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Brian Williams

First drawn to South America by the Welsh communities of Patagonia, Brian met co-founder Chris Parrott while teaching in Rio. He set up Journey Latin America in 1980.


Brian Williams

Brian Williams

Directors
Brian first met fellow company founder Chris Parrott in Rio de Janeiro when a maths teacher with the British Council, having been offered a choice between Brazil and Botswana. Taken by the variety of South American scenery and music, he gradually conceived of an idea to run tours to what was then a decidedly adventurous continent, far from the thoughts of most holidaymakers, and upon his return to the UK he set up the fledgling company which became the UK’s leading Latin American tour operator which we are today. 

More than three decades on, both the company and continent have seen enormous changes. South American travel is no longer infused with quite the same sense of unpredictability that characterised it during Brian's early travels – he recalls one occasion for example when he was in La Paz during a military coup and the country had three different presidents in a single day. However, Brian's enthusiasm for this part of the world which first enthralled him back in the 70s has not altered. He feels a particular affinity with Patagonia, which he has long loved for its ruggedness, wildlife and outstanding natural beauty as well as for the intriguing Welsh communities of Chubut – which were partly what enticed the Welshman to South America rather than Africa in the first place. He first visited these settlements shortly after settling in Rio in the late 70s, and he has been back countless times since to enjoy the traditions, language and culture maintained by the descendents of the original Welsh migrants and shared by Brian himself. Reflecting his love of nature and vast, spectacular landscapes, Brian's other favourite places include Peru, Brazil and Venezuela.

My favourite place in Latin America

It's impossible to choose – there are too many to mention.

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My top tips

1.

Pack a Swiss Army Knife (in your hold luggage, of course!) and a universal bath plug.

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Wanderlust

Wanderlust Reader's Travel Awards - Top Ten Tour Operator 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015

Latin American Travel Association – Award for Customer Service 2012

Sunday Times Travel Magazine – Specialist Tour Operator 2012

Sunday Times Travel Magazine – Best Value Tour Operator 2011

Sunday Times Travel Magazine - Editor's Award2013

British Travel Awards – Best Small Tour Operator Central & South America 2011, 2012

Condé Nast Traveller – Top Ten Specialist Tour Operator: 2010, 2011, 2012

Guardian and Observer Travel Awards– Top Ten Small Tour Operator: 2009, 2010, 2012

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