Havana in Cuba. Photo: Supplied

Ancient archaeological sites, tropical rainforests, exotic wildlife and beautiful beaches, Latin America’s got the lot. It’s an endlessly beguiling destination with myriad travel possibilities. But where to go? If you’re planning to visit Central and South America, Trafalgar has the inside scoop on the hottest destinations right now that will have you reaching for your passport in a heartbeat.

Peru

Trace the footsteps of the ancients along Peru’s Inca trail. A country steeped in history, Peru is brimming with archaeological wonders. From the sacred sky city of Machu Picchu to the mysterious tombs surrounding Lake Titicaca, there are thousands of years of history to delve into. Drink Pisco Sours and visit colonial churches at Peru’s coastal capital, Lima and explore fascinating Andean rituals and colourful handicrafts in Peru’s many small villages scattered across the country.

Yucatan Peninsula

Turquoise seas and powdery-white sand make Mexico an alluring beach destination, but travel deep into the heart of its Yucatan jungles and you’ll unearth the wonders of long-lost Mayan civilisations and wonderful wildlife. The mystical pyramid complex of Chichén Itzá and the Ek Balam acropolis are must-see parts of Mexico’s enchanting Mesoamerican history. Witness pink flamingos in their native habitat at Celestun Biosphere Reserve.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is one of the world’s happiest countries for a reason; verdant landscapes, cerulean waters, awe-inspiring volcanoes, cloud forests and more wildlife than you can shake a palm tree at. It’s pretty much paradise. Come face to face with spider monkeys and toucans as you wander along the Arenal Hanging Bridges through treetops and soak up some rays as you recline on the sublime Carrillo Beach. Costa Rica is famed for its coffee so discover the heritage of this magic bean at a working coffee plantation.

Patagonia

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The southernmost tip of South America, Patagonia is a captivating area of contrasts, a place where rugged, snow-capped mountainous and vast lakes neighbour verdant rainforests. Majestic and wild, the terrain remains virtually untouched by man and begs to be explored. Discover El Calafate’s awe-inspiring glacier and the mysterious Milodon Cave, then travel to the ends of the earth to Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city.

Havana

Cuba is the hottest destination for a city-sand holiday. The Caribbean island is littered with dreamy sugar-white beaches but has the exciting buzz of vibrant Havana. There’s nowhere else on earth quite like Cuba – a place where the clocks seemingly stopped in the 1950s as vintage cars line colourful streets and the sound of salsa permeates the air. Visit a traditional cigar factory to see them being rolled using centuries-old techniques, wander along the picturesque cobbled alleyways of Trinidad and kick back with a mojito on Caya Santa Maria beach. Cuba is also Trafalgar’s newest destination to be added to their ever expanding portfolio of world class guided holidays.

Fancy experiencing some Central and South American destinations for yourself? For more information call Trafalgar on (011) 280 8400 or visit www.trafalgar.com