Three Dream Stays in South America

Whether you’re exploring the Galápagos or visiting glaciers, South America is just the place to unplug from routine life.

Consider staying at one of these lodges for a truly unforgettable nature experience:

■ Galápagos Safari Camp: Santa Cruz Island, Ecuador (from $500, including meals and excursions)

With nine furnished tents in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island, this lodge inverts the usual model of tourism here.

Instead of sleeping on a boat and making forays onto land, guests stay at a private farm where they can gaze at the distant Pacific and watch tortoises amble past their canvas rooms, and make day-trips to the water (about 30 minutes away).

■ Fazenda CatuçabaCatuçaba, Brazil (from $420, including meals and activities)

At this country retreat in the rolling hills three hours east of São Paulo, the only sounds are birdsong and the laughter of local staff.

Guests come for the charms of an 1850s farmhouse and the peace of a technology-free setting. Between homemade meals—everything from cachaça liquor to coffee cake is made on-site—visitors can explore the adjacent Serro do Mar state park.

■ Candelaria del MonteSan Miguel del Monte, Argentina (from $220 per person, including meals and activities)

The Argentine pampas is the stuff of dreams—a place where meals take hours and siestas are mandatory.

Nowhere is this more evident than at Candelaria del Monte, a colonial-style estancia where owner (and de facto gaucho) Sebastián Goñi encourages guests to go horseback riding, herd cattle, harvest from the organic garden, or watch a polo match.

This article, written by Ann Abel and Celeste Moure, appeared in the October 2013 issue of National Geographic Traveler magazine.