Brian McCaffrey – May 2017 – Peru including Puerto Maldonato, Cusco/ Sacred Valley/ Machu Picchu, and Lake Titicaca. Travel was a two-person trip with an accent on active experiences such as hiking and sea kayaking. Tom worked with us to construct a tailored itinerary for a two-week adventure-filled trip. The in-country experiences were extraordinary in all aspects – we stayed at beautiful properties, the guides and drivers were knowledgeable and friendly, and the individual unique experiences we planned were incredible including a cooking class in Cusco, a stay in a tree house one night in the rain forest, and a 2.5 hour sea kayaking excursion on Lake Titicaca. Due to a late schedule change, Tom needed to advance the entire trip itinerary 2 weeks. He successfully rescheduled everything and still got us into his preferred properties. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Peru and would use Tom again to plan our next adventure to South America.
Here are the reasons we like how Tom arranged our trip.
1. Placed an agent at Lima airport when we transfer from international airline to domestic airline and provided lunch sacks
2. Vegetarian meals were provided for me when I traveled with my husband and my mom
3. Recommended Amazon cruise that fit our budget
4. Available throughout our trip and solved problems
5. Quality and service of Tom’s partners are excellent in South America.
6. Refunded money for unsatisfactory experience in Rio de Janeiro
Tom Damon and his team’s attention to detail was comprehensive and made us feel well looked after ( or as my wife said, we were treated like children which were not a pejorative assessment just that the guides and the ground operations were terrific and flawless ).
They had selected partners who were fully committed to making our trip memorable and without stress. The cruise was terrific and our guide at Cusco and the rest, Rosa was the best we have ever had anywhere
Tom Damon was a superstar from planning to execution. Tom listened carefully to what was important to use and designed a trip that was perfect for us. Our guide who accompanied us through Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu grew up right outside of Machu Picchu Pueblo and had worked with archaeologists at the site. His knowledge of the history, culture, and location added so much to our overall trip. We had the best drivers, which was important with all the mountain driving. Our hotels were top notch and we even were upgraded at a few sites. He even secured reservations to Astrid and Gaston. Along the way, we had a few hiccups in the plan, and Tom and his team were right there to help us. We would take another trip with Tom and his team in a heartbeat.
Tom is the best. I’ve done two trips with him, to Peru and Patagonia. My daughter and I are hiking fools, and it Peru, he sent us on a gorgeous trek so remote that in three days, we never saw another tourist. Then we joined the busier Inca trail to approach Machu Picchu from the Sun Gate, a view you will never forget.
In Patagonia, our two-week itinerary through Argentina and Chile was faultless, seamless. When things run that smoothly, you don’t always recognize how much effort it takes to make everything look so easy.
When an East Coast snowstorm blew away my homebound flight, Tom was on top of it, rebooking me on a new flight a day later before all the seats disappeared, arranging for a memorable day of sightseeing in Santiago, and even securing a refund from my original airline.
South America is neglected by U.S. travelers; don’t discount its vibrant cultures and extraordinary scenery. When you book your trip, use Tom!
Great trip from start to finish. Our trip was three weeks in South America during January 2017. Fly fishing in Patagonia, Volcanos in the Lake District, Easter Island and a land based Galápagos Islands stay. The drivers and guides were knowledgeable and a pleasure to be with.
We received some very disappointing news from National Geographic/Lindblad last Friday. They contacted us to confirm that the upcoming (1/26/17) Antarctica trip had been cancelled as the Orion suffered main engine failure. This also necessitated cancelling our Patagonia trip booked with Tom Damon, Southwind Adventures.
Happy to report that Tom provided truly outstanding support. Despite the Holiday period, he immediately responded to our email. He explained our options, offered to re-book and sent a revised proposal for our new travel dates. Tom eased our pain, guided us through the options and provided us with first rate professional support at a time of frustration.
Yet another reason why your Trusted Travel Experts are the very best.
Continued thanks for supporting our travel ventures.
When I first contacted Tom, I was considering a trip to Patagonia. We had only a week, (thanksgiving week), and after our conversation he thoughtfully suggested Ecuador and the Galapagos islands. I did not realize just how far Patagonia was, and we would be spending quite a bit of time traveling to and fro with little time just enjoying the country. Patagonia just requires a longer trip… So once I came to that realization, I asked Tom what he would suggest for our family, and he suggested Ecuador. It turned out to be a great suggestion… flights are no longer than Europe, and for us, the time change was 3 hours, which is much better than 9, so no jet lag. We ended up taking the Eclipse on a week long tour of the Galapagos. We had so many pinch-me moments from the ship, to the sunsets, and most importantly, the wildlife!! I would definitely recommend Tom for South America trip planning. In fact, we are thinking about Peru for this summer.
Just back from Argentina, where Tom Damon arranged a fantastic few days for us. Some of my favorite hikes of my life, which is saying a lot (Dolomites, Kauaii, Cape Breton I., etc.), with a fantastic local guide. Good hotel choices, outstanding recommendation of where to go in S. America. Super patient and expert to work with. Really outstanding!
Thank you for adding so much to another amazing experience for us, Wendy!
Tom Damon did a great job in planning this 9-day trip for us: Lima, the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu and Cusco. The accommodations, meals and transfers were all first-rate, but the highlight of the trip was the top-notch guides Tom arranged for us: warm and welcoming locals whose graciousness was only exceeded by their deep knowledge and passion. Thank you Romulo, Miguel, Erika and Erika! We especially enjoyed the one-day hike on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and highly recommend it — and Southwind Adventures — for anyone considering such a trip. Truly amazing on every level.
Tom Damon and his staff were great from the planning through to the execution. Given the parameters of it being an active family trip with 2 teenagers, Tom created an itinerary that kept us busy and engaged throughout the week. The sites chosen were perfect, the tour guides were terrific and the accommodations were fabulous. We learned and experienced so much. We would definitely use Tom Damon with Southwind Adventures again when planning our next trip to South America.
Tom Damon and Southwind Adventures did an excellent job in planning and executing our trip to Patagonia. They listened carefully to what we were interested in and quickly reserved hotels/resorts and guides that fit our needs.
The air travel office was very quick to respond to an unexpected international flight delay. They rearranged connecting flights and transfers without a hitch.
Tom Damon did an excellent job of taking the time to understand my travel style, listening to my interests and concerns, and then customizing a trip to Peru for our group of six that was truly extraordinary. Tom and Cynthia (who assisted with the coordination) were very accommodating throughout the planning process as we went through several tweaks to the itinerary to get it just right. This was my first time using a Trusted Travel Expert and I felt they were invaluable in the planning process, saving hours of time in research.
Our trip was the perfect balance of luxury and adventure. The quality of the guides, tours, hotels, and meals all were top notch and spot on. There were many transfers throughout our trip and the coordination and support we received while in Peru were all seamless.
Tom helped us plan a trip to Peru that we returned from a couple weeks ago. We wanted to experience Peru on a very personal level by interacting with the people of Peru through service as well as experiencing the beauty, climate and culture as tourists. Tom planned a trip for us that exceeded our expectations in every way.
Our trip truly could not have been planned or executed any better. Tom nailed everything from the big-picture flow of the trip right down to arranging meaningful service experiences. It was exactly the kind of experience and adventure we were after and every part of the trip was much better than we had even hoped. We were amazed at the beauty and the variety of Peru and our personal contact with the people of the Sacred Valley was incredibly impactful.
As advertised, Tom’s staff in Peru took great care of us. We were accompanied by guides and drivers throughout the duration of the trip who were incredibly knowledgeable and personable. We learned so much about the culture, climate and history of the country and became very fond of our guides and even our driver. Every detail was considered and our travels were safe and stress-free.
We highly recommend Tom Damon for anyone planning an adventure trip to South America!
Tom Damon did an outstanding job making the arrangements for our trip. We had a couple of unusual issues arise, but he took them in stride and handled them efficiently, never losing his cool as a result of our changing our minds from time to time. He was always available on short notice during the planning process. His guides were outstanding, particularly Rosie at Machu Picchu, and the accommodations met or exceeded our expectations.
Traveled in mid-March 2015 to Lima, the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu and Cusco. Our experience with Tom and the team on the ground in Peru was first-rate and seamless. During the planning process, Tom was very attentive to our special interests and the ways we liked to spend our time. This was a very rewarding dialogue as our experience was at once rigorous, and culturally and historically enriching. I would highly recommend Tom and his team to create a memorable time in this beautiful and friendly country!
We just returned from a custom tour of the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu and Iguazu Falls arranged by Tom (February, 2015). While February is considered rainy season, we had good weather with very little rain only at night. Everything was just perfect and the execution by the staff was flawless for the entire trip. All of the guides and accommodations were first-rate. We would highly recommend Tom Damon/Southwind Adventures.