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Our Real Latin America Expert

Jamie Swan
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..

Cotachi

Where have you been?
Ecuador & Galapagos.

Have you been before?
No, this was my first visit.

How did you get there?
I flew from London Heathrow on Avianca’s direct flight to Bogota in Colombia and then on to Quito.

How long were you there?

I spent two weeks in mainland Ecuador and one week in the Galapagos Islands.

General route?
From Quito I went north to Otavalo before visiting Mindo in the cloud forest and then going back down to Quito. From there I headed along the Avenue of the Volcanoes via Cotopaxi and Quilatoa to Cuenca. Then I went to Guayaquil for my flight to the Galapagos.

Which was your favourite…
Place: Cuenca.
Hotel: Hacienda Zuleta.
Excursion: Quilatoa Loop trek and cycling at Cotopaxi.

Appeals to which type of traveller?
This trip would definitely appeal to active people: there was lots of trekking but it can be turned into a more scenic and less active trip by spending more time in haciendas and cutting down on the trekking.

What did you pack?
Everything! Warm clothes for the altitude, wet weather clothes for the rain and shorts and T shirts for the Galapagos, plus good walking boots!

Any good food, drinks, restaurants or bars recommendations?
La Compania, a craft beer pub in Cuenca, was great!
Dulce Placer ice cream shop in Quito for very interesting flavours.

Room for improvement?
It would have been nice to have a bit more sunshine!

How would you sum up your trip in a sentence?
Active! The treks are stunning and definitely worth the effort - people who enjoy active holidays and getting off the beaten track will absolutely love it.

Any top tips?
Take a waterproof camera to the Galapagos. The wildlife in the ocean is just as dramatic, if not more so, than that onshore. Being able to capture the playful sea-lions and graceful rays just metres from you is incredible and will mean you can bring lasting memories home with you.

In the Galápagos...

Which boat did you stay on?
The Eclipse.

Where was the best wildlife spot and what did you see?
It’s hard to choose a favourite spot! Snorkelling in general was fantastic – sea-lions come up to play with you and you’re surrounded by schools of rays and fish mixed in with the odd shark!

Best experience?
The overall experience of seeing so much wildlife and bird life at such close quarters was just incredible.

Browse some of our Ecuador and Galapagos holidays:

Value Galapagos: Budget cruising in the Enchanted Islands

Active Ecuador and Galapagos: Hiking, cycling and horse riding
Signature Ecuador and Galapagos: Volcanoes to the ocean

 

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Bartolome, Galápagos

Meet our team

Real Latin american experts

  • 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.

  • Kathryn Rhodes
    Kathryn Rhodes - Travel Expert

    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.

  • Juliet Ellwood
    Juliet Ellwood - Travel Expert

    After graduating with a degree in Anthropology and History and having been fascinated by Latin America since childhood by the book featuring photos of Nazca, Juliet first visited the region in 2003. Since then, Juliet has visited the majority of countries in Latin America but has particularly extensive experience with Peru, a country she loves for many reasons but not least, its incredible archaeological richness and delicious food!

  • CarrieGallagher2
    Carrie Gallagher - Travel Expert

    A former JLA tour leader, Carrie brings a wealth of on-the-ground experience to our London-based Tailor-made and Group Tours department.

  • Ben Line
    Ben Line - Travel Expert

    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 Head of Sales.

  • Paul Winrow Giffen
    Paul Winrow-Giffin - Travel Expert

    After graduating in Computer Science, Paul spent seven months travelling from Colombia to Argentina and came home hooked on Latin America.

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