Hayley Crowden - South America Travel Centre

Hayley Crowden

Travel Specialist

I spent six months over 2011-2012 travelling from Mexico all the way down to Chile, almost entirely overland and with little plan as to where my next stop might be.

It was the wonderful people I encountered along the way who made me never want to leave. People like the generous family I stayed with in Guatemala while I worked at learning Spanish, and the beautiful Chileans (who I’d met in Panama 4 months earlier) who took me into their home and cared for me when I fell ill in Chile, to mention just two examples. The friendliness, thoughtfulness and laughter of the local people I met never ceased to inspire me.

During my travels I threw myself into the colour and beat of Rio Carnival; swam with pink dolphins in the Amazon (and piranhas and caimans!); climbed Guatemala’s ancient Mayan temples and its volcanoes; dived with sharks and turtles in Belize; rode a bike down “the world’s most dangerous road” in Bolivia; had my breath taken away by the sight of Machu Picchu (and maybe the 4 day trek it took to get there?); surfed the waters of the black volcanic sand beaches of El Salvador; and played with baby sloths in Costa Rica. And now sharing the passion I’ve developed for this continent has become what I most love to do!


Places Visited

Chile: Santiago, Atacama desert, Puerto Montt, Puerto Natales, Patagonia and Torres del Paine National Park.

Argentina: Buenos Aires, Iguazu Falls, Bariloche, Perito Moreno Glacier, Mendoza, Ushuaia.

Brazil: Rio de Janeiro, Iguassu Falls, Paraty, Ilha Grande.

Peru: Lima, Cuzco, Machu Picchu, Sacred Valley (Pisac, Chinchero, Ollantaytambo),  Aguas Calientes, Puno.

Bolivia: La Paz, Copacabana, Lake Titicaca, “Death Road”, Potosi, Santa Cruz, Sucre, Tupiza, Uyuni, Rurrenabaque, Amazon Jungle.

Ecuador: Quito, Otavalo, Cuenca, Galapagos Cruise (MY Grace), Banos, Amazon Jungle.

Guatemala: Antigua, Flores, Tikal, Chichicastenango, Semuc Chempey, Volcan de Fuego.

Mexico: Mexico City, Chichen Itza, Tulum, Valladolid.

Belize: Belize City, Caye Caulker.

Panama: Bocas Del Torro, Panama City, San Blas Islands, Panama Canal.

Guatemala: Guatemala City, Antigua, Lake Atitlan, Chichicastenango, Flores.

Costa Rica: San Jose, Volcan Arenal, Monteverde, Puerto Viejo.