Central hits, southern highlights – why Latin America will rock your travel world

Let the curtain part and the show begin: we've got South and Central America in the spotlight and they're giving the performance of a lifetime.

Starlit landscapes, epic wilderness, delectable cuisines, enchanting cultures and intriguing people are all on show in this unparalleled part of the world – just check out all the things to do, see, eat and imbibe below for a taste of what this incredible continent has to offer.

Things to do in Central & South America

1. Hike the Inca Trail

Hiking the mountains, valleys, cloud forests and tundra of Peru’s twisting and turning Inca Trail is one of life’s travel highlights. All trips to Peru

5. Dance class in Cuba

Feel the rhythm of Cuba while dancing the salsa in one of the many dance halls and clubs of this saucy country. All trips to Cuba

2. Football match in Buenos Aires

Experience passion, jubilance, agony and heartbreak during this highly entertaining afternoon of sporting (and spectator) prowess. All trips to Argentina

6. Treasure hunt at Chichicastenango market

Enjoy a riot of sound, colour and produce at this famous market held on Thursdays and Sundays. All trips to Guatemala

3. Sloth-spotting in Costa Rica's jungles

Be sure to look up to see slow-moving sloths – you’ll mostly find them hanging out in the trees. All trips to Costa Rica

7. Explore the colonial heart of Cartagena

Wander labyrinthine alleyways before settling into an open-air café nestled amongst buganvillias. All trips to Colombia

4. Soak up the sun on Rio's Ipanema Beach

Choose your spot between the posts and spend hours watching the endless action of Brazil’s famed beach. All trips to Brazil

8. Go underground in Potosi

Delve deep into the heart of a tin mine in Bolivia's Potosi – it's a confrontational yet unforgettable experience. All trips to Bolivia

Things to see in Central & South America

1. Christ the Redeemer

Although its open arms can be seen from all over Rio, it's when you’re up close that you understand the statue’s magnificence. All trips to Brazil

5. Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni

These expansive salt flats contain a wonder of reflective landscapes, sulphur pools, coloured lakes and hot springs. All trips to Bolivia

2. Patagonia's Perito Moreno Glacier

This mass of ice set against looming mountains can be found in Argentina's Los Glaciares National Park. All trips to Argentina

6. Maya ruins in Mexico

Palenque, Tulum, Chichen Itza and Mitla are just a taste of the archaeological wonders within Mexico’s borders. All trips to Mexico

3. The power of Iguazu Falls

These spellbinding falls, 2,700m in diameter, cascade into the Iguazu River along the border of Argentina and Brazil. All trips to Brazil

7. The moai of mysterious Easter Island

At up to 10 metres tall, these massive stone statues set an imposing figure along the island’s coastline. All trips to Chile

4. The island paradise of the Galapagos

Set sail on clear, blue waters and discover the world’s most unique landscapes and animals. All trips to Ecuador

8. The ancient architecture of Machu Picchu

Located in Cuzco’s Urubamba Valley, this icon of Peru is a remarkable example of Inca ingenuity. All trips to Peru

Things to eat & drink in Central & South America

1. Taste the oldest distilled spirit in Mexico (no it's not tequila!)

Forget shots of tequila – opt for artisanal mezcal (made from 100% agave) instead. All trips to Mexico

5. Tune into your inner carnivore in Argentina

Argentina’s steaks don’t have an almost god-like reputation for nothing. All trips to Argentina

2. Try the iconic pisco sour

Claimed by both Chile and Peru, this beverage is both highly refreshing and (funnily enough) sour. All trips to Peru

6. Discover the tang of ceviche

Raw fish marinated in lime or bitter orange, onion and chilli – ceviche is a must-try dish while in Peru. All trips to Peru

3. Sip sunset caipirinhas

Made with rum, mint and lime, Brazil's national cocktail is a little too easy to drink. All trips to Brazil

7. Indulge in South America's 'sweet milk'

Dulce de leche ­– South America’s sticky, gooey, caramel-like goodness – is the continent’s sweetest treat. All trips to Chile


4. Peru's sought-after cuy

Guinea pig (cuy) are not pets in Peru but a favourite and celebrated dish. All trips to Peru

8. Bite into crunchy llapingachos

Just try to resist Ecuador’s llapingauchos - potato patties stuffed with cheese and cooked 'til crisp. All trips to Ecuador


Articles on Central & South America

Top 5 lost cities of Latin America

Central and South America will whet any traveller’s appetite for real adventure with its jungle-clad ruins, steamy rainforests and wildly rugged landscapes. It’s the ultimate destination for the curious and daring, so we’ve tracked down the most intriguing lost cities of this legend-fuelled land…

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8 reasons to go to Guatemala now

Ok, so we know there’s a heap of amazing places to travel to, so why choose to explore Guatemala over all the others?

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5 of Colombia’s most beautiful places

Travel to Colombia and you’re sure to come back talking of the country’s stupendous beauty. It’s the only South American nation with access to both Caribbean and Pacific coastlines, contains sectors of both the Amazon and Andes, and is said to pack in higher levels of biodiversity per square kilometre than any other country.

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Rediscovering Peru food as we know it

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5 Peru ruins you didn't know you should visit

Chances are if you’re travelling to Peru you are thinking of visiting Machu Picchu. These legendary ruins are certainly worth the hike (quite literally if you embark on the Inca Trail), but you may not be familiar with the wealth of other captivating and crowd-free ruins that are littered across this ancient and impressive landscape.

Swimming with dinosaurs in the Galapagos

Visiting the islands last year, I had the opportunity to get closer than I ever thought possible to animals I had only ever seen on the Discovery Channel. Every morning I would get up with the sun to swim in the clear waters off Isabella Island and without fail, the sea lions would body-surf the waves alongside me.