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A Client's Travel Afterglow

GALAPAGOS ISLANDS

The Galapagos Islands were amazing! It was truly a trip of a lifetime experience. We had a guide named Jose for the length of our stay. We could not have been in better hands. We were so impressed with his thorough knowledge of the Galapagos, and he took extra care to make sure each day exceeded our expectations. One example out of the many that I could list is when we decided to go surfing and I was very nervous about it. We had an instructor that was helping, but Jose took me aside and put my mind at complete ease and showed me what to do. He stayed with me the whole time and because of this, it was an amazing experience! I am a terrible surfer BUT I had a wonderful time trying because of Jose’s help and support. We were also very impressed with his background that has clearly made him the incredible Naturalist that he is. Jose has worked so hard to learn and be the best Naturalist possible: Attending language classes in Quito throughout his life and also having had volunteered with various Galapagos organizations while growing up in order to learn and understand the islands and the rich history. All of this made for an experience that we greatly enjoyed and benefited from. We would highly recommend Jose to any Galapagos traveler as he works hard to make everyone feel comfortable regardless of activity level or age. We hope Jose has a wonderful career ahead of him as a Galapagos Naturalist and Ambassador! The stay at Galapagos Safari Camp was beyond words! The chef worked every day to ensure I had meals that accommodated a gluten free diet. And the food was out of this world! The accommodations were absolutely 5-star! We cannot say enough good things about the place.

~ Schwartz  March 2018

The beauty and otherworldliness of Galapagos left me in another state of being that I am still enjoying. Steve and I want to thank you for all your kind and expert advice. You took what felt overwhelming and pulled it all together for us. Thank you for your patience. Maybe one day, the Amazon…

What a fabulous adventure!! Everything you scheduled for us provided exactly what I was hoping for, and this was truly a wonderful experience. First, everyone was exactly where they needed to be when they were supposed to be. Guides and drivers were knowledgeable and delightful on our land excursions. Enrique was an excellent guide. What a good guy! Finch Bay lodge was perfect and we followed all of your recommendations for the days on our own and had a great time. Las Griegas was a magical surprise. The Coral II was perfect. I’m so pleased that you were able to get us on the smaller boat, and the mix of international travelers made for an interesting time. The captain, crew and accommodations were great! Everyone was helpful and friendly, and I was very impressed every time we returned from an excursion that the captain was waiting to greet us! I loved our little cabin, and having a large window made for enjoyable travels. And our guides were a great pair. Billy, a level 3 guide, was impressively knowledgeable and so interesting. Wilo, is fun and personable and kept us engaged. Everything went so smoothly. We felt we were in good hands the entire trip!

~ Mann  May 2017

Our guides (Michaela and Angelina) were phenomenal. Their knowledge was unparalleled and they went out of their way to make sure our trip was excellent. We couldn’t go to the beach on one tour date due to rain, and when my husband expressed an interest in local coffee, Angelina ensured that we could stop by a local coffee farm-to-store retailer. The driver that day (unknown), who treated our daughter like his own, also went above and beyond to show us things. Nils was very kind to give us an anniversary gift. The driver who took us from the Quito airport to the Plaza Grande was a font of knowledge and was very glad to talk to us about the city.

~ Kelkar  Dec 2017

Our family trip to the Galapagos Islands was fantastic. We decided to take this trip with little time to plan. Eric and his colleague Nils did a nice job of planning a diverse trip for our family of 5 (teenage boys ages 18, 16, and 13). The naturalists that were on our daily trips with us were fantastic. We loved the Galapagos Safari Camp on Santa Cruz. The food was unbelievable and staff very helpful. The Iguana Crossing on Isabella was a nice change of pace to be right on the beach. We enjoyed time to walk on the beach as well as into town. It is hard to pick our favorite day-trip. We were surprised with a last-minute surf lesson, which was such a treat! I highly recommend this trip.

~ Catherine Lippman  Dec. 26. 2017

ARGENTINA / CHILE

Just wanted to thank you and all the team for arranging a spectacular trip for the Koch and Doctoroff families. Patagonia is extraordinary (beyond expectations!) and we thoroughly enjoyed each location of our activities.  Arakur and Explora are fantastic (particularly the latter) and Xelena, while clearly not on the same level, was totally adequate for our needs. All of many transfers and excursions were smooth (believe that Steve already noted the issue on transfer to Chile, but worked out fine).  We loved the diversity of experiences and landscapes and the amount of time away was just right. Will treasure this experience for a long time to come!

~ Alisa Doctoroff  Dec 2017

Thanks to you and your team for planning an excellent trip for Ginny and me.  Each of the properties was great!  We tried to take advantage of the surroundings by taking excursions at every opportunity.  Vira Vira and EOLO Lodge were particularly interesting, and each offered the best food of the trip.  Although the Tierra properties were also excellent, there are a few ways they could improve some minor offerings, like the repetitive, American music piped into the common areas.  Nonetheless, we thoroughly enjoyed both.  The excursions from each property were all very worthwhile, and several were phenomenal.

~ Mike & Virgina Ross

PANAMA

We had a problem with our first hotel (outside noise). As soon as Nils was informed, our problem became his problem and we did not have a problem anymore. We ended up in a great hotel and enjoyed the rest of our stay. As I told him then, it’s easy to be friendly and helpful when things are going well. Real character and service become manifest when things go unexpectedly wrong.

Our driver did not scare Jan once, which is very high praise! We felt relaxed and taken care of. The days transpired without any stress and as planned. The transportation was always there on time. It was exactly what we wanted.

Kudos to Joshua Hall, our guide as well. He was informative and fun to be with! He was on-time for all excursions and was thoroughly prepared, including providing water and sunscreen every day. He was extremely knowledgeable about the history of Panama, the building the canal, and the animals in the rainforest. Everywhere we went with him, it seemed that everybody knew him and greeted him warmly. It made us feel safe. The best: he got us onto the bridge with the Captain and crew of the canal ship, which was really interesting and went beyond what we would have expected. He seemed to go out of his way to ensure that everything was fine with us.

Josh’s ability to spot wildlife was nothing short of phenomenal and he was able to take amazing photos through his telescope. And the boat ride on Gatun Lake was wonderful. Thank you for the birthday cake!!! An unexpected surprise and very thoughtful.

We took a cruise for a complete transit of the Panama Canal. The boat was safe, clean and fully functional. Breakfast and lunch was fine and well organized. The guide on the boat was informative and entertaining. Loved the boat ride on Lake Gatun.

~ Ellen Peskin

We are now back from our trip and wanted to let you know that it was fantastic.  One of our most memorable vacations and we really appreciate everything you and the team did to make it so special.  The service was terrific, and our tour guide Viviana and driver Pedro were wonderful.  Everything went very well and we look forward to the next journey.

~ Stephen, Mary and Dante Cerrone

The trip delivered everything we were looking for, old city, nature, wildlife, Panama Canal, rainforest, a room with a view, jazz and a culinary journey. The VIP Panama Canal Tour was the highlight – to be so close to the boats was a thrill. Our guide Jaime was the best; he even invited us to go onto the lock gates for a picture. A bucket list experience that wasn’t even on my list! The chocolate tasting was a great idea and amazing way to finish a busy day of touring. Such a lovely place and owners, and good chocolate. We went to the Biomuseo on our own and loved the architecture, setting and information. We rented a tandem bike and biked on the Amador Causeway.

~ Ileana Lang

We had a great 3 night, 4 day trip to Panama City. Our guide was spectacular and with perfect English, she was able to go deep into the descriptions of the history, politics, science, and perspective of the Panamanian people, its culture, is ecology, social/economic/political culture. We were recommended to so many fantastic restaurants and treated so well at each. The hotel we were sent to was spectacular but for the unfortunate noise that went until 4 am each night (6 am on NYE – but this was expected. We had a wonderful trip!

~ Matthew Perry

I lived in the Canal Zone in Panama when I was a teenager and grew up in that area. I wanted to return to the country and re-visit my old home/schools and more, and share it all with my husband. After using one of Wendy Perrin’s WOW consultants for our Spain trip last year, I knew that I would call upon Wendy’s WOW list again to get the most out of our trip, and we were not disappointed. Wendy’s Panama contact Eric Sheets immediately referred me to the group in Panama City who arranged our trip; they were nothing but high quality experts who helped us plan the activities we wanted to enjoy while visiting Panama. We will only go through WendyPerrin.com when we plan future trips —her experts are highly knowledgeable, experienced, and responsive. Well worth the extra you pay vs. fighting the public crowds!!

~ VICKY PENDELL  JUNE 11, 2016

Eric Sheets and his team planned a wonderful trip for my husband and me to Panama City, April 16-23, 2017. It was a week-long getaway and we wanted to experience the most this destination had to offer. They carefully listened to and tailored a number of activities to our interests, including the Panama Canal, an eco-tour on Gatun Lake and a trip to Soberania National Park to experience the rainforest. The most thrilling highlight was the exclusive VIP tour of the Panama Canal’s Miraflores Locks with a Canal official who took us to an area that is restricted to the public. We were the only people in that area and so close that we could almost touch the boats going through the lock. We were even allowed to stand on the lock gates for a picture – talk about bragging rights! This was a bucket-list moment that we didn’t know we even had. We also experienced a private chocolate tasting of local Panamanian chocolate at a charming store in the Casco Viejo old town, touring through authentic local markets, a lunch at a seafood place where mostly locals eat, spotting monkeys, sloths, bird and butterflies as big as birds, and learning about Panama’s biodiversity from the knowledgeable guides. As per our wishes, there was enough downtime built into the itinerary so as not to feel rushed. I highly recommend Eric Sheets and his team and I’m already working with them on a December trip to Argentina and Uruguay.

~ ILEANA & ANDY LANG

CHILE

We had a fabulous time away and fantastic trip. Iit was one of our greatest trips ever — seriously! Rick and I have a zillion comments and thoughts, all of which are scattered all over the place. I will make positive comments on TripAdvisor in the upcoming days.  

~ Janice Page  Chile 2017

We just returned home after our wonderful two weeks in Chile.  You were with us in spirit all along the way and we were so glad that we took your advice about the Tierra properties and Atacama Desert. Everything from transportation to arrangements to personal preference details were absolutely flawless!  We loved our room arrangements with the extra bed for Madeleine, which was very comfortable. The properties were outstanding. We particularly loved Nicolas the General Manager at the Tierra Patagonia, and also appreciated Max and his team at the Atacama as they took good care of us and were sensitive about my injury (they packed ice for every excursion).  We met some terrific people at all of the properties, and were very glad we had planned as much time as we did both in total and at the Patagonia property (6 nights).

Thank you for all of the patience and guidance that went into planning the trip, and for your availability over the weekend during our LATAM flight delay/cancellation.  You were absolutely wonderful to us and we appreciated you very much. Again, thank you for the memory of a lifetime!

~ Marcy Shinder  2017

COLOMBIA

Just wanted you to know that so far, everything has worked like a charm. The hotel in Bogota was lovely and the Sazagua is absolutely amazing. Thanks for all of your planning. I’ll keep you posted.

~ Judith Goodman  Colombia 2018

I worked mostly with Nils and Filomena on Eric’s team, for this trip. It was a great Itinerary. They really tried to make the most out of our time in Colombia. It was our 15th-anniversary celebration and they went over and above in every aspect. We were greeted on our first night with flowers and champagne! very nice touch. I got to tell you that they worked hard on this…the whole time we were traveling! We had some hiccups, There was a pilot strike on the airline we had booked 3 out of the 4 interior flights while there. We had to rebook all of them! And even on the new one there were delays to the point of changing our itinerary completely, But Nils was on it!! Thank god he was there to keep the craziness at bay. I would definitely recommend these guys service!

~ Ali Bagley  Sept – Oct 2017

Bambusa was outstanding. Beautiful place, great staff, lovely hacienda and great food
. All the guides and drivers were excellent – very professional, knowledgeable and pleasant.
 Juan David, the guide during our second day in Bambusa was particularly exceptional. Our tour to Pijao and the coffee plantation stands out. We really loved it!

~ Bob and Ruth Swinney  Colombia 2017

Our trip was wonderful. The Four Seasons in Bogota was perhaps the most attractive hotel we have ever visited. Everyone should go to Bogota for at least one day if only to visit the Gold Museum! Our time in the coffee country was excellent. We really enjoyed our guides and all of our activities. While we had rain, it never seemed to affect what we were doing. Cartagena was hot and beautiful. We really enjoyed our visit to the Dutch-supported school and the women’s cooperative. Great food and a beautiful city.

Thank you very much for everything. We had a great time.!

~ John & Susan Curby  Colombia 2017

Thank you for planning an AMAZING trip! It was one of our favorites! JJ, Luis, and Jamie were great guides and Cartagena is a beautiful city. You exceeded our expectations!

Our favorite parts of the trip were cooking with Luis (his meal was the best we had) and the day on the islands. Again, thank you!

~ Lauren Kolodny  Cartagena 2017

Our quick seven day Columbia visit with Eric Sheets and his team worked perfectly. Our guides, drivers, and hotels were excellent. In Bogota, the Gold Museum came alive when we saw it through the eyes of a museum specialist. At each destination, there were special unexpected events – a picnic lunch in a bamboo forest, a visit to a private small coffee plantation where we were able to see the entire coffee growing and processing cycle and more — experiences we would never have had on our own. Our guides were very flexible and focused on putting together unforgettable days.

~ JOHN CURBY  APRIL 2017

Eric Sheets and Nils Lindhorst, planned a 5 day trip to Cartagena Colombia for my husband and me over New Years 2016/17. We were late in planning our holiday trip and concerned about availability but after a conference call with Eric and Nils to discuss our likes and dislikes, I knew we were in good hands. I worked mostly with Nils who could not have been more patient, kind, knowledgeable and professional. He made sure everything was taken care of including making sure our beautiful room was fragrance free for my allergy to flowers. We had a wonderful trip to a beautiful country but it was made even more special by the attention to detail provided by Eric and Nils!

~ PAM ANDERSON  JAN. 10. 2017

Eric Sheets and Nils on his team advice was particularly valuable because he had lived in Medellin for several years and knows it well. He has a strong sense of what a visitor should see to understand it. Although we initially said that we only wanted to visit Medellin and Bogota, he insisted that we consider Coffee Country too. He was absolutely right. Going into the beautiful countryside also added a dimension of beauty and relaxation to our trip – hiking, biking, coffee visit, as well as experiencing the culture that is so different from the cities. Also, two of the three guides he provided were top notch. Great people skills and flexible styles as well as deep knowledge to share. We got everything we hoped for from planning our custom trip. In fact our local Medellin guide took us to the top of the gondola to a newly opened station in one of the slum neighborhoods and we had a delightful visit with the kids on the playground. It was new to her and she was willing to explore it for the first time with us. Wonderful cultural experience talking with the children. One particularly smart move was to schedule us to be the first ones in to the Ipaquira Salt Cathedral so we had it to ourselves and beat the crowds that were pouring in as we left.

~ BARBARA SCHOENFELD  JAN. 10. 2017

Wonderful Trip to Cartagena – My husband and I arranged a 3 day trip to Cartagena last month through Eric Sheets and Nils Lindhorst.
I spoke to them on the phone about the activities we would like to do, and they responded with excellent suggestions and a very well thought out itinerary.
The hotel they recommended, the Bastion, was fabulous and well priced. Upon arrival we were upgraded to a massive suite with two full bathrooms and an outdoor terrace overlooking a small rooftop garden. The hotel restaurant served the best food of any restaurant we tried. Service was excellent.
Our guide, Eusebio, was friendly and knowledgeable, and all our drivers were excellent. Our first afternoon was spent walking around Cartagena and taking in the sights. We met with a local architect who showed us the incredible restoration work of many of the city’s historic buildings.
We spent the next day on a boat trip to the beautiful Rosario Islands, went snorkeling and had a fun lunch at a small hotel on one of these private islands.Although we had booked the boat for 8 hours, we elected to head back earlier than planned (I was nervous about the ocean swells that pick up in the afternoon), and our guide was able to adjust our schedule to see the monastery and fortress later that afternoon.
Because we moved through our itinerary so quickly, it meant that we had the following day to ourself and enjoyed visiting the many museums (all had English speaking guides for hire). We were slightly disappointed because we did inquire about spending the day at Santa Marta but the price quoted seemed excessive. Having said that, we decided a 4 hour drive each way was more than we wanted to do anyway.
We had a wonderful time in Cartagena. It is a beautiful city with friendly people and a rich history. We look forward to a future trip to Bogota and Medellin, and will definitely use the services of Eric Sheets.

~ DEBORAH STANLEY  APRIL 12. 2016

Mike and I want to thank Eric for arranging our trip to Colombia. The plan was thoughtfully prepared, as we were able to visit 4 very different areas, experiencing the varied regions and cultures. In addition, each of the hotels Eric chose were wonderful – we very much enjoy staying in luxury accommodations! There were so many activities that Eric planned for us, that it is hard to tell which we preferred more — but, to mind, we particularly enjoyed the Botero Museums in both Medellin and Bogota, the Favela in Medellin, the market and cooking class in Cartagena, the coffee tour, the hike and fruit tasting, and the Botanical Garden in Armenia. Thank you, again. I hope to work with Eric again to plan a trip to Argentina and Patagonia!

~ COOKIE WOLTZ  MARCH 1, 2016

Eric and Jena listened to what I wanted, and then, happily, gave me very sound advice about the order of the trip; and about going to Coffee Country — which I initially did not want to do. Boy, was I wrong!

First, a word about logistics and the guides and drivers: Everything worked like clockwork. Each guide and driver was exactly where and when he or she was supposed to be. Each was professional, knowledgeable, kind, funny, and wonderful to be with. On the one day the others went on a “trek” in the Corcorra Valley — which was too strenuous for me — the driver, Hernan, spent two hours with me, taking me on shorter walks, patiently speaking Spanish with me, and generally being kind and sweet. And, he was “just the driver”. What a find! The guide in Perreira (Guillermo) and the guide in Medellin (Adriana) were the best guides we have ever had.

My husband and I went with another couple. All of us were blown away by the excellent planning and the quality of the guides and drivers.

Pivotal to our enjoyment was the order in which Jena and Eric suggested we visit the various places.

We began in Bogota, where we stayed at the Hotel de la Opera. There is no better-located hotel for people (like us) who wanted to visit the Gold Museum, the Botero Museum, and Montserrate. For us – because I can get by in Spanish – it was a great choice. I would caution those who speak no Spanish, because there were only one or two English speakers on staff, and they were not present all of the time.

From there we flew to Perreira — Coffee Country. We stayed at the wonderful Sazagua Hotel. It is a small hotel, 20 minutes from the airport, but it feels very far from a city. It is a beautiful hotel, with amazing food, gorgeous gardens, and a staff from heaven. All were wonderful. Then, on to Medellin. Sadly, we arrived late afternoon, spent only one full day, and then moved on. If you can, spend an extra day in Medellin. And, spent it with Adriana, our guide. It is a remarkable city, but a good guide is essential to explain the history and current socio/economic conditions. I did not love our hotel, Patio Del Mundo, but given constraints I put on Jena, it was probably the best choice.

Our last stop was Cartagena, which feels much more like the Caribbean city it is than like the rest of Colombia. We stayed at the magnificent Sofitel Legend Santa Clara and I can’t thank Jena and Eric enough for choosing this hotel. In a word, it was “perfect”.

I would like to say that Jena helped us with snags, but there were NONE. Every step was planned to a tee. We will definitely call on Jena and Eric for our next South American trip!

~ Judith Goodman

CUBA

Thank you for organizing the best memories my family will have shared with me.
The trip was amazing. The house, even though it is about 20 minutes far, was great. The pool and pool table came very handy with the children, it was clean, air conditioners worked fine.

The guide, Joe is great also. In general, getting 13 persons to a Paladar or any place and not having to wait to go in, was amazing. I already gave your information to a family of friends and to the friends that say that they can do it by themselves, I will let them know how important it is in Cuba to have a good tour agent.

~ Alma Weintraub  2017

They were spectacular. I would give the highest recommendation. Very knowledgeable, attentive and willing to adjust to all we asked. We covered a huge amount of ground in a very short time.  When we do our company trip (which should be soon), we should definitely use them. The tour guide, Adrian, was very knowledgeable on every aspect of Cuba from history to architecture to cuisine to rum and cigars.  Ray, the driver, got us everywhere we wanted to go quickly and was always positioned ready to head to the next venue. They did an exceptional job.

~ Mr. Ryan (Washington Post)   Havana 2017

They love the entire staff taking care of them, from the guide to the driver to the concierge. They are in love with Cuban people. One of the highlights for Shelley has been that whenever they need an adjustment or change made to the program, it has been taken care of. She says they have traveled all over the world and she truly appreciates having the flexibility in schedule to make this trip feel like a real holiday. They loved Doña Eutimia so much they cancelled Vista Mar for tomorrow and requested to go back there for lunch again, which has been taken care of. They have loved every tour so far, really enjoyed the art studios, and are very much looking forward to the vintage car workshop tomorrow.

~ Mulitz  2017

PERU

We returned Sunday from our trip to Peru, and we thank you for an outstanding vacation!  The itinerary was very smooth and Anna our guide was lovely, so knowledgeable! All accommodations exceeded our expectations, definite favorite is the Hotel Monasterio… The service and food was excellent at all hotels. We appreciate your help in planning and advising!

~ Barbara & Barry Feig  Peru 2017

Just wanted to thank you both for planning and a executing a wonderful family vacation for us. Every hotel was wonderful and every guide that we had was top notch. The whole trip was seamless and first class. Looking forward to traveling to other countries with you in the future.

~ Dodi and Jonathan Spielman   2017

ECUADOR AND CHILE

Thank you so much for the book on Atacama Latin Excursions gave us.  The photos are wonderful and it will indeed remind us of our trip. Thank you also for the lovely anniversary surprise waiting for us in Quito.  It was the perfect ending to a long day of travel.

The personal knowledge you and the travel agencies you work through brought to this trip really made it special.  The hotel choices were perfect, especially The Singular where we enjoyed a wonderful violinist playing in the park across the street.  The choice of vineyards was also excellent. Their red wines were quite distinctive. And of course, all of the guides and drivers were professional and knowledgeable. Thank you and your whole team for making our trip a memorable experience.  It truly did exceed our expectations.

~ Marlys and Dutch Stapelbroek  2017

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