This South American travel agency did an outstanding job planning and booking our trip to Argerntina, Chile and Uruguay.
I did a lot of research on my own before scheduling this trip, so my wife and I had a good idea of where we wanted to go and what we wanted to do. However, our agent made many great suggestions that proved to be better than what we had in mind, and we soon realized that his knowledge of the country made the trip far more enjoyable. All of the hotels that he booked for us were very nice, especially the Ayres Recoleta Hotel in Buenos Aires. We loved the location, and the staff there was very helpful and very understanding of our limited Spanish-speaking skills.
Our agency hired all of the drivers and tour guides we used, and all of them were warm, friendly people who were very knowledgeable about their particular city or part of the country. Our only complaint was that the driver who was supposed to pick us up & take us to the airport in Santiago on the last day of our trip didn't show up. He may have been delayed by traffic, but we eventually took a taxi to the airport because we didn't want to risk missing our flight. Other than the one mishap, all of the travel arrangements that our agency made for us between each city and to and from each airport ran like clockwork, and we appreciated the fact that we didn't have to worry about any of the travel arrangements.
The kayaking tour of Lago Mascardi (near Bariloche) and the winery tour by bicycle (near Mendoza) that our agent suggested turned out to be some of the highlights of the trip.
We enjoyed wandering around each city on our own and discovering new places. Our agent booked us a private tour of Buenos Aires and Santiago on our first day in each city, and the tour guides were very friendly, informative, and they spoke english very well. The understanding of the city we gained from these tours helped us decide where to go and what to do on our own. We found some great restaraunts on our own, but the best meal of the entire trip (and possibly the best meal I ever had) was at the Kandahar Restaraunt in Bariloche. It's off the beaten (tourist) path in the middle of town, but we chose it from a short list of restaraunts our agent provided. We were not disapointed!
We particularly enjoyed the kayaking tour of Lago Mascardi, the winery tour by bicycle near Mendoza, the hiking trip to Mt. Aconcagua, and the winery tour of the Maipo valley in Chile. They were all great outings, they allowed us to see the natural beauty of Argentina and Chile, and they gave us some much needed excercise to work off the wonderfull meals we had. Each one of the guides did an excellent job of explaining the history, culture and geography of the area.
We would love to add additional locations, such as Iguazu Falls, the Atlantic coast, the Pampas, and the Northwest region around Salta. Unfortunately, time and financial considerations make it difficult to see everything in a large country like Argentina.
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