Hayley Crowden

Travel Specialist

I spent six months over 2011-2012 travelling from Mexico all the way down to Chile, almost entirely overland and with little plan as to where my next stop might be.

It was the wonderful people I encountered along the way who made me never want to leave. People like the generous family I stayed with in Guatemala while I worked at learning Spanish, and the beautiful Chileans (who I’d met in Panama 4 months earlier) who took me into their home and cared for me when I fell ill in Chile, to mention just two examples. The friendliness, thoughtfulness and laughter of the local people I met never ceased to inspire me.

During my travels I threw myself into the colour and beat of Rio Carnival; swam with pink dolphins in the Amazon (and piranhas and caimans!); climbed Guatemala’s ancient Mayan temples and its volcanoes; dived with sharks and turtles in Belize; rode a bike down “the world’s most dangerous road” in Bolivia; had my breath taken away by the sight of Machu Picchu (and maybe the 4 day trek it took to get there?); surfed the waters of the black volcanic sand beaches of El Salvador; and played with baby sloths in Costa Rica. And now sharing the passion I’ve developed for this continent has become what I most love to do!

In 2015 I made my first trip into the polar regions visiting the Antarctic Peninsula, the Falkland Islands and South Georgia, which I have to admit was my favourite (much to the chagrin of some Antarctic aficionados). Gold Harbour on the southern tip of South Georgia has to be one of the most stunning places on our planet.


Places Visited


Chile: Santiago, Atacama desert, Puerto Montt, Puerto Natales, Patagonia and Torres del Paine National Park.

Argentina: Buenos Aires, Iguazu Falls, Bariloche, Perito Moreno Glacier, Mendoza, Ushuaia.

Brazil: Rio de Janeiro, Iguassu Falls, Paraty, Ilha Grande.

Peru: Lima, Cuzco, Machu Picchu, Sacred Valley (Pisac, Chinchero, Ollantaytambo),  Aguas Calientes, Puno.

Bolivia: La Paz, Copacabana, Lake Titicaca, “Death Road”, Potosi, Santa Cruz, Sucre, Tupiza, Uyuni, Rurrenabaque, Amazon Jungle.

Ecuador: Quito, Otavalo, Cuenca, Galapagos Cruise (MY Grace), Banos, Amazon Jungle.

Guatemala: Antigua, Flores, Tikal, Chichicastenango, Semuc Chempey, Volcan de Fuego.

Mexico: Mexico City, Chichen Itza, Tulum, Valladolid.

Cuba: Havana, Trinidad, Santa Clara

Belize: Belize City, Caye Caulker.

Panama: Bocas Del Torro, Panama City, San Blas Islands, Panama Canal.

Guatemala: Guatemala City, Antigua, Lake Atitlan, Chichicastenango, Flores.

Costa Rica: San Jose, Volcan Arenal, Monteverde, Puerto Viejo.



Svalbard: Spitsbergen, Longyearbyen, Lilliehookbreen, Signehamna, Smeerenburg, Fuglesangen, Monacobreen, 14th July Glacier, Camp Millar, Bourbonhamna, Kapp Lee, Ymerbukta, Barentsburg & Alkhornet

Norway: Oslo

Finland: Helsinki

Estonia: Tallinn

Russia: Saint Petersburg



Antarctic Peninsula: Point Wild, Half Moon Island, Deception Island, Astrolable Island, Mikkelsen Harbour, Cierva Cove, Cuverville Island & Almirante Brown

Falkland Islands: Port Stanley, Gypsy Cove, West Point Island and Carcass Island

South Georgia: Salisbury Plain, Gold Harbour, Stromness, Prion Island, Goldthorn and Grytviken

Argentina: Buenos Aires, El Calafate, Perito Moreno Glacier, Ushuaia

Ships travelled on/inspected; Akademik Sergey Vavilov, Akademik Ioffe and Le Boreal