With over 41 years in the business Alta Tours is the leader in travel to SPAIN, PORTUGAL, ARGENTINA, PERU & CHILE Why are we the first choice in customized travel? We check each and every hotel, guide, winery, museum and other attraction before we offer them to you. Walking tours, Lunch or Dinner Reservations, Flamenco or Fado shows. With travel designed by Alta Tours you will never be disappointed.
Experience Cruises in the Strait of Magellan and Beagle Channel, Trek to the Base of Paine towers in Torres del Paine, flights to Antarctica. Bycicle in the Lake region of Chile & Argentina. Honeymoon trips to Easter Island, Hotsprings and Spas in Chile, Hiking in Bariloche, Experience local markets,Wine country, Ski in Chile and Argentina.
Horseback riding,sailing ,minitrekking in Perito Moreno Glacier . Excursions to Iguazu Falls ,Salta in the Argentinian altiplano or San Pedro de Atacama in Chile.
Visit Historical Cities in Spain & Portugal. Professional guides , car and english speaking drivers ,stay in charming hotels, Paradores, Pousadas travel by train or escorted bus tours. All excursions tailored to your needs and expectations and budget.
Our specialty is CUSTOMIZED travel. This is different from the typical tour company. With a customized vacation or business trip we arrange a schedule specific to your interests and budget. This can include all the features of an escorted tour but unlike the large pre-planned tours we cater to you instead of to the crowd. This means that your days belong to you or your group.
Customized travel is perfect for families, Honeymooners, religious groups, companies, friends and anyone else who loves to travel. Choose from guided car tours,English speaking driver/guides, walking tours, religious tours, cruise ship shore excursions with expecialized english speaking guides.
Since we customize to your needs there is no limit
Alta Tours can also arrange guided motorcoach tours in Spain & Portugal for your traveling comfort. If you prefer traveling with ready-made friends this may be the choice for you. Call today to learn more about the vacations that Alta Tours can create for you.
INKA TRAIL PERU
I did have a chance to speak with my clients and wanted to let you know that they had an AMAZING time in Peru. They said that the tour was well organized and professional and that they wouldn’t hesitate to use your services again. They are putting together a review and a few pictures that I’d be happy to share once I receive it.
Have a great weekend!
SELF-DRIVE NORTHERN SPAIN EXCURSION
Good morning Eugenio,
I wanted to thank you and tell you what a wonderful time we had in Spain.
Everything was perfect, and that includes the guides, the drivers, the rental car and the hotels.
We made one change to the itinerary (we stopped in Pamplona before driving to San Sebastián), and it was taken care of with efficiency.
We were both very impressed with Spain and are hoping to return to explore the southern regions.
Thanks for your very experienced help!
Sally and Steve
FLY DRIVE LAKE REGION,CHILE
Thank you for planning such a great trip for us to Chile. We loved seeing the historic spots in Santiago, driving South to Puerto Montt with stops along the way.
Vira Vira Hotel was a highlight for us after 5 days of travel. It was active and relaxing at the same time. The hosts and staff were exceptional.
Puerto Varas was also scenic and the Lake District with its volcanoes and rolling countryside was wonderful. We loved the trip you arranged to Peulla.
Your representative was super to work with in Santiago. The car was delivered an hour early and it was easy driving on the Pan American highway.
I am so glad we did not miss seeing the beautiful street art in Valparaíso and ate the parmesan razor back clams. Never eaten so much wonderful seafood, fresh fruits, salads, etc.
The Chilean people were very helpful and relaxed.
Overall, we could not have gone on this trip without all your planning and flexibility!
Penny Rich and Bill
Santa Cruz, Ca.
Our trip was outstanding. The guides were superior and their services outstanding. The hotels were all very good. This has been a once in a lifetime experience and there are so many people that made this journey so special. Don was able to fish as well as pull fishing nets on Lake Titicaca which was a childhood dream. He also fished in the Pacific Ocean. If you would like more specifics I am happy to provide after the new year.
BUENOS AIRES ,ARGENTINA VACATION
Good morning, Eugenio. Once again, I would like to thank you for a well-planned vacation in Buenos Aires. Everything went without a hitch, our guides were outstanding. Because of the size of our group, the private tours worked very well and we were able to really connect with our guides. Have a great day.
Carlos & Dina
ATACAMA DESERT TRIP
I’m so sorry it has taken so long to reply to you. Believe it or not, things got crazy when I got back. My girls went back to school the day after I returned and it’s been super busy at work too.
We all had a great time, loved the hotel and the region, in general. The tour people were awesome. The only issue we ran into was the weather, so one of the excursions got cancelled, unfortunately. We were looking to do something else instead but we didn’t seem to have many options at the time. You must have heard about it.
Thanks again, we had a great experience working with your company and I had a great time in Chile!
FLY-DRIVE PORTUGAL EXCURSION
Thanks for all the help from your and representative, for our Portugal vacation. Everything worked our great- the recommendations and your arrangements.
The English speaking driver your representative assigned to our Lisbon excursions was wonderful and very knowledgeable .
Last but not least all the arrangements worked as planned – obviously your representative is very reliable.
Attached is a picture of the girls and me in Porto.
BARCELONA, MADRID & LISBON INDEPENDENT EXCURSION
Thank you for checking with us and for organized such a great tour for us. We really enjoyed the trip. All tour guides and drivers were great! The services in Lisbon was especially excellent. We especially enjoyed the walking tour with Maria in Madrid. The only thing that may need improvement is the hotel is Madrid. The location was perfect. The problem is the smell in the rooms. I’m not sure if they have separate non-smoking rooms, but the two rooms we got had sever smoking smell. We had to open the windows and leave the air conditioner on all the time. Otherwise, the trip was perfect. Thanks a lot for your help.
Please Note: Regarding smoking rooms comments.
It is not allowed to smoke in any Hotel in Spain. There are some people that do not respect the rules.
LAKE REGION TRIP AND AUSTRALIS CRUISE
I’m sorry that it has taken so long for me to get back to you about our trip. Things were very busy for us after being away for an extended period.
We had a wonderful time and I greatly appreciate your help with making travel arrangements and recommendations. Thank you so much!
Hotel Vira Vira was possibly the nicest place we have ever stayed. The building and grounds are beautiful, the staff are incredibly nice, and the food is fantastic. We enjoyed the excursions and also the fact that we could customize them somewhat to suit our needs. The whole area around Pucon is beautiful and we did not want to leave. I could go on and on about that place! (We are lucky that we missed the Villarica eruption by about a week!)
Hotel Cumbres was nice, but I think anything pales in comparison to Vira Vira. It is attractive, clean, and in a great location. Our room was in the back so it did not have a nice view, but then again the volcano was obscured by clouds quite a bit anyway. Also, the wifi there is kind of a joke. It was difficult to connect in our room, and it’s set up so that if your device goes to sleep for even a minute then you have to log into the wifi again. That is fine if you have a data plan on your phone, but for international travellers who may only have a texting plan it’s a pain.
Also, our tours with Miguel from Pacific Tours were great. He is knowledgeable and friendly- definitely a great guide!
Finally, the Australis Cruise was also amazing. The scenery is spectacular and we loved seeing the penguins! Some of the guides were definitely nicer than others, though. Also, they didn’t give us a life preserver to fit our son until the second day. We obviously weren’t super concerned about needing one for him before then, but it seemed a little strange that they wouldn’t want to make sure everyone on the ship had one from the beginning.
Thanks again for all of your help! We couldn’t have had such an amazing trip without your help! We plan on recommending you to friends in the future.
ATACAMA DESERT AND PATAGONIA TRIP
Everything you and your representative arranged went off perfectly. Thanks!
Hotel Altiplanico in San Pedro was good, not great.
Based on hotel pricing in San Pedro in general, it seems we got what we paid for. The room was fine, although being near the river we often had flies coming in through the windows, and the occasional mosquito. Staff was great, but seemed geared toward serving people who were going out on organized tours, not the do it yourselfers like us.
Food in the restaurant was fine, but we had better meals elsewhere in San Pedro. A great recommendation is Baltinache (or something like that). A small place serving local foods in creative and tasty ways.
The trouble we had waiting for our Avis rental car in Calama was rewarded with an upgrade to a 4X4 truck. The 4X4 was really handy for our adventures.
We hired a guide for our last full day in San Pedro. She is Rosa Ramos Coloques, from the San Pedro are. Her cell is: +56 9 9 674-5420. She was fantastic and I highly recommend her for anyone wanting insights into the best and sometimes little known areas to visit, as well as into the local Atacameño culture (she is an Atacameña).
She drove us in our truck for the day visiting, at our request, Tatio geysers, Guatin gorge for hiking, and Puritama hot springs. She took us to places in-between that we never would have discovered ourselves, and even if we had we would not have known their significance.
Patagonia Camp was extraordinary! Luxury yurt “camping”. The setting was beautiful, the food was exceptional, the guides taking us on hikes were great, all staff were superb, and of course the Torres del Peine trails and landscape were breathtaking. We had unusually good weather, calm and clear on most days. We had one of the best yurt sites, #18. #17 was similar. Both quiet and overlooking the lake and mountains. Furthest from the dining room, but best for serenity.
Here is some of the evaluation you asked for. First of all, I want to thank you for being so cooperative with all my schedules and things we wanted to do. It was a wonderful trip, nothing like we have done before and we really enjoyed it.
General information The trip was amazing. I loved the rain forest adventure and the cabana and the canopy walk. Loved the animals and things we got to see.
Cusco was a wonderful city and the surrounding ruins were interesting to see.
Machu Picchu was all I hoped it would be and more
Hotels: All of our hotels were very centrally located..loved that. All were clean and very adequate. Our hotel in Cusco, the Maytaq, did not have an elevator, they did carry your bags up, but this might be a real problem for some people. Also because it is quite high an elevation.
The Cabana at Hacienda Conception was great!
Tour Guides: All were very helpful and encouraging, but some difficult to understand (but, I can’t speak any of their language, so who am I to be critical)
As for the tour in Lima, I would have liked more information about the Archeological site and less about the saints. Also, in LIma, I would have liked the tour to include much more time at Miraflores where it overlooks the ocean. Fortunately, Brooke and I walked to the Inka Market and to the Lake Park by the Mall before the tour, so we did not miss anything, but I feel that the others did.
I loved having someone at each spot to tell us the plan and give us the papers we needed.
The tour companies in the early part of the trip seemed a little better to me, but I have no complaints about any of them.
Miscellaneous Info. Be sure to tell people to take more than one change of clothes per day to the rainforest.
Tell them to take “good” American dollars. They will not take any with marks or tears. I had plenty of money, but could not spend much of it.
Change a fair amount of money into small denominations of Soles, both coins and paper money. Seems to be the easiest way to do.
I would like more free time in each place (except the Amazon Basin) for some shopping or just free time
The Moony (sp? tea was helpful)
If we could drop anything, it would be the drive from Cusco to Puno. It was very long and took our whole day. There were beautiful mountains, but the ride & stops not too interesting for us. I think because of the things I wanted to include and the fact that there were not openings is why we had to do it the way we did.
Uros Islands: because Brooke was quite sick we changed our tour to just a short tour to the Uros Islands and not the other island and lunch. We both felt (of course, we did not see what we missed) the full day would be way too much. We really learned a lot and enjoyed the trip out, but here are a couple of things we were not aware of. 1. We had to pretty much buy something on the island. The comment was something like all my sister in law (who did a demonstration for us and showed us her house) asks is that you buy a souvenir from her. 2. We were taken on a boat ride (the boats made out of reeds) that was not included in the tour but also not something not optional, and so we needed good American dollars or Soles. We had no idea we would need money out there. Thankfully we did have some.
Machu Picchu was unbelievably interesting and beautiful. Definitely the highlight of the trip. The mountains were magnificent, take your breath away kind of beauty. Brooke said That it was quite possibly the most beautiful thing she had every seen..
If you have anything you would like to ask in addition, please do so.
Escorted Bus Tour of Spain
In a word – SPECTACULAR. Not only was every city beautiful, clean and organized, the tour itself ran like clockwork. All the guides were professional, knowledgeable and enjoyable. The drivers drove safely and expertly on the highways and around the cities. The airport transfers arranged outside the tour itself were also prompt and to pick us up and deliver us on time.
The hotels were modern, clean and comfortable. We especially liked the ones in Sevilla and Barcelona. Also, in Madrid, it was great to be only a block away from the bus terminal . All the meals served were substantial and delicious. One thing that we were really pleased about is that every hotel was close to a supermarket where we could pick up little snacks, extra fruit and drinks, especially inexpensive wine (excellent wine on sale for .67 centavos – how can you beat that?).
We also met some fantastic people in our groups and thoroughly enjoyed their company. Because the FC Barcelona game was one of the highlights, it was a totally unexpected and pleasant surprise to have the opposing team stay at our hotel in Barcelona (Elche). Unfortunately, they lost and Messi gave us the show we expected for a 3-0 victory.
This trip was all and more we could have hoped for. Thank you very much for organizing this for us.
Now we need to do a similar type of trip for Argentina. We will be in touch in the near future with suggestions.
Carlos & Dina
We want to express our gratitude to you and your agency for putting together this really wonderful vacation for us. Everything went as planned. Very good coordination of your part. Thank you for a job very well done. Your choice of Hotels was great!! Portugal met all our expectations, what a BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY!! The scenery, the places we visited were spectacular, Porto, Lisbon, Algarve, Cascais, Sintra, Obiedo, Coimbra, etc, etc, and cannot forget the Island of Madeiras, WOW!! It was superb, we want to go back….The Hotels were amazing!!. Great locations. The breakfast unbelievable. Our tour guides were fantastic and very knowledgeable, but we want to make a special distinction to Julios, he went out of his way to make us feel like a family. This was one of the best private tours we’ve had. Very safe country to visit. Transfers always on time. We want to thank you again for your comprehensive and detail itinerary. We will definitely recommend Alta Tours to friends and family.Regards,
Maura and Jose Lasso; Jorge and Diana Torres, Renato and Elizabeth Larenas
Discover Chile Trip
Atacama Desert,Santiago,Lake Region and Patagonia
Hi eugenio, So sorry for the delay in replying. We had a wonderful time in Chile- what a beautiful country. We were very fortunate to have everything organized so well by you. You were very attentive to our needs and responded very quickly to our requests given such short notice. The hotels were great options in all the locations. Thank you so much for adding restaurant options in Santiago. We felt very well taken care of the entire trip! Our tour guides , were fantastic and very knowledgable. We especially enjoyed the private tours as it saved a lot if time and we were able to adjust things to our preferences with ease. The group tours were lovely- the locations chosen for us were spectacular. The only downside was that due to the higher number of passengers on the bus a lot if time was spent picking up and dropping of people- this was especially the case with our trip to Peulla from Puerto varas. Thank you again for helping us organize our wonderful trip! Please let me know if there is any other specific info you might want.
We have had a truly wonderful vacation so far. (I told Audrey it shows the wisdom of spending a lot of money quickly.) Awasi, Explora and Australis were each exceptional in their way. And your arrangements have been excellent – we have especially appreciated the quality guides. I have some really terrific photos so far. We had some excitement today as our original flight from Ushuaia to BA was significantly delayed. But the airline graciously switched us to LAN so we made the connection to Iguazu. What is your recommendation for our last night’s dinner in BA? Is there a high-end romantic place you would recommend? Maybe steak for the sake of tradition or perhaps we should do steak on the night before? (In case I didn’t mention it, Kaupe was very enjoyable. The owners are quite gracious.)
FAMILY TRAVEL TO CHILE
Thanks for the follow-up and best wishes for a great 2014 to you!
We arrived back safely on 12/30 from one of the best trips we’ve had. We loved Chile, it’s natural beauty and diversity from the north to south – in fact, we’ve telling our 3 yrs old daughter that she can come and visit us in Puerto Varas, because that’s where she’ll find us after retirement!
Thank you for your assistance and making this trip memorable. Nitin
SOUTHERN LANDSCAPES BUS TOURS
Hi, Eugenio:We are back. My wife and I had a great time in Spain, and thank you so much for the well organized arrangement for touring the neighborhood of Madrid and the Andalusia. I would like to give you some feedback. Your city booklets and the list of the restaurants were very helpful. The transfers from and to the airport were on time, riding on a MBZ E350. The hotels were all very nice and located close to the point of interest. It is definitely worthy to add just an extra money staying at the first class than the tourist hotels. The local tour guides for the Madrid city tour and to Escorial/Valley of fallen were profession-fatigued. The tour guides for Segovia, Cordova, Sevilla, Ronda, Granada, Toledo were doing their jobs right, providing both Spanish and English presentations, even though sometimes my wife and I, were the only English speaking person.
The tour director Joaquin for taking us to the Andalusia was very organized and knowledgeable along the route. He always gave us the briefings at the beginning and the end of the day, and always pointed out the interest places 10-15 minutes ahead. We like the idea to include the breakfast and dinner meals every day, so that we did not need to venture out in a city we were not familiar with. Even though my wife and I had attended a Flamenco show at Sevilla (35 Euro) by ourselves, Joaquin had advises us to go to again a Flamenco/Gypsy party show (32 Euro) performed in a cave. It was just fabulous, one of the best shows I have ever seen.The weather this year in Spain and in all Europe was crazy. It was still cold in May, and we encountered showers. Fortunately the sun showed up after the shower. In summary, I think this was equivalent to an escorted tour if it had been conducted only by English language. My wife and I used to travel 2-3 times a year worldwide, and we considered us seasonal travelers, and normally could go by uno Spanish word. We enjoyed our trip to Andalusia with co-tourists mostly from South America. Spain has a vast landscape and mix of various cultures, and it is a great great place to visit.
ENCHANTING LAKES ARGENTINA
The trip was lovely! I had a great time– and really enjoyed all the sites.
Thank you for the arrangements. Javier, in particular, in Bariloche was amazing.
Thank you for helping us plan our trip to Portugal. We had a wonderful time.
As promised, Marina was at the airport to pick us up, as was our guide Paola. Paola and our driver were terrific. As we were recovering from jet lag for the first two days, it was wonderful to have them drive us around in a beautiful Mercedes. We learned so much on our half-day tour of Lisbon, as well as the full day we spent exploring the castles in Sintra and Queluz, then driving through the mountains to Cascais. We didn’t have to worry about anything other than where to have dinner. And actually not even that, as Paola recommended restaurants for the entire time we were in Lisbon and even made reservations for us — including a restaurant/fado club. As for hotels, The Heritage Liberdade in Lisbon was perfect for us — location the best, and our room was spacious, comfortable, and with a good view. We enjoyed the buffet breakfast there as well. and the hotel staff was very helpful. We loved both the Convento do Espinheiro in Evora and Quinta das Lagrimas in Coimbra. The Quinta upgraded us to what they called just one level below a suite….a huge room in the historic part of the hotel. And the Convento is a beautifully restored old Convent — our room in the historic section was great. Starwood has done a marvelous job restoring and furnishing it, and the staff is dedicated to helping the guests enjoy it. Their food was absolutely great — breakfast buffet fantastic, and the tasting menu dinner we had was one of the best meals we’ve eaten. (I’m glad we chose the Convento over the Posada, although the Posada looked nice, as well.) In addition, at both the Convento and Quinta das Lagrimas, I must say I enjoyed their pools and saunas, which are complimentary to the guests.
In addition, I must mention that I’m glad you recommended we spend a couple of days near Tomar — the Knights Templar castle and the old synagogue were highlights for me. By the way, the Alta Royal Lodge in Ourem I found on Trip Advisor was a great experience for us. The American priest who runs this B&B is totally charming, and we loved it. It’s not a big hotel for everyone, but for those seeking charm and a bed/breakfast atmosphere, I do recommend it.
Again, thank you for your personal attention and patience with all my questions and concerns,
SPAIN FAMILY VACATION
We would like to thank Eugenio Ovalle of Alta Tours for superb organization of our customized private group tour of Spain, which included must-see sights in Madrid and vicinity, as well as major attractions in Andalusia. Looking back at what we have seen and experienced, it is hard to imagine that so many things have been packed in just fourteen short days.
One of the reasons we chose Alta Tours was their offer to conduct all travel by a private bus (which had been at our disposal at all times), thus eliminating the need for frequent cab rides to and from railway stations, loading/unloading baggage for ten people, and purchasing expensive intercity train tickets. Miguel and Pedro Marcos, our drivers and co-owners of the bus company arranged by Alta Tours, were highly skilled, conscientious and accommodating, and in general a delight to work with. (In retrospect, I cannot imagine doing this tour using multiple modes of transportation, which, even in the best case scenario, would have made things much more stressful and costly.) The local guides in all the cities we had visited were knowledgeable, intelligent and sensitive to the fact that three children of different ages (9, 14 and 17) were a part of the group. Five included dinners (in Madrid, Toledo, Cordoba, Seville and Granada) were served at “atmospheric” restaurants, and included fine examples of central and southern Spanish fare.
We stayed at four-star hotels throughout the tour, and all properties were very adequate, with some exceeding the standards associated with this rating. Last but not least, one of the things that made this trip a success were the services of our indispensable “virtual tour director” Javier Gomez who literally had been “a phone call away” throughout the entire trip, resolving communication/language problems, making restaurant reservations, providing “real-time” advice on points of interest, and in general assisting in ways too numerous to list. We recommend Alta Tours without reservation to all travelers interested in exploring Spain with a travel provider that is sensitive to the needs of their clients, attentive to details, and very dependable.
Natalya Govzman and Alexander Kuzmin Lena Krislasky Marina and Yuriy Tsvetov Tatyana and Alexander Kagan, and also Mark, Daniel and Eugene
CHILE & ARGENTINA TRIP WITH CHILDREN
We had a fantastic time in Argentina and Chile. I am impressed by the meticulous and hiccup-free execution of the itinerary that you prepared for us. Especially when we are traveling to a new country with small kids, the “anxiety factor” stems primarily from 3 things: (1) airport/bus-station rides to/from hotels , (2) accommodation in convenient locations and (3) at least the most important meal – breakfast – is taken care of (especially in the Patagonia area). Your itinerary made sure all the above 3 items were covered, and covered well! Airport rides were right on time. The hotels were per our expectation: kid friendly, conveniently located and excellent staff. We especially liked the hotel in Ushuaia with our balcony overlooking the Beagle channel! We were particularly impressed with the hotel staff who were very considerate in giving us a 2 hour extra time after check out to remain in the room. It was a big help especially with kids before our flight to El Calafate. All the tours went as planned – with great guides and service.
Above all, I thank you for your professionalism – and patience – answering our million questions before the trip. We would not even think twice when we make our plans for Peru next year. I will make sure I spread the good word at Apple where a couple of my colleagues are thinking about trip to Spain and South America. I am sure my wife will do the same in Cisco! I am copying her to see if she has anything to add.
Thanks again for your service,
What an amazing journey to Antarctica with Alta Tours! For me, it was a cross between an unknown adventure and a guided tour. The group was treated to an amazing meal and a briefing, the night before the flight. I appreciated the personal attention to my diet, my need to be outside and the desire to speak with a knowledgeable person about the continent. Our guide Alejo Contreras Staeding is the quintessential expert for a quick trip to Antarctica. He is personable, fun and knows how to stay safe. I found out later how famous he is in the Antarctic world. The wildlife is abundant and interesting. I still dream about what we saw. I don’t want to spoil the surprise with details, but this trip was more than I imagined in a short period. The free time was special, to experience the environment by myself and reflect. My interactions with Eugene at Alta Tours in preparation for the trip were perfect. He handled every question and detail with professionalism and warmth. His knowledge of Patagonia and Chile in general put me at ease. I spent 2 weeks in Chile, after Antarctica and felt welcomed even before I arrived, based on my interactions with Eugene. By the way, flying is a great way to go to Antarctica!
Leilani Henry, daughter of George W. Gibbs, Jr., (the first person of his race to set foot on Antarctica with Admiral Byrd’s III expedition to the South Pole.)
Gail and I, as well as Dick and Wanda Chanda Chadwell, want to send you our sincerest thanks for supplying us with a truly quality package for our trip through Spain. Everything happened like clockwork and your driver/translators and trip planners were pleasant, helpful and most eager to please. All were high quality, mature professionals whose one goal was to supply us with very enjoyable experience. Josu
in particular, couldnt have been more helpful, pleasant and cooperative
The four of us will remember this wonderful trip for a long time thanks
to your great cooperationm skill and fine organization.
Our sincerest thanks,
P.& G. Moloney
D.& W. Chadwell
We have recently come back from Chile where we toured the Lake
District. It was a wonderful experience. Eugenio Ovalle made the
arrangements for us, and they all were outstanding.
The Hotel Carrera in Santiago he booked for us is located downtown in
a very convenient location, and the staff was helpful and the hotel has a lot of old world charm. All the other arrangements for our Lake Crossing were great too. We were picked up at all the places were we
were supposed to be picked up in a timely fashion, and all the people involved were very friendly. The Company that runs the Lake Crossing
also did and outstanding job and the guides were very informative and
accomodating as well. The hotels we stayed at during the Lake Crossing were very good too. Bariloche is a beautiful place and we could have easly spent another day or two there.
We highly recommned this tour,and all the companies involved. If anybody has any questions about the trip we’ll gladly try to answer them. We will also recommend Alta Tours to our friends and if ever we go any place tha Alta Tours Can help us with, we will certainly call
Thanks for Every thing.
Meadow Vista, Ca.
My husband and I are just back from our tour of Chile and Argentina with Kelly Brown ,and we want to thank you for preparing such a thoughtful and interesting itinerary. The sights, hotels and meals were wonderful, the tour guides in each locale were excellent, and Kelly Brown could not have been a better group leader .We saw so much, learned so much and ate and drank so much! It was unforgettable
all the best.
San Francisco, CA
I have to admit I was a little nervous about conducting important business like trip planning over the internet(probably a generation problem), but i just want to let you know that we are most grateful for the outstanding planning that you did to make our trip to Patagonia, Chile so amazing and so perfect. The Hotels were excellent, the guides and travel arrangements for the most part were on time and personable. I appreciated your timeliness in getting back to me over every little question before we left the States. The english capabilities of the guides varied a bit, but we had our fluent Spanih speaking daughter with us to take care of any little troubles that might have caused. We were amazed to be met at each stop just as you said we would. We had an unforgettable experience and when we plan a trip to any of your 5 countries of expertise we definetly plan to give our bussiness to you and to recommend you to others.
The tour company in Patagonia did a great job..friendly and punctual
Thanks again , Very Much
Bonnie and Mike Slobodien
I wanted to send you a follow up to our trip to Spain this Past December. In short it was one of the best trips we have take to Europe. Everything wen well, including the weather. All the arrangements you had made were perfect. I called the emergency number for some help one day and Josu was extremely helpful. He did whatever was necessary and told me not to hesitate to call if I needed anything else. He also helped us book the flamenco show in Madrid.
Let me briefly outline the experiences we had during our trip.
The airport pick up was well arranged. The gentleman was waiting with
a sign with our name and he promptly took us to our hotel. He had a nice minivan so the journey was extremely comfortable.
The Hotels were all very good. We always got rooms next to each other that was very convenient. All the Hotels(except the one in Granada) were located very close to everything we wanted to see.
This was very helpful in sightseeing, coming back to rest for a while, etc. The Hotel in Granada was very nice but we did not like the location as we had to take a taxi to get everywhere. It is right besides the Alhambra which is nice but it is not close to other places.
But really nothing to complain…just thought you might want to know for future travellers.
The train reservations were all perfectly arranged. The AVE is quite
impressive. We had reserved seats on all trains and on the AVE, in each coach there is only one or two areas that have two rows of seats facing each other. On each of our AVE reservations we had
been booked on those seats facing each other and have some family time. On the train from Barcelona to Granada, for some reason we were booked on two separate coaches. That could have been a problem, however fortunately the conductor was able to accomodate a change and assigned us a cabin right next to each other and it even had connecting doors. For future reference, please ensure that the coach number must be the same for each group of travelers.
The quality of the tours was very good. All the private tours were knowledgeable and helpful. I would especially like to complement
Carmen in Granada who gave us the tour of the Alhambra. She had a good sense of humor anf got across all the historical facts in a very
nice manner. Our kids too really enjoyed the tour because of the way
she imparted all the information. In Seville our tour guide arranged for taxis to take us to the Cathedral as it was closing early that day and he even paid for the taxi fares. In Cordoba, the tour guide had us take
a taxi but had to pay for it.
The Toledo bus tour was very convenient. the company representative
pick us up from our Hotel lobby and took us to the main bus terminal where we boarded the bus tour. Toledo is a very beautiful place and i would recommend it to your future travelers. With the kids, the half day tour was plenty as they would have been bored on a full day tour.
I hoped I have covered every aspect of our trip and the detaisl I have given you might be helpful for your future clients. I want to once again
thank you for the perfect arrangements you made and please send my
thank tou to Josu also. Ever since we have come back we have been telling our friends to make a trip to Spain and I will happy to recommend your services to all of them You certainly ensured that our trip was comfortable and enjoyable
Did anyone get back to you to tell you how much
we enjoyed the trip to Chile.
The accomodations were all fantastic. What a beautiful
country with such charming people (I am ready to go back)
We all stayed healthy and Happy.Liked it all- weather was good-mild
Thanks for helping to make the trip so memorable.
We walked to all of our destinations from there. We highly recommend Pizzeria Mario C/. Sta Maria La Blanca #15 Tel 954-41-67 75. The Pizzas we had there were better than any we had in Italy. The Hotels in Lisbon and Madrid were also nice.Overall we really enjoyed our trip. Thanks
Kazumi and Mario
We just returned from our trip to Spain & Morocco. We had a marvelous time on Spain thanks to you. The hotels and the tours were outstanding. Thanks for your help im making our trip so enjoyable and memorable. Please pass on our thanks to your office in Madrid for their
excellent tour guides.
Dave & Judy Beggs
Hi Eugenio-The Trip was wonderful. My brothers and I all had a great
time! It was a very good mix of hotels and locations. Also, the Inca
Trail hike was excellent. We were so lucky to have absolutely No Rain !
I will definitely recommend your travel agency to anyone I know who is Planning a trip to South America or Spain/Portugal. Thanks for all your help
I have been meaning to send you a Thank You Card.
We LOVED the trip! Everything you planned for us was perfect. The tango Show was fantastice and Iwill never forget the experience of being so close to the wild life.
People were very nice to us and we enjoyed using our 10 words of Spanish and they enjoyed practicing their English.
I hope we can plan another South American trip with you sometime in the future.
Thank you for a wonderful time.
Just wanted to send you an e-mail to thank you for organizing our wonderful trip to Argentina. We truly enjoyed everything and everything went like clock work. It never ceased to amaze us how diverse a country can be both in climate, culture and landscapes!
We are not city lovers but even Buenos Aires was fascinating, particularly our final tour we did called the Tigre Tour. Would recommend that one to anyone who visits BA. It concluded with an hour long boat ride in the delta area which was fascinating.
El Calafate was one of the many highlights and the accommodation we landed up in was wonderful. So pleased that the lovely lady at the your office suggested that we change locations. It was an easy walk in to town and the young owners of Rebelde couldn’t have been nicer. I hope that Alta Tours recommends their lovely house to many more visitors! The glaciers were spectacular and the girls loved Perito Merino in particular.
Highlights at Ushuaia, (apart from it being light almost for 24 hours!) was our boat trip out passed the lighthouse and sea lions and cormorant islands to the penguin island. That was a 6 hour trip that was worth every penny!
Iguazu Falls were all that the guide books say. It was absolutely awesome! We would loved to have had 2 full days there and returned to BA the 3rd. morning but I know that flights prevented that. The hotel was such a friendly place and we felt we were back in Africa with all the sounds of the night!
All-in-all, it was a wonderful 2 weeks and if you would like us to talk to anybody about our experiences, please do pass on our names.
I just wanted to tell you that the arrangements you made for us in Spain worked out beautifully. In particular, the drivers were an enormous help for us. They were always early or on time, friendly, and very professional. It made traveling with 7 people very easy. Also, the tour guides, David, James, and Roberto (he was a substitute for the regular guide in Granada) were fantastic. We learned so much and they too were so nice and very professional.
The hotels were lovely and well located. The train rides were alot of fun. It was very reassuring to have Aurora’s number on hand to use in an emergency. All in all, a great trip.
We’ve meant to get in touch with you about our Portugal trip, and I apologize for the delay.
We were very pleased with all aspects of the trip. The hotels you chose were excellent, with very good breakfasts and helpful service. Joanne took a short fall at the Hotel Quinta da Bela Vista, and a nearby room service staff person and the hotel manager couldn’t have been more helpful and caring. We especially enjoyed the New Year’s Eve gala dinner at the same hotel, and the view of Funchal’s New Year’s fireworks from the hotel grounds was a high point of our trip.
The transfers to and from the Funchal and Lisbon airports were excellent. In each case the person providing transportation was either waiting for us at the airport terminal or was early for our hotel pickup. We also found our tours in Madeira to be very good. The full day tour to Santana did not include lunch, and that resulted in my eating apart from the rest of the tour (Joanne missed that tour due to her fall). I would rather have paid for lunch and joined the group at the restaurant. All tour restaurants provided excellent food, drink and service. The tours in Lisbon were not quite as good as those in Madeira, maybe in part because the guides had to speak in multiple languages for varied nationalities. In one tour the guide had to speak four languages.
We ate at three of the Lisbon restaurants you recommended and Restaurant Tripeiro in Porto, where we had a nice lunch. The Lisbon restaurants were all excellent. Our favorite was Restaurant Tavares, where we had a wonderful dinner, with food and service as good as we’ve had anywhere in the world. We had dinner at Restaurant Martinho da Arcada, where the staff was extremely helpful and the food and wine excellent. We were able to walk to Gambrinus, and again the food, wine and service were excellent. By the way, the night tour of Madeira with dinner and folk dancing was also very good.
All in all we enjoyed our experience in Portugal very much. I think it is one of the (if not the) most comfortable, friendly countries we’ve visited. We always felt safe, and the cab drivers and anyone we asked for assistance were very courteous and helpful.
We would be pleased to recommend a trip to Madeira/Portugal to anyone, and your hotel, tour and restaurant recommendations were top notch. Thank you for a job very well done!
I’ve been meaning to write you ever since we came home from Chile and Antarctica . Our vacation was a 5-star one. All four of us loved our whole trip. It made a big impact on the kids as well as Ricardo and me, and will have a front spot in our memory banks!
Thank you for helping me figure out an itinerary and then for arranging every detail of our airport pick-ups and deliveries, our tours, hotels, etc. Our trip was as smooth as could be. And the weather was amazingly cooperative except for our time in Chiloe where it poured rain the whole time. I grimaced when I saw we had a 6am pick-up from Rio Serrano Hotel in Torres del Paine, but the sunrise we saw was so exquisite I was happy about getting up so early! By the way, the Rio Serrano gave us amazing views which we never would have had if we’d stayed at the Hotel T de P so I’m glad the latter was full!
We are back and we had a wonderful time! Thank you so much for all of your help. All of the tour guides were terrific and the drivers were all on time and very pleasant. The car ended up being too small for our luggage so we had 3 of our bags forwarded from Granada to Seville . That worked out fine. We enjoyed all of the cities tremendously. The girls’ favorite was Seville . We also enjoyed all of the hotels. I particularly appreciated the locations, very convenient, and in the case of Southern Spain , within steps of all of the action. The only hotel that I didn’t love was the one in Cordoba . While the hotel was very lovely and had a great location, I found the hotel to be very understaffed and very unfriendly(Hotel Amistad). There was almost a depressing feeling there. The staff and the Alhambra Palace hotel were awesome, very friendly and helpful, particularly around sending our luggage out.
The train was an experience. The only problem we had is that 4 out of the 5 of us could not sleep at all. But, the service and accommodations were nice (for a train!).
Thanks so much.
I got back on Wednesday from Spain and I just wanted to tell you how amazing the trip was. We loved every hotel you picked for us, as well as your suggestions for restaurants,tour sites, etc. From the hotels, to the car service, the tour guides, etc., everything was smooth as could be. The tour we had, especially in Madrid and Toledo was outstanding. I never met someone with so much knowledge of the history and art of Spanish culture. I brought home her business card- I will send you her name.
We enjoyed spending the time with our daughter in Seville – they were thrilled to go our for dinner with us to Modesto and go see a Flamenco show. She’s having a great experience in Seville- Our hotel was next door to the University – it was incredible to see where she was studying.
Thanks again for your comprehensive and detailed itinerary – – it was really helpful. It was truly a trip we will never forget.
We’ll be sure to contact you for future vacations!
Enjoy the rest of your summer.
Debbie & Steve
Eugenio, the trip on the Belle de Cadix was terrific. In all the cruises I have taken, both ocean going and river, I have never had a friendlier crew or better meals.The meals were not only delicious, they were beautifully presented. Everything was terrific. The cabins were nice, not extremely spacious, but very useable. The bathrooms were well appointed. They had gel soap, but no shampoo so advise your customers that want shampoo to bring theirs. The side trips were a lot of fun and the guides were very good. The main language was French,but the tour director and the chief purser spoke English and were very helpful. There were only two other Americans on board, but there was a large group of British tourists, as well as a couple from South Africa. We enjoyed getting to know them. The entertainment every night was fun. We especially loved the Portuguese dancers and the Spanish flamenco night. The show presented by the crew was hilarious. There was dancing every night. The pool was small, but refreshing and the deck chairs were plentiful and comfortable. Thanks for arranging the trip. It was a good choice for our group’s varied ages.
Alicia and Lauren Weil
We are back from our trip to Spain and had a wonderful time. The tour was well organized and we got to see everything we wanted. The guide was helpful and made the trip fun and interesting. The hotels were great as well and meals were delicious! Thank you for booking the extra hotel room in Barcelona and the train tickets. Everything went smoothly and we enjoyed our trip.
Thanks again! We would definately recommed Alta Tours to our friends in the future!
CHILE WINE TRIP
We had a great time and the people you set us up with did a fabulous job. First class resorts.
The tours of the wineries were unbelievable. Incredible capital going into Chile for construction of all these wineries.
I can’t wait to go back again and see more of Chile.
Excellent Job !!
We just came back from Argentina-Brazil and I would like to express my
appreciation for the well prepared trip: everything went very smooth,
all guides (Olga, Gabriel, Eleonora)
were very friendly and very helpful. All this made our trip very enjoyable
Thank you very much to you, representatives and our Russian
speaking guides !
SPAIN BUS TOUR
WE’RE BACK FROM OUR TRIP AND WE ENJOYED IT VERY MUCH. ONE OF THE BEST THINGS ABOUT THE TRIP WAS THAT WE WERE WITH PEOPLE FROM MANY DIFFERENT COUNTRIES.
THERE WERE PEOPLE FROM PUERTO RICO, PANAMA, BRAZIL, SINGAPORE, MALAYSIA, AUSTRAILIA, SWITZERLAND, MEXICO AND OF COURSE SPAIN AND PORTUGAL. WE WERE THE ONLY ONES FROM THE UNITED STATES, BUT IT LENT GREAT FLAVOR TO THE TRIP.
MY ONLY SUGGESTION IS THAT YOU TELL PROSPECTIVE TOURISTS TO TAKE AT LEAST ONE EXTRA DAY IN MADRID. IT’S A VERY IMPORTANT PART OF A TRIP TO SPAIN AND YOU ONLY GET A SHORT PANORAMIC TOUR BY BUS OF THE CITY. ONE OF THE HIGH-LIGHTS OF MADRID IS THE WORLD FAMOUS PRADO MUSEUM AND IT’S NOT TO BE MISSED. WE WERE LUCKY IN THAT WE HAD 2 EXTRA DAYS IN MADRID SO WE WERE ABLE TO GET TO THE PRADO.
WE ALSO TOOK A TRIP TO SEGOVIA AND AVILA. THEY ARE MAGNIFICENT CITIES AND WORTH STAYING IN SPAIN EXTRA DAYS TO VISIT.
OTHER THAN THE LIMITED TIME THE 12 DAY TOUR PROVIDES OF MADRID, WE CAN ONLY SAY BRAVO! A WONDERFUL TOUR, GREAT GUIDES, AND TERRIFIC DRIVERS.
Claire & Eugenio, I wanted to say thanks for our wonderful vacation in Spain. All the drivers who provided transportation and tour guides were there when they were supposed to be. The tour guides were very knowledgeable and friendly and we loved all our walking tours. The hotels were all great, too.
We returned last weekend from the marvellous trip you put together for us. All went very smoothly and, apart from one delayed flight from BA to Iguazu (not uncommon I gather), we had no problems. The weather was very kind and we have thousands of photos between the four of us. Our sons really enjoyed themselves and we loved the diversity, beauty and interest every stop had to offer.
The people were particularly kind and helpful and we really liked them. Our guide, Christopher, from Aquas Grandes in Iguazu, was just superb.
If you need any further information from me, don’t hesitate to ask.
All the best for the New Year
Yes, we have recovered. We had the most wonderful time. Alta was just GREAT with everything that I experienced.
Our hotels were wonderful. I really loved each and every one. The Alhambra Palace was the most luxurious, but each of the others had beautiful large rooms and large bathroom s and balconies. The hotel in Seville was the most “charming” with all the courtyards and plants. The Parador had a spectacular view; however, we were extremely disappointed with our meal at their restaurant. It was our most expensive and the food was NOT GOOD and we had a snooty waiter. I was really sorry for that.
I would love to compliment the guides and drivers. The vans were all large and clean and air conditioned and really just perfect for five or six. We had plenty of room for luggage. All our guides were excellent, but several were outstanding. Blanca, our guide in Madrid and Toledo was just about perfect. She was so informative and had such a wonderful personality. She would make a wonderful dinner guest!!! Duke gave her a great big hug as well as a big tip at the end. Our guide and driver from Malaga to Tangiers and back, Juan, was a riot. We enjoyed him very much and he was VERY helpful in boarding the ferry and getting passports checked…. In fact, he took them and filled out all the forms for us. We didn’t have to do a thing but walk through! He had such a great personality. He was telling us about his experiences with Italian tour buses and Russian tourists…. Such funny stories. When we asked him to tell us what was most characteristic of the Americans he drove he said in a slow “Billy Bob” drawl…. “Can you turn up the air conditioner?!?!” Carlanda had been saying that to the drivers the two previous days and we all burst into laughter. We were turned over to a Moroccan guide in the city; we were told he was the head of the local guide association. He was very good. The lunch in the restaurant in Tangiers was lovely. The food was good, the room lovely, and the musicians skilled. Of course we were taken to see the “handicrafts” and ended up buying rugs, caftans, table cloths, etc. Our tour guides in Cordoba, Malaga, and Barcelona were very, very good. They adjusted the tours to our likes and preferences….. Really very good asset. (If there is a way to let Alta know, please do.)
We LOVED the train from Granada to Barcelona. We all slept. The cabins were a bit tight but well appointed and our full bathrooms made some I have seen on cruise ships seem small. The dinner was delightful…. Much better than I had feared. The dining car was very inviting and the waiter cheerful. We were treated to a glass of Spanish bubbly as we waited in the car for the train to leave the station. They didn’t start serving until we were moving. We each got mini bottles of wine with our meals and our meals were all very good. Of course…. We had had a three hour cocktail break at the Alhambra Palace after our tour while waiting for the transfer to the train.. by the way it was a small train station, the train was sitting on the first track and we just walked right on. Anyway, maybe our happy mood and great sleep had something to do with our satisfaction. None of us was hung over in the morning however.
I would recommend Alta for others of your clients to use.
TALE OF TWO CITIES BUS TOUR
I wanted to let you know that I spoke with our cllients about their Tale of Two Cities tour and they were very happy. They especially complimented the tour guide and they enjoyed the rest of the group very much.
Thank you for doing such a wonderful job. Thank you also for sending the commission payment so promptly. I don’t believe I have ever received a payment so quickly!
I will be strongly recommending your services to other agents.
Thank you so much,
Fly Me to the Moon Travel
WINE TRIP TO CHILE
Just got back yesterday and can hardly wait to go again.
What a lovely place Chile is and what a brilliant future it has! We were so overwhelmed by the rapid progress that is being made. New housing and new freeways everywhere … even construction on a Sunday!
Juan Zapata and Luis Bahamondes our guides were terrific. They filled us in on everything we wanted to know. The wineries they had selected were great. We also learned a lot about Chilean history with the visit to the museum in Colchagua and the El Huique Hacienda.
Our accommodations in the Colchagua Valley and Vina Del Mar , where charming, with delicious food. Ah yes! The wines.they were good
Our experience was just perfect because Alta thought of everything. You even sent guides and maps. In short, you anticipated our needs and provided resources for every detail of our trip. We travel quite a bit, but our comfort, physical and psychological, has never been so thoroughly prepared.
We had a super time. Thank you for making it all possible.
ARGENTINA & CHILE TRIP
Dear Eugenio, We enjoyed our trip immensely. It was better than we could have imagined. The food was superb at all the locations. We also thought you picked good neighborhoods and central locations for us in the cities.
Our guides were on time to meet us and it was great having all the help with that much luggage. Bernardo in Santiago was very knowledgeable and a good person to hang out with. We are very pleased. I hope you have received our thank you note for the wine and flowers. Thank you,
Thank you so much for your help in booking our trip to Peru. Melinda, Rachel, and I enjoyed it immensely. The trip you arranged for us made it so easy to get around and relax. We especially liked Cuzco – between the private tour to Ollantaytambo, the wonderful, beautiful hotel, and the great scenery – we couldn’t stop ourselves from saying repeatedly, we love Cuzco!
Thanks again! Happy New Year!
Thank you for coordinating our honeymoon trip to Argentina. Todd and I had a great time!. All of the drivers and guides were efficient and punctual. We appreicated the services and will definitely recommend your services to our friends.
Todd & Melanie Stuckey
Mare Australis Cruise:
Just a note to let you know that the trip went very well once we were able to reach Buenos Aires.
The guides were all wonderful, the hotels were nice, the tours well planned and informative and the cruise was more than I could have hoped for!
We were well taken care of and loved it all! Many, many thanks to you for your assistance in planning this wonderful vacation. I will most likely be using you in the future for a trip to Spain!
Thanks again for a GREAT vacation!
I could not have been happier with your arrangements!
Bobbi and Erin
Spain & Portugal Bus Tour
We had an amazing time! The tour was well planned and everything went smoothly. I think our favorite time was 3 nights in Lisbon- it is beautiful there and we had plenty of time to relax and enjoy the city. Everything else seemed to go too fast. None of us enjoyed the trip to Fatima and I wish we’d have skipped it and slept in that day.
Getting up so early everyday started to take a toll on all of us.
Costa Del Sol was beautiful and I could have stayed there for a week!
Our favorite hotel was Los Angeles in Granada. Absolutely perfect. If you are interested, I posted reviews for each hotel at tripadvisor.com.
It was nice to have the 3 nights added on at the end to just relax before traveling again. The airport transfer was seemless and they even had a booster seat ready in the van for my 4 year old.
It was a great trip and we made lots of memories with the kids. Even though the tour was exhausting at times and we all got tired of getting back on the bus, I know we saw and learned much more than we would have on our own. When we were on our own time we tended to spend too much time sitting at the outdoor cafes drinking cervezas and cafe con leche.
Thanks for all of your efforts.
I’ll attach a picture of the 8 of us in Cordoba.
Thank you so much for arranging a fantastic anniversary trip for us to Peru. In spite of the country-wide strike that provided a little excitement for our last day in the country, we had a fabulous time. Your representaive in Peru was exceptional, and everything worked perfectly for every transfer and tour.
You planned the ideal itinerary and the hotels were absolutely the best. The MONASTERIO in Cusco was the best of the best, and they greeted us with an anniversary cake and upgrade to a bi-level suite. That was certainly unexpected but much appreciated! The guides were knowledgeable, pleasant to spend time with, and provided just the right amount of information about the sites.
We can’t thank you enough for making this trip turn out so well for us. We certainly will call on you again!
Karen and Jim Kantor
CHILE & PERU TRIP
Hi Eugenio, Just want to let you know that my family and I had a very good first trip to Chile and Peru. Thanks for making all the arrangements. Your representatives in Chile & Peru were very good . Very responsible and organized. The drivers and guides are always on time and very friendly.
We enjoyed the restaurants in Lima. La Dama Juana has a terrific performance of folk dances of Peru, and the buffet dinner was good too. Alfresco, on the other hand, offers some really nice seafood dishes.
BTW, we were lucky to run into some really nice weather in Chile too.
Thank you so much for your assistance with our itinerary to Peru. Our guide service was professional and informative. My whole family enjoyed the trip so much! I will certainly recommend Alta Tours to everyone.
Thank you again,
Yes, we had a great trip. We found the lodgings all excellent, the people we met all genuinely hospitable, and the country quite beautiful and interesting. With respect to our guides were all superb, whether our guides or working for affiliated firms in Iguassu and Bariloche, both informative and fun to be with and come to know a little bit: Eugenia Felizia in BA, Maria Leal Prono In Iguassu, and sadly I forget the name in Bariloche, Martha… We were quite spoiled by their attention. The Melia Recoleta in BA we highly recommend: an intimate hotel with an excellent location immediately behind the Alvear Palace, an incredibly cordial and helpful staff, and very comfortable accommodations. We walked everywhere from there (and were glad not to be in Palermo Soho, which while charming, would have been a hike to everything). Although the Sheraton Iguassu was a bit predictable, and the food, “national park fare”, the staff was uniformly hospitable and helpful and the hotel very comfortable (and its location overlooking the falls trumps everything). Send clients to Aqua restaurant in Iguassu City for dinner. It is hard to find enough superlatives for Cavas Wine Lodge. I don’t think we’ve ever been in as delightful an inn—you are pampered from the moment you arrive, every need or desire anticipated (as well as needs and desires you didn’t know you had). As an example, we didn’t arrive at the hotel until 11:30pm (flight delays). The driver was there waiting for us at the airport. When arrived at the hotel to find that they had set a candlelight dinner for us in front of the fire in the hotel’s living room, drinks waiting for us and the kitchen open just for us. By the way, the food at Cavas was the best by far of anywhere on the trip, including highly touted restaurants in BA and elsewhere. The proprietors (who could not have been more charming or accomodating) on down to the bellmen made you feel as if your arrival was the highlight of their day.
Hotel Llao Llao was magnificent in a supremely beautiful setting, an oasis away from the somewhat tacky bustle of Bariloche itself (Villa Angostura is a much more appealing town on the other side of the lake, but doesn’t have the Llao Llao). The food was a bit pretentious for what it was, but everything else about the hotel was superb. We left with regret.
Thanks again for your help. It was a memorable trip.
INDEPENDENT TRIP TO SPAIN
It has been hectic since I have been back. We had a wonderful time and everything went perfectly. Loved all the hotels, well located. The people at your office in Spain were very helpful. It was great knowing that if I had any issues to take care of, I had a contact person. I was impressed when I received a call from Javier to welcome us and give me a 24 hour # if we have any problems. The guide in Barcelona was terrific. Very knowledgeable and very pleasant.
By the way, The hotel in Seville- The Imperial was one of my favorite. It was charming and the staff could not have been nicer. I felt like I was in a private home. I would recommend it to anyone. Location was great too! The only problem that we had, was that the day that was allocated for us to spend at El Escorial and The Valley of the Fallen ( the extra day in Avila) was on Monday- the day that all the sites are closed. Fortunately, I realized that the day before and we went there on the way to Avila. We only needed 1 night in Avila, but had 2 ( in order to go to see those sites.). Other than that, all worked well.
Thanks for all your help and patience in making this a very memorable vacation.
Hi, Eugenio– Hope all is well! Overall, we had a SPECTACULAR time. It was fabulous. Thank you so much for all of your hard work. You successfully met our needs and budget. The car transport was seamless. Everyone arrived on time and got us to our destinations in an efficient manner.
The Esplendor Calafate was amazing!!!!
We had a great time in Peru. Your operator on site is the best. The tour guides were very, very nice, although some definitely spoke better English than others. My husband just loved the fact that we were picked up and escorted through all the airports and driven to the hotels. When you think about it, having that service saves so much time and worry.
However, I do have a few thoughts for you.
We loved everything we saw—the city tours, the Sacred Valley, and we were so glad we stayed the extra day in Machu Picchu. We climbed up to the Sun Gate one day and up Wayna Picchu the other day. Also, we did appreciate the times you planned the extra two lunches and the two dinners. They both made the travel easier and they were at places it would have been hard to find restaurants on our own. Although, we did find out later that Agua Calientes had many, many restaurants, so we could have found one instead of eating at our Hotel. We did love having the breakfast planned every morning also.
I would certainly call you again on my next trip to South America, Eugenio, and I would certainly recommend you to my friends. As far as the hotels you have to warn your clients that first class in Peru is not the same as in the United States
Thanks ever so much, Eugenio, and have a great Thanksgiving.
I had a great time in Peru. Everybody from your affiliate in Peru, was professional, knowledgeable, and friendly. I highly recommend their service (in fact, I already told a couple of friends about your website).
I did have a little incident with altitude the first day in Cusco. But everybody was helpful and I was much better the very next day. It was my fault that I didn’t rest enough (one hour was not enough to get used to the altitude. But I was eager to walk around town before city tour started). But, even that was a great experience!
Thank you so much for all your help. I will definitely use your service again when I am ready to go to Chile!
Hi Eugene!! Sorry for not getting back to you sooner, we had a great time in Argentina! You can count on us for a recommendation! The services of your affiliate in Argentina were very good and the guides were excellent. We were picked up from the airports and they would always outline the tours we were scheduled for and when they would be picking us up! You did an excellent job with the arrangements and the hotels were exactly what we wanted. Loved the one in Mendoza, Mar del Plata and the Arts Hotel in Buenos Aires. If we have a chance to come back to Argentina we will spend more time exploring the Mendoza region and Salta area. We also loved Bariloche. We would also like to travel in Chile. I feel very fortunate to have traveled in South America and my husband will be returning. Thanks again, I consider myself very fortunate to have fouund your services on the internet.
COLORS OF SPAIN BUS TOUR
Dear Mr Ovalle ! I have just returned from Spain where I took the “Colors of Spain tour “. I would like to let you know that I have thouroughly enjoyed it , and was very satisfied with the services of your affiliate, beginning to end. I would like to note the excellent service of the tour guide Mr Thomas. many thanks and if I go back to Spain I will be happy to book another tour. Sincerely
Easter Island & San Pedro de Atacama trip
Sorry for the delay in getting back to you but I want to thank you for coordinating our trip to Atacama and Rapa Nui. First, Awasi was awesome, as they say. The rooms were spacious, elegantly furnished, and private. The meals were well prepared and I am sure the finest cuisine to be found anywhere in northern Chile. The best, however, were the guides and tours – private, helpful. prompt, flexible, knowledgable, and comprehensive. I suggest you recommend Awasi to anyone going to San Pedro. The connections in Santiago were flawless. The Explora in Rapa Nui was the equivalent of Awasi there but the rooms were smaller and a bit more sparse. There really is no other option now but I see a couple new hotels under construction. Nevertheless, the meals at Explora were simply great. How they were able to put together such haute cuisine in that far off place is remarkable. We were fortunate to have private tours everyday and for the most part the guides were helpful and accomodating. The hotel manager – Giovanna – is a real sweetheart. Our hotel choices were tops and it was a great trip without any problems. Thanks for everything .
TASTE OF SPAIN BUS TOUR
We had a great time on our Spain trip. All hotels had a very good location and food was good. The motor coach service was very good and on time.
MADRID, SEVILLE, GRANADA & BARCELONA TRIP.
Hi Eugenio, Gale and I had a wonderful trip to Spain. All the transfers went smoothly. Both personal guides were informative and interesting. The hotels were perfect. Both in the central of the cities and of high quality. We loved Spain. I will go back one day and I will also recommend you to my friends.
Of course, you may use us as a reference. You have been very fair and insightful. When things did not work as well as expected, we really appreciated your open mind, suppport and advocacy to rectify the situation in every way. You know the countries and their hotels and restaurants so well, from first hand experience, which is rare today. I understand that people need to feel secure about providers they find on the internet; we’ll make them feel comfortable about working with you.
Tell Pamela that I am getting rave reviews about my new sandals from Buenos Aires(Turpin, right above Sottovoce). My friends are so disappointed that they can’t get them in the US. They’ll have to book a trip there with you.
I just finished reading Isabel Alllende’s “”House of Spirits.” The wedding in the book was many years ago but was similar in many ways to the wedding ceremony we attended in Santiago.
Hope your trip to Spain went well.
Susan and Larry Ring
INKA TRAIL EXCURSION
Eugenio, Our trip to Peru was a complete success thanks to you and your affiliate in Peru. Our guide, Jose, is a remarkable man. I don’t know which was greater – his knowledge of Peruvian history, his stamina in hiking all those trails with us or his ever present concern for our welfare and well being. We had a three week vacation crammed into seven days. It was truly memorable and one of the most exciting vacations we had. Thank you for your help and please convey our appreciation for Jose to your office in Peru. If we ever need a travel agent for South America or the Iberian pennisula, we will think of you. Sincerely, Millen
EASTER ISLAND TRIP
Eugenio, Thanks for your e-mail We arrived in Atlanta this morning. Juan, from your affiliate met us in the Airport and helped us at the hotel to check in early. The Holiday Inn had fruit and Champaign waiting for us in our room. A thank you to your affiliate. (We think.) The Holiday Inn was excellent and located in a perfect spot. Juan did a good job with our wine tour and our city tour. We did not know to tip the driver for our Santiago Tours. We thought the driver worked for Juan, and tipped Juan more to share with his driver. At the end of the city tour Sunday, Juan corrected us. A little embarrassing. On Easter Island, we tipped both. We always try not to be “Ugly Americans”. The Chilean people are wonderful and they like Americans. We picked the perfect South American country to visit and Easter Island is a spectacular part of Chile. We took U. S. currency for our Reciprocity Fee and unless the bills are perfect, Chile will not accept them for this fee. We used American Express. They also accept VISA and Master Card. Hotel Otai was in a great location. We had a few minor problems in the beginning, but our neighbor jumped right on them and fixed everything. He turned out to be a partner in the hotel. Wow, what luck! A very nice person. Your affiliate in Easter Island did a fine job with the transfers and guided tours. Instead of a “box lunch” we had a fantastic home cooked meal at Maria’s. We all enjoyed this very much. Thank you mucho for booking one of our very best vacations. We will recommend you to everyone. It was a wonderful 43rd wedding anniversary thanks to you. And, lets not forget, it was also a fabulous Father’s Day!
Jack and Judy Griffis
I just wanted to let you know that we loved every minute of our trip! Our tour guide was fantastic, and hotel wonderful, and all the connections went well. We are back in the airport in Santiago, and I couldn’t wait to contact you.
Thank you so much for your patience with our various requests, and setting up such a wonderful vacation for us all. Please feel free to use our names for references!
NORTHERN SPAIN BUS TOUR
Sorry If I haven’t gotten back to you sooner, I’ve been staying later at work to catch up from my vacation. We had a wonderful time we really love the trip across Northern Spain, the sites were beautiful and interesting. We covered a lot of territory and it was lots of fun. We specially enjoyed all the optional tours they were insightfull. Everyone was very polite and wonderful.
All ready I am sending the info of the tour to two of my friends
EASTER ISLAND TRIP
Thank you for following up with me. My trip to Easter Island was incredible. It was an experience I will remember for the rest of my life. Not only was the island beautiful, but the services Alta Tours provided ran smoothly. I can’t thank you enough for making this trip possible for me. I will definitely (and have already) recommended Alta Tours to people.
Thank you again! Hopefully one day I can plan another trip with you!
TALE OF TWO CITIES ESCORTED BUS TOUR
My folks and I had the most exciting time of our lives! This was the greatest vacation package I have ever signed on for! The services provided by AltaTours and your affiliate in Spain were always punctual and explained things very well. I did not want to come back home! Spain and Portugal were such beautiful places, and so were the Hotels that you booked for us. I enjoyed the Royal Palace in Madrid, as well as all the Cathedrals, sights, sounds, food and people. The people were all polite, cultured, and so very quiet! So different from New York! I loved Lisbon, The Tower of Belem, San Jeronimos, and I really wanted to tear up my return ticket home! What I liked about the package was that it was for 6 days. All the other companies were booking tours for 8-15 days, which is impossible for an American to get that much vacation time, especially in this economy. This was perfect for me. Thank you so much Eugenio! I have recommended your company to all of my friends and family. Eugenio, if you have a boss, TELL YOUR MANAGER THAT I THINK HE/SHE SHOULD DOUBLE YOUR SALARY for the excellent job you have done! Thanks!
TORRES DEL PAINE & SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA ADVENTURE
Dear Eugenio: Thank you for a rewarding and well executed trip. You and Danielle did a good job. I would recommend Las Torres and Hotel Kimal to anyone. Dinner at both restaurants was consistently good. The guide and driver staff did a good job, and were always timely. Chile is a GREAT trip for just about anyone! Aside from the actual traveling, we had a really great time. Anyone interested in antique shopping MUST stop in at the Antigua mall building in Santiago. With 60 shops all in one place it is a treasure trove of neat old things, in all price ranges, better than the antique district in Buenos Ares I believe. Maria, our guide, had never even been there, so I think it is off the beaten tourist track and a great place to shop, something worth mentining to other clients as a lesser-known attraction. The only thing I gave a “B” rating to was the dinner-show. OK for a fun evening but food was so-so and only 2/3’s of the entertainment was enjoyable.
SHORE EXCURSION BUENOS AIRES & SANTIAGO
Good morning, Eugenio. We just got back yesterday morning from our trip. Everything went extremely well. All our group was very pleased with the services you arranged for us and everything went as planned. I got a lot of credit for the great service, but, I did remind them that you made the arrangements with the providers and did a great job.
The pickups were on time, the Tango Show was great, and the trip to Iguazu Falls was unforgettable. We had a great guide in Valparaiso and we stopped at Casa Botha in Casablanca for lunch on the way to Santiago. Although everytihing was closed for the election and no liquor, Mr. Botha had hesitation to serve us wine and beer with our lunch. So, if you arranged that, you did a great job. The food was excellent, too. It was a very nice day. They picked us up at the boat at 9:00 and dropped us at the hotel at 7:00 p.m. They took very good care of us, too. The wine guide to Concha y Toro was very knowledgeable and stayed with us all the way to the airport, making sure we got in the right place, etc.
It was the same for Buenos Aires, all on time and took very good care of us. The only comment would be (and this is not a complaint as our group is very good travelling and they don’t complain unless it is justified) is that the Art Hotel in Buenos Aires was a little cramped. The rooms were small, but none complained as they were clean and the hotel was well situated. That is more important than the size of the rooms. All in all we give you and your agency an A for all you did to set this up for us and and the tour operators you selected. Thank you, you made me look good. It is always a little stressful when your travelling companions look to you when you have made the arrangements. Thanks again. Lyle
CHILE & ARGENTINA TRIP
Yes we got back on the 27th as planned. All the guides your affiliates assigned to us were great. We really enjoyed the trip. The Hotels were all good, we really liked the Hyatt in Mendoza. In addition to being a very nice hotel with multiple restaurants, it is situated across from Independence Plaza and close to shops, and more restaurants.
We enjoyed the wine tours, all quite different and very interesting. The best meal (steak) and dulce de leche we had was at the Ruca Malen winery in Mendoza. We also loved the beef we had at La Cabrera in the Palermo Soho district of Buenos Aries.
The most spectacular views were at Iguassu Falls. We ended up doing the Great Adventure boat ride the following morning, not enough time after the train / hike to the Devil’s Throat. The boat ride was exhilarating and of course we were completely soaked. We also got soaked walking to the falls the first day as well, because it poured down rain.
Again, we really enjoyed the trip.
Gary & Sylvia
Easter Island trip
How are you? I am sorry it took so long for me to write you and let you know that my colleague Jacqueline Pradel and I, have really enjoyed our visit to Easter Island. Jackie had a fall and broke some ribs before we got to the Island, and I caught a bad cold but we still visited the whole island which is so beautiful and our guide Mr. Matua was very nice, please let his company know that we we very pleased with his work. He gave us the history of the island and told us where to get our souvenirs or meals and we really enjoyed his company. The hotel was very clean and comfortable and we had a real good time during our visit. We will recommend your company to our clients in the future. Again, we thank you for your kind consideration and appreciate your courtesy. Have a great week! All the best,
Iguazu Ecological Excursion
The Iguazu Falls Ecological Tour was excellent!! We really enjoyed our four days there. Of course the Falls were spectacular and we enjoyed the trails, train ride,and all the various views of the Falls. And believe it or not, we enjoyed the “tyrolese” and the “Abseiling” activities. The latter was another excuse to get cool and wet on a hot day. Our guide, Gabriela Andrea Ravelo, was wonderful. We enjoyed meeting her and she exceeded our expectations. The second two day experience at the Yacutinga Lodge and it’s sub-tropical jungle was a fantastic experience, and also exceeded our expectations. The lodge itself was spectacular including the wonderful meals. The hiking in the jungle and the kayaking on the rivers were great and educational, specifically with our guide, Naza. We enjoyed meeting her as well as the owner, Carlos. They are doing a wonder job of preserving the jungle environment. Thank you again for helping us arrange this tour.
Bob & Ellen
Easter Island Excursion
Eugenio, Sorry I haven’t replied before. We went on a several week cruise from Santiago after returning from Easter Island. The trip to Easter Island was fabulous. Our hotel/resort was quite nice and beautifully situated close to the ocean. Our guides were very knowledgeable and gave us the history of the island and took us to all the important locations of the moai. We explored some on our own and found the island to be fascinating and very much a natural wonder. Thank you for your help in arranging a really fantastic trip.
Our custom, 2 week tour of Chile started with a flight from Santiago to Punta Arenas in late April, 2010. We stayed one night in Punta Arenas and then were taken in a private van to Las Torres Hotel in Torres del Paine National Park. Here we enjoyed 4 nights and 5 days as guests on the all-inclusive plan. The Torres del Paine is one of the most beautiful places on earth and we appreciated the opportunity to see it on several guided walks.
Next, we flew from Punta Arenas to Puerto Montt, where we picked up our rental car and drove to Puerto Varas. Puerto Varas was our base in the Lake District of Chile. We did have one day of guided fly fishing on the Petrohue River. Our next stop was Pucon . We had a day hike in Huerquehue National Park where we only met a few other hikers. Chillan, our next stop is a pleasant city with an incredible market. If you want to experience a place with no tourism industry and a good look at “real life” in Chile, this is it. We loved our two days in the Colchagua Valley during the grape harvest. This area had seen quite a bit of damage from the earthquake, but was making real progress in re-building. We drove to Valparaiso for a totally different perspective…a lovely but faded seaport full of art and good restaurants. Our last stop on our 1,000 kilometer road trip was Santiago where we stayed in the Providencia neighborhood. Driving in Chile was very easy, especially on the Pan American Highway. This is a great way to sample the richness of Chile!
Thanks again for all your help. I’m not sure when, but we want to go back to S. America. We will be calling you!
SOUTH PACIFIC TRIP
Good Afternoon Eugenio, So sorry I haven’t replied sooner ! Their entire trip was fabulous……..everything went perfect. This is the best part of my job and the reason I love what I do ! There is nothing more satisfying than a happy traveler !! Their entire trip including Easter Island was 6 weeks in the South Pacific. Mary Anne came in to my office last week with a complete report. She also brought an absolutely beautiful huge photo album. They have been my clients for about 20 years and she always does terrific albums, critiques hotels, tours, etc. and does such a great job giving me terrific current info. They loved Easter Island and her pictures and descriptions could qualify for a National Geographic Travelogue The Island was Jim’s highlight as he had always had a huge desire to go there ! The only thing negative about it was the day they departed, they had nothing to do, as their flight did not leave until 1030p Their full day tour was on 1/29 and both of the half day tours were on 1/30. She thought perhaps one of the half day tours should have been on 1/31. Anyway, they had a wonderful time and I do thank you so much for your prompt replies and excellent knowledge and service ! With Warm Regards, Hope to work with you in the future,
SPAIN & PORTUGAL CUSTOMIZED TOUR
Hi Eugenio, I’m sorry for not writing sooner to tell you what a wonderful trip we had in Spain and Portugal. I know it was a bit of a challenge for you to handle somewhat different approaches to traveling. All in all though the recommendations worked out very well and we have excellent experiences. As you know my sister wanted to focus on the needs of her girls, particularly her youngest daughter who had not been overseas before. Having hotels in the historic areas, allowing us to walk freely and explore was excellent. Out guides were also very helpful particularly in Seville where we not only saw the high points but also explored some of the ‘back streets’ and areas that were truly interesting and rich in all sorts of exposures (architecture, shops, small places to eat, smaller sites of interest, etc.). We loved having the road tours. While the driving was challenging at times (through mountainous areas), I am very comfortable with that so did essentially all of the driving. The roads were great and the country side let us observe the extraordinary things ongoing for environmental protection (wind and UV farms) as well as to explore the overall beauty of the landscape and towns along the way. Merida was a nice surprise; the museum there is amazing. Arriolos was a treat, particularly in that we found a small place for lunch where the owner and those having lunch engaged and treated us to a delicious, complex meal. I am so happy you insisted on the Alhambra parador. It was glorious and the site was beautiful. I only wish we had the time to see flamenco and an open air concert there. Our itinerary didn’t permit it but we loved what we did. The girls enjoyed the beaches along the way (Malaga, Marbella, on route to Cadiz, and westernmost Portugal) and the incredibly large flea market in Gibraltar. The Diana Park was the only low point, largely due to the person on duty who was not helpful when we arrived and the low quality of the rooms. I am more sensitive to this than the others (particularly the younger girls) but I pass that on to you for future reference (It was also incredibly difficult to find since the exit from the highway was next to impossible). I gather it was not a place you or your group recommended to my sister and I didn’t realized that fully before we left or I might have changed it. Once beyond it, we were back on track and in splendid surroundings.
Thanks again for everything.
All the best,
NORTHERN PORTUGAL ESCORTED BUS TOUR
Hi Eugenio, I had been meaning to e mail you, but did not get a chance earlier. Our trip to Portugal went very well. It is a beautiful country and the tour of Northern Portugal was fantastic. The group was small and very International . Our driver and the tour guide were well informed. We loved the hotel Liberdade in Lisboa. It is the perfect location for everything and the hotel itself is very nice. Mundial was good too for one night and Mr. Pinto sent us fruit and water. We did not get to try any of the restaurants you had suggested, but everything we ate was good, plentiful and cheap, including the wines! Thanks for everything, we hope to do another trip in the future, maybe of S. America. Take care, -Jyo
CUSTOMIZED CAR AND DRIVER TRIP OF SPAIN
Kudos to Eugenio Ovalle and Alta Tours for outstanding travel advice and service. On October 22, 2010, my wife and I returned from a nineteen-day trip to Spain. In the past we have usually gone on group tours, but we could not find any that suited our needs. Through a Web search we learned of Alta Tours in California specializing in Spain travel. What a serendipitous finding!
Eugenio Ovalle and his agency prepared a splendid trip for us. They listened patiently to our requests and created a marvelous itinerary and tour. They arranged and purchased our air and train transport. Drivers met us like clockwork at airports and train stations and transferred us to our hotels. Our centrally located hotels were ideal. Modern, well-appointed and immaculate rooms awaited us everywhere. Our Madrid hotel was located within a block of three metro stations and adjacent to Puerto del Sol. The Barcelona hotel was just off Las Ramblas, close to Placa Catalunya. In Seville we were in barrio Santa Cruz very close to the Alcazar and cathedral. Perhaps the highlight of the trip were the two days we had a car and driver. One day we travelled the verdant, mountainous Basque country and visited the beautiful resorts of San Sebastian and Biarritz. Another day we went on scenic highways, not the autopista, to see El Escorial, Avila, and Segovia. This was one of our best trips ever!
Without reservation we recommend Eugenio Ovalle and Alta Tours. They answer all your questions, offer expert advice, fulfill what they promise and, above all, provide outstanding service.
Jim and Pat Long
Fort Collis, Colorado
CUSTOMIZED MADRID & NORTHERN SPAIN TOUR
Eugene, I wanted to let you your recommendations for our trip to Madrid and No. Spain were excellent. We loved the Hotel Hospes in Madrid, it’s convenient location and excellent service. We took advantage of the Madrid Vision Bus Tour which left across the circle from the hotel. We enjoyed a wonderful dinner at El Barril de Recoletos, which was within walking distance of the hotel. Their speciality was beef….wonderful, and they also served a whole fish which looked delicious. The next day, near the Plaza Mayor, we had lunch at Casa Ballega….excellent food and service. We did eat one night at the hotel (Senzone Restaurant) and were disappointed in the food. We took the fast train to Toledo. Recommend checking the train times carefully for each day, as the schedule varies and we spent a long wait in the station (which is amazing by the way). Highly recommend the Los Quatro Tiempos restaurant in Toledo. A local recommended it to us. We had a disappointing Italian meal at L’Espirale, which was within walking distance of our hotel. Am sure there were better choices. On our way to Santillana Del Mar, we stopped in Segovia. A must! And then went to lunch at the Asador Casa Brigante in Lerma for the roast baby lamb. Quite a treat. Then on to Santillana del Mar. We liked our hotel very much….Hotel Casa del Marques. We stopped into the Parador, and didn’t think it looked as nice. It was difficult to find a good meal in Santillana del Mar….not sure why. The side trips to Valle de Cabuerniga was fabulous. We drove to Barcena Mayor and stopped for lunch in Los Tojos at a charming lodge called La Punvieja. Be sure to take the road to Carmona…the most beautiful valley I’ve ever seen! The next day we went to the Picos de Europa. Very cloudy, so we didn’t ride the tram at Fuente De. A must….if you go to the Picos….lunch at Hotel del Oso. It also looked like a wonderful place to spend a day or two if one had the time. Drove to Bilbao, where we had arranged ahead of time (through the museum web site) for a private guide. Highly recommended. Also ate in the Bistro at the museum….some of the best food of our trip. Reservations recommended. Then on to Hondoribbia. This was probably our favorite place! We loved the Parador Emperador. Spectacular lobby, great food at breakfast, simple rooms with wonderful views. Hondoribbia is a charming town, an authentic fishing village, good restaurants, especially for tapas. Our favorite was Gran Sol. We also had fabulous tapas at La Cepa in San Sebastion, an easy drive from Hondoribbia. Took a side trip through the Basque country and ended up in St. Jean de Luz for lunch….a colorful town. All in all it was a perfect trip, and we thank you for all your input. Eugene, I’m also going to send you a link to my online album on Shutterfly so you can see our pictures.
Happy New Year. Jo Anne
We returned from our trip this weekend. It was great. Everything arranged through your office went extremely smoothly: the transfer from El Calafate to Cerro Castillo provided by your supplier was punctual; the car was very comfortable, and the driver was very courteous and accommodating. We loved the Explora experience and were fortunate to have terrific weather. The hotel in Punta Arenas was also very nice (although there’s not much in Punta Arenas!) We also enjoyed our stay in Buenos Aires. We took a tango lesson here in the DC area before going (so did not end up going to the person you had recommended in BA). A highlight was going to the Confiteria Ideal for a couple of hours, watching the terrific tango dancers and making our way onto the dance floor ourselves (to the amusement of many patrons). For a tango show, we decided to go to Tango Rojo. The show was of the highest quality; the dancers, musicians and singers were all terrific. But a significant downside was the visibility. We could not see below the knees of the dancers from our seats – and, as you know, the tango footwork is part of what makes the dance so special. And we did not think our seats were bad – from the way the stage and seats were situated, it appeared to us that everyone in the back half of the room were in a similar situation.
Thanks for your help in arranging the trip.
I wanted to send you a letter letting you know that everything went perfectly in Spain!
The driver who met us on the first day and took us to the airport on the last day was prompt (a little early even on the last day, which was great for this nervous traveler) and knowledgeable. I would recommend him to anyone — and probably will if the chance arises.
All the hotels you chose were wonderful! Centrally located, beautiful rooms, excellent service and very helpful. I don’t know which one I liked the best, but I must say being right on LaRambla was a real treat.
I would only add that the hotel in Sevilla — Las Casas de Santa Cruz — requires about a 5 minute walk from where a taxi drops you off and picks you up. I would absolutely recommend this hotel to anyone, but being in the historic district, the streets are too narrow for a taxi, so we had to be let off 2 short plazas away. We arrived late at night and weren’t sure what to do. We were able to figure it out pretty quickly, but I think it would be a helpful if people knew in advance this hotel requires a short walk. But it was probably one of the most charming places and we absolutely loved it and its wonderful location.
The trip was exactly as we wanted it to be and we thank you for all your help.
Please feel free to use any of this e-mail on your testimonial page.
BARILOCHE & MENDOZA WINE EXCURSION
We had a wonderful trip to Argentina. The main contact in Buenos Aires provided very good service. All the drivers were helpful, on time and polite. The guides we had at the Estancia, the one on the Mendoza 1/2 day tour and the one for the full day in the Mendoza wine tour were all excellent, were very knowledgeable and spoke excellent English. The full day visit to the Estancia was excellent. The half day tour of Mendoza was just about the right length of time. It’s a pretty city, but does not have a lot to see beyond the parks and monuments.
The lodging at Club Tapiz was okay but we would not recommend staying in the Chateau Zolo as it’s too far away from the main building. The food there was good and the nightly wine tasting and lecture was good. My wife, Carole Lynne plans to call you on the phone tomorrow to give you further details.
Of course the the stay at LLao LLao was the highlight of the trip. What a beautiful place.
Thanks for your help in arranging our trip.
SPAIN & PORTUGAL INDEPENDENT TRIP
Buenos dias Eugenio….
Back from our Lisbon/Spain trip which was wonderful. I want to thank you and your counterparts in Spain and Lisbon for a terrific job! As you know by now, our only ‘glitches’ were with our flights (Iberia). Our 12 hour delay in Madrid (Lisbon w/connecting flight thru Madrid to Seville) caused the problem in Seville AND then again (w/Iberia) a delay out of Madrid to Lisbon and we totally missed seeing Aurora. (she didn’t see us and we totally did not see her or sign). However, (Aurora) was very sorry and reimbursed us our taxi fare even without a receipt–that shows professional class.
Everything you promised materialized without any problems…..hotel’s were all in excellent locations and good size rooms and very quiet which were grateful. Our private tour guides were excellent, especially Fernando in Toledo and Rosa at the Alhambra. We learned so much! The other escorted tours were OK. The bus Terminal (Plaza de Oriente) was a short walk from our hotel which was great. Our car rental went very well as did both the train experiences.
You did an excellent job with the arrangements and coordination with the other companies. Your supplier was outstanding, all their professionals were friendly, knowledgeable and spoke very good English.
Please be assured that we will recommend you and Alta Tours and if you wish, you certainly can use us as a recommendation contact, via my email.
Again, thank you so very much!
Linda, Don and Scott Fritz
SPANISH SPEAKING ANDALUCIA & BARCELONA GROUP
Dear Don Eugenio:
We want to thank you very much for the organized tour with the Guides and the nice Hotels through out Spain. We were really pleased with all the service the Spanish personnel provided. Hotel accomodations, friendly and helpful guides, the food service was fantastic and most of all the Transportation from the Airports and the Ship was punctual and visible. From the bottom of our hearts please extend our sincere thanks and kindness to all involved, especially Angela Cibello/Tour Guide she was very knowledgeable, patient, helpfull and very sweet to all of us. We would gladly book another tour through your organization Much Blessings to all of you.
Ana & Irving Rivera
PORTUGAL, ANDALUCIA & BARCELONA ESCORTED MOTORCOACH TOUR
Hi Eugene, My family and I want to extend our heartfelt thanks for helping us with our trip to Spain and Portugal. You truly listened to what each of us wanted and did not disappoint us. There was something for everyone to enjoy – for me, my husband and our teenage daughter. The hotels were centrally located and were a nice treat after a long day of touring. The breakfast and dinners that came with the package were delicious everywhere. The tour guides were very helpful even after their shift was over. The buses were comfortable and relaxing even after being on the road for hours. We were pleasantly surprised that we had covered so much with the tour and on our own. We would highly recommend Portugal, Andalucia and Barcelona package with extra days in Madrid and Barcelona. We were able to savor the best of Spain and Portugal!
Thank you for a memorable and delightful trip to Spain and Portugal. We look forward to booking another vacation package with Alta Tours.
With gratitude, Vicky, David and Hannah Tam
LA SERENA & ELQUI VALLEY EXCURSION
We came back last Saturday and I have been sick ever since, hence my not responding to your other email.
We had a wonderful time in Chile, which was like three vacations in one.
The part that you organized for us went like clockwork. I am sure you could tell from my emails that I am a worry wart and everything went as planned. When we got to Santiago the transportation to the hotel was fast. Excellent because we did not get to the hotel until 1:30am. We had to wait a long time to pay the reciprocity tax as there was only one person at the counter.
The Hilton was very nice.
When we arrived at Las Serena Daniel Russ met us at the airport and was a wonderful guide for the five next days. For the city tour it turned into a five hour tour instead of 3 as outlined in your itinerary. On the day tour of Elqui Valley instead of a boxed lunch we went to a restaurant. We were lucky that we had wonderful weather for the trip to Isla de Damas and to be able to go to the observatory. Unfortunately for the latter there was a full moon so the viewing was poor. That is the luck of the draw. In fact if you do this itinerary again for someone I would tell them that if it is raining or lots of clouds they may not go to the observatory and that if the seas are too rough the boats to see the birds may not go out. I heard that this happens and people are very upset. We unconditionally recommend Daniel, very knowledgeable and interesting tour guide.
The hotel was fine. It was a little worn down . It had a kitchenette but things did not work, which was okay for us as we didn’t cook. The staff hardly spoke English which was also ok for us, but could upset some other non-spanish speakers (which we are for the most part). In fact the staff was very nice and tried to be helpful. The hotel had excellent WiFi connection and was situated right on the beach. I don’t know if you remembered but I had asked to be in town, but that did not work out. It was fine being on the beach. One day we just to took taxis to town and the mall to do some shopping.
Thank you for all your help.
COLORS OF SPAIN WITH EXTENSION TO BARCELONA ESCORTED MOTORCOACH TOUR
Dear Eugenio Ovalle,
I apologize for my late response since I have been out of town, etc. My trip to Spain was certainly fabulous which I shall alway remember as one of the best! What a beautiful country, people, hospitality, and history. My hotel accommodations were very good and satisfying. The Santo Domingo hotel turned out well even though the section which I was assigned (single room) was presently under construction/renovation and there were major problems (damaged shower/bathroom- water leakage); but immediately taken care of by giving me another and beautiful room. Once the renovations are completed this section will, without a doubt, be super beauiful with the existing paintings and anitques. I personally, found all cities toured very beautiful- so much to see and learn. SEVILLA and VALENCIA were among my most favorite. I took all the available tours and which allowed me to meet several people. I took many (900+) pictures and shall really cherish them. The tour guides and bus drivers were excellent. Especially Fred and Anna. Unfortunately, for me- For my knowing and speaking Spanish! However, under the circumstance (having experiencing several foreign travel/trips) I managed well, considering. Overall, this was and excellent tour for me. My personal thanks to you and staff. Sincerely yours, James W. Oliver
MACHU PICCHU EXCURSION
Dear Eugenio! Happy & Healthy New Year! Thank you for making our trip to Machu Picchu a very memorable experience. Finally made it to the beautiful mountain, the high altitude was a bit of a challenge for me because I tend to walk fast and of course I have to slow down. Would you believe we met your contact in Lima at Lima airport to go to Cusco. She happened to sit next to us while waiting for the flight and she kept looking at our hand carry luggages with the company’s tags and noticed our names……what a small world! We liked her! . The Soo enjoyed their trip in Galapagos and Machu Picchu too. We have mentioned ALTA TOURS to all my friends and to call us for info or go on line when ready to travel South America! Take care Eugenio!
Ana & Jean-Pierre
Dear Eugenio and Jorge:
First my apologies for failing to follow up sooner with you two regarding my recent trip to Chile. Jorge, in particular in your case we have not been in touch since not long after my return to California. I hope that you had a wonderful holiday season and that the new year has been treating you well so far. Second, my thanks again to both of you for your assistance in making my trip so memorable. I really enjoyed all aspects of the trip and your organization was impeccable (all the way down to Jorge causing the Puyehue ash cloud to blow in the other direction on the day of my departure so I could fly out of Puerto Montt!). Since our return, Herb and I have been busy sharing our experiences with several groups here in Sausalito. So far we have made formal presentations about our trip and Chile in general to: ~ Sausalito Chamber of Commerce ~ Sausalito Lions Club ~ Sausalito Rotary Club ~ Bay Area Travel Writers (Consul General Ortega kindly joined that program)g the way which may not appear elsewhere. As far as the overall trip goes, let me make the following comments.
The highlights for me in terms of locations were the following: ~ Our market tour in Santiago with Colin Bennett; ~ Oexperience the city); ~ My trip to Curarrehue (east of Pucón); and ~ The stop in Validivia (I wish I had time to take the river tour) If I was doing it all again, I would probably have tried to spend a day visiting Chiloé since I now appreciate more what a unique place that is. I certainly enjoyed my “Mapuche” experience, but believe that the presentation of that culture to tourists still has a long way to go in terms of overall coherence of the presentation and sophistication. Needless to say, my positive impression about the trip was no doubt influenced by the weather, which was fantastic every day of our trip. While I realize we were probably lucky to some extent, I would certainly recommend November to future travelers.
Michael Moyle & Herb Weiner (Mayor of Sausalito)
Santiago,Lake Region & Patagonia trip
Hello Eugenio, I would love to give my impressions of my trip,.. I absolutely loved it and am completely in love with Chile. Our trip was centered in Santiago which I found to be full of warmth and heartfelt welcome from the Chileans. They really seem to love tourist and are all to ready to assist. My entire stay, I felt completely safe, never encountered anything but warmth from the people. The food was unbelievable and I am completely taken with their love for all things fresh from the bread, to the cheese, to produce and meat. The choices for dining are endless and we were able to sample many different types of cuisine including Peruvian, Chilean (both traditional and contemporary), I love the empanadas de queso and cant even begin to describe my love for Pisco Sours, we also sampled the desserts which were wonderful. The weather was great through most of our stay, although we did encounter rain in the south and were slightly hampered by flooding in Punta Arena (the river adjacent to our hotel flooded and we were stranded for a few days in the hotel, but the staff at the hotel were great and the experience just added to the adventure and left us with great photos and stories to tell. Huilo Huilo was incredible, Torres de Paine was unbelievable and it was an all around great experience. I hope to repeat it in the very near future. Thank you so much for everything and I will definitely be in touch with my plans to return to Chile soon.
MADEIRA SHORE EXCURSION
Your tour in Madeira was one of the highlights of the whole cruise for the group Thank you very much
PLEASE Send our gracious gratitude to the winemaker and Tour guide for their extra special attention.
There was some confusion on the wine exchange – and no wine was brought to exchange – and we are sorry for the confusion.However upon her return, Ms. Eileen Crane, winemaker at Domaine Carneros in Napa CA is sending the winemaker of Blandy’s a package this week. And she is telling that wonderful story of his and his grandmothers hospitality.
Have a look at these two different guest comments that I hope you will share with your colleagues in Madeira:
The Madeira Island tour was fantastic, the trip to Monte was fun and beautiful, the town of Funchal was quaint, there was a street market when we were there. The tasting at the Old Blandy Wine Lodge was phenomenal, having the wine maker at the tasting was an unexpected pleasure.
In Madeira having the winemaker come in on Saturday, show casing a number of special wine and even offering his grandmother’s cake, that to me is the more than expected side.
Thank You again,