Added to the excitement of an impending royal wedding, it will not have slipped your attention what this extra bank holiday actually means- the opportunity to take a long holiday while using up very few of those precious days off. Dehouche pick their top 3 destinations for the ultimate 2 week bank holiday break.
Colombia-Cartagena de Las Indias:
Visit Colombia’s jewel in the Carribean in April and witness the city’s rich cultural heritage come alive during one of the continent’s most spectacular Easter festivities- 10 days of parades filled with grandiosity and light where white hooded brotherhoods lead rose-strewn coffins past ornate colonial churches: Best witnessed from the bougainvillea covered balcony of your suite at Dehouche’s favourite boutique hotel in the Old Town. Dive into the city’s past with a stroll through sun dappled squares in the company of our local historian, Dora (the resident Gabriel Garcia Marquez expert) before an evening at hidden gem La Habana, where magnetic salsa rhythms flow almost as fast as refreshing mojitos- the best outside of Cuba. To make the most of the glorious April sunshine, we recommend a few days off the coast, relaxing in an exclusive villa resort on Isla Baru (home to one of South America’s most gorgeous beaches – Playa Blanca), or take advantage of low season rates after Easter to live like a Colombian mogul for a week and rent one of Dehouche’s favourite villas on a private island, complete with full staff and gourmet chef. Cruise by speedboat around the blue waters and natural aquaria of the Rosario islands and water-ski in the protected mangrove lagoon of the Cienega de Cholon – playground of Colombia’s uber-crew. An excellent internal flight system will have you riding horses through the verdant hills around a working coffee estancia in the south, before a final stop in the capital, Bogota, where we combine a visit to the unique Salt Cathedral with dinner at Colombia’s most entertaining restaurant – Andres Carnes de Res: Joie de Vivre with a large helping of succulent steak and cinnamon rum.
Buenos Aires is the world’s most enigmatic city break: To write his Labyrinths, Borges could have come from nowhere else. Towards the end of April is when the leaves start to turn and the weather cools slightly, making it the perfect temperature for exploring the city on foot in the hands of our local art expert Ana, who will give you an in-depth insight into the city’s bubbling creativity and ever-evolving cultural scene: From hidden boutiques in the tree-lined streets of Palermo and Sunday’s San Telmo Antiques market, to private art shows followed by dinner at a closed door restaurant, replete with roaring log fire. 10 days will give you just enough time to work your way through our carefully compiled list of top class restaurants and nightspots and still leave time to relax on a beautiful working estancia in the campo, learning polo from an Argentine ex-champion, who will also show you the secrets to preparing the perfect asado and how to pair it with just the right Argentinean Malbec.
Rio and Buzios
April is one of our favourite times of year in Rio. The chaos and crowds of summer and Carnival are gone, and the city finally begins to settle back into a more relaxed pace of life. This is when those truly in the now come to the city, quiet beaches, no problem getting a table at the best restaurants, yet still gorgeous weather. No April showers in this part of the world, this month is characterised by endless blue sky days, and mild temperatures in the mid 20s, just perfect for a cycle ride round the lagoon or a hike in the Tijuca forest. Then for the Easter weekend head up to Buzios along with the chic Cariocas for crystal clear water and golden sands. Dehouche will reserve you a sleek white day bed at our favourite beach lounge Rocka, the epitome of understated chic matched by superb service, the freshest seafood and a spectacular view. It’s not hard to escape the crowds though: rent a buggy for the day and drive out to one of the more secluded beaches, such as the picture perfect horseshoe bay of Praia Ferradurinha, the wild stretch of sand dunes at Tucuns or, even better, take a private schooner for a peaceful day of sunbathing, snorkelling, fishing or simply sitting back with a caipirinha prepared for you by the captain as you watch the sunset over the headland.