Skip navigation

Latin America - the home of “football” for over 3000 years

Yesterday with the news that Brazil had been awarded the 2014 World Cup, football fans worldwide let out a collective cheer at the prospect of the tournament returning to the home of “the beautiful game”, for the first time since 1950.

Brazil has won the cup a record five times and with a long history of great players and exciting teams, there’s no doubt it will be a popular destination for football fans. It’s a country that lives and breathes the game from the rainforests of the Amazon to the urban jungle of São Paulo and tropical beaches of Rio.

And for those who can’t wait for 2014

*Journey Latin America offers a range of Football Breaks in Latin America – with flights, hotels and match tickets to watch Flamengo at the Maracaná (Rio) or Boca Juniors at the Bombonera (Buenos Aires). Add the Iguassú Falls or Patagonia to make a memorable trip.

* Or, for an original pre-Christmas break, then check out our “Buenos Aires big weekend” (30 Nov – 05 Dec), where live football (Boca Juniors) is just one of many treats, along with boutique hotels, great food, wines and tango, tickets to see “The Police” live in concert and Christmas shopping with a personal shopper. From £833 pp + flights.

* For those with football crazy kids, then try a family holiday to Brazil, starting with a visit (or live game at) the famous Maracaná in Rio, followed by jungle wildlife in the Pantanal wetlands and a beach wind-down on the tropical Costa Verde.

A passion for ball games is nothing new in Latin America. The juego de pelota (Spanish) or pok-ta-pok (Maya), a court game thought to be a mix of football and basketball, can be traced back to 1500 BC and the Olmecs of ancient Mexico. See

In those times, it was often a highly symbolic game linked to both political and religious rituals, with human sacrifice playing a major part. Archaeologists disagree on the game’s rules and whether it was the captain of the losing side or the whole winning team that was beheaded, sacrificed to the Gods to ensure a good harvest. A Harvest Festival with a difference...!

And while there have been concerns about Brazil’s famous “old” stadiums, and the amount of work and funding needed before 2014, they’re certainly not the oldest on the continent...

The original ball courts of the pre-Columbian civilisations can still be seen today at many of Latin America’s most fascinating archaeological sites such as Copán (Honduras), Tikal (Guatemala) and Chichén Itzá (Mexico), the largest of all pitches. The ancient Totonac city of El Tajín, near Veracruz in Mexico was so keen on the game that it boasts an amazing 11 ball courts – a city capable of holding its very own World Cup over 1000 years ago!

Finally, spare a thought for the WAGs of ancient Mexico. According to the accounts of 16th century Spanish conquistadores, the Aztecs were such big gamblers that punters would wage anything from money (cocoa beans) to their personal freedom or concubines!

To book call 020 8747 8315 or visit for more information

For more information on this press release, prices and images please contact:
Tim Murray-Walker on 020 8090 4727 or at

Notes to Editors:

Journey Latin America has been the UK’s specialist for tailormade holidays and group tours to Latin America since the 1980s. All of our staff have lived, worked or travelled the continent and are single-minded in their love and passion for Latin America.

Recently voted by Conde Nast traveller readers as the number one specialist tour operator, Journey Latin America prides itself on being able to organise a wide range of holidays and tours no matter what the budget and how complicated the arrangements.

Journey Latin America has achieved 3-star Responsible Tourism status – the highest possible with the Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO). We are also an associate member of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO). IAATO ensures safe and environmentally sound tourism in Antarctica and in accordance with IATTO compliances, Journey Latin America only offer holidays to Antarctica with companies who are IAATO members.

Charities we support include Che Rico, Dental Passage Peru, Safe Passage and CREA (Conservation Research Education Action). For more information visit

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Journey Latin America in the following categories: Men's Interest, Sport, Travel, for more information visit