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Travel Consultant

Venetia Martin

Where have you just come back from?

The salsa-pulsing streets of Cartagena. Now back to reality.

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Where is the funkiest Latin American city?

Buenos Aires hands down. From the brightly coloured buildings of La Boca, the grafitti blitzed walls of Villa Crespo, the street markets and flash street-dancers of San Telmo to the chic-boho vibe of Palermo Soho.

 

And where to party?

If you’re looking for the best street parties with salsa dancers and bars brimming with caipirinhas, head for Lapa in Rio. If rum’s your tipple, get up to Cartagena for rooftop cocktails with ocean views. For everything else, querido Buenos Aires, where no self-respecting Porteño deems to eat before 10pm and arrive at a boliche before 2am. Or leave before 8am, for that matter.

 

Where to view the best private art collection?

Head to a former ink factory, now The Vergez Collection, in Buenos Aires, where you will find a lavish collection of international and local contemporary art. Another absolute must, is the invite-only 10th storey penthouse of José Darío Gutiérrez in Bogota.

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You can’t go anywhere in Latin America and not try something unusual and 99% of the time absolutely delicious. Living as a local in Argentina for the summer months I was fortunate enough to appreciate the Argentine asado on an almost daily basis. It’s an experience in itself, often coupled with choripán and a large glass of Malbec!

– Venetia Martin

Where to blitz the shops?

The style of Paulistano’s is chic and enviable and you can find everything from top end brands in JK Iguatemi, to one-of-a-kind bargains at the weekly markets. The hustle and bustle of the shopping streets with the locals chattering away, holding their iced-coffees and laden with bags makes you feel like you’ve just walked off sunset boulevard. It wouldn’t be a successful shopping day without a lunchtime stop for Pão de queijo, a Brazilian cheese bread, at a trendy street-side café.

 

And to escape the crowds?

Jicaro Lodge, in the middle of Lake Nicaragua, where you feel instantly relieved from all daily worries. You’re forced to unwind because there’s really nothing to distract you or consume your attention. Entirely isolated by water, you can easily spend five days flaking out by the pool with a good book (I picked The Jaguar Smile by Salman Rushdie – from the PSA recommended reading list, of course!) and be entirely undisturbed.

 

What should you never travel without?

A sarong and a credit card. In both cases, you never know when you might be caught unawares!

 

Top travel tip?

Learn to bargain. $20 is not an acceptable price to pay for a llama-engraved spice pot. Even if it is meant to be a voodoo token of good luck.

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Everyone works to their specialties, we build a personal relationship with each client and we are constantly sharing new knowledge and ideas with each other. This combination makes for ruthlessly expert trip planning!

– Venetia Martin

A local dish you shouldn’t miss?

You can’t go anywhere in Latin America and not try something unusual and 99% of the time absolutely delicious. Living as a local in Argentina for the summer months I was fortunate enough to appreciate the Argentine asado on an almost daily basis. It’s an experience in itself, often coupled with choripán and a large glass of Malbec!

 

Why Plan South America?

The team. Everyone works to their specialties, we build a personal relationship with each client and we are constantly sharing new knowledge and ideas with each other. This combination makes for ruthlessly expert trip planning! Creating mind-blowing experiences for our clients is our absolute passion.

 

Where is your next adventure?

Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Both increasingly popular destinations but with so much left to explore. From the remote, tree-top jungle lodges to the secret beachside villas to the charming colonial haciendas. I have an endless list of things to see and do and am determined not to leave before I’ve achieved at least half. Surfing in Santa Teresa, volcano-boarding on Cerro Negro, bird spotting in Corcovado National Park, trekking through the jungle surrounding Viejo Lagoon. The list goes on…

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