About us

Testimonials

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

Here at The Chile Specialists 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).

Hi Holly,

Welcome back! Hope you had a great trip. Our trip was fantastic. All of the hotels were wonderful. I think Casa Molino was our favourite. Palafito 1326 was a close second. Martin at Latitude 90 did a fabulous job as well. He reached out to us and was easily accessible during the Patagonia portion of the trip. A few areas that could have gone better are:

- It would have been very helpful to have written directions in English from the airports to the hotels. All of the information/maps we received were in Spanish including the GPS in the rental car. Casa Molino was extremely difficult to find.

- I didn't realize that Latam airlines are Partners with Alaska, which we are both frequent flyer members with. It would have saved a lot of time on the backend trying to get credit for the miles had we provided you with the numbers when you booked the flight.

- Our driver from Punta Arenas into the park was great but did not speak any English. It is such a long drive with so much to see it would have been really great to have an English speaking guide. When we were initially picked up at the airport the driver was accompanied by an English speaking guide which wasn't really needed for the 20 minute drive to the hotel.

Thanks again for all your help, it was an amazing trip.

Laura

Laura and Kim

Hi Holly,

Yes it was a fantastic trip. We especially enjoyed the Ibera wetlands and the Puna on the way to Tolar Grande!

Specific comments:
- the travel arrangements went without a hitch. It was great to find a driver waiting after every flight, and they were always on time to pick us up from hotels - something we weren't quite sure would be the case in laid-back Latin America. So full marks to your travel partners for arranging reliable pickups! And also thanks again for the restaurant reservations :)
- the Socompa guide, Adolfo, was fantastic. The accommodations were about what we had expected in the Puna, and the guide was willing to discuss options regarding route and sites of interest. In hindsight, we should probably have split the tour into 2 x 2 days, one south and one north, but it was a fascinating and memorable trip.
- the Legado Mitico in BA is a nice hotel and the staff were friendly & helpful; breakfast was a bit of a let-down but by the end of the trip we realised that Argentinians don't really eat much in the morning!
- Finca Valentina in Salta was lovely - very relaxing.
- the car hire was good, but they were obviously local to Salta and they had to send someone overnight by bus to collect the car from Corrientes. We got personal service, but I did wonder what would happen if we had a problem towards the far end of the trip - would they need to send someone all the way from Salta? On the last day I had to phone and negotiate a specific deal for them to fill up the car on pickup instead of me (power cut, no pumps in Corrientes the previous night), so it felt a bit unprofessional - not sure I would give them 5 stars although the car was fine and they were prompt and helpful on the phone. Overall, if you need to do something similar again I would suggest using a national rental agency instead of a local one.
- Hotel Alondra in Corrientes was also great. Hard to find, but fantastic once we got inside - an interior courtyard and pool, with lovely big rooms.
- Estancia Rincon del Socorro is an amazing location and stumbling over capybaras and armadillos on our way back to the room was an unforgettable experience. We understand it has recently (November) changed management in preparation for the land to be handed over to the national park service. The guides were all new, young, enthusiastic and knowledgeable and the wildlife was stunning. Meals were very tasty but no choice and the service was slow; I went to bed the final night after waiting half an hour in vain for someone to turn up to accept my payment :) Not a big deal, and they were happy to take payment in the morning but I got the impression their in-house staff were overworked. One thing to note if you send anyone else there - it's just under an hour's drive from the hotel to Carlos Pellegrini.

Overall, I can't thank you enough for all your help arranging this trip! If some of the above sounds negative it is really only nit-picking and had no impact on the trip as a whole - just things I hope might help when arranging something similar for others in the future. We had an absolutely wonderful time and came back feeling rested and enriched. You can't ask for more than that!

Thanks for the offer of posting photos - we're still culling them but I may get back in touch when we have picked our favourites.

Best wishes and thanks again.
Simon

Simon and Joanna

Hi Holly,

The trip was great! Chile has such diverse climates and cultures that it felt like six mini-trips. We loved each area. However, my favorites were the stay at the Matetic Vineyards with the horseback ride among the vines. I also loved the picnic in the garden at the Emiliana Winery. Patagonia Camp was also great – we loved staying in the Yurt and the hikes were designed so that you could pick from easy, moderate and difficult. You did a great job coordinating this trip for us. Everything went very smoothly thanks to you. We will recommend you and The South America Specialists to any of our friends who plan a trip to Chile.

Thanks so much.
Connie

Connie and Jerald

Holly,

I've been meaning to email you. We had a great time and everything worked out perfectly. Thanks for all your help and suggestions. We really loved Hotel Antumalal and the lakes region. Would certainly go back there. Also, thanks for the recommendation on Zapallar... much better experience than if we had stayed in the Valparasio area. Hotel Isla Seca was nice. They could make a couple improvements however...the lack of screens on the windows is an issue as the mosquitos do come into the room.

All in all it was a fantastic trip and we appreciate your help in coordinating it. I would definitely recommend your company to others.

We have lots of photos, so I'll look at posting some when I get a few moments.

Thanks again,

Scott

Scott and Lisa

"The South America Specialists" are for real...and are truly specialists. (I have to admit I was nervous about sending all the money in advance...one wonders if things will be as planned upon arrival.) I have used many travel services but holly and nick exceeded my expectations. All details were planned and executed as planned- airport pick ups, hotel transfers.... and the "drivers-guides" were delightful people willing to share themselves with us. We went through 4 airports and stayed at 5 different locations in 2 countries. The hotels were perfect- quaint, charming, boutique.....and in great locations for our purposes.
I contacted holly during our trip to set up events "in real time". She was very helpful and we were delighted! I hope to do business with the south america specialists again! Thank you holly and nick!
Robert and Adrienne B.

Robert and Adrienne

Hi Holly,

I apologize that this has taken so long to give you feedback. The trip was outstanding.

Noi Blend Colchagua - Beautiful property and the staff was so kind and generous. The breakfast spread was amazing. I do think they were a little inexperienced, but they more than made up for it with their kindness. The dinners were good, but we enjoyed some of the ma and pop places in town. 7/10

http://en.lapostolle.com/clos-apalta-winery/visits/

Really beautiful facility and we enjoyed the wine. It was great having the driver from Noi Blend take us. 7/10

http://www.montgras.cl/en/visit-us/

We did the lunch picnic. It was a highlight and it was fun to explore the grounds on our own. 8/10

http://www.santarita.com/international/casa-real-hotel/

The place is amazing. We loved biking around the property and the dinner was spectacular! Definitely our favorite part of the wine country. 9/10

http://www.ecocamp.travel/en

By far our favorite part of the trip! We were just devastated to have to leave. The staff, food and accommodations were all incredible. Vicente was our guide and he was awesome. We wish we would of had more time there. We will definitely be back! 10/10

http://www.noihotels.com/hotel/noi-indigo-patagonia/default-en.html

We loved Puerto Natales and Indigo. Really cool hotel and the town was so charming. We really loved that the town was walk-able and had a number of really good restaurants. 9/10

http://www.patagonialine.com/

I would encourage you to reach out to Ben at Patagonia Line. We had an amazing day with him. He is a true pro! 9/10

Santiago - We were a little lazy the first two days there, but we enjoyed the city. It was really smoking from the forest fires. Living in Los Angeles, it felt surprisingly familiar. We enjoyed our time more at the end of the trip. We had more energy and the air had cleared. 7/10

Thank you and your staff for helping us plan a trip of a lifetime!

Nick and Ashlea

Nick and Ashlea

Hello Holly,
Just a quick mail to let you know that we have just returned from our trip to Argentina. It was the most amazing experience and I wanted to thank you for helping us organise the practical aspects of it. I know that you work in partnership with H&T and I would be happy to give them feedback on their choice of local tour operators, hosterias, car hire etc.., or yourself if these were chosen by you - South America Specialists.
All hotels, although all different were perfectly adequate and the Peninsula Petit was like a piece of heaven on earth with its perfect location and the owner showing us the true meaning of welcome!
The excursions organised at El Calafate and Iguazu were perfectly run and the local guides very friendly and knowledgeable.
The airport transfers were done very professionally and vehicles used in much better state than the local taxis!
We got used to being called Hurts instead of Hurst and it made us smile!
When it comes to car hire, I would probably recommend a car hire located in the airport itself rather than town. The person meeting us could not be found as he was dealing with another client when we arrived. We had to pay the airport car parking fee to get out as the car was parked as a guest. It would have been less confusing if we just had to walk to Hertz or Avis or one of the desks at Bariloche airport, picking and leaving the car in designated parking. Only a detail but perhaps something to bear in mind another time.
Argentina is a wonderful country to discover as it offers so much variety. All people that we met were extremely friendly but I am sure I am preaching to the converted and you do not need to be told, having already had the opportunity to visit..
Once again, thank you for your help. I would not hesitate to recommend your agency to others thinking of organising such a trip.
Best regards,

Yvonne (and Paul)

Paul and Yvonne

Dear Holly,

Finally back to Hong Kong and back to work. The three week holiday was absolutely amazing and memorable. Thanks for the advise and arrangement. Everyone in my group were really happy and enjoyed the entire trip. The hotels, the cruise ship, the guide, were all great. The balance between rest and excursions were just right. I am already thinking of an amazon trip in South America in 2018. And some members from our group already suggesting another Antarctica trip in 2020.

Thank you again for the advise and arrangement.
Best,
Peter


SEE THEIR GALLERY

Peter and Catherine

Hi Holly,

Thanks for following up and arranging the tour for me! All in all, I had a great time! In particular, the scenery at the salt lake, Antarctica and Patagonia was superb! The camper trip and the campfire was a unique experience. My only complaint was the food at the one night at the Salt Lake Hotel and the one at the cruise could be improved. Otherwise, I enjoyed the services and the decor at the 2 Tierra hotels and the Singular Hotel. I’d definitely recommend you to other people from HK who might want a similar tour.

Regards
Angela

Angela and Clarice

Hi Nick and Holly

We just wanted to say a very big thank you to you both for helping us to arrange and organise a really memorable trip.
All our Airport transfers were perfect and it was a treat to be met at the different Airports and driven to our Hotels.
We loved Buenos Aires and the Hotel Classic was perfect, staff very friendly and helpful.
The location was good breakfasts nice and we would definitely recommend it.
By the way we did 2 cycle tours to the North and South of the city, it was a real fun way to see the different areas, the cycling was easy and we had fabulous informative and caring guides, the company was BA bikes - highly recommended.
Next stop Bariloche, the hotel Charming was excellent, breakfasts and restaurant very good.
The location and accommodation was very good, fantastic setting right on the lake and again would highly recommend this hotel.
By the way we got a free upgrade on our last night to a superior room with dry sauna and Scottish steam shower.

Pleased we didn't stay in the town.
We did a seven lakes tour organised thro the hotel, was great.
Next Salta.
Here unfortunately we felt the hotel was very isolated and too far from the centre.
The hotel itself had lots of character and the food was good, but was definitely too far out for us. We visited the Maam museum which was very interesting.

The 2 day tour was fabulous, we shared with a couple from Zurich and our guide Raul Zanotta was excellent, his English was perfect and he was very informative , we saw Incredible scenery and Raul really went out of way to stop and show us wonderful sights.
The Hotel in Purmamarca was fine, perhaps we could have been a little closer to the town centre but was a lovely setting.

Next was Iguazu, the falls are amazing and we loved the Lois suites right in the jungle.
The Argentinian side tour was excellent, our guide was Gustavo and although we weren't too happy about getting up so early, it was best as we got there before all the crowds.
The Brazilian tour was also excellent our tour guide was Maria .
The wedding was lovely in Florianopolis and our friends had arranged coaches and we were well looked after.
Final stop Rio, the Sofitel in Copacabana was great and the location was superb.
The staff were super friendly and in fact we were able to keep,our room till 5.00 pm on the day of departure.
We also did a Favela tour arranged thro the hotel, it was a Jeep Tour and our guide was David Santos, he was excellent and it was a real eye opener to see how the people live in the Favelas. The favela was called Rochino
We did a full day tour on the Friday before we left with Rodrigo the guide who collected us from the Airport when we first arrived.
I think we saw and did everything, Rodrigo also went out of his way to show us around.
It was a really fabulous holiday and once again many thanks.
We might add that the drivers who took us to the Airports for onward flights were extremely helpful and saw us up to the departure desks.
Mike and I wish you both and your respective families a Merry Christmas and best wishes for the New Year.

Regards
Mike and Jennifer

Mike and Jennifer

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