Sonia Martinez Castellano, who resides in Madrid, took a 21-day trip to Buenos Aires, Iguazú Falls, Bariloche, Calafate, Torres del Paine and Ushuaia with 2 friends in November 2010.
“Traveling with Argentravel has been an amazing experience. From the very beginning, Paula made everything extremely easy, suggesting changes to improve our original plan but always in accordance with our desires. We presented her with a sketch of what we wanted for our Argentinian adventure and she took care of all of the logistics (hotel reservations, flights, excursions, transfers, etc.), always offering alternatives when something didn’t fit into the plan we were creating together. She kept us informed of every step and was always there to answer our questions (which were a lot) by email, phone or Skype.
Once we arrived everything went smoothly: transfers and excursions were always on time, we were notified of any changes and, like everyone else over there, we were treated marvelously.
Getting to know such an incredible country in such a simple way transformed our initial sketch into an insuperable portrait that will always be with us.”
“It is a luxury at everyone’s reach; for those looking for complete ease, for those who don’t mind doing some of the work, for those who have no knowledge and for those who want to decide everything, for the adventurous, the timid, for high-flying people or those wanting their feet firmly planted on the ground. Traveling with Argentravel is a luxury and above all it is a delight: the flexibility, the way they respect and improve your ideas with the experience of those who know the area; the way they answer your questions with ease and by different means (email, phone, Skype); the reliability, the impeccable treatment, attention and dedication… in the end, I am left speechless. The only thing I can add is “THANK YOU Argentravel!” for an unforgettable trip (in fact, it’s been more than a month and we are still reveling in it). Many thanks Paula!!!
Javier Rodríguez Verdejo writes:
“Many thanks Paula, the trip turned out fantastically. There were no major problems and in great part it was due to you. Thank you very much for your concern and dedication in organizing our tours and trips. Many thanks for your input and recommendations regarding hotels, tours and events, and above all, eternal thanks for your warmth. You have been so lovely with us, very accessible and willing to discuss questions and comments at any time (as most of the Argentinians we have seen). You have turned a dream trip into reality.
Another day I’ll send you my thoughts and comments regarding tours, hotels and service agencies that we tried, not with criticism or reproach but just the opposite, with the intention of giving you a humble opinion of the experiences I had on this trip so that you can pass it on to future travelers and help perfect their trip (in my opinion it is hard to beat, because it was so very close to perfect). Anyway, as I tried to explain earlier if I have to give a rating to Argentravel it would be a 10 and an Honor of Distinction for Paula Colantonio. Again, infinite thanks…”
Xavi from Barcelona traveled for 2 weeks in October with his girlfriend. He writes:
“There are many reasons why you should choose ARGENTRAVEL over other agencies, but I will focus on the three fundamental elements that give this agency such a personal touch:
1- They organize custom-made trips specifically designed for you. You share your ideas regarding your ideal trip and ARGENTRAVEL makes it happen. They also suggest worthwhile tours, etc. that you might have overlooked or were unaware of. (For example: mini-trekking in Perito Moreno which is a must-do).
2- They are always available, both before and during your trip. There are also many ways to keep in contact: via e-mail, phone, Skype, and even in-person meetings if geographical proximity allows (unfortunately we did not have this option, but it would have been a pleasure).
3- The most important factor that encompasses all others is the “closeness” to the traveler. When talking about “closeness” I mean both professional (effectiveness of services provided) as well as personally, where you are not treated like “traveler # x” but a traveler with a name, concerns and problems. ARGENTRAVEL resolves them as a friend who does not hesitate in providing help. It may seem exaggerated, but that’s the feeling I had at all times (I also had this feeling the entire time in Argentina. Perhaps it is implanted in their genetic code). THANK YOU ARGENTRAVEL”.
Álvaro Altisent from Madrid traveled with his wife to Iguazú Falls
In order to make the most of our trip to Buenos Aires we decided to visit Iguazú. We have always traveled and organized our trips on our own, but this time was different. Because my wife was pregnant we didn’t want any uncertainties. Having never contracted a flight deal with a hotel, transfers and park tickets included, we had a lot of doubts regarding the three-day and two-night trip.
We left Buenos Aires early in order to make the most of our day at Iguazú. We were greeted at the airport where we took a bus to the hotel. Our guide summarized the details of our trip and we were surprised how detailed and well planned our next few days in Iguazú would be: hotel, transfers, schedules, tours, entry to the park, etc. As he reviewed this and much more we were already arriving at the Sturgeon Hotel, which without being a luxury hotel had everything we needed. In the afternoon we visited Port Iguazú, enjoyed the pool and to end the myth of mosquitoes: there were less than what you find in the city of Buenos Aires.
In two intense days we saw the Falls from the Argentinian and Brazilian sides. Brutal nature in its purest form, heat and a few refreshing moments thanks to the tropical rain. The strength and power of this site does not leave anyone indifferent. We made a very good choice to purchase a complete package with Argentravel which allowed us to stop worrying about everything and simply enjoy. Thanks Paula!
Noemi Amador from Tenerife traveled ALONE in October and writes the following:
“I recommend Argentravel because of the direct contact involved. Although I didn’t know Paula, from the first moment I spoke with her I found a friendly voice, concerned with finding travel options best suited for me, from the most adventurous excursions to the most relaxed ones. If you prefer, you can do your own thing. I spent two weeks in Argentina. I spent a few days in Buenos Aires with a friend and then toured half the country ON MY OWN. I won’t lie, I was a bit scared but I would do it again today. Paula organized everything with great care and it was very noticeable, she truly enjoys her job which helps you enjoy your trip even more. Argentina is a country of contrasts with many options and Argentravel is the perfect option!!”
Marta Gallego writes:
“Many thanks to the Argentravel team, especially Paula, who organized a surprise trip for my husband to Brazil (Rio de Janeiro and Iguazú).
Stupendous advice for Rio: authentic samba bars and restaurants in the area. In addition to traveling throughout the city and seeing the monuments, we visited places with true local charm.
We spent three days in Iguazú in order to see it all, both from the Argentinian and Brazilian sides, each one with its own particularities. We were also able to enjoy adventures in the park, by boat, 4×4…
An incredible trip that we will never forget.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
“Just a few words to thank you again for the wonderful trip you organized to Brazil. We had already read and reread books, guides and more… but your tips were extremely interesting, both for Rio and Buzios.
The “posadas” and the town itself are reminiscent of the past… mini-buses, white sand beaches and blue skies are great along with huts where you can order grilled fish. Excellent!
I do not regret having changed our plans to go there.
It is a destination I recommend to all.
Greetings and until next time!”
Margarita and Carlos Amigo (retirees) write:
We are now back home. Thank you for everything. The trip was phenomenal. We loved your country and the people. We truly enjoyed ourselves and all of your planning was a complete success. All of the hotels were very good, especially the one at Iguazú for its originality. Thank you again Paula for everything you did and you know where you can find us if you should ever need anything.
Big hugs from Marga and Carlos”
Samuel Álvarez, a young 25-year old on the backpacker plan says the following about our consulting service:
“Although it’s possible to plan your own trip with the help of the internet, it’s difficult to find information as accurate as that provided by someone who has experience living in the destination country. Thanks to the excellent and comprehensive travel proposal designed by Paula, I was able to organize my trip more quickly and safely as well as obtain information about Argentina with the links provided on the Argentravel blog. I wholeheartedly recommend this service. It is much better than buying a guide. Additionally, Paula is always available to help you.”
Nestor Lopez & Vanessa Pujol:
16-day trip that included: Buenos Aires, Calafate, El Chalten, Torres del Paine, Punta Arenas, Australis Cruise, Tierra del Fuego.
“We found Paula through an internet search. Initially we were extremely skeptical because it was a completely atypical travel agency. It took us a long time to decide on contracting her services. After reading the website and blog we began having telephone exchanges with Paula in order to discuss some ideas. From then on we could no longer do without Paula’s services and advice.
The services rendered by Argentravel and its providers were excellent. Out trip included various pick-ups and transfers all in different towns and provinces, some coordinated in Chile as well as at the border between Argentina and Chile. Not once was there a hiccup. We were always picked up on time in appropriate vehicles. Every person we came in direct contact with was kind and helpful. Our trip began in Buenos Aires – there we were picked up at Ezeiza Airport, transferred to the hotel, transferred multiple times to Newberry Airport and later on to various accommodations in Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego.
We believe that one of the most important things about Argentravel is that you can talk to Paula about everything; hotels, schedules, prices, what should be prioritized and what isn’t important. She is extremely receptive, helpful, flexible and experienced when it comes to organizing. In our case we designed three travel alternatives, adjusting details and prices. In the end the option that we chose was a mix of Paula’s suggestions and some of our own ideas. The best thing is that everything worked out perfectly.
We were not disappointed at all with our decision to have our trip organized by Argentravel. If today we were able to take this trip again, or another one similar to this one, we wouldn’t hesitate for one second to organize it with Paula.”
Claire from the US writes the following regarding our Consulting service:
“I really appreciate the itinerary. I was really overwhelmed with all of the information in the guide books. It is so helpful to have it narrowed down by an expert and saves so much time. Please let us know if you find out anything about New Year’s Eve. I will keep you posted on our planning and will probably have questions.
Javier Delgado went on his honeymoon with his wife and writes:
“How’s it going Paula? The trip was stupendous, phenomenal!
We truly enjoyed everything! In general everything was fantastic and well organized and we are very satisfied with your help.
Here are a few comments regarding our trip to have in mind when planning future trips:
- When we arrived at the airport they told us that we didn’t have any reserved seats on any flight. It seems that in addition to purchasing a ticket, you must reserve seats ahead of time. Because we hadn’t reserved seats on the flight from Madrid to Buenos Aires, we had to travel separately. We reserved seats for the rest of the flights (both domestic and for the return trip) while we were in Barajas. That was the only inconvenience we experienced, but just wanted to make you aware.
- Everything in Iguazú was stupendous, the hotel was fantastic. There isn’t much to do in Foz, perhaps there are more options in Puerto Iguazú, but since we had very limited time we didn’t mind so much because the hotel pool was spectacular and the services provided were very good. Their breakfast was the best we had during the whole trip. VERY good!!!
- Buenos Aires – the hotel and its location were very good. On our first day there we attended a Boca Juniors match, a gastronomy festival (Masticar) where you could eat foods prepared by high-quality chefs at affordable prices, tango classes, shows and we walked a lot and took buses in order to interact with the people and get to know the city better. We looked at the city’s cultural calendar in order to do much more than typical tourist activities (http://agendacultural.buenosaires.gob.ar/). Thanks to this page we were able to assist free tango classes (the instructor was very gracious and interesting) and we also visited the Carlos Gardel Museum (we had a fantastic afternoon) and we also went to a tango show performed by the head dancer of the Colón Theatre. This was also free, located in an outdoor amphitheatre, which we liked very much
- We liked Ushuaia, although we didn’t find it to be as spectacular as the rest – the hotel was good. I recommend climbing the Martiel Glacier on your own if you have a free afternoon. You can take a taxi that will drop you off at the chair lifts. You can also walk approximately 45 minutes or take the chair lifts and walk a bit. We also recommend taking an excursion with a company named “Las tres maríun velero” instead of the catamaran excursion to Isla de Lobos. This tour is for 10 people vs. 200 that you would have on the catamaran. We didn’t do it, but we met people who had, and we believe it’s worthwhile. It is more active and fun/interesting. We also took excursions to Lake Fagnano and Lake Escondido which were good.
- Calafate: Impressive! Minitrekking on the Perito Moreno was awesome!
Here we thank you because we didn’t do any additional closed trips. I was determined to do the all-glaciers tour before going (which is what people usually do), but we followed your advice that after a spectacular tour of the Perito Moreno, the all-glaciers tour would have paled in comparison. So we used the next day to travel to El Chalten by bus and go trekking. We liked it very much! As far as the hotel, although it was pretty good and was of sufficient quality, it was far removed from the town center. There are buses available which run every hour, but only from 5pm to 8:45pm. A couple of days we had to take taxis, so I think it’s better to have a hotel closer to the center.
That’s it!! We want to thank you for everything because we really enjoyed ourselves!
Maialen Mendinueta from Basque country went on her honeymoon and writes:
“We loved the experience. Everything was very well organized and there was always someone available should we need anything. The truth is that we normally travel on our own without the use of agencies. However, this time since it was our honeymoon and we only had 12 days available to see such a vast country, we decided to contract a consulting service. It saved us a lot of prep time before the trip, which we didn’t have, and everything turned out fantastically. Economically speaking, I don’t think we could have organized it for a cheaper price on our own. We would definitely do it again and since there are several regions we didn’t have a chance to see, we will surely go again. The sooner, the better!!”
Samuel from the Canary Islands traveled alone and writes:
“Paula!! The trip was spectacular, a true experience. I had no desire to come back ….
Incredible! In four weeks I traveled through different climates and regions with all types of people.
The most impressive thing was Perito Moreno and the Falls. I really enjoyed Calafate and the hotel where I stayed was the best. I was to the point of asking the kind owners to give me a job so that could stay with them…
In terms of food, I loved everything! I am even addicted to mate now. The best empanada is the salteña. I had the best pizza at the Güerrin Pizzeria in Buenos Aires. The best ice cream at Freddo in Buenos Aires. The best wine at the La Peña Manor in Salta, a Malbec named Coquena. Cayafante’s Torrontés didn’t stray far behind. I had the best meat in Tenedor Libre “siga a la vaca” in Puerto. Madero. Llama meat is amazing especially when it’s pickled.
Don’t even get me started on the sweets… you enter a bakery and go nuts, my God everything is so delicious. The same happens in grill bars, there is such a variety that you have no idea what to order.
If you need information for your clients ask me, because everything is still fresh in my mind. I am definitely going to give you Miguel’s contact info – he is a tour guide in Salta who was very professional, an amazing person and an open book…..