After studying Tourism Management at university, I continued my passion for all things travel by joining a leading Tour Operator in 2005. My first footsteps into the wonderful continent of Latin America began as a Tour Manager, leading small groups of clients around Peru and Brazil. It was this amazing experience which developed the Latino travel bug within and I have been lucky enough to explore much more of what this colourful continent has to offer.

My favourite place

My favorite city would have to be Rio de Janeiro in Brazil; I love the chilled laid-back feel, the music, the beach, the food, the people and the iconic skyline. It’s such a happy city, and there is always something going on! A sunset bike ride around the lagoon and along the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema during the Christmas festive season was a personal highlight of mine – you can see the floating Christmas tree lit up on the lagoon, which amazingly is powered by a man inside so that it circles the lagoon.

 

My favourite hotel

After my recent stay, I would say Tierra Atacama in Chile – ticks every box on the list – incredible views of Licancabur Volcano from the rooms and the outdoor pool, starriest skies ever seen, divine food including treats such as llama steak, paired with some of the best Chilean red wine. On top of this, the excursions are fantastic; a favorite of mine would be the cycle ride through the Atacama desert to Cejar lagoon, where due to the salt concentration, I had the chance to literally float on the water whilst watching flamingos fly overhead. The excursion finished with sunset drinks as I watched the sky turn crimson red.

My most memorable experience

My most memorable experiences would have to include snorkeling with sea lions and manta rays in the Galapagos Islands, biking my way down through the Andes along a hair-raising road, literally on the edge of a cliff face; and ash-boarding down an active volcano in Nicaragua.

My top tips

  1. Treat yourself to a Suite at the Casas Brancas in Buzios, which come with terraces overlooking the bay of Buzios below. You can even enjoy the view from the outside bathtub!
  2. Head to Madame Ulupica in La Paz for the most delicious food and wine at affordable prices; this quirky restaurant serves up the best stuffed calamari I have ever tried; each dish comes with its own twist. The menu is in Spanish, but the chef will passionately chat through the menu in English with you if you ask.
  3. Ensure that you always take cash with you to Paraty in Brazil, as the ATMs can be rather temperamental, and often the bank machines in the restaurants fail to read your credit cards.
  • Laura was really helpful and came up with good ideas despite my own knowledge of Brazil.

     

    -
    Stephen, travelled to Brazil December 2013
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