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.
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.
For anyone who is on holiday in Buenos Aires in August, the Buenos Aires Tango Festival is a must. The festival brings together the top tango dancers in the world and showcases their talent. At the festival visitors are able to watch the best dancers for free.
The festival is in fact two events in one – it starts with a nine-day celebration of tango and then ends with the world championships. During the two week festival over 150 concerts, dance shows, ‘milongas’ and parties take place and they are all free! An estimated 400,000 visitors are expected this year. The global growth and influence of tango has been so great that in December 2009 UNESCO declared Tango to be a part of the World’s Cultural Heritage.
You may recall viewers of BBC’S Strictly Come Dancing being dazzled by Simon Vincent and Flavia Cacace, and if so, it will come as no surprise to learn that they have won the Buenos Aires World Championships several times. If you want to get in the mood for a holiday in Argentina, I recommend that you go and see their sell out show, Midnight Tango, which is currently touring the UK. For dates see www.midnighttango.co.uk
Our Latin American experts can advise you on a Tango Festival Package which includes VIP tickets to the finals.
If you’re not lucky enough to be traveling to Latin America this year, and can’t make the show, all is not lost as you can get a taste of this sensual dance right here – have a look at this video of the 2008 champions José Fernandez and Melody Gisele Celatti.
It looks like something from a Hollywood movie, but this time, it was for real! One lucky tourist was on a boat tour at the Upsala Glacier in Argentina’s Los Glaciares National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1981, and captured this incredible video of an iceberg slowly emerged from the ocean, sending a torrent of water rushing down its side and flipping over.
Iceberg at Argentina’s Los Glaciares National Park
Writing on YouTube under the name “osibaruch”, the tourist who captured this amazing footage said, “while we were passing by on a catamaran, the huge berg lost a part of itself (look at the right side sinking) and then flipped over with a huge roar. In the process of melting this happens all the time, but it is seldom that it is captured on video WHEN it happens…”
The BBC reported that the Upsala Glacier, once the largest in South America and stretching over 60km, has been disappearing at the rate of nearly 200 metres a year.
Excursions and tours to the area are popular among holidaymakers visiting the southern region of Argentina.
Watch the video here.
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.