News

Americas Welcomes Jude

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“I am delighted to have joined Americas, a company I have long respected, and which I first got to know over ten years ago. Over the years I have worked for several small and medium sized tour operators, but developed my passion for Latin America while working for Sunvil Traveller in Isleworth. Since then I have worked as a Product Manager for Explore Worldwide, and become part of the team for the LATA Foundation. I am really looking forward to my new role within the Americas partnership, and to getting to know you all over the coming months.  WTM is not far away now, so I will see many of you there!”

Welcome Panama Journeys

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Panama is often associated with the tremendous engineering work of the canal which has been operating for more than a century and considered by some to be the eighth wonder of the world. However, it is not just about steel and concrete. Magnificent tropical scenery is abound including some the of the world’s most untouched areas of rainforest.  One third of the total land area is set aside as Protected Areas and National Parks, and indigenous peoples have their rights respected to continue living in their traditional lands.

A haven for nature lovers, Panama is home to 800 bird species, 200 mammals, 240 reptiles and more than 10,00 species of plants. It offers excellent birdwatching experiences in the Soberania National Park or Volcan Baru – Panama’s only volcano – and its clean beaches and clear waters provide an unrivalled experience for divers, snorkelers and surfers.  Furthermore, the countryside offers ample scope for hiking, cycling or white water rafting.

The country has a rich historical past and oozes charm, traditions and folklore.  Explore the “Old Quarter”, the historical center of Panama City, the little town of Portobelo on the Caribbean Sea with the ruins of its fortress and its cultural wealth and the Forts of San Lorenzo and Portobelo which have been designated World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. The little town of Natá de los caballeros preserves a large church that evokes the period of the Spanish domination, and Parita with its little colonial center revives memories of the glorious colonial past where the time seems to have stopped.

Spotlight on Viajes Buemes and Uruguay

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Uruguay is one of the smallest and often overlooked Latin American countries. Liberal and fun-loving, Uruguay is a land of rolling hills and verdant pastures, where you can can ride out on horseback in true gaucho style, returning to your estancia at the end of each day to tuck into steak and some excellent local wine.

Our partner Viajes Buemes, can tailor-make the right Uruguayan experience for your clients. From Boutique Beach Hotels to Whale Watching – via Gourmet Food Tours, blending your own wine and horse riding.

Andrea and her team at Buemes offer an exciting range of tours and excursions catering for FITs as well as groups, meetings, incentives and special interest tours. They understand the UK market especially well, working with a huge number of UK clients, as well as arranging the shore excursions for many of the world’s major cruise companies.

Key Destinations:

•       Colonia – Like a walk back in time, this old colonial town is renowned for its cobbled streets and colourful houses and is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. The little port of Colonia lies on the River Plate estuary and is easily accessible from Montevideo and Buenos Aires.

•       Punta Del Este – Commonly referred to as the St Tropez of South America.  The gentle waters of the beaches on the bay side of the peninsula are suitable for bathing and relaxing, while the rougher waters of the surfing beaches are on the ocean side. Punta del Este, is a see-and-be-seen jet-set mecca with a white sandy beach whose restaurants, clubs and designer boutiques would not look out of place on the French Riviera.

•       Jose Ignacio – 30km from the bright lights of Punta del Este, Jose Ignacio is perceived as quieter but with a reputation for sophistication.  Boutique hotels, excellent restaurants and near-empty beaches provide a different beach experience from Punta Del Este.

•       Laguna de Rocha – This protected landscape on the Atlantic coast is well known for its biodiversity.  Its ecosystem has made it a prime site for birds, especially waterfowl, otters, capybaras, turtles, foxes, rheas and mules; not to mention the Darwin frog, an endangered species worldwide.

•       The nation’s waterfront capital, Montevideo is the third most southern capital in the world. It boasts a wonderfully eclectic mix of modern skyscrapers, art deco and colonial buildings. The city is a vibrant place with a rich cultural life and a thriving entertainment scene.   Montevideo is well known for the Mercado del Puerto – where Uruguayans have been trading local goods since 1868. It’s a great place to grab a chivito, the steak sandwich that’s the national dish of Uruguay.

•       Estancias – Uruguay’s grand old ranches.  There is a wide range of options allowing you to step into the boots of gaucho for a few days and enjoy the freedom of the rolling plains.  Choose from guest houses, farms and ranches in the centuries-old construction of the colonial era, sympathetically renovated to meet the needs of the 21st century visitor.

Stand-out Tours and Products Americas likes include:

•       Whale watching – The season has just begun! Fourteen species of whales can be seen in Uruguayan waters including the impressive Southern Right Whale (Ballena Franca).

•       Montevideo’s markets and bars –  a four hour tour of Montevideo’s hidden treasures.

BA announce Santiago Flights!

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Great aviation news for Latin America!

From first week of 2017, Chile will be a little more accessible for Britons, thanks to the launch of a direct British Airways flight between London Heathrow and Santiago.

The service will begin on January 3, and will immediately become BA’s longest route – the 14 hours and 40 minutes required to travel to the Chilean capital eclipsing the 13 hours and 50 minutes it currently takes the airline to fly between Heathrow and Buenos Aires. The connection to Santiago will run four times a week.

This is great news for Chile and Latin America!

LATA House of Lords event

At an event at the House of Lords last week LATA was delighted to formally induct Lillian Mathieson from Americas and Merina Begg from Argentina Travel Partners to the LATA Hall of Fame for their outstanding contribution to Latin America travel over the years.

   

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Something new in Arenal!

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Cultour

This tour combines the beauty of nature and a friendly visit to the community, the visitors will discover the culture, traditions and daily rural life in a small countryside town. Visitors will be welcomed at the terrace of La Casona Río Fortuna, a place full with history, culture and traditions. After a short walk, they reach the sugar cane mill to learn how sugar cane was processed more than one hundred years ago. They will prepare coffee and have fresh made tortillas with homemade sour cream and cheese. Those who will like to participate in the preparation are more than welcome!

After that everyone will get into a tractor-pulled wagon to continue this journey through different plantations and the warm greeting of the villagers. The drive leads to the local school. This is a unique opportunity to compare and contrast the education system in Costa Rica to other education systems. This visit consists of a guided tour of the school, led by the director, a teacher, and/or students, a presentation, and a question and answer session. Guests will be received by the students with traditional dances and music. During the day, they will also visit a local farm where they will learn about organic farming.

It includes: Lunch and traditional tortilla class with coffee break and visit to the local primary school

What to bring? Light clothes, hiking shoes, sunscreen lotion, insect repellent, camera and binoculars.

Duration: 4 hours

Important note: The visit to the Primary School is available from Monday through Friday, during regular school hours.

   

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Peru Update

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First and foremost everyone at America’s would like to wish all our lovely readers a Happy New Year, we all wish you the very best!

We’re kicking 2016 off with a quick recap on some of tours and services offered by our Peru partners Lima Tours’ Peru package.

In case you missed it, Lima Tours’ use iPads for all airport pick-ups. These iPads are all about making your customers time as enjoyable and relaxing as possible. We’ve all have been in that situation at an airport where you’re looking for your transport but, simply can’t see the correct person or you just can’t read what their unrecognizable handwriting is saying. Well thankfully Lima Tours’ have eradicated that problem for quite some time now. Not will your customers being able read their name clearly, they will be able to clearly see that the person holding the iPad is a proud representative of Lima Tours’.

 

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Another unmissable feature of Lima Tours’ tour offerings is the once in a lifetime opportunity to visit Machu Picchu, one of the new seven wonders of the world! The below pictures of Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu are simply breathtaking.

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We love the look of this new lodge on the shores of Lake Titicaca – also offered by Lima Tours. Your clients can sit back and relax in their very own Amantica Lodge…

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Wine Tasting by Antique Cars – Uruguay

We love the sound of this new wine tour from Buemes Travel DMC, Uruguay….

 

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Transfer to the Winery Bouza, located in Melilla, at only 15 km from Montevideo downtown. You will be picked up on an antique car, such as a Chrysler sedan 1927, Chevrolet Double Phaeton Convertible 1929 or Ford “A” Sedan Luxe 1930 & 1931. These vehicles are 100% original and registered in FIVA (Federation Internationales Des Vehicules Anciens) in Brussels, Belgium. All vehicles maintain its original upholstered, breaks with metal rod and dampers, dynamo and perfumed with real flowers, remaining as they were built 85 years ago.

While enjoying the drive, you will be taken to Bouza Winery; one of Montevideo’s most well-known venues. The winery is part of a harmonious milieu, surrounded by vines and native woods. The diversity of the native plants and animals is influenced by the proximity of the Santa Lucia River and its outlet into the River Plate, known as the widest river in the world. The Winery was born as a family business, placing great care in all stages of the process, starting from the vineyard and ending in the cup of wine.

The property is divided into two fields, one in Las Violetas area of important vine-growing tradition, approximately 39 km from the center of Montevideo and of the River Plate. The other in Melilla, 5 km from the Santa Lucia River. The vineyard is composed by 10 hectares of Tannat, Merlot and Chardonnay plants, of ages ranging between 20 and 40 years. Also 13 hectares with new plantations of Tannat, Merlot, Tempranillo and Albariño, selecting high quality and low productivity clones.

Bouza Winery was built using the basic structure of an old winery functioning in the area since 1942. It was restored maintaining the original idea. Wine varieties: Albariño (white wine), Chardonnay, Merlot, Tannat-Merlot, etc. Today Uruguay entered with its wines to very competitive markets where each year gets first prizes in fairs and expositions.
Tour starts with a visit to the vineyards and orientation on process, observing the nature with a wide diversification of fauna and flora, a collection of antique cars like a Ford T 1926. Ford A, Citroen 1950, 1980, Alfa Romeo Spider 1960, or 1926 train wagons among others.

Afterwards a visit to the cave for a wine tasting of the different varieties.
Transfer back to your hotel.
Walking involved: Moderate but not recommendable for passengers with physical limitations.
Wine Tasting by Antique Cars
Tour Duration: Approx. 3:30 hs.
Cars Available: Chrysler Sedan 1927 – Chevrolet Doble Phaeton Convertible 1929 – 2 Ford “A” Sedan Deluxe 1930 – 1931

 

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Best WTM Give-away ever?

We’ve all been given USB memory sticks before.  But I can’t remember ever getting one of a country’s president, with removable head!

Thank you Bolivia Tourism for giving us a real laugh with this give-away.