Ted Dziadkiewicz’s first Latin American adventure was on an overland camping tour in 1975 – the start of a 40-year love affair and the impetus for Melbourne-based Dziadkiewicz to establish Australia’s first, and longest-running, Latin America-focused travel company – Contours Travel.
Dziadkiewicz still visits the region around three times a year along with his team of experts.
“We need to make sure our clients receive not only good service and accommodation but great experiences so we can tell them with confidence that they will be looked after,” he said.
“We have formed many friendships in Latin America over the years … [and] fallen in love with the food, the wine, the coffee, the people and the places. We get to experience the changes that are taking place, too. For example, when I caught the train to Machu Picchu in 1975 it was all very basic, but today you can take the same trip on a luxury train where you almost feel like putting on a dinner suit!
“More Australians are beginning to travel beyond the major landmarks and seek new destinations. Mexico, Colombia and Central America are also becoming more popular – I love Mexico because of its colonial towns, history, art, pottery, ceramics…the culture is an amazing blend.
“Once we know what the client wants, we can easily design an itinerary according to their needs and budget – because we’ve been there – many times.”
Contours Travel supports a number of community projects, most notably the Agua Pura Project – a joint venture with Rotary Club North Melbourne, which has brought hundreds of much-needed water filters to remote villages in Peru.
With so many memories of travelling through the years, a few particularly stand out for Ted – visiting Rio during Carnival time, exploring vineyards, and coming face-to-face with some of nature’s finest.
Tope image: Ted in Ecuador/Diana Cardenas Costa