I first went to Latin America on my gap year when I spent three months volunteering in La Paz. I arrived with my suitcase thinking I would experience the city and the surroundings then fly home. After about a week I realised I’d totally underestimated how much I would love it, so I bought a backpack, pushed back my flights home and planned an itinerary that included Machu Picchu and the salt flats in Uyuni.
Since then, I’ve been lucky enough to spend time in Costa Rica, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil, teaching or volunteering in each destination to get a real flavour of the country and spending the weekends and holidays exploring. I also regularly return to Argentina to visit my in-laws.
I’m now a specialist for Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. I really enjoy sharing my knowledge and love for the region with other travellers.
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Q&A with Hannah
What’s the best local dish you’ve tasted?
Whenever I’m in Argentina I try to have ice cream as often as I can, whatever the weather. You’ll notice ice cream parlours on every street in every town. Helado is strongly influenced by Italian gelato, brought over by immigrants in the early 1900s. It comes in the most incredible range of flavours, from fruits like peach and strawberry to sweet treats like cookies and dulce de leche. Don’t be tempted to go any bigger than a medium cone (cucurucho) though, otherwise you’ll need a lot of help to finish it.
Where would you love to travel next?
I’ve never been to the Chilean side of Patagonia or the Lake District, so I’d love to hire a car and go on a road trip across the border to explore. Our guides in Argentina told us a lot about the difference in landscapes due to the prevailing winds over the Andes, so I’d love to see how the two sides compare.
Your best piece of travel advice?
When in a restaurant in South America, don’t be afraid to call the waiter over to your table. They probably won’t approach you unless you do, so it will make for a less frustrating experience if you get into the habit early in your trip.