Top 10 Expedition Cruises Vacations in Latin America
The spectacular fjords and glaciers in the Patagonian region of Argentina and Chile are an obvious and popular choice for expedition cruises in Latin America. But the crème de la crème will always remain the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador.
- The Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Expedition cruising in small groups is the perfect way to get up close to the unique species in and around these islands. Hike ashore to encounter iguanas, giant tortoises and the dancing albatross; learn about the geology via experienced naturalist guides, swim with sea lions or penguins and snorkel or dive to see the whales or sharks.
- The Sea of Cortez, Mexico
This narrow body of water separating Baja California and Mexico is known as the world’s largest fish trap. This is a prime hunting ground for whales, dolphins, seals, sea lions, sharks and giant Pacific manta rays. Whale watching is of prime interest to expeditions and there are also plenty of opportunities for snorkelers and divers.
- Panama Canal
Numerous cruise ships transit the Canal, but most do not have the opportunity to explore the fascinating country outside of the Canal. Small ships can take you on shore excursions to the large group of San Blas Islands to meet the indigenous Kuna Indians who have resisted changes to their culture for years.
- Islas Ballestras, Peru
Explore the Bay of Paracas and the coastal islands of Islas Ballestras by small boat to see the large colonies of sea lions and seabirds, including boobies, pelicans, terns and penguins.
- Machalilla National Park, Ecuador
The highlight of the Ecuador coastline is this massive coastal park, which includes several islands and onshore cloud and tropical forest. There are important archaeological sites dating back to 3000 BC as well as pre-Inca ruins. Snorkel with the beautiful underwater fish and explore the coves and deserted white sand beaches.
- Chilean Fjords & Patagonia
Anchor in the gorgeous bays and fiords and explore them using vehicles like jet boats and kayaks. Or go ashore for hiking or take a helicopter ride for panoramic views. Join a nature photographer or enjoy the insights of an environmental guide on whale and bird watching excursions.
- Tierra del Fuego National Park, Argentina
Antarctic cruises that start in Ushuaia usually take in this scenic park on the shores of the Beagle Channel. Learn about the primitive inhabitants, the yámanas aborigines who lived in huts at the Lapataia Bay area; explore the rivers, glacial originated lakes, the great bays and gorges on the seashore full of albatross.
- San Rafael National Park, Chile
Cruise through the spectacular archipelagos of Patagonia to the massive 30,000 year old glacier in San Rafael National Park. You can visit picturesque fishing villages and settlements on route and take refreshing thermal baths in the open air.
- Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina
The mountains, lakes and woods, not to mention the spectacular glaciers and massive lakes of this national park have created something akin to a travelers dream. Exploring by small ship you can get in close to the glaciers for a unique view.
- Costa Rica
Small ship voyages offer unparalleled access to the animals, plants and indigenous people of this unique link of land connecting North and South America. Visit the ports and remote landings that big ships pass by or seek wildlife in the jungle accompanied by naturalists.