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Fernando Escudero

Founder of AUTENTICA SALTA and Founder and Vice President of AAETAV (Argentinian Adventure Travel Trade Association)

Fernando was born in Salta in 1970. He worked in Adventure Tourism since he was 15 years old, travelling by bike around the most incredible places in Argentina. He is an industrial engineer and after working in different industries and service companies, decided to change his lifestyle and in 1995 founded the first horseback riding company in Argentina with rides in Salta, Patagonia and the Andes among others. His company was chosen as one of the world’s “Exemplary Practices in Ecotourism” by the World Tourism Organization (WTO).

In 2007 he was named Secretary of the Commission for the creation of the Standards of Quality and Safety for Horseback Riding. He was the founder, first president of the Association of Ecotourism and Adventure Tourism in Argentina (AAETAV), was founder and present Vice President of the Association of Ecotourism and Adventure Tourism in Salta (AAETAV SALTA) and member of the Advisory Board of Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA).

He has participated in the ATTA’s Adventure Travel World Summit events in Brazil, Norway, Canada, Scotland, Mexico, Switzerland, Namibia and Ireland. Inspired by the values proposed by ATTA and convinced that adventure travel is one of the most important tools to improve people´s way of life, to protect the environment and to achieve a better world, he started working in the Government of the Province of Salta as the General Manager of the Tourism Promotion Institute of Salta.

The Province of Salta, located in the NW of Argentina, has a great diversity of landscapes that make it an ideal place for adventure travel development. You can visit mountains higher than 18,000 feet, its enormous Salt Flats, the Calchaqui Valley where some of the highest wineries of the world are located and an incredible and virgin jungle of Yungas.

One of Fernando`s main goal in this role was to place Salta as one of the world’s leading destinations in adventure travel. Under his leaderhsip, he influenced the use of Salta´s landscape images in the Adventure Sport Fair, one of the world’s biggest adventure tourism fairs held in Brazil. In addition, he was the manager of the City Chase Final World, an adventure reality program featured on National Geographic television worldwide. He also coordinated adventure races for important brands such as North Face and Columbia and was in charge of the Travel Mart Latin America for which 1000 tourism businessman from all the world visited Salta.

He was Director of the Strategic Sustainable Tourism Plan of the Province of Salta for which 57 million dollars are being invested for the development of ecotourism.

Since 2004 he collaborates with the development of mountain rural schools and actually is president of the Foundation Unir whose goal is the development of the mountain communities.

In 2015, he decided to return to the private sector and founded Autentica Salta, a boutique tour operator specialized in adventure tourism in Salta and northwest Argentina.

Fernando is married to Soledad Gaztambide where he lives in Salta with their three sons, Santiago, Nicolás and Tomás.

The importance of ATTA for me:

“Learn, Share and Inspire, themes conveyed to delegates at the 2010 Adventure Travel World Summit, were more than just three words for me. They have absolutely changed my way of thinking and my way of working to turn Salta, my home in Argentina, into a leading destination for adventure travel.”

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