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Private Tours in South America

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I've just returned from a trip on the HAL's Zaandam from Sand Diego to Rio. The cruise was fantastic.

However, I do not care for large land excursions and I bring a bunch of people together and set up some small private tours. Usually ten people. It was particularly easy in South America after I found Fernando Semproni at *****. They have a network of tours in all of the cities we docked in. I chose five: Lima, Ushuaia, Montevideo, Buenos Aires and Punta del Estes. And all were great and everything worked like clock work including registration, payment and of course, the tours. 

Cool Cruiser Montsterrat

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On 11/18/2018 at 4:35 PM, JennAngel9 said:

Can you tell  me what you did with them in Ushuaia, Montevideo and Punta del Estes?

In Punta del Estes,  I suggest renting a car,   offers you so much more than any tour operator, and extremely simply and easy to drive.   I've done it twice.  

 

Montevideo=   there is an excellent free walking tour and plenty else to see and do.  I've had the pleasure to enter many treasured buildings that are open,.   The Andes Museum is also excellent.   Simply walking to all.  

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The above 2 "tour"  recommendations are simply booking agents they are not the tour operators for all the tours.    I am very picky about vendors I use and never use this type of booking.   Instead,  I always book with the actual vendor direct.    My choices are made for me,  based on commissions  via these booking agents.   :)   

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22 hours ago, Quilting Queen said:

Budget Queen where do we get maps for the ports for private walking tours.

 

Norine

Are you referencing  Montevideo?    http://freewalkingtour.com.uy/english/index.html     When you are in  the port-    you will pass a "park"   with anchors.   Just past there,  there should be a tent  with Visitor Center docents  and maps.   It is not hard to find the tour start.   It will be one way,  and end,  at the Market   that is across the street from the dock.    

 

I've taken several  excellent  tip based walking tours in Buenos Aries,  as I do,  around the world.    If of interest,   a top choice in my opinion  is the  La Boca tour  that is a fixed price.   

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 We were looking for a local service  and found Liz AndreA Private Tour Services (liz2arg@yahoo.com) for our shore excursion. We would like to know if you would like to join us  to reduce the cost but don't want to get into a big group. We are on Celebrity March 11

Stitch  

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We used GV Tours in Puerto Montt and I highly recommend them.

they answered my (many) inquiries promptly and patiently and were extremely accommodating.

 

our guide was excellent - informative, answered all questions, great sense of humour.

And the included empanadas and wine were delicious!

 

 

 

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On 11/22/2018 at 6:40 PM, Budget Queen said:

In Punta del Estes,  I suggest renting a car,   offers you so much more than any tour operator, and extremely simply and easy to drive.   I've done it twice.  

 

Montevideo=   there is an excellent free walking tour and plenty else to see and do.  I've had the pleasure to enter many treasured buildings that are open,.   The Andes Museum is also excellent.   Simply walking to all.  

 

Hi, I'm a little late in responding to this...holiday madness! But I'm hoping you see my question.

 

We'll be stopping in Punta del Este for two days on our upcoming cruise, which departs at the end of this month. I've booked a rental car for one of our days there. Would you be able to provide a list of the highlights - the places we should be sure to go see? What did you enjoy the most? We have all day, as our ship is overnighting there so no need to rush back. Any guidance you can offer would be greatly appreciated!

 

LeeAnne

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Had a lovely guided tour by Pedro Werberg. His English is excellent he took us in a comfortable car and we got to see all the sites.

We stopped in a small local restaurant for Empanadas which were great, a full day covered all the areas of the city.

Fun in SAN Telmo markets in other areas and history lesson along the way.

last stop was the Recolata cemetery and Pedro filled us with information.

Thank you for a full enriching day.

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In Punta del Este try to get to the Ralli Museum http://www.museoralli.com.uy/web/ing/index.html  it has rather odd hours but when a cruise ship is in port they generally open longer.

Casapuebla is also worth a visit  https://www.casapueblo.com.uy/pt/ and Los Dedos on the beach at Playa Brava.

If you can stand more art, a visit to La Barra is nice. This is by friends of ours who are no longer in Uruguay.   http://wallyinuruguay.blogspot.com/2012/07/la-barra-and-its-art.html

Also a visit to José Ignacio might be enjoyable https://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/09/travel/09next.html

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In Punta del Este we used cruise ship tour to Isla de lobos (seal island).

We we’re glad we used the ship authorized vessel as it can get rough and some of the boats are not great condition.I tried to get in touch on my own with Calypso but they strung me along for months saying they might be working for the cruise line I was on.

Two days before we docked there I sent a request to them again at which they said they were working for our ship(not true they were not used and no other cruise ship was in port).

we quickly sign up for cruise company tour and glad we did never found bad smell as other said and boat was clean and sturdy.

After we walked to the hand in the sand sculpture, stopped at a cafe for quick bite and shopped in some of the amazing high end stores as some were discount stores.

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Thank you so much for all of this great information! Especially for the links, Lunenburg. They are providing a wealth of helpful information! I'm working on our itinerary now, so I'll know where to drive to that day. I don't want to waste time driving around not knowing what we're doing! 🙂 

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On 12/28/2018 at 4:22 AM, jccruiser said:

We used GV Tours in Puerto Montt and I highly recommend them.

they answered my (many) inquiries promptly and patiently and were extremely accommodating.

 

our guide was excellent - informative, answered all questions, great sense of humour.

And the included empanadas and wine were delicious!

 

 

 

We booked GV Tours in Punta Arenas in March, 2018, and were left at the pier. One person got an email earlier in the week that they would pick us up at 8:30 instead of 8:00. 9:00 am came and went and they still had not arrived nor contacted us. We got no response to text messages, phone calls and emails.  A total of 5 of us had booked separately (2 couples and a solo) and prepaid. We did get a refund, but no other communication.

Based on that, I would use a different vendor.

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14 hours ago, TiogaCruiser said:

We booked GV Tours in Punta Arenas in March, 2018, and were left at the pier. One person got an email earlier in the week that they would pick us up at 8:30 instead of 8:00. 9:00 am came and went and they still had not arrived nor contacted us. We got no response to text messages, phone calls and emails.  A total of 5 of us had booked separately (2 couples and a solo) and prepaid. We did get a refund, but no other communication.

Based on that, I would use a different vendor.

 

We also booked GV Tours for Punta Arenas in March 2018. Our tour to Magdalena Island was cancelled with no notice or communication. We did not find out until we had tendered to the dock and then we were given three different reasons - the weather was too bad (it was calm seas with light wind), the port authority had refused permission for the boat tours and finally that the boat had a problem. All other tours to Magdalena Island including the ship tours did go. We were not given any alternatives or assistance. Two days later I had to email GV Tours to ask for a refund. The refund arrived a short time later but I was out of pocket $25.00 due to currency exchange. No apology or explanation was ever given. 

 

On the other hand we had another tour booked with GV Tours in Puerto Montt to go to Petrohoe Falls, Puerto Varas and Fruttilar. We had an enjoyable tour to the countryside and lovely towns and also got to feed llamas which was fun. The included lunch was a delicious empanada and wine. 

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Santiago, Chile: Jose Ramón Salgado contact him at trips.sips.tips@gmail.com

He is full service, prompt and very attentive.

We wanted to modify our agenda on the fly and he made it happen.

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On 11/30/2018 at 12:03 PM, 4774Papa said:

We used SouthExcursions and they were excellent.

I strongly endorse Southern Excursions. We used them for an extended trip in Peru and their communication, arrangements and logistics were all first class. If they have offerings in regions you want to visit, check them out.

Stan

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Posted (edited)


Has anyone else used the company referenced?  I googled the name mentioned and a tour company did come up. I would be interested in using them if there was positive information.


 

Edited by bananavan
I did not see the other posts by the OP earlier.

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Great info!  We’re going on the Marina next March from Lima to Buenos Aires. 

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