South American beach hotels: The Big Six

Sand dunes, infinity plunge pools and lunches on the beach

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The Independent Travel

Bahia Vik, Uruguay

Located just metres from the Atlantic shore, Bahia Vik is one of the only hotels in the resort town of José Ignacio located directly on the beach front. Tucked among the sand dunes, the property, which opened this month, consists of 11 bungalows and 10 suites, each designed and decorated by a different Uruguayan artist; many come with a four-poster bed. Communal areas include a library, living room, games room, spa and gym. And if you want to explore the local night life, Bahia Vik is also within walking distance of José Ignacio's trendiest beach bars and restaurants.

Calle de Los Cisnes, José Ignacio (00 598 94 605 212; bahiavik.com). Doubles from $900 (£593), room only.

Kenoa Resort, Brazil

The timber-heavy decor and neutral colour scheme help this high-end resort blend into its natural surroundings. Located on the tropical beach of Barra de Sao Miguel in the northerly state of Alagoas, Kenoa has 23 suites and villas, some with their own garden or heated infinity plunge pool overlooking the Atlantic. Unwind in the spa and fitness centre before hitting in the hotel's wine bar.

Rua Escritor Jorge De Lima 58, Barra Mar, Barra de Sao Miguel, Alagoas (00 55 82 3272 1285; kenoaresort.com). Suites from 1,384 reals (£345), B&B.

Máncora Marina Hotel, Peru

This retreat in the far north-west of Peru has just 12 rooms, each with a view over the property's private beach and the ocean beyond, through floor-to-ceiling windows. The interiors are stylishly pared-back (think all-white bedrooms) while outside you'll find a 23m-long infinity pool looking over the Pacific. However, its location – close to downtown Máncora – means guests can escape beach life for a bit of hustle and bustle.

Panamericana Norte 1215, Máncora (00 51 73 258614; mancoramarina.com) Doubles from $100 (£66), B&B.

Posada Caracol, Venezuela

Located in the Los Roques archipelago, 170km off the Venezuelan coast, diminutive Posada Caracol has only four bedrooms, each decorated with natural materials and hand-woven fabrics. Despite its small size, it has its own restaurant serving Mediterranean and local dishes, and guests can even order lunch to be served on the beach. There are also hammocks for lounging in, and local coral reefs to snorkel over.

Calle Principal, Isla Gran Roque, Los Roques, Venezuela (00 58 237 414 5566; posadacaracol.com). Doubles from VEF1,030,400 (£108), half-board.

Hotel San Pedro de Majagua, Colombia

Having started life as the home studio of French painter Pierre Daguet, this is now a four-star retreat on Isla Grande, which forms part of the Rosario archipelago near historic Cartagena. The hotel, which is also a popular diving resort, offers a full-service spa, a beach bar, and al fresco dining. All bedrooms include outdoor living areas with hammocks, comfy sofas, and easy access to the Caribbean Sea.

Isla Grande, Corales Del Rosaio and San Bernardo Natural Park, Cartagena (00 57 5650 4460; hotelmajagua.com) Doubles from COP510,000 (£140), B&B.

Nau Royal Hotel and Spa, Brazil

Located just steps away from trendy surf destination Cambury beach – easily acccessible from Sao Paulo – this is the perfect hotel for beach bums. The design imposes minimal impact on the environment: showers are solar powered and waste water is reused in the garden. Bedrooms are decorated in neutral tones, and each has its own balcony or terrace. The restaurant, overlooking the ocean, serves fresh seafood, while the spa offers a range of massages and facials.

Sao Sebastiao, Sao Paulo (00 55 12 3865 4486; nauroyal.com.br). Doubles from 4,960 reals (£1,228), room only.

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