It’s always tempting to go to Central and South America – what’s not to like? There are so many different ways of life to discover, history to explore and nature to see in its home habitat.
Instead of the usual tourist traps, though, the best way to see this part of the world is to go to the secret paradises, the lesser-known places you need to get to before everyone else does. This is where you need to go on your next adventure.
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
This group of islands are quite far off the South American mainland (about 600 miles west of the rest of Ecuador), but the trip out there is well worth it. The Galapagos National Park, which covers most of the land, has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site and is fantastic for animal spotting.
The Galapagos Islands are famed for their tortoises, and are one of the many reasons why people visit the area. The El Chato Tortoise Reserve on the island of Santa Cruz is one place to do this, where you can spot these magnificent animals alongside owls, finches and other species.
Isla Holbox, Mexico
If you’re looking for a place to relax, Isla Holbox might be where you want to head. It isn’t far from the popular holiday resort of Cancun so it enjoys many of the plus points this part of the world offers tourists but, because it’s still a bit of a secret, it’s a lot quieter and more peaceful.
Mr Hudson Explores recommends getting to know the natural water surroundings, because it’s one of the best spots in the world to swim with the largest fish. These whale sharks gather in the surrounding waters in late spring and throughout the summer, giving snorkelers a great bucket-list experience.
Machu Pichu, Peru
If you head to South America, you have to make a trip to one of the seven wonders of the world. Machu Pichu was an ancient city for the Inca leaders and thought to have been built in the 15th and 16th centuries before being abandoned about 100 years later.
The site was left largely as a secret until the early 20th century, known only to those living nearby during the intervening time. Now, tourists can trek up to the site through the Peruvian landscape and see the breath-taking site that’s home to more than 150 buildings.
Punta del Este, Uruguay
The Pearl of Uruguay sits on the Atlantic coast and has beautiful beaches to lounge on to recharge after a long trip. The climate means you’ll have good weather if you go during the height of summer. Even in winter, the temperatures don’t drop below freezing.
Punta del Este is also a great place to base yourself as you explore this part of Uruguay, with sites such as the Isla de Lobos (sea lion island) to see the largest colony of sea lions in South America, plus Punta Ballena (Whale Point) that’s home to the Casapueblo museum. Great transport links mean it’ll be easy for you to get about, too.