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Meet the team - Central America

Our Central America specialists have travelled extensively in the region. The team can tell you insider tips, like where you can be served dinner in the shadows of a candlelit Mayan temple, and the best opportunities to get off the beaten track. 

They can guide you to the best luxury hotels, jungle stays and destinations – all to suit your needs.

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Ben

Born and raised in Nepal, I developed a thirst for exploration from a young age. I was fortunate to grow up with parents who loved travelling and had the patience to take their three children. After finishing higher education in England, I embarked on a solo trip for the first time to India. Having travelled across Europe, parts of Africa, North America and Indochina, I have witnessed many incredible experiences, but it’s the Indian Subcontinent that enthrals me. With a wide array of landscapes, mesmerising colours and charisma, India has a way of luring you in. Nepal not only has picturesque landscapes but also has the kindest and most humble locals. While Sri Lanka is a small country, it has a fascinating culture and history, a variety of wildlife, stunning scenery and beaches, as well as a mouth-watering cuisine. It is a pleasure to help people experience an area of the world that has created so many unforgettable memories for me.

My Insiders Tip

The majority of people that travel to India for the first time will visit the Taj Mahal, most of whom will witness the sun rise over the Taj Mahal. However, for me, the best place to witness the grandeur of the Taj Mahal is at sunset from Mehtab Bagh. The Persian garden, built by Emperor Babur, is on the opposite bank of the Yumana river to the Taj Mahal and provides beautiful, unobstructed views at sunset. Another tip is to taste the local cuisine, whether it’s a thali – an assortment of curries and lentils – or a chaat – a savoury snack, such as puffed rice. I highly recommend going on a street food tour as well as joining a local cooking class.

Favourite Experience

With so many memories that stand out, it’s impossible to choose just one. However, a lasting memory is walking through the Annapurna range, past tiered paddy fields and shepherds, across swing bridges, all the while keeping an eye out for the birdlife – the crested serpent eagle and steppe eagle in particular. As you walk through remote villages, which are only accessible by walking, the locals are incredibly warm and welcoming. After a day’s walking, you can relax at the Ker & Downey lodges that overlook the Himalaya.

My Favourite Place

I may be biased, but my place of birth, Pokhara, has to be my favourite place. Although it may lack the historical sites of Kathmandu, Pokhara has unrivalled surroundings and friendly locals. Pokhara is where all the treks in the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri range start and end, and the town’s relaxed and friendly reputation precedes itself. If you don’t have time for a multiday trek, you can walk to the village of Sarangkot, where there are beautiful views over the valley and the lake, with the mountains in the backdrop. With plenty of cafes, restaurants and bars, Lakeside Road overlooks Phewa lake and is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the atmosphere.

My Favourite Hotel

Just 600 metres from the Taj Mahal is the palatial Oberoi Amarvilas. You can even see uninterrupted views of the celebrated monument of love from the comfort of your sumptuous bedroom. Each room has a stylish yet elegant decor with teak floors, silk cushions and a private balcony. Renowned for their attention to detail and impeccable service, the Oberoi staff will always go the extra mile and the restaurant serves mouthwatering international and speciality Indian cuisine. Guests can take a golf buggy to the Taj Mahal or have a candlelit dinner looking over it.

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See the sights of Central America come to life in the Latin America brochure. Order Now >

Discover Central America

Wander magnificent Mayan ruins and delve deep into the rainforest to spot spectacular birdlife and other animals.… Read more
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Ian

I feel fortunate that my parents enjoy travelling and that they had the patience to put up with my siblings and I while doing so. Our family trips started in the Lake District, then we travelled further afield to South Africa and the Caribbean. These trips completely opened my eyes and I have since tried to visit somewhere new each year. 
Once I had finished university, I set off to South America on a six month solo trip and I have wanted to return ever since. Starting in Rio de Janeiro and finishing in Bogota, it was an unforgettable experience. I’ve always been amazed at the diversity of the continent’s landscapes; from the lush Brazilian and Peruvian rainforests to wild and windy Patagonia and the peaceful picturesque Caribbean coast. I have always loved being outdoors and looking for wildlife, which motivated me to travel through Latin America.

My Insiders Tip

I highly recommend the Peruvian jungle; you can fly to Puerto Maldonado from Cuzco, which only takes an hour. There are a number of comfortable eco-lodges that you can use as a base. These lodges are typically set on the riverside, serving delicious local food and offering a number of activities. My highlight was the guided jungle treks searching for sloths, capybara, giant anteaters as well as being told about the vast array of birdlife. Another absolute must is a river cruise in search of caiman, giant river otters and arapaima – one of the largest freshwater fish in the world. I would recommend a minimum of two nights in the Amazon so you have time to enjoy a couple of activities without tiring yourself out.

Favourite Experience

It has to be the very worthwhile 4am start to see the sun rise over the Uyuni salt flats in Bolivia. The view is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before, with the sun reflecting off the water to create a perfect mirror image – it also helps you forget the cold. The drive to reach the salt flats was a great experience in itself; travelling through the wilderness past colourful lakes, flamingos and spurting geysers. Once we arrived at the salt flats, you could drive along the salt flats for 20 minutes and it looks as though you’ve not moved!

My Favourite Place

Patagonia has to be my favourite place in the world due to its incredibly beautiful landscapes and sheer scale. My particular favourites are the town of Bariloche in Argentina for its lakeside setting, alpine feel and great hiking and the Torres del Paine National Park for its towering mountains, sprawling glaciers and numerous lakes of various shades of grey, blue and green. Spotting an endangered Andean condor over the Grey Glacier and reaching the famed peaks of Las Torres, really stand out as my favourite memories from such a special place.

My Favourite Hotel

Waking up to views of the famed ‘horns’ in Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park is an unmissable experience. The explora Patagonia overlooks the stunning Lake Pehoé and the jagged mountains, which the park is famous for. The hotel is perfectly positioned in the centre of the park and you can easily walk to the nearby waterfalls and viewpoints. Guests staying at the explora can take advantage of more than 40 excursions with knowledgeable local guides and the hotel’s restaurant serves healthy cuisine that is paired with premium Chilean wines. If you enjoy walking, then I would recommend four nights so that you can take advantage of the many trails.

Order a Brochure Online

See the sights of Central America come to life in the Latin America brochure. Order Now >

Discover Central America

Wander magnificent Mayan ruins and delve deep into the rainforest to spot spectacular birdlife and other animals.… Read more
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Josh

What I love most about travelling is discovering the unexpected. Packing my bag and booking a one-way flight to Latin America was the best decision I’ve ever made. I waved to the Pope in Guayaquil in Ecuador, saw the never-ending Uyuni salt flats in Bolivia, trekked through the Peruvian Andes and witnessed the sun rise over Machu Picchu, which was truly magical. With so many wonderful and unforgettable experiences, it’s safe to say that Latin America has sparked my love for exploring and I always look forward to returning.

My Insiders Tip

A personal favourite has to be the idyllic San Blas Islands on the Caribbean coast of Panama, easily reachable by a short flight. Here you’ll find stunning beaches, crystal clear waters and the fascinating – and welcoming – Kuna tribe. They speak in Tule, the Kuna’s own regional language, and few of them know any Spanish, it feels like you’re travelling back in time. Relax and enjoy a good book whilst lying in one of the many hammocks in the shade of the coconut palms. Stay in a rustic eco-lodge and witness the incredible sunrises and sunsets, meet the fascinating island inhabitants and just as you’re getting hungry, a lobster is caught for you. The opportunity to spot marine wildlife on San Blas is endless; board one of the small boats and discover all that these tropical islands have to offer.

Favourite Experience

Arriving in Potosi in Bolivia at 5:30am is an experience in itself. I was greeted by the beaming smile of an old Bolivian lady. Still in a haze and incredibly confused, I found myself smiling and hugging my way down the street as she insists she knows where I need to go. After nine hours along unpaved roads, with a temperature of -1, I, along with a few weary-eyed travellers decide she’s our best bet and follow her lead. Within five minutes I’m sat in a beautiful, warm and welcoming café, laughing and joking over one of the best breakfasts I’ve ever had.

My Favourite Place

Bolivia has a special place in my heart. A magical country where jungle and desert meet and you encounter so many smiling people. From the beating heart of La Paz and the Witches Market, to the serenity of the Uros islands and Uyuni salt flats. When you visit Bolivia, it’s as though you’ve seen five countries!

My Favourite Hotel

The Tierra Patagonia hotel in Chilean Patagonia is truly spectacular; thanks to the enormous windows, you have unbeatable views throughout. In a wood-clad lodge on the edge of Torres del Paine National Park, I experienced the best bubble bath view you could ever imagine! If you can bear to leave your room with its panoramic views of the mountains and lakes, there is a team of guides ready to whisk you out to explore Torres del Paine. Whether you choose to hike, bike, horse ride or go by 4x4, prepare yourself for an adventure. After a day of exploring, relax in front of the fire and gaze up as a billion stars illuminate the crystal clear night sky.

Order a Brochure Online

See the sights of Central America come to life in the Latin America brochure. Order Now >

Discover Central America

Wander magnificent Mayan ruins and delve deep into the rainforest to spot spectacular birdlife and other animals.… Read more