Panama

Panama is the crossroads of the Americas. Panama can be heady stuff indeed – but years of occupation and the ‘Big Ditch’ are not its only claim to fame. There are unexplored coral reefs, minute frogs in red, orange and yellow, the intriguing archipelago of San Blás, vast stretches of cool highlands and thundering rivers.…

Nicaragua

Nicaragua is a friendly and peaceful country that has received some negative press over the years. But maybe that’s not such a bad thing, for, while other countries in the region have been flooded by tourists, Nicaragua has managed to preserve its authenticity and character. The largest country in Central America, Nicaragua is full of…

Honduras

Honduras is the second largest country in Central America but its population is no larger than that of neighbouring El Salvador, the smallest country. The capital, Tegucigalpa, is a chaotic celebration of colonial architecture divided by steep cobbled streets. Get out of town and the mountainous interior has minimal road access, keeping it firmly off…

Guyana

Guyana is truly a wild frontier – a land of few roads, pristine forest and ecotourism opportunities aplenty. The coastal region is dominated by a mixture of coconut palms, calypso music, Dutch drainage systems, Hindu temples, rice and Demerara sugar. Leaving the sea behind, it is a land of waterfalls and rainforest, giving way to…

Guatemala

Guatemala is a land of kaleidoscopic colour. The red lava tongues of its volcanoes contrast with the shadows of the caves in the southern Petén, believed to lead into a mysterious underworld, jagged with stalactites and stalagmites. Further south, blankets of white sand coat the Caribbean Coast near Lívingston, while on the black-sand Pacific Coast,…

French Guiana

French Guiana, or Guyane (gwee-ahn), is an overseas department of France. The capital, Cayenne, which sits on a peninsula at the mouth of the Cayanne River, was founded by French traders in the 17th century, but actually takes its name from an Amerindian prince. The country is still heavily dependent on its guardian nation for…

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…