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History & Culture

Chile: Hotel Antumalal celebrates the 50th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth 2nd's visit

2 days ago
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Just back from Peru

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one month ago
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48 hours in... Santiago

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one month ago
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Turtle and tortoise spotting in Latin America

2 months ago

Upcoming Event

16/06/2018 - 30/11/2018

Frida Kahlo Making Her Self Up - London

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Just back from: Brazil

2 months ago
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Travelling in Latin America with Type One Diabetes

3 days ago
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Places to see in the New Year

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2 months ago
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Latin America's best day hikes

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2 months ago
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Discover Lake Titicaca on an Epic Group Journey Across South America

2 months ago
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Stories from the Road: Our Nandu group tour

2 months ago
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Our guide to successful long journeys with children

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2 months ago
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The best whale watching locations in Latin America

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3 months ago

Upcoming Event

01/10/2018 - 28/02/2019

Monarch Butterflies - Mexico

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9 Things you should know before travelling to the Galápagos Islands with kids

3 months ago

Ask the experts

My wife and I are interested on a long trip to Peru, including Lake Titicaca and Machu Picchu, but also Ecuador, including the Amazon Rainforest and the Galápagos Islands. We wondered whether it would be better to make one trip or two dependiing on the best travel period for each area. We're both over 65s but reasonably fit.

Asked by A R

Thank you for contacting us about your possible trip to Peru and Ecuador, we certainly can help you.

Peru and Ecuador combines very nicely as they are next to each either and there are plenty of flights between both countries, if you can allow at least 3 weeks for this trip, I think is better to do it in one trip.

The warmer months for Galapágos is December until March, the water is clear with good visibility specially if you want to do snorkelling , these months however, are the wettest for Peru as it’s their summer and rainy season (February particularly).

To compromise for these 2 countries, I think that April-May are very good for both.

You can see the boats we work with in Galapagos as they vary in size from small, medium and large and let us know what’s your preference.

Have a look also one of our trips that combines Peru and Galapagos called Peru Wildlife: Pristine Amazon and enchanted Galápagos

I hope this information is useful, feel free to contact us on 020 8747 8315 or enquire online.

Ask your question See more questions

Upcoming Events

Coyoacan, Mexico City

Frida Kahlo Making Her Self Up

16 Jun - 30 Nov 2018

The Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up exhibition at the V&A London showcases a collection of personal artefacts and clothing belonging to the iconic Mexican artist. It’s the first time that the collection will be exhibited outside Mexico.

Monarch Butterflies

1 Oct 2018 - 28 Feb 2019

Each year approximately 250 million orange and black Monarch butterflies travel for distances as great as 3,100 miles in order to avoid the freezing cold temperatures in Canada and the north of the USA. Millions of these monarchs spend their winter in the Pineridges Mountains of Michoacan state, Mexico, where they cluster together by the thousands. This is a spectacle of nature not to be missed.

Antartic Circle

Antarctic summer

31 Oct 2018 - 2 Mar 2019

Cruising around Antarctica is only possible between late October to early March. During the Antarctic summer there are long hours of daylight. The sun tints the ice from an extraordinary palette of pink, crimson and violet. The sheer scale of Antarctica overwhelms: towering ice walls, giant tabular icebergs, and rugged snow-streaked mountains. At this time of year, the theatre of wildlife in the Antarctic is ever-changing –- birds court and mate in November, give birth to their young in December/January and fledge and despatch them in February. The beaches teem with seals and penguins, and the icy sea is home to orca, minke, killer and grey whales.

Quito, Ecuador

Fiestas de Quito

29 Nov - 6 Dec 2018

Fiestas de Quito is a weeklong festival celebrating the foundation of Quito, Ecuador. Activities include bullfighting, parades, flamenco dancing, opera and theatre shows.

La Quema del Diablo

7 - 7 Dec 2018

Guatemalans strongly believe that by burning rubbish from their homes and streets they are purging their homes and towns of evil. The piles of collected rubbish are set alight in the evening and people gather to celebrate a longstanding tradition of Quema del Diablo (The Burning of the Evil). Men dress up as devils and give chase to local children, while Antigua's Convent of Conception erects an effigy of Lucifer himself, which is also set ablaze.

Fiesta Chichicacastenango

Fiesta de Santo Tomas

13 - 21 Dec 2018

The Fiesta de Santo Tomas takes place over the seven days leading up to St Thomas’s Day on December 21, and is arguably one of the biggest and best annual events in Central America. Held in the relatively remote highland town of Chichicastenango, the festival combines Catholic and native Mayan traditions in a series of unique dances, processions and live music.

Central Oaxaca

La Noche de Rabanos

23 - 23 Dec 2018

La Noche de Rábanos or `Radish Night' is one of the most unique folk art festivals in the world and takes place every December 23rd in Oaxaca. Three days before the festival, artists begin carving their freshly dug radishes, spraying them constantly with water to maintain freshness. On the night of the competition, artisans display their ornate and lovingly created radish sculptures, ranging from representations of small animals and human figures to grand dioramas of the Nativity.

Santuranticuy Festival

24 - 24 Dec 2018

Hundreds of artisans gather to sell traditional carved Nativity figures and saints’ images on Plaza de Armas in Cusco, Peru.

Silvia Market

Cali Fair

25 - 30 Dec 2018

Each Christmas Cali enjoys the rich festival programme of one of Colombia's most renowned national events, the Cali Fair (Feria de Cali). The city is the salsa capital of Colombia, so there's plenty of lively Latin-American dancing. Unlike the many large Latin city fairs which concentrate on livestock, this event focuses on parties and parades. Salsa is not exclusively a Cuban phenomenon and Colombia has a well-established hip-shaking scene.

Christmas in Mexico City

Christmas

25 - 25 Dec 2018

Christmas in Latin America is not just celebrated on Christmas day but weeks in advance. It's a time for family gatherings and homemade cooking along with mass services and fireworks.

New Year in Rio de Janeiro

New Years Eve in Rio de Janeiro

31 - 31 Dec 2018

The tradition Révellion bonfire show in Copacabana beach with millions of eager onlookers dressed in the traditional white, is a staple image shown across the world in the New Year.

Panama City

Panama Jazz Festival

14 - 19 Jan 2019

Panama Jazz Festival was founded in 2003 by Panamanian Grammy-winning pianist Danilo Pérez. The festival offers a week of master classes by some of the finest institutions in the field and attracts thousands of visitors each year. 

Cartagena

Hay Festival Cartagena - Colombia

24 - 27 Jan 2019

Hay Festival is an annual literature festival hosted in different cities and countries in the world, modeled after the original festival held in Hay-on-Wye, Wales. 

Easter Island

Tapati Festival

1 - 27 Feb 2019

During the first two weeks of February each year, the whole of Easter Island  comes together for a unique celebration of their culture, involving music, dance and traditional sports. 

The festival has always been organised by the locals for the locals: it is not merely a commercial show put on for tourists.  Nevertheless, visitors are strongly encouraged to attend, and even participate, and if you can arrange your stay to coincide with the festival, it’s certainly an un-missable experience.  

Uros island, Lake Titicaca

Fiesta de la Virgen de la Candalaria

2 - 11 Feb 2019

The Virgin of Candelaria Feast in honour of the patron of the city of Puno, represents the largest and one of the most important cultural events in Peru. The celebration develops day after day during the first two weeks of February, and over 40,000 dancers and 9,000 musicians cheer and decorate the streets of Puno. Processions, dances, music and firework displays are only a few examples of events that take place during the festival. 

Pisco Sour Day

Pisco Sour Day

2 - 2 Feb 2019

After much harassment by its masses, the Peruvian government agreed to name a day on which the people of Peru could formally celebrate the invention of its favourite drink, the pisco sour.

Made by mixing Pisco, lemon juice and egg whites with crushed ice and finished with an all-important touch of Angostura bitters, the Pisco Sour is one of Peru’s greatest national treasures. A celebration of tastings, competitions and Pisco parties abound in Lima on the first Saturday of February each year.

Mexico City

Zonamaco Mexico Arte Contemporaneo

6 - 10 Feb 2019

Established in 2002 by Zélika Garcia, ZONAMACO is one of the leading art fairs in Latin America and takes place at Centro Citibanamex in Mexico City. The event brings together a large selection of leading and emerging international galleries. 

Visit Charles Darwin Research Centre

Darwin Day

12 - 12 Feb 2019

Darwin Day is a celebration to commemorate the anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin on 12th February 1809 and to highlight his contributions to science. On his visit to the Galápagos Islands, Darwin discovered several species of finches that varied from island to island. This helped him to develop his theory of natural selection. 

Oruro carnival

Oruro Carnaval

23 Feb - 4 Mar 2019

The Carnival of Oruro is a religious festival, featuring street parades, folk dances, extravagant costumes, local crafts and live music. Originally an indigenous festival, the celebration later was transformed to incorporate a Christian ritual around the Virgin of Candelaria which takes place on 2nd March. 

Mendoza

Fiesta Nacional de la Vendimia

25 Feb - 11 Mar 2019

The Fiesta Nacional de la Vendimia (The Grape Harvest National Festival) takes places annually in Mendoza, Argentina. It's a celebration of wine and the winemaking industry and is one of the most important festival in the countries, attracting a large number of visitors to the region. The  main event takes place in the Greek Theater in Mendoza City and features live music, dance and lights - hundreds of actors and dancers display their art in a gigantic show. 

Rio Carnival

Rio Carnival

2 - 9 Mar 2019

Rio Carnival is an annual festival held before Lent and is considered the biggest carnival in the world with two million people per day on the streets. The carnival parade features floats, dancers wearing colourful costumes and adornments from local samba schools.

Doka Coffee Estate in Costa Rica

Oxcart Drivers Day

10 - 10 Mar 2019

Oxcarts were used in the past to transport coffee from the central valley to the port of Puntarenas in Costa Rica. Every year this tradition is celebrated with a colourful parade with the participation of more than 300 oxcart drivers who visit from all over the country.

Chichen Itza

Spring Equinox at Chichen Itza

20 - 20 Mar 2019

Experiencing the spring equinox at Chichén Itzá, Mexico is something unique. The Maya used their astronomy and engineering skills to build the Temple of Kukulcan in a way that late in the afternoon of the spring equinox, a shadow and light phenomenon occurs that depicts a feathered serpent slithering down the steps of the pyramid.

Semana santa

Semana Santa

14 - 20 Apr 2019

Semana Santa (Holy Week) is celebrated all over Latin America but is at its most spectacular in Antigua, Guatemala. The celebrations begin on Palm Sunday and run throughout the Easter weekend and are a visual feast not to be missed.

The streets are carpeted in brightly coloured designs made from sawdust, fruit and flowers depicting the last days of Christ and there are thronging processions of religious floats accompanied by locals dressed in bright purple robes.

Dia de los trabajadores

Labour Day

1 - 1 May 2019

If you are traveling in Latin America on the first day of May, you can expect to find banks, government offices, stores, post offices and businesses closed for the day as people celebrate the Día Internacional Del Trabajo with parades, demonstrations and other symbols of solidarity with the worker.

It is  celebrated in Central America, for example Costa Rica and Panama, and in some parts of the Caribbean, including Cuba. It is also a national holiday in Mexico. In South America, it is observed in countries such as: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

Bolivian weaving

Fiesta de las Cruces

3 - 3 May 2019

Fiesta de las Cruces commemorates the moment when Byzantine Empress Saint Helena found the cross that was used for Jesus’ crucifixion. Nowadays, it’s an annual celebration in several countries in Latin America.

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de mayo

5 - 5 May 2019

Cinco de Mayo is a regional holiday limited primarily to the state of Puebla held every year on the 5th May. It commemorates the unlikely victory over the French army at the Battle of Puebla on (that day) 1862.

The celebrations are principally focused in the town of Puebla, but it is also celebrated throughout the United States. The actual date holds little significance these days, but the holiday has now become a celebration, particularly in the US, of Mexican heritage and pride, much as St. Patrick's Day is used to celebrate those of Irish ancestry. The celebrations in Puebla are still well worth seeing, despite the event becoming more of an American festival with celebrations taking place in more than 150 locations throughout the country.

Jesuit Route - Trinidad

Paraguay Independence Day

14 - 14 May 2019

On 14th May the people from Paraguay celebrate the day of independence from Spanish rule. This day is usually spent with friends and family, celebrating outdoors with barbecues, music and drinks. In large towns and cities, parades are organised.

El Gran Poder

15 - 16 Jun 2019

Fiesta El Gran Poder is a traditional religious event held in the city of La Paz which pays homage to Jesus Christ. Held annually this is no longer just a small spiritual feast, gathering thousands of spectators, it has grown into an enormous festival with over 100 dance groups participating in the parade wearing colourful and intricate costumes.

Corpus Christi

Corpus Christi

20 - 20 Jun 2019

The festival of Corpus Christi celebrates the Eucharist as the body of Christ. The name 'Corpus Christi' is Latin for 'the body of Christ'. In some Latin American cities, such as Cusco, in addition to a Mass, there are effervescent processions.

Thronging with crowds lining the cobbled streets, Cusco comes alive with effigies of Christ and the Virgin Mary. Each effigy is beautifully clothed in stunningly intricate costumes and is carried through the streets by the religious processions, making this an extraordinary spectacle.

Inti Raymi

Inti Raymi - Festival of the Sun

22 - 22 Jun 2019

Peru celebrates some 3,000 festivals a year, of which the most significant is Inti Raymi, a reenactment of the Inca Festival of the Sun.

The extravagant festival is held inside the ruins of Cusco's Sacsayhuamán fortress and attended by hundreds of visitors, seated among the ruins.

Christ the Redeemer

Festas Juninas

24 - 24 Jun 2019

Festa Junina (June Festival) is a Catholic tradition that takes place in June to celebrate saints and new plantation seasons. Bonfires, games, music, food and drink are important aspects of the festivities.

The Angel Falls, Venezuela

Fiesta de San Juan Bautista

24 - 24 Jun 2019

St John de Baptist is the patron saint to many in Central America, and is commemorated every year with several religious and cultural events in Venezuela accompanied by drums, liquor and dancing.

Ceviche

National Ceviche Day

28 - 28 Jun 2019

If you are partial to a bit of fresh ceviche - marinated raw fish - head to Peru for la Día Nacional del Cebiche on June 28th next year.

Ceviche is virtually a national obsession and National Ceviche Day is an annual event celebrating Peru's simplest, but most delicious dish. Lima and Callao are two of the best places to spend the day - but remember, Ceviche is a lunchtime dish so build your appetite from the previous night!

solar eclipse

Total solar eclipse north Chile and Argentina

2 - 2 Jul 2019

The next total solar eclipse will take place on 2nd July 2019, and will best be viewed from the north-central region of Chile and Argentina. For totality, the best chance to see it is in the Elqui Valley in Chile, as it has a sunny climate. Other potential good spots to observe this phenomenon are the Andes of San Juan province or Rio Cuarto in Argentina. 

Santiago de Cuba

Fiesta del Fuego

3 - 9 Jul 2019

The week-long raunchy street party known as the Fiesta del Fuego takes place in Santiago on Cuba's east coast. Celebrate Caribbean culture by dancing all night long, fuelled by a steady supply of the delicious Cuban Havana Club rum.

Santiago de Cuba, "the first city of the revolution", is a town with a history of popular insurgency that long predates Castro's revolution. Like all good revolutionaries, the Santiaguerros know how to throw a good party.

Venezuela Independence Day

5 - 5 Jul 2019

The people from Venezuela celebrate Independence Day on 5 July. Major towns and cities organise live events on the streets, including music concerts and huge fireworks displays.

Cartagena

Colombia Independence Day

20 - 20 Jul 2019

Colombia celebrates Independence Day on 20 July. Parades and marches are held throughout Colombia. Other popular activities on this day include watching sports and listening to traditional folk music.

cusco dancers

Peru Independence Day

28 - 28 Jul 2019

On 28 July annually, Peruvians throw patriotic parties and attend both military and civilian celebrations to commemorate  the Declaration of Peru's Independence (1821) by the liberator José de San Martín: Fiestas Patrias. Even in the most remote communities throughout the country houses and businesses fly the Peruvian flag from the start of the month.

On the night of July 27th, Peruvians fill plazas and public parks and thrill to performances of folk and Creole music.  At dawn on July 28 there’s a salvo of 21 cannons, to herald the ceremony of the raising of the flag. On the following day, before a military parade is held in downtown Lima, the Te Deum ceremony, attended by the president, is celebrated in the Lima Cathedral.

In various parts of the country, Peruvians also hold agricultural and livestock fairs alongside events which are the soul of Creole culture: cockfighting, bullfighting and exhibitions by Peruvian pace horses.

Colourful street in La Paz, Bolivia

Bolivia Independence Day

6 - 6 Aug 2019

On 6th August, the people from Bolivia commemorate the Declaration of Independence by Simon Bolivar on 6th August 1825. It’s celebrated featuring colourful military parades, gun salutes, street dances, food, music and fireworks.

Brazil flag

Brazil Independence day

7 - 7 Sep 2019

Thousands of people get together throughout Brazil to celebrate Brazilian Independence Day every year. The date celebrates Brazil's Declaration of Independence from the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves on September 7, 1822.

People gather in the streets celebrating with banners, balloons and streamers. Students take part in the parade held on the morning waving their Brazilian flags. Military parades take place in many towns and cities but there’s a carnival atmosphere throughout the day where people of all ages take In the evening people gather to see firework displays. 

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