Where to go on holiday in 2017? Well, after many years of airlines prioritising other destinations in the world over Latin America for their direct service, they have finally come to their senses. 2017 will be the year that airline travel in Latin America becomes more straightforward and some of the world’s most iconic sights become easier to reach.
In 2017 British Airways will offer direct flights from the UK to; Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Cancun, Mexico City, Lima, Santiago and San Jose in Costa Rica. We only hope they continue to expand to make the worlds’ greatest continent even more accessible for us all!
So, now we know the easiest way to get to South America’s best holiday destinations in 2017, let’s look at what makes these places so incredible.
The iconic city of Rio de Janeiro is on most peoples’ bucket list and if it isn’t then it should be. Walking the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema on a weekend when all the carioca’s (the locals) are on the beach playing football and volleyball is one of the most beautiful human peacock displays you’ll ever see. Once you have had your fill of Rio, the rest of the country is simply breath-taking. There is the wildlife wonderland of the Pantanal – the only place on earth where an encounter with the majestic jaguar is more probable than possible. Trekking in the remote Chapada Diamantina national park – the backdrop for some of the wildest eco-adventures in Brazil. Or you can simply relax on the coolest beaches the continent has to offer.
There is something special about the city of Buenos Aires. There are different neighbourhoods to explore. There is stunning European-style architecture. Then there’s the beautiful tree-lined streets. Its diverse and colourful neighbourhoods with back street tango bars and superb restaurants mean you are never going to tire of the place. Buenos Aires is without a doubt the best city in South America. Beyond the city limits lies a land filled with history, stunning scenery, glaciers, gauchos, wines, wildlife and high Andean peaks. There is something for everyone in this most welcoming of countries.
Holiday destination #3 – Cancun, Mexico
Cancun is really the entrance/exit point to the Yucatan Peninsula, and in our opinion, its real beauty lies on the bohemian beaches away from the high rise hotels. To the south is the sleepy town of Tulum which has a laid-back, modern-day-hippie vibe, soft, bleach-white sand and a warm crystal-clear ocean. It’s also the start of the second longest barrier reef in the world and home to some famous cenotes (natural sinkholes that form when the roof of a cave collapses) which are perfect for snorkelling, scuba diving and swimming. To the west lie the magnificent Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza and the colonial market town of Merida. South of Merida are the lesser (but no less impressive) Mayan ruins of Uxmal and the coastal town of Campeche and the best way to get around is to hire a car giving you the freedom to explore.
Much like Cancun, Lima is really an entrance and exit city. Although if you have half a day here time is well spent exploring the colonial quarter and sampling the exquisite food (Peru’s capital is slowly but surely becoming the foodie capital of South America). The best way to travel around Peru is in an anticlockwise direction from Lima. The reason for this is these destinations are lower in altitude and hence allow you to acclimatise to the altitude gradually. It is also the best way to see the Inca world as the majority of the pre-Inca ruins are here as well, so your holiday becomes a magical journey through time. You end your trip with a visit to the awe-inspiring, ancient Inca city of Machu Picchu, a long-anticipated highlight for most people.
Getting to Santiago will involve the longest non-stop flight in the world from London – 14 hrs 40 min, but it’s worth it. Chile has become one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world in recent years and rightly so. It is a long and thin country, so expect a certain amount of internal flying; but when you arrive you’ll simply wonder why you’ve taken so long to come here. To the north is the Atacama Desert, the driest place on earth and an area surrounded by lunar like landscapes, salt flats and 6,000 m volcanoes. The far south is Patagonia and the Torres del Paine national park, offering the best walking and trekking on the continent and to end your holiday why not relax in a vineyard wine tasting in the Chilean wine valleys. A land of startling extremes, a holiday in Chile is heaven for those with a sense of adventure.
When you visit Costa Rica, it’s as if nature is putting on a show. And experiencing the wildlife is a thrill in more ways than one as on a Costa Rica holiday wildlife watching and adventure activities blend perfectly into one. Nowhere else in Latin America has a lodge which you reach by white water rafting and you bound across a private suspension bridge to your Canopy suite. (This is Pacuare Lodge located in the middle of a cloud forest teeming with exotic birdlife). There are many different areas of the country too, so whatever you are after there is something here for you; beaches, cloud forest, rainforest, mountains, waterfalls, coffee plantations, remote islands, wildlife and world class birding. On top of this, the Tico’s (Costa Ricans) are so friendly, that whenever you ask ‘how are you’ they reply with ‘Pura Vida’ which means Pure Life!
Get in touch and we will help you escape from the ordinary and plan your next adventure. What you waiting for? There’s a whole world out there waiting to be discovered.
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