We traveled for 27 days from December 22, 2015 until January 17, 2016. Our trip started from our home in Boston and our first destination was Panama followed by Chile and finally Argentina.
This travel agency covers South America so we made our own arrangements for flights and hotels until we landed in Santiago, Chile, and at that point our agent took over.
We have never experienced a more competent, knowledgeable and kind travel agent in our travels around much of the world. During our entire trip we never rented a car and at every destination we had a private driver holding a sign with our name on it. Never once was a driver not there or late. All of our tours were private and included two individuals a driver and the tour guide who sat in the front passenger seat and spoke perfect English. The drivers were great and the tour guides extremely knowledgeable and competent. The hotels our agent had us stay at were top shelf and perfectly matched our tastes. All of the hotels were 5 star boutique hotels, some with 8 rooms up to 22 rooms rooms with impeccable service. The only large hotel was the hotel at Iguazu which is the best place to stay to see the Iguazu Falls because it is the only hotel inside the National Park and has a beautiful view of the falls and provides many advantages in terms of park access.
Our agent even recommended restaurants at each location and made the reservations for us!
The entire time we were travelling our agent made sure he was available to us by email or phone and he responded immediately. His attention to detail is off the charts. When we stayed at a resort in the Uco Valley of Mendoza, Argentina, the most amazing resort we have ever stayed at and we have stayed at some nice ones, we had a miscommunication with the resort staff. We arrived late from the airport and did not think we would make our 8 p.m. dinner reservation. Our driver called our agent and he changed our reservation to 9 p.m. We checked in at the front desk at 8 p.m. and they told us we were invited to their Asada (barbecue). They made it sound like we were invited and it was part of the deal. After an amazing Asada we were presented with a bill for $300, which we believed was included in our arrangements. The manager of the resort said he'd contact our agent to figure it out. When we got back to the room we read our docs and realized that while the communication was misleading, the meal was not included in our prepaid package, so we emailed our agent about the misunderstanding to let him know that the resort was going to contact him, but told him it was a communication issue, not to worry we would go down in the morning and pay for the dinner. The next morning, which was a Sunday and our agent's day off, he emailed us back saying he had called the manager, explained the miscommunication and the resort remove the charge from our bill. We absolutely never intended or expected for that to happen and our agent was right there for us, watching our backs.
On our last night in Buenos Aires my wife emailed our agent to verify a 5 a.m. pickup at the hotel to the airport. We were eating dinner at a restaurant and the restaurant manager come over to our table with a phone. It was our agent -he found out where we were eating and called the restaurant to let us know the pickup was confirmed. We laughed - it was the first time we ever got a phone call at a restaurant, especially in another country!
This travel agent created for us a memory that will be with us forever. We love South America and plan on going back next year. Can you guess who we are going to have arrange the trip for us?
The entire trip was amazing. Whenever you go to a part of the world you have never been to before it is always very special, new and exciting. We used to feel that way about Europe but now South America is our new travel frontier - there's so much more to see and experience. We'll be back for sure.
The memories are many. A few highlights -- The vineyard hotel in Casablanca valley with only 7 rooms on an amazing vineyard, fantastic food and a 2 hour private guided horseback ride right in the vineyards on a beautiful sunny day - looking at website photos, you'd think it's all staged, but it was really that beautiful and we knew right in the moment that it was very special. Another big one was spending time with our driver and guide in Mendoza and the many laughs we enjoyed with them, especially at the wineries and in the Andes shopping for sweaters. In Chile, it was our guide who went above and beyond to make sure every detail was taken care of for us. In Buenos Aires it was a beautiful, vibrant, intelligent and wonderful woman who guided us through BA retelling the story of Evita with emotion and passion, and spending an amazing day with her touring the Tigre delta. The tango show was also very special, and the perfect venue for an intimate show - usually at those types of dinner/show places, the food is less than mediocre, but our food was fantastic and the wine was free pouring all night long! Our agent called us as we were arriving in Buenos Aires to let us know that the famous steak house that we had reservations for had canceled reservations and he took the liberty of setting us up for dinner at La Cabrera - our first night in BA we were very spoiled, it was the best fun ever, laughed til we cried, eating the best steak ever and our waiter just made the night complete. Wonderful memories, can't possibly put them all in writing.
Nothing! Just go to see other parts of South America and use this travel agency. Maybe visit more speakeasy's in BA :)
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