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Testimonials

Please have a look at a little of the feedback we have received from clients over the years...

Here at South America we firmly believe in the feedback of our clients, be it good or bad, as it really is the key to us moving forwards and improving our service and the overall experience. With the price of hotels and flights only on the increase we feel it is important to know where we have gotten things right and where wrong. In the below, please see what our clients are saying about us and judge for yourself. (please note that ALL of the reviews we feature are 100% real and unedited. If you would like to speak to any of our past clients please let us know).

Furthermore, we have started to gather customer reviews through Trustpilot so please take a look at our page on there to see how we are doing. Trustpilot Reviews >>

Holly and Nick,

We are so pleased that we picked The Travel Specialists to help organize our South American trip during January and February of this current year. It is hard to believe that this trip was one year in the planning stage and the final execution was above and beyond expectations. We were especially pleased with the personal level of attention that The Travel Specialists team extended to us before the trip in research and recommendations - both in providing helpful feedback on local in country establishments / sites.
The hotels that I selected for Argentina included: Legado Mitico in Buenos Aires and Hosteria La Estepa in El Calfate. During my initial research Holly provided services that included checking with hotel management to confirm room size, decor and location on the property; this was very helpful.

A local travel company (our ground handler) in B.A. was contracted by The Travel Specialists to accommodate our logistics and conduct guided tours in the city. The logistics portion for airport pickup and delivery (international and domestic air travel) was handled expertly and smoothly; in city transportation in B.A. was also without a fault during scheduled tours and to Rojo Tango Show. With that being said, there was one unfortunate situation that occurred the evening before our confirmed tour to visit the Hippodrome. We received a last minute call in our hotel room, with notification that the guide was sick [the night before the tour] and that our tour would be cancelled. They were insistent that we chose another tour (without any time to review or determine if it met our criteria) within a minute -- all the while that evening's car / guide to the tango show were downstairs waiting to departure. It was unprofessional at best, but when we advised The Travel Specialists the situation was amended and adjusted. As a special note, Jeremias, our guide, was very engaged with us and conversational in nature. He provided an excellent overview and insights to Argentina's history, culture and the city importance through changes in ages.

The hotel Legado Mitico (in B.A) was especially perfect for us, as we wanted a boutique, smaller hotel experience. We stayed in the 'El Idealista' room and loved it. It included a private balcony and we also had the entire floor of the hotel since no other visitors came to the upper floor lounge area. The morning breakfast was prepared with fresh and healthy choices, not too heavy and wonderful speciality coffee drinks upon request. The secret garden in the back where Malevo (el gato) hangs out casually was a lovely place to escape and read a book and contemplate the day. The staff was super accommodating and offered a unique concierge service level that deserves applause. It was great to also have our cruise ship bags stored by the hotel while we continued elsewhere for an in-country tour in Argentina and Chile. We stayed in the same room (as requested through the staff) for both legs of our trip to B.A. which made re-adjusting after hard journey much more pleasant.

The Hosteria La Estepa (in El Calafate) fit our needs in full and met our expectations. El Calafate, in itself, is a pass-through town so the accommodations were just right for us. The intent to choose a hotel (away from the main drag and tourism) of the town was a good decision and a great relief for us. The staff at the hotel was also attentive to our requests and inquiries, and the lunch that we had there was fine enough with a beer. They did have a nice Argentine wine for cocktail hour, and the views of Lago Argentina were gorgeous with the intense blue.

The logistics arranged from The Travel Specialists from the airport to hotel and back again were executed without flaw. We traveled for an additional week to Torres Del Paine and then stayed again at Hosteria La Estepa overnight before returning to B.A.

The logistics and tour guides arranged with the Chilean tour company really was also a great experience. We were met at our port of disembarkment in Valparaiso by the guide and taken to Lastarria Hotel in Santiago. The hotel again was a boutique establishment, and the feedback in advance from The Travel Specialists was exact to our wants and needs, as we prefer smaller size places and the neighborhood was fantastic. An invaluable service was provided to us on our morning of domestic departure to Pucon, when the guide escorted and navigated us through the airline queue that was backed up for hours. He was able to negotiate and expedite our position in line (to the front) and totally avoid missing the flight south.
Our city guide, Rene, toured us in both Valparaiso and Santiago and made both of us feel that we had a special experience in whatever we did, tasted and saw. He was highly informed, sharing and humorous and entertaining -- what a treat. These kind of memories really helped our understanding of the country and its people.

The Lastarria Hotel (Santiago) was exactly suited to our tastes. The staff was very engaged in our level of satisfaction, and interested in making our stay a memorable one. The breakfast was a nice spread which was just at the right level, not too heavy, and wonderful coffees. Their tea service in the afternoons was a real highlight and positioned by their secret backyard pool setting made it a great place to unwind at the end of a day. We also hosted a small gathering in this environment and the staff made a beautiful charcuterie tray along with cheese/ crackers and a wonderful wine selection that everyone enjoyed. We stayed at the hotel on the front and back end of our Chilean trip and would definitely return. The neighborhood is in the best location of the city to stay and enjoy.

Overall, I can highly recommend The Travel Specialists, and I can recommend all the hotels that we stayed at. Their strong professional level of service, attention to detail and customer satisfaction is certainly worth it when taking a trip that needs coordination with a lot of moving parts and pieces in a number of locations.

Our motto is: See Life, Travel More!!

Kat and Jim

Hi, Nick,

A fabulous, fabulous trip, Nick, very diverse, you read the brief well and every day was an adventure. A brilliant experience, the places we went, the inspirational guides, the hotels all in such lovely settings, it truly surpassed our expectations. We feel it was also very good value. The experience will stay with us for a very long time.

Added to which luggage allowance was always 23k (Dreamliners to Easter Island!) and we were upgraded to and from London! All flights were virtually on time other than departure from Easter Island – due I think to Iron Maidens plane damaged on the runway at Santiago airport!

Thank you so much for all your help and advice, it wouldn’t have been the same trip without your input.

Anne and Mike

Editor's note: please see their individual hotel feedback on each of the hotel pages. They stayed in each location as below:

Rio - Porto Bay Hotel
Iguazu - La Cantera
Buenos Aires - The Mine Hotel
Valdes Peninsula - Estancia Faro Punta Delgada, Territiorio
El Calafate - Hosteria La Estepa
Torres del Paine - Tierra Patagonia
Lake District - Cumbres Patagonicas
Santiago - Su Merced
Wine Region - La Casona at Matetic
Valparaiso - The Zero Hotel
Atacama - Tierra Atacama
Easter Island - Taha Tai Hotel


SEE THEIR GALLERY

Anne and Mike

Hi Holly,

Please forgive us for the extremely delayed response! We've been really busy since we got back. Our honeymoon was absolutely amazing (Patagonia is a beautiful place) and we had a wonderful time! We're already ready to go back to visit the Argentinian side :)

Anyway, everything went fairly smoothly for the most part. I think the only issues that we ran into were with the Kayaking trip and with our departure from Patagonia Camp. We didn't realize this until we arrived, but Patagonia Camp schedules 3 or so excursions each day that the guests then choose from (we were originally under the impression that we could freely choose what to do each day, rather than pick from a list), so in the future, you might want to let people know the structure. We DID get to do everything we wanted (with the exception of the kayaking trip), but it was a little bit stressful making sure we would be able to get to do everything we traveled to Patagonia for. As far as departure from Patagonia Camp, our itinerary from you said we'd be leaving at 9, but we got a knock on our door at 8 and we had to rush out. Granted, we should have checked with the front desk the night before, but we were a bit stressed about the last minute departure!

Everything else was absolutely wonderful, though. Thank you so much for putting it all together for us! We can't wait to get back!

Kendra & Ian

Kendra and Ian

Hi Holly

Many thanks for your email and all your help.

It was lovely to get such prompt reassurance over my various worries which proved entirely groundless! The luggage went straight through both out and return. Sally was constantly proffered wheelchairs which she declined but we also learned that if you are using a stick in Chile you go straight to the top of the embarkation queue.

The Antumalal was a brilliant choice. The staff could not have been more helpful.

A word of warning is that the English language skills on the Hertz desk at Temuco are virtually non-existence so that (despite the total amiability of those concerned) the transactions take rather longer than if one were hot on Spanish.

I hope that it will not be overlong before we seek your help again.

With best wishes to you and Nick
Nick

Nick and Sally

Hi Holly,
Sorry it has taken me so long to reply to you- the re-entry into our busy lives after almost 3 weeks away is always challenging!!
First of all- we had a fabulous trip and I want to thank you for your assistance.
We had no problem with any of our flights ( those booked by you and by us).
All of the transportation that you booked were timely/ very professional and helpful. With a larger group it was nice to have those transportation details organized in advance.
We all loved the Hotel Atton el Bosque and would stay there again. The restaurant, Happening, was an easy walk and quite good- a great choice.
The Rio Serrano Hotel was extraordinary!! I think that was the highlight of our trip. The food was great/ the park amazing/ and we loved the set-up of the hotel- lots of comfortable common rooms to relax and enjoy the other guests. We really took advantage of the excursions. The highlight was the Torres Base hike- really challenging but fabulous. We also took the zodiac river trip on the Serrano river and it was amazing- hiked up to a glacier and saw 2 others. The girls went horseback riding and we all did several half day excursions. The guides were excellent. I am still cranky about the cost of the transportation for Will but…The Hosteria Tyndall is really close- it was fine and the boys basically only slept there- ate all meals and hung out with us at the Rio Serrano.
The hotel in El Calafate was fine but too far out of town to walk in ( although 3 of us did just to get some exercise). We did have a nice dinner at La Cocina.
We also really liked Ushuaia. Hotel was great and well located although the breakfast was marginal (Mil 810). The Canalfun excursion was great fun ( liked the guides a lot) although the canoeing was not as challenging as we had hoped, but the hike was great and the penguins were amazing. WE saw 3 types that day. On our own we arranged a boat trip with Patagonia Explorer ( out to the cormorant/sea lion colonies and light house) and I would really recommend that outfitter. Also, took minibus up to Tierra Del Fuego Nat’l. park- great half day hike. The boys are college athletes and found a fun local gym in Ushuaia that they frequented every day we were there. New Year’s Eve dinner- prebooked by us at Gustino was wonderful. Other restaurants that we liked- Bodegon Fueguino and Placeres Patagonicos.
Our last several days in Punta De Este were great. Luckily we were staying a ways out of the Miami Beach- like -downtown Punta on a quiet and beautiful beach, Playa Chihuahua. One day we took a drive to a lovely small beach community- Jose Ignacio that was fun and found a wind-surfing/paddle boarding spot near there.
All -in -all a successful trip with quite a varied group!
Thanks again.
Jennifer

Jen and family

Hi Holly,

As you know, booking travel with a company on the internet, with which I had no prior experience, and no personal referrals, was a little stressful for me. I've got to say that you and South America Specialists came through with everything as promised. The local tour companies were friendly, informed, and professional. The door-to-door pick ups and delivery were smooth and stress-free. The hotels in Santiago, Iquique, and San Pedro were great. Especially the Terrantai in San Pedro - a real 4-star experience. The Pan America hotel in Arica was well located on the beach and an easy walk into town. The facility itself is somewhat "tired" and not quite up to the standard of the other stays you arranged.

During our stay in San Pedro we were able to identify a local guide who spent three days with us - taking us to remote rock art sites which were only accessible through neighboring local indigenous communities. This is exactly the experience we were looking for. For example, we spent an 8 hour day exploring and photographing the Hierbas Buenas petroglyph site at Rio Grande outside of San Pedro - we witnessed the local tour companies coming and going from there, each spending 20-30 minutes before departing to the next place on their agenda..........

The guides you had arranged from afar, were more geared to want to take us along the normal tourist pathway and some "got it" that we had a slightly different agenda in mind and were able to accommodate us. In all, we were pleased with the time spent visiting geoglyph and rock art sites. We want to go back again in the future.

All the best,
Leigh

Leigh and Amy

Hi Holly!
I am back home and had a WONDERFUL trip. Thank you for all your help. We especially enjoyed the Rio Serano Lodge. Perfect for us. Not too fancy, the excursions were wonderful lead by fantastic guides, food very good, great staff. I do wish we had had enough time in El Calafate to see the Moreno glacier. Also, Hotel Mil810 was just OK. Wish there had been more of a restaurant, bar and common room as the rooms were a bit small. Wifi was difficult there. I originally had been given a room where the bed headboard shared a wall with the elevator. I asked to have a different and room and they gladly changed it for me. That was good. Staff very friendly for the most part. The driving service in Ushuaia was FANTASTIC! My daughter discovered that she could not find her passport as we were driving to the airport to depart. UGGGHHH! The driver and woman guide were super. They took us back to the hotel to look again and when we could not find it, went back to the hotel (we paid them for this part of the drive and were happy to do so) and she went into the airport with us and ran around like crazy trying to get my daughter on the flight after talking to the airport police. We made it just in time. Really good service!

Thank you again and I would (and already have) recommend your company for travel to South America.

Take care,

Jennifer

Jennifer and Larkin

Hi Holly

We had a great time in Argentina – saw amazing things so it really was wonderful. I think we probably did too much in two weeks but we did want to go to all of those places so there you go!

In terms of feedback, I would like to acknowledge that the service from you guys was excellent – you are very efficient, responsive and helpful. Thank you so much. Likewise, the travel agency on the ground was great – always picking us up early from the airport or hotel, helpful with the baggage. We loved the tour in Iguazu – it wasn’t clear exactly what we had paid for in advance (boat trip or no boat trip), so I would suggest that is made clearer for future customers. We paid extra for the boat trip onsite and it was definitely worth it.

In terms of the hotels… they were fine. I don’t know the breakdown of the rates etc., but my general feeling was that the overall cost was expensive for the quality of the hotels. They were all comfortable and clean, and the staff at all were incredibly helpful and efficient, but the cost seemed high for what we got. Some thoughts on each that might help you and your future customers:

- Mine hotel – very helpful staff, they were knowledgeable, spoke perfect English, made you feel very welcome. Lovely breakfast. Excellently located. The rooms are quite small, and I did ask to switch after one night as the walls in between each room are not sound proof, I could hear the conversation of the people in the room next door as well as their toilet habits!
- Iguazu lodge hotel – room was nice, large. Again very helpful staff. Common parts of the hotel were quite shabby. Food during the day was terrible, but lovely in the evening. Well located for the falls
- Parador del Angel – very simple and clean. On the basic side, which was ok for us, but might not be for others. Would really recommend a wine touring company called Ampora – they were absolutely fantastic, hugely knowledgeable. We had two amazing days touring vineyards with them
- Penninsula hotel – the most amazing breakfast, incredibly friendly and helpful staff, food in the restaurant in the evening very good. Beautifully appointed and located hotel (car definitely required), but the rooms did feel dated and I think require a bit of a refresh. Would definitely recommend that people upgrade rooms here as I think they had seating areas in the more expensive bedrooms which would have been much appreciated and would allow people to take further advantage of the view (rather than just staring out by sitting on the bed!).

Just some thoughts that might be helpful when you’re designing trips in the future.

Thanks again for all of your assistance, overall it was great! And thank you for booking Francis Mallman in Mendoza – that was wonderful.

Best wishes
Laura

Laura and Tom

Hi Holly,

We are home and all rested after the trip! We had an absolutely amazing time and everything went incredibly smoothly. We are very grateful for your help and certainly acknowledge the benefit of your expertise in planning. We loved every hotel. Hotel Clasico in BA was very accommodating, cute, clean, and their breakfast restaurant was one of our favorites. We loved the location of the hotel with easy access to shops, cafes, restaurants. La Cantera was also great. We loved the lake view and the helpful staff. The big ice trek was an amazing experience. Nibepo Aike was absolutely wonderful and our favorite day of the whole trip! We are so glad you suggested for us to visit the estancia. Of course Cavas was amazing; impeccable service, beautiful property, and very relaxing activities. All of our car transfers and flights were perfectly smooth. Overall it was a fantastic trip and with all of the possible difficulties in travel/flights/language barrier we are thrilled how seamless it went. Thank you for your help and advice, we will highly recommend your service.

Sincerely,
Mike and Gina

Gina and Mike
Sharon and Fred

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