Just back from… Chile With Jamie SwanJamie Swan - Product & Marketing
Our Real Latin America Expert
Jamie Swan - Product & Marketing
Jamie backpacked across Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina and Brazil before joining us; he has a degree in politics and is also a keen sportsman..
Where have you been?
Have you been before?
Yes, 7 years ago but that was backpacking and I didn’t get to visit the south so it was nice to see more of the country
If so… notable differences?
I saw it from a very different perspective this time so whilst I don’t think there have been massive changes it is becoming more popular with international tourists.
How did you get there?
Flew with LATAM via Sao Paulo although there are direct flights with BA
How long were you there?
Started in Valparaiso and Santiago before flying north to the Atacama Desert. From there we flew south to the Lake District and then to Punta Arenas and the Torres del Paine national park. Finally we flew back to Santiago and onto Easter Island for a little holiday at the end.
Which was your favourite…
Place: Probably Easter Island as it’s so unique but the Lake District was a great surprise and I’ve always loved the Atacama desert.
Hotel: Awasi in Patagonia was probably my favourite but Vina Vik gets a special mention
Excursion: The hike on Desolation Pass in the Lake District was great, some stunning scenery and walking on a snow capped volcano
Appeals to which type of traveller / client?
I think it appeals to everyone, although those interested in nature and landscapes are very well catered for given the dramatic differences between the areas. Those who are active will also have a great time as there are so many opportunities to be out in nature
What did you pack/take with you?
Clothes for all seasons, the Atacama is warm during the day and cold at night. In the south the weather can change in an instant so warm layers and waterproofs are needed. Easter Island is semi tropical and the areas around Santiago have a Mediterranean climate.
Any good food, drinks, restaurants or bars recommendations?
Outside the main cities most lodges include your food but trying the local wine is a must (and hard to avoid), you can also get some wonderful seafood – Baked scallops twice in a day didn’t seem excessive
Room for improvement?
There is a lot of flying around so you will get to know Santiago airport very well but it’s unavoidable given the country's geography.
How would you summarise / sum up your trip in a sentence?
Hectic but worthwhile. It’s a beautiful country with so much to offer, every time you get off the plane it’s like landing in a new country.
Read more about Easter Island.
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Real Latin America Experts
Sophie Barber - Travel Consultant
Sophie lived in Chile before joining us and has travelled extensively across Latin America, from Mexico to the furthest tip of Patagonia.
Hannah Donaldson - Travel Consultant
Having spent part of her childhood in Colombia and worked in Brazil and Costa Rica, Hannah's ties to Latin America run deep. Hannah is an invaluable part of our Group Tours team.
Ben Line - Travel Consultant
Ben fell in love with Latin America on a six month backpacking trip from Colombia to Mexico in 1995. Since then he has explored most of South America, including living in Peru for a year. He is now Manager of the Tailor-made Department.
Carrie Gallagher - Travel Consultant
A former JLA tour leader, Carrie brings a wealth of on-the-ground experience to our London-based Escorted Groups team.
Kathryn Rhodes - Travel Consultant
Kathryn backpacked across Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru before joining us. She has a degree in Philosophy and French and is a keen netball player.
Hannah Waterhouse - Travel Consultant
Hannah had an early introduction to Latin America when her family moved to Ecuador and she returned to study in Buenos Aires for a year before backpacking across the continent.