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destinations

Latin America

Destinations

Latin America

Mexico, Guatemala & Belize

These Central American countries encompass everything from arid deserts to lush tropical rain-forest. Culturally diverse, the regions have a heady mix of influences form ancient Mayan and Aztec civilizations, the Spanish Conquistadors and modern globalization. Spend time visiting idyllic white-sand beaches, picturesque haciendas and impressive Mayan ruins. Explore colonial towns and their indigenous churches and lively colorful metropolises.

Best time to visit

Mexico’s climate varies by season and region with the optimum time generally between Dec and Apr. The wet season begins in the south in May and lasts until October, and the Caribbean coastal area can be affected by hurricanes during this times. Guatemala has a pleasant year-round climate with the dry season running from November to April. Belize s’ dry season runs from November to April and generally the best time to visit.

  • Flight Time: Between 11-13 hours (not including transfer time)
  • Time Difference: GMT 6-7 hours
  • Currency: Mexican Peso, Guatemalan Quetzal & Belize dollar
  • Visas: British passport holders get visas on arrival for Mexico, Guatemala & Belize

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a paradise for nature lovers, and its size belies the amazing variety of ecosystems found within its borders. There are tropical beaches, humid rains-forests, fiery volcanic peaks, steaming hot springs and mossy cloud forests which are home to a staggering array of flora and fauna. Adventurous travelers will also love the range of activities on offer; with rafting, trekking, canopy tours, horseback riding and mountain biking available countrywide from the Pacific coast to the Caribbean.

Best time to visit

At just a few degrees north of the equator, there’s little seasonality in temperatures so any differences are due to specific locations and altitude. San Jose in the highlands is chilly at night; the Pacific & Caribbean Coasts are hot at 28°c peaking at the end of the dry season during Mar-Apr. The wet (or ‘green’) season runs from May-Nov, but with Costa Rica’s blanket of rain-forest, pretty much the whole country can be wet at any time of year.

  • Flight Time: Approx. 14 hours to San Jose
  • Time Difference: GMT -6 hours
  • Currency: The Costa Rica Colon
  • Visas: British passport holders do not require a visa for stays up to 3 months

Brazil

Brazil, the largest country in South America, is also one of its most colorful; from the stunning costumes of the carnival dancers in Rio de Janeiro to the rainbow feathers of a scarlet macaw in the Amazon rain forest. Due to its size, it offers a whole host of unforgettable experiences, which are made even more special by the friendly people, interesting mix of cultures and traditions, excellent food , and the ever-present rhythms of samba.

Best time to visit

In Rio, average winter temperatures of 20-25°c will climb into the high 30°c range in summer (Nov-Mar). The Amazon is the wettest region year-round, and the northeast of the country is the hottest. In the south, the weather can be very similar to northern Europe.

  • Flight Time: Approx. 12 hours to Rio de Janeiro
  • Time Difference: GMT -3 hours
  • Currency: Brazilian Real
  • Visas: A visa is not required by UK citizens for tourist says up to 3 months

Argentina & Uruguay

Argentina is on of the most geographically and culturally diverse countries in South America, and will amaze you with its myriad attractions. From the stark deserts of the north west to the windswept plains of Patagonia, the snow-capped peaks of the Andes to the thundering falls of Iguazu- the sheer range of drama is staggering and has one of the most beautiful capitals on the world. Often overlooked, Uruguay is a little gem wedged between Brazil and Argentina that offers genuine cultural experiences , great food and wine and miles of beautiful sand beaches. Just over an hour from Buenos Aires by ferry it is perfectly twinned with an Argentina itinerary.

Best time to visit

Argentina and Uruguay are great year-round destinations with seasons opposite to ours. North Argentina is tropical, the central temperate and the south cold, especially in winter (Jun-Aug). Uruguay has a temperate climate with the best months Oct – Mar.

  • Flight Time: Approx. 14 hours to Buenos Aires
  • Time Difference: GMT -3 hours
  • Currency: Argentine Peso & Uruguayan Peso
  • Visas: Visas are required by UK passport holders for stays of up to 3 months

Chile

This remarkable ribbon of land, barely more than 250 kilometers wide, stretches almost 4,500 kilometers from the Atacama Desert to the Glaciers of Patagonia. Chile’s vast length is home to a huge variety of landscapes from snow-capped volcanoes to the vineyard-packed Central Valley, and from the striking Lake District to the narrow fjords of the south, all sandwiched between the Pacific Ocean and the mountainous spine of the Andes. Elsewhere, the mysterious Moai statues of Easter Island offer a fascinating glimpse into an ancient and unique civilization.

Best time to visit

The Atacama Desert receives virtually no rain and can be visited year-round. Santiago & Central Chile enjoy a Mediterranean-type climate with mild winters and warm summers, and is at its best during spring (Sep-Nov) and autumn (Feb-Apr). The Lake District & Patagonia are more seasonal and best visited during the summer months (Dec-Mar). Easter Island is subtropical, meaning warm weather year-round, with gentle winter rains and torrential summer downpours.

  • Flight Time: Approx. 16 hours to Santiago
  • Time Difference: Mainland Chile GMT -4 hours ; Easter Island GMT -6 hours
  • Currency: Chilean Peso
  • Visas: A visa is not required by UK citizens for tourist stays of up to 3 months

Peru

Peru’s appeal is endless, with a range of natural and man-made wonders. The highlands are home to the condor and countless indigenous communities , and is the heartland of the ancient Inca Empire alongside the colonial gems of Cuzco and Arequipa, Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu being the most famous example of the extraordinary architectural legacy that was left behind. To the east, the mountains shelve away and give in to the sense vegetation and rich fauna of the Amazon Basin, a must on any visit to Peru.

Best time to visit

Lima and the desert coast are generally dry, with around 28°c during summer (Dec-Apr); coastal mists can bring this down to 15°c in winter (Jul-Sep). In the Andean region (especially Cuzco), the wet seasons runs from Nov-Mar; in the dry season (Apr-Oct), night time temperatures can drop to freezing. Jun-Sep are the months fir hikers.

  • Flight Time: Approx. 14 hours to Lima
  • Time Difference: GMT -5 hours
  • Currency: Nuevo Sol
  • Visas: Visas not required by UK Citizens for tourist stays up to 3 months

Colombia

With its Caribbean beaches, Amazon rain forest, majestic mountain ranges and bougainvillea-shrouded villages, Colombia offers a veritable cocktail of attractions. Culturally and artistically rich, the country is buoyant with the vibrancy of its people and the thrill of its adventures, So get your artistic juices flowing in the homeland of the Nobel Prize winning author, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, or get your adrenaline pumping with hiking, tree -top walks or scuba diving.

Best time to visit

Bogota, the capital, enjoys pleasant temperatures year round. The coastal regions are tropical and very warm without exception; the interior highlands can be cool, especially at night.

  • Flight Time: Approx. 12 hours to Bogota
  • Time Difference: GMT -5 hours
  • Currency: Colombian Peso
  • Visas: Visas not required by UK Citizens for stays of up to 90 days

Ecuador

Ecuador may be a tiny country, but its geographical diversity is staggering and changes dramatically from its eastern to western borders. Its bio-diverse Amazon rain-forest is alive with swooping scarlet macaws and spider monkeys bouncing off virgin canopy’s. Up in the culturally rich highland area, colorful Indian markets, smoking volcanoes and striking colonial towns are in abundance. The Andes then slip way to the lush coastal area. Far out in the Pacific Ocean lies the submerged volcanic peaks of the Galapagos Islands, a sanctuary for unique wildlife.

Best time to visit

Ecuador can be visited year-round, and the weather in the highlands varies little, Jun-Sep(and Dec) being the driest months. The Amazon is always hot and humid(25°c) and rainfall frequent. Jan-may is hot and wet in the Galapagos (24-28°c) where you can expect short, sharp showers; temperatures cool to 18-20°c between Jun-Dec and strong winds during Aug-Sept can me the waters choppy ( some boats may in dry-dock).

  • Flight Time: Approx. 15 hours plus an extra two hours to the Galapagos
  • Time Difference: GMT -5 hours
  • Currency: US Dollar
  • Visas: A visa is not required by UK citizens for stays of up to 3 months