Vacan! Wow! Our travel agency provided a first-class experience from our first to concluding contact. We started with outlining our travel plans – places, types of activities, room preferences, and cost. Our travel planner was spot on with his first draft itinerary. We fine-tuned it over five drafts. What impressed us was how he gently suggested some alternative destinations that ended up in our final itinerary. Our travel agency also made the reservations on all of our flights/ferry rides within and between Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile – eight legs in all. Our transitions went smoothly; never did we worry about missing a connection.
While on the ground, we felt that we were on a magic carpet with our contact unobtrusively watching over us to make sure that everything went smoothly. Our drivers were always on time and even took time to stop and show us places that were not in the plan. The guides were very knowledgeable pointing out or taking us to interesting spots that were not on the typical tourist trail.
We experienced only one potential hitch in our travels – note the word potential. It had rained heavily overnight in Mendoza and continued to do so when we woke up for breakfast. Our adventure for the day was to travel to an estancia in the Andes. We shrugged our shoulders and said – what will be, will be. I was thinking about sending our contact a What’s App message to see if we could change activities when our driver showed up and said that our contact had switched our estancia trip to the next day. We stayed dry for the day and enjoyed a five course lunch with wine pairings that should rate as a one-star Michelin. The next day, the sky was bright and I made my horseback ride into the Andes followed by a superb asado.
We give the highest marks to our travel agency for listening to us, for setting us up with an outstanding array of drivers, guides, adventures, and hotels, and for being watchful while we were traveling. I love planning trips but this agency has perhaps spoiled me for the future. We are asking them to plan our future trip to Peru and Bolivia. What more can one say except thank you.
My wife loved the Perito Moreno Glacier because of its walkways and accessibility. She would also have stayed all week at the hotel in Mendoza while I went off to Chile.
I especially enjoyed the day in El Calafate (boat ride to the Uppsala Glacier, 4x4 drive that ended up with a hike to an overlook of four glaciers that merged together), the days at Tiera Atacama (be sure to take the day trips particularly the ride to the Tara salt flats), the horseback ride at the estancia in Mendoza, the sunrises at Mendoza, and our "walks" or should one say, hikes up and down the hills in Valparaiso.
We would add another day in Colonia to relax and enjoy the Uruguayan countryside - the hotel was right on the river and the trip to the wineries (Cordano Almacen de la Capilla and Narbona) was special. We just shared with some friends the honey infused grappa from Cordano that we brought home. We should have bought many more bottles - the smoothest grappa yet -- and we all have tried many grappas in various forms in Italy and other countries!
I agree with my wife that more days at our Mendoza hotel would be in order if you just want to relax and to explore Mendoza more intensively. How much wine can one taste? However, the beauty of the region including the Valle de Uco can capture one for many days.
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