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Customer Rating On return from their adventure we ask customers: “On a scale of 0-10, with 10 being the highest, how likely is it that you would recommend Swoop to a friend or colleague?”

Carole's Trip Date:

2nd Nov - 23rd Nov 2017

Carole's Ship:

Stella Australis

Overall, how was your trip?

Overall the trip was fabulous. The highlight was probably the cruise on the Stella Australis - the weather was so good we were able to sail around Cape Horn. The landscape was amazing ranging from the peaks of Torres del Paine to the geysers of the Atacama. The wildlife was another highlight with penguins to condors to flamingoes & guanacos, rheas & llamas. Our only regret is not seeing a puma! The local people were lovely as were the travellers we met - sometimes the same people at opposite ends of the country!

In one sentence, what did you think of Patagonia? Did it live up to your expectations?

We loved Patagonia and it exceeded our expectations.

Would you visit again?


How was the service that Swoop provided?

Swoop were great. The recommendations were spot on from hotels suggested to tours. Although we did duck out of the 17km trek to the Mirador del Torres as it looked very steep. We swapped for a gentler hike & a trip to a lake. Service prior to the trip was great & the final itinerary very informative. I did email one of the members during the trip as there was a confusion over the date of an excursion, but managed to sort it out. I think the local agent will be in touch as I had to send them a copy of my itinerary as proof of the date.

How likely is it that you would recommend Swoop to a friend?

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

10 out of 10

How was your experience in the Atacama desert?

The Atacama was a fascinating place to visit. the scenery certainly lived up to expectations. The highlights were the trip to the geysers & a trip we arranged ourselves to ALMA (observatory). The accommodation was fine. The rooms in the Terrantai Lodge are quite "rustic" - I was convinced our room wasn't a superior one, but the staff insisted it was. It was quite small & only had a very small narrow window which was a bit disappointing for a 5 day stay. However this was all made up for by the brilliant, friendly staff & the daily cheese & wine tasting which encouraged all the guests to socialise with each other. The breakfast was very good too. There was a mix up with the date of our trip to the geysers - the guide rang us at 5.30am the day before to see where we were - they had the 18th, us the 19th. Luckily they came back the next day. The guide & driver we had on the trip were great & really added to the enjoyment of the day. I would recommend them. Transport was fine as we had a hire car. We had trouble finding the airport on the way back - the Chileans don't seem to like road signs!

How was your experience in Buenos Aires?

The Hotel Mine was fine. The staff were very helpful & it was in a nice area. We went along to a Milongas to watch some tango but didn't go to a show. It was interesting to see Buenos Aires but it is a bit rundown in places. We preferred Santiago. We did however have the best steak there!

How was your experience in Santiago and the surrounding area?

We enjoyed Santiago & explored on foot & using the metro (which was very easy & felt very safe). The Hotel Cumbres was very good & in a good location - we would recommend it. We didn't get the chance to visit Valparaiso or the wine region - hopefully next time!

How was your time in Tierra del Fuego?

This was the highlight of the trip. The scenery, wildlife & remoteness of the area was fabulous. Everything about the cruise on the Stella Australis was amazing. The guides were all great. When we went to pick up our hire car in Punta Arenas they had us down as a "no show" as they had been expecting us at 9.30am (& the boat didn't dock until 11.30am). We still got the car but it took a while to sort put. It said in our itinerary that we would get "personalised maps of the area" - all we got was the Hertz map with the car which was pretty useless. It took us 6 hours to drive to Lago Grey (not the 4.5 it said in the itinerary!) Again, there were few road signs but we saw some lovely scenery on the way! The Hotel Lago Grey was lovely & in a fantastic location. The cruise on the lake was great. The Hotel Torres was fine too & we had a lovely hike looking at birds in particular. All the guides we met were great. We had no contact with the local partner in Patagonia.

How was your experience in Torres del Paine?

I've put some of this in the previous section on Tierra del Fuego! Scenery was amazing. Saw plenty of wildlife. Hikes & excursions great. There weren't very many people in the parts of the park we explored - it was lovely.

Do you have any tips or advice for other people planning a trip to Patagonia?

I would just say it's well worth the journey to get to Patagonia. We loved it all & would happily visit again - there is so much more to see!

Anything else? Tell us anything you’d like to share that we forgot to ask! It’s ok to leave this empty too :-)

We flew from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia on Aerolinas Argentina who have a luggage allowance of 15kg with the option to pay for up to 23kg. Before the trip the cost of this was quoted as $10 but beware - it has been raised to $50 (although can be pre paid online for 30% less). One frustration was the amount of time spent queueing for immigration & security, particularly at Santiago airport, but that is a minor complaint. All in all it was a fabulous trip & we loved it all. Thank you!

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