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The Llama Travel Blog

 Rio de Janeiro is one of the world’s most iconic cities, and arguably the most vibrant city in South America. From the world-famous Copacabana and Ipanema beaches and the colourful carnival processions to the striking Christ the Redeemer statue, the Brazilian city has it all. Rio’s natural beauty is something to behold – the tropical rainforest of Tijuca, the golden sand and turquoise water of the famous beaches and the panoramic viewpoint atop Sugarloaf Mountain. Rio also boasts many manmade landmarks, most famously Rio’s Christ the Redeemer statue with its outstretched arms waiting to embrace all visitors.

Here are the top ten things to do during your holiday in Rio de Janeiro.

Short Inca Trail FAQs

Written by  Paige

The Classic Inca Trail is a popular bucket list item for millions of people worldwide. But for those who want to visit Machu Picchu without the commitment of having to hike for four days to get there, there are many excellent alternatives to the Inca Trail. One of these is the Short Inca Trail, which follows the same network of trails as the Classic, and the final part of the two walks is the same. The difference is that you only have one full day of walking, you get to stay in a comfortable hotel rather than camping, and you still have a full day to explore the Machu Picchu ruins.

5 Reasons To Visit Mexico

Written by  Otto

Sandwiched between the United States and the start of the Northern Triangle/Central America lies Mexico, a wonderfully rich and proud country that boasts some incredible destinations and features that any traveller wishing to explore Latin America should be keen to indulge in. This blog will highlight the main attractions of this adventurous and beautiful country which can all be experienced on our holidays to Mexico.

A Luxurious Train Journey Across South Africa

Written by  Paige
  • 11 June 2021

Thirty years ago, the family-run Rovos Rail began operating luxurious train journeys through South Africa and beyond. Riding on the opulent Rovos service from Cape Town to Pretoria is a fine way to witness the transformation of South Africa’s landscapes; from the semi-desert of the Karoo, to green winelands, to sweeping mountain ranges. The three-day journey covers 1,600km, with sightseeing stops in the attractive village of Matijesfontein and the diamond mining town of Kimberley.

So, what exactly can you expect when spending a night on the Rovos Rail?

Ten Walks & Treks in Latin America & Africa

Written by  Hannah
  • 13 May 2021

Over the past year, walking has taken on a new meaning for many of us. Whether it's multiple laps around the local park or a day-long hike in the countryside, it's given us a chance to connect with nature and stay grounded in the midst of restrictions. There's no better way to discover the beautiful landscapes of Latin America and Africa than on foot. From nature reserve trails in South Africa and volcanic lake hikes in Ecuador to epic Patagonia treks and the iconic trails to Machu Picchu, there are options to suit everyone. Keep scrolling to find out which walks and treks suit your budget and ability, so you can start planning something to look forward to.

A Traveller's Tale: Bellavista Lodge

Written by  John from Bristol
  • 11 May 2021

Can I tell you about a very special day, my 65th birthday?  We had booked our second trip with Llama Travel having previously enjoyed a holiday in Peru & Machu Piccu.  This time was to be Ecuador & the Galapagos. I wanted it to be special so booked a two day (one night) trip to the Bellavista Reserve to enjoy some bird life, especially the hummingbirds, and flora.  This is my story of the trip.

As concerns about the sustainability of our current lifestyles grow, the tourism industry has seen a strong shift towards greener travel. This is very important to Llama Travel (you can read more about what we do here), and our partners around the world are doing everything we can to support this, from eco-lodges in Costa Rica and Botswana to rhino conservation in Kenya and sustainable projects in the Ecuadorian Amazon. In honour of Earth Day last week, we have compiled a list of eight of our favourite sustainable properties in Latin America and Africa that do their bit to help the planet.

Shortly before the first covid lockdown, I was lucky enough to travel to South Africa on a family holiday. Now, after a year of no travel, I have been reminiscing about this adventure and can't wait to send passengers on a Gondwana safari trip so they can experience the amazing wildlife and beautiful landscapes for themselves when restrictions allow. 

Having spent much of the past twenty years travelling throughout Latin America, this was a fantastic chance to get to know somewhere new. Cape Town was a big hit with all of us, and we loved the journey along the Garden Route, especially the whale watching in Hermanus and getting up before dawn to see the meerkats pop up out of the red earth near Oudtshoorn. But the highlight for all of us was the safari in Gondwana, a game reserve in South Africa's Western Cape, a four hour scenic drive from Cape Town... read my blog to find out why. 

Samburu National Reserve: What To Expect

Written by  Scott
  • 14 April 2021

Our Product Manager, Scott, visited Kenya in 2019, on an epic journey through the country, from the Aberdares Mountains and the Ol Pejeta conservancy where chimps and rhinos reside, to the picturesque Lake Nakuru and the iconic Masai Mara. His time in Samburu though, was a particular highlight. Situated about 350km north of the Kenyan capital Nairobi, Samburu is a lesser-visited national reserve in northern Kenya, teeming with wildlife including the Big Five and rarer species that can't be found in the south of Kenya. One of the national park's main allures is that there are few tourists, so you can stay in beautiful safari lodges and go on daily game drives with a feeling of exclusivity that you don't get in Kenya's more well-known reserves. Keep reading to find out about the rugged landscapes and rare wildlife Scott saw on his trip to Samburu in Kenya. 

Get Back To Nature At Costa Rica's Pacuare Lodge

Written by  Hannah
  • 09 April 2021

Some of the most beautiful places in the world are the most difficult to get to, and this is certainly case for the newest addition to Llama Travel's Costa Rica programme. Hidden away in the heart of Costa Rica’s lush jungle, accessible by white-water raft, Pacuare Lodge is a stunning eco-lodge sitting on the banks of Pacuare River. Pacuare has won notable awards over the years including the National Geographic Traveller’s world’s best lodges, Condé Nast World Savers, exemplary tourism practise by the World Tourism Organisation and first pilot programme for eco-design in Central America. Keep reading for everything you need to know about Pacuare Lodge, from the exhilerating journey and activities during your stay to the bountiful wildlife and luxury facilities.