Adventure travel is a blanket term that covers everything from scuba to sky diving, shopping in street markets, to drinking in local bodegas.  Anything off the beaten path, anything away from the same old tourist destinations (or a unique look at the same old tourist destinations), anything that gets you directly in touch with the culture and the landscape is an adventure. Sometimes adventure travel is physically demanding, sometimes it’s uncomfortable or awkward, but it is always rewarding.

Latin America is an epicenter for adventure, with a lifetime worth of unique activities and experiences. Here are just four vastly different but equally gratifying adventure travel destinations in LatAm!

Experience Machu Picchu with a Host Family

Machu Picchu is one of the most sought after destinations in Latin America; after all, it is one of the 7 Wonders of the World. Most wouldn’t consider it “off-the-beaten-path,” but here is a unique look at Machu Picchu, beyond the ruins and into the culture that surrounds it to this day.

Take a 3-day, 2-night tour with a host family, where for 3 days you will live in and amongst the people of Machu Picchu, eat what they eat, and sleep where they sleep. The families are well versed in the history of the region, and know how to efficiently get around and see the sights that many travelers may have never heard of.

Over the course of those 3 days, you will have the opportunity to see much more than just the Machu Picchu ruins, but do activities such as visiting the breathtaking Perollniyoc Waterfall, climb other Incan ruins in Pisac and Perollniyoc, soak in hot springs, and much more.

Millions of people have visited Machu Picchu and posed for a photo up on the hill, but very few have had this fully immersive experience of the culture and the landscape beyond the ruins.

 

Afro-Panamanian Culinary Heritage

Meandering through the lively and vibrant markets and literally tasting the rich history of Afro-Panamanians is one of the most authentic ways to experience the culture. On the Afro-Panamanian food tour, you will visit some of the most iconic places in Panama City and take in stunning views of the ocean, all the while licking the succulent and unique Afro-Panamanian cuisine off your fingertips.

There is an unsophisticated economic system that has developed around the culture of this region, where the people survive by fishing, cooking, and selling food. On this tour, you will feel like you’re the host of your own TV show on The Travel Channel, by experiencing the history and culture of a region through eating delicious food!

Start your day by walking through Mercado Del Mariscos, a colorful and boisterous market selling seafood caught that morning – taste everything from sea bass to Panamanian delicacies like octopus ceviche.

Move on to Mi Pueblito Afroantillano and take in some of the best views of the city in this quaint, off-the-tourist path spot. Continue munching on a collage of Panamanian cuisines and learn about Afro-Panamanian history.

Finish off your culinary adventure at Centollo’s Place, an authentic Afro-Panamanian restaurant that flaunts Panama’s true culinary and cultural mix – seafood, beef, poultry, rice, and soups.

One of the best ways to experience a culture is to experience its cuisine. The Afro-Panamanian culinary heritage tour will get you directly in touch with the beautiful, lively, and decadent people, markets, and food of Afro-Panamanian culture.

Climbing Volcán Villarrica

A truly adventurous conquest in Latin America is the climbing of Volcán Villarrica in Pucón, Chile. You will experience a physically demanding ascent of an active volcano that had its last eruption in 2015!

Hiking up the steep glacial ice with crampons on your boots and an ice-axe in your hand feels like it’s a scene straight out of an adventure movie. Just shy of 10,000 feet (2,800 meters) above sea level, the air is noticeably thinner at the summit, and basking in the thin air and sulfuric fumes from the volcano is an indescribably gratifying experience.

In winter months you can ski down from the top, but in most other months once you’ve conquered the summit you actually sled down, a giggly and fun experience with your cohort after the grueling ascent.

Few average folk can say that they’ve summited a mountain, and even fewer can say they’ve summited a volcano!

A Cuban Adventure

If you’re looking for intrepid and unique, it doesn’t get more adventurous than an 8-day Cuban odyssey! With the United States embargo with Cuba recently being lifted, this Latin island holds a mysterious magnetism in the minds of many.

Keteka offers an 8-day journey through the rich culture and history of Cuba’s cities as well as full immersion in its stunning landscapes. This tour meets the legal requirements for US citizens, who are required to have a detailed itinerary for each day of their travel in Cuba.

You will see the bustling work of art that is Havana. You will learn about the enduring Cuban history and culture through all avenues – from museums to cuisine, salsa dancing, a visit to the Bay of Pigs and Ernest Hemingway’s house, Finca Vigía.

Take in the beautiful scenery, flora and fauna of Cuba by exploring the mountainous regions. Drive along the breathtaking and shining Caribbean coast, scuba-dive, kayak, sail, windsurf or just relax next to the sea.

This is a once in a lifetime experience, with more than a week filled to the brim with Cuban culture, cuisine, history, and natural beauty.