What our South America clients are saying... The following client's testimonials were posted "as
is" with no editing or embellishment. Our discerning clients are our lifeblood and
we learn with each review, each mistake, and each opinion. Listening to our customer
allows us to manage realistic expectations of future clients, South America as a
destination, and assuring the best travel planning in the business.
Brazil Family Journey - October & November
In addition to wishing you and your family a Happy New Year, I am finally getting around to giving you our evaluation of the trip we took to Brazil in October/November. In one word, we thought the trip was just “sublime.” The mix of scenic beauty, adventure, urban energy and sophistication, culinary delights and, of course, Brazilian personalities was simply a wonderful travel experience. The following is a brief commentary on the places we visited:
Sao Paulo - Although we were in Sao Paulo for only a day, we took in a lot (including good food), and thoroughly enjoyed our stay there. As you know, we stayed in the Emiliano, which although a bit run down, cannot be beat for its location in the fabulous Jardins district. The shops, outdoor cafes, and restaurants are what Jardins is all about, and we thoroughly enjoyed them all. We ate in Rodeo at lunchtime, and it should not be missed. We visited the Biennial and other sights, including the Unique hotel and Daslu shops, by taxi. We roamed the streets of the Jardins at night with no concerns about safety. Our stay in Sao Paulo was too short.
Amazon - Our stay at the Anavilhanas was fabulous. Our room was spectacular --- spacious, glass enclosed (or should I say jungle enclosed) with a/c, We found the size of the lodge, quality of the guides, and the clientele to be just what we wanted. We met several Brazilians, with whom we are in contact. The pace of activities and excursions on the Negro river and in the jungle were very much to our liking. We are high energy people looking for adventure and native instruction in a place like this, and, for the most part, it satisfied our needs.
Salvador - The Zank Hotel is really a find. The contemporary feel and design of the hotel is an oasis in what, today, is a very busy city. The cab ride into the old part of town is roughly 15 minutes. We spent a good deal of time at the hotel, eating in the first-class restaurant, swimming in the ocean (me alone), which can be seen from the hotel and is just a five-minute walk away, and visiting the area just north of the hotel, which is teeming with Salvadorans at night.
Trancoso - I can’t say enough about our 3-night stay at the Jacare do Brasil, located in the Quadrado area of Trancoso. The room is better described as a villa. We had a palatial bedroom area, a wrap-around deck with huge couches and chaises, and an outdoor kitchen/eating area that reminded us of places in which we have stayed in Mexico. The low key, relaxed, yet sophisticated, nature of Trancoso just captured our souls. Each day we awoke to several of the staff knocking on our door with provisions to cook breakfast for us in our outdoor kitchen. We then lounged and read on the outdoor deck, until around Noon, when we hiked down the mountain to the ocean. The surf was rough and very swimable, with killer waves. We hiked along the beech, ate seafood at the native restaurants along the beech, and just had a great time enjoying the Trancoso scene. Dinner was had at one of the fabulous, upscale restaurants in the Quadrado.
Parati - This was another sublime stop on our trip. This picturesque town captured our fancy for two days. We walked the streets, boated to the islands enjoyed the quietude and loved the food. The Pousada do Sandi was fine.
Rio - What better way to end the trip than at the Hotel Santa Teresa in Rio? We found this to be another wonderful, sophisticated, beautifully designed hotel, with a great restaurant and very capable staff. We loved the Santa Teresa neighborhood, and did a lot of walking there during the daylight hours. The adjoining favella added some color to the landscape. We also had no issue with taking taxis to the beaches, including Ipanema, during the day and to Lapa at night. The latter excursion was, as you might imagine, quite an experience --- we just couldn’t get enough of the famous Rio Scenario scene.
So, all in all, it was quite a fabulous trip. There were no glitches to speak of, the airline connections were flawless, and the hotel accomodations equalled or exceeded, our expectations. Although I understand that street crime is generally a random activity, our observation (for what it’s worth) is that the threat of street crime in Brazil is somewhat overstated. We encountered no problems, but remained very vigilant (I’m a New York look-over-your-shoulder kind of guy) throughout, particularly when walking the streets of Rio, Sao Paulo and Salvador. We made sure not to venture into questionable areas at night, and were careful in our selection of taxis through town particularly at night. We had no encounters, or near encounters, involving criminal activity during our entire trip.
Many thanks to you for your invaluable input in planning and arranging the trip and your remaining available by phone during the trip.
Dan and Mila
Galapagos and Peru Honeymoon
Wow, what an amazing adventure it was. I am so proud of us and feel like we earned bragging rights for the next ten years after that hike! I did some pretty lengthy recaps of our days on my blog, while we were there to capture the nuances and still plan to do Trip Advisor reviews this weekend which I can also link you to.
Overall, I can't gush about it enough and the part about using a travel agent. It was like a buzz word the entire trip! Nothing beats having someone waiting for you with a printed sign (not scrawled in magic marker) and hotels with all the comforts of home.
Thank you for your assistance in putting the trip together. It was a most excellent adventure!
Erin & Scott
Travel Agent Partner - Honeymoon Clients
Carol and Sarah,
I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for making Aki's trip an amazing one. After a year and a half of planning, scheduling, cancelling and scheduling again as well as countless emails, you made his trip the best trip he has ever gone on. He has promised me future business and has already referred some business to me. Partners like you make this business so great. Some suppliers would have said "oh well" when Aki had a death in his family a week before the honeymoon causing him to cancel, but you decided to help him even though you knew it meant a lot more work for you.
This is why I will always use you for my South America trips and if you ever ventured to other continents I would use you there, too! Thank you again. I appreciate you all so much after this experience!
Peru & Machu Picchu Tour
All I can say is UNBELIEVABLE!!!. We all had such a fabulous time. We cannot thank you enough for putting our dream vacation together.
Michael, it was everything and more that you promised. Steve and I are so glad we met you and the Travel Show in Los Angeles. You gave well informed information about the country, people, food, the key places that we should not miss . From Lima, Cuzco, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Puno – Lake Titicaca to the Amazon.
With the help of Caroline and Sarah, they did a fabulous job in setting up and scheduling our Airline travel. From the representatives that met us at the airports to transferring us to our hotels and following up with our check in, it was pretty smooth going. Yes, there was a couple of glitches in the hotel arrangement, but your company was quick to rectify the problems. The guides were great and informative. Our favorite guide was “Pepe” who took us through Cuzco/Sacred Valley. Warm, knowledgeable and accommodating WE did feel like VIP’s. . The Hotel Accommodation were truly 4-5 star. Thank you for the memories you gave us.
The best compliment we can give you is word of mouth. We have been raving about your company and how you all put a wonderful dream vacation together for us. We have given information to about 3 different couples who are extremely interested in booking their own vacation. We have given them your contact numbers and hopefully you will be hearing from them. We would also like to see if you can help us plan our next vacation to Africa. I am nt sure if you take care of this area. Please let me know. Again, thank you so much for making our dreams come true.
Susan & Steve
Traveled to Peru and Galapagos
Dear Sarah, Carol and Michael
I would like to thank you for helping me to organize the wonderful trip …..It was great …and I appreciate the service level and the know how that you have invested to make it happen.
Below you can find strength and potentials for your future benefit:
In short time notice, you have built a great trip finding ways to overcome availabilities issues and other constraints … great job! Sarah was super responsive and super kind in the way she Handled all my requests and constraints ….remarkable !
The planning was precise and solid and we have done in great fun everything as it was planned originally. All service providers were on time and friendly
The tour guides in Lima …Cusco …Quito….were doing their job great.especially in Cusco a lady guide name Loredes …if I spell her name correctly. The hotels were very good …especially the eco hotel on the foot of the Machu Picchu! The eclipse Boat was good quality …right size …very good staff ….highly recommended. 4 days on a boat is perfectly fine
Tipping orientation can be part of your package...it is certainly can help. The idea to have one day in hotel after the Galapagos boat …(that was my idea) was wrong… it is an anti-climax and waste of time.
Much more strengths than potentials ….very happy to have met you and work with you ….I am sure we will continue and develop our relationship.
In the Name of the entire small family, I would like to thank you again
It was great job done by you
We had great fun
Traveled to Brazil
Dear Carol and Mike:
We had a terrific time on our three stops in Brazil as part of the GABWA/GATE CITY international CLE program.
A special thanks to you for insuring that we (the last 10 travelers) returned home, as scheduled. As you know, our flight from Iguazu Falls on Tam was late arriving in Rio. We were met by your representative there who insured that we were all cleared for the American flight to Miami. We raced through the airport after retrieving our luggage. Some of us were almost shut out of checking in. But she came to our rescue and we cleared immigration and security in time to get on the plane.
Your tour guides in all cities were unique and special, Paola, Andreas and Ciro. We shared with them and they shared with us. The meetings we had with attorneys and dignitaries in Salvador and Rio were special learning experiences.
Again, thank you for such a special trip. We have tons of photos and will have a reunion hosted by the Glenns.
Avarita & William
Travel Agent Partner - Client traveled to Peru
I just wanted you to read your glorious review from my last minute honeymooners. I sent an email to our owners with this to let them know what a fantastic job you and your company did. I can assure you I will never use any other tour company to South America. You went above and beyond with your excellent customer service. Especially given the last minute nature of this booking. I will rave about you to all the agents here as well. Thanks again for your patience and your expertise in making this a wonderful trip for my clients.
Leisure Travel Specialist
Polk Majestic Travel