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Managing Director

Harry Hastings

I arrived in Buenos Aires in 2005 and stayed 9 years longer than intended. While local bureaucracy made starting a business in Argentina a challenge, being a Brit in a largely Anglophile society opened many doors and set the scene for a project ultimately designed to keep me in bifes de chorizo and Malbec. My passion for Argentina developed into a continent-wide fascination and Plan South America was born. I now head our London office and continue to roam my adopted land as often and as widely as good sense permits.

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What was your last adventure?

Mexico, where I was scouting new properties and restaurants ahead of our Central America launch. Before that, I was walking and riding with friends in a spectacularly pretty corner of Transylvania.

 

Favourite restaurant in South America?

Good food and drink is a key component of our journeys. Don Julio in Buenos Aires was my second home when living there. I saw it transform from a word-of-mouth neighbourhood dive to one of the most highly regarded restaurants in Latin America.  Lo de Pepina, in Cartagena’s Getsemani, is a family-run bolthole of 8 tables and stunning Caribbean food. Lucifer, in Garzón, Uruguay, run by Mallmann protégé Lucia Soria, is a gem. Long lunches at Rio’s Lorenzo Bistrô and buzzy Braseiro da Gávea.  Lima and Bogota deserve their own chapters.

 

What’s the most offbeat experience you’ve had recently?

Colombia’s Los Llanos – cowboy and anaconda country up on the Venezuelan border. And a very special Patagonian adventure on horseback which requires a 2.5hr flight, a 3hr drive, a 1hr motorboat and a 2hr ride before hitting basecamp.

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the Andean route from Mendoza to Jujuy in Argentina’s northwest ranges through desert, subtropical jungle, high altitude vineyards, salt lakes, dusty market towns and huge fields of pungent red peppers drying in the sun. You may see the odd western tourist at the beginning and final third, but there’s a good 900kms in the middle where you’re very much off-piste.

– Harry Hastings

Best South American Road Trip?

I am at my happiest driving into the blue yonder. In 2008, a friend and I bought a car and drove 11,000km from Buenos Aires to northern Colombia.  We navigated into a minefield on Chile’s border with Bolivia, picked up an extraordinary assortment of hitchhikers and mounted an exhilarating escape from a besieged Peruvian village.

On a less indulgent timescale, the Andean route from Mendoza to Jujuy in Argentina’s northwest ranges through desert, subtropical jungle, high altitude vineyards, salt lakes, dusty market towns and huge fields of pungent red peppers drying in the sun. You may see the odd western tourist at the beginning and final third, but there’s a good 900kms in the middle where you’re very much off-piste.

 

Favourite South American tipple?

Probably wine. When living in Buenos Aires, I would always meet with a friend in the same bar every week to play chess, eat cheese and enjoy a bottle of Chilean Koyle Costa Pinot Noir or Argentine Tempus Alma Pleno. Cachaça and Mezcal also do good things for me.

 

Best souvenir?

Taxidermy. A friend traveling in Bolivia returned with a plump armadillo dressed in a natty sequin jacket. Otherwise, leather goods, art, ponchos, textiles, riding boots, panama hats, cowhides, hammocks, emeralds, a Brazilian sunga…

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I like W H Hudson’s Far Away and Long Ago – a quiet, lyrical portrait of life in the Argentine pampas at the turn of the century. And for a little more comedy and adventure: Peter Fleming’s Brazilian Adventure.

– Harry Hastings

Where is your next adventure?

Colombia, to explore the Pacific coast and southern Amazon, which are both new to me. I find it the most captivating country and am always finding excuses to return.

 

Why PSA?

Because we pool all of our knowledge, resources and contacts into one glorious continent. I’m a great believer in specialising.

 

Must read before you travel?

I like W H Hudson’s Far Away and Long Ago – a quiet, lyrical portrait of life in the Argentine pampas at the turn of the century.  And for guffaws and adventure: Peter Fleming’s Brazilian Adventure.

Harry's Photos

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