In general, a two-week holiday will cost upwards of £3,500 per person including flights.
- Buenos Aires & Pampas: San Telmo, Tango, re-invention, arrogant, self assured, the arts, opera house, traditional estancias and gallop with the gauchos. The capital is hot and humid in December/January.
- Misiones and Ibera wetlands: Iguazu falls and rain forest, Jesuit missionaries, infinite untouched wetlands to rival the Okavango delta and far fewer tourists, abundant birdlife, blood-red earth. Hotter here, perhaps avoid January/February.
- North West and Salta – Cordillera de Humahuaca, hidden indigenous Argentina, relaxed slow pace, incredible colours. Best in winter.
- Mendoza for the wine region and high Andes, Aconcagua, sublime climate all year, exquisite accommodation.
- Lake District with skiing, jagged mountains and clear blue lakes – as long as the volcanic ash hasn’t got there first! Best October to April.
- Southern Atlantic coast: whales, seals, penguins, harsh ocean coast, footsteps of Darwin, Welsh pioneers.
- Far southern Patagonia: glaciers, pioneers, wilderness, wind, sheep.
- Combines well with Brazil and Chile
- Rio de Janeiro: Corcovado, Carnival, Copacabana or not and the more sought after beaches of Ipanema and Leblon, Santa Teresa for quirkier, quieter and more scenic area. Sugar Loaf, favellas, Atlantic.
- Paraty & Green Coast: Atlantic rainforest, colonial preservation and great houses to rent, uninhabited islands in an emerald ocean, boat charter, sustainable tourism in remote valleys, disconnect.
- North East coast: exuberant, vibrant Salvador, trendy hip Trancoso, miles of isolated coconut-fringed beaches, casitas and cabanas in bohemian, ethnic tones.
- Amazon: Manaus, opera house, city of commerce and jungle lodges – mighty rivers.
- Pantanal: pricey to get to the wilder side of this amazingly beautiful wildlife haven. Piranhas, sting rays, caimans and still people go into the river Negro! Accommodation sometimes on the simpler side.
- Iguacu Falls: a must see and can be more impressive than the Argentinian side.
- Combines well with Argentina. All year round destination but cooler in the Austral winter (June, July, August) and in the south (Rio and Green coast)
- Atacama desert with luxury spas, to die for sunsets and night skies, a sense of extremity. Best in winter although temperature plummets at night in the desert.
- Santiago. Valparaiso, a gritty colonial port city, central wine valleys, international wine production, professional, slick, in the presence of the majestic Andes at their highest.
- Lake District : underrated, volcanoes akin to Mount Fuji, folkloric, Germanic, bustling Pacific port, agriculture. Summer destination. (ie European winter)
- Far southern Patagonia (jagged granite peaks, guanacos, baqueanos, glaciers, fjords, endless Patagonia Steppe, fox, ducks, condors, penguins. Best October to April.
- Rapa Nui (Easter Island) mystic Maui, remote Pacific outpost.
- Combines well with Argentina.
- City of Bogota – Myriad of colonial buildings dating back to 1538, fine views from the funicular railway and cable car, international status as a world class urban destination comparable to Buenos Aires, New York and Mexico City (2008 World Cities Study Group)
- City of Cartagena – a jewel on the Caribbean coast, founded in1533 and once the most important port for the Spanish in the Americas, now a sprawling city but the original site remains protected by UNESCO. Stunning plazas, a plethora of boutique hotels converted from historical colonial mansions, atmospheric, local markets, Caribbean breezes.
- Coffee region – Incredible natural diversity stretching along the spine of the Andes, between 1300-1700 metres, perfect climate for the cultivation of coffee, colourful historical haciendas
- Great thing about Colombia is that as it is close to the Equator and at altitude it is a good all-year-round destination. Can be wet on the coast around April-May and October-November.
Ecuador & Galapagos
- Quito: majestic colonial architecture, cathedrals, Catholicism, indigenous markets, Quechua, llamas, altitude at 3,000 metres.
- Northern Sierra: haciendas and markets.
- Southern Sierra and Cuenca for volcanoes and colonial city feel.
- Monteverde: cloud forest with rich biodiversity, abundant birdlife.
- Amazon and isolated jungle lodges.
- Galapagos – cruises, walking tours, land based lodges, Darwin, finches,
- Can combine with Peru
- Mainland – all-year-round destination (equatorial) but also affected by Pacific Ocean weather systems. Can be a bit wetter in winter (July/August)
- Avoid July and August as the seas can be choppy and the ‘Garua’ season from July to August brings a mist/haze (at worse fog)
- Cusco, Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley (Inca heartland)
- The Altiplano and Lake Titicaca
- Arequipa, a colonial city. Colca Canyon, one of the world’s deepest canyons. El Misti volcano.
- Lima and the coast to the Nazca Lines: cosmopolitan, mystic.
- The Amazon: isolation or soft jungle luxury.
- Can combine with Ecuador and Galapagos is a nice option after a busy itinerary at altitude.
- Dry season is April – October. Wetter out of those months and chance of flooding and mudslides on the route to Machu Picchu. Christmas and New Year is not a no no though and the country looks greener and less crowded with rain showers just in the afternoon but always be aware that the rain could set in and adversely affect travel routes.