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saddlebrooke

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We will be on a Princess cruise in February, 2009. Please provide us with any private tour contact information with which you may have had excellent experience. We are particularly interested with dependable guides that speak good English and lead us to unique sites and perhaps have contact with the locals there.

The ports we would like information about are Punta Arenas, Ushuaia, Montevideo, and Puerto Montt.

Thanks so much for your help.

Terry and Judy

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We will be on a Princess cruise in February, 2009. Please provide us with any private tour contact information with which you may have had excellent experience. We are particularly interested with dependable guides that speak good English and lead us to unique sites and perhaps have contact with the locals there.

The ports we would like information about are Punta Arenas, Ushuaia, Montevideo, and Puerto Montt.

Thanks so much for your help.

Terry and Judy

Hi: We just returned from the Buenos Aires to Santiago cruise and I have several posts about our private guides. Just in case you don't get to them, let me just give you a heads up regarding enaturechile. We booked them for Puntas Areans, Port Mott and Valparaiso. I confirmed and reconfirmed with the tour manager, Victor, several times. I booked them because of the wonderful things I read on this board, which I depend on for all my tours. Whether they were just having a bad few days - or there was a problem with communication, I have no idea, however - no one showed up in Puntas Arenas and they failed to show up again in Port Mott. In both cases my husband and I, who are experienced travelers, negotiated with private guides outside the pier and winged it. Both days were wonderful. I did e-mail Victor from the ship and he was very apologetic - but that didn't hold much weight at that point. They did show up in Valparaiso and we had a wonderful guide and a wonderful day, but I would hesitate to book with him because they seem so unreliable. If you are seasoned travelers who don't mind rolling with the punches - then by all means, read his reviews and make your own decisions - I just think that it is better to be warned. Good luck with your choices.

PS - I have a post on the wonderful boat we took in Ushuaia on our own. It is not a very long day in port and it was the highlight of our trip.

Ronnie

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Hi: We just returned from the Buenos Aires to Santiago cruise and I have several posts about our private guides. Just in case you don't get to them, let me just give you a heads up regarding enaturechile. We booked them for Puntas Areans, Port Mott and Valparaiso. I confirmed and reconfirmed with the tour manager, Victor, several times. I booked them because of the wonderful things I read on this board, which I depend on for all my tours. Whether they were just having a bad few days - or there was a problem with communication, I have no idea, however - no one showed up in Puntas Arenas and they failed to show up again in Port Mott. In both cases my husband and I, who are experienced travelers, negotiated with private guides outside the pier and winged it. Both days were wonderful. I did e-mail Victor from the ship and he was very apologetic - but that didn't hold much weight at that point. They did show up in Valparaiso and we had a wonderful guide and a wonderful day, but I would hesitate to book with him because they seem so unreliable. If you are seasoned travelers who don't mind rolling with the punches - then by all means, read his reviews and make your own decisions - I just think that it is better to be warned. Good luck with your choices.

PS - I have a post on the wonderful boat we took in Ushuaia on our own. It is not a very long day in port and it was the highlight of our trip.

Ronnie

Hi Ronnie:

Thank you for the alert about Victor. As we are planning also for another couple in addition to ourselves we want to make sure that the guide is dependable.

I will do a search to see what I may find in the ports including your post on the boat that you took in Ushuaia.

Terry

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With regard to Montevideo, you should have a look at http://www.realenglishtours.com. This is an English woman, Liz Cowley, (and her husband) who has lived in Montevideo for 30 years, knows the place, its history and all its attractions like the back of her hand. And since she's a native Englishwoman, her language is pretty good!! She's also written a neat little guidebook for the one-day visitor called " The Making of Montevideo and How to Discover Her Treasures", lots of info and good pictures.

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Hi Ronnie:

Thank you for the alert about Victor. As we are planning also for another couple in addition to ourselves we want to make sure that the guide is dependable.

I will do a search to see what I may find in the ports including your post on the boat that you took in Ushuaia.

Terry

 

Hi Terry: If you want to check out my post about the boats in Ushuaia, it is on the thread "Any Information about Punta Tombo" started by Auntdot. I am post #20. The terrain in South America is so rough that people with difficulty walking are concerned with the tours. I read through everything before we left and decided that my husband would be able to negotiate the roads with his walker - he could not. So I have been giving Auntdot a blow by blow description of where to go to see the penguins without killing herself :p . While we were waitng for these little boat kiosks to open, passengers were passing and telling us they were taking a cab to the park and then going on the train "to the end ofthe world". After the ship left port, many of these same folks spotted us and said they should have gone with us - so we made the right decision.. whatever you decide you will have a blast...

Ronnie

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. So I have been giving Auntdot a blow by blow description of where to go to see the penguins without killing herself :p .

Ronnie

 

You are too funnie, Ronnie! If I can get the stroller will you come back and push it at Punta Tombo???? :D

 

After seeing Cathy's photos, my husband and I are almost thinking we might still go and walk as far as we are able as there seems' to be lots to see without getting right to the seaside. Still not 100%... but maybe!

 

Dot

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With regard to Montevideo, you should have a look at http://www.realenglishtours.com. This is an English woman, Liz Cowley, (and her husband) who has lived in Montevideo for 30 years, knows the place, its history and all its attractions like the back of her hand. And since she's a native Englishwoman, her language is pretty good!! She's also written a neat little guidebook for the one-day visitor called " The Making of Montevideo and How to Discover Her Treasures", lots of info and good pictures.

This sounds like a good contact. I will check it out.

Thanks.

Terry and Judy

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Hi Terry: If you want to check out my post about the boats in Ushuaia, it is on the thread "Any Information about Punta Tombo" started by Auntdot. I am post #20. The terrain in South America is so rough that people with difficulty walking are concerned with the tours. I read through everything before we left and decided that my husband would be able to negotiate the roads with his walker - he could not. So I have been giving Auntdot a blow by blow description of where to go to see the penguins without killing herself :p . While we were waitng for these little boat kiosks to open, passengers were passing and telling us they were taking a cab to the park and then going on the train "to the end ofthe world". After the ship left port, many of these same folks spotted us and said they should have gone with us - so we made the right decision.. whatever you decide you will have a blast...

Ronnie

Thanks again, Ronnie. We are going to this tread now. We are getting excited about the cruise!

Terry and Judy

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You are too funnie, Ronnie! If I can get the stroller will you come back and push it at Punta Tombo???? :D

 

After seeing Cathy's photos, my husband and I are almost thinking we might still go and walk as far as we are able as there seems' to be lots to see without getting right to the seaside. Still not 100%... but maybe!

 

Dot

Auntdot: If I could push you in Punta Tombo I would, but it was hard enough for me to tread through all that gravel. Anyway, the scooter is electric, so there is no pushing - you just drive it like a motorbike. It goes about 2MPH so you won't get any speeding tickets :D . They also send someone along to watch that you don't have any problems with the scooter.There are penguins all over the place so it is not like you won't see them. They are on both sides of the road and they walk right in front of you if they need to cross over - they have the right of way, of course! The majority are at the water's edge and it is there that you can see them swimming and playing...and falling over their fat little bodies. My husband missed that sight, but as I said - he got to see it in Puntas Arenas with his little scooter.....too bad Punta Tomba didn't have it. Puntas Arenas is an easier walk once you hit the boardwalk. I would say it is about 1/2 mile to the areas where the boardwalk starts and then at least another mile to the water...so as we New Yorkers say - "it is a schlep" - but well worth the sight! In both places the peguins are all around you - it takes a few minutes to realize they are burrowed in the holes, but after a while you know where to look and you realize they are literally all over. I have a photo of two magestic penguins just standing next to the boardwalk taking in the sights - Don't worry, you will do just fine.

Ronnie

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We did a private Jewish Heritage Tour in Montevideo with 3 other couples I met on one of these boards. The guide was Fanny Margolis. She was highly recommended on Cruise Critic. It turned out to be a good choice as she showed us all of the religious sites and all of the other highlights of the city. Her English is perfect as she teaches English. Her email: nfirst@netgate.com. Her price was similar to the Celebrity excursion, but I liked the idea of a small group with a small van rather than a bus of 50. She required payment in US cash at the end of the tour.

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We did a private Jewish Heritage Tour in Montevideo with 3 other couples I met on one of these boards. The guide was Fanny Margolis. She was highly recommended on Cruise Critic. It turned out to be a good choice as she showed us all of the religious sites and all of the other highlights of the city. Her English is perfect as she teaches English. Her email: nfirst@netgate.com. Her price was similar to the Celebrity excursion, but I liked the idea of a small group with a small van rather than a bus of 50. She required payment in US cash at the end of the tour.

Hi NJ Gal:

This contact sounds fine. Thanks for the reply.

Any contact information from you or anyone regarding contacts in Ushuaia, Punta Arenas, or Buenos Aires would be appreciated. Also Rio.

Terry and Judy

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  • 1 month later...
We will be on a Princess cruise in February, 2009. Please provide us with any private tour contact information with which you may have had excellent experience. We are particularly interested with dependable guides that speak good English and lead us to unique sites and perhaps have contact with the locals there.

The ports we would like information about are Punta Arenas, Ushuaia, Montevideo, and Puerto Montt.

Thanks so much for your help.

Terry and Judy

 

Read my cruise review!

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You may try this local contact in Chile sales@patagonia-trips.com

We booked through them our private tours in Santiago and Vina del Mar, Puerto Mont and Punta Arenas. Tour guides showed up on time and everything was perfectly arranged. I'm sorry about Ronnie's experience.

We really had so much fun there :D !

 

Jan S

Hi Jan:

Thanks for the tip. I will contact them today.

Terry (and Judy)

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