The Latin American Travel Association (LATA) shares some of the region’s destinations that will appeal to clients who like to explore off the beaten track
Latin America is one of the world’s regions lesser discovered by UK travellers, however, once your clients do visit, you’ll find they will want to return time and time again – there are endless possibilities for travel.
Overtourism has affected Latin America in the same way that it has in other parts of the world, so sustainability is at the forefront of LATA’s principals when growing travel to Latin America. Sending clients to lesser-known areas with fewer tourists, or even combining their lesser-known itinerary with better-known destinations safeguards tourism to the region for the future.
LATA has pulled together a collection of undiscovered gems to whet the appetite of even the most experienced clients.
This little-known country on the northern coast of South America is an ex-British colony. The national language is English, making it an easy destination for Brits to explore, and it’s home to some of the most pristine rainforest on the continent, making it a must-visit for wildlife lovers. Guyana is also home to Kaieteur Falls, the world’s largest single-drop waterfall. What makes these falls unique is not just their size, but the fact that more often than not visitors have the site completely to themselves.
Colombia is an emerging destination for the UK market. Everyone who visits is blown away by its beauty, vibrancy and tourism infrastructure. The country makes a great destination for a second visit to Latin America or those looking to get off the tourist trail. Cartagena, founded in 1533, is a colonial beauty. The walled city and fortress is a designated Unesco World Heritage Site – it’s easy to see why.
You think Peru, you most likely think Machu Picchu, but there are countless other Inca ruins to visit, as well as breathtaking ruins that pre-date the Inca Empire. Built some 600-900 years before Machu Picchu, the Kuélap Fortress in Northern Peru is the leading archaeological site of the Chachapoyas culture. Not only are the ruins and their setting spectacular, but the low visitor numbers mean visitors have the place almost to themselves. The cable car, completed in 2017, has eradicated the four-hour, steep hike up the mountain, so this hidden gem is now easier to visit than ever before.
Situated in the far north of Brazil, on the remote coast of the Maranhão state, the Lençois Maranhenses national park is like nowhere else on Earth. Lençois, meaning “bed sheets” in Portuguese, perfectly depicts the vast area of rolling, white sand dunes. The best time to visit is between May and August, after the wet season, when the huge crystal-clear lagoons form among the dunes.
The Andean Altiplano (high plain) stretches from Peru down to Northern Argentina and is an area of out-of-this-world landscapes and striking beauty. The north-west corner of Argentina, known as La Puna, is perfect for clients wanting to really get off the beaten track. A 4×4 car hire, with or without a driver, can be arranged so that clients can explore the region’s volcanoes, mountains and salt flats.
Costa Rica has very much been the hot destination for Latin America in recent years, renowned for its cloud forest, volcanoes and hot springs. The lesser-known Osa Peninsula in the far south-eastern corner of the country is a so far undiscovered star. Covered in rainforest, which spills onto the deserted beaches, the Osa Peninsula is brimming with wildlife both in the forest (which is full of rare animals and vibrant jungle trails) and the sea (with stunning coral reefs perfect for snorkeling and diving).