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Why you should stay at Hacienda La Danesa in Ecuador

November 7, 2019
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I had the pleasure of staying at Hacienda La Danesa a stunning rural estate that combines a luxurious boutique hotel and working farm on a recent trip to Ecuador. Just one and a half hours from Guayaquil, the hacienda has everything from horses and cows to cacao and sugar cane. Activities include hiking, biking, beekeeping, horseriding, a bean to bar chocolate experience and more. Its proximity to the gateway to the Galapagos makes it a good option to stop and relax after visiting the enchanted isles, although it would work just as well as an accommodation option before. Arriving at the Hacienda gives you the feeling of being transported back in time. The driveway is lined by tall teak trees. The fields behind are filled with sugar cane, cocoa and grass for the horses. Set in stunning grounds the main house and surrounding guest rooms are a bustle of activity….

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Manta Rays of The Galapagos

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Here Kit shares his experience of diving with Giant Manta Rays in the Galapagos Islands. It was a talk by Peruvian Conservationist and Rolex Prize winner Kerstin Forsberg in 2017 that first alerted me to the existence of Giant Oceanic Manta Rays. These vast, majestic Rays can grow up to 9 metres across and spend their lives circumnavigating the world’s equatorial waters. Gently gliding through the water filter-feeding on microscopic plankton, small fish and crustaceans. Sadly, like so much of our planet’s incredible wildlife, they are under threat by fishing practices, both as bycatch and through direct fishing (their gills are viewed as “remedies” for chickenpox and cancer in traditional Chinese medicine). Their long reproductive cycles delivering once about every 2-5 years means that even the slightest pressure from fishing puts the long term viability of the species in jeopardy. The prospect of seeing these magnificent creatures first hand was…

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On the Lares Trail to Machu Picchu

July 16, 2019
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Kit from our marketing team shares his experiences of travelling to Machu Picchu on the Lares Adventure with Mountain Lodges of Peru. My mum used to live in Peru with my grandparents in the early 80s, so from an early age, I had grown up on a diet of stories about South America. So it was with great excitement that I told them that Latin Routes were sending me on the Lares Adventure to Machu Picchu! Before the trip began in Cusco, I had assembled a tick list of the exciting sights I wanted to see in Lima, from the famous port of Callao to the pre-Colombian gold museum, not to mention the mouth-watering gastronomic scene that I’d heard so much about. Arriving in Lima in the evening, I was greeted at the airport by my driver and guide, a charming pair that immediately made me feel welcome in this…

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Top 5 Things to See in the Galapagos

June 13, 2019
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Samir, one of our travel specialist team leaders, has returned from a trip to the Galapagos Islands. Here he shares the 5 things he enjoyed most. Highlands & Darwin Research Centre, Santa Cruz Island The Highlands and Darwin Research are located on Santa Cruz Island and are a typical pit stop for cruise going visitors as it is en route to Puerto Ayora from Baltra airport. This was the perfect start to my Galapagos adventure and got my taste buds salivating. As the bus worked its way along the only road from the north side of the island, the desert-like terrain slowly transitioned into lush green vegetation. I was entering the home of a local resident that I had been waiting to encounter for a very long time – the giant tortoise! The water saturated Highlands provide the perfect conditions for the giant tortoise and their insatiable appetite. This can…

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Latin Routes announces renewed partnership with Water-to-Go and commits to the LATA sustainability Charter.

June 12, 2019
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Latin Routes, an award-winning leading operator in the Latin America holiday market, is pleased to announce the renewal of its partnership with Water-to-Go. Following a successful first year trial, the Latin America specialist reassured its commitment to reduce single-use bottled water from private transfers & tours and will continue to offer every client a Water-to-Go reusable filter bottle. In Latin America, often the water that flows from the tap is not up to UK standards, which often leads visitors to rely on single-use plastic bottled water. By offering Water-to-Go reusable bottles Latin Routes reassures its commitment to make its operations as sustainable as possible. The renewal of the contract was agreed today at the Experience Latin America trade show in London, where Latin Routes was also delighted to announce its commitment to the LATA Sustainability Charter. The Charter aims to increase environmental awareness, to propel eco-tourism to the top of…

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Hidden gems of Uruguay

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Wine! While not as well known as Chile and Argentina for wine production, Uruguay is South America’s 4th largest producer – which considering its size is pretty impressive!  And it is certainly something that any traveller there can experience for themselves. One of the most stunning places to get your Tannat fix is Bodega Garzon – in Maldonado and just an hour from Punta del Este.  One of the most advanced vineyards in South America, they have cutting edge technology and an enormous valley to experiment with different grape varieties and microclimates.  Take a tour and see every step from vine to barrel, with enthusiastic experts and of course several glasses to taste.  And definitely don’t miss the restaurant, with a specialist open-fire method developed with Francis Mallmann, a great focus on local products and an expert wine pairing for each course lunch here is a great Uruguayan experience. Another…

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Costa Rican Adventures

May 17, 2019
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After a hop, a skip and jump over the Atlantic myself and my fellow travellers touched down over the sunnier waters of Costa Rica excited to explore the country afoot. We were greeted at the airport by our charming guide, who’s knowledge and expertise throughout were invaluable. The next morning, we were whisked off on our journey. Travelling through fields of local produce and stunning scenery, we stopped for a traditional Costa Rican breakfast of Gallo Pinto (beans and rice). This was a  delicious start and something we would become quite accustomed with during our time. Once fed and watered we continued our journey to the mystery of Tortuguero National Park. As we neared our destination, we boarded a motorized canoe. Blasting through the waters of the Tortuguero River we could see the jungle whizzing by. Pachira Lodge was the perfect base, the isolation alone allowing us to really immerse…

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Why visit Colombia?

April 12, 2019
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Thomas, one of our Travel Specialists, has returned from a recent trip to Colombia where he found himself faced by a question… Why visit Colombia? I am asked as we board the bus from Bogota airport to our hotel. I’ve rarely arrived somewhere to be asked as a welcome to think about why I am there as a tourist in the first place. Our guide, Pedro, perched over a seat and grasping his microphone as we swerve through traffic, hypothesises: What draws travellers to Colombia? Why is its popularity growing constantly? How much is Narcos responsible for the peak in interest? Here I retreat, conscious of how irksome it must be for Colombians when naive Westerners profane wanting to ‘walk in Pablo Escobar’s steps’. But far from vilifying Narcos as a negative portrayal of a country through its dark history, Pedro talk of embracing the opportunity that such programmes as…

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Off the beaten track wildlife in Costa Rica

March 18, 2019
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Owen shares his experiences from Costa Rica’s famous wildlife trail. For me, the principal attraction of Costa Rica was the sheer variety of wildlife and eco-systems packed into such a tiny country. This short trip was focused on three main areas Tortuguero, San Gerardo and the Osa Peninsula, all very different from each other, but united in their abundance of wildlife including jaguars, tapirs, hummingbirds, quetzals and sea turtles. After a night in the Central Valley to rest after the 10-hour flight from London, I was up early the first morning heading north to Tortuguero National Park on the Caribbean coast. After a couple of hours on the bus and a typical Tico breakfast of rice and beans, it was time to leave the roads behind and speed along the rivers and canals into Tortuguero. Soon after boarding the boat, I was able to begin spotting wildlife along the densely…

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Charlie’s top 5 things to do in Fortaleza

November 30, 2018
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Charlie Mason shares his experiences from the beautiful beachside city of Fortaleza, in North East Brazil. Fortaleza is the capital of the state Ceara, located in the northeast of Brazil. Known as the land of the sun (Terra do sol in Portuguese), it offers year-round sunshine for those looking to explore one of Brazils largest cities. Whether you are looking to enjoy a vibrant beachside city or looking to get away from the hustle and bustle and relax by a beautiful beach, Fortaleza has it all to offer, with a lot fewer international tourists than other large cities such as Rio and Sao Paulo. Another great thing about Fortaleza is how accessible it is due to regular International flights direct from Europe, making it a great place to begin or end your Brazilian adventure. Relax in Praia do Futuro Fortaleza may be one of the largest cities in Brazil, however…

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