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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?”
Jennifer's Trip Date:
16th Oct - 29th Oct 2018
Overall, how was your trip?
I think we would both agree that the accomplishment of completing all the hikes, especially the Mirador Base las Torres del Paine was the highlight of our trip. The landscapes were so varied and each beautiful in their own way, stunning. We were lucky enough to have clear and beautiful weather, so we were able to see all the ranges clearly, which was fabulous. Our guides, the other visitors, and the locals were all really interesting and nice. The guides were all very knowledgable and conversational about their areas of the parks and were very open and willing to answer questions. We've been telling our family and friends about how this was a once in a lifetime trip!
In one sentence, what did you think of Patagonia? Did it live up to your expectations?
We loved Patagonia! It was more beautiful than we imagined and the people were wonderful.
Would you visit again?
How was the service that Swoop provided?
We really enjoyed working with Swoop! Everyone we interacted with was quick to answer questions, the website and reading material suggested were very helpful. The partners that we were paired with in country were excellent and I felt like they really listened to what it was we wanted to get out of our trip. I had one instance when I had to contact Swoop during the trip and they responded very quickly and were ready to help, but we ended up not needing any further intervention. The whole trip was very smooth except at the Bus Sur in Punta Arenas. We did not have printed tickets and were told just to give our name and seat numbers. We went inside the building to check in (which I don't think we were supposed to do, but didn't realize that) and they said we wouldn't be able to take the bus without a printed ticket. Justin knew enough Spanish to get us through to have them look at the manifest and the lady let us on. This was the only stressful time. All the other transfers and bus rides etc were very well timed, so that there was padded timing, but not so much that you felt like your time was being wasted.
How likely is it that you would recommend Swoop to a friend?
10 out of 10
How was your experience in Buenos Aires?
We had a limited amount of time in Buenos Aires and look forward to going back sometime! We really enjoyed the recommended tango show and then we spent the free day walking around town going to the Colon Theatre and to Evita's mausoleum. Our hotel was very comfortable there and the guide that picked us up from the airport gave us a very helpful map that he had made notations on. He also gave us a rundown of the various areas of town and things to be careful of around town which was nice.
How was your experience in El Calafate and El Chalten?
We loved both El Calafate and El Chalten! El Chalten was a cute town with really nice people and such beautiful surroundings. We found Hosteria Kaulem to be very comfortable and relaxed with a good, albeit slightly plain, breakfast in the mornings. The best part of the Hosteria was definitely the 3 girls who ran the desk. They were very helpful and offered laundry services for an inexpensive rate. It was really cool to have all the trailheads within walking distance of the hotel and being able to see Fitz Roy from the front door was breathtaking each morning and night. Our guide for the Fitz Roy hike, Pablo, was intelligent and thoughtful. He was very knowledgeable and led us safely to the end of the trail! We took a day off between this hike and doing the Loma del Pliegue Tumbado hike on our own which was really pleasant. We felt like having had 5 hikes with guides under our belts really prepared us to hike the Loma del Pliegue Tumbado hike without a guide. El Calafate was fun to walk around in. I was a little disappointed that there were not a lot of local crafts, it seemed like there was mostly cheaper items that could have been made in China or Thailand. The food was great at both La Cocina and Pura Vida for dinner and we loved our room at Hotel El Mirador del Lago (definitely worth the upgrade). I can see how people would think the rooms are warm, we were glad we had sliding doors to let in the cool weather. The glacier hike at Perito Moreno was really cool as the glacier is stunning. This was our least favorite guide among all of them, but he was still knowledgable and answered all our questions. The glaciers were incredible, it was hard not just look around in awe all the time! The transfers were all on time and comfortable. The lunch boxes in El Chalten were not quite as nice as the ones provided in Torres del Paine, but were serviceable.
How was your hike in Torres del Paine?
The Torres del Paine hike exceeded every expectation we had. It was more beautiful, more rewarding, and definitely more challenging than we expected. Luckily, our guide Felipe had done an excellent job of mentally preparing us for the challenge of this hike. The variety of terrains/vistas presented by the hike was one of its highlights, but the mirador itself, that final view from the base of the torres, was an otherworldly experience we will never forget. We did not encounter much in the way of wildlife, but we were lucky enough to see an endangered Andean Deer. The accommodations for Torres Del Paine were first rate. By our definition, this was definitely "glamping!" Fran and Alexis provided fantastic food and were an absolute treat to spend time with. Felipe, our guide, was personable but frank and an excellent teacher as well as guide. We felt like we received an education not just about the history, geography, and culture of the area, but about the opportunities and challenges faced by Patagonian Chile. We would definitely do it all again if we could!
Do you have any tips or advice for other people planning a trip to Patagonia?
Definitely make sure your hiking boots fit appropriately and that you train for grades uphill and downhill. Having a water bottle in addition to our camelbacks was very helpful too to fill in the rivers along the hikes. Sunscreen! Pack light and smart. Extra socks are a must.
Anything else? Tell us anything you’d like to share that we forgot to ask! It’s ok to leave this empty too :-)
5 people found this review helpful