Venturing through Latin America

written by | Posted on December 4th, 2012

explora’s Photographic Expeditions.
Photo courtesy of explora S.A.

Whether your client wants to capture the scenery in Latin America through their photo lens, or experience different wine regions by bike, here are a few tours for all types of adventure-seekers.

explora
Travelers with a passion for outdoor photography can explore South America on explora’s new Photographic Expeditions. The 5-day trips take travelers on treks in Patagonia and Atacama, sponsored by Nikon Inc., with explora guides tutored by photographer Katsuyoshi Tanaka.

“We are thrilled to partner with Nikon and Katsu as the lead photographer,” says Jesus Parrilla, CEO of explora. “Katsu has intimate knowledge of explora’s travel philosophy and principles. He has been able to capture the essence and spirit of the explora destinations like no one else we have worked closely with. That coupled with explora’s local knowledge and expert guiding makes this program a very exciting partnership.”

Trips to Patagonia include a visit to Grey Glacier, in the Southern Patagonia Ice Field; a horseback ride through the grasslands; and a trip to the French Valley, to take in the view of the lakes, Paine Grande Mountain and the Paine Horns.

In the Atacama, travelers have the opportunity to bike to Atacama Salt Lake; take a trip to Tatio Geysers; see the birds and wildlife while heading to Puritana Lake; and spend a day exploring the volcanic Altiplano Lakes.

“Photography gives you new perspective of the world. Through this program, the explora travelers will learn not only how to take pictures in an extreme landscape, they will also discover the unimaginable drama that only nature can create,” Tanaka says.

Travelers will also have the chance to meet with Tanaka for a critique session at the end of each day, to discuss their work.

Each trek will start and end at one of explora’s eco-friendly lodges—either Hotel Salto Chico in the Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia or Hotel de Larache in the Atacama Desert. Rates for Patagonia start at $3,780 pp dbl and $4,760 pp single; and rates for Atacama start at $3,640 pp dbl and $4,680 pp single. With the explora Passport, travelers can combine both tours into a 10-day trip and receive 5 percent off. Departures start in January 2013. For more information, call (866) 750-6699 or visit explora.com.

Avanti
Avanti Destinations has recently announced its 2013 Argentina tours, giving travelers a variety of packages to choose from.

“With its European roots, the culture of Argentina is a dynamic mix of historic cities, world-famous wines and fine cuisine—plus spectacular scenery unmatched anywhere else in the world,” says Harry Dalgaard, president of Avanti, in a press release. “We provide travel agents with the ability to easily create FIT itineraries that can be custom-tailored for each client in a way that helps cement a long-term relationship with each agent.”

One tour, the new 14-day End of the World Explorer, appeals to the outdoor enthusiast looking for an adventure off the beaten path. Travelers explore Southern Patagonia, in particular the Torres del Paine, Perito Moreno Glacier and Tierra del Fuego National Park. Accommodations include a 3-night stay in Buenos Aires; a 2-night stay in Calafate; a 2-night stay in Puerto Natales; a 4-night Australis cruise; and a 2-night stay in Ushuaia. Rates start at $3,999 pp dbl.

Travelers looking for something shorter can opt for the 6-day Argentina Short & Sweet, starting at $999 pp dbl. This tour can also be combined with other South American tours. It focuses on Buenos Aires and Igassu Falls, with a city tour, tango show, and tour of the falls. Travelers spend three nights in Buenos Aires and two nights in Iguassu.

Tour prices include taxes and service charges, ground transfers, and daily breakfast. For more information, call (800) 422-5053 or visit avantidestinations.com.

ExperiencePlus!
Clients looking for an active tour, while still hoping to savor the flavors of the country, can take Bicycling Chile’s Wine Country with ExperiencePlus!.

The tour takes travelers throughout the wine regions in Chile, starting in Santiago and then heading into Chile’s Central Valley. Along the way, travelers will stop for tastings, tours and spa treatments. They will also ride through the historic village of Lolol, while heading to the Pacific, taking in views of the shores of Lake Vichuquen and the fishing town, Duao, located on the coast.

Travelers can choose between the 8-day program and the 11-day program, which goes to the historic vineyard and manor house Viña Guilmore.

“Cycling is a great way to visit any region, it immerses you in a way that so few other means of travel can do.  This particular trip is perfect for anyone interested in learning about Chilean wines and the differences between the various wineries and vineyards as we visit three distinct wine growing regions,” says Maria Elena Price, director of ExperiencePlus! Bicycle Tours. “On our extended 11-Day itinerary we also are able to see beyond the wineries and stay in quaint fishing villages on the Pacific coast, giving our travelers a true sense of daily life in smaller towns—and this provides an interesting contrast to the wine valleys as well.”

Accommodations for the 8-day trip include a 1-night stay at Hotel Rio Bidasoa; a 1-night stay at Hacienda Santa Clara; a 2-night stay at one of the oldest haciendas in Colchagua Valley, Las Majadas; a night at Hotel Santa Cruz Plaza; a night at Hotel Marina Vichuquen; a night at Hosteria Donde Gilberto, on the Pacific Coast; and one night at Cabanas Playa El Cable.

The 8-day tour takes place March 9-16, 2013 and Oct. 12-19, 2013 and costs $3,550 pp dbl ($500 single supplement). The 11-day tour will run March 9-19, 2013 and Oct. 12-22, 2013 and costs $4,595 pp dbl ($600 single supplement).

For more information, visit experienceplus.com.