Hola, I’m Elena Larkin, founder of Tambo Travel – a specialised travel agency in Twickenham, South-West London, creating personalised holidays and travel experiences to Latin America and the Polar Regions for discerning travellers.
My ambition is for others to share my love for this fascinating continent – Latin America, its people, culture and its natural wonders are amongst some of the most impressive in the world.
Before you entrust your travel plans with me, allow me to tell you a bit about myself.
How did I start in the travel industry?
I was born and raised in Lima – Peru, my passion for travel started at a very young age as I travelled with my parents around our beautiful country. My father used to drive us to the mountains in the Andes, the more we visited the more we fell in love with this stunning place. At school I was given an Atlas as a present by my teacher, which inspired me to look in greater depth at the incredible world we all share.
Unsurprisingly when I finished secondary school, I decided to study tourism at university. As soon as my degree started, we hit the roads travelling to various places in Peru. The picture below was from an early visit to the Iguazu Falls on the Argentinian side, that was my first trip to Argentina, apart from Peru this is one of my favourite countries in South America. At uni, student life was relatively simple and all we really wanted was to visit as many places as possible. On these journeys the interaction with the locals gave us a better understanding of our own culture, it was the perfect combination of unique cultural immersion and exciting adventure. The best years of my life were spent at university, the friends I made, I still see and keep in touch with, luckily for me, most of them now live in Europe so there is always a reunion taking place or being planned.
Once I achieved my Honours Degree in Tourism & Travel Management, I moved to Cusco – a city which was once the capital of the great Inca empire. I worked for the Libertador Hotel in Cusco now called the Palacio del Inka, a Luxury Collection Hotel as well as the Ministry of Tourism in Lima. I’ve learned a lot throughout my career, in the various roles within the travel industry: hotel management, travel agent, tour operator, tour leader and guide.
Today marks a special day in my life, 30 years ago on the 30th April 1990 I arrived in London, specifically Kew and I stayed with a lovely family I still see and call them friends. The UK is my home and my heart is half Peruvian and half British.
In the UK I’ve also worked for various tour operators selling Latin America holidays and Polar cruises to Antarctica, I’ve been lucky enough to continue travelling to Latin America, Antarctica and Europe as travel has always been a major part of my life. The best part of my job has to be the challenge of ensuring my client’s dreams come true by sharing my experiences, knowledge and tips to ensure they have the perfect holiday.
I pride myself on my level of personal service and attention to detail, I have first-hand experience of organising tailor-made holidays to Latin America and the Polar Regions, and have consequently built excellent relationships with a number of ground handlers that I have met for over the 30 years in the industry.
At this time of uncertainty due to Covid-19, we need to press pause on our travel plans and wait till it is safe, but we can still start to plan! Contact Elena Larkin for a chat over a coffee (from South America of course).