Three members of the Travelsphere team tell us about their favourite destinations in Central and South America.
The Wonders of Peru
My favourite South American destination has to be Peru. I love the mix of ancient traditions that are reflected in its rich culture, spiritualism and delicious food. And let’s face it, how many other countries can be described as having one of the oldest civilisations in the world!
One of the things visitors tell me time and again is how warm and friendly they find the Peruvian people. Wherever you travel, you’re sure to find locals who will welcome you into their community and share stories about their culture and lifestyle.
The impressive and diverse geography of Peru is perhaps the most unexpected surprise. People come to see the mighty Andes and then discover that first they have to cross vast swathes of desert – an extension of the famous Atacama – and that you can also see enormous forests. It’s incredible to think that on one day you can be eating at a very nice fish restaurant by the sea and the next taking amazing pictures of the Andean landscapes. And that’s not to mention the fascinating archaeological sites. Being in Peru is like visiting more than one country at the same time!
Visiting two of my favourite countries, I just love our ‘Costa Rica & Nicaragua’ tour. It's the perfect mix for me, blending the vibrant green scenery of Costa Rica with the enchanting city of Granada in Nicaragua.
Whilst this Granada doesn’t boast the Alhambra Palace, it is home to numerous colonial landmarks and has an excellent pre-Columbian art exhibition. With its laid-back ambience, charming cobblestone lanes and super street cafés, it’s the perfect place to relax and watch the world go by, whilst trying the excellent coffee or maybe a glass of Flor de Caña, premium Nicaraguan rum.
The city is incredibly easy to navigate, thanks to its grid system, so with a local map in hand you’ll be able to take a stroll and see the wonderful sights that await. Granada is nestled on the shores of Lake Nicaragua and I like nothing more than hopping on a boat and cruising to some of the amazing islands. If you fall in love with a property, there are usually one or two for sale too!
Latin Wonders of the World
I love travelling to countries that haven’t been “westernised”. You get to see another way of life and it is awe-inspiring. Venturing to destinations in South America, wherever you go, feels like you are taking an unbeaten path – that you’re an intrepid traveller. And adventure is always guaranteed.
My South American travels have so many highlights, from seeing tango dancers on the streets of Buenos Aires to enjoying an Argentinian Malbec in a boutique vineyard in Mendoza. You get to marvel at the magnificent artistry of Mother Nature at Iguaçu Falls and discover the incredible sights of Sugar Loaf Mountain and Christ the Redeemer in Brazil. And just when you think you’ve seen or done the best thing, another experience comes along and tops it!
I never thought anything would beat the feeling of standing at the top of Machu Picchu and ticking off the ultimate bucket-list item. Yet gazing out across Lake Titicaca high in the Andes, and relaxing on the iconic, palm-tree lined beach of Copacabana with a cocktail in hand, makes me wonder what other gems this continent has to offer.