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Millie Davies

Millie Davies Travel Expert

Having caught the travel bug as a child, Millie has travelled all over Latin America before making her home in Buenos Aires for 3 years.

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Having acquired a love of travel as a child, Millie’s passion for Latin America started on a post-graduation trip across the continent with her friends. Since then she has made several more trips to the region, learning Spanish along the way and propelling her into a career in the travel industry.

After settling down in the vibrant capital of Argentina to live and work for 3 years, Millie was able to gain a deeper understanding and love for the Latin American spirit and culture. And having had her son whilst living here she feels she will forever be connected with this incredible country.

A self-confessed foodie Millie also loves to try new foods, and whilst she loves Peruvian ceviche or Argentine steak, it is the weird and wonderful which also catches her eye – like trying guinea pig in the Andean regions of Peru or freshly caught Piranha in the Bolivian Amazon.

Some top highlights for Millie have been trying to Samba (with varying success) during carnival, watching Boca play in ‘La Bombonera’ in Buenos Aires, Zip lining in Costa Rica and visiting the Che Guevara Mausoleum in Santa Clara, Cuba.

Favourite Place

I have many favourites throughout Latin America so wouldn’t be fair to pick just one, however every time I have been to Rio de Janeiro I have had an incredible time, so for this reason it has to be up there with some of the best. Rio is captivating, creative and bursting with Latino energy. Whilst famous spots like Christ the Redeemer and Sugar Loaf are iconic and wonderfully impressive, one of the things that I love most about Rio is that if you scratch beneath the surface there are so many hidden gems just waiting to be discovered. The neighbourhoods of Lapa and Santa Teresa are an excellent example of this and represent a hypnotic juxtaposition between colourful, colonial architecture with modern day rough and ready street art adorned alleyways. The famous ‘Arcos de Lapa’ are the remains of an 18th century aqueduct and is also the home to a raving street party on Friday and Saturday nights where you can sample the best caipirinhas the city has to offer.

Favourite Hotel

If ever there was an opportunity to splurge and really treat yourself it would definitely be the Nayara Springs hotel in Arenal, Costa Rica for me. This place is heaven on earth and the ideal romantic hideaway for honeymooners or couples looking to soak up the beauty of Costa Rica, whilst being pampered to their hearts content. It is a stunning boutique property with luxurious villas surrounded by lush tropical gardens and even a plunge pool to take a dip in at the end of a busy day hiking, rafting, ziplining and exploring the nearby Arenal volcano. The food is incredible with various restaurants and bars to choose from and there is even a private dining option where you have your own private chef for that ultimate romantic dinner experience.

Favourite Excursion

It’s hard to pick a favourite but the trek I made to Machu Picchu certainly ranks pretty high. I did an alternative to the typical Inca trail which incorporated a mixture of hiking, bike riding and ziplining throughout the mountains and jungles on the way up to Machu Picchu. We had a fantastic international group from all over the world and the opportunity to share this challenge and make memories with new people was something I will never forget. Visiting local villages and meeting some of the communities, trying their homecooked meals and using the typical guesthouses enabled me to really connect with my surroundings and heighten my senses. Machu Picchu itself is an absolutely jaw dropping landscape and is a bucket list favourite for good reason – it is particularly beautiful early morning when you sit above the clouds and can get some wonderfully eerie shots of the ruins with the occasional photobomb by a resident alpaca.

Top Travel Tip

Eat where the locals eat! Yes, it’s nice to have a meal at a top spot but for a more authentic dining experience I would highly recommend heading out to a more local joint. Some of my best meals have been served up in a backstreet café with a surprise ‘menu del dia’. Not only do these force you to try food you may not typically order, but being surrounded by the local people and the chatter of Spanish slang in the background you feel a deeper connection to the local culture and community and it really elevates the experience.

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Top Packing Tip

Pack a disposable camera! Of course, these days we all have our trusty phone, digital camera or SLR when travelling to document our travels, but if like me and you are a little lazy these will often be uploaded to social media and then just sit hidden on our phones or the cloud never to be seen again. By chucking a disposable camera in your bag means that you can snap some great shots throughout your trip and capture random, special moments.

Millie Davies boat

My Destination Highlights

Vintage cars havana

Cuba

Brutally honest, powerfully enchanting and so unashamedly original Cuba is by far one of my most exceptional travel adventures to date. I travelled here for 3 weeks and spent time wandering the chaotic streets of Havana, rolling cigars in the tobacco plantations of Viñales and talking ‘revolutions’, putting the world to rights with my hosts. It really is a little slice of Latin American heaven with its colourful colonial streets and lush green countryside and if you mix this with some of the most fascinating history, soulful Cuban music and creative street art it really is a perfect fusion.

Altiplano Bolivia

Bolivia

To me Bolivia is unquestionably the hidden gem of the continent. The dramatic landscapes are breath taking, the people proudly rooted in their traditions and culture are welcoming and the opportunities are endless. Bolivia may not be your first thought for the Amazon but having visited the Pampas area twice (both in wet and dry season) I cannot recommend it enough. We were lucky enough to be surrounded by wildlife like sloths, caiman, monkeys, capybaras, anacondas and more tropical birds than you can imagine. A highlight would be swimming with the mysterious pink river dolphin and then (somewhat worryingly) piranha fishing later that day in the same waters.

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Argentina

The fact that I have spent a very happy 3 years living and working in Buenos Aires and that it is the birthplace of my son means that Argentina will always hold a special place in my heart. It is an extremely diverse destination and has something for everyone. City people will be enchanted by the vibrant flow of Buenos Aires, it’s street art and abundance of great bars, cafes, restaurants and galleries. Nature lovers will be spoilt for choice with the rugged mountains of Salta in the North, the stunning Andes and wine regions of Mendoza in the West, the tropical paradise of Iguazu Falls in the East and for the adventurous amongst us the stunning Patagonian regions in the South - all are truly incredible!

Papagaio

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