Top self-drive holidays
A self-drive holiday offers you the full flexibility and independence to explore the gems of Latin America in depth. Embark on a road trip in the adventurous mountains, along glaciers and meandering rivers and visit local villages and country towns. It gives you the flexibility to pause along the way to take pictures, try the local dishes or take in the views at your own pace.
These types of holidays also come with that peace of mind of our expert planning, reservations at carefully-selected accommodation and support whenever you need it. This makes self-driving holidays ideal for the adventurous spirit who appreciates the reassurance of seamless organisation and expert support. Have a look at a few of our favourites below.
This self-drive holiday is ideal for nature-lovers and features amazing landscapes across three contrasting regions of Patagonia in Argentina and Chile. Explore Argentina’s dazzling Lake District, visit one of Patagonia’s leading national parks: Los Glaciares, and finish in Torres del Paine National Park. Own transportation on this trip enables you to linger that bit longer to take in the views, capture the incredible landscape on camera or join one of the optional excursions.
Mexico is the perfect destination for a family trip with children of all ages. Our self-drive holiday is filled with fun things to do and fascinating places to visit. Everyone will guaranteed be in awe when they explore the ancient Maya sites, can fully relax on the sunny Caribbean beaches or go on an adventure in the Mexican jungle. This is all combined with the flexibility of your own transportation.
Self-driving in Cuba is a true adventure, with dirt tracks in the more rural areas, but good links between the main cities. This self-drive holiday explores Cuba’s highlights and is a great introduction to this amazing country. Walk around Havana’s historic centre before embarking on a journey exploring the limestone landscapes in the Viñales Valley and forests around Las Terrazas. Finally, a visit to Cienfuegos port, Pearl of the South and Trinidad can’t be missed.
This self-drive holiday takes it a step further by inviting you to explore Peru’s highlights and more remote areas in a four wheel drive (4WD). Where you’ll undoubtedly visit top sights such as Cusco, you’ll also be given the opportunity to access emerging destinations including the colonial city Ayacucho. Do you ever need a short break from driving on any section of the route? Support staff is available at all times to do the driving for you.
Nature and wildlife are some of Costa Rica’s main selling points, and the best way to explore it all is to get off the beaten track and onto the dirt and rural roads. So if you’re an adventurer and a confident driver, having your own transportation is perfect to explore this part of Latin America. Explore the mangrove forests with their misty landscape of ferns and orchids, venture on walk over hanging bridges, along waterfalls and in the shadow of Arenal Volcano, and end your trip on a Pacific beach.
Uruguay is nestled in between Brazil and Argentina, and offers a real sense of breathing space. The country's as large as England, but has only 3.5 million inhabitants. Explore the UNESCO gem of Colonia, Carmelo’s vineyards, Montevideo’s art-deco style and the beaches of José Ignacio during this self-drive holiday. Carefully selected lodgings will be waiting for you at each destination.
The mesmerizing country roads of Colombia now invite overseas drivers more than ever. Stay in beautifully restored colonial coffee farms during your trip through the peaceful coffee-growing region. Enjoy the magnificent views throughout the trip, and decide how much of the driving you’d like to do on your own, as an English-speaking driver will always be available to do the driving for you at times when you feel less confident.
Explore a little-visited region in Ecuador, once almost inaccessible to visitors. Now, with the introduction of a newly-paved route, Route 45, it allows you to explore this area to the fullest. Stay at forest-based lodges along the way, enjoy the wondrously scenic routes and immerse yourself in the way of life of indigenous communities. Climbing back on the high Andes, you’ll return north to Quito along the famed Avenue of the Volcanoes, a completely different environment of wide open spaces and ice-clad mountain peaks, some sizzling with activity.
Highlight followed by highlight on this self-drive holiday in Argentina. Culture-vultures will enjoy their visit to the bustling city of Buenos Aires, while nature enthusiasts will be generously treated to immense waterfalls, canyons and gorges. Sceneries change throughout the seasons, as well as the regional food and wine that certainly will please the taste buds too. This holiday is a great option for someone who has already been to Argentina and is looking to explore more of the northwest at their own pace in a hire car.
Nicaragua is one of Latin America’s remaining true adventure destinations. This friendly country remains little developed for tourism, which for some makes it an even more attractive destination. Guided by rhythms of age-old traditions and an unpressured economy there’s a lot to be discovered here. Its true appeal however lies in its gorgeous rural scenery, virtually empty roads and fascinating colonial cities. Explore it all during a self-drive holiday where you’ve the freedom to stop off at interesting little market towns or a panoramic viewpoint.
See a full list of our self-drive holidays here.
Your edit for Latin American inspiration
Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.View Extraordinary Inspiration
Carrie Gallagher - Travel Expert
A former JLA tour leader, Carrie brings a wealth of on-the-ground experience to our London-based Tailor-made and Group Tours department.
Hannah Waterhouse - Travel Expert
Hannah had an early introduction to Latin America when her family moved to Ecuador and she returned to study in Buenos Aires for a year before backpacking across the continent.
Juliet Ellwood - Travel Expert
After graduating with a degree in Anthropology and History and having been fascinated by Latin America since childhood by the book featuring photos of Nazca, Juliet first visited the region in 2003. Since then, Juliet has visited the majority of countries in Latin America but has particularly extensive experience with Peru, a country she loves for many reasons but not least, its incredible archaeological richness and delicious food!
Ben Line - Travel Expert
Ben fell in love with Latin America on a six month backpacking trip from Colombia to Mexico in 1995. Since then he has explored most of South America, including living in Peru for a year. He is now Head of Sales.
Paul Winrow-Giffin - Travel Expert
After graduating in Computer Science, Paul spent seven months travelling from Colombia to Argentina and came home hooked on Latin America.
Heloise Buxton - Travel Expert
Heloise started her Latin American journey as an exchange student in Santiago, Chile. With extended summer holidays this was the perfect opportunity to backpack through Bolivia, Peru, Argentina and Brazil.