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Maria Barciela

Born and bred in Buenos Aires, Argentina I'm are very passionate about what I do. My job is to experience the best South America has to offer and share these hidden places we discover with each of our guests. I'm obsessed with the little things and passionate about helping travelers have incredible experiences!

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"Customized itineraries in South America are my specialization. Each traveler is different! The destinations and places I focus on are Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador. I also really like all the amazing and exclusive expedition cruises in Patagonia and Antarctica that allow me to offer trips to the most beautiful remote places in the world!

Lodging options are also very important to me and a very special part of the trips I offer. I really love the boutique properties that we have in South America; charming, unique and hidden places are my favorites!

I also specialize in the challenge of creating the perfect South American holiday for honeymooners, families and well-traveled couples looking for the "real South America", so I always add an original experience from our exclusive catalogs such as culinary experiences, wines, wildlife, trekking, farm visits, and local culture"

How did you get involved in travel?

"I've lived in different places including Mar del Plata (the Argentine coast), Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and Breckenridge (Colorado, U.S.A.).

I completed my studies in Tourism and Hospitality, specializing in Marketing and Sales. My studies, combined with the diversity of living in different places, has helped me understand and tailor vacations to people from all walks of life – fundamental to the success of Across South-America.

In 2007, I founded Across Argentina & South America with my sister and business partner, Clara. We started with a boutique concept, specializing only in tailor-made trips in Argentina and then with time we began offering combined circuits including other countries that we love; so we became experts in the south of the continent.

I have been living in New Zealand for the past 3 years and from here I work with clients from all over the world who want to experience South America in an authentic way, creating their own fantastic experiences. Having our in-ground operations office in Buenos Aires, Argentina enables me to be sure that the service we provide is really personalized for each customer and absolutely one of a kind. Thanks to our in-depth South American expertise, relationships and extensive firsthand experience we can offer a truly specialized and profound experience. "

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"One of the best trips I did lately started in Salta, Argentina´s northwest region. Salta is a totally overlooked place and it's definitely one of my preferred places in Argentina because of its authenticity. From here, I traveled to Cachi, a small little town in the Calchaquies Valleys. The place and the local people are so warm and unique, I love this place! I then headed to the Atacama, the desert in Chile, full of marvelous landscapes. My trip continued to Peru, where I visited the Colca Valley and its little villages like "Chivay". It's really amazing to see how the local people keep their culture alive, and you can hear them speaking the local Quechan language. Truly unbelievable. Our final stop was, of course, Cusco and Machu Picchu- the ruins were the jewel of the trip! Cusco is a place where I could have stayed longer, it's so magical."

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