Diane Lischio(Awesome Argentina + Pumalin Park by Sea Kayak + Pure Patagonia, Feb 2011)
We loved the experience in Chiloe. Cyril, our guide was great --- he truly loved the island and was incredibly knowledgeable. The high point was visiting his parents' home (fascinating people!!) and tasting his Dad's pisco sours(our first and by far, the best of the trip). We all enjoyed his choices of local restaurants--best seafood of the trip. The kayaking part of our trip was a "harder" adventure than we anticipated, even having done several kayaking trips in the past. However it turned out to be one, if not THE, favorite part of the trip and the source of the most stories. Andres, our guide from Miralejos, definitely MADE the trip. Great skills as a guide: knowledgeable, personable(wonderful story teller) & really adaptable. I can't say enough good things about him!
Valparaiso had a good choice of vineyards for the wine tastings---especially Emiliana. We've toured many wineries in the past but this one was truly unique & excellent wines!! We'll be looking for them in the US.
The W Circuit was a great experience. We enjoyed the Eco Camp & the others in our group. The food was excellent as was the food in the refugios (given the locations). I enjoyed all the hiking, even in the rain. It was a great way to see the park and would recommend it to others. Enjoyed El Galpon in El Calafate --it seemed a bit "touristy" at times(especially the show) but all the staff were wonderful---enjoyed the dogs and walking the property. Also enjoyed the "mini trek" on the glacier more than expected. We had done the glacier trekking in New Zealand but this was quite different and much more informative. It helped that we had beautiful weather. We all thought the glacier boardwalk overlook was exceptionally well done--even with the scores of tour buses.
Thanks for putting together such a great trip. There may well be another trip to South American in our future.
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