Some travel destinations require a superior amount of planning and logistics in order to witness one-of-a-kind natural phenomena, celebrations and more—and that’s why now is the time to plan for 2022. And if the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s a newfound appreciation for slowing down. Take a look at the following destination-specific adventures that are best planned out a year in advance and consider which could be ideal for you and your travel companions. Afterall, some things (and places) are worth the extra wait.
Trek to Machu Picchu
The Inca citadel, located in the Sacred Valley of Peru, is one of the most popular tourist attractions in all of Latin America. One of the New Seven Wonders of the World, part of what makes Machu Picchu extraordinary for travelers is the journey of getting there: be it on a stylish train ride that follows the Vilcanota River or by walking in the footsteps of one of the most ingenious cultures of the Americas along the Inca Trail.
Planning a trip to Machu Picchu must be done in advance considering that entry tickets to the Inca Trail, the iconic site and its less famous mountain sister, Huayna Picchu, are limited. Whatsmore, even the most in shape of travelers need to train in order to do the full 4-day, 3-night Inca Trail trek considering the altitude (13,776 ft or 4200m at its highest point).
Additional info: Machu Picchu closes every February for maintenance. The rainy season (and consequently least ideal time for trekking) occurs during December to March. Consider visiting Cusco during the last week of June when the spectacular Inti Raymi sun festival takes place.
Home to a fascinating array of land and marine species found nowhere else on the planet and a natural playground for all fitness levels, the isolated Galapagos archipelago is a favorite among families who travel together. Perfect for groups of 8+ and offering fully private island-hopping, the ultimate way to experience the Galapagos Islands is aboard a private charter or yacht—not to mention it will maximize together-time and privacy.
This UNESCO World Heritage site takes strict measures to ensure that the local environment remains protected, and that includes limiting the number of boats and tourists that enter each year. As well, considering the archipelago encompasses over 20 islands and can be explored by both land and sea, there are many options that must be chosen carefully for this once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
Additional info: Looking to catch the Giant Galapagos Tortoise migration to the Santa Cruz highlands? Plan your Galapagos cruise for August.
Our planet’s southernmost continent, Antarctica provides travelers with far more wellness and adventure opportunities than most would expect from a land that is covered by 90% ice. A place where wildlife thrives and cities are absent, there are adventure opportunities for all levels in the remote and relatively recently discovered White Continent.
Planning ahead is essential when it comes to Antarctica. In fact, the Latin Excursions team is currently booking and customizing trips for 2022/2023.
Additional info: From fly-cruise to cruise-cruise, get to know your options for an Antarctic cruise.
There comes a time for every globetrotter when the alpine lakes and glaciers of Patagonia beckon us to head south, towards the end of the world. But it’s not a journey to be done impulsively. Stretching 402,704 square miles across southern Argentina and Chile, Patagonia is a land of fire and ice, and the experiences to had are just as diverse.
In order to see and do the most on a bespoke Patagonia adventure, it is best to plan ahead. For one, the logistics of getting there require some decision making as travelers can choose to fly into either Santiago (Chile) or Bueno Aires (Argentina) from where a connecting flight to Patagonia can be taken.
Additional info: From visiting the Serengeti of the Southern Cone to cruising the fjord glaciers, these are the top things to see and do in Patagonia.
Jungle Excursions in the Amazon
Housing over 10% of all species known on Earth, the Amazon is an incredibly complex and extensive natural territory. In fact, the rainforest is shared by—in order of north to south—Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil and Bolivia. And depending on where in the Amazon you visit, the experiences and perspective gained will be quite distinct.
Take time to research which element of the Amazon intrigues you most and, accordingly, which country will play host. Full of untamed wildlife, it’s easy to immerse deep into the jungle in order to reconnect with yourself, however there are also cities like Iquitos (Peru) and Manaus (Brazil) that show a vibrant mix of jungle and urban cultures. Meanwhile, luxury cruises down the Amazon River snake alongside indigenous communities that (through sustainable partnerships with respected tour companies) invite guests on treks as they share knowledge of medicinal plants.
Additional info: When it rains in the Amazon, it pours—and the wet season runs typically from February to July (though in Bolivia the rain can start in November). Pack accordingly but also stay open minded: anything can happen in the jungle, from a spontaneous streak of sunny days to sudden showers.
Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro
If a week of music, street parades and samba dancing (or spectating) sounds like the cultural experience you’ve been craving, do not miss the chance to visit Brazil’s huge seaside city during the month of February.
Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro has its copy-cats around the world, but nothing matches the original open-air, city-wide party. Certain elements, such as the famous Sambadrome, are by ticket only. Not to mention, there is steep competition for rooms and service at the best hotels and restaurants. The celebration occurs right before the fasting season for Lent, so the locals go all out—so you should too. Plan ahead to get the best rooms, views and opportunities during one of the biggest parties in Latin America.
Additional info: Paired with a local guide, we can help you filter through the 50+ street parties that spring from Carnaval (in order to choose the one that matches your intensity and interest) and purchase assigned-seating to performances in order to avoid having to pull an all-nighter.