A big welcome to Paul Whittle, our new Destination manager focussing on Latin America...
How long have you worked with Imaginative Traveller?
I'm a newbie – 2 months (or actually 52 days, 1 hour, 26 mins….). I have been in and around the industry though for the best part of a decade however and before going head office was an adventure tour leader for a Latin America specialist.
Onto the important stuff.. Your favourite local food dish?
Lechon (marinaded pork strips). Especially from “Juanitos” in Cuzco, Peru. Although “cuy” (guinea pig) has to be tried as do Cuban ham and cheese sandwiches (for other reasons!).
Favourite Imaginative Traveller tour in your destination?
“Volcanoes and Pampas” – The majestic snow-capped Andes mountains, shimmering turquoise lakes, skiing in winter, hiking in summer and the chance to be a “gaucho” on our Argentinian ranch complete with cattle rustling and lasso wielding. All sandwiched between two of the most cosmopolitan cities on earth.
Where did you go on your last Imaginative Traveller related tour?
In truth – China! I am on a quest to see the whole world and there just aren’t enough years. However I am due to return to Chile later in the year for “work” and can not wait. The desolate beauty and wild ruggedness of the Andean plateau, Atacama desert and Patagonian steppe have to be seen to be believed.
Your favourite place in the world?
For a one-off knock you off your seat experience it has to be standing on the brink of the world’s largest waterfalls at Iguazu, on the Argentine/Brazilian border. I am so fortunate to manage a destination with so many incredible places though, two of which have recently made the modern 7 “Wonders of the World” list in Chichen Itza, Mexico and Macchu Picchu, Peru.
What was the last thing you took a photograph of?
The inside of a bar in Cuzco, Peru! It was a leaving do – honest!! Generally though I love photography and have a website of all my travel photos which acts as a constant reminder of how fortunate I’ve been and usually a catalyst to get out on the road again.
What was the last book that you read?
Ranulph Fiennes – “Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know”. The man is certifiably insane but a living legend of an explorer and whenever he’s giving a presentation I’m first in line.
If you could live anywhere in the world where would you live?
Lake Atitlan – Guatemala. Every time I arrive there all the cares of the world disappear due to its surreal tranquility. I normally stay with the local indigenous families who maintain their centuries old traditions and live in the surrounding villages dotted around the lake’s edges. Friends of mine run a traveller’s retreat there complete with morning yoga and the best breakfast view ever over the lake towards the twin volcanoes of Santiago and San Pedro.
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