David and Pamela Parrott
Travel Consultant Tye organized the most memorable vacation ever for David and Pamela through 5 countries in South America.
Many thanks to Tye from Pamela and myself for successfully coordinating one of the most memorable vacations we have ever experienced. Despite our concern with having no vouchers or documentation as proof of ownership or payment, we were met on time at all destinations by drivers and guides that expedited our hotel check-ins and coordinated any arranged trips. A pleasant surprise was how many turned out to be personal rather than group tours. Particular thanks for dealing with any misunderstanding on our final day. With a return flight from Lima to Atlanta at 00:50 AM we thought a late check out would include the use of a hotel room to allow rest and a shower before departure.
We promised positive feedback to assist you and other travelers with future plans for similar destinations. Where comments are NOT given, this means our experience met or exceeded expectations. Where given, we hope you find them helpful.
2/20/14 Arrival in Cordoba
The local representative office had arranged to take us from Hotel NH Panorama (which was excellent) to Cordoba airport the following afternoon for a flight to Mendoza! We eventually persuaded them that our flight was scheduled on 2/27/14, not 2/21/14!
We would not recommend the city tour. Apart from the historic San Martin Square area, just five minutes walk from our hotel, the rest of the town was embarrassingly run down and totally forgettable.
We have already mentioned the Localiza car rental fiasco at Cordoba airport where the girl supposed to be at the office had overslept. When the contract was finally completed, we were not given much useful information or assistance in the event of a breakdown or stoppage by police control points which were numerous in the Salta region. A Garmin is a must to find hotel locations - can't imagine how we would have coped without one. Maybe Avis or Hertz would be better for US visitors with limited Spanish?
2/22 and 2/23/14 Hotel Patios de Lerma in Salta
We picked this hotel for ease of car parking, and that was its main advantage. However, the rooms were small and dark, breakfast only average and the nearby restaurants did not appeal for choice or cleanliness. We tried to order dinner at the hotel both nights but were unsuccessful as the cook was sick on both occasions!
Can thoroughly recommend the Viator trip we arranged to Humahuaca and Jujuy. It was supposed to be for 10 hours but turned into 13.5 due to road blockages by locals.
3/2/15 Hotel Panamericano Santiago
Although the hotel room was acceptable, the dining area was not that clean and invariably crowded with large cruise ship groups, so many food items were not replenished for breakfast. We learned that its location was well away from the good restaurant area so it was the only stop where evening meals were an issue.
Much preferred the in-depth Santa Rita wine tour to the very basic Concho y Toro and Cousino Macul tours although lunch at Tressoras de Chile made up for these two.
3/6/15 Hotel Rosario La Paz
Cannot say enough good things about this hotel and our stay in Bolivia in general. All tour guides went out of their way to exceed our expectations and truly made us feel welcome. This is a country to watch and we wish them well.
3/8/15 Catamaran Cruise and Isla del Sol
We were spoilt on this fantastic cruise with just two other couples sharing the crew and 70 passenger boat. A walk on the Isla is not for the unfit. Recommend hiking boots and good preparation for altitude sickness. One young American half our age needed oxygen on the hike!
3/10/15 Puno Visit to Uros and Taquile Islands
This was a tale of two tours. The first part was like visiting Disneyland with over-commercialization from "locals" who apparently commute to and from Puno each day to hit up the early morning tourists. Made us feel uncomfortable and exploited. Second half to Taquile was the complete opposite with relaxed people and provided a most pleasant experience.
3/11/15 Puno Andean Explorer
What an experience and a lot of fun. Never known 10.5 hours pass so quickly. Thanks for recommending this to get to Cuzco.
3/13 and 3/14/15 Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu
A little disappointed to learn bimodal bus/ rail transport was required to and from Cuzco. We were told this was due to landslides from the rainy season. Can thoroughly recommend the El Mapi hotel and we were fortunate to have good weather for our visit to Machu Picchu. This nearly did not happen as apparently, the Puno office had issued tickets for 3/13 rather than 3/14/15. Our local guide spent nearly an hour repurchasing tickets that finally allowed us to access the site.
All airline and local transport connections went well. Thanks again for arranging everything.
4 / 5 stars