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SAT NEWS - MARCH 2018



Dear Travel Partner,

ITB Berlin has come and gone and we want to thank everybody who visited our SAT stand to say hello and chat. It was a real pleasure to see you all and we already look forward to next year!

The end of this month brings some much needed relaxation after the busy weeks of pre- and post-ITB. Easter is around the corner and we are all looking forward to the Easter week to spend time with family and friends!

Why not get an early start into the long weekend by letting our Newsletter take you on an imaginery journey to South America? Enjoy the exciting topics we have collected for you and make sure to write us an e-mail in case you would like to know more about any of them!
 
Also check out our Website, Facebook & Instagram for latest updates!

Enjoy reading!

Happy Easter and all the best,
Your SAT Team

 MEDELLIN, COLOMBIA - ONE OF THE COOLEST CITIES TO VISIT
Last month, Forbes published a list of "The 10 Coolest Cities Around the World to Visit in 2018" and we were thrilled to find one of the most beautiful cities of Colombia on it - Medellin! Some may find it alluring because of its dark past and being the setting of the famous Netflix series Narcos but there is much more to this rising hotspot. Visitors will be surprised by the amount of trendy shops, restaurants, cafés and breweries while lovers of culture will appreciate the libraries, churches and museums, like the Museum of Modern Art or the San Pedro Cemetery Museum. Among the architectural highlights of the city is the Gothic Rafael Uribe Uribe Palace of Culture located in  Botero Square, a 7,000m2 park that displays sculptures by the Colombian artist Fernando Botero. Medellin also hosts several annual events, like the upcoming artisanal fair Expoartesano in April, the fashion show Colombiamoda in July or the colorful Flower Festival in July/August. To complete the experience, you have picturesque villages, breathtaking landscapes and beautiful nature reserves waiting outside the city.  Contact us for more travel ideas in and around Medellin!
BOGOTA HAS THE BEST AIRPORT IN SOUTH AMERICA
Skytrax has published its 2018 edition of the "World's Top 100 Airports" and, for the third time in a row, El Dorado Airport in Bogota made the first place in South America (#46 internationally). The awards are based on a customer satisfaction survey taken by 13.78 million airline customers from 100 different nations that rate a total of 550 airports worldwide. Topics include airport access, cleanliness, staff behaviour, check-in proceedings and baggage delivery.
 PERU WINS PATWA AWARDS: BEST DESTINATION - ANCIENT HISTORY
It is no secret that Peru is a treasure trove of ancient ruin sites and cultures that even pre-date the great Incas. This year,  PATWA (Pacific Area Travel Writers Association) made it official and awarded Peru as the best destination for ancient history! A lot of you might think of Machu Picchu right now but there are actually many more ruin sites that highlight how very worthy Peru is of this award. First off, there is Kuelap, a fortress in Chachapoyas (Northern Peru) that is even bigger and roughly 800 years older than Machu Picchu. At the same time, it is one of the relatively undiscovered ruin sites of South America. Another one of those is Choquequirao, located at 3,104m on a lush mountain west of Cusco, close to the small city Abancay. It dates back to the 15th century and spans an area of 1,800ha, only 30-40% of which have been excavated. Peru is also home to the oldest centre of civilization in the Americas - the Sacred City of Caral-Supe. It is roughly 5,000 years old and located on a desert terrace in the Supe Valley, 3-4h from Lima. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009. These are just a few examples and if you are a history buff or not, Peru´s unique archeological treasures are definitely worth a visit! Please  contact us for more information and program suggestions. 
VIRGILIO MARTINEZ OPENS NEW RESTAURANT NEAR CUSCO
The internationally acclaimed Peruvian chef Virgilio Martinez, whose restaurant "Central" in Lima has been among the Top 5 Best Restaurants in the World for the past 3 years, opened his second restaurant in Peru on February 27. "MIL" is located in the Sacred Valley, near the  site of Moray. Virgilio couldn´t have chosen a better scenery since the deep, circular terraces of Moray are said to have been a testing site of the Inca to see which crops and produce grow best in the terraces' micro-climates. Whereas "Central" takes its guests on a journey through the different altitudes of Peru, the 8-course tasting menu of "MIL" focusses on products from the Andean mountains like alpaca, giant corn, maca, quinoa, cacao and coca. If you want to learn more about this Andean culinary experience, please contact us!
DESAFIO EXPRESS CRUISE, BRAZIL'S LATEST AMAZON EXPERIENCE
Explore the world's most famous river aboard the Desafio Express Cruise, a new floating hotel that will take you to experience the real Amazon. You will spend 4 days visiting different areas of the Brazilian Amazon such as the archipelago of Anavilhanas (the largest river archipelago in the world) and  indigenous communities like the Jaraqui village or the Acajatuba village. The cruise package also includes an excursion to the Meeting of the Waters, the confluence of the Rio Negro and the Rio Solimões to form the Amazon River. Guests will have the opportunity to interact with  pink river dolphins and feed  Pirarucus, one of the largest freshwater fish in the world. To request availability and rates, please contact us.
 TUCUMAN - UNKNOWN GEM IN NORTHWESTERN ARGENTINA
The Northwestern region of Argentina is known for its rocky landscapes, wines and Andean culture. Salta, Cafayate or Humahuaca are names that come to mind. But south of these cities is a less known but undoubtedly beautiful and versatile hidden gem: Tucuman! Its capital San Miguel de Tucuman is the historic landmark where the Argentinean Declaration of Independence was formalized in 1816 and you can still see many colonial buildings, churches and museums that attest to this important role in Argentina's history. West of the city lie the Yungas, whose lush, jungle-like vegetation earned the region its nickname "Garden of the Republic". Just a few hours away, the  ruins of Quilmes can be visited, one of Argentina's most important indigenous settlements dating back to the 17th century. Tucuman is also a center of handicrafts, famous for leather works, textiles and pottery. Its Andean influenced cuisine is dominated by  excellent local cheeses, empanadas, tamales and stews, like locro or estodafo. But there is much more to discover so  contact us for further information!
BREAKING OF PERITO MORENO
Earlier this month, the Los Glaciares National Park reported the  breaking of the active Perito Moreno Glacier close to El Calafate in Patagonia. The event was eagerly awaited by thousands of spectators for days but finally happened at 22:40h at night on March 11th when the National Park was closed to the public. The breaking of the  ice bridge that forms across the southern arm of the Lago Argentino occurs infrequently every few years as a result of the glacier's advancing of approximately 100 meters per year. 
URUGUAY - THE RIVER OF PAINTED BIRDS
Did you know that Uruguay was named after the river that flows along the Argentinean-Uruguayan border? In the Guarani language, Uruguay means "river of the painted birds" and the country's official name is "República Oriental del Uruguay" which roughly translates to "Republic East of the Uruguay". Yet, this beautiful region is often forgotten in tourism. Time to change that! Nature lovers will appreciate the many natural reserves like Esteros de Farrapos e Islas del Río Uruguay and Montes del Queguay, that also practice eco-tourism. The river makes the region an ideal destination for excursions on the water in catamarans, kayaks, canoes or sailing boats. Places like Almirón and Guaviyú are known for their thermal springs that are perfect for relaxing after a busy day of exploring the surroundings. To complete the experience, there are many cities of historical importance where traditions are still lived each day, like Fray Bentos or Carmelo. Carmelo also offers a lovely wine route that should not be missed! Please contact us for more information and program suggestions along the Uruguay river.
RESPONSIBLE TOURISM IN ECUADOR - ON BOARD THE TREN ECUADOR
Tren Ecuador has been awarded the To Do Award by the German Institute for Tourism and Development for its involvement in responsible tourism in Ecuador. The train operates  between Quito and Guayaquil (4 days), with a detour to Otavalo and Ibarra. They actively involve the local communities by running cafés, handicraft stations, museums and music groups along the way with the goal to improve their living conditions, both socially and economically. The company especially focusses their training efforts for these enterprises on women, elderly people and the youth. Furthermore, the catering on the train uses locally sourced ingredients from the communities. The train company also promotes encounters between travelers and the communities to facilitate mutual exchange but also show community members how appreciated their local culture is. Criteria for environmental sustainability are applied throughout the whole operation, from food preparation and production of handicrafts to education about recycling and endangered species. Contact us to request availability and to learn more about this project!
M/T CAMILA - FIRST TRIMARAN IN GALAPAGOS
This month, Haugan Cruises launched their new ship M/V Camila, a trimaran and the first of its kind to cruise the Galapagos Islands. Due to their three hulls these vessels are considered to be especially safe and stable. This luxury class ship with a maximum capacity of 16 passengers has 8 cabins equipped with A/C, private bathrooms with full shower and hot water as well as a private balcony. The cruise program consist of 4 routings with a duration of 4, 5 or 8 days. Please  contact us for more information as well as 2018 departure dates and rates.
SANTA CRUZ, GALAPAGOS SECOND SUSTAINABLE DESTINATION IN AMERICA
The island of Santa Cruz (Galapagos) has been recognized by the non-profit organization Green Destinations for "showing international leadership and innovation in responsible and sustainable tourism" in their competition of Sustainable Destinations Top 100. A jury of representatives from 12 international organisations voted Santa Cruz on the second place in the Americas. Officials announced that the next step is to have Green Destinations consider the whole of the Galapagos Archipelago as a sustainable destination.
CARRETERA AUSTRAL - THE DREAM ROUTE BETWEEN PUERTO MONTT AND VILLA O'HIGGINS
The Panamericana is probably the most famous route in the world but the Carretera Austral is a part that stands out even along this iconic highway. Its distance of approximately 1,200km is considered by many as the ultimate road trip. And for good reason! Where else can you combine picturesque towns, unique rock formations, giant ice fields, the rough landscapes of Patagonia, and adventure sports? One possibility is to fly to Balmaceda and start your experience with a boat excursion to the marvelous Marble Chapels, an incredible network of caves with unique colors and textures in the  General Carrera Lake. Next is a visit to the lovely village  Caleta Tortel, where you stroll along a 7.5km cypress walkway that connects the different sites of the town. You top off your adventure with a panoramic flight over the North Patagonian Ice Field that covers an area of 4,200km2 - just imagine the incredible views! The possibilities of exploring the Carretera Austral are endless so contact us for more travel ideas and self drive packages!
                                  Picture credit: Sernatur
MEET THE TEAM: GRETELL PEJRO JURGENS, SAT PERU
Gretell has been a part of the SAT family in Peru for 8 years now, first as an Account Executive and since September 2017 as head of the Product Department. As a born and bred Peruvian, Gretell is passionate about her home country and is happy to share her affection with her clients. The best part of her work is to make her client's dream journey become a reality, and we have to agree - there is nothing better than fulfilling a lifelong dream!
Gretell has travelled all over South America and her favorite destination is Machu Picchu. Iguazu and Uyuni come in a close second.
But her biggest love is her 2-year old daughter and when she isn't spending time with her, you will find Gretell playing guitar or singing as music is another passion of hers. Contact Gretell so she can help you plan a dreamy vacation!


HOTEL NEWS
Hyatt Hotels & Resorts will be opening its first hotel in Lima, Peru on May 01st. The 5* Hyatt Centric San Isidro is located in the elegant San Isidro neighborhood and has 254 rooms as well as a boutique character.

Hilton Hotels & Resorts is planning 10 new properties in Colombia until 2019. A Hampton by Hilton in Cúcuta, a Hilton Garden Inn in Santa Marta and the Hilton Bogotá Corferias in the capital are scheduled to open in 2018 still.

SAT recommends: The Aloft Montevideo Hotel offers a modern and stylish hotel experience right next to the Punta Carretas Shopping Center.
On March 1st"Hotel Quito by Sercotel" started operation in the Guapulo neighborhood in Quito. The 4* property offers 215 rooms and apartments. Its the first hotel by the Sercotel Hotels chain in Ecuador.

By the end of March 2018, the Grand Brizo Buenos Aires Hotel will open its doors in the center of Buenos Aires. The 4* hotel offers 192 rooms with a contemporary design.

The Windsor California Hotel was inaugurated on March 13th in Rio de Janeiro. The 4* hotel with 157 rooms is located in front of the famous Copacabana Beach. 
FLIGHT NEWS
Emirates will connect Dubai and Santiago de Chile via Sao Paulo starting July 5th. The airline will have a total of 12 flights per week to Sao Paulo, 5 of which will continue to Santiago.

Iberia is expanding its flight offer from Madrid to South America this summer. From June 13th, there will be 1 additional flight to Rio de Janeiro and 2 additional flights to Santiago de Chile from June 18th, adding up to a new total of 5 and 9 flights weekly respectively.
The Chilean airline LAW announced that it will cease domestic operations in Chile due to changes in the market. Instead, LAW will concentrate its efforts on international routes.

On January 26th, the Argentinean low-cost carrier Flybondi launched operations from its base Cordoba to Puerto Iguazu (2x weekly), Bariloche (2x weekly) and Mendoza (5x weekly). New additional routes will connect Mendoza-Iguazu and Mendoza-Bariloche.
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 
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MEDELLIN, COLOMBIA - ONE OF THE COOLEST CITIES TO VISIT
PERU WINS PATWA AWARDS: BEST DESTINATION - ANCIENT HISTORY
DESAFIO EXPRESS CRUISE, BRAZIL'S LATEST AMAZON EXPERIENCE
TUCUMAN - UNKNOWN GEM IN NORTHWESTERN ARGENTINA
URUGUAY - THE RIVER OF PAINTED BIRDS
RESPONSIBLE TOURISM IN ECUADOR - ON BOARD THE TREN ECUADOR
CARRETERA AUSTRAL - THE DREAM ROUTE BETWEEN PUERTO MONTT AND VILLA O'HIGGINS
HOTEL NEWS
FLIGHT NEWS