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Our Real Latin America Expert

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.

Ometepe

Known as the land of volcanoes, Nicaragua is home to some of Central America’s most impressive magma mountains. Read on to find out which volcanoes you shouldn’t miss when visiting Nicaragua.

Maderas and Concepción

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A pair of conical peaks responsible for the creation of Ometepe Island located in Lake Nicaragua, now one of the country’s most popular destinations for tourists as well as locals. Despite its fame, the island maintains a relaxed and laid-back atmosphere with an abundance of birds, mammals and tropical fruit trees. Climbing either is a challenge, particularly Concepción (still an active volcano), which takes the best part of 10 hours!

Momotombo

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The perfectly shaped Momotombo Volcano rises 1,297m and towers over Lake Managua and the smaller island volcano of Momotombito. It played an important role in history when, in 1625, it buried Nicaragua’s former capital, the old city of León, under layers of volcanic ash. A challenging climb and scramble to the top results in some fantastic views.

Cerro Negro

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This volcano really stands out from the surrounding region as a towering, jet black mountain rising up from the ground an hour or so outside of León. There is a winding trail up to the summit, first over craggy volcanic rock and later on softer black ashy dunes formed by cooled lava. The hike is tough but enjoyable and the views are rewarding, however the fun is in the journey down! Hop on a make-shift ‘ash-board’ and slide down the side of the volcano all the way to the bottom – the experience is much like sledging, but in a hot, tropical country!

Masaya

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This is one of the best-known national parks in Nicaragua with some fantastic opportunities for walking with wonderful views over the surrounding lands. For me, the real stand-out experience here was being able to peer down into Masaya's crater and see a pool of magma bubbling away around 1km below. This felt like a very primordial experience seeing the bright red molten rock splashing on the dark sides of the crater.

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Meet our team

Real Latin american experts

  • Heloise Buxton
    Heloise Buxton - Travel Expert

    Heloise started her Latin American journey as an exchange student in Santiago, Chile. With extended summer holidays this was the perfect opportunity to backpack through Bolivia, Peru, Argentina and Brazil.

  • Charlotte Daubeney (2)
    Charlotte Daubeney - Travel Expert

    Charlotte's fascination with Latin America began with a family holiday to Belize. She went on to study Spanish in school and at university before spending a year living in Santiago, Chile.

  • Hannah Donaldson
    Hannah Donaldson - Travel Expert

    Having spent part of her childhood in Colombia and worked in Brazil and Costa Rica, Hannah's ties to Latin America run deep. Hannah is a much valued Travel Expert in our Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tours sales team.

  • Millie Davies Mono
    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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

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