Latin America is a photographer’s dream: from the landscapes of Patagonia, the Andes and the Altiplano, to its photogenic gauchos on horseback and its indigenous tribes, to the rich wildlife of the Galápagos, the Pantanal and the Amazon. Further south, Antarctica and the sub-Antarctic take landscape and wildlife photography to another stratosphere.
Unless you are a small group of photographer friends traveling together, our photo journeys will focus exclusively on you. We also believe in a wholistic approach to travel where you get to learn the areas you photograph intimately, enjoy its tastes and smells and sounds during the trip and not just have your eye behind the viewfinder all day. Most of the photographic trips we arrange involve spouses and other family members - some of the locations you will visit are so remote, vast and empty you will need your family or mates in your frame to create scale! - so you get to enjoy family time while capturing the area's beauty on film. And this is a great way to get other family members to appreciate your hobby.
We also find that leaving laptops at home and doing all your post-processing tasks after your trip is ideal, so you can spend as much time out on the field taking photographs and also put your cameras down to fully savour Latin America's rich culture, sample its spectacular food and wine and get to know its fascinating people.
Landscape PhotographyGrand landscapes, textures and exquisite tones spanning every colour of the rainbow abound in Latin America. Our favorite area for landscape photography is the South American Altiplano and its volcanoes, salt flats, multi-hued lagoons, deserts and valleys which have inspired many poets and artists over centuries. Chile's Atacama Desert next door is mesmerizing and so is Brazil's Lençóis Maranhenses and its flooded dune valleys. Late-summer trips to Patagonia serve up an astonishing array of colours, a special treat for photographers that mid-summer travelers simply don’t experience. Remember to bring your tripod!
And finally the landscapes of Antarctica are amongst the world’s most wild and spectacular. A desert of ice and snow, it boasts towering mountains and volcanoes, endless glaciers, diverse and dramatic coastlines, all illuminated by 'out of this world' natural light unlike anything you will photograph anywhere else in the world.
Cultural and Tribal PhotographyFor this genre, the high Andes of Peru, Bolivia or Ecuador are where one finds some of the continent's traditional inhabitants - gorgeous locals still donning their traditional attire every day. South America's gaucho cowboys and their counterparts dotted around the sub-continent make for incredible portrait subjects, especially with their horses, and with enough advance notice we can arrange private expeditions to visit and photograph indigenous tribes around the Amazon and the Andes. Here are more details on the continent's Unique Culture and Tribes.
For the ultimate cultural photography experience, try to time your trip to coincide with one or more of Latin America's colorful Cultural Festivals which are celebrated throughout the year across the continent.
Wildlife PhotographyThe continent is a haven for a whole host of unique and bizarre species of wildlife in some truly spectacular locations. The Galápagos is always a favorite for families and keen naturalists. For pumas and jaguars and other elusive big cats, the Patagonian steppe, the Pantanal and the Amazon are the hotspots. And for rare and colourful birds the continent's rainforests and cloud forests are home to some of the most fascinating birds in the world. Capture these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat, during those magical and sometimes fleeting moments. Here are more details on the continent's Wildlife & Birdlife.
And for the ultimate wildlife photography experience, an expedition to South Georgia, the Falkland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula is for many the holy grail of nature photography.
Street PhotographyOne of the most varied but equally rewarding genres of photography, the term 'street photography' is just a label and in reality more subjective based on a photographer's personal experiences and taste. Latin America offers so many opportunities to photograph people, random events and chance encounters which hopefully produce artistic photos. Just like the other genres above, documenting people in their everyday environment requires patience, some research, luck and a bit of bravery to be able to approach and photograph complete strangers going about their daily lives.
This is where your smart phones and point and shoot cameras excel and don't put your equipment away when in rural or remote areas as these are ideal places to photograph beautiful people in a uniquely Latin setting. Street photography is as much about recording moments in time as it is about telling stories, and there are so many moments and stories to be captured and told around every corner or across every valley in Latin America.
With street photography in big cities in Latin America you have to be a little more cautious, especially at evenings and early mornings which are also photography's golden hours. Be streetwise as you would in any other big city in Asia or Africa or Europe.
AstrophotographyFrom wide-angle Milky Way photography with your mirrorless or SLR camera to deep-sky photography through an astronomical telescope, the Uyuni Salt Flats, the Atacama Desert, most of Patagonia, and offshore the Galápagos, Falkland and Easter Islands have some of the clearest skies on Earth. For the ultimate astrophotography opportunities, the International Dark-Sky Association declared Chile's Elqui valley the world’s first International Dark Sky Sanctuary in 2015 due to the unrivalled purity of its skies. Time your journey around a new moon.
If you prefer to focus on genres such as architectural, aerial, underwater or even abstract photography we can get a specialist photo guide to spend time with you during your trip.
Like other art mediums, photography has been shaped by the region's social concerns such as colonialism, state repression, inequality and industrialization. Pioneering artists like the Mexican Manuel Álvarez Bravo, the Colombian Fernell Franco or the Argentinian Adriana Lestido all contributed to the spread of such narratives throughout the 20th century with the current crop of photographers carrying on the torch as Latin American photography evolves in these interesting times. And Argentina's Aldo Sessa and his iconic gaucho and tango photographs and coffee table books have graced exhibits, colletions and private homes around the world.
Depending on the cities you are visiting, we may be able to arrange gallery and private collection appointments, and with enough advance notice even meetings with a few of the area's budding and established photograpers.
Latin America boasts some of the most distinctive landscapes, people, wildlife and birdlife and for photography there is no better place for beginners, weekend photographers and aspiring National Geographic photojournalists. The opportunities are endless and you really need to keep your photography activity in check, or you may end up experiencing the continent only through your viewfinder.
Ready for your trip?
Let us help you plan everything.
We do not subscribe to the ‘one-size-fits-all’ philosophy. Sample itineraries and cost estimates are meant purely as a guide. To find out more, please contact one of our expert travel consultants to plan a customized itinerary based on your budget and interests.