From a cruise around Antarctica to safari in Namibia, now is the time of year to explore the southern hemisphere.
Travel Deals: Head south, where the weather is just warming up
Argentina and Antarctica
Journey Latin America has an 18-day trip to Argentina and Antarctica. Start in Buenos Aires and go on to visit Ushuaia and Tierra del Fuego in Patagonia, followed by a cruise to Antarctica aboard the MV Antarctic Dream - explore the Antarctic Peninsula with stops at Deception Island, Port Lockroy, Cuverville Island, Gerlache Strait, Neumeyer Channel and Paradise bay (you'll go wildlife spotting for whales and seals) before flying back to Buenos Aires and then to Puerto Iguazu. There, trek through the Iguazu National Park rainforests and spend two nights in a luxury hotel on a hilltop with spectacular views of the Rio Paraná. You'll also visit the Brazilian side of the famous Iguazu Falls for panoramic views of the entire length of the falls' edge, which stretches to 2.7 kilometres.
The trip costs from £5,198 (Dh29,411) per person (if booked before October 31), and includes domestic flights, airport transfers, a 10-night cruise (full board), all accommodation, some meals and sightseeing. International airfare is not included. Visit www.journeylatinamerica.co.uk to book.
Explore Cuba on this two-week epic walking tour that includes treks through tobacco fields and hikes through mountains and rustic farmlands. Explore the caves of Vinales Valley, a mountainous area known for its limestone karsts; go birdspotting on the pine-covered slopes of the Sierra del Escambray (listen for the distinctive call of the Cuban national bird, the tocororo); then move east towards Sierra Maestra and ascend Pico Turquino, the highest point in Cuba. You'll also explore Trinidad and Havana, two cities that are Unesco World Heritage Sites, on walking tours.
From £1,329 (Dh7,534) per person, including the services of guides, local transport, some meals and accommodation, including a night in a camp. International airfare is not included. Visit www.exodus.co.uk for more information.
Wild Frontiers is offering a 16-day Christmas adventure in Guatemala that covers the central highlands of Antigua, offering a peek at its colourful holiday celebrations, a visit to Lake Atitlan and the traditional Mayan villages of the Ixil Triangle; a journey by boat to the Mayan site of Aguateca and a trip to the Garifuna community on the shores of the Caribbean Sea.
From £2,150 (Dh12,250) per person, including accommodation based on two sharing, some meals, sightseeing and local transport. Departure on December 24. International airfare is not included. Visit www.wildfrontiers.co.uk or call 00 44 20 7736 3968.
On this 16-day exploration trip of the Kalahari Desert, visitors get to enjoy an authentic safari without having to "rough it", with accommodation in luxury lodges. Visitors will spend three days in Etosha National Park, see the Fish River Canyon, the dunes of the Namib Desert at Sossusvlei and spend a night at Swakopmund on the Atlantic seaboard. You'll also travel across the Kalahari Desert and visit a San Bushman community project.
The 16-day trip costs from £2,539 (Dh14,470) per person, including all safaris, guides, local transport, walks and park fees. International airfare is not included. Departure on December 21. Book through www.responsibletravel.com.
Bales Worldwide has a 10-day trip to the Okavango Delta with stays in three deluxe safari camps (Kanana, Okuti and Shinde) that accommodate a maximum of 16 guests. Visitors will go on day- and night-time safaris in open 4x4 vehicles to spot the rich wildlife - free-roaming elephant, antelope, zebra, buffalo, lion,leopard, cheetah and a variety of birdlife. You'll stay in spacious twin-bed safari tents (bathrooms have hot showers) with views over the bush. Optional add-ons include exploring the delta in a mokoro, or canoe, and angling.
The 10-day trip costs from £3,295 (Dh18,777) per person, including accommodation based on two sharing, meals, internal domestic aircraft transfers between lodges, the services of English-speaking naturalist guides at all camps, park fees and taxes. Departure November 5. International airfare is not included. Visit www.balesworldwide.com or call or 00 44 845 057 1819.