Sally Dodge

Sally Dodge Travel Expert

A former Journey Latin America tour leader, Sally spent 7 years working, travelling and living throughout Latin America before returning to the UK to help people arrange their own adventures to this wonderful destination.

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Colourful buildings in Praiado Forte

After graduating from a degree in Spanish studies and Geography, Sally moved to Chile to work as an English teacher at a university in the south of the country for a year. After the teaching was up she travelled extensively in South America before becoming a tour leader for Journey Latin America. During her 5 years tour leading, when not on tour, she would take the opportunity to travel to places far off the tourist trail – spending time with tribes in the Peruvian central jungle, visiting pre-Incan ruins dotted up Peru’s pacific coast and highlands and hiking volcanoes and mountains in Patagonia.

Since tour leading Sally has done a masters degree in Latin American studies which took her back to Peru to do research into the social impact of large scale mining and has returned to Patagonia numerous times on research trips focusing on the opening of the new Chilean ‘Route of Parks’.

Sally loves the great outdoors and is most at home hiking mountains, kayaking in the fjords or swimming in glacial lakes.

Favourite Place

Central Andes, Peru

Far less visited, yet equally as fascinating are the Central Highlands in Peru. Ayacucho is a beautiful colonial town nestled in a bowl of mountains with a vibrant local market, fascinating local crafts, pre-Incan ruins and no less that 33 churches! With its lovely main square it is a great place to people watch, enjoy some local food and soak up a bit of rural Peruvian life.

Favourite Hotel

Estancia Cristina, Argentina

Arriving at this lodge is an adventure in itself and really does give you a sense of being very far from anything. You take a 2-hour boat ride across the enormous glacial lake of Lago Argentino passing tongue glaciers and ice bergs to arrive at the shores of the old working farm of Estancia Cristina. A typical 2-3 night stay at the lodge would involve walks to the waterfalls, through the forest to mountain viewpoints, a visit to the impressive Upsala Glacier and also a hike through a canyon paved with beautiful fossils. It’s a small lodge so this incredible scenery is very comfy and as you are totally disconnected and very remote, you do get a real sense of how hard life must have been to settle here more than one hundred years ago.

Favourite Excursion

Chiloé Island, Chile

On our Patagonia group tours you have the option to visit Chiloé Island for the day from the lakeside town of Puerto Varas in the southern part of the Chilean lake district. This day was always a real highlight for my groups and also a day I immensely enjoyed. It’s an early start and late finish but very worthwhile. For me what really made this day was the variety – spotting birds from the beaches, Oyster tasting, hopping in boats to see penguins, sea otters and sea lions, insights into Chilean history, island folkloric tales, a glimpse into local life, delicious sea food and a traditional pit bake dinner, really knowledgeable local guides and stunning scenery throughout.

Top Travel Tip

Don’t try to fit too much into your itinerary – sometimes just adding an extra night in a few places with no fixed excursions allows you a little more time to soak it all in, re-visit places you made a quick stop at the day before or simply have a day where you are not getting into a vehicle.

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Top Packing Tip

Pack light but take plenty of layers. Whether you are trekking in Patagonia or visiting the Peruvian highlands, dressing with plenty of layers will be really handy for changes in weather and getting inevitably a bit hot walking up to viewpoints but remember, try to pack light! If you are moving around quite a bit, the less you take, the less you have to pack every few days.

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My Destination Highlights

Salvador Brazil

Salvador, Lencois and the beaches of Bahia

Inland from the vibrant coastal city of Salvador, deep in the lust forests is the colonial town of Lencóis. With its relaxed feel, colourful houses, local food and great swimming spots, this little town was a real breath of fresh air after a few days in the hustle and bustle of Salvador. From here I trekked into the cheap Diamantina National Park which to this day is possibly one of the best overnight hikes I have done - I will never forget reaching the top of the incline to get my first view into the breath-taking endless valley with enormous table mountains rising from the valley floor. An area I would definitely love to return to.

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Ecuador & Galapagos Islands

I will never forget my first visit to Ecuador - I simply didn't want to leave! Compared to its neighbouring Andean countries it felt so small and compact that it gave you the sense that anything was possible. I remember one day waking up in the Amazon rainforest to the incredible sounds of the dawn chorus, spending the day travelling by motorised canoe and then vehicle up through the incredibly stunning cloud forest - a nail biting journey at times over taking overloaded trucks and motorbikes on sinuous mountain roads, to end the day in the high Andes on the slopes of the Cotopaxi volcano. The local markets are fascinating, the cities of Quito and Cuenca are definitely worth a visit and with so many varied ecosystems squeezed into one country it is incredibly bio diverse so even on that short first visit I saw a whole wealth of different birds, mammals and plants.


Santa Cruz and the Oriente

The eastern low lands of Bolivia really took me by surprise. Having visited, and been thoroughly enthralled, by the landscapes and people of the west of Bolivia (the highlands) I was really shocked to discover this whole other side to the country which felt like a totally different place. It’s much greener and life felt a little less harsh – favourite memories being the fascinating Jesuit ruins of San José de Chiquitos, the lovely mountain town of Samaipata and learning about Che Guevara’s last campaign (and death) in Vallegrande and La Higuera. The scenery in the area was breath-taking and a really worth while area to visit possibly on a second trip to Bolivia.

Sally Dodge

Sally Dodge

A former Journey Latin America tour leader, Sally spent 7 years working, travelling and living throughout Latin America before returning to the UK to help people arrange their own adventures to this wonderful destination.


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