It's wintertime below the Equator but as prices dip to off-season lows, temperatures stay high on many of the best beaches in South America. Whether looking for a party or an escape to nature, the Southern Hemisphere offers the ideal beach getaway.
- Uruguay's most luxurious resort, the 5-star Four Seasons, Carmelo, rewards guests staying three nights -- the effective nightly rate drops to $160 Sunday-Thursday and $233 per night on weekends (bookable in US dollars), as much as $90 off room rates at nearby hotels. This hotel offers easy access to the area's premier beaches, wineries and golf courses.
- Visitors to Cartagena, Colombia's largest resort town, can enjoy bay views from the Hotel Almirante Cartagena Estelar for $209 (COP$307,975) per night in July and August, almost $200 less than Cartagena's other upscale hotels. The 4-star hotel offers complimentary breakfast and is five minutes from the Walled City. To make reservations in English, call 1-866-599-8703.
- Incas, pirates and Charles Darwin visited the Galapagos Island since its discovery. See the diverse flora and fauna up close for $235 per night at the 4.5-star Red Mangrove Adventura Lodge (bookable by phone or email), more than 55% less than other luxury hotels in the islands. The rate includes daily breakfast, welcome drink and purified drinking water.
- Book Peru's central coast's 5-star hotel for $155 on weekdays and $175 for weekends through August. Enjoy ocean views from a private balcony at Hotel Paracas or get a closer look at the Pacific Ocean from one of the world's largest marine reserves, one mile away.
- Hotel Cocoon & Lounge, a boutique hotel steps from Jaguaribe Beach, Brazil, has rooms available for $114 per night, more than 70% less than other Salvador hotels. Salvador's reputation for easygoing inhabitants and parties has earned Brazil's third-largest city the title -- Capital of Happiness.
- There's no place in the world to let loose like Recife, Brazil, home to the official start of Carnival. Hotel Jangadeiro, a 4-star hotel, slashed current rates by 60% through September. For $159 per night (bookable in USD), guests enjoy a sea view room with private balcony and breakfast buffet.
- Through August, guest rooms at the Gran Marquise Hotel in Fortaleza, Brazil, are available for $180 per night (bookable in USD). Fortaleza's only 5-star hotel is available for 70% less than other hotels in town. On the Praia do Mucuripe, the hotel's penthouse pool deck offers unrivaled views of the Beira Mar.