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Sir David Attenborough discovers biggest creature to have ever walked the earth in Patagonia, Argentina

Now we at Latin Odyssey love Sir David Attenborough as much as the next man but this time he has really outdone himself.

 

On the evening of Sunday 24th January he showed us how he helped uncover the biggest creature to have ever walked the earth.

 

At 6.30pm the Latin Odyssey team were all glued to the TV watching his latest programme – Attenborough and the Giant Dinosaur. Set in Patagonia, Argentina it’s a truly awe inspiring story about a discovery of the largest animal to ever walk the Earth – a new species of the plant-eating titanosaur.

David_Attenborough_presents_the_biggest_dinosaur_ever

Source: Radio times

 

This dinosaur discovery sprang from a chance observation by an Argentinian farm labourer.

He was working on the dry, barren plains of Patagonia and he spotted something very unusual. There was a large bone sticking out of the ground. The bone was 2.4m long – that’s very big, even by dinosaur standards. As you can imagine the paleontologists all around the world became very excited – as did everyone else, including us!

 

The more the investigation team dug, the more bones they found, dozens of them, belonging to a titanosaurus that lived 100m years ago.

 

Some geeky stats for you. The 130ft-long dinosaur was 65ft tall and weighed 77 tons. And the big thing is that until its discovery, it was thought that the world’s largest dinosaur was the Argentinosaurus, which was discovered about 25 years ago. So this one was bigger and that’s why its discovery has stunned the science community and sent dozens of experts racing to this remote part of the Patagonian desert.

 

If this programme inspires you to find out more about Patagonia as a holiday destination take a look here at what you can expect and suggestions for where to stay

 

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Two BIG reasons why you should go to Brazil right now

It’s indisputably the ‘in’ country on earth right now, and somewhere that we at Latin Odyssey have fallen in love with several times over.

 

You’ve probably talked about going there. You no doubt know someone who’s been and came back enthralled.

 

Let’s face it. On paper. As a holiday destination. Brazil has it all.

Brazil collage

There are more beaches than you can shake a bikini at.

 

There is the largest rainforest in the world – the Amazon – home of the Amerindian tribes and wildlife of all shapes and sizes.

 

There is the rowdy beauty of the Rio carnival and the pulsing afro Brazilian beat of Salvador.

 

I could go on all day…

 

And oh yes ..there is the rather large sporting event it’s hosting in 2016 – the Olympic Games.

 

Whilst it may seem like a dream destination, there are two things have been holding other people back from visiting this, one of the most the most spectacular countries in South America.

 

The first is cost. Over the last five years Brazil has become heart-stoppingly expensive. Hotels in São Paulo, the business capital, or beachside Rio de Janeiro, cost more than in London or Zurich. However now things have changed. Brazil is in the grip of recession and prices have plummeted. It’s now suddenly a lot more affordable for travellers.

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The second is infrastructure. The strength of the economy in past years as well as the arrival of big events such as the World Cup and the Olympic games have resulted in significant investment in local infrastructure meaning that the country is easier and safer to travel around than ever before.

 

Lower costs and improved infrastructure mean that it is an exciting time for travellers to look into Brazil as a holiday destination.

village life

 

If you’re looking for some inspiration as to where to go – read our Brazil highlights here

 

Latin Odyssey has been crafting holidays to Brazil for over 13 years. Our specialist Brazil  team have travelled extensively throughout the country and we make regular trips to ensure that our knowledge is up to date, and that we remain wholly opinionated!

 

Give our Brazil team a call today on 01491 410 492 (UK) or +1866 724 1590 (US)

 

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Top Five: Adventure Activities in Latin America

It’s easy to get excited about the idea of travelling to far-away places and having an adventure of a lifetime. The tricky part is deciding where to go!

Mount Fitz Roy, Patagonia, Argentina

 

The team here love nothing more than getting out in the great outdoors, searching for a breath-taking experience that combines excitement, adventure, culture and discovery. So if you are wondering about where to head to then we’ve just the thing – the Latin Odyssey Top 5 Adventures.

 

1. Mountain biking in the Atacama Desert

 

June-2015-Atacama new

 

The varied, starkly beautiful landscape of the Atacama Desert in Chile features several areas that are perfect for biking across. Career down the sides of a volcano or across the vast salt flats, whatever takes your fancy – trips can be an easy-going couple of hours or an entire day.

 

Where to..? Nothing compares to cycling through the Valley of the Moon at sundown – the ethereal scenery will be even more arresting with the play of light and shadows.

 

2. White water rafting in Costa Rica

 

June-2015-Costa-Rica

 

Head to white water for an adrenalin fuelled ride down rapids and alongside waterfalls. It’s wild, thrilling and exhilarating – but don’t worry, waters are graded to suit your experience and confidence levels.

 

Where to? Pacuare Lodge in Costa Rica is in lush jungle and is one of the most gorgeous places you can stay, where they offer various water excursions on the Pacuare River. It’s so remote that white water rafting is actually one of the few ways to get to it!

 

3. Horse Riding in Argentina

 

June-2015-Argentina new

 

Famous for its gauchos, many lodges in Argentina will have superior stables as a matter of course and will cater to all levels of rider. It’s an excellent way to explore the local area and get a feel for the gaucho culture.

 

Where to..? The Estancia Huechahue is a traditional working cattle ranch in Patagonia offering some of the best rides in the region. It’s comprehensive, luxurious and attentive to guests’ riding experience, whilst the horses themselves roam freely over their 15,000 acres of land.

 

4. Trekking in Peru

 

June-2015-Peru

 

Peru has several of the best walking sites in South America. There is more than just the well-known Inca Trail – other trails will be relatively quieter and each has its own stunning scenery, from clouded peaks to dramatic canyons.

 

Where to..? The Salkantay Trek winds its way through valleys and mountains to Machu Picchu via Mollepata and Cuzco, while the Choquequirao complex is one of the final settlements of the Incas (and currently rarely visited).

 

5. Diving/snorkelling in Belize

 

June-2015-Belize 2

 

The Caribbean coast of Belize is where you’ll find some of the best diving in the world within the globe’s second-largest reef system. Atolls (rings of coral) encircle clear, tropical waters with an extensive array of wildlife and exquisite underwater scenes.

 

Where to..? Turneffe Island Resort is entirely surrounded by coral reef with amazing marine biodiversity, meaning there are prime opportunities for shallow snorkelling and deeper dives.

 

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Top Five: Total Luxury Lodges in South America  

A holiday in Latin America is the sort of thing many of us don’t get to do often – it’s why so many countries are popular honeymoon destinations.  Top-end all-inclusive hotels are a fantastic way to make the most of every moment, ensuring you’re in utter bliss throughout your stay.

 

You might be looking to live like royalty throughout your vacation, or  looking to mix-and-match to include one or two luxury highlights.  Here, we’ve chosen our five most outstanding places to stay across South America based on the exemplary quality in every inch of what’s on offer.

 

Each of the lodges below is a paragon of perfection – including even one in your itinerary is guaranteed to leave a lasting impression.  For that once-in-a-lifetime trip, look no further than these…

1. Cavas Wine Lodge, Argentina

The outside of a large lodge with whitewashed walls and vineyards outside, in the evening sun

Click for more images

 

Set deep in Argentina’s Mendoza region, famed the world over for its wine, the Cavas Wine Lodge sits against a stunning backdrop of the Andes mountains.  It’s impeccably stylish without being snooty; every guest room and individual bungalow has its own terrace, plunge pool and open fire.

 

Its all-inclusive stays cover both the lodge restaurant and four others within the area, giving you exceptional freedom and variety.  The spa includes some specially crafted ‘Wine Therapy’ as well as more traditional treatments.

2. Awasi Atacama, Chile

Small pool area surrounded by sunbeds, terracotta-coloured walls and a thatched lodge at the end.

Lounge area at Awasi (click for more images)

 

In the heart of the Atacama desert is one of the most gorgeous boutique hotels you’ll ever come across. Awasi, meaning ‘home’ in Quechua, is intimate and indulgent with 8 wood-built, thatched cabanas that feature private patios on top of the hotel’s comfortable social areas.

 

To offer excellent access to the stark beauty of the Atacama guests have a private 4×4 car and personal guide entirely at their disposal.

3. Lapostolle Residence, Chile

Two deck chairs at the edge of a deep blue infinity pool looking out across vineyards and mountains

Lounge area at Lapostolle (click for more images)

 

Exclusive and serene, the Lapostolle Residence is owned by the family who produce Grand-Marnier liquor and is at the heart of Chile’s wine industry – it’s a renowned winery itself.  You’ll stay in one of just four casitas (separate villas) looking out into the Apalta vineyards, decorated with contemporary taste with Chilean wood features, smooth leather and airy silks.

 

The menu is inspired by the wines and makes the most of local produce and seasonality – it’s an exquisite, memorable experience.

4. Titilaka, Peru

Two wooden chairs on a balcony looking out to a wide, serene lake

Balcony at Titilaka (click for more images)

 

If you’re heading to Lake Titicaca then this is where you’ll want to stay. Titilaka offers spectacular, uninterrupted views across the lake both from each of its 18 bedrooms and from the balconies that run around the exterior of the lodge.

 

It’s attuned to the region and prides itself on the experiences it offers for guests to explore the terrain – seasoned guides can take you hiking, boating, biking and riding through the Andean hills, including visiting local traditional communities.

 

5. Explora Patagonia, Chile

Looking across a rich turquoise lake, against the backdrop of high mountains, a hotel sits at the foothills on the shore.

Explora Patagonia from Lake Pehoe (click for more images)

 

This is undoubtedly the best place to stay in the Torres del Paine National Park and is perfectly situated for excursions into it.  The views across Lake Pehoe and the surrounding peaks are sublime, while the lodge itself is built using beautiful graduated woods and has every luxury amenity you’d expect – gourmet cuisine, a bathhouse and spa, sumptuous rooms.

 

Explora Patagonia is also the only lodge in the region with its own stables with specially-trained horses and expert handlers.

 

Contact Latin Odyssey to find out about staying in any of the above lodges.

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Top Five: Beach Honeymoon Destinations

Beaches are an absolute honeymoon staple for many couples.  South America and Central America have many incredible ones, but depending on your personal preferences some are better than others for access to what else is on offer.

 

Things to consider:

    • What else you’d like to see
    • How often or how far you’re willing to travel
    • Whether you want access to a beach throughout your honeymoon or just for part of it (and whether you’d prefer that at the beginning or end)
    • Whether you’re looking for somewhere with a bit of a buzz, or complete seclusion and privacy

 1. Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

Tropical beach with deck chairs

Riviera Maya (click for more images)

The Yucatan Peninsula separates the Caribbean from the Gulf of Mexico and is right in between two of the warmest waters on Earth.  Look no further than the Riviera Maya for beaches of pure perfection under a gloriously hot sun – wide shores with white sand that stretch for miles on end, warm and shallow aqua waters, and the world’s second-biggest barrier reef.

 

Also great for: Scuba diving, horseback riding, water sports, Mayan ruins

Stay at: The Viceroy Riviera Maya for ultimate indulgence and full 5-star service.  This luxury coastal hotel also boasts its own private area of jungle where many of the lodges are tucked away with their own plunge pools.

Read more about a Mexico honeymoon with Latin Odyssey

 2. San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

 April belize large

This rural fishing village is idyllic, remote – and one of the most gorgeous parts of Nicaragua.  Not only are the beaches calm and serene, they’re also visited regularly by sea turtles (with the ‘La Flor’ nesting site nearby) and forest activities are within easy reach.

 

Also great for: Turtle nesting, sailing and fishing, canopy tours in the jungle.

Stay at: Morgans Rock, which seamlessly combines an immersive natural experience and excellent sustainability practices with gourmet food and service.

 Read more about a Nicaragua honeymoon with Latin Odyssey

3. Trancoso, Brazil

Wide shot of sunny sandy beach with palm trees

Trancoso (click for more images)

Despite being a bit of a celebrity hotspot Trancoso has kept its rustic personality, small-town feel and still sits within undeveloped forest.  These renowned beaches abound in natural features like little pools and groves, and of course have the classic soft, white sand, whilst the locals are famously warm and welcoming.

 

Also great for: Local culture, beach bars, kayaking

Stay at: Villas Trancoso, where the staff are ready to tend to your every need.  Rooms open directly onto the shore and come with gently swaying hammocks on personal balconies – go for the master villa for boutique perfection.

Read more about a Brazil honeymoon with Latin Odyssey

4. The Cayes, Belize

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More than 100 miniature islands in crystal-clear azure waters make up the Belizean Cayes.  The beaches are nothing short of flawless and feature a stunning array of tropical marine wildlife, with the coral reefs easily accessible from kayaks.  Both the reefs and the views stretch for miles, resulting in an atmosphere of utter serenity.

 

Also great for: Snorkelling, swimming, sailing, fishing, spotting rarer animals like the manatee and whale shark

Stay at: Mata Chica on the main island of Ambergris Caye.  Your thatched cabana will be airy and spacious with amazing service, food and wine; the resort is also optimised for all relevant beach/water activities.

 Read more about a Belize honeymoon with Latin Odyssey

5. Florianopolis, Brazil

White-sanded beach with forest hills in background

Florianopolis (click for more images)

Florianopolis (the state capital of Santa Catarina) is a peninsula in the south of Brazil stretching out into the south Atlantic Ocean. Popular with Brazilians and international visitors alike, its breezy beaches are in an ideal location for activities but have remained clean and golden.  Keep an eye on the local fishermen – they’ve formed an incredible relationship with dolphins that helps both with their catch!

 

Also great for: Whale watching, bird watching, beach sports like surfing

Stay at: Ponta dos Ganchos for the height of enjoyment in your own top-notch bungalow, most of which have Jacuzzis, verandas and open fires in addition to the extensive facilities and fabulous cuisine in the main hotel itself.

Read more about a Brazil honeymoon with Latin Odyssey

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