I haven't used a travel agency for 25 years until I tried to put together a trip to Chile on my own. We are easy, flexible travelers and it has been relatively easy to plan our travel and make reservations via books and internet. But I have been converted. Starting with email contact for an introduction, we made an appointment for a phone call to discuss our travel style and hopes for the trip. The call was lengthy and patient and helped clarify our goals. When I balked at the first plan, it was refined and modified to fit the timetable and budget. We found the book with our itinerary to be very helpful and full of recommendations for packing as well as dining and activities.
The trip was fantastic! Chile is stunning and has it all. From cities, to towns to rural areas, from mountains to beaches, from desert heat to chilly snow caps, you can experience all four seasons in a day. Our hotels were perfect whether up on stilts over a tidal area or up a hill in Valparaiso, the beds were comfortable and bathrooms well equipped. Front desk staff were warm and helpful, breakfasts bountiful and there was always something unique and charming.
Our contact person was prompt in her responses to any queries. We had a problem with a gps in our rental car on a Sunday afternoon. Our travel agency responded immediately and the problem was resolved to our satisfaction. Emails notified us that boarding passes for our flights were being printed at the hotel before we even thought of it.
We loved Valparaiso for its art and charm, but Chiloe was the highlight. Such a charming, uncrowded place! We saw a pudu by the side of the road and had it identified from the photo since we had no idea what it was. The driving was easy and the people were so warm and welcoming. And our hotel was fantastic!
I'd take more time so we could explore even more in depth. Specifically an extra day in Chiloe and a day or two more in Puerto Varas to explore that lakeside town.
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