What is your favourite...
Santuario do Caraca – as an 18th Century monastery in the Brazilian highlands, I expected this place to be on the rustic end of accommodation, though I was prepared to rough it in exchange for experiencing its historical heritage and nature. There was no need for compromise this time, though: as well as the mod cons, including comfortable rooms and locally brewed ale, the monastery is beautiful and there are plenty of hiking trails one can do around the estate. At night, foxes and maned wolves come to feed on morsels left out for them. Right in front of spectating guests, no less.
As someone who’s very into nature and wildlife, I’d have to say Peninsula Valdes. Wildlife is abundant and extraordinary; three of the top highlights are whales that get within spitting distance of boats, groups of maras (guinea pigs with long legs) grazing out in the open plains and orcas that launch themselves onto beaches to catch sea lions. In addition to this, the village of Puerto Piramides is a delightful place to grab a coffee or go to the clifftops and watch the sun set over tens of frolicking whales.
The Amazon is a place I’ve always wanted to visit, so being able to do so from Colombia was a dream come true for me. It was every bit as lush and untamed as I’d imagined it, and the lodge I stayed at was one of the very few places where I can comfortably say the absence of Wifi never caused me even the edge of bother. The best excursion within this excursion was without a doubt trekking to a harpy eagle nest – those birds are so huge I probably could have ridden one at a younger age (if only that were possible).
Top packing tip
Bring layers AND shorts – nearly every in Latin America has bits that are baking and bits that are baltic. Sometimes this is because of elevation, often the case in Andean nations and also Costa Rica and Panama. At other times the country’s size means its climates vary from one end to the other – Argentina, going from the Iguazu Falls to Ushuaia, is a prime example.