At Belmond an early start holds the promise of reward. There’s nothing more inspiring than a delicious breakfast and the sight of feathered wonders gliding across a South American sunrise.
By Olivia Maclean
Cast your eye on a bird taking flight and let your mind wander. No doubt you’ll soon be pondering the miracle of these airborne beauties. There’s a heavenly quality to standing on the solid earth and watching flocks dancing overhead along the skyline, or one lone ranger majestically soaring beside the rising sun.
Nature is at the heart of Belmond experiences worldwide. But for some, birds in particular are the true treasures that capture the imagination.
THE FLIGHT OF THE CONDORS
It isn’t easy to surface early from a restful sleep in one of the plush four-poster beds at Belmond Las Casitas, but for one morning of your stay, it’s certainly worth it. Step out into the fresh Andean air and head deep into Peru’s Colca Canyon, where the early bird catches the view.
Each morning around 8am, an appearance in the sky draws a hushed wonder from enchanted observers. Andean Condors take flight, soaring on lofty thermal currents over the valley. These majestic birds ”‘symbolise the strength of the culture,” says Belmond’s Ana Lucia Felices, “a union of the Callagua and Cabana peoples of Colca”. You’ll find the best spot for sightings at Tapay. The lookout here is high above the canyon bed, with truly breathtaking panoramic views.
For guests of Belmond Las Casitas a delicious breakfast is served at the lookout—the perfect antidote to an early start. Dine deliciously as the condors continue their peaceful reign over the valley.
FEATHERS AT FIRST LIGHT
The tale takes another turn at the Iguassu Falls National Park in Brazil. Here, variety is the order of the morning with many winged wonders found in the canopies above the falls.
Belmond Hotel das Cataratas is the only hotel located within the national park—a UNESCO World Heritage site. Rise at first light for an energising breakfast rich with local fruits and Brazilian delicacies. Then wander to the edge of the hotel grounds where the thunderous sound of the falls grows louder with each step.
As dawn casts a glow over the water, another sound rises through the trees. The park’s many birds begin to call in the new morning with harmonious aplomb. Swifts, crested jays and toucans all dwell in the area. You’ll spot many on the tour—an hour and a half long trail led by your expert guide. Leica binoculars are provided so that no mesmerising moment is missed.
“For those who love to be in touch with nature, it’s the perfect place to be,” says Bruna Mariath of Belmond Brazil. Perhaps, that’s the enduring allure of the birds. They remain captivating in sight, but ever just out of reach. Step closer than ever before with Belmond’s collection of wild adventures.
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