Baja California del Sur is where you can see blue, grey and humpback whales — and if you time it right the experience of seeing close-up and even touching the mother and baby grey whales is truly incredible. The boats are small and the whales are naturally curious, which means a very special experience indeed. I love the rugged, desert landscape and the wild Pacific backdrop of this coast. Glamping on Espiritu Santos island and swimming with whale sharks are two real highlights of this wonderful place.
Ella's language degree took her to Paris and Spain for a year which turned out to be just the beginning of her travels. After working for a top literary agency, Ella decided to up sticks and leave London behind for the warmer climes of Latin America, a part of the world she'd been fascinated with since university — and spent the best part of a year trying to tick as many countries off her must-go list as possible. Not content with staying in one place she went to Mexico for a few months and ended up staying for seven. Mexico won her heart in more ways than one; she loves its history, culture and above all, its food. Since joining Audley in 2015, Ella was more than thrilled to be given the opportunity to travel to Cuba and to Costa Rica, two countries she now loves and knows so well.
Some of her other highlights include discovering the wild Baja coast, riding the train through the Copper Canyon and exploring the remote Osa Peninsula.
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I really had the feeling that time slowed down here. So I was not at all surprised to find out that the hotel was once the exclusive beachside retreat of an Italian duchess. The tropical gardens are beautiful so you feel you are staying in the jungle but also on the beach — the best of both worlds. The beach is simply breathtaking and when I visited, turtles had laid their eggs in the sand. What is so refreshing is the fact the staff are so friendly and welcoming; you feel completely at home, albeit a very glamorous one.
I'll never forget when…
A special memory I have is of spending a day surfing on one of my favourite beaches in Mexico and coming out of the sea to relax on the sand. While we were sitting there and the sun was going down, we saw a fawn taking an evening stroll along the beach. It turned out to belong to a local who had brought the fawn to play on the sand — a bizarre but beautiful sight.