In today’s post Susana in our Buenos Aires office shares with us her favorite places to travel in South America and some beautiful pictures of Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park.
What´s your name and where are you from?
Hi! My name is Susana Meuwissen and I am from The Netherlands.
How long have you been working at CAT Travel and what do you do?
I have worked for CAT now for over 3 years as Senior Sales Executive for the DMC clients (tour operators)
Where are your three favorite places in Latin America and why?
It´s hard to choose three! But these are definitely in my top 10: Arequipa & Colca Canyon in Peru, Parque Nacional Lauca in the North of Chile and Torres del Paine National Park in the south of Chile.
Can you choose one place and tell us about a time when you visited it?
I have visited Torres del Paine in Patagonia many times over the last years and each time it brings a new surprise and a deep feeling of awe and respect for its nature and beauty. The first time 7 years ago I did a horseback riding tour for 2 days. Accompanied by 2 Patagonia gauchos I rode with a little group of 4 ladies from the US from our estancia near Laguna Azul into the park heading for the basalt towers that give the park its name. Passing by lakes in the most beautiful colors of bright green, turquoise and deep blue, crossing steep ravines and seeing herds of guanacos I had an amazing time. This time I saw the towers only from far away and I felt somehow that I would return.
A couple of years later I did go back to Patagonia and I joined a group to do the last V of the W-trek that takes you to the base camp. Untrained, I walked bravely for 8 hours and made it all the way up to the towers’ base camp and back to my hostel. I could not walk for days after, but I left again with a feeling of deep respect for this beautiful natural wonder. My last visits to the park were as a tour leader. Each time I would discover new favorite spots such as the beautiful Grey Glacier, Lake Pehoe, with its bright blue color, or the cascades of Salto Grande.
The last time I visited Patagonia was even more rewarding: on the last night of our stay in Hosteria Las Torres we were having a drink before going for dinner when suddenly the room was filled with excitement and we were all told to look at the mountain behind the hotel…a gorgeous puma was lying there enjoying the last sunrays before starting the night hunt!
What made the trip so special?
The breathtaking nature and vastness of Patagonia and the serenity that comes over you as you walk in such an untouched landscape. It always provokes a deep respect for nature that unfortunately you sometimes tend to forget when living in the city.
What was your favorite part of the trip?
Seeing a wild puma and knowing that they are still alive!
Do you have any other tips or stories to share with us?
As part of my family lives here I might be a bit biased on Chile, but it is a truly fascinating country with very friendly and hospitable people and a wide array of beautiful destinations.
What is it about travel in Latin America that you find inspiring?
The kindness of the people, the amazing cultural and historic richness and the beautiful nature.
Where´s next on your Latin America travel list and why?
I would very much like to travel to Costa Rica and discover its nature, locals and food. It will take a while before I make it, but I am sure it will be worth the wait! After that Colombia is very high on the list, Ecuador, Panama…we could go on for hours!