Top 10 Marathon and Triathlon Vacations in Latin America
Run along the Inca Trail in Peru, across a desert in Chile or through the Brazilian jungle on marathon journeys into Latin America. Many of these are true adventure races in landscapes unscripted by man.
- Inca Trail Marathon, Peru
This 27.5 mile marathon on the Inca Trail is a remarkable adventure into the history of the grand Inca civilization. Explore intriguing ruins along the way and expansive views from high passes.
- Ironman Brazil, Florianopolis Island, Brazil
This popular race on the beautiful island of Santa Catarina in May gives competitors a real experience of the beauty and culture of Brazil and its friendly people. It’s a fairly elite race with a course of 3.8km in water, 180km on the bike and 42km running.
- K42 Adventure Marathon, Patagonia, Argentina
This part of the world is susceptible to extreme weather conditions making a marathon either a freezing experience of ice and snow or one of heat and sweat. The race is located in the eastern side of the Andes mountains just north of Bariloche on paths and mountain roads. The highest points climb to 4,758 feet but there’s no time limit and afterwards you can celebrate your finish with some of the world’s best meat and wine.
- Half Ironman Pucon, Chile
This event is held in the beautiful Lakes District of Chile every January on the edge of Villarica Lake. It’s a favorite race for many pros to travel to as a winter getaway from North America and Europe. It’s also one of the oldest triathlons in South America. The competition consists of a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike and 13.1 mile run.
- Jungle Marathon, Brazil
If you thought running 62.5 or 125 miles was hard, what about the added challenge of running through the Brazilian jungle? This is a real adventure activity held annually in October through the Floresta National de Tapajos. Runners are required to be self-sufficient and carry their own food and provisions and navigate on paths, tracks and trails in primary jungle crossing streams and rivers. Nights are spent in hammocks at campsites along the shores of the Tapajos river.
- Q50, Patagonia, Argentina
This is one of the few 50-mile ultra rail races in Argentina and takes place in one of the most beautiful places in the world. The challenging terrain, wind, snow and other natural elements make this a particularly difficult race.
- The Atacama Crossing, Chile
This is a six-stage, 155-mile footrace across the Atacama Desert in Chile. Over a period of six days competitors race 12-50 miles daily through the desert, carrying their own food and water. The Atacama Desert is the driest place on Earth, with an average rainfall of just 1mm per year creating an additional challenge to competitors. Plus the course usually ranges between 8,200 and 13,780 above sea level – almost half the height of Mt Everest.
- Reggae Marathon, Negril, Jamaica
This run through the Jamaican paradise is the ultimate experience particularly for Reggae lovers. Music can be heard from sound systems both tethered and mobile or from reggae bands along the course. The music will certainly help you pound out the miles as you go past. The race starts in December at Long Bay Beach Park along Negril’s famed seven-mile white sand beach.
- Bermuda Triangle Challenge
The runners traveling to Bermuda for the race weekend in January will have a unique challenge ahead providing they do not mysteriously disappear in the process. Of course the Bermuda Triangle is stuff of legends and the foot-to-pavement athlete need not fear except to complete either a one mile, 10km, half or full marathon event. The Marathon is a two-loop course that treats runners to spectacular views of Harrington Sound’s blue waters, elegant pastel-colored homes and lush green flora.
- Buenos Aires Marathon, Argentina
Take a tour of the city on foot in this annual foot race in October. The event takes in Callao Avenue, the Palermo neighborhood, La Boca’s Caminito and the city center. Make sure you schedule a few days afterwards to enjoy Buenos Aires. If the marathon didn’t wear you out the exuberant Tango dancing might.