April 11, 2018 | Sunvil Holidays
New 2018 highlights include a luxury Galápagos cruise, a boutique eco lodge set amongst the mangroves in Costa Rica, a comprehensive month-long tour of South America, and a private journey through the Bolivian salt flats in a Deluxe Airstream Camper.
COLOMBIA – colonial architecture, diverse wildlife and fascinating culture
Gaining increasing recognition as one of the world’s emerging destinations, and with convenient direct flights from Heathrow to Bogotá, there has never been a better time to visit this alluring country. Its terrain varies from hot tropical Caribbean shorelines to glacier-encrusted mountain peaks and its urban highlights include exquisite colonial architecture and intriguing museums and galleries. Rich in wildlife, it boasts a huge variety of plant, bird, reptile and amphibian species.
Wander around the narrow cobbled streets and leafy, café-strewn squares of the vibrant capital Bogotá, set against the high peaks of the Andes. Take in the perfectly preserved sixteenth century Spanish colonial town of Villa de Leyva with its white-washed buildings and the fascinating nearby Salt Cathedral at Zipaquirá, an enormous underground Catholic church built within the tunnels of a salt mine and capable of holding 12,000 people. Witness the lush valleys, flourishing orchids and dark green plantations of the coffee region, where age-old fincas cultivate the famous Arabica coffee beans. Meander the UNESCO walled city of Cartagena, with its quaint balconies, narrow, flower-bedecked streets, pastel-coloured colonial houses and fascinating mix of Spanish, African and Caribbean cultures.
A ten-day Culture and Unwind itinerary in Colombia, with two nights in Bogotá, two nights in Villa de Leyva, three nights in Cartagena, one night in Santa Marta and two nights in Tayrona National Park, costs from £2,650 pp (two sharing), including accommodation, some meals, private transfers and guided tours, internal flights and return international flights (Heathrow).
PIEDRAS BLANCAS NATIONAL PARK, COSTA RICA – undiscovered wildlife area
Tucked away on the southern Pacific coast of Costa Rica (which enjoys both Caribbean and Pacific coastlines), this little-known and ecologically-diverse national park boasts 35,000 acres of tropical rainforest and mangroves. Its lush, dense forest is home to many indigenous plants and trees, varied wildlife including howler monkeys, toucans and scarlet macaws, cascading waterfalls, and is bordered by pristine Pacific beaches.
New to Sunvil’s programme, Playa Cativo is an elegant lodge accessible only by boat, set on the tranquil shores of Piedras Blancas National Park and surrounded by tropical gardens abundant with butterflies, birds and exotic plants. This idyllic boutique hotel boasts ocean and rainforest view rooms, a freshwater swimming pool, and an excellent farm-to-table restaurant featuring ingredients from its on-site organic farm. With a host of activities including hiking, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, yoga and wildlife-spotting, it makes an ideal honeymoon or family holiday destination.
A seven-night holiday staying at Playa Cativo with B&B accommodation, return international flights (Gatwick), and transfers costs from £2,499 pp (two sharing).
ANTARCTIC CRUISES – two new vessels
The most remote natural reserve in the world, Antarctica offers spectacular ice-covered landscapes, awe-inspiring desolation and fascinating wildlife including penguins, minke whales, seals, and albatrosses.
Discover this vast, breathtaking continent on a once-in-a-lifetime cruise, on one of two vessels now offered by Sunvil. The Akademik Ioffe, originally designed in Finland as a scientific research vessel, is a modern and comfortable ship featuring cabins with exterior views, a theatre-style presentation room, fitness room, sauna and plunge pool. The Hebridean Sky, which underwent a $10m upgrade in 2016, combines state-of-the-art facilities with impeccable service, and is the ideal platform for adventure activities such as camping, kayaking and Antarctic Citizen Science projects. Departing from Ushuaia, explore the photogenic Lemaire Channel, witness the King Penguins in South Georgia, listen to on board lectures by scientists, and enjoy shore excursions such as iceberg walks, thermal pool swimming and sea kayaking.
A ten-night cruise on board the Akademic Ioffe, including full-board accommodation, daily group guided excursions, transfers and domestic flights, costs from £6,345 pp (two sharing). International flights are extra.
A ten-night cruise on board the Hebridean Sky including full board accommodation, daily group guided excursions, transfers and domestic flights, costs from £7,554 pp (two sharing). International flights are extra.
GALÁPAGOS CRUISE – luxury small yacht voyage
This otherworldly archipelago of 19 volcanic islands in the Pacific Ocean is abundant with fearless wildlife – which pays almost no attention to passing humans – including giant tortoises, marine iguanas, red-footed boobies, lava lizards, sea lions, snakes and a huge number of sea birds.
Discover this utterly unique destination on board the luxury yacht MV Origin, a 20-passenger vessel featuring deluxe staterooms with panoramic views, stylish furnishings and conveniences such as an Apple TV with preloaded movies. Unwind on the sun deck with its al fresco dining area and hammocks, luxuriate in the jacuzzi and gym, and enjoy activities such as kayaking, snorkelling and wildlife tours run by the boat’s two expert naturalists.
A seven-night cruise on board the MV Origin including full-board accommodation, daily group guided excursions, transfers and return flights from Ecuador to the Galapagos, costs from £6,054 pp (two sharing). International flights are extra.
PATAGONIA CRUISE – scenic journey between Chile and Argentina
Experience the untold wonders of Patagonia, from snow-capped mountains and remote islands, to majestic glaciers and azure fjords. Sunvil’s four-night cruise travels between Punta Arenas in Chile and Ushuaia in Argentina, making it an excellent option to include as part of a longer itinerary combining the two countries. Witness the dramatic landscapes of this outstandingly beautiful area from the comfortable cabins and top deck of the Ventus Australis, with daily lectures and excursions led by expert guides.
A four-night cruise on board the Ventus Australis costs from £2,099 pp (two sharing), including full-board accommodation, selected drinks, daily lectures, daily excursions and transfers. International flights are extra.
DELUXE AIRSTREAM CAMPER ON BOLIVIAN SALT FLATS – private tour with guide and cook
Salar de Uyuni, the world’s highest and largest salt flats, form a stark and surreal landscape where bright red and jade-green lakes, blinding white salt crusts and endless blue horizons await. Get truly off the beaten track on an exhilarating escorted tour in a Deluxe Airstream Camper, a unique way to experience the salt desert and ideal for honeymooners. The distinctive and stylish silver camper is replete with a comfortable double (or twin) bed, sofa, hot shower and heating. You’ll enjoy the services of a private guide and a cook, who provides meals from a separate kitchen on wheels. Towed by a 4×4 driven by the private guide during the day, enjoy complete solitude and privacy by night under the clear starry skies, with walky talkies provided in case contact needs to be made with the nearby guide.
A two-night tour on the Deluxe Airstream Camper costs from £1,150 pp (two sharing), including full-board accommodation, private guide and cook plus use of a 4×4 self-drive vehicle and bicycles.
LAGARTA LODGE IN COSTA RICA – stunning new Pacific eco lodge
Located near Nosara, a village in Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula, this boutique eco hotel is perched on a hilltop overlooking mangroves, subtropical forest and the Pacific coastline. Its 26 ocean and jungle-view rooms are stylishly decorated, with balconies from which to enjoy idyllic sunsets and the surrounding flora and fauna. Explore the hotel’s very own 90-acre biological reserve, with the chance to spot monkeys, squirrels, sloths, agoutis and a variety of wildlife, or relax in the lodge’s two infinity pools, jacuzzi and spa. The lodge can organise a wealth of activities, including sea fishing, wildlife excursions and kayaking through the mangroves.
A seven-night holiday staying at Lagarta Lodge with B&B accommodation, return international flights (Gatwick) and transfers costs from £1,566 pp (two sharing).
GRAND TOUR OF SOUTH AMERICA – 30 nights – visit Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina and Brazil
This vast continent offers such diversity of landscapes, culture and wildlife, that a longer itinerary offers the chance for a really in-depth experience. Journey through five Latin American countries and discover dramatic mountains, lush wetlands, sweeping coastlines, colourful markets and local festivals. Highlights include a train journey to the mountain-top Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, the breathtaking Iguazu Falls, Rio’s world-famous beaches, a top-notch tango show in vibrant Buenos Aires, wine tasting in Chile and glacier hiking in Calafate, at the southernmost point of Chile.
A thirty-night tour of South America, with nine nights in Peru, two in Bolivia, six in Chile, seven in Argentina and six in Brazil, costs from £8,675 pp (two sharing), including some meals, private transfers and tours, internal flights and return international flights (from Heathrow, via Amsterdam).
Call Sunvil Latin America on 020 8758 4774 to order a brochure or to speak at length to a Latin American expert, or visit www.sunvil.co.uk/latinamerica.