60 days in Central America, South America & Caribbean Itinerary

60 days in Central America, South America & Caribbean Itinerary

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Fly
1
San Salvador, El Salvador
— 1 night
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2
Antigua, Guatemala
— 2 nights
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3
Leon, Nicaragua
— 1 night
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4
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
Drive
5
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
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Panama City, Panama
— 2 nights
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7
Cartagena, Colombia
— 4 nights
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Bogota, Colombia
— 4 nights
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9
Quito, Ecuador
— 2 nights
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10
Cusco, Peru
— 4 nights
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11
Santiago, Chile
— 3 nights
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12
Ushuaia, Argentina
— 2 nights
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13
San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina
— 3 nights
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14
Buenos Aires, Argentina
— 4 nights
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15
Belo Horizonte, Brazil
— 4 nights
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16
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
— 4 nights
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Sao Paulo, Brazil
— 4 nights
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Palm - Eagle Beach, Aruba
— 4 nights
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San Salvador, El Salvador

The country's capital, San Salvador sits in a scenic position surrounded by impressive volcanoes.
For ratings, traveler tips, more things to do, and other tourist information, go to the San Salvador day trip planning app.

Toronto, Canada to San Salvador is an approximately 9-hour flight. You can also drive. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time to Central Standard Time is minus 1 hour. Expect a bit warmer weather when traveling from Toronto in July: highs in San Salvador hover around 36°C, while lows dip to 24°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Antigua.

Things to do in San Salvador

Parks · Historic Sites · Wildlife · Museums

2
nights
Antigua, Guatemala

The former capital of Guatemala and a World Heritage Site, Antigua retains its colonial charm and remains one of the most visited destinations in the country.
On the 3rd (Sun), contemplate the geological forces at Volcán Pacaya, see the interesting displays at Museo Casa del Tejido Antiguo, and then see the interesting displays at ChocoMuseo. Here are some ideas for day two: pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia de La Merced, then delve into the distant past at Convento de las Capuchinas, and then delve into the distant past at Arco de Santa Catalina.

To find where to stay, other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, read Antigua trip itinerary planning tool.

You can drive from San Salvador to Antigua in 4 hours. Other options are to fly; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Traveling from San Salvador in July, expect Antigua to be slightly colder, temps between 29°C and 19°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Mon) so you can travel to Leon.

Things to do in Antigua

Historic Sites · Museums · Parks · Nature

1
night
Leon, Nicaragua

A cultured and storied city, Leon attracts guests from all over the world, drawn to the second city's style, thriving intellectual life, and liveliness.
Kick off your visit on the 5th (Tue): pause for some serene contemplation at Catedral de la Asunción and then get impressive views of Cerro Negro Volcano.

To find ratings, photos, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Leon trip itinerary builder website.

Traveling by flight from Antigua to Leon takes 8.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. In July, Leon is a bit warmer than Antigua - with highs of 39°C and lows of 28°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Tue) early enough to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Leon

Parks · Historic Sites · Nature

3
nights

Set against the backdrop of the imposing Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna de San Carlos offers visitors a chance to explore diverse natural landscapes and sample some delicious local produce.
Escape the urban bustle at Proyecto Asis and Ecotermales Fortuna. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Arenal Natura Ecological Park and Horseback Riding Tours. The adventure continues: witness a stunning natural landmark at Tabacon Hot Springs and let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour.

To find maps, traveler tips, ratings, and tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos trip itinerary planner.

Getting from Leon to La Fortuna de San Carlos by car takes about 6.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of flight and shuttle; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 8th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Tours

3
nights
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

The rainforest meets the sea at Manuel Antonio National Park, a small but scenic natural preserve on the west coast of Costa Rica.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Kayaking & Canoeing and Fishing Charters & Tours. Get in touch with nature at Nature & Wildlife Tours and Playa Manuel Antonio. There's more to do: glide peacefully along the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area and enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Biesanz.

For traveler tips, where to stay, maps, and other tourist information, read our Manuel Antonio road trip website.

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Manuel Antonio takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Mon) to allow time to travel to Panama City.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Parks

Side Trip

2
nights
Panama City, Panama

Dubai of Latin America

Arguably the most modern of Central American cities, Panama City boasts a shimmering skyline of glass skyscrapers.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Iglesia del Carmen and Iglesia de San José. Panama La Vieja and Cinta Costera are good opportunities to explore the local culture. There's much more to do: get to know the fascinating history of Avenida Balboa, cast your line with a fishing tour, and browse the different shops at Multiplaza Pacific.

To find where to stay, photos, maps, and other tourist information, use the Panama City trip itinerary tool.

Getting from Manuel Antonio to Panama City by flight takes about 8 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. The time zone difference moving from Central Standard Time to Eastern Standard Time is 1 hour. In July in Panama City, expect temperatures between 36°C during the day and 29°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Cartagena.

Things to do in Panama City

Historic Sites · Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife

4
nights
Cartagena, Colombia

City of Heroes

The site of the continent's first Spanish colony, Cartagena retains much of its colonial flavor thanks to a World Heritage-listed old town, encircled by old walls and protected by imposing fortresses.
Visiting Scuba & Snorkeling and Aviario Nacional de Colombia will get you outdoors. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Plaza Santo Domingo and Torre del Reloj. Next up on the itinerary: take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia de la Trinidad, admire the landmark architecture of Cathedral Basilica of St. Catherine of Alexandria, and make a trip to Plaza de La Trinidad.

To find traveler tips, reviews, maps, and other tourist information, read Cartagena trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by flight from Panama City to Cartagena takes 5.5 hours. In July in Cartagena, expect temperatures between 38°C during the day and 30°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Mon) so you can travel to Bogota.

Things to do in Cartagena

Historic Sites · Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife

Side Trip

4
nights
Bogota, Colombia

Athens of South America

Colombia's heart and soul, Bogota has earned the nickname "Athens of South America" thanks to its abundance of universities, libraries, and lower-level schools.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Barrio La Candelaria and La Catedral Primada. Step off the beaten path and head to Laguna de Guatavita and Jardin Botanico de Bogota Jose Celestino Mutis. Next up on the itinerary: indulge your taste buds at Food & Drink, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia de San Francisco, examine the collection at Casa de Moneda - Coleccion Numismatica del Banco de la Republica, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Ciclovia de Bogota.

To see traveler tips, ratings, and tourist information, read our Bogota online attractions planner.

Fly from Cartagena to Bogota in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Prepare for colder weather when traveling from Cartagena in July: high temperatures in Bogota hover around 21°C and lows are around 10°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Quito.

Things to do in Bogota

Parks · Museums · Outdoors · Nature

Side Trip

2
nights
Quito, Ecuador

Light of America

High in the Andean foothills, Quito remains one of the world's most photogenic capital cities, featuring two dramatic mountain ranges as its backdrop.
Kick off your visit on the 23rd (Sat): admire the striking features of Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco, then appreciate the extensive heritage of Quito Old Town, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Fundacion Iglesia de la Compania, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Basilica del Voto Nacional. On the 24th (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: don't miss a visit to Mitad Del Mundo, take an in-depth tour of Museo Templo del Sol Pintor Ortega Maila, then see the interesting displays at Intinan Museum, and finally explore the world behind art at La Capilla Del Hombre.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Quito trip builder tool.

Traveling by flight from Bogota to Quito takes 6 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Bogota in July, expect Quito to be somewhat warmer, temps between 26°C and 17°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Sun) early enough to travel to Cusco.

Things to do in Quito

Historic Sites · Museums

4
nights
Cusco, Peru

Imperial City

Capital of the Inca Empire for three centuries, World Heritage-listed Cusco is now a major tourist destination, drawing nearly 2 million annual tourists with its well-preserved colonial architecture and proximity to Machu Picchu.
Get some historical perspective at Sacsayhuaman and Q'enqo. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Moray and Horseback Riding Tours. Go for a jaunt from Cusco to Pisac to see Pisac about 1h 15 min away. Next up on the itinerary: steep yourself in history at Sacred Valley of the Incas, stroll through Santuario Animal de Cochahuasi, and delve into the distant past at Tipon.

For ratings, other places to visit, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Cusco trip builder tool.

Fly from Quito to Cusco in 8 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect much colder evenings in Cusco when traveling from Quito in July, with lows around 1°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 28th (Thu) so you can travel to Santiago.

Things to do in Cusco

Historic Sites · Outdoors · Tours · Parks

Side Trips

3
nights
Santiago, Chile

City of the Island Hills

Santiago tourism thrives largely thanks to the city's big selection of cultural and entertainment options, including museums, theaters, restaurants, bars, and giant malls.
Get some cultural insight at Santuario de la Inmaculada Concepcion and Centro Cultural Palacio de la Moneda y Plaza de la Ciudadania. Discover out-of-the-way places like Valle Nevado - Ski Resort Chile and Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino. Change things up with these side-trips from Santiago: Vina Undurraga (in Talagante) and Colchagua Museum (in Santa Cruz). There's still lots to do: head outdoors with Outdoor Activities.

To see ratings, other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, use the Santiago trip app.

You can fly from Cusco to Santiago in 6.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Cusco to Santiago, you'll lose 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Mon) so you can travel to Ushuaia.

Things to do in Santiago

Museums · Outdoors · Tours · Historic Sites

Side Trips

2
nights
Ushuaia, Argentina

End of the World

Often called the "End of the World" because of its position on the southernmost tip of South America, the expanding city of Ushuaia serves as both a busy commercial port and attractive tourist hub.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Cerro Castor (Castor Mount) and Les Éclaireurs Lighthouse. Take a break from the city and head to Glacier Martial and Ushuaia Bay. Go for a jaunt from Ushuaia to Tierra del Fuego National Park to see Lago Roca about 36 minutes away. There's more to do: contemplate the waterfront views at Laguna Esmeralda.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, maps, and tourist information, go to the Ushuaia trip planner.

Traveling by flight from Santiago to Ushuaia takes 11 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry; or take a bus. The time zone difference when traveling from Santiago to Ushuaia is 1 hour. Expect a daytime high around 5°C in August, and nighttime lows around 0°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Thu) early enough to travel to San Carlos de Bariloche.

Things to do in Ushuaia

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Trails

Side Trip

3
nights

Nestled against the foothills of the Andes, scenic San Carlos de Bariloche hugs the southern shore of Nahuel Huapi Lake and ranks among Argentina's top destinations for active outdoor vacations.
Explore hidden gems such as Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi and Nature & Wildlife Tours. Get outdoors at Piedras Blancas and Sendero de los Arrayanes. And it doesn't end there: take in the dramatic scenery at Puerto Blest y Cascada de los Cantaro, stop by Chocolates Rapanui, test your team's savvy at popular escape rooms, and walk around Parque Nahuelito.

To find maps and tourist information, go to the San Carlos de Bariloche trip site.

You can fly from Ushuaia to San Carlos de Bariloche in 7.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of car and ferry. Traveling from Ushuaia in August, you will find days in San Carlos de Bariloche are a bit warmer (9°C), and nights are about the same (0°C). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Mon) to allow time to travel to Buenos Aires.

Things to do in San Carlos de Bariloche

Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Outdoors

4
nights
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Queen of La Plata

Cultural capital of South America, Buenos Aires remains one of the largest cities on the continent, serving as a point of departure for exploring the rest of the country.
Do your shopping at Puerto Madero and Palermo. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Catedral de la Plata and Catedral de San Isidro. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Buenos Aires: Museo de La Plata (in La Plata) and Basilica de Lujan (in Lujan). There's much more to do: pause for some serene contemplation at Basilica del Santisimo Sacramento, admire the natural beauty at Parque 3 de Febrero, and visit Palermo Soho.

For where to stay, ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, use the Buenos Aires trip planner.

Fly from San Carlos de Bariloche to Buenos Aires in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In August, Buenos Aires is somewhat warmer than San Carlos de Bariloche - with highs of 20°C and lows of 12°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 12th (Fri) early enough to travel to Belo Horizonte.

Things to do in Buenos Aires

Neighborhoods · Historic Sites · Shopping · Childrens Museums

Side Trips

4
nights
Belo Horizonte, Brazil

Garden City

Named for its spectacular mountain views, and known locally as the "Garden City," Belo Horizonte has historically fostered a connection with nature since its inauguration in 1897.
Get outdoors at Alambique & Parque Ecologico Vale Verde and Rei Do Mato Cave. Get a sense of the local culture at Memorial Minas Gerais Vale and Basilica Nossa Senhora de Lourdes. Get out of town with these interesting Belo Horizonte side-trips: Lapinha Cave (in Lagoa Santa), Santuario de Nossa Senhora da Piedade (in Caete) and Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Congonhas (in Congonhas). There's much more to do: take in the exciting artwork at Palacio das Artes, stop by Shopping Contagem, take some stellar pictures from Serra Da Moeda, and take in the spiritual surroundings of Igreja Sao Jose.

To find other places to visit, maps, more things to do, and tourist information, read our Belo Horizonte trip planner.

Fly from Buenos Aires to Belo Horizonte in 7.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of ferry and bus. Prepare for somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Buenos Aires in August: high temperatures in Belo Horizonte hover around 32°C and lows are around 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Tue) early enough to travel to Rio de Janeiro.

Things to do in Belo Horizonte

Historic Sites · Parks · Shopping · Museums

Side Trips

4
nights
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Marvelous City

Bustling with samba music and all-night street parties, no city encapsulates the spirit of Brazil better than Rio de Janeiro.
Get outdoors at Copacabana Beach and Parasailing & Paragliding. Explore hidden gems such as Adrenaline & Extreme Tours and Praia de Itacoatiara. Change things up with these side-trips from Rio de Janeiro: Camboinhas Beach (in Niteroi) and Saquarema (Igreja de Nossa Senhora de Nazareth & Praia de Itauna). Next up on the itinerary: walk around Morro Dois Irmaos, trek along Claudio Coutinho Trail, go for a walk through Avenida Atlantica, and stop by Lapa e Arte.

For other places to visit, more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Rio de Janeiro trip planner.

You can fly from Belo Horizonte to Rio de Janeiro in 4 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. August in Rio de Janeiro sees daily highs of 30°C and lows of 22°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Sat) early enough to travel to Sao Paulo.

Things to do in Rio de Janeiro

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Tours

Side Trips

4
nights
Sao Paulo, Brazil

Land of Drizzle

Don't let the city's nickname--"Land of Drizzle"--dampen your spirits during a trip to Sao Paulo.
Get a sense of the local culture at Mosteiro De Sao Bento and Fo Guang Shan Brazil - Zu Lai Temple. Matriz Basilica Nossa Senhora Aparecida and Paróquia Nossa Senhora do Brasil will appeal to history buffs. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Sao Paulo: Juquehy Beach (in Sao Sebastiao) and Passarela da Fe (in Aparecida). There's still lots to do: look for gifts at Livraria Cultura, admire the masterpieces at Estacao Pinacoteca, and take a stroll around The Julio Prestes Cultural Center - Sala Sao Paulo.

To find ratings, maps, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the Sao Paulo trip maker.

You can fly from Rio de Janeiro to Sao Paulo in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Rio de Janeiro in August, Sao Paulo is a bit cooler at night with lows of 15°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 24th (Wed) so you can travel to Palm - Eagle Beach.

Things to do in Sao Paulo

Historic Sites · Shopping · Parks · Outdoors

Side Trips

4
nights
Palm - Eagle Beach, Aruba

A long stretch of powdery white sand and aquamarine waters, Palm - Eagle Beach remains one of Aruba's most visited vacation spots.
Get outdoors at Eagle Beach and Off-Road Tours. We've included these beaches for you: Baby Beach and Arashi Beach. Change things up with a short trip to Natural Pool in Noord (about 30 minutes away). Next up on the itinerary: tour the pleasant surroundings at The Butterfly Farm, cast your line with a fishing tour, kick back and relax at Hadicurari Beach, and discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

To see maps, reviews, where to stay, and other tourist information, read Palm - Eagle Beach online route planner.

Getting from Sao Paulo to Palm - Eagle Beach by flight takes about 14 hours. The time zone difference moving from Brasilia Standard Time to Atlantic Standard Time is minus 1 hour. When traveling from Sao Paulo in August, plan for a bit warmer days in Palm - Eagle Beach, with highs around 39°C, while nights are much warmer with lows around 32°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Mon) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Palm - Eagle Beach

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Wildlife

Side Trips

El Salvador travel guide

4.3
National Parks · Churches · Ruins
El Salvador, the smallest country in Central America, has plenty of historical and natural attractions to explore on a rich and varied itinerary. The coastal beaches attract surfers and sunbathers, while the main towns showcase colonial and indigenous cultures in their traditions, architecture, cuisine, and historical sites. Tourism in El Salvador has been stuttering for decades, first because of the Salvadoran Civil War, and now because of gang-related activities and a high crime rate. The vast majority of the country, however, remains unspoiled by the narrative that dominates international headlines. Travelers looking for an off-the-beaten-track destination, with natural and manmade highlights uncluttered by tourists and overdevelopment, find such a place in El Salvador.

Guatemala travel guide

4.5
Landmarks · Volcanos · Ruins
Land of Eternal Spring
Offering a chance to discover a rich history, remarkable landscapes, and a vibrant culture, a holiday in Guatemala remains a great choice for a wide range of travelers. The heart of the Maya civilization, Guatemala boasts stunning ancient ruins and traditional villages that blend with the Spanish heritage of the colonial-era and its stately cathedrals and town halls. While the cities boast splendid architecture and cultural heritage, they make up a small percentage of the mountainous Guatemalan landscape. Adventurous travelers and nature lovers will have plenty of things to do in Guatemala, from boating on the rushing rivers and scenic lakes, to exploring caves, picturesque beaches, and lush national parks.

Nicaragua travel guide

4.3
Churches · Volcanos · Specialty Museums
Still emerging as a major tourist destination, Nicaragua, the largest country in Central America, entices travelers with its rich history and remarkable natural beauty just waiting to be discovered. A holiday in Nicaragua allows you to explore a vibrant culture, scenic beaches, and plenty of spots off the beaten path. Majestic volcanoes, lakes, and forests offer numerous chances for exploration and exciting adventures, while major cities boast splendid colonial architecture. With access to coastlines on both the Pacific and the Caribbean, a vacation in Nicaragua appeals to those looking for thrilling surfing experiences, dramatic views, or a chance to spread out on a deserted tropical beach.

Costa Rica travel guide

4.3
Beaches · Nature & Parks · Zipline
Tiny in terms of land area, Costa Rica is astoundingly diverse when it comes to culture and natural attractions. In a country called "Rich Coast", it's no surprise most Costa Rica vacations dedicate at least a few days to picturesque Pacific and Caribbean beaches, ideal for water sports and relaxation. Few small countries offer such a range of landscapes, allowing tourists to observe towering volcanoes while soaking away their worries in a hot spring, or hike into dense rainforests in the morning and surf at a modern resort in the afternoon. A trip to Costa Rica also lets you discover pristine national parks, ensuring plenty of chances to view wildlife from the comfort of eco-friendly lodges packed with amenities even ardent nature lovers secretly desire.

Ecuador travel guide

4.5
Landmarks · Sacred & Religious Sites · History Museums
With abundant opportunities to discover fascinating World Heritage Sites, a holiday in Ecuador remains among the most culturally enriching travel experiences. Home to the world's highest active volcano, this little country packs a big punch when it comes to tourist activities. Some of the most popular things to do in Ecuador include visits to its astonishingly biodiverse wilderness areas, home to some 1,500 bird species, 840 species of amphibians and reptiles, and nearly 20,000 plant species. Of course, the highlight of many Ecuador vacations is bound to be the Galapagos Islands, made famous by naturalist Charles Darwin. Aside from the stunning nature, Ecuador also boasts many historic cities filled with photogenic colonial-era churches, mansions, and plazas.

Peru travel guide

4.6
Historic Sites · Parks · Landmarks
Land of the Incas
In a country renowned for its pre-Columbian archeological sites, no Peru vacation would be complete without an adrenaline-inducing hike to Machu Picchu, World Heritage-listed symbol of the once-mighty Incan Empire. Aside from visiting these spectacular ruins set against the backdrop of photogenic mountain peaks, most holidays in Peru also include an exploration of the country's pretty cities, boasting well-preserved colonial architecture and a slew of modern buildings housing fine museums, galleries, shops, and restaurants. Ideal for active vacationers, Peru trips are also tailor-made for gourmands, as the country's eclectic cuisine blends tasty influences from Africa, Asia, and Europe.

Patagonia travel guide

4.1
Bodies of Water · Geologic Formations · National Parks
Sparsely populated and largely untamed, Patagonia is equally appealing to photographers, nature lovers, adrenaline seekers, and fans of long road trips through desolate regions far from the noise and pollution of big cities. Many Patagonia vacations start in thriving Neuquen, the region's largest center and a major hub of Argentina's fruit production. Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world, is another important stop on most Patagonia tours, serving as a base for excursions across the region and trips to Antarctica. While its urban centers provide modern comforts, Patagonia's main appeal remains its vast, remote stretches, crossed by a network of paved roads linking old oil boomtowns with ancient forests and nature reserves.

Aruba travel guide

4.2
Beaches · Scuba & Snorkeling · Gift & Specialty Shops
Happy Island
A Dutch outpost in the Caribbean, sun-drenched Aruba provides a mix of modern seaside resorts and quiet coastal areas ideal for those wishing to escape the crowds. Vacations in Aruba, known affectionately as the "Happy Island," generally combine water-based activities with tours of the untamed backcountry, where you can discover unusual rock formations, historic churches, ostrich farms, and animal sanctuaries. Island capital Oranjestad offers some of the finest shopping and cultural sightseeing in Aruba, with an eco-friendly electric streetcar providing quick access to all of the city's major attractions, including numerous shops, restaurants, and hotels.