With its gorgeous rural setting 19km north of Los Angeles, the American-run Residencial El Rincón is a relaxing place to take time out from traveling. The lodge has cozy, all-wood rooms and serves fabulous homemade breakfasts and dinners (three-course dinner CH$16,000).
The owners can arrange hiking and horseback-riding excursions. Get off southbound buses at the Perales/Los Olivos exit of the Panamericana (Km494), also known as Cruce La Mona (tell the driver and he'll stop for you). Signs point the 2km to the lodge; if you call or email ahead of time, the owners will pick you up here for free.