Published on January 31st, 2013 | by Mark Chesnut
Q&A: Hearst Magazine’s Michael Clinton Shares Latin America Travel Tips
It’s no surprise that Michael Clinton, president and publishing director of Hearst Magazines, is a bit of a travel fanatic. After all, he has already documented his love of discovery in photography books, including Wanderlust and American Portraits, as well as three “global” books: Global Snaps, Global Faces and Global Remains.
In his latest book, The Globetrotter Diaries: Tales, Tips and Tactics for Traveling the 7 Continents, Clinton recalls memorable experiences around the world, including visits to Argentina, Chile, Ecuador and Peru. This well-traveled New Yorker — who oversees 15 publications, including Harper’s Bazaar, Marie-Claire, O: The Oprah Magazine and Esquire — took time for a quick Q&A with LatinFlyer about some of his favorite Latin American memories:
You state in the chapter “Running Through Buenos Aires” that Argentina is one of your favorite countries. How much of the country’s general allure is based on Buenos Aires?
I’ve traveled from Iguazu to Ushuaia, from Mendoza to Bariloche to Calafate … each has its own attraction, but there is one constant: The magnificent beauty of the Argentine countryside, the warmth of the people and the abundance of outdoor activities at your fingertips. Sipping a malbec in Mendoza, climbing a glacier at Perito Moreno or dining in Palermo Soho give the visitor lots of different experiences.
You’ve visited Argentina during some of its most difficult economic and political phases. What are the most important changes you see as an observer?
The city still seems to be growing in a dynamic way. Each time I am there, I see new architecture along the Rio Plata, new restaurants around town and great people watching in Recoleta. The Argentines seem to take it all in stride.
What’s your favorite Argentine wine?
My friend Santiago Achaval is one of the great winemakers — so anything that he produces.
You also write about Peru. Do you have a favorite Peruvian food and drink?
Easy … ceviche and a pisco sour (or maybe two).
During your time in Chile, what most impressed you about the Atacama desert?
There is so much to see, from salt pans to geysers to the spectacular rock formations out in the desert, [which are] probably my favorite. They are like huge stones dropped from the sky.
You’ve visited very diverse regions around South America. Are there certain destinations that you’re more likely to recommend to certain types of travelers? If you had to match a traveler type to each of the countries you’ve visited, how would you do it?
For the adventure traveler, I say hike the Incan trail to Machu Picchu, or head down to Patagonia. For a great family trip, try the Galápagos Islands. For a vacation that is for sun and fun, try Rio de Janeiro or Punta del Este, in Uruguay.
Most people from North America have no appreciation for the diverse cultures that make up the South American continent. Each country has its own story and history to tell. There is cuisine that is indigenous to each country, and an individual experience for every visitor.
The Globetrotter Diaries by Michael Clinton, copyright © 2013, published by Glitterati Incorporated. www.Glitteratiincorporated.com.