Ahead of the curve in Latin America
A 10-day cruise from Cayenne (French Guiana) to Fort-deFrance in Martinique costs from £4,233 departing December 19 2018. Excludes flights (0800 980 4027; ponant.com).
Unlike marshes and swamps, wetlands are always on the move, their crystalline waters shifting and shaping the islets and coasts of this immense wilderness. Fish numbers rise and fall with the waters, with angling limited to certain areas for only a third of the year. The best time to go for wildlife is from May to early November (and within that, July to October for jaguar).
A 10-day trip to the Brazilian Pantanal with Last Frontiers costs from £5,250 per person, combining a three-night stay on the Mutum Expeditions boat with four nights at Pousada do Rio Mutum (between lakes Sia Mariana and Chacorore) and a night in Sao Paulo. The price includes transfers and all flights (01296 653000; lastfrontiers.com).
Original Travel offers a sevennight trip to Ecuador including a four-night cruise on the Anakonda and two nights at Casa Gangotena in Quito, from £3,950 per person. Includes flights and transfers (020 3582 4990; originaltravel.co.uk). As travellers demand more privacy and exclusivity, Galapagos operators are increasingly offering smaller vessels. Natural World Safaris offers several tailor-made trips to the awe-inspiring archipelago ranging in length from four to 15 days. Perhaps the most enticing option is a 13-day itinerary that combines a cruise on the 16-passenger Petrel Catamaran, launched in 2016. All rooms have a private balcony, and there’s a hot tub and dining room.
The cruise is combined with stays at the African-style Galapagos Safari Camp on Santa Cruz island and Scalesia Lodge on Isabela. Bluefooted and Nazca boobies, Galapagos giant tortoises, waved albatrosses and marine iguanas are just some of the wildlife you are sure to see. Children must be aged seven-plus.
From £6,060 per person; excludes flights (01273 691642; naturalworldsafaris.com).