The Myriad Landscapes of Latin America

A Continent of Contrasts

  • LouiseRP
  • 26th March 2019

With Spring starting to peep its head above the cold earth and the days getting longer, we are turning our attention to the other side of the world, where the bright colours of Autumn are in full display. Let us tell you a little about Latin America and what makes it so special. Above almost anywhere else on earth, this continent packs an astounding variety of landscape and culture into one mass of land.

By taking just five of the nine countries we cover in Latin America (there are more to come so watch this space), we can demonstrate the duality and diversity of scenery and experience that we know will exceed your expectations in breath-taking ways.

Whether you’re a die-hard adventurer, a culture-vulture or a beach-bunny, this extraordinary corner of the globe can meet the demands of almost any traveller and deliver the adventure of a lifetime.

As ever, we are here to help with your travel plans for the year ahead.

Toby Warren, Managing Director

 

Chile is the only country on the planet that can deliver an experience that combines the driest desert on Earth (The Atacama) with icy glaciers and snow-capped mountains. From the Atacama’s lunar landscapes to the gnarled fjords carved by millennia of a relentless and raging Pacific ocean, the contrast of landscape from north to south defies all reason. Here you will find peaceful lake districts lined with pine forests and grassy meadows; undulating hills carpeted in vineyards responsible for some of the finest wine production on the planet. As if that’s not enough, dropped into the Pacific Ocean and then pretty much forgotten is Easter Island, an enigmatic land that holds the answers to questions we may never answer. Don’t forget to ask us about tagging Tahiti onto your visit to the island for the ultimate beach add-on.

In true Brazilian style, this vast, colourful country sprawls itself casually across most of South America. Hiding within its crinkles and creases are some of the most beautiful landscapes on the continent. These vary from golden beaches and desert dunes that have barely been touched to waterfalls that spill over deep canyons and into forgotten river systems. The largest and arguably most impressive portion of the Amazon basin takes up most of the north and completes its 6,500km journey from Peru by emptying about 175,000mᵌ of water per second into the Atlantic Ocean.  Colonial architecture sits alongside some of the most exciting modern design in Rio and Sao Paulo and the world’s largest wetlands are teaming with wildlife from jaguar to over 600 species of birdlife. Take that all in and you’re just scratching the surface.

Colombia is one of the most geographically diverse countries in Latin America and can be split roughly into five natural regions: The Amazon, The Pacific, The Andean, The Caribbean and the plains of Llanos Orientales. From one moment to the next, this gives its visitors unimaginable combinations to choose from: turquoise beach with the world’s largest tropical rainforest; snowy mountains with a raw and wild Pacific coastline or vast, poker-straight horizons of silver wetlands that merge with rolling hills peppered with the lost cities of ancient civilisations, some of which pre-date the Incas. We urge you to visit Colombia now before everyone else hears about it.

It is true that no first-time exploration of Ecuador would be complete without a visit to the jewel in its crown-The Galapagos Islands. Attenborough wasn’t lying; these islands are jaw-dropping in their diversity of ecosystems, ever-changing landscape from island to island and sheer abundance of wildlife. But back on the mainland, there are plenty of other little-known jewels that are waiting to be discovered. A journey can take you into the Northern and Southern Sierras for a combination of soft, grassy hills juxtaposed with dramatic Andean peaks or to the Amazon rainforest for access to over 1600 species of bird and, in our opinion, some of the best jungle lodges in the Amazon.

Those of you looking to combine some serious culture with world-class beach in one destination will be fulfilled by a visit to Mexico. Here the ghosts of the continent’s civilisations that have come and gone are displayed in Mayan ruins that pierce through the canopies of remote tropical jungles and some of the most well-preserved Colonial cities in the world. Then take your pick of Caribbean Sea that flops lazily onto sugar-white sand or rolling Pacific waves that rise and crash onto a wild and rugged coastline. Combine this with a network of canyons in the north that are larger and more complex than the Grand Canyon or deserts filled with forests of cactus and Mexico can deliver a world of natural beauty within one country.

Back to news home

Posts from the past

Half Term not Half Time

From Mexico to The Maldives, we all need a little winter warmer to keep us going ’til spring. Here, we’ve picked some of our favourite family friendly holidays, perfect for a weeks escape from the murky month of February....
Read more

An adrenaline fuelled adventure in Namibia

Having been lucky enough to travel extensively throughout Africa, Namibia has always been one country that I’ve been keen to return to and see more of, in particular. When Ultimate Safaris kindly invited me to experience their exclusive guided...
Read more

Exceptional Journeys

We are delighted to announce that Exceptional Travel have teamed up with world-class photographer, Paul Joynson-Hicks, to lead an exclusive wildlife photography tour to Brazil’s Pantanal. The Pantanal is home to one of the largest and, thanks to dedicated conservation teams, thriving jaguar...
Read more

An Exceptional Journey to Zambia and Malawi

Alex Bellew, one of our Senior Sales Consultants, along with her friend George, has just returned from an exceptional journey, and here she tells us about their amazing trip. We’ve just returned from a fantastic journey to Zambia and...
Read more

Feature in The Telegraph

We are delighted to have been featured in The Telegraph‘s encouraging article regarding the lifted FCO restrictions on travel to Sri Lanka earlier this year, and the fantastic opportunities available to travellers which wont be around for long. Read...
Read more

The First Decade of Exceptional Travel

This month Exceptional Travel is celebrating its 10th birthday, and we are extremely proud of how far we have come in our first decade, and as always we are extremely grateful to you, our trusted clients. Exceptional Travel began...
Read more

Our Favourite Tree Houses

Here is a look at two of the most exceptional tree houses in South Africa and Costa Rica, click on the property name to take you to it’s dedicated page and find out more: The Kingston Treehouse, Lion Sands,...
Read more

Put Your Best Foot Forward

Whether it be nearing the summit of a mountain, feeling the might of surrounding peaks, making your way through hidden rain forests or listening to the calls from animals echoing all around, there is nothing quite like the thrill...
Read more

Our Favourite Luxury Tented Camps

Here is a look at some of the most exceptional tented camps around the world, click on the camp name to take you to it’s dedicated page and find out more: Hoanib Valley Camp, Namibia This new camp opened...
Read more

Welcoming the newest member of our Exceptional team

We are very excited to welcome a new member to our Exceptional team this week, as Louise Russell-Pavier joins us as Marketing Manager. Louise joins us having returned last year from just over a year living in Sri Lanka...
Read more

An Exceptional Adventure in Sri Lanka

We have just returned from a spectacular journey to Sri Lanka with a group of eight, wonderful guests. The journey took us from Colombo up to the plains of Anuradhapura; by train through rolling hills draped in tea plantations...
Read more

Ice-Breaking News!

Almost unheard of at this time of year but news has it that a few cabins are now available on one of our favourite boats in the Antarctic. If you’ve finally had enough of Brexit and you’re looking for...
Read more

See The World For Less

As we kick off 2019 with U.K Parliament still in deadlock and amidst talk of ‘deal or no deal’, we thought we would reach for our tin hats early in preparation of what may lie ahead. With European holiday...
Read more

Private Villa in Mexico

Our first treat for 2019 is to let you know about a fantastic private villa on Mexico’s Caribbean coast that is (amazingly) still available for February half term. This delightful beach-front home is offering a complimentary chef and butler...
Read more

Our Top Destinations for 2019

If you’re feeling like you’ve gorged on a year’s worth of decadent food over Christmas and you need a plan to burn it off – look no further than Bhutan. This achingly beautiful country is next on our hot...
Read more

Our Top Destinations for 2019

Number three on our hot list for 2019 is Namibia. This wild and rugged land is one of the least populated places on earth and its vast expanses of deserts, dunes and deltas are teeming with wildlife. Exceptional Travel...
Read more

Our Top Destinations for 2019

Next up on our hot list for 2019 is Antarctica. However high your expectations, we can be pretty certain this white continent will exceed them beyond your wildest dreams. Want to combine two of the driest and most spectacular...
Read more

Our Top Destinations for 2019

The Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe is the first on our list of top travel destinations for 2019. Dropped into the Atlantic off the west coast of Africa, these little lost worlds are swathed in UNESCO protected...
Read more

Launching our new website

After a year of hard work from our dedicated team, who bravely took on hours of research, writing new content for each region and carefully choosing and resizing over 7,000 images, today we are proud to launch our brand...
Read more

Gorillas On Your List?

Nothing can prepare you for the surge of emotion that takes over when you see a mountain gorilla for the first time. It is an experience that lasts for a lifetime and will, in some way, change you. As...
Read more

Don’t get left out in the cold…

The summer is officially over. If your memories of long, lazy days soaking up the sunshine are fading rapidly, below we have gathered a list of our suggested top five winter escapes.
Read more

A happy guest returns from Zambia

Renowned wildlife photographer Paul Joynson Hicks lead a small group of four guests to Zambia's South Luangwa National Park recently, and they sent in some examples of the fantastic shots they took whilst on safari.
Read more

The First Lady of Kenya starts 2018 Lewa Marathon

We were again delighted to work with Tusk and be involved with the Lewa Marathon, organising the travel arrangements for most of the international runners attending.
Read more

New Nasca Lines Discovered in Peru

Armed with satellites and drones, archaeologists discover new Nasca lines and dozens of other enigmatic geoglyphs carved into the earth.
Read more

October Half Term

You may well be all set for the summer, whether you are planning to make your way to The Maldives, settle in Scotland, pop over the pond or wind your way down to the West Country, but have you...
Read more

Astonishing Arabia!

Exceptional Travel's Susanna Reynolds returns to Oman, visiting Muscat, the desert, the mountains and the tropical shores of Salalah. Read her full trip report here.
Read more

Beautiful Botswana

Head of African sales Lukey Bourne returns from Botswana where she visited a selection of the best camps in the Okvanago Delta. Read her full trip report here.
Read more

Get in touch with us now to start planning your journey

Proudly ASSOCIATED WITH