26
January
2016
|
15:37
Europe/London

Latin American Travel Association news update

Summary

Lotus is delighted to have recently been appointed by LATA, the Latin American Travel Association. LATA is a membership organisation that represents airlines, hotels, wholesalers, tour operators and other Latin America tourism businesses to promote travel to and around Latin America.

Below is a roundup of the latest Latin American travel news, collated from the LATA members.

For further information on travel to or around Latin America, please visit www.lata.org or to be added to our LATA press distribution list, please email LATAPR@wearelotus.co.uk

Latin America Travel Association: January Newsletter

AIRLINE NEWS

BRITISH AIRWAYS BEGINS DIRECT FLIGHTS TO LATIN AMERICA

On 4 May 2016 British Airways will launch two new direct flights from London to Peru and Costa Rica’s capital cities; Lima and San Jose.The airline will fly from London to San Jose twice a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays and in the winter will increase to three times a week with an additional departure on Thursday mornings. Return flights are priced from £690 in economy and the flight duration is approximately 10 hours and 50 minutes.

The London to Lima service will operate three times a week on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays and will be reduced to twice a week from October. Return flights are priced from £765 in economy and the flight duration is approximately 12 hours and 30 minutes. www.britishairways.com

AEROMEXICO LAUNCHES AN ADDITIONAL FLIGHT FROM LONDON TO MEXICO CITY

To meet high summer demands Mexican airline Aeromexico has announced that it will be adding a sixth flight from London to Mexico City in June 2016 that will operate for three months.

The new service will allow customers travelling from London to access a wide network of destinations in Mexico such as Cancun, Cozumel, Guadalajara and Los Cabos and over 30 international destinations such as Bogota, Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo.The flight will operate daily from London Heathrow to Mexico City’s International Airport with return flights priced from £800 and a flight time of approximately 12 hours. www.aeromexico.com

LATAM AIRLINES GROUP SIGNS NEW JOINT BUSINESS AGREEMENTS WITH AMERICAN AIRLINES AND IAG

LATAM Airlines Group has signed two new joint business agreements with American Airlines and International Airlines Group (IAG) for its airlines British Airways and Iberia.

The agreements will be gradually implemented and will include important benefits for LATAM clients such as access to a network of over 420 destinations across Europe, Latin America and North America. The joint business agreements with these flagship airlines will open up connection networks, increase the number of seats available and increase the number of flights available for international travellers throughout Latin America. www.latamairlinesgroup.net

TOURISM NEWS

NEW CABLE CAR LINK TO KUELAP IN NORTHERN PERU

In July 2016 a new cable car link will open in northern Peru joining the village of Tingo Nuevo to the pre-Inca ruins of Kuelap, one of Peru’s most important archaeological sites.

The ancient city of Kuelap built 3,000 metres above sea level in the back drop of stunning jungle-clad mountains, is said to be the biggest South American city built in the pre-Colombian era and is three times older than Machu Picchu. The ruins were previously only accessible with a steep 9km hike up unpaved roads. The new transport link will reduce the four hour hike to a 20 minute cable car ride. www.peru.travel/es-es

ASTRO-TOURISM ENHANCED IN THE ATACAMA DESERT IN CHILE

Astro-tourism in the Atacama Desert is taking a leap forward with the installation of a new scientific-grade telescope at the Alto Atacama on-site observatory. The telescope, due to be operational in March 2016, will allow tourist to admire the skies of the Atacama Desert which is said to boast the clearest skies in the world outside of Antarctica.

The Alto-Atacama lodge is the only lodge located outside of town and away from light pollution, and the only property with an outdoor observatory, just a two minute walk from the hotel. www.altoatacama.com

HOTEL LUCIANO K OPENS IN SANTIAGO, CHILE

A new boutique hotel has opened in Barrio Lastarria in Chile’s capital city Santiago. The chic 38 room hotel is named after the architect Luciano Kulczexski who designed the original 1920s apartment block that was renovated this year creating Hotel Luciano. Luciano K boasts modern amenities such as a heated pool, spa and rooftop terrace bar. A standard double room is priced from £139 based on two people sharing. www.lucianokhotel.com

MORGAN’S HOTEL GROUP OPENS FIRST HOTEL IN LATIN AMERICA

In late 2016, Morgan’s Hotel Group will open its first hotel The Delano Hotel in Cartagena, Colombia. The hotel will be a 186 room luxury establishment boasting ocean-side bungalows and a Caribbean coast beach club along with gourmet restaurants. www.morganhotelgroup.com/delano/delano-cartagena

NEW LUXURY HOTELS IN COSTA RICA

The new direct British Airways flights to Costa Rica scheduled to start in May 2016 have coincided with a number of new luxurious hotel openings: AMResorts has opened a new Hotel Secrets Papagayo in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. The four star luxury resort facing the Pacific Ocean, on one of the country’s most beautiful beaches, is an oasis of calm and tranquillity surrounded by tropical gardens, spectacular ocean views and two swimming pools. One night in a standard double room is priced from £280 per person including breakfast. www.secretsresorts.com/papagayo

A new luxury resort has opened on the mountain tops of Perez Zeledon in the south of Costa Rica – Hacienda Alta Gracia. The four star resort features estate sized accommodation spread across the mountains, offering calm and intimacy to all its customers. Double rooms are priced from £190 per person. https://altagracia.aubergeresorts.com

More basic properties have also opened in the area, offering greater choice for travellers such as the Nammbu Beachfront Bungalows, located minutes from local hot spot beaches Carrillo Beach and Samara Beach. Standard double rooms are priced from £122 per night including breakfast. http://bit.ly/209uyNP

RESTAURANT 040 OPENS IN BELLAVISTA BARRIO OF SANTIAGO CHILE

A new restaurant has opened in Santiago’s hip Bellavista Bario offering a brand new dining experience for travellers.

The 040 restaurant helmed by renowned chef Sergio Barroso showcases Chile’s best products with creatively prepared “tapas de vanguardia”, mixing flavours with technical prowess to create extraordinary culinary creations.The restaurant is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 7pm until midnight. www.040.cl

TOUR OPERATOR NEWS

LAST FRONTIERS LAUNCHES EXCLUSIVE OLYMPICS TOUR IN BRAZIL

In the lead up to the Brazil 2016 Olympics, Last Frontiers is offering a 15 day Olympic tour in Brazil from 10th – 24th August. Starting in Rio, this exclusive tour visits some of Brazil’s most sought after destinations including Iguassu falls and Manaus, the capital city of the Amazonas. The holiday will end back in Rio where travellers will stay at the luxury four star Windsor Copa Hotel, a few minutes away from famous Copacabana beach and will be offered the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend the Rio Olympic swimming and basketball sessions.

The tour is priced from £5,295 per person based on two people sharing including international flights, accommodation, breakfast and Olympic tickets. www.lastfrontiers.com

NEW MV ORIGIN SHIP LAUNCHES IN THE GALAPAGOS

Sustainable travel expert Ecoventura has built a one-of-a-kind eco vessel; the MV Origin, due to be launched in the Galapagos on 28 February 2016.

MV Origin is positioned to redefine the cruising experience by combining modern sophistication with environmental responsibility, alternating between seven-night A & B itineraries to reduce the impact of visits to the Galapagos Islands’ most popular sites. Both itineraries will include daily, personalised excursions with optional snorkel and kayak tours led by two onboard, certified naturalists. This 20-passenger mega-yacht will feature 10 deluxe staterooms, locally inspired gourmet food, a Jacuzzi and fitness centre. Ecoventura offers a choice of itineraries to the Galapagos ranging from seven to 14 day trips. A standard cabin is priced from £4,580 based on two people sharing. www.origingalapagos.com/rates

ONE OCEAN EXPEDITIONS PUBLISHES EXCLUSIVE ANTARTICA PHOTOGRAPHS

One Ocean Expedition has partnered with the Scott Polar Research Institute of the University of Cambridge and Salto Ulbeek publishers to exhibit a limited edition of the photographs taken by Herbert Ponting during Captain Scott’s British Antarctic Expedition in 1910-1913.The photographs were recently delivered to the tour operator’s ships in Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands ready for their voyages that will call at Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falklands. To date One Ocean Expeditions is the only small adventure cruise ship operator to host an exhibition of this kind.The trip is priced from £5,992 per person including accommodation, meals, ship excursions and guides. Departures run from October through to mid-march. www.oneoceanexpeditions.com

SHACKLETON CENTENARY VOYAGE TO ANTARCTICA

On 30 October 2016, Last Frontiers is launching an exclusive one off Shackleton Centenary voyage in honour of Ernest Shackleton and his endurance expedition to Antarctica.

For 20 days, this cruising exclusive on board the newly renovated Hebridean Sky, departing in Buenos Aires and following in the footsteps of Shackleton, will visit the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, the Antarctic Peninsula ending in Ushuaia.

The price of the tour starts at £12,510 per person based on two people travelling together and sharing a porthole suite. The price includes meals, excursions, transfers and international flights.

www.lastfrontiers.com/articles/view/shackleton-centenary-cruise-2016

NEW TOURS IN CHILE

In 2016 tour operators are turning to Chile with several new exclusive tours:

Cascada Expeditions is launching a brand new “Capture Atacama Adventure” in the Chilean Atacama Desert. Led by a professional photographer and guide, the holiday offers creative travellers the possibility of practicing their photography skills in this Chilean lunar-like landscape.

The tour is priced from £1,689 and includes three nights’ accommodation, transport and activities with departures from 16th-19th March, 10th-13th May, 19th-22nd March, 7th-10th September and 2nd-5th November. www.cascada.travel/News/New-Capture-Atacama-Desert-Photo-Adventure

In May 2016 Jacada Travel is launching the first ever hot air balloon to take off over the Atacama Desert. This once-in -lifetime balloon tour will fly over the Valley of the Moon early in the morning; one of the most spectacular spots in the entire country to watch the sun come up beyond the horizon.

The trip is priced from £5,674 per person, including transfers, champagne breakfast and the balloon ride. http://bit.ly/1nveEiQ

Pura Aventura has launched an 18 day self-drive holiday exploring the southern area of Chile in the Aysen Region along the “Carretera Austral”, a highway that runs for 1,200km through Chilean Patagonia from Puerto Montt to the glacier of Villa O’Higgins, some of Chile’s most remote and tourist-free areas. The holiday is priced from £4,000 per person based on two people sharing including accommodation, breakfast, 4X4 rental, internal flights and scheduled activities (excluding international flights). http://bit.ly/1OtYcZ7

EXCLUSIVE 2016 TOURS IN PERU

Coinciding with the new British Airway flight from London to Lima, a number of tour operators are launching brand new tours throughout Peru:

Inkaterra has started a new detox tour of Peru with the four day Strip back and rebuild retreat staying in four of Inkaterra’s luxury hotels that offer spa treatments and an opportunity to escape from everyday life. The tour includes a digital detox in the heart of the Peruvian Rainforest in Inkaterra’s Reserva Amazonica, a stay in the sacred valley in Urubamba at the Hacienda Urubamba, followed by a retreat to the cloud forest beneath Machu Picchu at Machu Picchu Pueblo and ending in the luxurious La Casona Hotel in Cusco. The holiday is priced from £3,367 per person based on two people sharing, including accommodation, activities and transfers. www.inkaterra.com

Amazonas Explorers has launched a brand new hotel based hiking week in Peru suited to active holiday seekers who prefer comfortable accomodation. From walks around Cusco and Machu Picchu to the Sacred Valley, the Hike the Highlights tour is a perfect way for travellers to get to know the best of Peru whilst still being able to relax in comfort in the evening. The tour is priced from £1,041 excluding international flights. www.amazonas-explorer.com/tours/hike-the-highlights

Walks Worldwide has a new eight night hiking trip SalkantayTrek”, named after the highest peak of the Willkapampa mountain range. Journeying through spectacular Andean scenery to majestic Machu Picchu, the walking tour starts in Cusco with walking excursions of the city, nearby ruins and the Sacred Valley, before beginning the main trek in the Apurimac Valley. Taking in majestic views of the southern flank of 6271m Salkantay before descending to cloud forests and coffee plantations and then ascending once more to Llactapata with abundant birdlife, this trip covers varied terrain including a final night in Aguas Calientes before exploring Macchu Pichu.

The holiday costs £2280 per person, including flights, all transportation, eight nights’ accommodation, most meals and tour guides. http://www.walksworldwide.com/home.html

Combining wilderness, white water and wildlife, Into Latin America has created a new ten day river rafting adventure that takes in the thrills of Peru’s Tambopata River. The holiday includes camping on pristine beaches, rafting, jungle walks and paddle boarding. Away from the traditional tourist route in the south of Peru, the Tambopata River remains one of the most authentic parts of the country. The tour departs on 20 July and is priced from £3,995 per person including international flights. www.intolatinamerica.com

Kadventures is offering a new 15 day Andean and Ice Mountains tour in the north of Peru that travels from the ancient city of Cajamara to visit pre-Incan Pyramids including an unforgettable trek alongside the outstanding peaks of the northern Cordillera. The tour departs on 19th August or 14th October and is priced from £3,145 including international flights. www.keadventure.com/holidays/peru-trek-discovery-chanchan-huayhuash

VOLCANOES AND TROPICAL FORESTS HOLIDAY IN COSTA RICA AND NICARAGUA

Explore is offering a 14 day Volcano and Tropical Forests tour to Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

The tour begins in Costa Rica, travelling through some of the country’s most impressive national parks and includes a trek up and around the Arenal volcano which, until recently, was one of the world’s most active volcanoes. In Nicaragua, travellers visit Lake Nicaragua and take a four wheel drive through Los Maribios – Nicaragua’s most impressive volcanic chain with views over Lake Managua.The tour is priced from £2,087 per person including international flights, accommodation for the duration of the trip, breakfast and all on-land transport, with departures on 5 November, 19 November and 17 December. www.explore.co.uk

DIVE IN THE BEST DIVING SITES IN THE WORLD WITH JOURNEY LATIN AMERICA

Journey Latin America has launched a one off 15 day dive tour of Central America and Mexico that combines diving in some of the region’s most sought after diving sites with the best natural, cultural and adventure activities on land.

The holiday takes in world famous sites such as the Cenotes (limestone sink holes) in Mexico’s Yucutan, the Bay Islands in Honduras and the Great Blue Hole in Belize, interspersed with visits to cultural and wildlife attractions such as Copan Mayan ruins in Honduras, Tulum Mayan ruins in Mexic and Antigua Colonial in Guatemala.The holiday is priced from £3,700 per person and includes flights, accommodation, transfers, excursions and diving equipment, departing on 30th April. www.journeylatinamerica.co.uk/destinations/mexico/holidays/diving-group-tour

CYCLE MEXICO WITH EXPLORE

Adventure travel expert Explore has created a holiday specially designed for bike-lovers with a brand Cycle Mexico around the Yucatán Peninsular holiday.

For nine days, travellers will cycle from the colonial towns of Merida and Valladolid through breathtaking Mayan villages along quiet, tranquil roads. The tour delves into the history and culture of the country by visiting archaeological sites such as Chichen Itza and Copa, as well as including traditional food tasting and Mayan language lessons.

The trip departs in January, March, September and December and is priced from £1,755 per person including return flights, accommodation and breakfast. http://bit.ly/1Qb4n4O

EXPLORE PATAGONIA AND EASTER ISLAND WITH WILD FRONTIERS

Wild Frontiers has launched a 14 day tour showcasing some of the best attractions in Argentina and Chile. “The secretive lands of Patagonia and Easter Island” visits the remote volcanic Easter Island as well as the staggering sights of Patagonia.

Famous for its distinctive archaeological sites, Easter Island is home to 900 Moai statues created by the early inhabitants of the island, the Rapa Nui people. For four days, visitors will explore the treasures of Easter Island by foot before heading to the lands of Patagonia, home to the staggeringly beautiful Torres del Paine National Park. From granite towers to staggering glacial lakes, the National Park is a must-see attraction in Chile. Back in Argentina, two nights will be spent at the imposing Perito Moreno Glacier. The holiday is priced from £5,495 per person including accommodation, flights, excursions and transfers. http://bit.ly/1WqpFOh

LLAMA TRAVEL LAUNCHES FIRST EVER TOURS IN MEXICO

Llama Travel has announced the addition of the ‘Passage through Mexico’ holiday to its repertoire of tours. From visiting ancient Maya ruins and colonial architecture to mixing with locals and learning about Mexican traditions, the tour is a voyage of discovery into the real Mexico.

The 12 day tour starts in historic Mexico City, takes in colonial San Cristobal, Palenque in the jungle as well as Merida in the Yucatan Peninsula before moving on to the world famous Chichen Itza archaeological site and ends on the stunning beaches of Cancun. Llama travel also offers two longer tours of 14 or 15 days that extend to the Riviera Maya and Oaxaca.

The ‘Passage through Mexico’ tour is priced from £1,699 including international flights. Departures for the tour are from January 2016 to March 2017. www.LlamaTravel.com.

SCOTT DUNN LAUNCHES NEW WHALE WATCHING ITINERARY IN BAJA CALIFORNIA

Scott Dunn is showcasing the best of Baja California with its new seven night “Whales of Baha” tour. Travelling with a National Geographic qualified guide, visitors will get up close to Baja’s great whales including Blue, Gray, Humpbacks and Whale Sharks and visit Espiritu Santo Island to see Blue Footed Boobies and swim with sea lions. Other highlights include exploring the "Camino Real" from our Lady of Loreto to the magical Spanish Mission of San Javier.The “Whales of Baha” tour is priced from £4200 per person including flights and transfers. www.scottdunn.com

NEW COSTA RICA AND PANAMA TOUR FROM TUCAN TRAVEL

Travelling from San José to Panama City, this new nine day “Costa Rica and Panama Flyer” tour is a whistle stop adventure around some of the countries’ most impressive sights. Offering the chance to watch green sea turtles lay their eggs at Tortuguero National Park, discover the palm-fringed beaches of Manuel National Park, travel by boat to Bocas del Toro archipelago and journey around Panama City, this tour offers a whirlwind of experiences.

The “Costa Rica and Panama Flyer” tour is priced from £1519.00 excluding international flights. www.tucantravel.com

JOIN IN WITH BOLIVIA’S SLEEPLESS CELEBRATIONS

Once a year, the sleepy highland Bolivian mining town of Oruro transforms into the country’s party capital for three days of sleepless celebration. This year’s Oruro Carnival will take place in February with Hollywood actor Edward Norton flown in as an unlikely special guest of the beer company sponsor.Although Oruro gets few visitors throughout the year, during carnival time the city bursts at the seams with dancers who rehearse year round to perform frantic representations that mix Christian and traditional indigenous rituals. Thousands of people line the streets and perch on every rooftop as folk dancers and musicians hop to distinctive music and dances enacting stories and morality plays that delve into Bolivia’s ancient past, Inca and Spanish conquests and modern-day spirituality for an evolving celebration that has continued since the early 1800s.Bolivia specialist, HighLives Travel offers a unique tour to Bolivia offering the chance to join in with the Carnival celebrations. The ten day tour is priced from £1200 per person (excluding international flights) and as well as a full day at the Carnival includes a visit to Copacabana, a boat trip across Lake Titicaca, trekking in Sajama National Park, La Paz and the salt lakes of Uyuni . www.highlives.co.uk

-Ends-The Latin America Travel Association (LATA) – is represented by Lotus. For editorial and marketing enquiries, please contact Jules Ugo, Kate McWilliams or Lucy Keenan at Lotus– LATAPR@wearelotus.co.uk 0207 953 7470