Avanti Destinations is expanding its lineup of cultural, culinary and community-based travel options in Central and South America with 13 new suggested itineraries, 46 new hotels and 17 new activities and tours that advisors can combine and custom-tailor for independent travel clients and custom groups in 2020 and 2021.
Travel advisors can order Avanti’s new 100-page, four-color brochure, Essence of Central & South America 2020-2021, or download it at www.avantidestinations.com. The new brochure has been designed to be passed along to their clients, Avanti said, with useful maps, tables of air and car travel times between destinations, and short feature articles by Avanti employees, focusing on select destinations and favorite experiences.
“Argentina has been tremendously popular this past year, and we expect this trend to continue,” said Avanti’s CEO, Paul Barry. “The dollar is very strong, and the average value of bookings to this region has increased substantially, as travelers ask agents for more private tours, private transfers and more luxurious accommodations. Now that Brazil dropped their visa requirement for American visitors, we anticipate growth in bookings there in 2020 and beyond. Our strongest sellers in South America remain Peru and Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands, while Costa Rica and Belize are the most frequently booked Central America destinations.”
Barry noted that gastronomic and culinary experiences continue to be popular – running the gamut from haute cuisine to cooking in indigenous villages. The latest additions bring the total number of Avanti’s food- and drink-themed activities to more than 60 throughout Central and South America.
Three of the new experiences directly benefit local indigenous communities and give clients a rare cross-cultural immersion opportunity, Avanti said: one, an overnight stay in Karanki Magdalena village on the slopes of Ecuador’s Imbabura volcano nearly 10,000 feet above sea level; another, breakfast and lunch with the Embera people in Panama’s Chagres National Park; the third, an overnight stay with Misminay villagers outside of Cuzco, Peru, where clients can learn about traditional healing techniques and try their hand at weaving and other crafts. A private cooking class in Pucon, Chile, focuses on innovative twists on foods of the indigenous Mapuche and Pehuenche peoples using wild, native ingredients, such as the nuts from the monkey puzzle tree.
Many of the new products also spotlight more off-the-beaten-path destinations, Avanti said, such as Villa de Leyva and Raquira in Colombia; Bucay, Cotopaxi, Riobamba, Alausi and Puerto Cayo in Ecuador; Chiclayo and Trujillo in Peru; Pucon in Chile; and Carmelo and Jose Ignacio in Uruguay.
The new itineraries range in length from one or two overnights to nine. They may be combined with other short or long itineraries, and agents can add other activities, transfers and destinations to create one-of-a-kind vacations.