All arrangements were made well, and transfers, accommodations, and tours were arranged flawlessly.
We would have appreciated more suggestions and imagination on our specific locations within destinations. When we said we would like "something like" an attraction or accommodation we had come across, without us having the expertise or knowledge to know if this was the best choice, the response every time was to simply book what we had come up with. You want a travel agent to apply their in-country knowledge and expertise to your desires, or to research (as we did) more deeply.
Also, we originally booked a non-stop flight between two destinations, approximately 6 months in advance. Shortly before our trip we were informed that the non-stop had been discontinued (we only discovered this by reading our final itinerary carefully; the agency never actually brought it to our attention), and so what was to have been a 2 to 3 hour journey would now take all day. Given more notice, we might have instructed the travel agency to book us on another airline which did still have a non-stop (a choice we were never made aware of), or book flights earlier in the day so as to have more time at our destination upon arrival. Speaking with another couple in line on the same set of (new) flights, they said they had been notified of the discontinuation of the non-stop 2 to 3 months in advance. It would have been helpful if we had been notified well in advance too.
Finally, it would have been helpful had we been given more regional information. For example, in our visit to Salta, we had a wine-tasting tour set up. We also decided to visit a high-plains town called Cachi. We envisioned the wine tasting as leisurely visiting a number of wineries during the course of an afternoon. We were never told that the day would consist of a total of 6 hours in a car to and from Cafayate, and time for visits to only two wineries before having to head back to Salta. Not the relaxing day we had thought. And although Cachi was what one would assume (by mileage) to be a two hour drive, it was in fact a 4 hour drive, because two hours were on a windy gravel road straight up to 11,300 feet. As a result when we reached Cachi we only had time to grab a quick lunch in the charming town before having to head back to Salta to avoid being on the windy gravel road (on the sides of mountains) after dark. With guidance, we would probably have spent 1 to 2 nights in Salta, 1 night in Cafayate, one night in Cachi, etc.
As I said, all arrangements were made flawlessly; all accommodations were great, transfers and guides were of high quality. There is a lot to be said for not having to worry about those things. But for the price that we paid, one would hope for a smooth, exhaustively researched, tailored approach.
The ranch in Corrientes province; staying in the hotel in Buenos Aires; the majesty of Iguazu Falls.
Please see response to initial question above.
TRAVEL COMPANY COMMENTS:
We are really sorry to read our clients comments after their trip when we work closely with them to assist them before during and after their trip and, as they said all the transfers, accommodations and tours were arranged “Flawlessly”.
Regarding the issue they are mentioning about the direct flight with Aerolineas Argentinas, unfortunately the schedule of the flights is completely out of our hands. Even that we planned a short direct flight from IGUAZU to SALTA 6 months ago, the airline cancelled that flight and we have to reschedule our clients to a connection flight that of course took longer. We re-issued the tickets for the clients with the airline with the best connexion available at the time at no cost of course.
We always checked the status of the flights before we send it to the client with all the travel documents ( 1-2 months before the trip) not earlier, the reason? since we know how often the airlines in South America change their schedules we could have 2-3 or more changes within the 6 months period! So we sent the updated flights and information to our clients a month before the trip. That is a decent time for them to know and prepare mentally since there was no other way to get from those 2 destinations. We understand that they didnt like it but there was plenty of time in advance for them to know that it was the only option we have. We personally sent again the options with Aerolineas Argentinas website to show them about the flight schedules.
When we started the conversation with our clients they already had in mind certain hotels that they wanted to stay ( in BA, Salta and an unique ranch in Corrientes) when we were suggesting other options of ranches as well. For example since they were staying at the ranch means that they wont be able to stay in CACHI. We sent the clients specific regional information about Salta REGION via email, links and phone conversation to explain to them about the type of roads that we have in that area of Salta. We also sent a map of the area with their travel documents in September. Unfortunately our client feels that this wasn't enough and we are really sorry about it. The excursion was also a full day private giving our clients the possibility of stop and enjoy at their own pace and yes we normally recommend to stay overnight in Cachi since the distances, roads and altitude make the trip longer than what you can check on Google. But again since clients were staying at the ranch then this wasnt an option
The clients are also not mentioning that our Travel team has been assisting them at any time even when they thought they lost their cellular phone on the ranch in Corrientes. Our team called right away to ask the hotel if they have found it and contacted the client asap. A little bit later the clients realized that they have it in another purse or pocket.
We were happy to be able to assist them in this nice trip and we are really sorry that even liking all the arrangements, guides, and the quality of our guides, they are not very pleased with our services.
We work daily to make improvements on our services and appreciate their input as well that makes us work better next time.
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