Falkland Islands

This remote South Atlantic outpost, where penguins outnumber people, is the only part of South America where the currency is the Pound and the British monarch’s head appears on the stamps. Windswept they may be, but the islands are a haven for wildlife and a paradise for those who are willing to travel to see…

El Salvador

Lively and incredibly friendly; packed with volcanoes, rich forests and craggy mountains; fringed by golden beaches and first class waves which would satisfy the most adventurous surfer and sun-worshippers: El Salvador is a perfect one-stop destination. Most people have a love-hate relationship with the capital San Salvador; it retains the charm of the Spanish era…

Dutch Caribbean

The southern group of Dutch islands comprises Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao, just north of Venezuela. All KLM flights to Peru and Ecuador touch down here which make extensions very easy. Dutch, the local colloquial language Papiamentu, Spanish and English are widely spoken. The islands offer year-round sunshine, with an average temperature of 27°C. The wettest…

Colombia

Much of Colombia is now firmly on the travel circuit, and the adventurous will fall in love with this land of sun and emeralds, despite the well-publicised drug trade and guerrilla activity. Opportunities for climbing, trekking and diving are excellent and there are mud volcanoes to bathe in, acres of flowers, remote coffee fincas high…

Brazil

Described as the sexiest people on earth, Brazilians are seduced by the sounds of their music and the lure of the beach. Along its 7,250km coastline, there is a stretch of sand for every volleyball player, capoeira dancer, surfer, dune-buggy driver, and the national sport could as easily be flirtation as football. But Brazilians have…

Mexico

From the vivid wall paintings at Bonampak to the mighty temples of Chichén Itzá, and from the bizarre Olmec heads in Veracruz to the heart of jungle-swathed Palenque, the sheer variety of archaeological sites in Mexico is astounding. Add to this the brilliance of the Caribbean Sea, huge canyons and dense jungles and you have…

Costa Rica

Peaceful, calm and 100% democratic… ah, that’ll be Costa Rica. Coast to coast, it’s so rich in wildlife – more than 25% of Costa Rica is protected in national parks and reserves – that you’d think ticos had a monopoly on nature. Quetzals flit through the moss-draped cloud forest, hummingbirds congregate to drink nectar, monkeys…

Cuba

Everybody’s image of Cuba is different. For some, it’s an idealised tropical paradise – scenes of palm trees swaying alongside endless dazzling white beaches and a turquoise sea. Others remember its past decadence: stories of Hemingway and Greene, cheap rum, gambling, wild dances and cigars being rolled on the thighs of dusky maidens. Only the…

Chile

Chile is a ribbon of land squashed between the Pacific and the Andes. Its landscape embraces glacial wilderness and moonscapes, lakes and volcanoes, beaches, salt flats, and the burnt colours of the desert. In one day it is possible to scale a mountain with ice axe and crampons, soak off the exhaustion in a thermal…