‘DONE’ THE AMERICAS? THINK AGAIN…
Maybe you’ve tangoed in Buenos Aires, had a go at salsa in Cuba, felt Niagara’s freshwater spray and romped around in Yosemite National Park…
…but have you ever considered trekking through Yellowstone in search of wild wolves and brooding bison? Ever pondered over a trip to Guyana to witness the awesome power of the world’s largest single drop waterfall? Like the sound of exploring Venezuela’s Lost World?
Here are a few American adventures you may not have considered… until now!
Each year Grey whales embark on an epic 5,000 mile migration from the chilly waters of the Bering Sea to their breeding grounds along the Baja coast. Reaching up to 15m in length and weighing up to 36 tons, sighting these majestic marine mammals commuting along the Mexican coast is a magical experience. Often the whales surface close enough to the boat for an eye to eye encounter! You may be lucky enough to also spot dolphins and other whale species.
Camp under the stars in the grounds of Uaxactun and arise to see these mystical Mayan ruins bathed in the golden hues of dawn. The magical atmosphere enhanced by the sounds of the jungle as squawking Howler monkeys, green parakeets and keel-billed toucans awake. Arrive at Tikal, arguably Guatemala’s finest Mayan complex, in time for an equally atmospheric sunset tour.
Colombia is one of the least visited Latin American countries, yet despite many misconceptions, this undiscovered jewel abounds with natural and cultural treasures. Revered by coffee lovers the world over, Colombia’s biggest export is shrouded in centuries of tradition and now generates income for around 500,000 farming families. Spend time in the Zona Cafetera trekking through undulating plantations deep in the Cocora Valley and visiting remote coffee villages to learn about the vital role this crop plays in local life. While winding your way around the narrow cobbled walkways in Cartagena, find time to sit in a little artisan café to enjoy an authentic cup of Colombia’s finest.
Not for the faint-hearted or inexperienced, but as one of the world’s highest active volcanoes, Cotopaxi presents an adrenaline-fuelled challenge for those accustomed to the demands of high altitude adventures. Traverse creaking crevasse fields and groaning glaciers to reach the 5,897m summit of this Ecuadorian giant. Crampons and ice axes at the ready!
Spanning over 1,000km of the Caribbean Sea, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef is an underwater world teeming life; from radiant reef fish to slinky string rays, vibrant sponges to sea turtles. You could even encounter the largest fish in the world here – Whale sharks frequent the nutrient rich waters around this Caribbean coastline from April to June to feed on plankton blooms. Snorkelling over the famous Great Blue Hole (optional excursion), a 125m deep and 300m wide sea hole, is an experience not easily forgotten.
A mysterious, triangular island cast out in the Pacific Ocean some 3,700kms off the Chilean coast. The unique cultural landscape of the UNESCO Rapa Nui National Park, bears witness to the origin of early Polynesian civilization. Delve into the history of this as you walk amidst the haunting Moai statues with a trio of volcanoes looming from each point of the island.
An Easter Island extension can be added to any of our Chile holidays – just ask one of our sales consultants for more details.
On the western side of Lake Nicaragua two imposing volcanoes rise from the water to form the hourglass shaped island of Ometepe. Just 31km long, and with very little traffic to be wary of, it makes for a great day of cycling. Here you are more likely to encounter a friendly farmer with his bullock escorted cart than a clapped out old banger or any other tourists! Cruise through vast crops of plantain and pedal into verdant swathes of dense forest inhabited by rowdy Howler and Capuchin monkeys. Ometepe is the perfect place to savour the sights and sounds of rural Nicaragua.
Rare, elusive, and beautiful, an encounter with these powerful, e-type cats is reward for the pilgrimage to the Pantanal. This sweltering wetland in southern Brazil is now home to a stable population of jaguars, despite the prolific trade in their skins during the 70s and 80s. A male is twice the bulk of a male leopard and dappled with rosettes more akin to the size of those used in a Sunday Gymkhana, no wildlife enthusiast will leave here feeling short-changed.
A chain of flat-topped sandstone mountains, known as tepuys, tower over Venezuela’s undulating jungle canopy. Trek through tropical forest sprawling with exotic flora and fauna, navigate a maze of blackened rock and babbling streams to summit Mt Roraima for staggering views over the triple border point between Brazil, Guyana and Venezuela.
The Amazon is home to the greatest variety of animal species on Earth; with around 30% of the world’s wildlife here, there’s something for every kind of faunal fanatic. Marvel at multi-coloured macaws and Amazon parrots amid an early morning feeding frenzy at the collpa (clay lick). Deeper in this tropical park more exotic encounters await; Giant otters and caimans reside in the jungle waterways, while jaguars and tapirs roam in the forest.
At 226m high, Guyana’s Kaieteur Falls are three times the height of Niagara and twice the height of Victoria Falls. Emerging from carpet of lush, steaming jungle, these impressive falls flow from the Potaro River. Stand at the top and watch as 30,000 gallons of water thunder over the precipice every second and tumble ferociously over a series of steep cascades. The aquatic wonder isn’t the only highlight either, this land of giants harbours a mesmerising array of wildlife: Giant otters frolic in the backwaters, jaguars prowl the jungle and Harpy eagles soar over the canopy.
Three national parks lie in the heart of the Rockies: Teton, Glacier and daddy of them all, Yellowstone. Trekking among its soaring spires and primordial forests, you'll find bison, bears and wolves living here in the world’s oldest and largest national park. Studded with surging geysers, bubbling hot springs and steaming fumaroles, the ground beneath your feet literally rumbles and groans with geo-thermal activity.