In short the trip was fantastic. Your arrangements worked perfectly and each location exceed our expectations. Sarah and i are very grateful to you for putting together such a great trip. The arrangements and the travel instructions were impeccable. At each destination the guides where professional, polite, organised; it was so reassuring to relax into the trip as we became confident of your flawless preparation.
As a group of three girls we were a bit uncertain about how to go about organising our trip to Antarctica. After being connected with Antarctica Travel Centre / South America Travel Centre through a travel blog we attended an information night where Alex really whet our appetite. Alex and Hayley answered all our requests and we finally had our itinerary. The team are passionate about the destinations the recommend and having travelled there, have first hand knowledge.
We travelled to Patagonia, Chile staying at the Cascada EcoCamp in Torres del Paine, which was amazing. We then flew from Punta Arenas to The Falklands to board our expedition boat, the Akademik Ioffe for the most amazing experience. We saw the incredible sights from 500,000 King penguins on Salisbury Plain to Humpback and Minke whales in Fournier Bay. Hayley recommended we take up the option of kayaking as only few people aboard the boat get the opportunity. Not being experienced we were a little nervous but did a day course before we went, to be a little more familiar with techniques. It wasn’t easy but it was a huge highlight to kayak through icebergs, seals and penguins.
After our wonderful boat trip we travelled to Buenos Aires on our way home. We had a wonderful guide, Monica who showed us the cultural and culinary delights of Argentina in the best city tour I’ve done. The organisation and scheduling of our trip was wonderful. We were reliably met at airports and transported to hotels and other destinations. Fellow travellers were very impressed with our very colourful compendiums which contained so much useful information. Since returning I have completed my photobooks which suitably impress everyone I show. Thank you for always being so helpful on the phone and sharing your enthusiasm for such an amazing destination. I have now visited the 7 continents!
Antarctica was more than I could have ever expected. The weather was great (though some would say the crossings of the Drake were not), the wildlife was in abundance, seals, penguins, birds and whales. As I tell my friends and family, words do not do it justice when describing Antarctica, in fact they can’t. The air smells wonderful (downwind of elephant seals and penguin guano) without pollution, as does looking around without pollution, what seems 5km away is actually 50km. The colours and the scenery is just amazing. Who would have thought ice could be colourful! I have made some lifelong friends on this cruise, and was lucky to share it with them.
Each pickup/drop off was on time. My guides were very friendly, had great English, and were passionate about what they did. All hotels were faultless. Thank you for putting this trip together for me, it was the best trip that I have been on, and I have done some out there trips. From the hotels, to the destinations, the ground arrangements, everything went off without a hitch. I truly appreciate what you did to make this trip amazing.
Thank you for all you did to organise the trip – it went off flawlessly. All the flights and connections and transfers and hotel bookings all worked as scheduled – amazing really for such a complex itinerary. All the local guides were good – no complaints there. The highlights for me were Antarctica, Patagonia, Atacama and Iguazu in that order. The most outstanding properties were Awasi, Hub Porteno and the Sea Spirit (also in that order). The Posada Verde Oliva in Mendoza and Helsingfors in Patagonia was also very good. In terms of travel experience the wonders of Antarctica speak for themselves. In Argentinian Patagonia the Blue lagoon hike/horse ride at Helsingfors provided the most intimate and stark views of Patagonia.
Here we are back in Sydney and our trip has been and gone before I’ve managed to thank you for the fabulous travel itinerary and pack you sent with our details prior to departure. So a belated thank you. We had a fantastic time and no problems at all. Valparaiso was really interesting and a fabulous place to start so thanks for that recommendation. Found a couple of gems in Santiago as well. Both Tierra hotels were stunning and really well run and delivered a great product. And finally Antarctica…well, words can’t quite describe how stunningly beautiful it is. We had the weather god looking after us and had incredibly calm, sunny weather. They joked about the Drake “lake” as opposed to the Drake Passage and according to the cruise operator they said we had a week of ‘brochure’ days. Lucky us.
We were provided a complete and personalised package tailored to our budget, interests and fitness level. Our detailed itinerary package covered all and everything we needed. We would highly recommend this service to all.
Cascade Ecocamp was the highlight of our trip. Our own snug eco dome with a fire-place. Every night we with met with other world travellers (including Australians) to hear about the easy, moderate and extreme activity choices on offer for the following day. The staff were like family and took great effort in ensuring our comfort and guidance. Sensational food including fresh seafood. Chose glacier trip, wild horse spotting, mountain biking and bush walking.
Back home safe and sound after an amazing holiday. Cannot say enough about South America Travel Centre – and will definitely recommend to anyone travelling to this continent. The guides were delightful, and drivers were very careful and drove to conditions. All accommodation suited our needs – especially loved Arequipa, Colca Lodge, Ollentaytambo and Inkaterra Amazonica!!!
The care of your staff was above and beyond when situations arose due to not feeling so good. The day we left Colca Canyon Sue was unwell but Beatriz was amazing and after 24 hours all was ok. John requested medical attention on return to Cuzco and within 20 minutes a Dr appeared and then short time after a nurse appeared with medication – just fantastic.
A big thank you to you for all your organisation and for playing a big part in making this holiday such a memorable one for all us.
We thought we’d drop you a line after returning from our “highlights” tour to South America. Thank you! We found our itinerary absolutely perfect. By that I mean not only were our superb boutique hotels great, the guides in each city friendly, courteous, well-spoken and knowledgeable but the time in each city or location and the balance between site seeing “work” and leisure time “play” was also perfect.
The most difficult question by friends on our return has been “what was the highlight”. An impossible question when considering the merits of, inter alia, Galapagos Islands, Machu Picchu, Iguazu Falls, Christ the Redeemer, Inti Raymi Festival, Lake Titicaca.
The purpose of our trip to South America, in truth, was to see as much as we could of the continent with a view to probably not returning as we explored other opportunities. I have to now say that the chance of us revisiting South America is extremely high.
We have now been back from our wonderful holiday to South America for about 2 1/2 weeks, and I wanted to thank you very, very much for arranging such a fantastic trip for us. Everything went so smoothly, from the airport pickups, to the guides and drivers, to the wonderful accommodation – everything! We kept waiting for some little blip to occur, but it didn’t!
You provided us with such a varied itinerary, we kept busy the whole time, and thoroughly enjoyed the whole trip. We both particularly enjoyed the Galapagos cruise, and also Machu Picchu. We all four climbed Huayna Picchu on our second day back at the site, and it was well worth the effort. Our guides and drivers were fantastic; we particularly enjoyed Silvia our guide and driver Marquito for the 5 days Andes experience in Ecuador.
Once again, thank you so much for using your talents to give us such a memorable holiday. We will certainly be recommending you to our friends.
With best wishes,
Tony & Jan Burn