With almost 40 years of experience in creating award-winning holidays to Central and South America, specialist tour operator Journey Latin America looks ahead at what is influencing travel in 2019.
Copper Canyon back on track
Mexico’s Copper Canyon in the north of the country has been put in the spotlight thanks to a newly launched premium train. Traversing the Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains, the brand new Chepe Express departs three times a week from Creel and heads south to Los Mochis, a journey of over 350km (217miles). Journey Latin America recommends breaking the journey in Divisadero and El Fuerte, spending a night in each location to appreciate the spectacular views, adventurous hikes and adrenaline-fuelled zip wires. The brand new train began operating in September 2018 and offers two carriage types; business and first class. Once on board, passengers can relax in the viewing carriage or enjoy a sophisticated meal in the elegant dining carriage offering superb panoramic views.
Journey Latin America’s 11 day Mexico’s Copper Canyon Railway and Baja Coastincludes the new Chepe Express and is priced at £2,204 per person
New Patagonia hiking route
A new hiking route in Chile called the Patagonian Route of Parks has been created by the tourist board in an effort to boost tourism and highlight the need for conservation. The route stretches 2,800km (1,740 miles) from the city of Puerto Montt down to Cape Horn. Encompassing 17 national parks, the new route links all of them together. Journey Latin America offers a variety of treks covering the Patagonian Route of Parks from full-day hikes in the remote Aisén region to explore blue-tinged glaciers and snow-capped peaks to longer treks such as the classic ‘W trek’ in Torres del Paine National Park.
Journey Latin America’s 13-day Active Chile: trek in Torres del Paine holiday includes Chile’s most famous hike in Torres del Paine National Park from £3,886 per person.
Papillon celebrates 50 years
April 30 2019 marks 50 years since the first publication of Papillon. The book was a best-selling autobiographical novel written by Henri Charrière that details his incarceration and subsequent escape from Devil’s Island, French Guiana. Aficionados of the book can join Journey Latin America on a three-week group tour of the Guianas spending a full-day on the Iles du Salut at the former penal colony. The archipelago lies about an hour out into the Caribbean and consists of 3 islands: Ile Royale, Ile St Joseph and Devil’s Island. The cells, guards’ quarters and administration blocks on Ile Royale have been converted into accommodation and dining facilities, and there’s an excellent small museum that recounts the history of the place, and the privations that both the convicts and the guards had to endure.
Journey Latin America’s 17-day Coq of the rock: trailblazing the Guianas starts from £4,402 per person.
The Falkland Islands just got closer
The Falkland Islands will be even more accessible thanks to a newly launched flight with LATAM starting in early 2019. Flying direct from São Paulo, Brazil once a week to Mount Pleasant, the new service adds to LATAM’s already weekly flight from Chile’s capital Santiago. A huge variety of wildlife can be seen on the archipelago; at least five species of penguin – gentoo, macaroni, rockhopper, king and African penguin. Elephant seals, sea-lions and seals, an abundance of birds, minke and killer whales can also be spotted here.
Journey Latin America offers a comprehensive 7-night itinerary visiting the war sites in Darwin, penguin colonies at Pebble Island, albatrosses on Volunteer Point, Sea-Lion Island famed for its abundant wildlife and the capital Port Stanley.
Journey Latin America’s 14 days Chile and the Falklands wildlife holiday starts from £5,918 per person.
New Flight to Rio
Low-cost airline Norwegian will launch a direct flight to Rio de Janeiro on 31 March 2019. Flying four times a week from Gatwick, the new direct non-stop service will complement British Airway’s daily service from Heathrow.
Journey Latin America offers a 9-day Brazil Emerald Coast Tour spending 3 nights in the ‘marvellous city’ of Rio de Janeiro before heading down the Emerald Coast to the forest-cloaked island of Ilha Grande and the colonial town of Paraty for £1,216 per person.
Total Solar Eclipse
Argentina will take centre stage on 2 July, 2019 when a total solar eclipse will unfold over the southern hemisphere. Pinpointing Rio Cuarto as the best place to observe this cosmic phenomenon, Journey Latin America is offering a One-off Solar Eclipse Argentina holiday for £2,452 per person. The 10-day tour begins in sophisticated Buenos Aires before exploring the Andean mountain ranges of Salta with its blood red canyons and high-altitude vineyards then finishes with the solar eclipse as the grand finale.
Hats off to Panama
There is sure to be a party atmosphere in Panama City throughout the year as the skinny isthmus best known for the giant Panama Canal celebrates the 500th year of its founding by the Spanish on August 15. Discover tropical scenery, diverse wildlife and beautiful coastline with coral reefs, islands and undeveloped beaches on Journey Latin America’s newly launched 13 day Self-drive Panama: Discover the Pacific Coastfrom £2,702 per person.
Havana 500th Anniversary
With 2019 marking the 500th anniversary of the founding of Havana on November 16, there’s never been a better time to visit Cuba. In preparation of the celebrations, Journey Latin America has revamped all its Cuba holidays by adding new boutique hotel accommodation – a new trend in Cuba – as well as tweaked the itineraries to make them even better value than before.
Hike, bike and salsa your way around the largest island in the Caribbean on Journey Latin America’s 16-day Active Cuba holiday from £3,194 per person. Visit Havana’s historic centre, travel to colonial Trinidad, the limestone region of Viñales valley, go walking in the historic city of Santiago, discover Castro’s pre-revolution hiding place in the Sierra Maestra and finish off in the charming coastal town of Baracoa.
For further information visit on Journey Latin America visitjourneylatinamerica.co.uk or call 020 8600 1881
All prices are per person and based on two sharing a room. Prices quotes include domestic flights, transfers, good-quality mid-range accommodation on a B&B basis and excursions. International flights are extra.