Latin America: From the extreme deserts west of the Andes to the Amazonian jungles on their eastern slopes, from monkeys bounding across Costa Rican surfs to elephant seals trumpeting beneath the jagged cliffs of Patagonia, and from Incan ruins to world-class cities, Central and South America are exotic and accessible regions offering something for everyone. Travelers from the U.S. will appreciate direct, overnight flights to several southern capitals with little or no time change (adiós jetlag!). Scroll down for more on: Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuado and The Galápagos Islands.

Argentina

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What We Love

  • Enjoying arguably the best beef in the world while sipping native Malbec in Buenos Aires, the distinctly European-style world capital.
  • Roaming the rugged beauty of Patagonia in the southernmost part of the continent.
  • Riding through the pampas, paying homage to the horsemanship of Argentina’s gauchos.
  • Getting lost in “The New World’s” wide-open spaces.

What To Do

  • Explore Patagonia from the magnificent Perito Moreno Glacier to the coast of Cape Horn thronged with marine wildlife.
  • By helicopter or boat, get close to the spectacular Iguazu Falls between Argentina and Brazil.
  • Tour the country’s private vineyards that produce world-famous Malbec.
  • Visit the mountain and lake country of Bariloche, Argentina’s answer to the Alps.

 

 

While You’re in the Neighborhood

Hop the border to Chile, Argentina’s inimitable cousin to the west. Or head north to the beaches, Amazon jungles and wonders of Brazil.  

 

 

 

 

Brazil 

What We Love

  • The melting pot of Rio de Janeiro that blends European, African and indigenous influences into a one-of-a-kind urban culture.
  • Recovering from Rio’s iconic Carnival in one of the picturesque beach hamlets outside of town.
  • Traveling by boat up the mythical Amazon River searching for jaguars.

What To Do

  • Navigate the second longest river in the world to the enchanting Anavilhanas Islands.
  •  Visit a remote native tribe to see how a culture can thrive in the largest rainforest on earth.
  • Hike beneath the dripping boughs and vines with an expert naturalist.
  •  Soak up the beautiful architecture of Rio by day and dance the samba by night.

While You’re in the Neighborhood

Easily cross the border to Argentina to behold the incredible Iguazu Falls and the glaciers of Patagonia. Or—venture further into the Amazon and up the slopes of the Andes to Peru.

 

 

 

Chile

What We Love

  • The geographic and climatic diversity of this long, skinny country from the Atacama Desert in the north to Tierra del Fuego in the south.
  • Chile is home to at least seven major climatic subtypes including Mediterranean, alpine tundra, and subtropical. Translation: each region is a unique world unto itself, or pack lots of layers!
  • Isolated by the impenetrable Andes to the east, Chile has a distinct culture apart from its Latin American siblings. Perhaps due to its physical isolation, Chileans are charming and inviting to visitors—eager to share their diverse cultures, food, wine and seriously epic landscapes.
  • Long, glorious hikes or horseback rides that let you enjoy all the cheese and wine you desire.  

What To Do

  • Traverse the wild, jagged peaks of Patagonia’s Torres del Paine by foot, by vehicle or on horseback.
  • Trek through Chile’s famed Lakes District to reach soaring, snow-capped volcanos.
  • Star gaze in the Atacama Desert—the driest place on earth with the clearest skies.
  • Tour private vineyards in the bountiful valleys surrounding Santiago.

While You’re in the Neighborhood

2,300 miles west off the coast of mainland Chile lies Easter Island, a remote volcanic island in Polynesia. Wonder at the mysteries of its ancient inhabitants who vanished, leaving only cryptic stone statues (the Moai) as clues to their demise. Or—head north across the desert to Peru, Chile’s brother from another mother, and engage in their national rivalry. Which country really does make the best Pisco Sour? 

 

 

Peru

 

What We Love

  • Lima’s culinary scene has been earning major props on the international stage. Eating our way through the country’s cultural capital is the perfect way to start a Peruvian adventure for good reason. The food represents a fusion of cultures and climates ranging from: altitude, coast, and rainforest.
  • A trekking capitol of the world, ascending Peru’s Andes through the terraced hillsides and verdant peaks has no end of natural and cultural rewards.
  • Visiting the most famous Andean mecca, Machu Picchu—a true wonder of the world—with a former resident archaeologist.

What To Do

  • Witness the incredible horsemanship of the Peruvian Passofinos while gently acclimating in the Sacred Valley.
  • Ascend to Cusco, the cobbled colonial capital in the interior of the country, and stock up on Andean artisanal crafts.
  • Take the train through the Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu. 
  • Raft down the mighty waters that carved the incredible Colca Canyon, which is twice as deep as the Grand Canyon.
  • Starting in Iquitos, go deep into the rainforest that spreads out over the Amazon Basin into Brazil.

While You’re in the Neighborhood

After trekking through the unique flora and fauna of the highest tropical forests in the world, why not check out another kind of biodiversity in the Galápagos Islands? An adventure at sea and with exotic wildlife nicely complements a tour of the mountains and jungles of Peru. Alternatively, continue further into the interior of the continent to Bolivia and sail the highest lake in the world, Titicaca.

 

 

Bolivia

What We Love

  • Until AK Taylor offers trips to other galaxies, Bolivia will just have to do. This interior South American gem has a stark high altitude landscape filled with alpine lakes, salt flats and Amazonian jungle that will satisfy your extraterrestrial fantasies.
  • The spectacular Laguna Colorada, whose blood red waters attract three types of native flamingos and beautifully reflect the surrounding golden peaks.
  • Titicaca, the world’s highest lake, must be crossed by boat to reach the ancient Incan temples and palaces on the Islands of the Sun and Moon.
 no rights to any Bolivia images 

no rights to any Bolivia images 

What To Do

  • Take a deep dive into Bolivia’s archaeology with a visit to Tiwanaku, where excavations are constantly making new discoveries about this pre-Incan civilization.
  • You have to see it to believe it: Drive out into the largest salt flats on earth and visit the community that survives in the middle of them.
  • Descend into Bolivia’s Amazon Rainforest, where tributaries of the Amazon River are teeming with river dolphins and caiman crocodiles.

While You’re in the Neighborhood

Given Bolivia’s central location on the continent, it is easy to extend a trip to  another South American country, like neighbors Peru, Brazil or Chile. A visit to the marine wildlife haven of the Galápagos Islands would provide an especially fascinating complement to Bolivia’s striking high altitude geography. 

 

 

Ecuador & The Galápagos Islands

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What We Love

  • Quito is the entry-point to catch a ship to the Galápagos Islands—Ecuador’s main attraction. But with a new airport and many intriguing new hotels, visiting this old colonial town has become a destination in and of itself.
  • Shopping for Panama hats (originally from Ecuador, not Panama), in the cobblestone plazas of Cuenca, Ecuador’s third largest, and arguably loveliest city.
  • When we arrive in the Galápagos, a childlike sense of curiosity takes over as we catch a glimpse of the natural world at its most isolated. Untouched by humans and the outside world, the reefs, rocky beaches, and jagged calderas of this volcanic archipelago still protect the same fascinating creatures that inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.
  • The best way to reach the Galápagos is on a sailboat, as Darwin did. Hop from island to island feeling the thrill of discovery.
  • Launch a sea kayak or small skiff to get close enough to explore the nooks of each island’s coastline. Landing on the lava-caked shores amidst giant marine iguanas, giant tortoises, and penguins. Surprisingly, the wildlife are unperturbed by human presence and thrillingly allow spectators to get a close look. 

What To Do

  • Roughly the size of Colorado, Ecuador packs a bio diverse punch with the Pacific coast, towering Andes and of course—la selva.
  • Visit a traditional shaman of the northern Amazonian rainforest who still practices the ancient medicine of his ancestors.
  • Wave to humpback whales from laid back surfing villages on the north coast.
  • On the Galapágos, scuba dive and snorkel in the collapsed volcanic craters, like that of Genovesa Island, to swim with sea lions (who swirl around you!) while turtles, dolphins, and whales play nearby.
  • With a naturalist guide, hike past thousands of spectacular seabirds—including the famous blue-footed boobies—to the island’s summit and take a gander out over the shimmering Pacific.

 

While You’re in the Neighborhood

Ecuador and the Galapágos Islands are easily combined with a trip to its neighbor to the south, the ancient Incan territory of Peru. Or head down into the northern Amazon to search for river dolphins and caiman crocodiles. 

 

 

Costa Rica

 

What We Love

  • Waking up to a gang of howler monkeys calling to each other through the jungle canopy, announcing the start of each new day.
  • World-class surfing up and down the coast of the Osa Peninsula.
  • Accommodations as varied as the country’s biodiversity, from boutique yoga retreats to 5-star luxury hotels.

What To Do

  • Search the rivers and beaches of Tortuguero National Park and the Osa Peninsula for jaguars, sloths and poison dart frogs.
  • Ascend into the Monte Verde Cloud Forest Reserve on suspended bridges with an expert naturalist who can identify 400 species of birds, thousands of plant genus, and the rarely seen tapir.
  • Zip-line through the jungle.
  • Ride horses down an empty beach
  • Relax in volcanic hot springs or on breathtaking Pacific and Caribbean beaches.

While You’re in the Neighborhood

A Costa Rican adventure pairs well with a visit to another bio diverse wonder of the world: the Galápagos Islands, or to other hot destinations in Central and South America.