Here at Llama Travel we pride ourselves on being experts in Latin America, having all travelled extensively throughout the continent. It's hard to choose a favourite from such a diverse range of locations, but here are a few of our personal highlights.
Oliver - Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
“It is hard to convey in words the beauty of this spot. Eight miles in length, it is surrounded by three picturesque volcanoes and boasts a pleasant temperature due to its altitude at 1,500m. Lake Atitlan is one of the most scenic places I have ever been. Stunning scenery, cute villages dotted around the lake, interesting mix of religions and cultures. Sunrise is to die for!”
Oliver wrote a blog post following his trip to Guatemala. Click here to read it.
Otto - Medellín, Colombia
"Medellín is a city full of life and character, that has detached/distanced itself from/shaken off its troubled past, and is now flourishing with its hipster/edgy image surrounded by its stunning backdrop. From start to finish my time in Medellín delivered an unforgettable experience with plenty of diversity and adventure. Even the drive from the airport into the city leaves a stamp in my memory; the winding roads rolling down into the valley where the city is spread out. The gastronomy side of the city is booming, with an abundance of quirky and delicious restaurants in the bohemian neighbourhood of El Poblado – the regional dish of Bandeja Paisa was beyond delicious! For wonderful views of the city, be sure to take the Metrocable up to Arví Park for some beautiful walking trails, or even take a full day tour out to El Peñón (Rock) de Guatapé with its extraordinary views and nearby colonial town. Back into the city, a visit to the community of Comuna-13, with its graffiti dominated walls and escalators running up to the top for even more views of this remarkable city."
Read more about Medellín here.
Scott - The Pantanal, Brazil
“I stayed at the Rio Mutum a few years ago, and I loved the early morning boat trips on the lake watching the spectacular sunrises. Also, the wildlife spotting was amazing with a huge variety of birdlife, not to mention monkeys, caiman, capybara and giant river otters.”
You can extend your holiday to visit the Pantanal.
Paige – Iguazu Falls, Argentina
“My favourite place in South America is Iguazu Falls. Iguazu Falls are the biggest waterfall system in the world - they are nearly three times as wide as Niagara Falls and even wider than Victoria Falls. The falls border both Argentina and Brazil, but the better side, in my opinion, is the Argentinian side for its walking trails and the Devil's Throat viewpoint. Although the Brazilian side gives you a panoramic view of the falls, the Argentinian side gets you up close and personal with the falls themselves.”
You can visit the falls on our Samba, Tango & Iguazu Falls holiday.
Tsehai – Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
“Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia is my favourite place I have visited in South America. As a sunrise/sunset enthusiast, driving onto the vast and endless salt flats in pitch darkness and watching the sun rise on the mirrored and glass-like surface is an experience I will never forget. Although I was ill-prepared for the freezing cold water in my Nikes, watching the colours change and reflect on the flat as I sipped coffee was a more than beautiful distraction. It does not surprise me that this is the world’s largest salt flat – as far as the eye can see the landscape is clear-blue sky and crisp-white salt which meet at the horizon. I have never experienced anything like this salt flat, and the remoteness, scale and beauty of this destination makes it my favourite (thus far).”
The vast expanse of the salt flats can be explored on our Bolivia holidays.
Hannah – Quito, Ecuador
“I love the whole of Ecuador, and I’m not sure anything could ever top my trip to the Galapagos. Having said that, I have a particularly soft spot for Quito as I was lucky enough to live there and really get to know the city. Most people only spend a day or two there and visit the Panecillo and the historic centre which is full of beautiful churches, squares and historic buildings, but there is so much more to see. There are lots of parks which each have their own charm – in Eijido you can watch the locals playing volleyball, in Carolina you can visit the botanical gardens and in Metropolitano there are some amazing hiking trails with stunning views of the surrounding volcanoes. Quito is split into various different neighbourhoods, my favourite being La Floresta which is known for its colourful street art, galleries and cafes.”
All of our Galapagos & Ecuador holidays start in Quito.
Graham – The Amazon
“I would say my favourite place in Latin America would be the Amazon Jungle. The uniqueness of the wildlife and the activities available make it an incredible place; swimming with pink river dolphins in Rurrenabaque, seeing the macaws at the Tambopata Research Center, spying on a family of giant river otters at the Sandoval Lake Lodge.”
If you're planning a trip to the Amazon, read our blog for some advice on what to pack.
Becky – Patagonia
“I like how wild and remote Patagonia is. I love the colour of the glacial lakes and hiking towards the mountain peaks that slip in and out of the clouds so the view is constantly changing. I enjoyed the feeling of being windswept after a day of hiking and returning to a cosy, warm hotel and sitting by the open fire with a glass of local wine. The glaciers are also an incredible sight and unlike anything I’ve seen elsewhere – the intermittent groaning of the ice as the glacier shifts is eerie and mesmerising. The food is also great: Patagonian lamb; crab; steaks; ice cream; calafate berries; chocolate; craft beer…etc!”
Admire the unspoiled wilderness of Patagonia on our Chile & Argentina holidays.
Karen – Brazil
“My favourite place in Latin America is Brazil. The cities are huge metropolises full of street art, museums, parks, ancient and modern architecture, fantastic nightclubs and, of course, amazing food. There are so many great restaurants, from contemporary to oriental food so you can eat different meals every day without ever getting bored. Plus, there is lots of street food and you can even find great options for vegans or their famous “pastel”! It’s surprisingly good, worth a try!”
Click to browse all our Brazil holidays.
Catherine – San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
“Living somewhere for a year you’re bound to form some kind of connection with the place. I think I would’ve loved it even on a short stint though, thanks to the crazy beautiful scenery, all that sunshine and the super laid back vibe of San Pedro de Atacama. Time moves a little slower there and in a small traditional adobe town surrounded by volcanoes and mountains, there is a photo opportunity at the end of every block.”
This beautiful region can be explored as an extension to our Natural Wonders of Chile holiday.
Mari – Arenal, Costa Rica
“My favourite place is Arenal in Costa Rica mainly because there is so much to do there. If you are looking to be active you can hike the Arenal Volcano National Park or Tenorio Volcano National park or visit the hanging bridges park. If you are into adventurous activities you can try ziplining or white river rafting. If you are looking for relaxation you can enjoy the facilities of a nice hotel in the area and there are many lovely hotels there or you can visit the Tabacon Hot Springs and relax in its mineral water pools. I think Arenal offers a full package with beautiful scenery, great outdoors activities and nice hotels.”
You can visit Arenal Volcano on any of our trips to Costa Rica. Click here to browse all Costa Rica holidays.
Paula – Peru
“The obvious answer would be Brazil, since it is where I was born and grew up, however, I betrayed my native country almost 5 years ago after a trip to Peru. That became my favourite place in South America, for its food, culture, people and the “Pisco Sour”. It was my first encounter with Pisco and ever since that trip Pisco Sour has become my favourite drink. Luckily living in London means I’m not short of places to have a little taste of Peruvian food and drink!”
Peru is Llama Travel’s original and most popular destination. Click here to browse all Peru holidays.
Pedrita – Chilean Patagonia
“The Chilean part of Patagonia is definitely one of the most remarkable places I have ever been to. The stunning landscapes will inspire you with well-preserved nature and diverse fauna. From the beautiful blue shades of the lakes and rivers to the breathtaking white of the glaciers and majestic Torres del Paine, this place has taken my breath away and has a special place in my heart.”
Read our blog about hiking Chile's Las Torres.
Nicholas – The Jungle
“I would have to say the jungle. I have been to a few different jungles in Latin America and had a good jungle experience in all of them. Waking up to the roar of the howler monkey (surely the true sound that you are in the jungle) and swimming in the Amazon (not knowing what is also swimming around you) are probably my highlights.”
If reading this has inspired you to go to Latin America, you can browse all our holidays here.