Elizabeth Parker

South Africa



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?”

Elizabeth Parker's Trip Date:

4th Dec - 20th Dec 2018

Overall, how was your trip?

I answered 'Maybe' to the above question because Patagonia is so very far away from South Africa, but if it was nearer we would definitely want to go again. For me, the unexpected highlight were the epiphytic forests, especially in Pumalin Park. We were very struck by the politeness of everyone in Chile, and the safety - given where we come from! We found everyone we were in contact with to be welcoming and helpful. One of the most magical moments was our arrival at Tepuhueico, where we were stunned by the architecture and the warm tones of the wood, as well as the thought that had gone into every aspect of the building. It was a lovely treat of a stay to end the trip.

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


Would you visit again?


How was the service that Swoop provided?

I would certainly use Swoop again, and recommend them to a friend (see answer to question below). Both Chloe and Angharad were responsive and ever ready to answer questions, and the itinerary was comprehensive and tailored to our requests, ie for a botanical and birding trip. Having been there, we now know that we would have very much liked to visit Tierra del Fuego, especially as there is not much likelihood that we will ever return to Patagonia. Both Sebastian and Marcela were excellent guides, but Marcela felt constrained by the itinerary which we all decided to change, so I think it would have been better to allow Birds Chile to choose where to take us. The trip to Quenouir was a disappointment and the hotel Mi Casa in Chaiten was dreadful - although dinner at El Volcan down the road was a hit! We didn't need to contact Swoop's 24/7 support during the trip.

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 Lake District?

I am not sure exactly what the Lake District is, but it seems it was part of the time we spent with Marcela, who was an excellent guide. We loved the lakes and mountains, and the transport worked very well. The hikes were great.

How was your experience in Torres del Paine?

Although the hotel was the largest we had stayed in, very modern with a lot of guests, once we set off for the day our guide Sebastian took us to places that were not crowded. The hotel was soulless but well run and our attic rooms were comfortable. We saw plenty of guanacos but since the birds and botany were our targets, we were fine with that.

How were your wildlife encounters?

Sebastian spotted a puma for us which was a great excitement and beyond what we could have expected. Amazingly enough, this particular puma is featured in the latest issue of National Geographic!

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

I can't think of any tips apart from making sure to travel with Swoop! Our requests for comfortable but not luxurious accommodation and knowledgeable guides for the two scientists in the party were fully me.

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

If we were to consider visiting Antartica or the Arctic, it would definitely be with Swoop. I would have liked us to have been given the option of visiting Tierra del Fuego though.

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