarded by many as the place to be and the city attracts about half a million tourists each year, mainly due to the fact that the parades are presented in the streets. Next on the list is the state of Pernambuco, in the North East of Brazil, where the parades don't include competitions. Instead, the many groups play their music and dance side by side through the streets of Recife and Olinda. Other cities that have great Carnival celebrations are São Paulo, Belo Horizonte and VitóriaConsult us now for Carnival packages 2019!
           Photo credit: Fernando Grilli - Riotur 
BRAZIL INTRODUCES NEW E-VISA PROCESS
The new Brazil E-Visa program will make the visa application process easier and quicker. It will be possible to apply online from home, and receive the E-Visa within 72 hours. The cost is USD40 per person, and the E-Visa will be valid for 2 years. The E-Visa is applied in Canada since January 18th and in the US since January 25th. Citizens of Australia and Japan will also be eligible to apply for an E-Visa.
ANDEAN CULTURE AND HANDICRAFTS - PERU AT THE BERLINALE
This month, the critically acclaimed movie "Retablo" premiered at the Berlinale film festival. It tells the story of a young boy who is supposed to follow in his father's footsteps building retablos, small houses made from wood that depict religious or everyday-life scenes. Although the movie has a dark twist, the viewers' fascination with Peruvian-Andean culture and craft was palpable. There are still countless artists in the Andean communities that make their living by crafting these elaborate art pieces since they are not only a favorite souvenir but can also be found in many Peruvian households. There is even a hotel in Cusco, aptly named El Retablo, designed in the retablo style with colorful paintings, tapestries and, of course, retablos in every room. But Peru is not only famous for its retablos, its textile products are viewed among the best in the world, ranging from colorful weavings to expensive products made from rare and fine Vicuña wool. In the Amazon region, you can find intricate wood carvings of animals or jewellery made from local seeds and other natural sources. This diverse selection makes local markets one of the prime destinations for visitors, the most frequented being the Pisaq market near Cusco. For those who don't favor markets, a visit to a local community is well worth the while! Not only will you learn about Peruvian culture but you will also have the chance to buy handicrafts directly from the source! For more information or program suggestions, please contact us!
URUGUAY - SANTA TERESA NATIONAL PARK
A lot of people associate Uruguay, South America's smallest Spanish speaking country, with its capital Montevideo or gaucho and mate tea culture. But did you know that it also has gorgeous national parks? One of those is  Santa Teresa National Park at the east coast of the country, close to the Brazilian border. It covers an area of 3,000 hectares, 1,400 of which are covered by forest with more than 2 million native and exotic trees. It also features a greenhouse with tropical flowers from all five continents, the country's biggest rosegarden and an aviary which is home to endangered birds. With a bit of luck, you can spot capybaras, birds and other animals at the Peña lagoon that is surrounded by lush vegetation. The park also has 12km of beautiful beaches. Apart from the enchanting nature and wildlife, there is an ancient fortress, Fortaleza de Santa Teresa. It was built in 1762 by the Portuguese and has since been witness to many battles. Among other areas, you can visit the commander's office, the powder magazine, the kitchen and the emergency tunnels. If you would like more information about this marvelous national park as well as tour suggestions, please contact us
MEET THE TEAM: DIEGO VERA, SAT ECUADOR
Diego was born and raised in Ecuador. During his teenage years he developed a special interest in this marvelous country and its attractions. He graduated with a degree in Tourism Administration and by now, he has been in this exciting industry for 18 years. Diego joined the SAT Ecuador team in 2004. The job as an account executive has been perfect for him as he loves to design products with itineraries that are sure to impress his clients. For Diego, the best part about travelling in Ecuador is the contact to the local people and simply experiencing the stunning landscapes that will leave visitors with countless memorable impressions. Feel free to contact Diego for travel suggestions in his beautiful Ecuador!


HOTEL NEWS
Wish Hotels & Resorts took over the operation of the Hotel Sheraton da Bahia in Salvador, Brazil and the property was subsequently re-named Wish Hotel da Bahia by GJP.

The Wish Resort Golf Convention in Foz do Iguaçu, another Wish Hotels & Resorts property, was re-branded as Wish Foz do Iguaçu by GJP.

The Accor Hotels Group took over several Golden Tulip properties in Brazil. Among them are the Grand Mercure Recife Boa Viagem (ex BHG Recife Boa Viagem), the Novotel Rio de Janeiro Copacabana (ex BHG Rio Leme) and the Pullman Rio de Janeiro São Conrado (ex BHG Rio São Conrado).
The new DoubleTree by Hilton Iquitos (ex El Dorado Plaza) opened its doors this month after a 1-year remodelation process. The 5* hotel is located at Iquitos' main square.

The new Hacienda Las Cuevas Terra Lodge welcomes its guests in the unique atmosphere of an old hacienda that was carved into a giant hillside in Mulauco, approx. 23km from Quito. Overnight packages include various activities (e.g. hiking and horseback riding).

The Hotel Mama Cuchara by Art Hotels that recently opened in the historic center of Quito combines the colonial style of the original building with a modern interior design to create a unique boutique style hotel.
FLIGHT NEWS
German Condor will start flying non-stop between Frankfurt (FRA) and Quito (UIO) this winter season 2018/2019 twice a week (Tuesday & Friday).

Norwegian Airlines started operating the route London - Buenos Aires this month, the first flight landing at Ezeiza airport on February 15th. The route is serviced 4 times weekly, leaving from London Gatwick.
LATAM Perú will offer direct flights between Cusco and Iquitos as of July 2018 with 3 weekly departures (Mon, Wed & Sat).

Starting April 1st of this year, Avianca will offer a daily direct flight connecting Lima and Mendoza.

The low-cost carrier Viva Air Peru announced its plans to venture into international flights in 2018 though destinations have yet to be revealed.
South American Tours - Global Sales Office
South American Tours GmbH | Kaiserstr. 23 | 60311 Frankfurt am Main | Germany 
Phone: +49 (0) 69 4058970 | Fax: +49 (0) 69 40589799
Mail: sales@southamericantours.com | www.southamericantours.com

South American Tours - Sales Office North America
Phone: 1844 7288460 (toll free from the US)
Mail: sales-america@southamericantours.com

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South American Tours GmbH | Kaiserstrasse 23 | 60311 Frankfurt am Main | 
Tel.: +49 69 40 58 97 0 | Fax.: +49 69 40 58 97 99 | E-mail: info@southamericantours.com 
Managing Director: Federico Büker | Registered Office: Frankfurt am Main | Local Court: Frankfurt am Main | 
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HOTELS, DESTINATIONS & BEACHES - TRAVELLERS' CHOICE AWARDS 2018
A MUST-SEE FOR 2018 - SANTIAGO DE CHILE
CALI - THE SALSA CAPITAL OF COLOMBIA
QUITO, ECUADOR - CITY OF ETERNAL SPRING
CARNIVAL IN BRAZIL - AN ENTIRE COUNTRY CELEBRATES
ANDEAN CULTURE AND HANDICRAFTS - PERU AT THE BERLINALE
URUGUAY - SANTA TERESA NATIONAL PARK
HOTEL NEWS
FLIGHT NEWS