The Easter period is the ideal time to visit a number of areas in South and Central America and we have put together a collection of some of our favourite destinations that lend themselves perfectly to a 2-3 week trip.
Examples include the ancient sites of Peru; wildlife in Costa Rica; culturally rich Guatemala combined with Belize's Caribbean beaches and landscapes and the wildlife of Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands.
Peru - the highlights
Our 15 day ‘Classic Peru’ itinerary includes time in Lima and Arequipa, followed by an overland journey into the impressive Colca Canyon. The journey continues to the shores of Lake Titicaca before enjoying a full day spectacular train journey to Cusco. After a couple of nights in Cusco head to the magnificent site of Machu Picchu, staying overnight in the village below the site. The final few days are then spent enjoying the sites and markets in the Sacred Valley. April is a lovely time of year to visit Peru, with the rainy season over and less visitors than later in the year. It is also the start of the harvesting season so the countryside is buzzing with activity.
This Last Frontiers ‘Classic Peru’ itinerary includes B&B accommodation, entrance fees to all sites and transfers. All flights are included and international flights are non-stop with British Airways from London Gatwick to Lima. For prices see www.lastfrontiers.com/itineraries/classic-peru
For active people we also have our 'Family Peru' trip www.lastfrontiers.com/itineraries/family-peru with all sorts of fun activities included (and not just for families!). Or we can of course create a completely unique itinerary, according to your interests.
Costa Rica - wildlife
A special wildlife-focussed 13 day trip around Costa Rica on our 'Classic Costa Rica' itinerary. A couple of nights are spent on the outskirts of San José on arrival, before flying to the Osa peninsula, a unique haven for wildlife, much of which is covered by primary rainforest. Then head to Arenal (site of an impressive volcano) for a couple of days before taking a boat across Arenal lake to the cooler climate of Monteverde cloudforest where you may be lucky enough to spot a quetzal (best chances are between February and July). The trip ends on the Pacific coast of the Nicoya peninsula with free time to relax or enjoy boat trips and snorkelling. April is the perfect time to visit Costa Rica as it is the tail end of the dry season and avoids the peak time from December to February.
This Last Frontiers itinerary includes B&B accommodation throughout, full board on the Osa peninsula, private and shared transfers and shared excursions in Arenal and Monteverde. All flights are included and international flights are non-stop with British Airways from London Gatwick to San José. For prices see www.lastfrontiers.com/itineraries/classic-costa-rica
Guatemala and Belize
A 9 day exploration of Guatemala on our 'Classic Guatemala' itinerary, plus some additional time enjoying the Caribbean waters on Ambergris Caye in Belize. Start with three nights in colonial Antigua, followed by three nights on Lake Atitlan, stopping en-route to visit a traditional market. Then fly north to the densely forested Peten region for two nights near the magnificent and vast Maya site of Tikal. Fly to Ambergris Caye in Belize for a final three nights spent relaxing or snorkelling. The best time to visit both countries is from December to April (the dry season), which is also the best time for snorkelling.
This Last Frontiers 12 day itinerary is from £4,200 per person based on two sharing with B&B accommodation throughout, private transfers and excursions. All flights are included and international flights are with United Airlines via Houston. www.lastfrontiers.com/itineraries/classic-guatemala, www.lastfrontiers.com/belize/regions/the-cayes
Ecuador and Galapagos
This special itinerary includes four nights in Quito’s colonial heart, three nights in the Ecuadorian Amazon and two nights at a comfortable hacienda near Otavalo, in the rolling countryside of the sierra north of Quito. The highlight of the trip is undoubtedly the seven nights spent cruising around the Galapagos Islands on board Mary Anne, a truly ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ experience. At this time of year the sea is at its warmest, and from January to May the weather in general is calmer and warmer. If you are keen to see the waved albatross, late March-April also signals their arrival on Española island.
This Last Frontiers 15 day itinerary is from £7,750 per person based on two sharing with B&B accommodation in Quito, half board in the sierra and full board elsewhere. Transfers in Quito and Otavalo are on a private basis and all others on a shared basis. Excursions in the Amazon and Galapagos are on a shared basis accompanied by a naturalist guide. All flights are included and international flights are via Bogotá with Avianca. Please note that spaces on the cruise are limited and are subject to availability www.lastfrontiers.com/hotels/galapagos/cruises/maryanne.
There are also other cruise options and do request a copy of our useful 'Galapagos travel brief' for help deciding which style of vessel would suit you best www.lastfrontiers.com/galapagos/regions/cruises.
Easter celebrations in Latin America
You may wish to witness some of the Holy Week (Semana Santa) celebrations in Latin America. Traditions vary from country to country but even small villages will be celebrating and likely have a procession of some kind. Visiting at this time allows travellers a fascinating insight into the role religion plays in the region.
Antigua in Guatemala has one of the biggest celebrations, with streets carpeted with elaborate designs created from petals, and processions re-enacting the Passion of Christ.
In Cusco, Peru, and the surrounging villages the key date is Holy Monday (the Monday before Easter Sunday), the day of the Señor de los Temblores (the black Christ of the Earthquakes).
Popayán, Colombia has its buildings' white façades painted every year prior to Holy Week and the city comes alive with traditional processions, including a children's one and a religious music festival.
We hope you are inspired by our suggestions and feel free to contact us for further information or for help creating your very own itinerary (be it for Easter or any other period).
“Wow! What a brilliant holiday. It was well organised with the pace of activities and leisure time just right. Thank you Last Frontiers for your excellent organisation" - LM (Costa Rica)
"We had a magical time in Peru! All ran smoothly according to your brilliant schedule" - ES (Peru)
"The Galapagos week was just fabulous, everything we had hoped for and more! Thank you - big time" - MF (Galapagos)