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The Llama Travel Blog

Our Sales Supervisor, Mari, recently visited Mexico on our inaugural Mexico departure. She discovered a place where ancient indigenous cultures meet modern inventions and form the most fascinating hybrids!

My journey through Mexico took me to amazing places. One which deserves a special mention is San Juan de Chamula, a small town just outside San Cristobal de las Casas. Here Maya culture is alive and well, and visiting the local church really blew my mind.

Suzi Livingstone, Llama's Operations Manager, spent a few nights in the lap of luxury in the Tierra Atacama hotel, our superior hotel option in the Atacama.

On my recent trip to Chile I was lucky enough to be able to stay at the Tierra Atacama (Llama Travel's superior hotel option in Chile’s Atacama Desert, ), situated in the tourist town of San Pedro de Atacama. Having worked with this hotel for some time, I had pretty high expectations when I arrived. I’m glad to report that Tierra Atacama exceeded my expectations, by a long shot.

Food and culture go hand-in-hand, and it follows that eating is a very important aspect of travel for many people. I, for one, find eating the weird and wonderful food of other countries to be among the most enjoyable aspects of travel. I love food in general, and I also love adventures, so culinary adventures are right up my alley. There is little I find more enjoyable when travelling, than sitting myself down at an unassuming little spot off the main drag, and indulging in whatever dish comes recommended by the staff.

I can’t really explain why I’ve always wanted to visit Easter Island; I guess I just can’t resist a good mystery, and Easter Island holds plenty of these. The big-headed men staring down at the island residents and passing tourists have seen many things in their lifetimes, and I wanted to learn more about who they were, and how on earth they got there.

In Part 2, the self-proclaimed “Best Daughters Ever” and their mum head out on a dawn wildlife-spotting boat ride through the Tortuguero National Park in Costa Rica. You can read Part 1 of their Costa Rica adventure here.

The next morning the ‘Llamas’, as our little group had become known to ourselves and everyone else, were a little mosquito-bitten and blurry eyed, but excited for the nature cruise. “We didn’t even need alarm clocks in the end,” we chatted happily amongst ourselves, “Did you hear those howler monkeys?!”, “I thought the smoke monster from Lost was after us!”.

We boarded our llama boat and we were not even one minute into the cruise before we had our first wildlife sighting: dolphins jumping and playing in the waters right off the docks! It was a spectacular start for what was to be a fantastic excursion.

This year, my sister and I officially won the ‘Best Daughters Ever’ award, as for Mother’s Day we didn’t just buy our nature-loving mum a bunch of flowers, or even a puppy. We bought her a holiday to Costa Rica, the most biologically diverse country in the world and home to some of earth’s most exotic flora and fauna!

We're delighted that airlines are twigging on to the magic that is Latin America, and as the region's popularity grows, so airlines are responding. It is now easier than ever to get to Latin America from the UK,  with direct flights to various destinations throughout South and Central America. The latest flight announcement comes from British Airways, whose direct flight to San José, Costa Rica starts on April 27th 2016, and the direct flight to Lima, Peru starts on May 4th 2016. Both routes originate from London Gatwick

Gary Finnerty, our Sales Manager, spent 6 months travelling in Latin America before finding himself on Llama Travel's doorstep. This is his account of his time in Torres del Paine National Park in Chile.

“I will never forget it.” Those were the words uttered by a friend which convinced me that I should visit Torres Del Paine National Park, a natural wonder at the bottom of the earth. Coming from a seasoned traveller, I trusted her word - all I knew was that I wanted to visit Patagonia, I knew very little about the geography or what it had to offer. The more I learnt about it the more excited I became.

The journey from Ushuaia was a long but fascinating one, the landscape changing dramatically along the way and with a river and border crossing to keep things interesting. I arrived into Puerto Natales late at night and travelled to the park the next day.

Strolling up the street towards the local market, the din of buyers and sellers negotiating deals gets louder as you approach the entrance. On the block leading up to the large covered area, the pavements burst with temporary stalls and once inside, the intensity of a local market in full swing hits you.

A stall laden with colourful fruit catches your eye, and next to it, one astonishes you with its variety of root vegetables. Further down the aisle you can buy fruit smoothies and milky drinks and then you turn a corner and are suddenly confronted with a hunk of meat hanging off a hook, a pig head resting on the corner of the counter and the distinct smell of raw meat.

Travelling is, without a doubt, one of life’s great pleasures. Soaking up the scenery in an exotic locale, learning about foreign cultures and pushing the boundaries of your personal comfort zone are things that make the endeavour rewarding, but it can be pricey. It makes sense to do your research before handing over your cash to just any old tour operator, but with so many options out there, how do you begin to decide which company is going to deliver on your dream trip?

If you need some tips for choosing the right company for you, read on!