Our South American travel agency did a great job with all the logistics. All the pick-ups, drop-offs were punctual. The tour guides spoke good English and were knowledgeable and helpful. The tours were well organized and had high quality content - e.g. food at the Tango dinner in Buenos Aires, on the cruise in ElCalifate etc. was excellent.; the combination Ranch/Perito Moreno Glacier in the same tour worked well; great tour of Valparaiso from the guide who was originally from there.
On our arrival in BA, a representative from our travel company received us, drove us to the hotel and gave us a good orienting tour of the neighborhood + place to change currency + local phone, electrical adapters etc - extremely helpful. They were available throughout the trip if we had any questions or needed help.
The overall trip was quite enjoyable and all the places we visited (except Torres Del Paine - see below) exceeded our expectations.
Would strongly recommend this company. In addition to the excellent execution listed above, the owner was great in helping us plan the trip and was also able to pull off a last minute change that allowed us to include the penguin colony in our itinerary.
Here are a few in no particular order:
1. Gourmet lunch on the cruise
2. Perito Moreno glacier
3. Iguazu Falla - even though it was raining cat and dogs
4. The penguin colony on Isla Magdalena - DON'T MISS IT!
5. Tango Show and dinner
6. Visit to Valparaiso including an excellent wine tasting visit to Emiliana winery on the way.
7. City of Santiago - a real surprise - wish we had spent more time there
1. Skip Torres Del Paine - scenery is great but trails are kinda hard to navigate and not a lot of fun on a windy day. More importantly - you are basically captive to the hotel you stay in. The park does not operate any kind of bus/shuttle service that can get you around so you have to depend on the tours offered by the lodge as well as their two restaurants.
2. Should have spent a couple more days in Santiago. We stayed at a great hotel in Bellavista and the neighborhood is amazingly vibrant. Restaurants were packed on a weekday at 11 pm! Overall the city felt very young and dynamic.
3. Couple of our hotels were some distance from town center. Should have picked something closer - gives you more flexibility in terms of being able to step out at any time for anything.
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