The Galapagos Islands lie in the Pacific Ocean 1000km from the Ecuador mainland. The 19 islands and surrounding marine reserve have been called a unique living museum and are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve. The Galapagos Islands are nature’s wonderland where you can see giant tortoises and witness the exotic blue-footed booby or swim with playful seals. Taking a cruise in the archipelago is the best way to explore the Galapagos Islands. All the cruises offer a variety of activities including kayaking, snorkeling, swimming and excursions led by naturalist guides. The islands are a melting pot for wildlife enthusiasts and there are many opportunities to walk amongst sea lions, land iguanas, frigate birds and penguins. The weather from January to June is typically warmer but with some rain, July to December is cooler and drier. To travel to the Galapagos Islands, flights operate from Quito and Guayaquil. There are many variations in Galapagos cruise itineraries, with each group of islands offering a unique experience.
Nestled between Brazil and Argentina, Uruguay travel offers vacationers a range of experiences, from exploring the busy urban centre of Montevideo to partying in Punta del Este and taking in the breathtaking natural beauty of Uruguay’s rural interior. In the gorgeous town of Colonia del Sacramento (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), you will see cobbled streets and ruined forts. The pretty capital Montevideo has a fine harbour and impressive Art Deco buildings.
Peru is legendary among world travellers wanting to see fascinating cultures and well preserved relics from ancient civilisations. Stunningly endowed with a great history and beauty, boasting a plethora of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Peru is one of the most enchanting countries in South America. Explore the enigmatic lost city of the Incas, ‘Machu Picchu’, perched high in the Andes mountains, hike the classic Inca Trail and wander the cobbled streets of Cusco – an enchanting city of colourful markets, great museums and architecture from the colonial and Incan eras. Take a train across the altiplano landscapes to the shores of Lake Titicaca, discover the mysterious Nazca Lines and hike the deep valleys at Colca Canyon. Indulge in a culinary adventure in Lima, the hottest gastronomic city in Peru, and visit the pristine Amazon rainforest where you can choose from remote jungle lodges to cruising on small luxurious expedition vessels. Vibrant cultures abide within a country bursting with a variety of memorable travel experiences.
Mexico is a country that has a unique culture and history with unique beach areas located on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico or the Pacific Ocean. History buffs can step back to the days when the Mayans ruled Mexico by visiting the ruins of two Mayan cities in the Yucatan Peninsula – Tulum and Chichen Itza, and by walking among the stone pyramids that were the burial monuments to some of Mexico’s earliest residents.
Guatemala has everything a traveller could hope for – history, culture, natural beauty, majestic ruins and gorgeous colonial streetscapes. The magic and mystery of the Mayan World subsist in the millenary cities such as Tikal, Yaxhá, Aguateca, and Quiriguá among others. The faces, the colourful regional costumes, and the kindness of the people from the highlands are like an echo of an impressive colonial past.
Ecuador is the second smallest country in South America and home to a list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites like the colonial city of Quito, the historical center of Cuenca and the jewel in the Pacific Ocean, the ‘Galapagos Islands’. Astonishing wildlife, cone shaped volcanoes, picturesque colonial towns, vibrant markets and the rich biodiversity of the Amazon Basin and Highland Cloud forests are just the start of what Ecuador has to offer. The cultural mix of the Spanish culture and pre- Hispanic indigenous influences are best seen in the architecture and market places such as Quito, Cuenca and Otavalo.