Latin America

Just the name ‘Latin America’ conjures up images of colourful people, jungles and adventure!  Such a melting pot of culture and extremes of geology make this a part of the world you can never tire of. From the stunning high Andes to the mighty Amazon or the fiestas of Brazil and Mexico … the vibrant Latin American heart beats strong through the whole continent …

There are some amazing facts and figures from Latin America, here are just some of them: The driest desert in the world is found here, parts of the Atacama Desert in Chile haven’t seen a drop of rain since records began! Stretching 600 miles along the Pacific coast to the border with Peru, the lunar landscape of the desert can be explored from the oasis town of San Pedro de Atacama.  Into Bolivia, drive across the Salar de Uyuni, the largest (and highest altitude) salt flats in the world. Blinding white salt crust blends into bright blue sky, stay the night in a salt hotel!

One of the largest volcanic islands in the world rises from Lake Nicaragua forming Isla Ometepe in South America’s biggest freshwater lake.  The largest single drop waterfall in the world is found in Guyana at Kaieteur Falls, five times larger than Niagara!

From Mexico on the USA border through Central America and the Panama Canal that splits the continent, right down the spine of the Andes through South America to Tierra del Fuego, there is a world of adventure to be experienced here.

Wildlife here is like no where else on the planet. Exotic and unique creatures such as the anteaters, new world monkeys, caiman and colourful toucans and macaws will amaze you in every country. The Galapagos islands of course are a unique and pre-historic environment which will be the highlight of any wildlife holiday to this region. The Pantanal of Brazil is a wetland haven for wildlife that covers a huge area, visit the Iguazu Falls on the BrazilArgentina border. The tip of the continent is the jumping off point for Antarctica and the coastal areas of ChileArgentina and Patagonia are also teeming with penguins, seals, seabirds and whales.

The Latin American culture is steeped in history with Mayan and Incan temples and monuments, the ethereal Machu Picchu in Peru is a must see and the archaeological sites in Guatemala and Belize are all to be wondered at.

The high altitude mountain scenery of Bolivia and Chile is for the keen adventurer – salt flats, awe inspiring vistas and extreme climates are experienced here. Argentina is famous for it’s cattle farms and is great horse riding country, plus of course, tasty steaks and red wines! For wildlife and tropical adventures head for the Orinoco Delta and the table top mountains of Guyana and Venezuela.

The ability to speak or understand Spanish is essential in this region and this is why I always recommend travelling in a small group with a local guide or letting us arrange a tailor made holiday for you, using local guides and ground handlers who know their territory inside out. Latin America suits the adventurous and independent traveller and flexibility is required to accommodate the vast distances involved and dramatic changes in climate from one end of the continent to the other.

Accommodation in rural parts of South and Central America can be quite basic but comfortable and I prefer to use traditional ‘pousadas’ – guest houses or homestays where possible.  In the cities there are bigger hotels but it’s best to try and get one in the old quarters and take a wander round the authentic buildings and markets and get to know the locals. If you are looking for a honeymoon with a difference, what about a ‘floating lodge’ in the Amazon, a party in Rio or a luxury lodge in the Andes for starters?

So whether it’s a trip to see wildlife, meet the people, take in the stunning scenery or party at the carnivals, contact me for some independent ideas to make the most of your time in Latin America. There are hundreds of fabulous escorted tours, adventure tours, cruises and treks around this fascinating continent – contact me to plan the perfect Latin America experience for you.

I work hard to be able to afford great holidays. I know that you Jules work very hard to make sure that I enjoy my holidays. I love the fact that you can take my fledgling dream for a trip, and transform it into real life; that you listen to what I would like to do, and adjust the finer details to fit my dream, never suggesting that my dream be squeezed into a pre-formed package.
Ian Furbank – Peru (November 2012)
December 22, 2012

We had a wonderful time in Peru - thank you for organising this, the people were lovely and I particularly enjoyed the train travel. The Amazon lodge was amazing and we did all the tours day and night!
Camilla & Jeremy – Peru (September 2012)
December 27, 2012

One of the things I have come to love about you, Jules, is that you listen and take on board what makes me tick, and then tailor the holiday to fit me, not just try to convince me to fit a holiday in a brochure!
Ian Furbank
June 30, 2011

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Argentina

Argentina is a huge country with terrain varying from tropical forests and red deserts of the north down through the Andes to Patagonia and to the tip of South America at Tierra del Fuego. Explore a wonderful country with a rich culture and fabulous steaks and wines!

Belize

Belize is one of the world’s diving hot spots with 300km of coral reefs, cayes and submerged islands. Journey into the interior of Belize for unspoilt landscapes and quiet Mayan historical sites and a chance to see the elusive and beautiful Jaguar in one of the world's best rainforest destinations.

Bolivia

Bolivia is a vibrant country with a strong indigenous culture and amazing scenery from the Amazon Basin to the Andes mountains to sparkling lakes and great volcanoes. Mountain villages are home to Indian people selling colourful textiles and local produce.

Brazil

Brazil is a vibrant and huge country with 7000km of coastline and the largest freshwater river system in the world in the Amazon. Visit Iguassu Falls and Rio De Janeiro and wonder at the size and splendour of the sights here, or enjoy the wildlife of The Pantanal.

Chile

Chile offers an incredible range of landscapes from the world's driest desert in the north to the isolation of Tierra del Fuego in the south. Cruise through spectacular fjords and glaciers, sample the fruits of the wine routes or explore the high Andes mountains

Colombia

Colombia is an up and coming tourist destination offering beautiful lush rainforests, pristine beaches, historical colonial towns and villages, a vibrant music beat and famous coffee plantations.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a must do wildlife holiday destination with gorgeous beaches. Colourful toucans, hummingbirds and parrots fill the forests, turtles nest on the beaches and thick rainforest hides the enigmatic Jaguar.

Ecuador

Ecuador has diverse natural geography - from snowy peaks of Andean volcanoes and cloud forests, to the wild beaches of the Pacific coast and Galapagos Islands. Trekking, cruises, wildlife holidays.

El Salvador

The smallest country in Central America, El Salvador is packed with volcanoes, forests, stunning landscapes and great surfing beaches! San Salvador is a vibrant cultural city and there are a wide range of holidays to be found here.

Falkland Islands

The Falklands are a remote British Colony in the South Atlantic Ocean, home to a variety of wildlife and masses of penguins!! A great wildlife holiday destination or part of an Antarctic cruise. Variety of holiday types to be enjoyed here.

Galapagos Islands

Iconic wildlife destination - 19 volcanic islands straddling the Equator offer an amazing up close experience with some of the planets most unusual species of wildlife.

Guatemala

Guatemala is full of volcanoes, forests, jungles and ancient history. Mayan ruins can be found in thick jungle settings surrounded by tropical wildlife - the perfect desintation for a combination of natural history and culture.

Guyana

A country of unspoilt natural wonders, Guyana has amazing pristine rainforests, rivers and waterfalls and open savannahs full of flora and fauna. For the natural history enthusiast this is the perfect place for a superb nature holiday.

Honduras

Honduras is an ideal destination for the adventurous traveller. Plenty of trekking through hillside villages, rainforest and cloudforest wildlife and fabulous beaches. One of the cheapest places to learn to dive!

Mexico

Mexico is the heart of an ancient world, Mayan ruins dotted around mountain villages and jungle clad hillsides. Watch Whales off the Pacific and Baja Calafornia coasts or explore the Caribbean underwater world.

Nicaragua

Head to Nicaragua for low cost Central American holidays with a wonderful welcoming atmosphere, Spanish colonial cities, Caribbean and Pacific coastlines, wonderful wildlife and coffee and plenty of volcanoes!

Panama

Panama is the far south point of Central America which links to South America through the Darien Gap. The Panama Canal links Caribbean to Pacific and the country is home to rich bio diversity and culture.

Paraguay

A landlocked country in the heart of South America, unique Paraguay has a culture all of its own. Mysterious, full of forests, farms and culture, you can also see rainforest wildlife here including Jaguar and Tapir.

Peru

Peru is a fabulous country, encompassing varied landscapes from the Amazon forests through to the Pacific Ocean. Cuzco, Machu Picchu, The Sacred Valley, Nazca Lines and Lake Titicaca are just some of the wonderful places to be explored here.

Suriname

Suriname, bordering the Atlantic on the north east of South America, is a true wilderness destination with fabulous birding, ancient Afro and American Indian culture, Amazon rainforests and rare wildlife.

Uruguay

On the Atlantic Ocean with beautiful beaches, Uruguay is a great destination for those seeking culture, great steaks, ranch life and beaches in a small region! Self drive, tour or wander the city streets. Great place for horse riding and Gaucho life.

Venezuela

Venezuela is a country of amazing beauty and adventure - table top mountains and the highest waterfall in the world, the Amazon basin and Orinoco River ... all this and a Caribbean coastline too.