Thousands of years of culture await you here: ancient Aztec and Mayan peoples have left mysterious buildings, and the Incas nailed mortar-less stonework despite having no nails – although plenty of gold and silver. The Spanish and Portuguese brought European ideas and architecture, and the Indians absorbed it all without losing their own identity.
From remote Galapagos to tiny Costa Rica to enormous Brazil, Central and Latin America is a riot of exotic wildlife, thick jungle, astonishing waterfalls, tropical beaches, cloud forest, volcanoes and the awesome Andes. There’s infectious music – El Condor Pasa on Pan pipes, saxophones on the streets of Havana, creole dancing in Peru, the tango, the salsa – to accompany the absorbing theatre of everyday life, whether it’s schoolboys clowning in Cusco’s main plaza or bull-fighters strutting to the ring.
Drink a Pisco sour, a Cuba Libre or a fine Chilean chardonnay at a barbecue in Argentina or make your own ceviche in Ecuador. Fly over the Nazca Lines, snorkel around a Spanish galleon stuck in a Caribbean reef, walk to Machu Picchu, dance at Carnival – it’s your choice!