Tilda Rock

Upon leaving school, I went backpacking across South America, eager for a completely new cultural experience. From then, it was a done deal and I was soon hooked on going back. During university, I was given the opportunity to do just that, and went to work at a contemporary art museum in Mexico City, exploring the rest of the country as often as I could. The depth and diversity of cultures across Latin America have become my fixation and something I ramble on about to all those that will listen (and those who won’t!).

Salento, The Coffee Triangle, Colombia

Hey, Tilda. Which was the first country you visited in Latin America? What were your impressions?

My Latin American travels kicked off with a less-than-appealing 32-hour bus ride into Colombia from Quito, Ecuador. However, after that, both my travel planning skills and my impression of Latin America got much better! I became immediately intoxicated by Colombia and how vibrantly alive it is; just overflowing with music and colour. I am also partial to a good cup of coffee, so visiting coffee farms in the Coffee Triangle in Quindió was a real highlight!

Tell us about a recent adventure of yours. What did a typical day look like?

While living in Mexico, I spent a week in Guadalajara, lured there by their notorious birria tacos and its status as the birthplace of mariachi. Days were spent gorging myself on the food, admiring the vast murals of Jose Clemente Orozco, and wandering through the seemingly endless markets. Perhaps most exciting were my day trips; hiking to the Guachimontones ruins and visiting a local farm to learn about (and sample!) the region’s most famous export: tequila.

Uyuni Salt Flats, Bolivia

From delicious wines to handicrafts, Latin America offers incredible creations—what is the best souvenir you’ve ever taken home?

I’m an absolute sucker for a market, and have picked up an obscene collection of knick-knacks during my travels – lovely jewellery, weird and wonderful musical instruments, and some fantastic glassware – and I’m proud to say it all came back in one piece!

What has been the most rewarding experience you’ve had in Latin America?

Before starting my travels, I was given a copy of Hugh Thomson’s ‘The White Rock’; the sense of awe and discovery was captivating, and I became obsessed with seeing Inca remains. Whilst in Peru, on the last day of a relatively gruelling four-day hike, we got to the top of Machu Picchu and watched the sun rise over the ruins. It was the most perfect moment, making the 4am wake-up somehow worth it!

Salvador & Bahia, Brazil

Where will your next Latin American adventure be?

I am desperate to explore Brazil. Chilled beach towns, huge expanses of jungle, bustling cities, and the thriving contemporary art scene…What’s not to love?

What’s your favourite tipple from Latin America?

Mezcal! It’s the sexier cousin of tequila and makes for a great replacement in a margarita.

Tilda’s Photos