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Dear Travel Partner,

this month, a long requested topic has made it in our newsletter: a helpful overview of the train service between Cusco and Machu Picchu, packed full of information about stations, train companies and the different classes available.
We also have some news on the sustainability/conservation front which is something that is always close to our hearts.
And for those of you in search of intriguing activities in Santiago, Buenos Aires and the Colombian highlands - look no further because we have just the thing for you!
Also check out our Website, Facebook & Instagram for latest updates!

Enjoy reading!

All the best,
Your SAT Team

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

June 03: Colombia
June 10: Frankfurt
June 17: Argentina
June 19: Uruguay

June 20: Argentina, Brazil, Frankfurt
June 23: Colombia

South-east of Santiago, in the Maipo Valley, you will find a true treasure for wine lovers: the traditional Viña Cousiño Macul. Founded in 1856, the still family-owned winery is known for its selection of elegant high-quality wines. For those who want to relish the delicious wines and learn about their history, the Cousiño family offers a variety of tours, such as the guided bicycle tour "Jardin de Macul" that we tested for you this month. The tour is scheduled from Monday to Friday at 11:30am for a maximum of 10 participants. During the approx. 3-hour experience you will get a complete insight into the winery. After a welcome drink you mount the bicycle to ride through the spacious vineyards and the beautiful gardens of the family house. Take a break in the park to enjoy a glass of exquisite wine before you walk through  the underground cellars that were built during the 19th century. The tour ends with a tasting of 6 premium wines accompanied by a delectable cheeseboard. Needless to say, we thoroughly enjoyed this wonderful getaway and are already thinking about visiting again. Contact us to complete your Chilean experience with a visit to Viña Cousiño Macul!
Picture credit: Viña Cousiño Macul
Located approximately 170km south of Bogotá, the mountain range and national park La Macarena is home to one of the most fascinating natural treasures of South America: the river Caño Cristales, a tributary of the Guayabero River. Each year, the roughly 100km and up to 20m wide river transforms into a colorful spectacle of red, green, blue, yellow and black. The colors are a product of the endemic aquatic plant Macarenia clavígera which grows in spades when the river carries enough water and the stunning effect is multiplied by the extremely clear water. Thanks to its tropical climate, the region also offers a great biodiversity, including anteaters, jaguars, monkeys, around 100 species of reptiles, more than 500 species of birds and an incredible 1,200 species of insects. The best season to visit the "River of Five Colors", also called "Liquid Rainbow", is from July to November. It can be best reached from the small village of La Macarena (1h flight from Bogotá). From there, a day trip with a combination of boat, 4x4 vehicle and walking takes you to Caño Cristales. If you are curious for details and tour suggestions, please contact us!
Plastic pollution is a real threat to numerous species in our oceans. Especially abandoned fishing nets, the so called ghost nets, are a deathly trap for marine animals and even humans that become entangled in them. It can take centuries for those nets to biodegrade, which leads to the inevitable need to start reducing the damage. Therefore, the Good Net Project was founded by the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) and the Ghost Fishing Foundation, in order to remove these ghost nets and reuse them as beach volleyball nets. Since beach volleyball has one of its roots in Rio de Janeiro, on March 16th Copacabana was chosen as the starting point of this marine conservation project by equipping beach volleyball courts with upcycled fishing nets and playing the first volleyball match on them. From here the project is now spreading around the world by using the upcycled nets on the FIVB’s global competitions. If you would like to know more about the project and how to support it, please contact us!
If you are looking to explore Uruguay off the beaten tracks (quite literally), Cabo Polonio is just the destination for you. There are no roads leading to the little hamlet at the eastern coast of Uruguay, it can only be reached by foot or 4x4 vehicles across the shifting dunes. Despite its small size, the Cabo Polonio National Park has a lot to offer: native forest, small wetlands, beaches and small islands are waiting to be explored. The area's rocky cliffs and islands are home to Uruguay's only continental settlement of fur seals as well as sea lions. You can even find endangered species, like the Darwin Frog, or rare plants, like the bromeliad Banano do Mato, which is found only in Uruguay and Brazil. The waters in front of Cabo Polonio's coast are a fixture on the migration routes of Southern Right whales and the green turtle. The region is also interesting from an archaeological and anthropological view, as prehistoric societies inhabited the area approximately 11,000 years ago. Another of the small town's landmarks is the lighthouse from 1881. Please contact us for more information and travel ideas!
Picture credit: Leonardo Ciro Correa - Mintur
If you are not planning to hike to Machu Picchu, a train ride is the only way to reach the mysterious citadel in the Peruvian Andes. So it's high time to take a look at the two train companies that service this iconic route: Inca Rail and PeruRail. They operate three main stations, one close to Cusco ( Poroy, approx. 3h from Machu Picchu) and another in the Sacred Valley ( Ollantaytambo, approx. 1,5h from Machu Picchu). The third, San Pedro station in Cusco, has been re-opened recently and is currently serviced by Inca Rail (PeruRail will follow in the near future) twice a day. During the rainy season (January-April), all trains leave from the Sacred Valley and the companies offer a shuttle bus service between Cusco and Ollantaytambo. Depending on the traveler's budget, each company offers four different train categories from basic to luxury. For example, Inca Rail's basic train "The Voyager" includes snacks and hot/cold beverages. One step up is "The 360°" which includes a box lunch and also features an outdoor observatory wagon. Next comes "The First Class" with a gourmet menu, bar & complimentary drinks, live music, an outdoor balcony and a private bus to Machu Picchu. The premium train "The Private" even features private carriages for its passengers. PeruRail's four trains (Expedition, Vistadome, Sacred Valley Train and Belmond Hiram Bingham which also offers a private experience in an additional carriage) follow a similar service system and they additionally offer a train service between Cusco and Lake Titicaca (PeruRail Titicaca) as well as Cusco, Lake Titicaca and Arequipa (Belmond Andean Explorer). For more information about the trains to Machu Picchu, please contact us!
Museo Larco: A new rule was introduced according to which groups of 10 or more people are required to use headphones during the museum visit. Museo Larco grants free rental of the equipment to agencies between 9:00am and 8:00pm for a maximum of 2 hours. The measure was introduced to cut down the noise level in the museum, especially during peak times.
National Museum of Archaeology, Anthropology and History:
After parts of the ceiling in a section closed to the public crumbled due to the buildings' age and termite activity, the museum is currently closed to allow time for construction works. It is important to note that no employees or visitors were injured during the incident. The museum will reopen as soon as the maintenance process is finished.
An exquisite interactive culinary experience in Buenos Aires introduces visitors to the most famous Argentine culinary delight - the traditional asado (barbecue). The 8-course tasting menu at Fogón Asado lets its guests observe different cooking techniques on the grill up close while serving delicious cuts of meats and other specialties. Their innovative approach and top-notch cuisine made Fogón Asado the No. 1 restaurant in Buenos Aires, according to TripAdvisor. After a welcome cocktail with Argentine Gin Craft, the menu includes empanadas with citrus chutney, chorizo and black pudding, caramelized provoleta cheese with roasted Ratatouille, Matambrito (glazed pork belly), a surprise course with daily specials, two cuts of Argentine beef and a dessert of dulce de leche pancakes with a twist. The tasting menu combines traditional recipes with new grill techniques and is sure to make your mouth water! To complete the experience, Fogón Asado offers two optional wine pairings with boutique Argentine wines that have been specifically chosen to enhance the ingredients' flavors. For those who prefer a hands-on approach, how about a tailored grilling class including lunch? Please contact us for details!
Picture credit: Fogón Asado 
For our SAT SIC Tours 2020, we are introducing new sustainable excursions with our partner Tierra del Volcán in the Ecuadorian Andes. The company's journey started in 1999 as a university project to support conservation in the Cotopaxi area through ecotourism. Today, it has grown into an umbrella brand that operates 2 haciendas (El Porvenir and El Tambo) and offers a selection of excursions, including cooking classes, horseback riding, mountain biking, mountain summiting and trekking. Their haciendas have environmental conservation programs and the company established a partnership with the non-profit organization Fundación Páramo which protects over 75,000 hectares of private land adjacent to Cotopaxi National Park. Tierra del Volcán also runs several community support programs for education, local sourcing and cultural heritage. Additionally, they follow extensive ecotourism management practices pertaining to water consumption, waste management, green construction, heating and energy. We are proud to work with a partner who shares and lives our values and are looking forward to a new chapter in our cooperation! If you would like to know more, please contact us!
Florencia joined the SAT Argentina team almost 14 years ago and today is the Supervisor for Product Development & Sales. She has been working in the tourism industry for about 22 years, having had the chance to travel almost to every continent, but her true passion lies with South America. Her goal is that more and more guests get to know South America, an amazing continent that well deserves a visit!
She especially loves her home country Argentina which is full of contrasts and natural beauties. Some of her favorite destinations are Salta and its surroundings with colorful mountains and salt flats, El Calafate with its breath-taking glaciers and Mendoza with its delicious Malbec wines. But her top choice destination is the Iguazu Falls, where you can really feel “the power of nature”.
When she is not working, Florencia is busy travelling the country, now joined by her 2-year old daughter Pili.
If you would like Florencia to help you plan exciting explorations in Argentina and South America, feel free to contact her!

The Peruvian luxury overnight train Belmond Andean Explorer announced that their spa wagon "Picaflor" is not available until June 30th. In its place, a wagon with 3 additional cabins will be added to the train. From July 2019, the spa wagon will be in service again as well as 2 wagons with additional cabins, increasing the total of cabins to 35 (before 24).

The Tropical Hotel Manaus in the Brazilian Amazon region closed its doors indefinitely earlier this month. There are currently no new investors planning to take over the operations and existing bookings have been reallocated to other properties.

Earlier this month, Hotel Galerias in Santiago de Chile was re-branded and is now “Almacruz Hotel y Centro de Convenciones".
The Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel presents a new culinary experience for its guests: an excursion to the potato fields of potato expert Manuel Choqque with a variety of 350 types. The excursion includes a cooking demonstration as well as a tasting of fermented root tubers and local dishes.

The Chilean Hotel Torres in Torres del Paine introduced new specialized All-inclusive programs for the 2019/2020 Season, including a romantic Honeymoon program, a Puma Encounter program with fix departures dates, and a W Trekking program including a stay at the hotel.
Air Canada will launch a seasonal non-stop connection between Toronto and Quito from December 08th, 2019 to May 11, 2020. There will be three weekly departures: YYZ-UIO on Wed, Fri, Sun and UIO-YYZ on Mon, Thu, Sat.

Emirates and LATAM Brazil finalized a new code-share agreement starting June 01 to connect domestic flights in Brazil with Dubai via Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
LATAM announced a new non-stop flight between Santiago de Chile and Brasilia, starting on October 15 with 3 weekly connections. In November and December respectively, LATAM will also launch new non-stop flights between Brasilia and Lima as well as Asuncion.
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