Ibera National Park Argentina LATA

Ecotourism, offbeat travel to draw visitors to Latin America in 2019

The 2019 Travel Trends by Latin American Travel Association (LATA) reveals that the new year will see increased interest in offbeat travel and ecotourism.   

LATA members see promising signs for travel growth throughout the year, particularly in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Peru. 

Following the passing of new legislation, the Iberá National Park has been created in Argentina adding 395,000 acres to the neighbouring 1.3 million acres of the Iberá Provincial Park. Located in the second largest wetland worldwide, the new protected space hopes to drive ecotourism to the area and it is expected that in 10 years, Iberá Park will receive over 100,000 visitors annually.  

Jericoacoara on the north coast of Brazil is also expected to see a spike in visitors thanks to the increase in domestic flight routes operating out of the recently opened Comandante Ariston Pessoa airport. Del Bianco Travel Experience feels the relative isolation, year-round warm climate and constant sea breeze will make Jeri a must-visit escape destination for travellers. 

The hard-to-reach destinations are becoming all the more accessible with thanks to LATA members. One Ocean Expeditions has recently announced the chartering of a new international flight route from Santiago, Chile, to Stanley, capital of the Falkland Islands, for an easy access route to Antarctica. The new route hopes to bring down costs and transit times that are usually incurred from passing through various international airports on the way to the polar region. Air Europa recently announced the launch of a Madrid - Puerto Iguazu route commencing June 2019. The route will be operated twice a week and becomes the first international service to grant easy access to Iguazu Falls, the world’s largest waterfall system.

Air Europa has also announced a new route to Panama’s Tocumen International Airport from Madrid Barajas, beginning June 3. Meanwhile, following the success of the recently introduced London Gatwick – Buenos Aires route, Norwegian Airlines will launch a new Gatwick – Rio de Janeiro-Galeao International Airport route. Flights will run on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays from March 31 and will be operated by a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. 

Jacada Travel has registered a 41% spike in booking rates for Chile over the course of 2018 and it is expected to show similar growth in 2019. 

The 250th anniversary of the birth of 18th century explorer Alexander Von Humboldt has seen the Tomkins Conservation Foundation create a new protected 1,740-mile-long hiking trail through Patagonia, connecting 17 national parks. Pura Aventura has launched a new self-drive ‘Ruta Uncovered’ itinerary covering the best of this exciting development including a stop in the Torres del Paine, which will celebrate its 60th anniversary as a national park. 

New LATA member, Guyana, is another destination to watch in 2019. Included in National Geographic Traveller’s Cool List 2019, Guyana offers an almost untouched wilderness. New flight infrastructure to the country, including a new direct route from Miami to Georgetown with American Airlines as well as new lodges such as Waikin Ranch in the Rapununi District are set to put the destination on the map for the adventure traveller. 

Landmark occasions across Latin America are set to boost visitor statistics during 2019 such as 500th anniversary of both Panama and Havana since their founding. Argentina and Chile are both lucky enough to be located on a narrow band from which the total solar eclipse on July 2 will be visible. 


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