Latin America boasts some of the worlds most postcard worthy beaches, particularly in Brazil and Costa Rica. As top honeymoon destinations, they wouldn’t be complete without some truly magical sunsets, and both offer them almost every night of the year. However, these aren’t the only two places to consider if you’re in search of the perfect sundown, in fact some don’t involve beaches at all. Have a read through our list of 7 magical places to watch the sunset in Latin America and you may be surprised…
1. Tamarindo, Costa Rica
The laid back, surfing town of Tamarindo on the western coastline of Costa Rica is an ideal spot to lie back, relax and enjoy the sunset. Take a seat in one of the quirky bars along the beach, order a couple of cocktails, and before you know it the whole sky will be shades of deep orange and blood red with a tint of bright purple. The reflections off the sea combined with the silhouettes of surfboards and couples strolling hand-in-hand along the shore are photographic perfection.
2. Moon Valley, Chile
The Atacama desert, in the far north of Chile, is a dry and mostly desolate place where few people visit. Only the small town of San Pedro de Atacama has managed to draw people in, and that’s mostly thanks to the nearby Valle de la Luna or ‘Valley of the Moon’. Bizarre rock formations in differing shades of red, orange, yellow and white criss-cross the region and it’s easy to see how it got its name, as it’s not dissimilar to the surface of the moon. When the sun sets on this natural spectacle, the shadows and shapes create a beautiful and unique vision of the landscape, plus excellent photo opportunities. Be sure not to rush down once the sun has disappeared though – the scene is captivating under the light of a full moon too.
3. The Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Watching the sun set whilst eating an a la carte meal, with a glass of bubbly in hand, on the deck of a luxury yacht may seem like the impossible dream, but, if you take a trip to the Galapagos, this could very much become reality. Despite the main draw being the overwhelming amount of wildlife that the islands play host to, the actual logistics of staying in the Galapagos are often overlooked. Yes, you will most likely stay on a boat as there are very few hotels, and yes, it will mean eating all of your meals on board… but what of the quality? With only a few boats allowed to access the waters surrounding the islands due to strict environmental policies the companies operating here have gone above and beyond to make sure their yachts are super luxurious to tempt in the tourists. Sundecks with al fresco dining and large observation lounges are standard, some have cabins with private balconies and it’s not unusual for the odd jacuzzi to be perfectly situated for watching the world go by. And as most Galapagos itineraries stop in a different location each night, watching the sunset from a hot tub may actually be a very real possibility…
4. Puerto Natales, Chile
Deep in southern Chile, a tiny town named Puerto Natales sits on the edge of Last Hope Sound. This may seem an unlikely place to witness a beautiful sunset, however, if you are lucky enough to see it on a clear day, the sight is simply magical. This unique little cluster of multi-coloured houses, shops and hotels is the gateway to one of Chiles greatest tourist attractions; Torres del Paine National Park. Often shrouded in a light veil of cloud and mist, the distant mountains of the park cannot usually be seen from the town, but on the occasional clear day the view is magnificent. In the height of the Patagonia season, the sun often doesn’t set until 10 or 11pm, making it ideal for a post-dinner stroll.
5. The Salt Flats, Bolivia
A visit to the salt flats in Bolivia is incredible at any time of the day, but to be there for the setting of the sun is very special indeed. These vast white swathes of white salt are a popular tourist attraction in Bolivia, and people comes here in their hundreds to capture amusing photographs, which can be taken due to the lack of perspective in this vast area. If you happen to catch the salt flats when there is a thin later of water sitting on top, the colours and reflections are quite surreal.
6. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
With such an impressive skyline, it’s no wonder that the sunset in Rio de Janeiro is fabulous – just like the city itself. As twilight sets in and the sun seekers head home, this is the ideal time to hit the beach. From here you can watch locals playing foot volley as the heat of the day evaporates, and enjoy the silhouettes of iconic sights such as Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf Mountain. As the many lights begin to flick on across the bay, the beauty of the scene is intensified.
The white continent may be better known for penguins and icebergs, but it too can offer sunsets of breath-taking colour and depth. In the summer, the sun barely goes down and this creates beautiful evenings with long shadows and colourful patterns across the clear skies. In addition, the stark white of the snow and jagged shapes of icebergs are the perfect partner to a multi-coloured sky.
Simon Williams is Director of The Bespoke Travel Group.