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SAT NEWS - November 2018

Dear Travel Partner,

a few weeks ago, TravelAdvisor ranked the world's "Most Excellent" hotel chains based on the number of TripAdvisor Certificates of Excellence received by the individual properties. Besides the categories Large Hotel Chains (>500 properties) and Medium Hotel Chains (50-500 properties), we were especially excited about the Small Hotel Chains (20-50 properties). The Peruvian chain Casa Andina Hoteles made its way to 7th place on the list - congratulations!

Additionally, we were thrilled to find international brands with properties in South America: Belmond (1st), Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group (4th) and Rosewood Hotels & Resorts (10th)!

Of course we have many more interesting news and stories in store for you so lean back and enjoy!

Also check out our Website, Facebook & Instagram for latest updates!

All the best,
Your SAT Team

*** The following SAT offices will be closed for the upcoming national holidays ***

December 04: Argentina
December 06: Ecuador (closed from 12:00)
December 07:
December 10: Uruguay
December 12: Chile
December 14: Peru
December 18: Frankfurt
December 24: Argentina
December 25: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Uruguay, Frankfurt
December 26: Frankfurt
December 31: Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador

In the last weeks, we have finalized a project that has been on our minds for a long time: programs for women, designed by women!
They are just right for any lady that wants to travel in a comfortable group of like-minded companions: singles, wives, mothers, girlfriends, couples, young or old. They all have one thing in common: the female perspective, the defining factor of how a destination is experienced. Our programs engage this unique view through versatile programs with exciting explorations, delicious food, cultural experiences and, most of all, encounters with creative, strong, hard-working local women who shape the world around them in one way or another. Attend a cooking class of Brazilian chef Simone Almeida, meet Diana, a self-sustaining farmer from Colombia, have a chat with Ecuadorian artist Dolores Andrade in her studio in Quito or play ball with an all-women-soccer team in the Peruvian Andes. Taking a trip into the past, you can also learn more about the impressive life of Argentina’s former first lady María Eva Duarte de Perón (Evita). Have we sparked your interest? Then request more travel ideas and sample programs here!
On November 8th, our SAT Ecuador team spent a fantastic day at Hacienda El Porvenir for a reforestation program in cooperation with Fundación Páramo, a non-profit organization that has been dedicated to preserving the fragile ecosystems of the Ecuadorian highlands since 1992. Our team helped plant about 550 trees of 8 native species - congratulations to everybody involved! May those trees grow tall and contribute to the conservation of the native ecosystems for many decades!
But it is not only locals who spend their time helping to conserve and restore Ecuador's natural beauties. If you are looking for a project to actively support during your vacation, Ecuador is the spot for you! One of the most popular options is a project in the Galapagos Archipelago. And for good reason, who doesn´t want to care for giant tortoises or monitor sea lions? But the mainland has lots to offer as well. How about ecological architecture in the cloud forest, marine conservation at Ecuador´s coast or volunteering at an animal shelter in the Amazon? There are also options to join local communities and help with construction, agriculture or education. If you want to know more about SAT Ecuador's efforts or volunteering options, please contact us!
Earlier this month, the organization "National Natural Parks of Colombia" (Parques Nacionales Naturales de Colombia) announced the closing of Tayrona National Park between January 28 and February 28, 2019. This yearly measure provides a break for the park's flora and fauna and helps this unique ecosystem to recover. The temporary shutdown was first requested by the indigenous tribes that live in the park: the Kogi, Wiwa, Arhuaco and Kankuamo. Besides reducing the stress on wildlife and giving plants, waterbodies as well as soil and air a chance to recover, this time of the year is of a special importance for the indigenous people. They have maintained a lot of their ancient traditions and the first months of the year are a favorable time for their spiritual activities. Their underlying belief is that the universe was created by the celestial figure of Mother Earth and the region of Santa Marta came into existence before everything else. This is why the tribes call themselves "older brothers" and consider themselves the guardians of the sacred place they inhabit. Would you like to visit the Tayrona National Park and its indigenous people? Then contact us for more information and itineraries!
When they hear Tango, most people immediately think of Argentina. But did you know that the passionate, quick-paced dance is just as present in Uruguay? In the last weeks, Montevideo hosted not one but two festivals to celebrate the iconic dance: the 31st International Festival "Viva el Tango" (October 5th-14th) and the 13th edition of the TANGOvivo Festival (November 9th-17th). Both festivals organized milongas (dance events), concerts, competitions and dance classes. There were also professional presentations and conferences, even a Tango-themed bingo game! In other words, Uruguay's capital lived and breathed Tango for the past two months. But the city also has lots of activities to offer year-round. Why not take two weeks for a combined Spanish & Tango workshop? Or jazz up your night with an exciting show of Candombe, Tango & Folklore! You can even visit the site where "La Cumparsita", the world's most famous Tango tune, was composed and also premiered - it now houses the Tango Museum "La Cumparsita". The passion the Uruguayans have for their national dance makes any visit to Montevideo even more special. Please contact us for more information and itinerary suggestions!
The annual list of Latin Americas's 50 Best Restaurants was published a few weeks back and as always we were really excited about all the amazing winners! But we were especially happy to see that Buenos Aires defended its reputation as a foodie hotspot with an incredible 10 restaurants on the list! So we thought we would take a minute to present some of our favorites. Our first contender is a traditional parrilla (steakhouse), Don Julio (6th). They use grass-fed cattle from the Buenos Aires countryside and their specialties are their rump and skirt steaks, both grilled to perfection. Count us in! A more contemporary take on Argentine cuisine can be found at Tegui (11th). Their tasting menu is top-notch and the grilled oysters will have you asking for more! One of the list's high-flyers is Mishiguene, climbing from the 50th place last year to #18! Their modern Argentine-Jewish dishes are a surprising change for the palate and once you have tasted their babaganoush and varenikes (potato-filled dumplings), there is no going back! If you are looking for something new, how about alternative indigenous meats at El Baqueano (36th)? Llama carpaccio and alligator gyoza are their must-tries! Please contact us for more culinary inspiration!
Picture credit: Parrilla Don Julio
The G20 Summit will be held between November 30th and December 1st at the Costa Salguero conference center in the Palermo area of Buenos Aires (close to the domestic airport Aeroparque).
In order to ensure the safety of the participants, some of the main access roads to this area will be closed to the public. Furthermore, there will be some additional security measures in the districts Recoleta, Retiro and Puerto Madero. The 9th of July Avenue will also be partially closed due to the Gala Dinner being held at the Colón Theater.
Subway, regional trains as well as all port activities will be shut down or restricted during those days. The regional airports of Aeroparque and El Palomar won´t be operating from Thursday, November 29th, 03:00pm until Saturday, December 1st, 10:00pm. The international airport of Ezeiza will be fully functional, however subject to additional security controls.
Friday, November 30th has been declared a Holiday for the city of Buenos Aires. Delays and unforeseen changes may occur.
On October 31st, the Titicaca National Reserve celebrated its 40th anniversary - what better occasion to pay homage to this beautiful place on earth? The reserve was created in 1978, not only to protect regional flora and fauna but also to support the conservation of indigenous communities like the Uros, who famously opened their floating reef islands up for tourism. But there is so much more! The reserve is home to a number of birds, like the blue-billed Andean duck or the endangered Titicaca grebe. There is also the critically endangered Titicaca water frog that, with his excessive amount of skin, is a peculiar and rare sight. The area's captivating mix of nature, wildlife and culture makes sure that everybody finds what they are looking for. Bird-watching is high on the list for animal lovers whereas history buffs will marvel at the numerous archeological sites in and close to the reserve. If you want to get active, you can try your hand at fishing, sailing, kayaking or hiking. For those who want to experience the life on the Titicaca Islands, there are homestay options and you can even learn about raising vicuñas and ancient agriculture techniques. Interested in more tour ideas for Lake Titicaca? Please contact us!
Last week, new regulations for visits to Machu Picchu were announced. Already implemented in 2018, the current regulations include two types of entrance fees: one for the morning and another for the afternoon visits. The idea is to spread the amount of visitors over a longer time period and to incentivize the afternoon visits since the mornings are the most popular. At the same time, this avoids having more than 2,500 visitors inside the citadel.

The changes for 2019 (subject to change) include:
- Three different tickets for three different schedules.
- Incentives for later ticket times, like a free visit to the Site Museum or free visits to both the Site Museum and the Raqchi ruins.
- No changes to previously quoted and announced rates.
- The last entrance to Machu Picchu will be at 3pm, which is what visitors generally do. 

The changes for 2020 (subject to change) include:
- Three different tickets for three different schedules.
- Rates differentiation: 20% increase for the first shift, same rate for the second shift, and 20% decrease for the last shift. No other additional benefits.
- The last entrance to Machu Picchu will be at 3pm, which is what visitors generally do.
Being considered the driest nonpolar place in the world, the Atacama Desert in the north of Chile is one of the most surreal and impressive destinations you will ever see. The stark contrasts of colors and textures are breathtaking. One of the key components is a fitting hotel option so today we want to take a closer look at explora Atacama. The hotel is nestled in a 17ha property with a lovely view on the surrounding mountains. Besides 50 rooms and suites, the hotel features an observatory, a Spa area with open-air pools and Jacuzzis, a BBQ area and private access to the Puritama hotsprings. The bar offers delicious Chilean wines and cocktails while the restaurant offers pure flavors from quality ingredients. The concept of explora Atacama is All-Inclusive: explorations, accommodation, meals and bar, transportation as well as access to the spa and relaxation area. There are more than 40 explorations to choose from, always depending on availability and weather conditions. Best of all, explora Atacama offers a 3 for 4 promotion for stays until April 30th, 2019 so for every three paid nights, you get one night free! Also, a 50% discount for the third night applies for two paid nights. For more information about this offer, please contact us!
Picture credit: This image belongs to explora (r)
For the official start of the Brazilian summertime next month (Dec 21st), we are travelling to Paraty, located just a couple of hours from Rio de Janeiro at the Brazilian coast. Paraty is a popular bathing destination and a gateway for navigations to the nearby island Ilha Grande. One of the vessels that offer multi-day excursions in the Atlantic Ocean is the Atlantis Enterprise 75'. The catamaran boasts 8 cabins and can accommodate up to 24 passengers. Each cabin is equipped with its own bathroom with hot shower and individual air conditioning. The on-board chef provides passengers with a full-board catering. The sundeck is perfect for sunbathing and to enjoy panoramic views. The Atlantis Enterprise 75' offers regular weekend diving departures (Fri-Sat) but can also be chartered for private packages of 2 or 3 nights (Mon-Wed or Mon-Thu). These packages are adaptable for divers and non-divers and include trekking tours, kayaking and snorkeling. Scuba diving is available for extra charge. If we have sparked your interest, contact us for more information!
Picture credit: Atlantis Divers
After a two-year absence, it was announced that the famous floating Christmas tree of Rio de Janeiro will make its comeback in December 2018. This year´s edition will measure 70 meters in height and will be illuminated by 900.000 LED lights. It will be inaugurated on December 1st at 21:00 in the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon with a 7-minute fireworks display. 
Sebastian joined our SAT Colombia team as an Account Executive in October 2017 while still studying Industrial Engineering. What started as a student job quickly changed into a full-time profession when Sebastian discovered his passion for tourism and he has stayed part of the SAT family even after finishing his studies. 
He was born on the island of San Andres off the Caribbean coast of Colombia and moved to Bogotá to attend school. Besides his love for travelling the world, Sebastian is an avid photographer and many of his pictures have found their way into our office to help share the beauty and fascination of Colombia. In his free time, you can also find him on the tennis court! His favorite place in Colombia is the mountain range Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and he can't say no to a delicious "arepa" or a typical "picada"!
Sebastian lives and breathes Colombia and shares his love for his home country in every journey he creates and with every passenger he welcomes. You want to hear more of Sebastian's tips? Then contact him here!
On December 15th, the Brazilian hotel chain Fasano will open their new Fasano Salvador hotel in a protected building from the 1930s, located at Salvador da Bahia's Castro Alves square with a view on All Saints Bay.

Libertador Hotels, Resorts & Spas announced the sale of their Libertador Trujillo property in Peru to the Costa del Sol hotel chain. The change in operation is planned for December 20th.

ArtHotels will open their new Hotel Otavalo in mid-December. The upscale boutique property is located in the center of Otavalo, Ecuador.
Vik Retreats will open their Chilean property "Puro Vik" on December 23rd, consisting of 19 houses that will each feature 3 walls made entirely of glass, an individual design and private terraces with large tubs. Puro Vik is located at the hills of their Viña VIK vineyard in the Millahue Valley.

The Aloft Lima Miraflores opened its doors on November 8th as the chain's first property in Peru. The stylish hotel offers 160 rooms and 4 suites, a 24h self-service restaurant, bar, two event salons as well as a 24h gym and indoor pool.
LATAM Peru increased the frequency between Lima and Jaen, the gateway to the ruins of Kuelap, to two flights daily, one in the morning and the second in the afternoon.

Starting 2019, LATAM Peru will increase the frequency between Lima and Talara to three flights daily. The schedules are still to be informed.

LATAM Peru announced new connections for the summer of 2019. Starting in July, there will be 3 weekly direct flights each between Lima and Calama, Chile as well as Montego Bay, Jamaica.

On November 5, Chilean low-cost carrier Sky Airline launched their new connection between Santiago de Chile and Rio de Janeiro with 6 weekly flights.
Avianca announced the cancellation of the routes Arequipa-Lima and Arequipa-Cusco from December 2018.

On November 16, Avianca successfully launched their new direct flight Munich-Bogotá. There will be 5 weekly connections: Tue, Wed, Fri, Sat and Sun.

Earlier this month, Avianca launched a codeshare service with Air India for the connection Delhi-London Heathrow-Bogotá

The local government announced that the airport of San Martin de los Andes, Argentina will be expanded. It`s current size (1,850sqm) will be more than doubled (4,500sqm) in order to service international flights as well. A schedule has not been published yet.
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