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December 2013

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Dear Travellers,

There's no time like the depths of winter to warm your spirits by dreaming about hopping on a plane bound for exotic, sun-drenched destinations. Then again, there's no time like the present to make your dreams a reality! Why not join us as we chase the sun southwards and embark on unforgettable Central and South American adventures that seek to capture the essence of our destinations' cultures and natures?

Happy travels!

The Adventures Abroad team

Mayan Discoverer
Codes: MY1, MY2 Central America

ON SALE: $500 off both February 2014 departures
One of the great ancient civilizations of South America whose legacies endure today, both in the physical realm and in the intangible cultural heritage passed to its descendants, the Maya changed the face of the Americas and left an indelible mark on the world. Through Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and beyond, the Mayan Empire spread its influence and power, constructing architectural marvels, developing writing systems, pioneering intellectual and artistic movements, forging trade routes, innovating, engineering and engaging in mind-blowing ceremonial rites. To follow the Mayan trail is to step back in time and discover one of the most advanced ancient societies ever to walk the earth.

Ecuador & Galapagos
Codes: EQ7, EQ6, EP3, EQ2, EQ4 Galapagos seal

Both world-class destinations in their own right, Ecuador and the Galapagos as a tour combination know few equals. Ecuador is a microcosm of South America; Amazonian jungle, snow-crowned volcanoes, untouched beaches, traditional Andean villages, World Heritage colonial cities and the remnants of ancient civilizations mark your journey through one of the continent's most exciting destinations. And where else but the legendary Galapagos Islands exists the opportunity to get up-close and personal with utterly fearless creatures like giant tortoises, sea lions, seals, sea turtles, lizards, humpback whales and sharks...though maybe be selective with which you try to get personal.

Code: CU1 Havana

Cuba's long isolation continues to prove one of the main draws for visitors, as destinations untouched by Western influence are now so few and far between. Cuba's cities are strikingly unusual in history, colour and character and its pristine Caribbean beaches and turquoise-blue waters are a mecca for sun-and-sand enthusiasts everywhere. Colonial wonder and imposing Revolutionary monuments, UNESCO Heritage cities, lush green valleys, classic American cars and a passionate, welcoming people await — Cuba is a land of contrast that needs to be seen before it changes.

Costa Rica
Codes: CR1, CR2 Costa Rica

Literally translated as 'Rich Coast,' Costa Rica does not disappoint when it comes to living up to its appellation, managing to cram a staggering 5% of the world's biodiversity between its borders — quite a feat for a country smaller than West Virginia (or Nova Scotia in Canada). Perpetually tropical in temperature, topographically diverse and teeming with extraordinary flora and fauna, Costa Rica is an exquisite melange of cloud forests and volcanoes, picture-perfect beaches and colourful Latin American culture.

Codes: PA1, PA2, PA3 Panama

Another bounteous country that has benefited from periods of relative isolation, Panama is virgin South America — for now. Most famous for its canal, a marvel of engineering and a must-see attraction, Panama also lays claim to a kaleidoscope of landscapes, from the thick, primeval rainforests of the Chiriqui Highlands to Bocas del Toro's pristine beaches and coral reefs that so enamoured Christopher Columbus when he landed there in the early stages of the 16th century. A chance to see iridescent birds by the hundred, exotic plants by the thousand, authentic Amerindian villages and abounding wildlife in its unspoiled habitat — and to do so without throngs of tourists — Panama could well be Latin America's best kept secret.

Mexico's Yucatan & Belize
Codes: MB1 Austria

Yucatan and Belize serve as a magnificent showcase of the best of Ancient and Natural Worlds, from the renowned Mayan city-states and temple complexes of Chichen Itza, Uxmal and Tulum, to the profusion of animal and marine life in Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary, Belize Zoo and the famous Barrier Reef (one of the largest continuous reef systems in the world). Impossibly green jungles alive with chattering monkeys and chirping birds as the backdrop to forest-shrouded, millennia-old pyramids deliver an exotic, magical atmosphere and the lapping turquoise waters of the Caribbean coast never fails to seduce visitors.

Codes: PE1, PE2, PE5, PE6 Machu Picchu

Peru's most famous site, the spectacular and mysterious Machu Picchu, is well deserving of acclaim, but the Peru that lies beyond the Lost City of the Incas is as rewarding as any country in the Americas. The prolific Incan Empire and other pre-Columbian civilizations left their relics thick on the ground in South America, from Peru's Urubamba Valley and Cuzco, the Empire's largest city at its pinnacle, across the rolling Andean plains north into Ecuador and Colombia and south into Bolivia, and yet with no written records, these great societies left as many questions as they answered. There is no mystery, however, as to why Peru is a perennial favourite tour destination.

Guyana, Suriname & Trinidad
Codes: GY1, JHGY Suriname

Often overlooked in favour of more popular South American tourist destinations, this region is a delightful cultural, ethnic and topographical hodgepodge; a fusion of diverse peoples, landscapes, histories, religions and traditions that has a taste of everything: Latin America, Caribbean, Amazon and Africa. Explosions of colour perforate marketplaces and jungles; ancestry encompasses everything from Dutch, African, British, Indian, Indonesian, Chinese and Amerindian lineage; glorious Caribbean beaches give way to spectacular mountain ranges and wildlife-rich savannahs and dense tropical rainforest. It won't be long before this region gets recognition as the diverse wonderland it is (and the tourists to go with it).

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