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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?”
Jon DeCristofaro's Trip:The Classic Full Circuit
Jon DeCristofaro's Trip Date:
18th Dec - 30th Dec 2018
Overall, how was your trip?
The trip was incredible. The destinations are wild, unique, and absorbing. Every location took hold of us and offered so much more than we could do given our two weeks in the area. We found the people very pleasant and friendly, and the guides at the independent operators were knowledgeable, skillful and committed to ensuring that our family had the best experience possible. We were surprised by exceptional weather with clear skies all day but one! Coming down from the pass to Grey Glacier was unforgettable, as was Perito Moreno and Laguna los Tres.
In one sentence, what did you think of Patagonia? Did it live up to your expectations?
Patagonia was a superrich fantasy land of outdoor travel with stunning landscapes at every turn.
Would you visit again?
How was the service that Swoop provided?
I have to commend Swoop. Your model of providing "travel agent"-like assistance, but in a very personal way through assisgned experts (e.g. Taylor C) works well. I really appreciate the specific advice regarding buses, reservations, and logisitics, and that Taylor was really taking into account who we are and what we prefer. Going to Patagonia is never going to be a bargain vacation... knowing that we are paying the same we'd be paying the operators directly, and that it all fits together, is worth a lot. So, I don't mind paying for the assurance that going through a coordinaor like Swoop provides. I am especially happy that, given that this is a little bit of a premium service, Swoop was able to sort out the one or two minor bumps in terms of bookings, refunds, etc. that came up. Additionally, we benefitted from having a network of people monitoring email as this helped immensely when my wife had to buy new boots the night before the O circuit! I really think Swoop has the right idea as to how to offer global adventure travel to a diverse customer base.
How did you feel about booking directly with our partner(s)?
Swoop sourced absolutely top-notch local vendors/guides and made excellent additional suggestions for lodging, dining, side trips, etc. I think the "balance" was essentially right in that, if I had a question about the itinerary, preparation, or logistics, Taylor @ Swoop could definitely answer it or route the question. It was clear when the local guide agency was in charge, and the "handoffs" were smooth. I would also like to say that the local tour groups hired really good guides for our trips. Our guides were basically freelancers, but they were experts and very comfortable working within each outfit's framework.
How likely is it that you would recommend Swoop to a friend?
8 out of 10
How was your experience in El Chalten?
The highlight was either the Eco Camp (wish we were staying longer) or Laguna Los Tres. The 3 or 4 days was excellent, though. Julien was a great guide and had a very nice attitude, especially regarding being alert to my teenage daughter's physical and mental energy levels. Highly recommended. Julien actually made two small but very valuable recommendations... see Perito Moreno no matter what, and, go to Ahonkitenk in Chalten! Two huge improvements to our trip! The Poincenot hotel is nice, and has a good location. A little too hot inside, but oh well. Breakfast was good and they were also very communicative and accommodating. Doing some laundry over night there worked really well.
How likely is it that you would recommend this trip to a friend? (where 0 = Not at all likely, 5 = Neutral, 10 = Extremely Likely)
9 out of 10
If you received our guide to Santiago before you travelled, what did you think of it? For instance (but not limited to):
It looked great, very useful IF we were actually visiting Santiago at all... we were just in the airport. But, I did read it. I think it's really good especially for the kind of travelers that are likely booking with you.
How was the Full Circuit in Torres del Paine?
The circuit was just incredible. SUCH good hiking. The trail itself, the scenery, and the camps/refugios, are at the level of US National Parks. Really well organized, really easy to blast through amazing countryside on foot and feel like you are at once in a totally wild place but also feel taken care of. The whole "suffering" aspect of backpacking was just not present! our guides, Carina and Tim, were also stupendous. The group was somewhat diverse, but Tim and Carina were able to work with us in a very effective way. The days were not too hard and we had great information each day on what to expect. Tim's daily coffee infusions were much appreciated. Campgrounds were mostly nice, and Tim always did a little extra legwork to figure out tent allocations. Vertice kind of screwed up on keeping the reservation for our one refugio night, but I don't think that was Chile Nativo's. Regardless, Swoop and CN figured it out and I was reimbursed. Thanks much for all of that!
Do you have any tips or advice for other people planning a trip to Patagonia?
There is no downside to using Swoop. They will work to figure out an itinerary that achieves what you want. They will take a lot of the unknowns out -- such as what buses, ferries, permits, and reservations you need to succeed. Traveling in Patagonia is well worth it and should be on the bucket list. But don't go without knowledge and preparation or you are wasting your time and money.
Anything else? Tell us anything you’d like to share that we forgot to ask! It’s ok to leave this empty too :-)
I appreciate the whole team at Swoop and the local organizations. MANY times when we were "in country", I said to myself, it's a really good thing we booked through Swoop and went with guided hikes, or we'd be lost and/or wasting time, feeling anxious about where to go, and so on.
9 people found this review helpful