Many people are eager to travel to South America again and are looking for information about when that will be possible. We will try to keep this post updated with the latest information we get from our local operators in each country.
When the worst of this pandemic is over and people start traveling internationally again, they will want to make sure that they can do it safely. Besides thinking about airports and airplanes, they should probably also consider some things about the destinations that they are traveling to. So here are some things that they might consider:
Many people never consider buying any form of travel insurance and many just figure it is an unjustified expense. Young people subconsciously feel they are invulnerable, but a lot of older people realize that they or their close relatives are living a more fragile existence and that the chances of some health crisis popping up are greatly increased, so they do consider getting insurance, in case they need to cancel their trip.
But there is one type of travel insurance that is increasingly becoming more important in this day and age....
Many people seem to think that travel to South America is dangerous. The U.S. Department of State recently came out with a new system of grading the safety of countries and it shows some interesting things
My wife and I just got our new passports back and I was going through the little booklets that they sent along with the passports. They actually had some information that I thought would be quite useful to know in order to avoid problems or to help you out if you are already having problems.
With over 41 million international arrivals in 2015 and an average growth of 5%, Latin America’s travel and tourism industry has incredible potential to help generate growth, create jobs and enable regional development.
But which countries are best positioned to benefit most from the industry? You might not be surprised to find out that beautiful natural sceneries like the Iguassu Falls and iconic cultural landmarks like Machu Picchu aren’t the only factors that determine whether a destination is competitive.
So which are the 10 most competitive countries in Latin America? And more importantly, what do they all have in common?
Have you or are you considering doing a tour or cruise to the Galapagos Islands? Have you already started looking at all of the options? There's a lot of them, aren't there? I just looked at the number of companies that exhibit at the South American trade show that I attend every year and I counted 28 that offer options to the Galapagos Islands. And that is just the number of companies who are willing to pay to meet with travel agents from all over the world! There are many other small companies that offer tours and cruises that other companies operate or they just have 1 small boat or hotel, so it is not worth it for them to pay to try to appeal to a worldwide audience.
In a recent Portrait of American Travelers study, it was noted that 67% of American travelers now express an interest in experiencing foreign foods. That is up from 51% just 2 years ago. Millenials showed the most interest while mature travelers showed the least interest. I wonder if that is partially due to tv celebrities like Andrew Zimmern and Anthony Bourdain who travel around the world eating local food? At any rate, it seems that will eventually hurt the malls I've seen in foreign countries that have nothing but American fast food restaurants in them.
South America is definitely an area where local chefs are developing cuisines that are evolving and enticing travelers.
I've written before about the delights of staying in one or more of the many haciendas that are available in Ecuador. Because they are owner-operated, historical and are often interwoven with the local community, they give you a richer experience than you would get if you just stay in a regular hotel. Of course if you are on a hostel budget, they would not be suitable for you, but some are reasonably affordable. As an example of what I am talking about, here is a very informative video presentation about one of my favorite haciendas:
One of our operators in Ecuador has just opened up a new facility called Magic Galapagos. Located in the quiet and cool highlands of Santa Cruz Island, this very special safari-style camp is available exclusively to their clients. With just six raised, walk-in, en-suite safari tents and four tree houses, guests feel that they have their own private hideaway. The only crowds they will see are the millions of stars in the night sky, the only noises they hear will be the gentle breezes and the measured passage of giant tortoises.
Jim has been an agent for over 20 years and has specialized in South America for much of that time