If you're headed south from the West Coast, here's another option: LAN Peru is introducing new direct service between Los Angeles and Sao Paulo, Brazil, later this month. The inaugural direct flight will depart on March 22, launching a four-times-a-week schedule.
To kick off the new service LAN Peru is offering introductory fares starting at $499 round-trip to both Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. San Francisco departures to those same cities will also start at $499 for a limited time.
Having more options to choose from is inherently good for travelers, and in this case it means both increased route competition and some frequent flyer choices. LAN partners with American, so you can earn either AAdvantage or LANPASS miles on these flights. I've also flown LAN to South America in the past and found the airline's economy service surprisingly roomy compared to its competitors.