Profile photo for Luke Waterson
active 11 hours ago

Luke Waterson

With my travels, I see myself as trying to emulate the explorers of old: it was reading the accounts of individuals like Sir Francis Drake or Alejandro Humboldt as a teenager that inspired me to want to travel in the first place. Fast forward a couple of decades and I am a travel writer specialising in the South American wilderness (the Andes and Amazon Basin primarily).

My travel writing has appeared in the Independent, Telegraph, GeoSaison, BBC Travel, Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, Avalon Travel Publishing, Insight Guides and many others. My debut novel, Roebuck, is set in the South American jungle during the 1590s, and follows the misadventures of real-life gentleman explorer Anthony Knivet.

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"As a novelist: Historic Fiction
As a travel writer: Andes, Amazon, South America, Caribbean, Eastern Europe, UK, Adventure Travel, Hiking, Culinary Travel"

How did you get involved in travel?

"I always dreamed up travels as a child, tracing imaginary routes on atlases. As soon as I finished university, I headed off to Canada and spent the following 18 months travelling from there overland down through the Americas to Tierra del Fuego. Afterwards, I started writing about it: initially for local newspapers, then for Lonely Planet, and finally for other publications from BBC Travel through to the Telegraph, the Independent and national newspapers/ leading travel publications everywhere from the US to Sweden and Germany."

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"The first time I ever took the bus in the Andes from Ayacucho to Huancayo, I didn't realise the main highway was a track barely wider than the width of a truck that followed the rim of a very sheer valley. After several hours of heart-in-mouth moments, we reached the half-way point where the villagers had just decided to close the road because they wanted to have a fiesta. We were left with no choice but to get off the bus and join in for the next six hours or so. The locals had rarely set eyes on any foreigners before, and we were given seats of honour alongside the mayor!"

Featured trips & expertise

Huaca Pucllana Ruins in Lima, Peru
Beyond the Inca: Peru's Ancient Civilizations & Where to Experience Them

Before the Incas, a long line of indigenous civilizations thrived in Peru—and today, visitors can see what they left behind, from mysterious geoglyphs in the desert to fortress-like ruins in the cloud forest to a massive adobe pyramid in one of Lima's hippest neighborhoods. Discover the remains of Peru's ancient cultures with these suggestions.

The clifftop district of Miraflores
Neighborhood Guide to Miraflores: Lima's Stylish Hotspot

Come for the ocean views, stay for ancient ruins and first-class shopping. Miraflores is one of Lima's most popular neighborhoods, thanks to its dramatic clifftop location, breezy green spaces, open-air malls, and stylish restaurants and bars. Find out what to do, where to stay, and what to eat with this neighborhood guide.

Watching the sunset from the cliffs in Barranco, Lima
Neighborhood Guide to Barranco: Lima's Bohemian District

Bohemian Barranco is one of Lima's coolest neighborhoods. One look at the area's vibrant street art, beachfront cafés, hip boutique hotels, romantic footbridges, and charming old mansions, and you'll understand why. From museums to ceviche bars, discover the best of Barranco with this guide.

7 Best Boutique Hotels in Buenos Aires
7 Best Boutique Hotels in Buenos Aires

As befits one of South America's most sophisticated cities, Buenos Aires is especially stylish when it comes to hotels. There are plenty of unique and character-rich options here to enrich your stay, boasting everything from in-room massage to tango lessons and complimentary wine, and from private art collections to exclusive urban gardens.

Argentine beef lathered in the typical chimichurri sauce
What to Eat in Argentina (and Where to Eat It )

Perfectly grilled steaks slathered in fresh chimichurri, pastries stuffed with creamy dulce de leche, piping-hot empanadas to go, a glass of full-bodied red wine from Mendoza: a trip to Argentina is a culinary adventure. Read on to learn about the country's classic dishes and drinks, including tips on the best places to try them.

The port district of Puerto Madero in Buenos Aires
Ultimate Guide to Buenos Aires:

Sometimes called the "Paris of the South," Buenos Aires is renowned for its sophistication and culture. From European architecture and historic cafés to a fabulous food scene, the Argentine capital has plenty to offer visitors. Read on for an overview of the best sights, tips on where to stay, and key transportation information.