This trip was one I'd already done a significant amount of initial research on and had found other companies that had some great sounding itineraries when looking for Argentina, Chile, and Patagonia. However, when I saw the itinerary on Zicasso, it immediately spoke to me as it included not only Buenos Aires and Santiago, but Patagonia and wine country. It also allowed for a visit to Patagonia without totally roughing it. So it really had it all - and I could start with that itinerary and then go from there with this travel agency to finalize and really handcraft the trip.
At first it was pretty hard because communication was mostly through email and the travel company is located in Buenos Aires and Santiago and 5 hours ahead of me in California. But after a lot of emails and some phone conversations we were able to work through it. I'd say not having a number to reach anyone directly from the US was difficult because even the connection wasn't good when we did finally talk on the phone. I worked with the company's agents over the past couple of months to get everything in order and also when I was in S. America. I found it difficult to understand what the fee was for their help (turned out to be $100) and it was also difficult to determine things as line items, such as what the cost was for each hotel suggested, etc. While you give your overall budget, some people might like this hands off approach but when it came down to making the final bookings, I really wanted to know more details like cost of hotel, cost of tours, everything broken into line items and prices so we could make additions and deletions. I was able to get this, but had to ask for it a few times.
Overall, I thought the services they provided were great - their site they use to put together your itinerary and details is top notch. Their suggestions of hotels were also great. The hotels they booked us in Buenos Aires, Patagonia, and Santiago were all really nice and we got excellent customer service from them, as well as a wine and/or champagne greeting and note from the travel company at those same hotels. This trip was for my friend and my milestone birthday so we had wanted to do something really special. Once in the country, we connected with their concierge over their app which was extraordinarily valuable to ask all those silly questions you needed to ask (like can you remind me how much is expected tip for our shuttle driver) and also to get reminders of pickup times, etc. They were also able to make us dinner reservations at a lot of the places we had chosen and came up with great alternatives when they were booked.
Because I've traveled a lot to many different countries, I tend to want to be hands on and research EVERYTHING but what this company did was really piece together all of the finishing touches like transportation between destinations, airport transfers, and made everything tie into a cohesive trip that included everything we wanted. It took out a ton of stress and was huge for me to be able to trust them with this special trip. Super pleased with this travel company and Zicasso!
The most memorable part of the trip was definitely our time in Patagonia - it was glamping at its finest. The incredible luxury yurt experience our travel company suggested was amazing and I'd recommend everyone go there. The yurts were beautiful, the all inclusive resort had amazing food and wine, and the tour guides were fantastic. Patagonia overall was just breathtaking and unlike anything else I've seen. Those beautiful landscapes and unpredictable weather took the trip to its high.
Perito Moreno Glacier - ice trekking with crampons on the glacier. AMAZING! Piece de resistance - whiskey on the glacial rocks.
Rojo Tango in Buenos Aires - brilliant show
We also enjoyed our time in Valaparaiso followed by a wine tour through Casablanca Valley - the street art was really interesting and photogenic and the wines and time spent at Emiliana were a highlight. We ended up booking that particular tour on our own - recommended! Our guide gave us really insightful information on the Chilean culture, history, and wine culture.
It would have been nice to have one more full day in Santiago. Because we spent one day in Valparaiso/Casablanca, we only had a half day to explore Santiago, and it seemed like a nice city that needed more time to explore. It doesn't seem to be a city that gets enough credit and I found some of the areas of town we did see to be quite charming and lively.
Each review is written by a verified traveler who was matched by Zicasso to the reviewed agency. Traveler must have purchased and traveled.
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