I’ve been described (among other things) as a “wildlife freak” by many people. My first trip to South America was to Peru in 1992 and it had to include a journey into the rainforest, the highlight being an overnight camp on an island in the middle of a river to see the macaws at a famous mineral-rich ‘clay-lick’ – there’s now a lodge nearby but it hadn’t been built at the time of my trip. I combined the rainforest experience with an extended Inca Trail trek which took in Salcantay Base Camp. That was the start of my long fascination with Latin America.
The Ecuadorian rainforest and the Galapagos Islands were the focus of my second trip and I came away with an interesting memento of that journey – a nice ‘kiss ‘from a sea lion that left a scar on the back of my knee! In 2002 I undertook the first of several voyages to Antarctica; while not strictly South America, the Antarctic Peninsula has geological links to the southern end of the Andes. The ‘White Continent’ became another obsession, along with the Falkland Islands and, my favourite, the magnificent island of South Georgia, home to over 100,000 pairs of King Penguins and, in my opinion, to the world’s most beautiful bird, the Wandering Albatross.
2013 took me back to Peru and Ecuador. It’s wonderful to see how places like Lima, Cuzco (in Peru) and Quito (in Ecuador) have changed – almost entirely for the better; for travellers and locals alike. Highlights of this trip include; Mashpi Lodge, Titilaka Lodge and Taquile Island and once again the Galapagos Islands. The highlight of my 2014 trip was Bolivia; stunning landscapes and traditional cultures.
Argentina: Buenos Aires, Iguazu Falls, El Calafate, El Chalten, Ibera Marshlands, Perito Moreno Glacier, Salta & Ushuaia Trekked: Fitz-Roy
Brazil: Iguassu Falls
Bolivia: La Paz, Uyuni Salt Flats, Red & Green Lagoon & Lake Titicaca
Chile: Santiago, Chiloe Island, Atacama desert, Valparaiso, Puerto Varas & Easter Island
Ecuador: Quito, Otavalo, Cuenca, Banos, Amazon Rainforest, Mashpi Cloud Forest & Galapagos Islands Cruise
Peru: Lima, Cuzco, Amazon Rainforest – Puerto Maldonado, Manu National Park, Machu Picchu, Lares region, Sacred Valley, Lake Titicaca & Puno Trekked: Inca Trail & Salcantay base camp
Colombia: Bogota, Medellin, Pereira (Coffee Triangle), Cartagena, Tayrona National Park, Santa Marta
Havana, Trinidad, Santa Clara, Cienfuegos & Vinales
Antarctica: Antarctic Peninsula, Weddell Sea, Snow Hill Island Emperor penguin colony
Falkland Islands: Port Stanley, West Point Island, Saunders Island, Bleaker Island, Steeple Jason and Carcass Island
South Georgia:: Salisbury Plain, Gold Harbour, Fortuna Bay, Stromness, Grytviken, Prince Olav Harbour and King Haakon Bay