"My love affair with Latin America started over a margarita."
As soon as I had the opportunity to travel, I did. In school holidays I worked for a watersports company in Greece, after graduating from university I jumped on a plane to ‘do’ Asia by bus, but my travel highlight was the experience I gained in my two year journey through the South American continent. From working on a coffee finca in Ecuador and sailing through the Galapagos Islands, to camping under the stars in Patagonia, nothing beats really getting under the skin of a place and becoming part of it. Whilst I love to travel for as long as possible, I am acutely aware of what an event a holiday is - whether it’s a long weekend or a month long adventure - and I love nothing more than helping our guests create the perfect adventure or escape. I am now part of the Americas team covering the continent, and currently specialise in California fly-drives as well as the surrounding areas from Nevada, to Utah to Hawaii. Having crisscrossed the Golden State on a quest to find the biggest redwoods, the best buttery Chardonnay, the freshest catch, the most perfect ocean rollers and the most rock & roll bars in Hollywood, California is one of my favourite places. Whether you have seven or seventy days, you can have the adventure of a lifetime in the US.
Favourite places I’ve been
California – sun-dappled landscapes of Napa’s vineyards, towering redwoods in Yosemite, epic coastal highways, Pacific Ocean surf and Hollywood Stars
Ecuador – Colorful Andean mountain villages, volcanic landscapes, homely estancia’s and the captivating Galapagos Islands for the most magical wildlife experience in the world
Chile – possibly the most enchanting National Park in the planet, Torres del Paine, and the glaciers of Chilean Patagonia is a once-in-a-lifetime journey
Guatemala - the only place on earth you can take in breathtaking views whilst roasting marshmallows on top of a volcano!
Colombia – the only danger is that you’ll fall in love and won’t want to go home.
Panama – Caribbean archipelagos, dreamy mountain lodges and the historical canal make it my next big destination!
Whilst there is so much potential in California, guests shouldn’t try to do it all. Spend 5 nights wine tasting and dining at Michelin starred restaurants in the Napa Valley, really get to know Gold Country in the saloons of Mariposa and back trails of Yosemite, choose to spend a few days cruising slowly down highway one stopping in Carmel, Big Sur and Morro Bay, stay in West Hollywood for the real LA experience or take time out to connect with nature and learn to surf or paddle board on the endless beaches of Laguna.
Spend as much time as you can in Buenos Aires and go off the beaten tourist track. Take a tour with Palermo based art enthusiasts Graffiti Mundo for a unique insight into the city’s budding street art scene and dance the night away to the beats of the ridiculously popular Bomba del Tiempo with the locals at Cuidad Cultural Konek.
Once you’ve spent a few days out in the wilderness of Patagonia in Torres del Paine National Park, it’ll be forever in your heart. Snow-capped mountains, turquoise glacial lakes, ancient forests and views that take your breath away will motivate you to keep on trekking. Just be sure to pack for four seasons in a day and wear your hiking boots in first!
Take on the white water of the Pacuare River, voted one of the top 5 rivers to raft in the world by National Geographic, and you’ll see why when you’re paddling down river. Virgin rainforest, steep gorges, tumbling waterfalls and giant blue morpho butterflies fluttering by make rafting this river unforgettable!
Take a surf lesson, whether it’s in the balmy waters of Costa Rica or the chilly Antarctic swell of Chile, nothing beats the feeling of being at one with nature that surfing gives you. You don’t even have to be good at it; it’s the thrill of being out in the waves, giving it a go and surviving. And when you do catch a wave, you’ll be hooked!
Diary of a journey: from the Andes to the Amazon
Buenos Aires street-art comes to London
What my guests have said
"Maudie, thank you for your patience and professionalism in creating our holiday itinerary!"
"Thank you again so much, we really have been overwhelmed by the standard of service you have provided, we have been to a couple of travel agents over here and to be honest there is no comparison.
"All I can say is wow - you have put the most incredible trip together for us."
"Really pleased to have California booked, what an itinerary…"
"The team was excellent, Maudie in particular."
"Just a quick note to thank you so much for organising our honeymoon, especially with your efforts over Easter, which I know must have been a nuisance. The Chichen Itza tour was an amazing experience and the pilot even let both Steve and myself fly the plane (for a short period) across the jungle! Thanks again, it was an amazing holiday from start to finish and appreciated the efforts you made to ensure it was. We will definitely recommend you to our friends and family."