We can't travel right now, but we can still dream of the incredible landscapes, wildlife and people of Latin America. Here's our pick of nine bucketlist adventures for when we can travel once again
Patagonia is Earth's last great wilderness, a dramatic landscape comprising of the Andes Mountains, lakes, fjords, and glacier in the west and deserts, tablelands and steppes to the east. Exploring this untamed wilderness and discovering its awe-inspiring beauty is a true bucket-list item. Latin Routes has recently unveiled a new 17-day tour titled 'Pure Patagonia' visiting both Argentine and Chilean Patagonia. Highlights include the stunning Argentine lake district of Bariloche, Puerto Varas, Puerto Natales and the iconic Torres del Paine National Park.
Latin Routes’ 12-day escorted group tour is priced from £3,799 per person and includes internal transport, accommodation, some meals and an expert guide.
Belize is a tiny treasure-trove packed with natural beauty, famed for its stunning turquoise waters, incredible white sands and coral reefs home to a bounty of exotic marine life. Belize has a host of fascinating locations, but it is most famous for its rare and magnificent natural phenomenon, the Great Blue Hole. A circular drop of more than 400ft decorated with colourful coral formations and populated by Caribbean reef sharks, as well as nurse sharks, barracuda, and turtles, the Great Blue Hole is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Jacques Cousteau once named it one of the best dive sites in the world deeming it a true bucket-list item for those with a curiosity for what lies beneath the waves. Belize’s unique geographical position makes it a perfectly petite destination for travellers who want to pack a lot into their break, delivering beaches, rainforest, and Mayan ruins all in close proximity.
Journey Latin America offers a 9-day holiday to Belize visiting the Cayo district, Caracol ruins, Mountain Pine Ridge and Ambergris Caye. The tour starts from £2,090 per person. The price includes flights from the UK, transfers, excursions and mid-range hotels on a B&B basis. The dive trip to the Blue Hole is extra and bookable locally.
Nowhere else on Earth can you find salt flats of comparable scale to Salar de Uyuni which covers 10,000 square kilometres. The landscape is otherworldly and seemingly infinite. Its vastness means that the concept of perspective wilts with creative visitors being able to capture amazing photographs. The Salar de Uyuni are a must-visit for any adventurous traveller and a comprehensive three-day 4WD tour reveals its multi-coloured lagoons, cacti islands and spouting geysers. Aside from the salt flats, Bolivia has a whole host to offer visitors including vibrant cities such as Sucre, Potosi and La Paz whose heritage were shaped by both the Incas and the Spanish Conquistadores. Towards the end of their bucket-list trip, travellers can wind down with a night in an eco-lodge on the Isla del Sol overlooking the deep, tranquil waters of Lake Titicaca - fringed by snow-capped peaks of the Cordillera Real.
Exodus Travels offers a 14-night Highlights of Bolivia tour from £4,099 per person, including a 4X4 tour of the Salar de Uyuni, flights from London, B&B accommodation, all transport, and an expert tour leader throughout.
An indomitable explorer from his youth, Charles Darwin set foot in the Galapagos in 1835 and in just his first two months the astonishing discoveries changed modern science forever, transforming evolution into a fundamental pillar of biology virtually overnight. Guests with Golden Galapagos Cruises can follow in Darwin’s footsteps and have close-up intimate encounters with fearless wildlife found nowhere else on the planet. The Galapagos archipelago, located nearly 1,000 km off the Pacific coast of Ecuador, remains a fascinating living laboratory of evolution even today, making it an incredibly unique, isolated and safe destination for visitors from around the world. The breathtaking nature on the islands and the sheer abundance of life below the waves make the Galapagos a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Watch a clip of adventures in the Galapagos here (https://youtu.be/RfRbxX26_kU). Luxury tours offered by Golden Galapagos Cruises range from 4 to 7 nights with all-inclusive prices starting at £3,499 per person including accommodation, internal transportation and meals.
Costa Rica, the crown jewel of Central America, has it all: biodiversity, pristine jungles, superb beaches, and ‘Pura Vida’. Pura Vida is more than a saying in Costa Rica, it’s a way of life that encourages joy-filled, stress-free living. Visitors to Costa Rica are immediately met with Pura Vida and carry it with them, leaving modern life behind, as they visit the countries astounding natural environments which are some of the most biodiverse on the planet. Tortuguero's wildlife rich waterways are full of monkeys, toucans and other colourful birds while a hike on the slopes of the Arenal Volcano National Park presents a very different proposition. Costa Rica is full of cloud forests, emerald rainforests, smouldering volcanoes, steam-fed springs and bubbling mud pools.
Revealed Travel’s 14-day ‘Costa Rica Revealed’ tour takes guests to see all the highlights of Costa Rica and is priced from £1,821 per person including accommodation, some meals and internal transport. Excludes international flights.
There is no better way to experience Peru than with an off-road adventure from the coast to the Andean mountains. Lima Tours offers an eight-day escape like no other, as passengers ride a 4x4, driven by a professional driver, from the capital city, Lima, to the impressive Paracas National Reserve, an extensive territory of beautiful geological formations. From there, adventurers head to the Ballestas Islands, a natural reserve home to sea lions, penguins, and many other species, before passing the extraordinary Nasca Lines. Once in Cusco, the 4x4 will pass through the spectacular Sacred Valley, with its amazing countryside, local communities, picturesque towns, and many archaeological sites. The trip ends with the grand finale at the citadel of Machu Picchu, one of the Eight Wonders of the World and a true bucket-list item.
Lima Tours’ 8-day ‘Lima to Cusco in 4x4’ allows travellers to have a close look at the natural wonders and culture of Peru and is available for departures all year round. Prices available upon request.
Travellers looking for a sense of seclusion from the outside world should look no further than the remote, uncharted lands of Guyana. Over 80% of Guyana’s territory is dense, pristine rainforest where human contact is seldom and total immersion in raw nature is an inevitability. Guyana’s eco-systems have evolved over millennia undisturbed by human development meaning that even the most impressive landmarks such as Kaieteur Falls, the world’s largest single-drop waterfall, is free of hordes of tourists. Reef and Rainforest’s tour ‘Natural Guyana Off The Beaten Track’ takes travellers into a variety of ecosystems including tropical rainforest, savannahs, wetlands, mighty rivers, mangroves and mountains. Visitors will have the chance to spot iconic wildlife such as black caiman, giant anteater, giant river otter, arapaima, harpy eagle, capybara and green anaconda.
Reef and Rainforest offers a 16-day 'Natural Guyana Off The Beaten Track' tour priced from £5,252 per person including international flights, internal transport, accommodation and most meals. Excludes international flights.
In timeless Cuba, fifties-style American cadillacs roll through the faded colonial streets while in the music halls rum flows freely. Away from its iconic cities, Cuba has a wild side with a variety of landscapes from dramatic limestone hills to dense forests to stunning Caribbean coastlines. Cuba is a country that is rapidly changing as it moves into the modern area. To see it in its vintage glory, travellers are encouraged to make this top of their travel wish lists. Explore’s ‘Cuba Libre’ tour takes visitors to see the best of vintage Cuba including highlights a little off the beaten track such as Colonial Trinidad with music and colour around every corner, the Escambray Mountains perfect for hiking and swimming in freshwater pools, and learning about Revolutionary history at the Bay of Pigs.
Explore’s 15-day ‘Cuba Libre’ tour is priced from £1,750 per person including internal transport, accommodation, expert guide and some meals. Excludes international flights.
For a true journey of contrasts, Chile blends the dramatic mountains of the Andes, with the sparkling lakes of Pucón, the deserts of the Atacama and glaciers of Patagonia.
Chile specialist TravelArt offers a new 12-day tour entitled the “Heartbeat of Chile“, which journeys from Santiago, to the Elqui Valley; known for its dramatic starry skies and viticulture, Isla Damas, the UNESCO World Heritage Site Sewell; an uninhabited Chilean mining town located on the slopes of the Andes, and the dramatic Torres del Paine National Park. Guests will experience the starry skies on an astronomical tour, observe penguins in the Southern coast, spot condors in the central valleys and follow the tracks of pumas in Patagonia. This trip transports visitors from the north to the south and also features a visit to one of Chile's most outstanding wineries.
TravelArt’s 12-day ‘Heartbeat of Chile' tour is priced from USD 4,861 per person (double room) including internal transport, accommodation, expert guides and some meals. Excludes international and domestic flights.
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