Silvia Cuce – Travel Specialist
If I have to pin point a time in the past when I start loving to travel I would say it will be when I was 14 yo. Being born a woman in Argentina it means that when you turn 15, you usually have a big party in a reception with lots of guest, professional photos, DJ and a beautiful long white dress. That is usually every teenage girl dream….well it was NOT mine.
My dream was to travel to Europe and get to know the world out there…so I trade my birthday party for a future trip to Europe. A few years later the trip to Europe was changed for a trip to Australia…..after a career in Biological science which started in Buenos Aires and finished here at the University of Melbourne….I decided to retrace my passion for travel and started a travel agent course without even imagining where it will lead me.
Since I became a travel professional in 1998, I had many jobs mainly in wholesale companies selling various destinations including Latin America. But soon I discovered my passion was and still is more than ever, to help people discover the uniqueness of this beautiful part of the planet.
I am a born and bred Latin, passionate about the different expressions of the Latin culture such as music (love salsa dancing), food, crafts, history, etc. In the last 15 years I have done many trips back to South and Central America, visiting countries like El Salvador, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Belize, Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guatemala, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Mexico and Cuba.
Through my travels, I have not only discovered the destination personally, but also established close relationship with the local operators in each country, learnt about distances and travelling time between places, understood the logistic of tour operations in each city as well as experiencing and visiting an enormous amount of hotels and lodges of different standards and categories (over 200 properties in 15 years).
My favourite spot, well I can’t just have one….but two: one is the CARRETERA AUSTRAL , a road over 1200km long in the Chilean side of Patagonia……..no words to describe this awesome sublime and untouched part of the world…..a MUST!!! …and my second favourite cannot be other than CUBA…having been there already 6 times I am absolutely addicted to the energy of this country which despite being kept in the past in many ways, it has enough to still bedazzle its visitors……so if you think you want to discover the uniqueness and excitement of Latin America and all it has to offer please contact one of us……you will never regret it.
Tannia Aguirre – Travel Specialist
I started working in the industry selling the South Pacific, but shortly after I had the opportunity to change to the Latin American department.
I wasn’t too familiar with the destination so it was quite the challenge getting my head around it but I soon learned how interesting, exciting, beautiful and diverse this part of the world is.
I’ve had the opportunity to travel to a few places in Latin America, and have absolutely loved most, if not all the areas I’ve been to. So it would be hard for me to tell you where the best place is, or what my favourite hike was or, or where you’ll find the best food.
What I can tell you is that each country has so much to offer and areas for you to explore.
From Mexico with its rich culture and delicious food, to the breathtaking scenery in Patagonia to the laid back people in Cuba – you cannot go wrong visiting this amazing destination.
Soraya Rojas – Travel Specialist
Born and raised in Chile, I have always dreamed about travelling around the globe and living abroad.
I was introduced to the industry when I decided to study Tourism 10 years ago. Shortly after, I started working at the airport for Lan and Sky Airlines and diverse travel agencies in Concepcion and Santiago.
A few years ago, I decided to take a break in my life so I came to Australia to study a Bachelor Degree and at the same time travel around Australasia and Asia. Rapidly I knew that Australia would be my second home and I decided to stay here longer…
Living far from home hasn’t been easy. However, working as part of the SATO Team, has offered me the opportunity to share my knowledge and passion about my culture with every client that contacts us.
I have had the opportunity to visit a few countries in South America. My favourite destination is San Pedro de Atacama in the north of Chile. Here you will be mesmerised with the most stunning sunsets and sunrises in the world.
Lorena Palma – Marketing Designer
I was born in Chile and came to Australia when I was 5 years old. My love of travel began at a young age as I was lucky enough to travel to Chile various times throughout my childhood and during my teenage years.
I began my career in travel at South America Tourism Office and did my best on the job training when I escorted a group tour to the Highlights of South America, where I fell in love with locals and enjoyed the culture throughout of South America. My favourite countries were Peru, Argentina and the south of Chile (Patagonia and Lakes region).
I’ve travelled extensively throughout Chile (Atacama Desert, Lakes Region of Chile, Patagonia, Cruising on Navimag), Peru (Lima, Cuzco, Puno), Lake Titicaca, Bolivia (La Paz), Brazil (Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo), Iguazu Falls, Argentina (Buenos Aires, Bariloche), Lakes crossing from Bariloche to Puerto Montt .
My top 5 favourite locations in South America:
- Torres del Paine National Park, Chilean Patagonia
- Machu Picchu, Peru
- Iguazu Falls (Argentina and Brazil)
- Perito Moreno, Argentina
- Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
I’ve just returned to the travel industry after starting a family and I hope to pass on my love of travel to my young children. My future plans include taking the kids to visit the wonders of Galapagos Islands and the Amazon.
Jaime de la Maza – Marketing Manager
Since I was a child, whenever someone asked me what I want to be when I grow up I would respond ‘to travel’.
I wanted to be a diplomat so I could travel and learn about other cultures. The years passed, and between 18 and 20 years of age I had the opportunity to travel on family holidays, or trips with friends, to places like the north and south of Chile, Peru, Brazil and I even lived for a stint in Buenos Aires.
Later on, in my last year of studying marketing at university in Chile and decided that when I finished my degree I would go and live in New Zealand for a year. After an incredible experience in New Zealand, I decided to base myself in Melbourne and work in tourism, specialising in Latin America. I have now lived more than 8 years in Melbourne and I enjoy feeling like a little ‘ambassador’ for Latin America in the tourism industry.
I have to say that Latin America is a unique destination with diverse options for different types of travellers. You can’t help but be surprised by the majesty of her nature, culture, food, music, and the spirit of the local people.
It’s difficult to choose a favourite part of Latin America amongst so many incredible places but if you have time in your itinerary try to visit Valparaiso for some days. Valparaiso is a port city in Chile, very close to Santiago (approximately 1.5 hours by car). Valparaiso is a poetic port city, a world heritage site with great food and gorgeous boutique hotels. And try to include visits to Perú, Buenos Aires, Iguazu and Rio de Janeiro.
Mariana Araujo – Reservations Assistant
Carioca Mariana, was born in Rio de Janeiro, having the Maracana as my backyard!!!
Studied tourism at a Brazilian university, to start working in the travel industry, having visited Argentina to study a little bit of Spanish and to enjoy the amazing Buenos Aires, then came to Australia to continue studying and I am very happy to grow up with SATO family and travel around the world!
Gustavo Lifszyc – Product and System
I am from Argentina and my connection with tourism started 30 years ago with my first trips around South America, my passions for travel took me to different places and decide to learn more about travel industry and make it my profession. Over the years I built up a very high knowledge in my area and took me to work in different countries in different roles.
Today I find myself in a very nice position, mixing my passion for South America and my professional experience.