Have you gone snorkeling in the reefs, biking in the mountains or kayaking in a bay or river? Maybe hiked around historic sites or experienced a cultural shock at colorful markets or remote villages? Then, you have done adventure travel without knowing it.
Adventure travel has gained growing popularity among divorced women in their 40s, young trekkers and single or married people who travel without a spouse. They seek a group vacation that involves an intense physical activity, close contact with nature, a spiritual journey to exotic places or just an exchange with cultures that contrast their own.
These trips require a certain degree of physical ability and specific equipment. They might also involve some risks or physical dangers such as slipping off a boat, straining a muscle or just getting a belly ache from local food or water you are not used to ingesting. Choosing an experienced travel agency would help you prepare for those risks and physical challenges.
Here are four selected adventure travel trips in Latin America that combine the most breathtaking places and fun activities. Enjoy the ride!
Latin America: Adventure travel destinations
[ione_media_gallery id=”242797″ overlay=”true”]
Amazon Riverboat Adventure
GAdventures has recently launched the Queen Violet, a newly refurbished, purpose-built vessel, to navigate the brown waters of the Amazon River. With 16 outside facing cabins, only a small group of up to 32 passengers can enjoy viewing wildlife, communities and villages along the river.
The second-longest river in the world, the Amazon travels from Peru through Colombia and Ecuador, and across Brazil, emptying into the Atlantic Ocean. Navigating its waters and visiting remote villages along the river is a great attraction for wildlife lovers who can encounter exotic species such as toucans, sloths and pink dolphins — all seen regularly on daily skiff excursions.
Rated as a low level activity, the nine-day trip from Lima includes return flights from Lima to Iquitos — right in the middle of the Peruvian rainforest — six nights aboard the Queen Violet Amazon riverboat, two nights in comfort hotels, canopy walkway excursion in Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve and land excursions with G Adventures’ expert naturalist team.
Galapagos Islands & Otavalo Highlands Multisport
The Galapagos Islands offer a magnificent lesson of natural history and a bio-diversity scenario with opportunities for incredibly close wildlife encounters. This REI Adventure trip starts with several days of hiking in the volcanic highlands north of Quito including a gorgeous crater-rim hike along Laguna Cuicocha (10,638 feet) to then head out to the islands.
Kayaking in turquoise waters, swimming off white sandy beaches with friendly sea lions, biking through the tortoise highlands and snorkeling in this world-class marine reserve are only some of Galapagos treats. This trip is rated at a moderate level of activity. Although not particularly strenuous, the entire hike in the Otavalo highlands is 10,000 feet above sea level and can be more tiring than expected.
As an extra bonus, visit the colorful indigenous market in Otavalo or soak in the finest set of thermal pools in Ecuador at the Papallacta Hot Springs. From the highlands to the islands, you cannot miss this adventure!
Patagonia Rafting Safari
This two-week Patagonia rafting safari offered by Expediciones Chile will take you to some of the favorite worldwide rafters’ rivers in Chile and Argentina. In addition, you will have the opportunity to participate in many multisport activities such as hiking, paragliding, biking, kayaking and more. From the Rio Fuy, Rio San Pedro, Rio Enco, Rio Neltume and Rio Manso scattered around the Lakes Region of Chile to the Rio Futaleufu in Argentina, the circuit includes Class 4 and 5+ rapids.
The trip also includes full-day climbing and hiking (8 to 12 hours) at the Tres Monjas Peek, trekking up to the scenic overlook Piedra del Aguila and mountain biking from the camp into the village of Futaleufu. You can also enjoy a night in the town in Bariloche, Argentina — also known as the Switzerland of South America. Staying in rustic lodges and camp sites, this true adventure in the wild would be an exhausting but rewarding trip!
Sea Kayaking and Snorkeling
Belize is home to the Belize Barrier Reef, renowned as one of the most untouched reefs in the world. Stretching 450 miles from the Yucatan Peninsula to the Bay of Honduras, the eco-system includes hundreds of islands, extensive shallow water flats, mangrove ranges, and innumerable coral reefs.
You can travel from the reef coast to the largest undisturbed rainforests in Central America in a matter of hours. The rainforests are home to rare species such as jaguar and Baird’s tapir, tayra, agouti, howler monkeys and a bird variety that is world famous. But you probably do not know that Belize was also at one time the heart of the Mayan civilization, which can be traced through over 600 archaeological sites in Belize alone.
This Island Expeditions trip is qualified as moderate level and designed for those who enjoy an active learning vacation. Instruction in sailing your kayak, marine navigation and advanced paddling skills are also offered for both single and two-person expedition-quality sea kayaks.