Plan South America’s Top Wildlife Adventures in Central America, South America and Antarctica
Treat your family to the ultimate wildlife experience in South America in the remote archipelago of the Galapagos Islands, off the coast of Ecuador. There are few things more rewarding than engaging your children in the natural world and watching their delight as they discover something for the first time. The Galapagos is the perfect destination to encounter uninhibited wildlife and makes for the ultimate family holiday. Whether you’re snorkelling with turtles, lazing on the sands with the sea-lions, spotting iguanas sunbathing on volcanic rocks or photographing the comical blue-footed booby, the myriad of Galapagos species to discover won’t disappoint. The islands are a year-round destination boasting different natural delights each month, so be sure to ask us when to travel, but April is particularly lovely with clear, warm waters.
Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula, home to 5% of the worlds biodiversity, offers an immersive wildlife experience deep in the rainforest. Stay in a private ocean view villa with a chef and exclusive naturalist guide to take you exploring off the beaten track. Spend your days spotting exotic birds, trekking in the mountains and deep-sea fishing. Back in the luxury of your villa, indulge in sundowners out on the deck in the company of howler monkeys, sloths and jaguars.
The vast wetlands of Brazil’s Pantanal are home to a staggering variety of wildlife, from jaguars and alligators to the imperilled hyacinth macaw. Travelling between May and September (dry season) is best to observe the wildlife when the waters recede. From the base of a comfortable lodge you’ll navigate through marshlands on horseback or canoe with a local naturalist guide, seeing mammals moving in to graze on the fresh pastures and birds flocking in to feast on the remaining fish. This is the perfect place to track the elusive jaguar with an expert guide – eyes peeled!
Discover Pacific Marine Life from a Private Catamaran
Charter a catamaran off Costa Rica’s Pacific coast for a trip to Isla Catalina and Isla Murcielagos. Swim with dolphins, manta ray, turtles, humpbacks, sharks and schools of vibrant tropical fish. Spend a peaceful night on board, dine on fresh ceviche washed down with a Michelada, catch the sunrise with a Café Britt and relax on the top deck in glorious sunshine before sailing leisurely back to port.
Awasi Patagonia, a luxurious lodge in southern Chile, has launched The Awasi Puma Foundation; a conservation project that is gathering ground breaking information on the behavioural patterns of native species and plotting wildlife movements in rural Patagonia. Pumas are uninhibited around Awasi’s secluded lodge, often passing by guests’ villas on their way back from hunting at night. You can explore with a private guide and 4×4, and take part in excursions with scientists and researchers to observe a range of species in their natural habitat, including puma tracking and monitoring hidden cameras traps.
Don your khaki attire and venture out on a wildlife retreat in Costa Rica’s outback. Hacienda Montezuma provides a home to a range of rescued animals, including pumas, jaguars, sloths, manigordos and 4 types of monkeys. Witness these creatures in their natural habitat as you explore the 5000acre farm on horseback.
Swim with Whale Sharks in Mexico
Isla Holbox just off the Caribbean coast of Mexico is a rustic beach paradise, perfectly located for swimming with whale-sharks from June – September. Why not head out on a private yacht to snorkel with whale sharks, guaranteeing maximum flexibility and proximity. Expect a delicious fish lunch on deck after your thrilling up-close encounter.
Penguin Patrol in Antarctica
The ecosytems of the South Pole and nearby islands are incredibly diverse, inhabited by penguins, seals, whales and abundant birdlife. There’s plenty of adventure in store on a trip to Antarctica; kayak around vast icebergs on the look out for seals or walk the peninsula shores that are covered with thousands of penguins. You can even try skiing across the white continent – where only penguins have gone before! January is the best time for exceptional wildlife viewing with long daylight hours and calm seas. We have hand-picked the very best small ships that sail Antarctic waters so that you can get the most personal and rewarding experience from your trip.
Visit a Sloth Sanctuary in Costa Rica
Take the kids to a sloth sanctuary to learn about the importance of wildlife conservation in Costa Rica. The baby sloths all cuddled up together and lazing in the sunshine are completely adorable! This is a great way to engage kids with nature, although you might struggle pulling them away from these extraordinary jungle creatures.
Binos at the ready! One of South America’s most spectacular nature reserves lies on the shores of Argentina’s Atlantic coast. Peninsula Valdes is colonised by penguins, sea lions, dolphins, orcas and elephant seals. But travel between June and December for the region’s wildlife highlight – a huge population of Southern Right whales migrates at this time of the year, gracing the shores with a true spectacle as they dive in and out of the ocean in great numbers. For an exhilarating up-close encounter, kayak with the whales out on the open seas, where you’ll get a real gauge of their size! Stay in our favourite rustic and cosy private cliff-top retreat for the most phenomenal views of the wild coastline.
Argentina’s Esteros del Ibera are the second largest wetlands in the world and home to a wonderful array of species. Paddle across lagoons populated by caiman, capybara, anteaters and otters, and horse ride through the wetlands taking in the patchwork of exotic birds as they swoop through the reeds performing a mesmerising chorus of birdsong. In the evening, relax into a peaceful way of life at a traditional lodge and enjoy sundowners around the swimming pool as the sun sets into the wetlands.