I usually start planning a trip about 11 months ahead which is when flights open. The way I construct the trip is by finding awards for the longest segments and then filling up the shorter connections. This particular trip is a bit of “last minute” for me as it starts in 3 months.
Here’s the map:
I’ve always been attracted to the biodiversity hotspots so Costa Rica was always on top of my dream list. I’ll spend 3 weeks in this little country with big fauna. Then I move “next door” to Panama which is another birding heaven.
After a few days in Cartagena I will proceed to another great biodiversity destination – Galapagos Islands. I hope 10 days should be enough and Im hoping to score a last minute cruise, otherwise will island hop.
Finally, I wanted to visit the southern tip of South America (Terra del Fuego) so I will base myself at Punta Arenas for a while before flying back to Australia.
Flights from Melbourne to Costa Rica are booked using Lifemiles as are the trips within Central America (apart from Costa Rica to Panama hop which I paid cash for). Flights within the South America are either on Avianca (redeeming Lifemiles purchased some time ago for 1.4 cent per mile) or on LAN (some using Advantage miles and some are paid flights).