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Natalie Paiva

Natalie

Natalie Paiva

Travel Consultants
With a Colombian mother and a father from the Brazilian Amazon, Natalie’s unique insight into Latin America and love for the culture was further cemented during a year living in Mexico as part of Hispanic Studies university degree.

Having now worked at JLA for over a decade, Natalie’s in-depth knowledge and enthusiasm for the continent is impressive. Amongst the many far flung places she has travelled to, she particularly enjoyed exploring little visited Guyana; cruising up the Rio Negro into remote parts of the Brazilian Amazon; and swapping stories with the tiny island community in Floreana, Galapagos Islands. Travels in Ecuador and Nicaragua have also been big highlights.

A great cook, Natalie loves tasting the continent’s diverse food, from the succulent Patagonian lamb to the street food tacos in Mexico. Back home, she often incorporates new ideas and flavours into her own South American home cooking.

Personable and equipped with great travel advice, Natalie loves sharing her knowledge in the creation of memorable holidays for her clients.

My favourite place in Latin America

I love travelling to less visited places. Lencois is in Brazil’s Chapada Diamantina National Park and is one of the most surprising and underestimated places I’ve been to. A pretty little colonial town in an former diamond mining area, Lencois is a fantastic base for outdoor adventures: horse riding, swimming in crystalline rivers, exploring ancient caves and hiking to the top of table top mountains are all easily available. A visit to the interior of Brazil gives a completely different perspective to the usual “surf and sand” beach culture that the north-east of Brazil is best known for!

My top tips

1.

A great place to try mojitos in Havana is at the lobby bar at Hotel Ambos Mundos: a refreshing pick-me-up in these atmospheric surroundings gives an insight into what Cuba must have felt like during its heyday.

2.

When travelling in Guyana, pack as light as possible; usually the internal flights are in light aircraft which will only allow 10 kilos for all luggage. Take minimal clothing that you don’t mind getting dirty and plenty of plastic bags to compartmentalise dry and damp clothing. 

3.

In places with no light pollution such as the Bolivian Salt Flats or the Galápagos, I would definitely recommend taking a glow-in-the-dark star map for stargazing on clear nights. 

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