Well!, we hardly know where to begin except to say thank you to Zicasso for directing us to these agents and their South American travel company. After Zicasso put us in touch with our agent, response time was nearly immediate from the first communication to the last.
While traveling in-country, we were provided a local phone (that we, thankfully, did not need) for any "just in case" situations, a charger, and even electrical adapters. Prior to arrival we were emailed detailed information as to each day's activities that were arranged after determining our interests and visiting about what to see and do in our targeted Patagonia region of Argentina. Extra favors were gladly acted upon, such as securing ferry passes for a day trip to Colonia, Uraguay, during our stay in Buenos Aires, which we decided to do on our own. Along the way (Buenos Aires to Ushuaia; Ushuaia to El Calafate; El Calafate to Bariloche; Bariloche to Buenos Aires), boarding passes magically appeared at our hotel for the next day's use, along with requested seating on the plane - in our case, aisle and window. And, somehow, magically?, we had no one in the middle seat on any of the flights. None were particularly long flights, but having the additional room is always nice - another extra touch provided by our travel company! Our drivers throughout the trip were punctual and friendly and it was a special treat that our agent met us at the BA airport and again on re-entry to BA on our return.
Our initial 3 days in BA included seeing the city with our very capable guide and driver and then topped off with an evening cooking class. We made a typical Argentine menu and then enjoyed eating it. A fun experience and now with the recipes to try at home.
On to Ushuaia where the days continued to be packed with our guide making sure we saw the sights and learned history of the area, its people, flora, and fauna while driving, hiking, and boating on the Beagle Channel. We saw the resident wildlife of sea lions and thousands of cormorants and other bird life. Another trip via the Channel to a particular island to see 2 species of nesting penguins and the wildlife who share their nesting abode in the cycle of Mother Nature was a big treat.
El Calfate (or just Calafate as it's generally referred to) is a "new" town in what in our state we might refer to as the high desert although its at an elevation of only 672 feet above sea level. The entire Patagonia area is deceptive in terms of elevation. Calafate is all about the nearby stunning glaciers, which we saw up close and personal! What fantastic works of Mother Nature! One day (all day) was a trip on Lake Argentino catered to a few people with icebergs of every size and shape floating along right up to the glacial mass of Spegazzini; another day involved a short hike to see Pietro Moreno Glacier. We were so close, it seemed we could reach out and touch the crystal sky blue, blue, blue ice and water. Beautiful. Horseback riding near Calafate with our capable horseman guide on the wide open space next to a glacial lake was another highlight. This former cowgirl appreciated the good stock rather than "trail" horses that are often available to tourists. And, Argentine saddles are wonderfully comfortable with their padded lambskin cushion, sort of a cross between Western and English styles. (We had fantastic weather throughout our trip, but the wind, she can blow, in Calafate - and evidently all of Patagonia! Be sure to layer your clothing!)
Now to Bariloche, surely one of the world's most geographically spectacular areas, ready and waiting for tourists who may want to ski at South America's largest ski area, hike, kayak, paraglide, horseback ride and more. This is an outdoor paradise. Our activities included hiking, horseback riding and kayaking. Each activity was catered to us with friendly care and efficiency. I cannot say enough about our guide and her gaucho helper who provided us with good horses and a day to remember riding on the ranch ranch, preparing a cookout, sighting wildlife and providing an experience we will long remember. This was the real, real deal! Our kayak guides, were also fantastic; ours was not a long excursion at our request as we were at the end of our trip and wanted a bit of time to prepare for the trip home, but the experience they provided was fantastic. We were (so!) lucky to have calm water and blue sky, it was as if they'd arranged for it. They rolled out the red carpet for a great picnic lunch, including wine and quite the gourmet offerings. Our hiking guide was so knowledgeable about plants and the area, what an education we got along with viewing the Andes and the lake area that will remain in our consciousness forever.
Knowing what we now know, we might not take the day-long trip to Spegazzini Glacier; however, having said that, we are glad to have the experience. Had we taken our Kindles or something extra to do, it would have passed the time better. We regret that our only language is English, so we were at some disadvantage as no other guests spoke English. However, our interpretive guide spoke English very well and we were kept well informed. The extra stop at a remote cabin provided a nice break off the boat, but also added even more time to the day and it wasn't especially interesting or necessary (in our opinion).
Each review is written by a verified traveler who was matched by Zicasso to the reviewed agency. Traveler must have purchased and traveled.
Zicasso matches you with the world’s best travel specialists.
Get Your Trip Planned
"The whole trip was marvelous and the planning and service provided by this company were excellent from start to finish."
"the finest tourist agency we've ever used... All in all, our trip to Argentina was a delightful adventure."
Copyright © 2021 Zicasso, Inc. All Rights Reserved. CST 2124858-50.
Headquarters: 650 Castro St., Suite 120-447,
Mountain View, CA 94041, USA