Ahead of the curve in Latin Amer­ica

The Sunday Telegraph - Travel - - Front Page -

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).

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