Written by Jennifer Jones
Home to some of the most diverse and awe-inspiring landscapes on the planet, North, Central, and South America offer travelers plenty of epic-sized adventures.
From ocean and river cruising to expertly-led guided tours and unforgettable resort stays in some of the world’s most picturesque destinations, North, Central, and South America are vacation wonderlands that have it all – and then some. And with so many countries across the globe starting to welcome back visitors, you can once again experience a safe and hassle-free travel experience.
North American Splendor
When it comes to planning a vacation that’s close to home, yet far from ordinary, Canada and the U.S. have it all. The only challenge is choosing where to go. Anyone who loves getting out in great outdoors needs to experience the Canadian Rockies, either on a luxury train journey or escorted tour. The stunning scenery, along with world-class culinary delights, makes for the trip of a lifetime. Soaring grand mountains show off their brilliance and utterly charming towns such as beautiful Banff and spectacular Lake Louise welcome all. Try visiting in early fall when the leaves have started to change or in spring when the flowers are bursting with color.
Wine connoisseurs (and those who just love a superlative glass of vino) rave about California’s wine country. It tops our list not only for its world-class vintages, but for its stunning backdrops too. While Napa Valley continues to reign in popularity, Sonoma’s down-to-earth personality is a great alternative – and many wineries here allow picnicking. While you can certainly take a road trip through the region, a cruise land excursion or escorted tour is our preferred way of experiencing it all as you can leave the travel logistics to an experienced and licensed designated driver.
Tropical Central America
If a pristine tropical paradise, where you can explore lush jungle and ocean life in the same day, is calling you, then let us introduce you to Costa Rica. This eco-friendly Central American country is packed vibrant rainforests, miles of unspoiled coastline, and rich local culture. Although small in size, it has almost 1,200 miles of beaches boasting isolated rocky coves and vibrant coastal towns. The Costa Rican rainforests are home to thousands of species of birds, reptiles, and insects. More than 25 percent of Costa Rica is protected, and conservation of the natural environment is one of the country’s top priorities.
Another fantastic journey in Central America to cross off your bucket list is a cruise through the Panama Canal that highlights one of the greatest engineering feats of all time. Traversing the 40-mile Panama Canal is an experience you remember for the rest of your life. Panama Canal itineraries include many fascinating ports such as Cartagena, Limón, Huatulco, and Puerto Chiapas, as well as Caribbean island hotspots throughout the sailing. While heading to and from this man-made marvel, you will also be able to explore the shimmering sandy beaches and diverse culture that make Central America so enticing.
Ready for an off-the-beaten-path South American adventure that will take you on an unforgettable travel experience? Argentina is another vacation playground that home to the lively city of Buenos Aires, gorgeous Iguazu Falls, and the charming wine country of Mendoza. A visit to Argentina offers a study in extremes and its geography nicely mirrors the diversity of the cultures that populate it. Whether you’re visiting Buenos Aires, “Paris of South America,” the country’s tranquil coastline, or the exquisite (but unforgiving) beauty of the snow-capped Andes Mountains, Argentina will captivate your senses.
Chile is another South American travel favorite, and it’s one of the most slender countries in the world — just 150 miles across at its widest point — but don’t let its size fool you! From the snow-capped volcanoes of Patagonia and the blistering heights of the Andes, to world-class wineries and Maoi sculptures of Easter Island, there are many wonderful things to see in Chile. The country really is a place where wanderlust comes alive. Urban hubs of colorful culture and sprawling deserts filled with wonder can make leaving Chile very difficult.