What’s new

Central America specialist Trips Worldwide is branching into South America with the launch in June of an Amazonia brochure covering Colombia, Ecuador and the Galapagos islands, Venezuela, Peru and northern Brazil. The Bristol-based operator will launch the new programme at an Amazonian Ball on June 19 where agents can win a trip to Colombia for two.

Easter Island will make its debut in Hayes and Jarvis’ 1999/2000 brochure due out in June. The island will be offered in conjunction with a Chile tour. Also new will be Costa Rica and Guatemala twin centres and increased capacity into the Mexican resorts of Cancun and Puerto Vallarta.

Varig is offering a special return fare of £150 for travel agents wanting to visit Rio or Sao Paolo. The fares, which are exlusive of taxes, are valid until June 30 and bookable through the carrier’s interline department. Companions can travel for £250 and for an extra £50 domestic flights to Iguassu or Salvador can be arranged.

Adventure travel specialist The Imaginative Traveller has included a new category of ‘cosy’ tours in its Latin America brochure to try to attract holidaymakers who want a higher standard of comfort. The tours feature four-star hotels, travel by air-conditioned mini-coaches and more meals and sightseeing excursions than the overland expeditions.

Cosmos has introduced Mexico into its America and Canada coach touring programme. The 13-day Fascination Mexico tour takes in Mexico City,Oaxaca, Palenque, Merida and Chichen Itza and costs from £1,439. An extra three nights can be added in Cancun from £169.

Bales Worlwide is featuring an Inca Trail Expedition in its 1999 programme. The 15-day itinerary includes a five-day guided trek to the Inca ruins at Machu Picchu with overnight accommodation in tented camps, plus visits to coastal regions of Peru, including Paracas and the Ballestas Islands. Prices start at £1,960.

Colombia’s Caribbean beaches will be included in Latin America Travel’s new brochure to be launched shortly. The beach resorts of Cartagena and the island of Providencia will be featured, although prices have not yet been fixed.

Adventure holiday specialist Encounter has boosted its South America programme with the addition of Galapagos Island cruises. The escorted five and eight-day cruises are offered as an add-on to the operator’s 19-day Ecuador expedition. The cruises cost from £500 to £800 plus £240 for return flights from Quito.

Cox and Kings has added a 15-day Jungles and Markets Tour of Guatemala and Belize to its Latin America portfolio. The itinerary visits Guatemala City, Antigua, Lake Atitlan and Tikal and leads in at £1,795.

TAP Air Portugal launches a new flight from Lisbon to Northeastern Brazil today. The weekly service departs Lisbon on Mondays non-stop to Natal returning via Recife on Tuesdays. It will be the sixth Brazilian destination served by TAP Air Portugal.