Brazil Visa Waived for US Citizens

Great news!  Now it will be much easier for all travelers from the United States to travel to Brazil!

The Brazilian government announced that effective June 17, 2019, a visitor visa (electronic or paper) will not be required for U.S. citizens to travel to Brazil for the purposes of tourism, business, transit and artistic and sportive activities, for stays of up to 90 days.

If you intend to travel to Brazil under these purposes before June 17, 2019, you will still need to obtain a visitor visa as per current requirements for U.S. citizens traveling to Brazil.

If you have questions, please contact the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (

Contact Jill for all of your travel planning, or a complimentary consultation today!

Peru – Machu Picchu & Amazon Cruise

With a fusion of European, indigenous, Chinese, Japanese and African influences, Peru is the ultimate gastronomic destination.  In Lima alone you will find the acclaimed restaurants Astrid and Gaston by Chef Gaston Acurio, Central Restaurant by Michellin Star Chef Virgilio Martinez, Rafael by Chef Rafael Osterling and Malabar by Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino whose inspiration is found in exotic Amazonian ingredients. Combining Peru’s culinary delights with the iconic Inca cultural sites, this customizable itinerary offers an immersive experience that will not only excite your taste buds but also your sense of wonder and adventure.  Beginning in Lima and continuing on to the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Cusco and culminating in a four night Amazon Cruise on the luxury Aria, this 14 day journey is a trip of a lifetime.

Peru, Gastronomy & Culture

Discover Brazil Itinerary

Discover the rich cultural heritage of Brazil in a month long journey

I had the great pleasure of creating a month long magical journey this past holiday season. Ina and Sarantos wanted to focus on Brazil’s rich cultural heritage, art and architecture, as well as experience the great Amazon Rainforest.  The Discover Brazil Itinerary, was the natural outcome.   This in depth exploration of Brazil’s iconic destinations also includes the Colonial Towns of Minas Gerais–one of the countries most culturally rich regions.   This 24 day cultural adventure offers travelers a comprehensive and enchanting experience through Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Manaus, The Amazon Rainforest, Salvador da Bahia, Trancoso, Inhotim Art Park, Minas Gerais Colonial Towns – Ouro Preto, Congonhas, Tiradentes, Reserva do Ibitipoca, and Rio de Janeiro. Click here or on the image below and explore the possibilities.

“Ina and I are so happy from this wonderful journey you had prepared for us, that I cannot stop thinking about it.” – Sarantos

Discover Brazil Itinerary

Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa


Explore the majestic and jaw dropping beauty of Southern Chile at the Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa in our presentation above.

The operating season for the Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa 2017/2018 season is from October 1st until May 31st.

All Bookings made through South American Escapes receive a complimentary room upgrade based on availability as well as $100 Spa Credit.

For further information and reservations contact:  Jill Siegel.



The Brazilian Amazon Rainforest

The Brazilian Amazon Rainforest

The Brazilian Amazon Rainforest – an Ecological Eldorado

The Brazilian Amazon Rainforest is mankind’s heritage, an ecological Eldorado for environmentalists. It produces a fifth of the planet’s oxygen and contains a fifth of the earth’s fresh water.  There are 15,000 known animal species, 1800 species of butterflies, 2000 species of fish, and four types of big cats. One quarter of the world’s 8600 bird species live in the Amazon.  The Amazon River system is the planet’s largest body of fresh water, and besides the Amazon River, there are 1100 tributaries with over 48,000 miles of navigable rivers.

Explore traveling to the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest in this multi-media presentation.   Two of the top lodges are highlighted, The Anavilhanas Jungle Lodge and the Cristalino Lodge.

Travelers Say:

“We contacted Jill with a request for a vacation that would be very focused on the nature of the Amazon forest. She came back with a recommendation for a river cruise up the Rio Negro, which was a great match to our request. We had a terrific trip; all arrangements were well handled, and when bad weather threatened our departure, Jill was working with us on a back-up plan (fortunately unneeded, but reassuring to know there was one). We would love to work with Jill again for a trip to Brazil. We had a very special experience there.”
CRAIG OWENS (CFO Campbell’s Soup Company)

“I know of no one who has been involved longer or more successfully with ecotourism in the Amazon than Jill Siegel. I recommend her enthusiastically!”
Mark Plotkin, Ph.D. –  Author “Tale’s of A Shaman’s Apprentice”
Ethnobotanist and President,
Amazon Conservation Team

Feel free to contact Jill for a custom designed itinerary to the Amazon and beyond.

Best of Brazil – A New Year’s Journey

Best of Brazil

Best of Brazil Itinerary – A New Year’s Journey

Itinerary Details:  Suggested length – 12 to 15 Days
Itinerary Highlights: Manaus, The Amazon, Salvador da Bahia, Trancoso, Rio de Janeiro.

Your journey will be a private, customized travel experience, based on your individual schedule,
interests and budget.  
Now is the time to start planning your trip to ring in the year 2018!

Contact Jill and begin planning your journey: Click Here

Caiman Ecological Refuge


The Caiman Ecological Refuge is a sustainable eco-lodge located on a 53,000 hectare ranch in the heart of the Brazilian wetlands called the Pantanal.  The flood plane is a birdwatcher’s paradise, home to more than 650 species, thousands of varieties of butterflies, 80 species of mammals and more than 250 species of fish.  In 2000, the Pantanal wetland was designated a World Natural Heritage and World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.

Caiman Lodge macaw


Guests staying at the Caiman Lodge have the unique opportunity to see the elusive jaguars.  Projeto Onçafari is a non-profit conservation initiative that aims to promote ecotourism in the Pantanal by habituating Jaguars in order for guests to witness the fascinating behavior of these beautiful animals from a safari vehicle.

Jaquar Caiman Lodge

Jaguar Caiman Lodge

Most recently, clients of mine saw four jaguars on their very first day at the lodge and I was thrilled to receive the following photo from them.

Jaguar at Caiman Lodge by Steve Ice

The Caiman Ecological Refuge is considered the premier lodge in the region and is a must stop on any wildlife enthusiasts’ itinerary.  I recommend at least 3 nights and 4 days at the lodge.

Baiazinha Caiman Lodge

Contact Jill for itinerary planning and reservations.

The Vines Resort & Spa – Mendoza

Have you ever dreamed of owning a private vineyard? The Vines of Mendoza, set amidst 1,500 acres in the Uco Valley, has been making this dream come true for wine lovers since 2004. The Vines Resort & Spa affords guests the opportunity to enjoy everything The Vines has to offer while comfortably accommodated in one of their rustic chic one bedroom, one bedroom deluxe or two bedroom private villas. With views of the Andes Mountains from the floor to ceiling panoramic windows or enjoyed from your outdoor clay tub on your private deck, the setting could not be more spectacular.

The Vines Resort and Spa Deck View

World renowned Argentina master chef Francis Mallmann is at the helm of the Siete Fuegos Restaurant that features regional inspired fare including traditional asado feasts–of course paired with the Vines own Malbec wines.

The Vines Resort and Spa Francis Mallman Siete Fuegos Mendoza

Spend your days learning about wine making from decorated expert Santiago Achaval or set out on horseback with one of the Vines’ resident gauchos. Relax with a massage in the spa or take a yoga class followed by a dip in the infinity pool. You can fly fish on the Rio Mendoza or hit the Andes slopes heli-skiing. The Vines resident concierge will help you create the perfect balance of activities and relaxation.

The Vines Resort & Spa Pool

Many of my clients enjoy experiencing a combination itinerary including Brazil, Argentina and Chile. Mendoza is the perfect stop over destination between Buenos Aires and Santiago de Chile. This type of itinerary can begin in Rio de Janeiro then move on to Iguacu Falls, Buenos Aires, Mendoza and finally Santiago. In this way it is not necessary to back track to any of the destinations for air connections.

Call Jill Siegel and have her create the perfect custom designed itinerary for you.

Condé Nast Traveler Top Travel Specialists


MONTCLAIR, NJ – December 2016– JILL SIEGEL, owner of South American Escapes has been named one of the 164 Top Travel Specialists by Condé Nast Traveler magazine for the 8th consecutive year.  By combining firsthand experience and 30 years of knowledge within the Brazilian Travel Industry, Jill provides the type of expertise needed to create seamless and unique travel experiences for her clients.  Out of thousands of candidates, 164 made the list this year.

“If you read Condé Nast Traveler, chances are you want to go somewhere and do something most people haven’t. And to turn a vacation into an I’ll-tell-my-grandkids-about-this lifetime high point, you need an “experience maker,” as we refer to them here at Traveler. These on-the-ground fixers don’t dole out canned itineraries.” said Condé Nast Traveler Senior Editor Paul Brady.

Brazil Travel Specialist Jill Siegel focuses on exclusive out of the way places that provide the very best in the Brazilian hospitality and tourism sector.  From coordinating travel for world class photographers to the Amazon or arranging private travel arrangements for clients as diverse as Susan Sarandon and Charles Darwin’s great great grandson, Jill’s eclectic network of contacts throughout Brazil has allowed her to create rave worthy itineraries.

Condé Nast Traveler’s annual Travel Specialists list began as a service travel directory 12 years ago, yet it has turned into a must-have list of the most impressive, knowledgeable, and experienced travel specialists in the world.

Each year, Condé Nast Traveler Senior Editor Paul Brady leads a team of editors in evaluating applicants.  Listed travel specialists have undergone a rigorous screening process that includes a 47-question application with sample itineraries and client references, and then continues with phone interviews and, in most cases, road-testing by Condé Nast Traveler staff.  Brady receives hundreds of letters annually from around the world reporting back on the trips that were planned by these specialists.

About Condé Nast Traveler

Condé Nast Traveler does not accept free travel and accommodations, and its correspondents, as far as possible, travel anonymously.  The result is travel the way consumers experience it — good and bad, with reporting that is fair and honest.  Condé Nast Traveler has a circulation of over 800,000 and is published by Condé Nast Publications, Inc.

#ExperienceMakers @cntraveler @JillBrazil

Read Article on CN Traveler.


Jill’s page on Conde Nast Traveler’s website: Click here