Travel Tips

Latin America Tips for Senior Travellers

Laura Pattara

Laura Pattara  |  8 September 2019

Age is no barrier to adventure when the trip is planned just right!

Our senior holiday packages are made for those who are looking for a bit of adventure – age is no barrier to adventure when the trip is planned just right!

Isn’t it funny how a tour is ‘guided’ when you’re in your 20's but ‘escorted’ when you’re a senior? It’s as if you need your handheld the entire time you travel, simply because you may be over 50/60 or 70 years of age. But what if you just want things a little more organised? What if travel on a chicken bus in Bolivia for 12 hours is not your idea of a jolly good time…but you still could if you wanted to?

What if you’ve been around the block long enough to want to palm off the logistics of Latin America travel to someone else?

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Click HERE to find out more about our Latin America tours

At Viva Expeditions, we hear you (loud and clear!) and that’s why our senior escorted guided tours are different. We understand that age is no barrier to adventure travel and also know that, because everyone is different, we need to listen to your desires, first and foremost. Our senior holidays can be as adventurous and luxurious as YOU would like them to be.

Skip through the blog to find what you are looking for:

  1. Senior tour packages made to (your measure)!
  2. Set your sights on Santiago - go slow from the get-go!
  3. Stay central and make your (travel) life easy
  4. Be a little extra vigilant
  5. Softer alternatives to hard-core options 
  6. Consider cruising in South America
  7. Don't forget to reward yourself and splurge a little!
  8. Travelling solo? 

Senior tour packages made to (your) measure!

Our over 50's tours can include a guide who’ll be with you the entire time or, perhaps, just on those days or destinations where they’d be immensely useful. They can organise private transport if you just want to get from A to B in comfort or mix it up with some public transport if you want a taste of the authentic Latino life, chickens, llamas and all. And because we have such extensive experience organising senior holidays, we have all the insider’s info to help you plan the most magical Latin America tour of a lifetime.

Here are some of our best Latin America tips for senior travellers:

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Click HERE to find out about our different tour styles

Set your sights on Santiago – go slow from the get-go!

Air New Zealand flies non-stop to Santiago in just over 12 hours – what a genius way to cast off on your adventure. Now, before you go plane hopping away, you may just want to take at least 2-3 days to acclimatise and recharge, right here. The only thing that’ll see you burn out fast is to travel fast so keep a slow and steady travel pace and give yourself plenty of ‘free time’. Santiago is a wonderful city, one of South America’s coolest capitals in fact: not only will you find an abundance of things to see and do here (how’s this for a mammoth Santiago Guide?) but this is an amazing springboard, no matter where in Latin America you wish to travel.

Our main tip? Don’t plan more than two destinations a week: settle in for a 3-night stay wherever you go and you won’t end up needing one of those senior holidays by the end of your trip.

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Click HERE to find out about our Santiago City Stopover

Stay central and make your (travel) life easy

For the sake of simplicity and enjoyment, make sure your accommodation is always centrally located near the most touristed hot-spots just so you can have an abundance of attractions just outside your front doorstep. You can always head off to explore lesser-known suburbs of (whatever) city but it’s blissful to be centrally located in case you want an afternoon siesta (it’s the cultural norm here) or just want to pop out of an evening for dinner and a stroll. Taking a half-hour bus ride at 9pm to reach the centre of the action is fine if you’re 25yo but, seriously, at 65, who’s got time to waste on that nonsense?!

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Click HERE to see all our tours from Buenos Aires

Be a little extra vigilant

Let’s be honest: like it or not, a silver fox will always seem easy prey to an opportune thief so you’ll need to be alert when sightseeing, especially in larger cities and heavily touristed spots. This is pure statistics, by the way, as senior travellers tend to suffer more petty theft than younger travellers as coward thieves probably see them as less threatening. Don’t let it worry you too much though, the risk is actually minimal but it’s just wise to be alert when travelling, anyhow.

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Click HERE to find out about our City Stays

No matter what hard-core options are offered – trust that there is always a softer alternative

We should firstly state that we’ve had 75-year-olds complete the arduous 4-day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu with ease and 30-year-olds have a difficult time of it all. Age alone is no indication of how well (or not) your body will cope with hiking at high altitude so if you’re fit and agile don’t automatically discount the hard-core options when heading to South America. Moreover, options are endless: not just here but everywhere on the continent.

On a senior holiday in Latin America, you can find the activity that best suits your skills and ability. You can take the luxury train to Machu Picchu instead of hiking and save your energy for all the walking you’ll be doing on your visit. You can also stay overnight at one of the luxury hotels in Aguas Caliente and enjoy a one-day hike to the ancient Inca citadel, creating a hybrid experience that is insanely enjoyable.

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Click HERE to find all our tours to Macchu Picchu

Want to head to Patagonia instead? No worries, the hiking world is your oyster! You can hike in Torres del Paine for two weeks straight if that’s your thing OR enjoy a leisurely day-long hike. Not into hiking at all? No problem, there’s an abundance of magnificent viewpoints, all over the park, that you can reach by private transport. How’s that for glorious convenience?

No matter which part of Latin America you want to explore, you’ll find both hard and soft adventures – all you have to do is ask us!

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Click HERE to find all our tours to Patagonia

Consider cruising in South America – this is the best-hidden treasure of all

Adventure cruise destinations abound in Latin America and they are the perfect option for those who prefer the highlights come to them. And really…who doesn’t? In places like the Galapagos Islands and the Chilean fjords, small-ship cruising is really the only way to go and, in other spots like the Amazon Rainforest, they are simply a wonderful (and infinitely more comfortable) alternative to a land-based adventure.

The amazing aspect of South America’s best cruises is that they can still be the epitome of adventure travel with daily excursions including hiking, kayaking (and so much more) and are mainly aimed at getting explorers to some of the continent’s remotest corners. All of this and you just need to unpack the suitcase once. That’s a pretty neat hack.

Read our Guide to Small Ship Cruising in South America to discover all the stunning remote places you can explore with ease.

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Click HERE to find out about our small-ship cruises

Don’t forget to reward yourself and splurge a little!

There’s this widely held belief that if you don’t suffer a little on your journey then are you even a traveller? We think this is absolute rubbish: the enjoyment and depth of experience are not determined by how much you rough it or how far you push yourself but rather by how open-minded and curious you are about the places you go and people you meet. The star-rating of your hotel (or thickness of table-cloth at the restaurant) isn’t what will determine your enjoyment of the experience.

So why not splurge a little given you’ve worked so hard (and probably so long) to even get here in the first place? There’s a magnificent hotel in Iguazu Falls, for example, the only one built within the national park, that offers out-of-hours experiences you could only dream about. Yes, it costs more than any outside the park but OH.MY.GOD. what better place to splurge? Or the breathtaking lodges, built in the most insane locations of all: the heart of Torres del Paine and the deserted centre of the Atacama Desert!

You can also simply gift yourself a little more comfort – by hiking to Machu Picchu but staying in beautiful lodges along the way (rather than camping in tents) or staying in exquisite haciendas as you explore the countryside of Ecuador, Argentina or Paraguay. The continent is full of glorious surprises…if only you know where to look.

PS. Look here.

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Click HERE to see our Luxury tours

Travelling solo? Never fear – finding travel buddies has never been easier

Group tours bring together a bunch of like-minded travellers and they can be among the most enjoyable and rewarding ways for senior solo travellers. On a group tour, you can kiss all the hassles goodbye and enjoy the peace of mind that comes not only from having every logistical issue sorted out for you but also from knowing you’ll be safer and happier, travelling in company. You may be surprised to know that solo travel is on the rise (yes, even among seniors!) and a lot of companies (and cruise liners) have joined the party by eliminating single supplement costs. It often won’t cost you any more if you join a group solo.

Solo travel has many hidden benefits irrespective of age so don’t let that stop you from pursuing a journey in Latin America if that’s been your dream for as long as you can remember.

Besides, … we’ll be there!

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Click HERE to see our group tours

At Viva Expeditions, we offer small group and tailor-made tours, the latter personalised to meet your specific wishes.

Want to explore Latin America with us? You lucky devil, you!

Contact us to know more.

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