Our trip to South America had been in the pipeline for several years so when it came to putting it into actuality we wanted to make sure that it was just right. We hunted around to find a travel agent who could tailor a package to suit our needs. We came up with a list of 4 travel agents in 4 different countries but eventually we chose this travel agency. Our decision was based on the the travel agency's approachability (whenever we emailed a question we always received an immediate and comprehensive response); also our agency's flexibility in being able to add or alter different options, and their friendly and helpful advice.Our contact was with Heather who made herself available to chat on Skype at all times. (It is very reassuring to be able to personalise travel arrangements - it makes it seem less like dealing with an anonymous organisation and more like chatting with a friend and mentor.)Our agent provided us with a comprehensive written itinerary which left nothing in doubt. She organised all transfers, internal flights, tours with local operators (some private, some group). At one stage when demonstrations in Cusco interrupted train and bus services, Heather immediately stepped in to organise suitable alternatives. We understand that other tourists did not fair so well and were stranded on train platforms or forced to pay for exorbitant hotel accommodation.Our 43-day tour included visits to 6 countries - Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Brazil. Right from the onset in Quito we were met by a wonderful guide who shared his knowledge of Ecuador - its geology, its history, its politics and its food. Our agent marked the beginning of a series of friendly, well informed and entertaining tour guides from the different regions we visited.We had an amazing holiday visiting all the well known tourist sites - Galapagos, Machu Picchu, Colca Canyon, Lake Titicaca, Iguasu Falls and Rio de Janeiro. And a few maybe a little less touristy such as Paracas and the Ballestas Islands, the Peruvian Amazon basin, Nazca lines and the Bolivian Salt Lake of Uyuni.When we used bus transport it was reasonably comfortable, hotel accommodation was always clean and comfortable and airport transfers were always on time. All hotels included breakfast which naturally varied from one hotel to another but it was always quite adequate and healthy. At different times when other meals were provided such as on the Galapagos cruise, in the Amazon Basin, on Lake Titicaca and during the Sacred Valley tour the quality of the food was quite impressive.We are now considering another visit to South America - this time to Patagonia and we will definitely be looking at involving this travel agency again with our trip arrangements.Muchas gratias!
There were so many aspects of the trip that were remarkable. We were overwhelmed at the magnitude and force of Iguassu Falls; we were amazed at the vastness of the Uyuni salt lake; we were mystified by the remarkable Machu Picchu constructions; we were puzzled by the strange markings of the Nazca Lines and we were impressed with the incredible animal life of the Galapagos.
The only thing we were do differently would be to spend a little more time in Uyuni to explore the salt lake a little longer.
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