Condé Nast: The Experts (an addition!)

Conde Nast published a small supplement last month called The Experts, a little black book of luxury travel agents. There are of course a few notable absences.

Being off the beaten track is, of course, one of the great joys of travel and discovery. I’m sure for some the thought that their favourite guides and hoteliers aren’t common knowledge maintains an air of exclusivity and that delightful sensation of enjoying a well kept secret.

Condé Nast: The Experts

But whilst I like a good secret as much as the next chap, I couldn’t help feeling that there was someone unmissable missing from the Condé Nast bible.

So, here I am, putting matters right and adding my own personal addendum to ‘The Experts‘.

Hugh MacDermott, Argentina

Haughty and hostile Argentina’s gauchos are infamously unapproachable. We might love to dream of hitting the pampa like a hard-bitten horseman, but these 21st century cowboys don’t provide much of a welcome for tourists. That is, unless you’re Hugh MacDermott.

Hugh earned the reluctant respect of the gauchos by way of an old-school, backwoods rite of passage. Some 10 years ago, armed  with little more than basic Spanish and a poncho, he bought two horses and mule in Buenos Aires and made the epic trip across the Andes to Chile and then up to the wild provinces of Salta and Tucuman near Bolivia.

This 2000 mile adventure won him a fabulous understanding of the country, endless gripping fireside stories and, all importantly, that gilt-edged ticket to the fraternity of the gaucho.

An adventure with Hugh

So, in condensed Conde Nast style, MacDermott’s Argentina is the key to the true wild west. His trips range across the Southern Cone and provide the ideal mix of horse-back adventure, luxury ranch hospitality and an authentic slice of this land and its people.

On the trip Hugh organised for me and my family we rode in the foothills of Aconcagua with Daniel, a gaucho who runs his cattle on the slopes there. We drank traditional mate tea, dined with his family on barbequed calf and listened rapt to tales of a life in the saddle. It was an extraordinary and unforgettable day. The incredible thing is that Hugh deals in this sort of experience trip after trip.

To find out more check out his website here: He also has a cracking blog that chronicles his adventures.






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