The Latin American Travel Association reveals its latest updates.
Costa Rica records a rise in UK visitor numbers
Costa Rica has recorded an increase in visitors from the UK up by 7.8% in the first nine months of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016. From January to September 2017, a total of 57,906 Britons travelled to Costa Rica, compared to the 53,700 from the same period last year.
Mexico City named World Design Capital 2018
Mexico City has become the first Latin American city to be named the World Design Capital for 2018 at the 29th edition of the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design general meeting which took place in Gwangju, South Korea. The city was awarded for its commitment with design as an effective economic, social and cultural development tool.
New Archaeological site to open in Mexico
A new archaeological site called the Ichkabal Mayan – dating back to 300 BC – is set to open in 2018 in the southern region of Quintana Roo. T Located 82 kilometres from Chetumal in the municipality of Bacalar – the site is expected to increase visitor numbers to the region.
Nicaragua set to host the XI edition of the Central American Games
From 3-12 December, Managua in Nicaragua will host the Central American Games – a sporting competition made up of the seven countries of Central America including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Belize and Honduras, which takes place every four years. The event features a range of sports including athletics, basketball, surfing, hockey and rowing.
New ‘Route of Parks’ in Chile will connect 17 National Parks
The Carretera Austral – a Chilean route which traverses 1,000 kilometres through Patagonia from Puerto Montt to Villa O’Higgins – is being re-branded as the ‘Ruta de los Parques’ with the aim of developing adventure tourism in the region. The new route will be 1,500 miles long and will connect 17 national parks in Chile including Corcovado National Park, Patagonia National Park and the Yendegaia National Park.
‘Ecotourism Corridor’ introduced in Argentina
The Litoral region in Argentina has recently launched a new tourist route called the ‘Ecotourism Corridor’. The circuit encompasses four major areas including Iguazu & Mancona, Ibera, Impenetrable and Bañado La Estrella, and features hiking routes, horse riding paths as well as offering visitors the chance to learn about native people and their culture. The aim of the project is to encourage the conservation of endemic species and to promote tourism to these regions.
Tour Operator News
Great Rail Journeys launches ‘Mexico & The Copper Canyon’ tour in 2018
Great Rail Journeys has introduced a new 14-day ‘Mexico & The Copper Canyon’ tour travelling along the famous Copper Canyon Railway MXJ18, which runs through some of Mexico’s most rugged terrain, circumnavigating mountains and traversing ravines. Highlights of the trip include visiting some of Mexico’s lesser-known attractions such as Cusarare Falls and the Valley of the Monks, as well as including a tour of Mexico City and Merida. The holiday is priced from £3,995 per person including return flights from London to Mexico City, accommodation and all rail travel. Departures are available in March and November 2018. www.greatrail.com/tours/mexico-and-copper-canyon/#MXJ18
New Itz’ana Resort and Residences to open in Belize in December 2017
A new resort called the Itz’ana Resort and Residences is set to open in the bustling coastal village of Placencia in Belize. The hotel has 66 luxury cottages and villas, 20 hotel ocean-view suites, a rum room, restaurant, and a salt-water pool.
Ananay Hotel Group to open new boutique hotel in Arequipa in 2018
Luxury hotel group Ananay will be opening its fifth property in Peru in 2018 – a new boutique hotel called Palacio La Merced – built in a stunning historical building in Arequipa. The hotel will have 41 rooms and will also feature one of the most important colonial art collections in the city belonging to one of the owners of the hotel. The hotel will be strategically located near the white city’s Plaza Mayor and main tourist attractions and historical sites.
Awasi Patagonia welcomes South America’s first Puma Foundation
Awasi Patagonia – located in the Torres del Paine National Park in Chile – has expanded its private reserve by eight times, renting a sheep farming estancia and transforming it into South America’s first Puma Foundation. The reserve will protect the puma population in and around Torres del Paine National Park.
Luxury Hacienda Hotel Vira Vira introduces new heli-biking experience
The Hacienda Hotel Vira Vira – a Relais & Chateaux hotel located in Northern Chilean Patagonia – has recently launched a new heli-biking experience. Guests can take a helicopter ride over the active Villarica Volcano where they will have the possibility of being dropped off to bike down the side of the volcano. The heli rides are priced from £939 for two people.
Air Europa introduces new service from London to Recife
Air Europa has announced the launch of a new service from London Gatwick to the Brazilian city of Recife travelling via Madrid due to start on 20 December 2017. The twice-weekly route will operate on Wednesdays and Fridays with the addition of a third weekly flight expected in 2018. Return flights are priced from £651 per person.
LATAM Airlines launches new menu in economy class
LATAM Airlines has introduced a new gastronomic concept for economy cabins on its long-haul flights with durations of seven hours or more. The new in-flight dining experience offers passengers two new breakfast choices as well as a new menu for lunch and dinner. Passengers can choose from three options including a hot dish, vegetarian or a lighter cold option.