After 16 years on air, the program produced by Hostoil (The Mediapro Studio) breaks record numbers for share data with its latest edition notching up an impressive 25.8% average share.

In its 17th edition, ‘El Conquistador del fin del mundo’ (The Conqueror of the End of the World) has done it again, racking up success after success both within and beyond its borders. For yet another year running, viewing  for the ETB adventure reality show consolidates the fact that they’ve hit on the winning formula as its content continues to leave Basque viewers flabbergasted by each episode, week-on-week making its way into the nations trending topics.

The format produced by Hostoil (The Mediapro Studio) is unparalleled in regional and even on national networks, since even the Telecinco show ‘Supervivientes’ saw its audience share drop this year, while the program hosted by Julián Iantzi maintains its faithful viewers glued to the screens.

The presenter is one of the star ingredients of ‘El Conquis’, as are the contestants – with winners who have transcended as much as Gotzon Mantuliz – and challenges to test the ability, dexterity and strength of any adventurers’ senses.

But undoubtedly, another of the essential ingredients for this format to succeed at the level the show has are the locations they’ve chosen to surround participants and delight audiences. During these 16 years on-air, the program has visited 5 different filming locations where they developed and shot the programs.

Five heavenly areas, scattered throughout Latin America and now that the holidays are coming, are ideal for planning that dream trip for those brave enough to retrace the steps of the adventures of one of the most successful TV programs so far this century.

Argentina: Patagonia – the origins of ‘El Conquis’

The first 10 editions of the program titled ‘El Conquistador del fin del mundo’, were shot on location in the Argentine Patagonia region which became the setting for Gotzon Mantuliz’s unforgettable triumph. His record-breaking appearance set the bar high indeed after 36 days setting record after record.

Together with his fellow companions and the other participants from this early period, including Eneko Van Horenbeke, Lourdes Zurriarrain and Nakor Markez, the adventurers were put to the test at breathtaking locations such as Las Misiones jungle to the backdrop of the Iguazú Falls, took a stroll along the Perito Moreno glacier, one of the most important in the world located in the province of Santa Cruz, and even visited the Les Éclaireurs Lighthouse (Explorers’ Lighthouse), an exact replica of the one described in Jules Verne’s novel ‘The Lighthouse at the End of the World’, located on an islet in the Beagle Channel, to the east of the famous city Ushuaia.

Argentina: the dream of setting foot on Aconcagua

Between 2010 and 2012, the show’s creators packed up their gear and headed for the Argentinian side of the Andes Mountains range in what was to become a before and after in terms of the show’s development, as this time it was a totally different experience due to the harsh weather conditions, the characteristics of the terrain, and the participants who were six already household names.

There, audiences accompanied the adventurers to the summit of Mount Aconcagua, the highest peak in America at 6,962 m (22,837 ft) which, at the same time, is the second highest peak on the planet after the Himalayas. A spectacular location only suitable to the extremely well prepared, both physically and mentally, and who know exactly what they’re doing.

Colombia: the most on-the-edge ‘El Conquistador’ in the Amazon

However, probably one of the most extreme editions of the show was recorded in 2016, as the crew and participants traveled to the Amazon jungle in Colombia.

Anacondas, piranhas, mosquitoes and a barrage of challenges really tested the adventurous spirit of the participants to the limit, as the destination itself poses a significant challenge to anyone who sets foot in the forest. As such, the creators only shot one edition of the show there as it is undoubtedly the kind of place you would surely only travel to once in your life.

The Caribbean: from the Dominican Republic to Colombia

Despite conjuring up images of luxurious hotel complexes featuring every human comfort imaginable with the mention of the words ‘The Caribbean’, the last four editions of the show had an entirely different experience when they traveled to the region.

Colombia was chosen for the 2017 and 2018 seasons and more specifically, the headland of Punta Gallinas where our adventurers pitted their wits against the perils of both the exterior and interior of the enclave. This singular location in the world that presents impressive natural landscape of plateaus, dunes and rocky cliffs. In addition, the area still today is home to a community of around 100 inhabitants from one of the few remaining South American cultures to preserve their ancestral traditions intact.

Then, in 2020 and 2021, it was on to the Dominican Republic, more exactly to the region of Los Haitises National Park that and to enjoy some of the most breathtaking views on the planet and where even static images of the area will leave you gobsmacked.

Panama: ‘The Pacific Conqueror’

In 2019, a unique edition of the program was also shot on location in The Pearl Islands, off the Pacific coast of Panama and the same setting chosen for other international reality shows such as the US version of the international competition ‘Survivor’, among others.

The islands’ name comes from the abundance of pearls discovered in the area during the period of Spanish rule and the site where the world-famous La Peregrina pearl was found, later acquired by Philip II of Spain, subsequently gifted to actress Elizabeth Taylor by her husband, with whom it was to remain until her death in 2011.

And so it is, with all these amazing ingredients and spectacular landscapes the world over, it’s hardly surprising that ‘El Conquis’ has reaped the success it has far beyond its own borders.

Paula Hergar
Paula Hergar is a 360 journalist as Paquita Salas would say, writes about TV in Vertele and presents, writes, and directs Zapping on LOS40. In addition to collaborating in cultural programs in La 2 and being the author of the book ‘Around the world in 80 series’.