With holidays currently postponed and people having no idea when they will be allowed to leave their homes, many of us are looking to TV programmes to transport us across continents and cultures. One in particular is the BBC Two programme ‘Race Across the World’ which reached its nail-biting climax last Sunday (26th April). The competition followed five teams as they made their way from Mexico City to the finish line in Ushuaia, Argentina without using a smartphone or stepping on a plane.

This entertaining series served as inspiration that’s especially needed right now. Generations of travellers both new and seasoned are tapping into these shared experiences and discovering the world the only way we can at the moment – through exciting, inspiring and adrenaline-filled travel via the medium of television and the internet. 

For the contestants their race may be over and until we can fulfil our love of travel once again our team of destination experts are available to inspire and help you plan to begin your own Latin America journey, albeit at a more leisurely pace and no hitchhiking involved.

Mexico offers just about everything Latin America is so famous for - ruins of ancient civilisations, a fascinating colonial history, wonderful Pacific and Caribbean beaches, dramatic canyons, steamy jungles, superb cuisine, excellent hospitality – and of course mariachi bands and tequila. Most Mexico holidays begin in the capital, Mexico City, one of the largest metropolises in the world, and also somewhere worth spending a few days.

South of Mexico City, the charming town of Oaxaca is a popular stop over with its fine colonial buildings, colourful markets and Zapotec ruins of Monte Alban nearby. Further south and bordering Guatemala is the verdant state of Chiapas, home to cool mountain highlands, lush jungle, coffee plantations and traditional Mayan communities. The Yucatan’s major Mayan sites of Chichen Itza and Uxmal offer fascinating insights into this ancient Mesoamerican civilisation. 

Mexico City Mexico City
Chichen Itza, Mexico Chichen Itza, Mexico

Panama is best known for the giant Panama Canal linking the Pacific and the Caribbean, one of the great engineering feats of the 20th century. But the republic is also host to magnificent tropical scenery, including some of the world’s most untouched areas of rainforest. There’s a diverse wildlife population, with bird and mammal species found nowhere else on the planet. Fringing the jungle are 3,000km of beautiful coastline with coral reefs, islands and undeveloped beaches. There are also plenty of vestiges of the country’s wild history of pirates and smuggled gold: colonial forts, shipwrecks, cannons and towering city walls tell a colourful story.

Panama City Panama City
Tropical rainforest, Panama Tropical rainforest, Panama

Sandwiched between Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the south, Costa Rica (‘Rich Coast’) is widely regarded as one of Central America’s notable success stories. Stable, democratic and relatively prosperous, this small nation boasts a particularly enviable reputation for ecotourism coupled to spectacular wildlife.

There’s no shortage of scenic drama either; a mountainous spine with around one hundred identifiable volcanoes – a handful of which remain active – peaks at 3820m-high Chirripó Grande. Costa Rica also offers the core ingredients for exciting adventure holidays: wonderful hiking, white-water rafting, mountain biking and even horse riding. Ranging from turquoise-tinged sandy arcs to dreamy lagoon-like shallows, its picturesque coastline – particularly the Pacific – offer a myriad of opportunities to surf or simply idle on idyllic beaches.

Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica
Arenal volcano, Costa Rica Arenal volcano, Costa Rica

Colombia is a country bursting with spectacular landscapes, lost cities, remote Caribbean islands, stunning beaches and genuinely wonderful hospitality - beauty, charisma and vibrancy are, quite simply, par for the course in whichever part of this wonderful country you explore. Whether you want to discover the fascinating history in San Agustin, see the colourful colonial buildings in Cartagena, the beauty of Tayrona National Park, visit the Andean Summits or sample the world-famous Colombian coffee in the very places it's grown. This is a country that is bound to take your breath away.

Bogota, Colombia Bogota, Colombia
Cartagena, Colombia Cartagena, Colombia

Few if any South American countries can match Peru’s astonishing diversity. The intoxicating blend of cultures and extraordinary archaeology, amazing wildlife and jaw-dropping scenery, make it a particularly compelling destination whose iconic sights – Machu Picchu in particular – have long excited the imagination.

Stretching like an intricate spine the length of Peru, the Andes lend spectacular scenery, from its highest peaks in the mighty Cordillera Blanca range to the deep shimmering waters of Lake Titicaca. Desert-like country fills the stark plains to the west beside the Pacific and to the east spreads the lush vastness of the Amazon basin.

Discover the vibrant urban areas of Peru including the buzzing capital of Lima with its mix of historic and modern architecture and thriving, celebrated culinary scene. Arequipa and Cusco are stunning UNESCO World Heritage sites with their appealing and vibrant townscapes incorporating ancient Inca settlements.

Cusco, Peru Cusco, Peru
Machu Picchu Machu Picchu

Bolivia is an extraordinary destination where contrasting extremes range from the luminous white salt flats of Salar de Uyuni to the vast, impenetrable Amazon rainforest and towering peaks of the Andes. Discover indigenous cultures, marvel at colonial architecture, uncover archaeological treasures and witness the mystical serenity of Lake Titicaca – the legendary birthplace of the Incas – whose shores are shared with neighbouring Peru.

La Paz, Bolivia La Paz, Bolivia
Salt flats of Salar de Uyuni Salt flats of Salar de Uyuni

Clinging to the west coast of southern South America from Peru and Bolivia to Cape Horn at the continent’s southern-most tip, Chile is home to a stunning variety of landscapes and cultures. From the martian-like landscape of the Atacama Desert and towering peaks of Torres Del Paine National Park, to the wineries of the central valley and the bustling streets of Santiago. It offers all the extremes that a trip to South America has in store as well as offering an incredibly authentic Andean experience. 

Cerro Chileno Grande Cerro Chileno Grande
Atacama desert Atacama desert

Cinematic landscapes, incredible biodiversity, vibrant cultures and an endlessly energetic nightlife, Brazil is one of the world’s most captivating countries - and the fifth largest. From palm-cloaked beaches and wild rainforests, to buzzing cities and colonial villages, there’s an endless diversity to the landscapes, the wildlife and the people.

Home to much of the Amazon rainforest, and the planet’s greatest variety of plants and animals - a trip to Brazil is the perfect time to explore South America’s jungle. Stay overnight in a jungle lodge; explore the winding channels of the Amazonian river; and take part in thrilling expeditions through the rainforest.

The Pantanal region of Brazil - one of the world’s largest wetlands and a World Heritage Site - also nurtures a dazzling array of biodiversity, from colourful tropical birds to majestic big cats, including the rare jaguar.

Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro
Caiman, Brazil Amazon Caiman, Brazil Amazon

Known as the land of estancias and gauchos, Argentina is famed for its horse riding, steaks and delicious red wine. But that's just a fraction of what this intense and seductive land has to offer. From towering glaciers to sun-scorched deserts, snow-capped mountains, emerald-green lakes and wildlife-rich wetlands, the spectacular variety of its landscapes including the tumultuous waterfalls cradled in rainforest at Iguazú, gives just a hint at the exhilarating variety of adventure that awaits in this wildly intoxicating country.

Buenos Aires Buenos Aires
Ushuaia, Argentina Ushuaia, Argentina
Joe

By Joe Johnson

30th April 2020



Talk to our Latin America expert

Joe
Joe Johnson

Joe is a welcome addition to our Latin America team. He previously completed a 5 month personal trip around South America. His knowledge of the region has been enhanced even further by a 5 week research trip around Argentina, Chile and Costa Rica. However, his passion for travel started long before this. He has visited 53 countries (and counting) and he loves nothing more than discovering the unknown and trying new experiences. Not one for a straightforward beach holiday his main passion whilst abroad is scuba diving but any adventure activity or getting out into the great outdoors is what truly appeals to him. Having spent 5 years with other specialist travel firms he could not have had better experience in crafting the best itineraries.

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We promise that a member of our specialist reservation teams will reply personally to your holiday enquiry before 5.30pm if received before 12.00pm (Monday to Friday). Enquiries received after 12.00pm will be replied to within 24-hours (excluding Sundays).

If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

  • Greece: 020 8758 4758
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  • Latin America: 020 8758 4774
  • Marketing: 020 8758 4731

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