Join us on a journey through Africa, Madagascar and Latin America. Discover the natural beauty that these continents have to offer. Read our travel articles written by experts in Africa & Latin America.
Tierra Patagonia beautifully overlooks the Lake Sarmiento which can be seen from all the rooms. There is a living room, bar, presentation room, television room, dining room and wireless in the public areas. After a day of excursions such as trekking, mountain hikes and horseback riding, guests can relax in the outdoor Jacuzzi, indoor swimming pool, sauna and Uma Spa. The guides at the hotel will even take you to the less visited areas of this beautiful national park.
Tierra Atacama is one of a new generation of boutique lodges in the oasis town of San Pedro de Atacama.
Tierra Atacama has two family suites and 30 rooms, all of which are spacious and extremely comfortable. Rooms are furnished in a minimalist style but with materials sourced from the local area. The public areas of the hotel include a lounge, bar, restaurant, swimming pool and a multi-treatment spa. With so much to see surrounding San Pedro, the hotel organises many excursions by van, mountain-bike or horseback to explore the local villages and natural landscapes.
What better way to celebrate a good friend’s 40th birthday than to take him to the ‘end of the world’ on board a luxury cruise ship? Cape Horn is the most southerly point of continental America located in Chile’s barren and remote Patagonia. One of the best aspects of working in travel is being able to experience first-hand the incredible holidays that we offer our clients, and we were lucky enough to travel on the newest boat in the Australis fleet, the Stella Australis.
Although Punta Arenas is the most populated city in this region of Patagonia you wouldn’t realise this as you wander the deserted streets. It’s so windy everyone tends to stay tucked up inside or pack themselves into the bustling and cozy coffee shops. We boarded the Stella in the early evening and after settling into our comfortable cabin, we ventured to the top deck lounge to meet our new travelling companions.
Over the next four days and nights we sailed from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia via the ‘pancake’ flat waters of the Strait of Magellan and the famous Beagle Channel. Each day we set off on inflatable zodiac boats to get closer to the wildlife and explore the wilderness landscapes. We spotted Magellanic penguins, wandered through the verdant Patagonian forests and hiked to a view point where we could fully appreciate the huge awe-inspiring glaciers and the spectacularly endless mountainous vistas.
My highlight of the expedition was setting foot on the rocky promontory of Cape Horn and then taking the short walk to the very end of the earth! Due to the unpredictable weather in this wild and desolate outpost we had to don our bright orange life jackets for the customary photos, but none-the-less the picture bear witness to this truly spectacular and memorable experience.
The popularity of Brazilian cuisine is on the rise here in the UK with the opening of a host of churrascarias which are quite simply an all you can eat buffet. Feast on the salads and typical Brazilian options such as cassava (also know as mandioca) chips, black beans , rice and the delicious pao de queijo which is a cheesy bread! The main draw however is the delicious meat which is served on skewers – from different cuts of beef to pork and chicken hearts! Yes they sound disgusting but are now one of my favorites – try them!
Often considered the national dish, feijoada was introduced to South America by the Portuguese. The name comes from the word ‘feijao’ which means beans in Portuguese. The basic ingredients of this filling dish are beans (normally black) with either fresh salted pork or beef (don’t be surprised by an ear or trotter in your food) along with bacon and smoked sausages. Prepared over a low heat in a thick clay pot this is a dish that takes time to prepare and is served up covered in a dark broth. Add some rice and farofa (a filler made with cassava flour) and you are all set to tuck in!
Oh and don’t forget the drinks – an ice cold beer or refreshing caipirinha! Enjoy!
Churrascharias can be found in most towns throughout Brasil and offer a relatively inexpensive was to eat out. Factor around 40 BRL (approx £13) for the whole meal (including dessert). A feijoada meal for two is around 70 BRL (approx £24) but can easily be shared between 3 or 4 people. In tourist areas such as Copacabana look for restaurants hidden away a few blocks from the seafront for better value at non touristy prices.
If you’d like to experience Brazil, speak to our Brazil holidays travel specialists and find out more today.
A true cinematic cityscape, Rio de Janeiro occupies one of the most spectacular settings of any metropolis in the world. Flanked by gorgeous mountains, white-sand beaches and verdant rain-forests, Rio is famous for Samba, football and best known for its iconic statue of Christ the Redeemer. With the upcoming World Cup in 2014 and the next Olympics being hosted in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, its a destination that will grow in popularity, intoxicating it’s visitors with its tropical cocktails and beautiful vistas.
Take a visit to Corcovado Mountain to see the iconic Christ the Redeemer Statue
Walk along the infamous Copacabana Beach
Take the cable car up Sugar Loaf Mountain
Try Brazil's National Cocktail - A Caipirinha. A must on your Brazil holiday
Famous for its various species of giant tortoises, the Galapagos Islands is home to about 20,000 individual tortoises. Butone of these, Lonesome George, stood out from the crowd. He was first found in 1972 and was believed to be the last of his sub-species (Chelonoidis nigra abingdoni). Conservationists tried for years to get him to mate with females from a similar sub-species, but to no avail, even putting up a reward of $10,000 for anyone who found a suitable mate. Just like Ling Ling and Tong Tong, the giant pandas famous in the 1990’s, no offspring were ever produced.
Sadly Lonesome George has recently died, found dead by his keeper who had looked after him for forty years. He was thought to be about a hundred years old which is relatively young as his sub-species can live to two hundred. The Galapagos tortoises demonstrate the phenomenon of ‘gigantism’ which occurs in some species when they evolve on isolated islands. In the late 19th century sailors and fishermen arrived and hunted the tortoises for their meat and almost drove them to extinction. George was very popular with the 180,000 or so tourists who choose a Galapagos holiday each year and the Ecuadorian people even had an image of him on their bank notes and stamps.
Simon Reeve visited Lonesome George before his death whilst filming the BBC series Equator – watch the video below.
Who needs Strictly Come Dancing when you can experience the real thing in a bustling, steamy salsateca in Colombia? From the moment you land in this vibrant country the warmth and hospitality of the people overtakes you. Nothing is too much trouble with a real zest for life and ultimately you have a real positive feeling of being in a safe, welcoming environment.
As night kicks in the bars and clubs of the major cities come alive. People mill the streets, music pounds from behind closed doors and you are drawn to move your body. As the music pulsates you can’t help but get in the mood. Grab a partner and give it a go! If you need a helping hand, grab an aguardiente (traditional Colombian liquor) or Michelada (beer with lime juice in a glass rimmed with salt). Alternatively just stick to a locally brewed cold beer, such as Aguila or Club Colombia. Maybe even take a chiva bus and party on the move before deciding on a place to dance the night away.
Kukaramakara - image by Kristian Goldring
Ask a local or venture to the following areas in the main cities – El Centro in Cartagena, Parque Lleras in Medellin and Parque del Perro in Cali.
Some of my favourite party places:
Mango’s in Medellin Carerra 42 No. 67A-121, Itagui A great cowboy theme night to watch beautiful people, this is the place to be seen in Medellin!
Mr Babilla’s in Cartagena Av del Arsenal No 8B-137, Getsemani A huge club with a great selection of collectibles, popular with both locals and tourists.
Kukaramakara in Cali Calle 28 Nte. No. 2Bis – 97, Cali A great place for to class salsa and live music.
The best way to start the next day is of course with a freshly brewed cup of strong Colombian coffee.
Africa and Latin America are brimming with spectacular sights and breathtaking experiences, and our mission at Rainbow Tours is to ensure that every holiday is exceptional. Each trip is planned with care and insight. At the same time we aim to ensure that tourism has a positive effect on the countries we send visitors to and on the people they meet.