As lovers of luxury travel, there is nothing more disheartening than falling head-over-heels in love with a remote eco-lodge, a high-end cruise ship, or the idea of an exclusive festive itinerary, only to find out that the accommodation you have been dreaming about for your trip has been fully booked up for months already. Humboldt specialist Clara sheds some light on those special, in-demand destinations that we recommend booking as early as you can!
Cruising the Antarctic
A trip to the White Continent aboard a luxury expedition cruise is unquestionably a once-in-a-lifetime travel experience. Given that Antarctica’s season is relatively short, running from November to March, spaces aboard the top-class vessels can get booked up quickly. Fly-cruises that omit the sometimes-tempestuous two-day crossing of the Drake Passage and comprehensive itineraries that include the Falkland Islands and South Georgia are in even higher-demand than a regular Antarctica tour. To have your pick of itineraries and ships, we recommend booking around one year in advance, and even earlier for those exclusive festive dates running over Christmas.
The Classic Inca Trail, Peru
Walking the ancient Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is one of Latin America’s true ‘bucket-list’ must-dos. Permits issued by the Peruvian tourism authorities are surprisingly limited in order to preserve the integrity of the ancient pathways and ruins that lead up to Machu Picchu itself. These permits book up months in advance and especially quickly during busy periods that coincide with European school holidays. A variety of excellent alternative treks to Machu Picchu are available alongside the classic route, but to secure a place on the Inca Trail ‘proper’, we recommend booking up to 8 months in advance.
New Year in Rio de Janeiro & Cartagena
Often as passionately celebrated as Christmas itself, the New Year in Latin America can be very busy. Two cities that enjoy some of the most raucous New Year’s celebrations in the world are Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, and the sultry Cartagena on Colombia’s exquisite Caribbean Coast. Fixed hotel packages, minimum night stays and extremely high-demand can make the festive period in these cities complicated, so we recommend booking well in advance to secure a space in the top properties such as the Emiliano Rio and Casa San Agustín, Cartagena.
Torres del Paine, Chile
Accommodation in Torres del Paine and elsewhere in Chilean Patagonia is of an exceptionally high quality. These indulgent hotels offer a supremely personalised experience of the Patagonian wilderness, as well as gourmet cuisine, excellent spas and stylish rooms. Spaces are limited in the best hotels and availability during the short Patagonia season (November-March) can be hard to find at short notice. The same applies to Argentine Patagonia across the border where in the most remote and idyllic spots, luxury accommodation options are similarly in-demand. For a top-level experience in the southern cone of Chile and Argentina, you should look to book at least 9 months in advance. Festive dates in Chile and Argentina, even more so in the far south, are always very popular and these dates can be difficult to secure anything less than a year in advance.
Jaguar Spotting in the Pantanal, Brazil
Seeing the elusive jaguar in the wild is one of Latin America’s most exciting wildlife experiences. Notoriously difficult to find elsewhere, the Brazilian Pantanal wetlands is one of the only places on the planet that you can almost guarantee a sighting of this majestic cat. In the dry season, between June and October, spaces at premium wildlife lodges are in extremely high-demand. To stay at the best lodges in the region for spotting the big cats: Caiman, Baiazinha and Araras; we recommend booking up to 9 months in advance.
Costa Rica in Peak Season
Perfect for families, couples, honeymooners and just about anyone who loves adventure and wildlife, Costa Rica’s astounding natural beauty and mass appeal means that availability at premium properties disappears quite quickly during the peak season (from late November-March). To capitalise on the excellent standard of hotels in this pint-sized Central American paradise, we recommend booking at least 6 months in advance. If you are planning on spending Christmas in Costa Rica, booking between 9 months to a year in advance is advisable.
Are you planning a trip to Latin America? Contact us today to speak with our travel specialists and begin planning your bespoke trip. Need some inspiration? Find more information on Antarctica, Machu Picchu, Rio de Janeiro, Cartagena, Torres del Paine, the Pantanal and Costa Rica.