Travel can be unpredictable and putting yourself in the hands of strangers is a little scary. But from the first contact I had with our trip planner and and this tour company I felt things were going to be fine. He has extensive experience with Argentina and Chile and he was full of fantastic ideas. We had some suggestions for places we wanted to go and some requests (no 8 hour bus rides, plenty of time for photography etc) and he took them all into account. He also worked completely within our budget. For example, we suggested that we three ladies could share a triple to save some money if that was possible and our agent arranged for that everywhere, in big beautiful rooms. We loved every hotel selected for us by the tour company. They were beautiful and in gorgeous locations. Our trip planner had stayed in all of them. We selected some activities to be booked ahead of time which all proved to be excellent. Our trip consisted of; Buenos Aires, Bariloche, El Calafante, Torres del Paine and Santiago. We had three interior flights which were very easy. The tour company arranged for us to be met everywhere and taken to our hotels. Always knowing that someone will be there to take you to and from the airports, from the first moment you enter the country, is a very reassuring thing. During our time there we had a personal contact who was always there to answer our texts when we needed something. We met her in Buenos Aires at the beginning of our journey and she was just delightful. I don't think we could have possibly put together this trip by ourselves from home. I know we couldn't have created the seamless, utterly amazing journey that we experienced. I wouldn't hesitate to use this tour company again if we return to South America or to ask Zicasso for help with another part of the world. All four in our party are so grateful for the beautiful way we were taken care of.
Argentina and Chile are lands of stunning beauty and warm, open hearted people. Because Patagonia is incredibly vast, experiencing that great variety of landscapes was awe inspiring. Each location had a special appeal. Everywhere we went inspired our photographic passions. But after all that inspiration you do need to eat and we found the food everywhere to be excellent. Needless to say the wine was also a treat.
I speak some Spanish and always rewarded for using it, even when English turned out to be the easier way to communicate. We were surprised at how many people spoke English everywhere we went. In Santiago we attempted to take the subway and kept getting confused. I lost track of the number of people who stopped and helped get us on our way again using very good English. The people that we met and those who sought to make our visit a memorable one were truly one of the most enjoyable parts of the journey. They were kind, patient and loved sharing their countries with us.
Somehow we hadn't anticipated how lovely and fun Santiago would be. So we didn't schedule more than two days there. Now I'm determined to return to Chile and see more of the country as well as spend more time in Santiago. And I need to allow some time for shopping as well. As far as our travel planning, I will be contacting the tour company. I can't think of anything that they could have done to make our trip any better. The travel book that each of us got on arrival which had our itinerary, travel tips, photos of our hotels and suggestions for restaurants etc. was just over-the-top. And I love the gloves that were also in our gift bags. This is an amazing part of the world and Zicasso and this travel company made it all happen for our family. To the travel team, all send our heartfelt thanks!!!
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