Best South American Road Trip
A five day road trip in Argentina from Salta into The Puna, the high-altitude plains of the Andes. The scenery in this region is out of this world and seems to change at every turn from cactus fields to salt flats, azure lagoons and volcanoes. Traversing such stunning landscapes and meeting amazing characters in remote Andean communities along the was was awe-inspiring. It was the best road trip I’ve ever been on.
Favourite South American tipple?
The Pisco Sour – up there with Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca as one of the finest things I experienced in Peru. I also love Torrontes wine from the high-altitude vineyards of Cafayate in North-West Argentina, enjoyed best when gazing up at the Andes.
Textiles. Whether its collecting beautiful hand-woven alpaca scarfs from the eclectic and colourful markets of Cuzco, or tackling the vast, city-like Chichicastenango Market in Guatemala to source stunning, intricately designed belts that last a lifetime, I can’t get enough of the beautiful colours and materials that seem to come from the most remote regions, where creativity and entrepreneurship prevail. Textiles also make for fabulous and unique presents and are a wonderful reminder of my travels when I’m back at home. Every time I’m in Argentina I buy a new pair of Arandu ‘alpargatas’ (espadrilles) as they’re the comfiest shoes I own and come in brilliant colours.
Where is your next adventure?
Mexico is at the top of my list – I’m dying to explore the crumbling old colonial city-centres, indulge in authentic homemade delicacies (tamales every day…), stay in sprawling traditional haciendas and see the Mayan ruins first-hand in the depths of the jungle in the Yucatan Peninsula. A country with such flavour and individual personality from region to region – the discoveries in store are endless.
Such a passionate team of South America experts is rare to find, and PSA delivers immersive, cultural and high-end experiences to travellers who really value that level of knowledge and planning expertise – it’s the style of travel that I am passionate about. Having great independent contacts and connections throughout the continent is what makes PSA really stand out. I believe that the people we meet on our travels have a huge influence on our understanding of foreign countries and cultures, and that this can be deeply enhanced when experienced with the right person on the ground, which PSA executes to perfection.
Must read before you travel?
Anything by Gabriel Garcia Márquez. His beautiful stories will transport you to South America and show you its true beauty, spirit and colour. Reading Love in the Time of Cholera will add such depth to a discovery of Colombia and I couldn’t recommend it more highly.
The best guide you ever had?
My private guide in Cuzco and Machu Picchu was absolutely fantastic and a true expert in his field. The depths of his knowledge on the history of Peru was astounding and he shared his stories with genuine enthusiasm and passion. He really brought the Incas to life for me and made my exploration of these stunning sites even more fulfilling than I could have imagined.
What experience couldn’t be found anywhere else in the world?
Sailing around the Galapagos Islands seeing rare wildlife up close – a real once in a lifetime experience.
What inspired you to travel to South America?
Stories of intrepid explorers like Colombus venturing to wild foreign lands, or Shackleton’s hair-raising voyage to Antarctica. Following in these adventurers’ footsteps and experiencing the wildernesses that they explored has always been the inspiration for my South America travels.