A bit about me
My first visit to Latin America was as a backpacker after university. I spent five months travelling from north to south through the colourful towns and jungles of Central America, and into the thin air of South America’s Altiplano, before ending on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro.
I was amazed at the variety that Latin America had to offer and the trip made a real impression on me. Back in the UK, I joined a specialist Latin America tour operator, before moving to The Ultimate Travel Company.
I have been lucky enough to return to Latin America a number of times, staying in some wonderful hotels and lodges which are a world away from my backpacking days (where I thought a lukewarm shower was a luxury!).
My favourite place
The Aysén region of Chile – just south of the Lake District and the start of Chilean Patagonia. The best way of seeing the area is to hire a vehicle and drive the Carretera Austral, a partially paved highway constructed under General Pinochet’s rule in the 1970’s to connect the remote communities in the region. Accommodation along the way is fairly simple, but the mountain scenery is quite spectacular. For those with a sense of adventure and wishing to avoid the crowds of Torres del Paine, it’s a must!
My favourite hotel
Titilaka, on the shores of Lake Titicaca in Peru. Despite suffering from altitude sickness (my own fault for not acclimatising properly!), I loved everything about the hotel. On its own private peninsula, beautifully decorated throughout and with delicious food on the menu – what’s not to like?
My most memorable experience
Being handed a glass of whiskey with freshly carved glacial ice, after trekking across the Perito Moreno Glacier in Argentine Patagonia.
My top tips
- If a restaurant is full of locals, it’s normally a good sign. And never eat anywhere with pictures on the menu!
- Peru is a great trekking destination, but there is more to it than just the Inca Trail. Try the Salkantay, Lares or even Choquequirao for something quieter and more remote.
- A soft suitcase is much more practical than a hard case – particularly if you are flying in light aircraft with luggage restrictions.
- Acclimatisation to altitude is important, particularly in Peru and Bolivia, where so many of the highlights are well above sea level. Drink plenty of water, try to avoid alcohol and don’t do too much too quickly.