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.

Cuba: Havana, Trinidad, Santa Clara

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.

View articles from Hayley’s Travels:
  • I’ve been to impressive national parks – quite a few – and I am the first to admit that I had high expectations of Torres del Paine National Park. I’d seen countless photos, spoken to colleagues and clients who’d been there and raved about it, and had done my research....

  • No matter where you are in the world a meal made from home grown produce, prepared by an experienced cook to traditional recipes, eaten in a typical restaurant and accompanied by a local wine is a lovely way to immerse yourself in a culture. ...

  • The word ‘desert’ usually conjures images of dust, sand and rocks, cactus and scuttling creatures and, while the Atacama Desert in northern Chile has all of the above, it also offers many unexpected surprises. Forget your preconceived ideas of a barren desert environment – Atacama is bursting with exceptional experiences just waiting for you to discover....