Maita was extremely good with getting us from one destination to the other—with drivers always ready and waiting. The Cavas Wine Lodge in Mendoza was fabulous and the Wine Safari people took us on excellent and diverse tours.
In November 2022 my friend Jerry and I spent two weeks in Chile.…half of it in the Atacama desert and the other half in Torres del Paine. At this stage of the pandemic we had both been boosted several times and did not really take any special precautions.
Maita Barrenechia and Florencia Landiera planned a perfect holiday for us using two Explora hotels. These hotels would not be good options for anyone wanting to keep their distance due to Covid. The excursions we enjoyed each day were shared with other guests and we liked that. There are other hotels, such as the Awasi, that provide a guide and vehicle with each room, but that comes at a much greater expense.
The Explora hotels are modern and very comfortable. The cuisine was excellent, as were the Chilean wines. Each day, usually over cocktails, you meet with a guide to discuss what you would like to do the following day. There are many, many options based on your interests and skill level. You can choose half-day or full day excursions. We enjoyed horseback riding, bike riding, swimming, and hiking. It was a very active holiday and we went to bed exhausted and happy every night.
After our time in the desert, we had to wait several days for a flight to Patagonia. Maita and Florencia arranged for us to stay at the Singular hotel in Santiago. It was a fun bonus to explore this beautiful, cosmopolitan city.
Every aspect of our trip was beautifully planned. When 3 out of 4 of our flights changed departure times, new arrangements were made, and pick-up times were changed seamlessly.
Jerry and I would recommend Maita and Florencia without hesitation. They are experts in their field, and you will have a great experience with them.
November is a fantastic time to visit Torres del Paine, because this is springtime and wildflowers are blooming everywhere. Chilean fire trees in bright orange cover the hillside. There are also wild pansies, ladies’ slippers, ranunculus, and even orchids. If you love flowers, this is the time to go!
We enjoyed being in Buenos Aires, especially with the excitement around Argentina being in the World Cup quarterfinals at the time we were there. Maita listened to what I wanted from our 5 days and planned some unique experiences. The hotel and restaurants she recommended were excellent. The architecture tour took us to places we would not have found on our own. The private tango lesson was great fun, and dancing with my instructor at the milonga was wonderful. I appreciated that I was able to do the lesson on my own, as my husband was too sick to go to the class. I liked the prompt communication by her staff whenever a planned event had to be changed, as happened with the private tango lesson. I would have liked sooner communication about the cost of the events she planned and how to pay for them. We had to leave for another trip well before our time in Buenos Aires and we did not find out about the financial side of things until the day before we were to leave on this prior trip. It left very little time to discuss alternatives.
This was the second time that I worked with Maita and Santiago, and once again, the trip was everything I’d hoped it would be and more. My first trip with them was to Buenos Aires and then through Patagonia (Argentina and Chile). This time I wanted to go to Mendoza and then to Uruguay. I traveled from November 21 for 11 days, and everything was absolutely amazing. We had planned this trip to take place in the fall (U.S.) of 2020 and were finally able to reschedule. I stayed at Cavas Wine Lodge (where Santiago had spent a few days just a couple of weeks prior to me going), and I highly recommend it. It is located in a gorgeous vineyard, and has gorgeous views from all angles. The people who work there are absolutely lovely and will happily help you in any way they can. Maita’s team had arranged for me to go to several wineries, and each one was excellent and so much fun! Views abound, the wines are excellent, and with hundreds of wineries to chose from, I was delighted that Maita’s office found ones that were perfect for me.
After 5 amazing days at Cavas, I flew to Montevideo, UR and was then driven to the absolutely delightful and gorgeous town of José Ignacio. Maita and Santiago had recommended this over Punta del Este, and they were spot-on. I never would have found this little town and am now considering buying property there! I stayed at Playa Vik, which I will definitely go back to—it is one of the nicest properties I have ever had the chance to visit, and had very interesting tours (arranged by Maita’s office) to Garzon winery, lunch at Garzon Restaurant where I met Francis Mallman (!), Pablo Atchugarry’s amazing and beautiful art, as well as the must-see Casapueblo. I then had a short tour of Montevideo, and flew home the next day.
If you are thinking of working with Maita’s team, go for it! Maita and Santiago will listen to your likes/dislikes, what you want out of the trip, etc., and will then create a bespoke itinerary that you will absolutely love! I am already working on a third trip with them and I have no doubt it will be wonderful.
My partner and I used Maita’s office to assist in planning a trip to Chile in December 2022. We worked primarily with Florencia, who was amazing! Our Chile trip was planned around a bespoke six-day puma photography trip in Patagonia. Florencia helped us organize an overnight stay in Valparaiso, transportation to and from Patagonia, a three-day city stay in Santiago, a wine tasting tour in the Maipo Valley, and a five-day trip to the Atacama desert.
Sadly, we had two international flight cancellations on our way to Chile (beware of LATAM) and arrived two days later than anticipated. This meant we had to skip our first stop (Valparaiso). Florencia was in constant contact with us during the flight cancellations to assist and advise on best options to get the trip back on track. Furthermore, Florencia coordinated with hotels, transportation, and restaurant reservations behind the scenes to inform them of our travel disruption. Once we arrived in Chile, we were able to slip into a slightly modified itinerary with ease.
Maita’s team recommended a great hotel in Santiago (The Singular) which was in a perfect location and had an amazing rooftop deck for relaxing sunsets. They also assisted with multiple dining recommendations. Our favorites were Borago (a uniquely experiential dining event) and Ambrosia Cafe (we highly recommended sitting at the bar, where you can engage with cooking team). Lastly, our time in Santiago and the Maipo Valley was made very easy thanks to our amazing guide (Gary) and various drivers. The on-the-ground guide service provided by Gary was among the best we’ve experienced, and he worked seamlessly with Maita’s office to ensure everything went smoothly.
We concluded our trip with a restful and relaxing stay at the Tierra Atacama in the desert. They had a great spa, excellent food, and its location offered convenient bike-ride proximity into San Pedro. While the hotel itself was very nice, our experience was a bit challenged due to a rambunctious family with very young children and an infant (the opposite of relaxing). After a few cocktails all was well though!
Despite initial travel disruptions, we had an amazing trip to Chile! We highly recommend Maita’s team, as we found them to be knowledgeable, adaptable (we know what we want and what we don’t want), well networked with the best local guides, and invaluable in mitigating unanticipated travel disruption. A big thank you to Florencia and the team!
We traveled to Rapa Nui (Easter Island) and the Atacama desert. We stayed at the Explora hotels in both locations and very much enjoyed them. This was a good time of year regarding the weather to travel to these locations. I didn’t enjoy Atacama very much because I didn’t think the sites were all that special and the altitude really bothered me. Rapa Nui was a long plane flight from Santiago, but I really enjoyed seeing the Moai statues.
We were told that USD was sufficient and that we did not need Chilean pesos. That was not correct. Cash items (ice cream in Santiago) would have been much easier if paying in pesos. We gave all our tips in USD.
Our advisor was responsive to our questions. She sent us all our boarding passes via text messages, which was very helpful.
A few years ago we went on a Seabourn cruise to celebrate a friend’s wedding anniversary and because some weather caused excursions to be cancelled, we received a credit. Not being confirmed cruisers, we decided that Antarctica would be a good choice, since it is the only way to get there! So we booked it. We thought it would probably be the last time we would be in this part of the world, so we planned to start in Buenos Aires and make several stops along the way to Ushuaia, where we would board the ship to Antarctica.
We contacted Maita Barrenechea from The WOW List. We worked with Malena Feijoo, her associate. This trip was one for the ages! Malena helped us pick a total of six locations, starting from Buenos Aires to the Mendoza wine region to three hiking lodges in Patagonia, before landing in Ushuaia at the very southern tip of South America. We stayed three nights in each location.
This was complicated itinerary. Several flights, lots of drivers, guides in each location, and she pulled if off without a blip. The hotels were a real highlight — and we love our top-end hotels! — the food was very, very good, the guides terrific. So many highlights. Wine country surprised us. We did not know how good Argentine wine was. We get exposed to a lot of OK Malbec here at home, and it was so much more than that. We wound up sending five cases home! The hiking in Patagonia settings astonished. The lodges, especially the Explora in Chalten, are set up to maximize the terrain, the views, and the camaraderie among the other guests. Really fun.
Highly recommend Maita and Malena.
The cruise was pretty amazing too.
PANDEMIC TRAVEL We spent a week in Mendoza, Iguazu Falls and Buenos Aires on a tour arranged by Maita. This was the third time Maita has arranged trips in Argentina and Chile for me. The wine tours, excursions in the national park at Iguazu and a day in San Telmo at the Sunday market were great fun, with excellent guides at each site. We look forward to our next trip to South America.
PANDEMIC TRAVEL We had a great tour of Santiago. Everything was Covid appropriate. The planner organized all logistics very well: pick-up/drop-off at our hotel, nice newish car and good driver, lunch, and most importantly, a wonderful guide. Alvin was knowledgeable, professional, and friendly. We learned about neighborhoods, history and current affairs. He was a pleasure to spend time with. We highly recommend this tour with Alvin.
PANDEMIC TRAVEL I took my husband and two adult children to Argentina for the 2021 holidays (13 day trip). I planned this trip with Maita only six weeks beforehand due to the uncertainty surrounding Covid. I wanted to be off the beaten path and stay in interesting places that offered active enjoyment of the natural beauty of Argentina. Maita helped me narrow down the locations to BA, Mendoza, Salta and Iguazu (we recently had been to the lake region and Patagonia in Chile). I also wanted to stay in family-run estancias — and though my husband and son aren’t huge fans of horseback riding — I convinced them that this is an important part of the Argentine experience. I wanted to experience the vastness of the landscape on horseback, and get to know the people, history and culture of Argentina. The trip exceeded all expectations and I can’t wait to return to Argentina — with Maita’s expert guidance. We stayed at 3 estancias which were amazing and even my husband and son enjoyed the excellent horses and gorgeous trail rides. One of these estancias had never taken paying guests before — it turned out to be one of the most unique and enjoyable travel experiences of our lives. In addition, we stayed at several small hotels when we were not at the estancias which felt very authentic (mostly Argentine travelers) and had interesting locations/architecture. Maita was able to quickly respond to all of our requests: last minute flight changes due to Covid issues, securing and changing restaurant reservations at the most popular places, arranging a last minute bike ride through the vineyards, and gave us many ideas about art galleries, sites, stores, etc. that are special. She provided us with two superb guides who made our trip enjoyable, more meaningful and active (we requested frequent walks to break up the driving). The customer service was extraordinary. I highly recommend Maita and her team.
Maita and her staff were fantastic to work with. She/they covered all aspects of the planning and execution of our trip and made valuable suggestions along the way. Maita spoke with us at length on the phone several times prior to our departure and really understood who we were. Her professionalism was evident personally and within her staff as well.
Maita was able to logically plan our trip around a cruise we had booked thru Ashton — approx 2 weeks before and after. She stayed attuned to us as we were apprehensive about starting in Chile as the riots were going on there. She gave intuitive advice on our concerns and all was well. Also at one lodge we experienced mold in the villa and we were able to change villas for the remaining nights, without bothering Maita. However when they refused to credit part of that night’s stay I asked Maita to intervene. She did successfully and we are expecting a credit shortly.
The level of resorts we stayed in would be attractive to anyone who wanted comfort along with truly daring experiences. The excursions were customized to our needs and we felt very fulfilled.
Also, the WOW Moment in Buenos Aires was well curated beforehand and the attention to detail was superb. As we are both artists the experience of being in the studio of a renowned silversmith, which was as much a gallery as it was a workspace, was certainly appreciated. Also being picked up in a beautifully preserved antique auto and being served an immaculate dinner within the artist’s space was a tribute to the thoughtfulness of Maita and her staff. It was certainly a WOW event! Beyond a doubt we would not have had the same experience without this superb guidance.
We arrived in Argentina Mendoza and stayed for several days at the beautiful Cavas Wine Lodge. We had tasty grilled meats, excellent wines and a Tango display. Staying at a lovely suite, or casita, in the vineyard was a treat. The phone rang and asked us to go to our roof. We did. Wine, cheese, candles and early evening.
We went to “1884” for dinner 20 minutes away. Perfect. The hosts, Cecilia Díaz Chuit and her husband Martin Rigal, present a laber of love.
We went to Palacio Duhau in Buenos Aries and had a splendid evening in Recoleta, breakfast and a guided and chauffeur escorted tour of BA.
THEN, hell broke loose. The famous cemetery was closed. Seabourn emailed, announced cancellation of the cruise 3 days hence.
COVID-19 was exploding.
Seabourn got us on the 1100pm outbound to Miami, and we got home to the Gulf Coast.
We are OK. We watched youtube videos and we had our condensed (from 33 to 8) day holiday. What a whirlwind.
We highly endorse Maita and her colleague Malena Sofia-Feijoo.
This was our first trip to South America, specifically, Chile and Argentina. I had some ideas of where I wanted to go but Maita embellished expanded on my thoughts. She sent us to places I could never have planned on my own. The diverse natural beauty in each location took your breath away and the physical challenges pushed us beyond what we thought we could do. The guides were outstanding and helped make the trip memorable. In addition to a wonderful itinerary, her staff was always there if we had a question or a problem.
We are in love with South America and hope to return soon.
Maita was terrific once again. I advised her we wanted to go someplace warm for a week before going to Antarctica. She sent us to Uruguay, a wonderful country. At her suggestion, we first went to a property north of Montevideo called Sacromonte. It was heaven. Four “cottages in the middle of a vineyard. We were treated like royalty by the owner. A local Belgium/French couple recently opened a “private” restaurant in their home. Maita arranged the dinner for us by calling the neighbors and asking if they would join us so we could reach the minimum group size necessary for dinner. The Canadian couple then invited us to their recently renovated home the next morning for coffee. Understand, Sacromonte was on over 500 acres. The adjacent neighbor, a 10 minute drive away, lived on 1000 acres. What a great experience. It was wow even without being an official WOW Moment.
We then went to a beach town, Jose Ignacio, after stopping at another vineyard, Garzon Vineyard with food by Francis Mallman, which was very hip, chic and laid back. My wife and I could live there. The property, Playa Vik, was small and intimate as well. Service was impeccable! While there we had an official WOW Moment. It was scheduled for Wednesday but we forgot about it and by the time we realized it was too late. It was to be a special experience at the Estancia Vik. We asked if we could do it the next evening but they could not. However, they asked us the next day, Thursday, if we would like to come to a polo match at their property that evening. We went and it was spectacular. The match, our first, was interesting but the post match activities were spectacular. We ate and drank with the players and exchanged stories. These players were from around the world, they all were very fluent in English and had very interesting personal lives.
The WOW Moment was the following night. We already felt we had two WOW Moments already but this one even surpassed the prior ones. We went back to the Estancia, took a horseback ride at sunset, played golf on a “homemade” course and then were serenaded at a private dinner outside with five in staff serving us! We then rode back to the barn under the stars. Magnificent!!!
Maita and her staff put this all together. She cleaned up our mistake and made it even better. Oh, I forgot, she recommended a restaurant for us in Buenos Aires after we left Uruguay that was one of the finest and most inventive and original meal we have ever eaten in our lives-Arambura. 18 courses of total originality paired with 6 wines. OMG! It doesnt get any better. Leave the planning to Maita and she will deliver an amazing trip!
This was our second trip arranged by Maita and her team, and once again, they did an excellent job of putting together a complex itinerary for 3 couples, all experienced travelers. We asked for Maita’s guidance on several different possible destinations, and with her deep knowledge of Argentina, Uruguay and Chile, we were able to distinguish between our options and put together a rich itinerary. We had a lot of communication with her and her team, and really appreciate their patience with the number of questions from three of us who do the planning. We received their pre-trip PDFs for Chile and Argentina, with lots of helpful information, and shortly before our departure, we received a package with complete itineraries (with all details, color photos, details), along with restaurant recommendations, information on all things to do and history for all of our locations, and more. She also recommended the app they use, which was enormously helpful for keeping up to date, especially when we were in transit. She also suggested Cranky Concierge to help us wrangle our miles into our tickets to and from the US, handle the LATAM flights, and then monitor the flights on our flight days. Cranky also stays in close touch with Maita’s team on the dates we were in transit, which helped to prevent any last minute hiccups. We were particularly appreciative of their cooperative working relationships when LATAM changed our flight time from Puerto Montt to Santiago, cutting very short a precious day at Tierra Chiloe. The flight team scrambled, put together a great alternative, and Maita, along with excellent staff, at Tierra, made sure we had a great excursion that day, lunch, had rooms for us until we left at 4, and then packed us a wonderful little dinner for our flights.
Maita and her team had suggested a sunrise horseback ride in the Andes, which was a highlight of our trip, and a day at a ranch high in the Andes, another beautiful spot with the lovely ranch owners. As we were coming back for our last day in Santiago, one of her staff, Santiago, suggested the Museum of Memory and Human Rights. For our group, all educators and social justice advocates, it was a perfect recommendation; it gave us greater insight into the current protests in Chile.
With Maita’s help, we had three excellent stays at Casa de Uco, a lovely contemporary hotel in a vineyard in Mendoza, Mari Mari outside of Puerto Montt and Tierra Chiloe on Chiloe. At Casa de Uco, they helped us plan in advance for New Year’s Eve, exploring the menus of several different restaurants to enable us to choose before we departed the US. They suggested we consider the helicopter transfer from the airport in Puerto Montt to Mari Mari, and we were so glad we did. It was extraordinary! The staff at Mari Mari could not have been lovelier, the food and wine excellent, and our villa was a stunningly beautiful place overlooking the Pacific. We loved our hot tub on a rock outcropping overlooking the water! At Tierra Chiloe, the staff again was outstanding, our rooms lovely, the facility itself was a gorgeous space overlooking the water and birds, the food/wine excellent, and the guides so engaging and knowledgeable. She also recommended The Singular for our three nights in Santiago—wonderful staff, great food, and easy location from which to explore the city. We had room upgrades wherever possible, including some extraordinary rooms. Maita’s team was responsive to questions and kept us informed fully.
Now, we are considering another trip, and Maita, along with her excellent team,Malena, Santiago, and Florencia, are already helping us to explore different potential destinations, find the best hotels, and arrange all the pieces necessary. We know that we will have another wonderful trip.
Our family of 5 experienced an amazing trip to Argentina organized by Maita and her team. We hiked on a glacier, got soaked on a boat we rode into one of the Iguassu waterfalls, had a wonderful private boat experience on a quiet arm of one of the lakes in Bariloche, and had a fantastic surprise WOW Moment that we loved. I prefer not to specify what we did for our WOW Moment, since I wouldn’t want to spoil a possible future WOW Moment for someone else, but suffice it to say it was our best and favorite meal in Argentina. Everyone in our family loved the WOW Moment Maita and Wendy Perrin planned. It is not something you can plan on your own, which is what makes it so special. Maita’s team suggested great accommodations in all four of our destinations (Bariloche, El Calafate, Iguassu and Buenos Aires) and was able to obtain rates at some hotels that were lower than those available online. They also suggested and booked a fantastic New Year’s Eve Party in Buenos Aires we will long remember. Our Bariloche boat tour guide was excellent as was the ornithologist/ nature photographer who took us bird watching in Iguassu. We hope to return to Argentina to visit different regions and will ask them to plan our next trip. Since a prior reviewer mentioned that patience was required in working with this agent and we were planning to travel over Christmas/ New Years, I figured out on my own which four destinations we wanted to visit and the flights, and contacted Maita very early. If you want to stay at the Llao Llao resort and stay in the Moreno wing over the holidays, early booking is essential. While you are on the trip, communications with Maita’s team are excellent and immediate. At other times, communications take longer. When you arrive, they provide extensive beautifully packaged and detailed materials regarding each location, including restaurant recommendations and cultural information. Even with WOW trip advisers, I find that a little extra independent research is worth it. I asked Maita’s team to book an estancia/ horseback ride in Los Glaciares National Park near El Calafate that was about a third the price of the estancia 2 hours from Buenos Aires suggested by them. We also took a tour of Buenos Aires with a local Rabbi that focused on both Jewish and Argentine history which is one of the best tours we have ever taken. I found both of these on tripadviser.
Our trip was fantastic. From start to finish, Maita and her team helped us organize, plan and execute our trip. Every recommendation was on point, the accommodations were top notch. The tour guides were friendly and knowledgeable and the restaurant recommendations excellent. All transfers were on time and the people were lovely. During our trip, Maita’s team checked in with us to make sure everything was going according to plan and they answered all our questions promptly. There was not a false step our entire trip.
This is our second trip arranged with the help of Maita. We stayed at Arroyo Verde and also at Tipiliuke Lodge. Accommodations were lovely and the food was excellent. Between our two stays at the fishing lodges we spent two nights at the small city of Villa La Angostura. We had a WOW moment for this trip. We were brought to the home of Chef Sebastian Guevara who travels all over the world to create fantastic dinners for movie stars and even Presidents! We were served a delicious dinner that my husband, who loves to cook was able to help prepare. The dinner was accompanied by fine wines, served with fine Argentinian wines. After dinner we were surprised with a private concert by a small string group that played everything from tango music to Led Zeppelin! Truly an amazing trip!
Maita and her team did an amazing job coordinating our first trip to Argentina. The planning process went smoothly and emails were always responded to in a timely manner. We decided to take the trip with only a month notice and they did a fantastic job at making everything work in a short timeframe. Our initial contact with Maita set us off on the right foot while our continued contact with Betania was excellent.
We began our trip with two days in the country at Estancia La Bamba de Areco. From beginning to end our stay was awesome! The food was delicious, the staff (Maria) was friendly and the accommodations were clean and comfortable. We also enjoyed the horseback riding and a short trip into San Antonio de Areco for shopping.
We spent the next five days in Buenos Aires getting to know the city. Our hotel accommodations at Hotel Alvear were top notch. Once again, everything went smoothly. Our guide, Vickie, was knowledgeable and friendly. Our drivers were great. They were always on time and helpful. The help making dinner reservations was also appreciated. We really appreciated not having to worry about the logistics once we were on the trip and we never had any problems. It was so easy!
We would definitely recommend Maita to anyone traveling to Argentina.
We had a wonderful time in Argentina! While, during the planning stages of the trip, we had a problem with inconsistent communication from Santiago, every detail that we entrusted to him was executed perfectly. Most memorable was the VIP treatment at the Tango show, including chilled champagne waiting at our table upon our arrival, and the full day trip to Iguazu Falls National Park. Not to be missed is the boat trip under the falls! Additionally, an extremely comprehensive informational packet was delivered to our hotel in Buenos Aires. A dining recommendation from Maita’s team was Oviedo which was fabulous and in close proximity to our hotel. Also, the hotel recommendation in Recoleta was perfect for us: close to all the things we wanted to see in Buenos Aires! Another not to be missed experience in Buenos Aires is Freddo ice cream!
Maita and her team helped pull together (at the very last minute) a trip to Argentina that combined everything from sophisticated insider tips to B.A. restaurants to the perfect Patagonia adventure. They’re great and were extremely nice and helpful throughout.
We relied on Maita to bookend a cruise to Antarctica out of Buenos Aires. Before the cruise we wanted to experience Buenos Aires, and the two tours Maita arranged were both great. Do not visit Buenos Aires without visiting Recoleta Cemetery, La Boca and the Colon Theater. Following the cruise, we also squeezed in a trip to Iguazu. Thanks to Maita’s magic, it all fit into about 36 hours. Her guides were excellent, personable and professional, and all arrangements worked like clockwork.
I have nothing but praise and gratitude for the work done by Maita and her assistant Mariana. Mariana even called us in Iguazu on Sunday to make sure all was going well. I cannot thank them enough for helping turn a routine time into a “WOW” experience. They fully deserve to be on your WOW list.
Maita planned a flawless trip for us. The Singular Hotel in Santiago was perfect. The Explora lodges in the Atacama Desert and on Easter Island were amazing. These lodges thought of everything. The guides were knowledgeable and the hikes were interesting. At the end of a long day we had a beautiful meal and fine Chilean wines to celebrate. Vik Chile was the perfect place to rest and recharge before our last stop in Iguazu. Maita chose the Awasi and it was stunning. Each villa is assigned a guide that is with you for your entire stay. The excursions were well planned and executed and our guide was fantastic. The staff was very accessible and always ready to help us in any way. Maita could not have done a better job of putting this together. Wendy planned a WOW plus experience in the Atacama Desert. We were picked up at 17:30 by our guide and told to bring a windbreaker and blanket. We traveled on gravel roads for what seemed like an hour. Our guide, Michelangelo, kept us in suspense until the last minute. When we arrived at our destination we could only see the headlights of what turned out to be a truck and a trailer. Michelangelo led us by flashlight to a table set for two. I felt like we were on the set of a Hollywood movie. We were on the Moon Crater in the Atacama Desert having a gourmet dinner under stars. This does not happen in the real world. After a lovely dinner we were treated to an hour of stargazing. The laser point was the only thing that made us fell like we were connected to the 21st century. It was amazing evening and one we will never forget. Thank you Wendy.
WOW doesn’t do enough to describe what Maita brought to the table during our trip to Uruguay.
Her commitment to real-time support is amazing. The communication and feeling of ease provided by her team made the trip better. We knew any problems would be solved by knowledgeable people who cared. Outside of her support team, Maita is truly involved. Her constant texts and calls read less of a specialist and more of a loving family member; we are so grateful for it all.
Maita was able to distill my wife and me into a plan that checked both the boxes standard activities as well as those of individualized moments. Moments that spoke to the lens of the trip with alarming ease, planned on the fly or after a quick conversation. Two quick highlights:
– Spontaneously getting us access to a home designed by prestigious architect Chilean architect, Matias Klotz. The owner is her friend.
– Our guide, who was also a top chef trained by Francis Mallmann, found a secluded beach and cooked us lunch by the fire. He also happens to a close friend of Maita.
It was all WHOA moments with her. We never felt alone, passed off or basic. Her warmth, focus on the personalized experience and knowledge really elevated her beyond the WOW level of expectations.
My only advice would be to be patient during the planning process. It took her group seven months to finalize six days in José Ignacio, Uruguay (two days of which we did relax days). She is def. not a NYer, but remember most people aren’t blessed that way and her expertise pays off handsomely. Although Argentina was not on the bucket list previously, to have the opportunity to work with her again has us discussing a potential Patagonia trip. She’s great.
We had very special excursions and seamless facilitation. The resort accommodations were fabulous!
We used Maita Barrenechea for some of our travel plans during our recent trip to Argentina and Chile. She provided some excellent suggestions that enhanced our experience in the overall itinerary and provided exceptional lodging choices after we discussed our preferences. We are used to making our own travel plans so did coordinate some of our arrangements when her recommendations did not suit our interests, however, the combination of the assistance of her company with our own input made this trip perfect for us. We would highly recommend the use of her company when planning a trip to this area and appreciate their assistance in making this trip so memorable.
Maita and her team, specifically Santiago, carefully paid attention to my requests and created an itinerary that was absolutely perfect for me. As a solo traveler, I have found that many travel specialists can be less responsive since it is just one person versus a family or group. However, in this case, I felt like a VIP, and, even during my wonderful trip when I had some small but frustrating issues to me at the time, Maita and her team acted as virtual concierges, and were extremely kind. Their arrangements for everything were flawless, and hearing from Maita and Santiago during the trip was very special. I look forward to working with Maita in the future and highly recommend them. Thank you, Wendy, for helping me find Maita!
Spent a week in Argentina, mostly Mendoza/Uco Valley, planned by Maita Barrenechea. It was fabulous. Everything she recommended was amazing, from the hotels to the guides to the wineries we visited. She was easy to work with, and easy to contact and everything was perfectly arranged. Could not ask for anything better!
Maita, Mariana, and the rest of the team did an amazing job putting together the most PERFECT trip I have ever experienced. I’m an experienced traveler (over 46 countries in the last 25 years) and I have worked with a number of travel agents. This particular trip was phenomenal in every way. Everything was custom tailored to perfection, and the advice on the itinerary and activities was completely spot on. The planning piece was fun and easy and it translated into an itinerary that matched our goals and tastes. The guides, drivers, etc. that the team arranged for us were the perfect match for our personalities. We enjoyed every aspect of the trip and we would change nothing. We really appreciated the help during the trip – we were running late for one dinner and the team contacted the restaurant to ensure it would not be a problem (we didn’t even ask for that – it happened organically behind the scenes) and they arranged several last minute items for us when whims struck our fancy. In all, I can’t compliment Maita and her team enough – we were truly looked after and they designed and DELIVERED the trip of our dreams! Argentina is amazing and, in my opinion, overlooked by American travelers. If you go, work with Maita and her team to have an unforgettable experience!!! Salud!!
We went to Argentina from 2/23/28 to 3/9/18. We visited Buenos Aires and 3 areas in northern Patagonia- 2 fishing lodges and a small lakeside hotel. Maita and her team arranged drivers and English speaking guides and arranged internal flights and hotel and restaurant reservations. Everything went very smoothly and as planned. We had a great time. We really liked Argentina. It is a big, beautiful country with very nice people. We enjoyed the food and wine and near perfect weather at this time of year. Our hotel in Buenos Aires was very nice and well located. We enjoyed a city tour and a tango show. The flyfishing lodges, Tipiliuke Lodge and Estancia Arroyo Verde, were beautiful and run by excellent hosts/managers and had a very interesting group of international guests. the fishing guides were first rate. We look forward to exploring more of Argentina and will use Maita again.
I used Maita in January 2018 to help arrange guides in Buenos Aires and Santiago. I had most of my trip already planned or I would have used her for more. She was a great source of knowledge and even recommended that I change one of my hotel reservations to be in a more central location. She knew which tour to go on in Patagonia and what the best restaurants were in Buenos Aires, from a local grilled sandwich shop to higher end places. The guide Diego in BA was incredible. The guide in Santiago was lovely and knowledgeable but Diego was a tough act to follow. I would highly recommend Maita for any travels in Argentina and its surrounding countries.
Maita Barrenechea and her team made our trip to Argentina and Uruguay outstanding! Superb guides and recommendations in Buenos Aires hit the mark on all counts. We had wanted to go to the Salta region but given weather/time of year, the suggestion that we go to Uruguay was made and our stay at Finca Narbon was one of the highlights of our trip! A private cooking class for our daughter and I at Malman’s restaurant at The Vines was a fantastic experience. Each step of the way Maita and her team were in touch with any changes or available to immediately deal with a few small glitches. Over the years, 7 trips taken and two more are currently planned with WOW experts. Always easily planned by staff who listen well to our goals.
Maita and her team did an outstanding job throughout the process. They even fixed some last minute hotel issues perfectly. They deliver a great experience.
A carefully customized trip to our wishes. Quick responses to our questions/ directions. Outstanding in all respects.
January 2017–This is a belated entry for the wonderful service, planning, and support provided by Maita and Alex Nefodov on her team, during a trip I took with my son to Uruguay in January of 2017. The trip was a very last minute plan for us. My husband could not accompany us and both my son and I were independently itching to flee while he was on break from college and Uruguay was on our bucket lists. In stepped Maita with suggestions to suit both our of needs (mine–nature (birdwatching and ranches) and his (beaches and more bit more excitement). Everything that was planned was pitch perfect. It was amazing how Maita immediate got the vibe of how our vacation needed to proceed after one phone call and a few emails. City, followed by ranches and birdwatching, on to some to secluded beaches and followed by more developed and populated beach scenes. And beyond that, and perhaps, as important, was the care that was given to us along the way–the calls and check-ins by Alex were the most thoughtful of any other agency I have ever dealt with hands down. (And there have been many) This is a first rate groups of individuals. So much so that were are thinking of returning and having them plan a slightly different trip soon. This is not a travel agency; this is a group of travel professionals who know the country and all that it has to offer and care deeply about their clients. Bravo. And thank you.
After considering numerous other travel specialists, I decided to go with Maita and her team based on the numerous reviews of their service here and elsewhere. I knew I had made the right decision when I received an immediate response to my inquiry and throughout the planning process continued to receive prompt responses. Maita and her team planned the perfect trip for the foodies and wine enthusiasts me and my cousin are. Every bodega and restaurant was a hit. The tour guides were very knowledgeable and very professional. Each aspect was planned to lead to the next, all culminating in a fabulously indulgent trip.
Maita and Santiago, thanks for being so responsive and patient with my numerous emails and changes. Your dedication to your profession comes across in the passion with which you represent Argentina. I can certainly understand why you and your dynamic team come so highly rated and recommended by numerous experts in the travel industry. After I spoke with both of you, I had a feeling this was going to be an epic trip and I was not disappointed. You are great ambassadors and expertly represent the fabric of Argentina through your carefully curated trips. We are very pleased with how it all came together and will not hesitate to use your extraordinary service should we decide to come back. So stay tuned.
We used Maita to plan a trip to Uruguay in February 2016. What an incredible trip. My husband and I took our kids to an estancia for a few days, where we rode horses and took long walks on hectares of gorgeous land among peacocks, ostriches, armadillos and bulls. We were the only guests so had wonderful connections with the properties owners, the gaucho, and his son. We then drove to Jose Ignacio for a relaxing beach getaway. They found us the perfect spot to fit our mood and recommended terrific day trips and restaurants to satisfy our need for culture and great food in between sandboarding on the beach and relaxing by the pool. They were responsive before and during the trip helping with last-minute changes and suggestions. All in all, a tremendous vacation thanks to Maita and her team!
After my initial consultation with Maita, Veronica from her office took over and managed the details. She was terrific! Our trip was lovely, and it was clear from our reception at all three hotels that Maita’s guests are given special treatment. Our bags arrived two days late, on the morning we were supposed to leave Santiago and drive across the Andes to Mendoza. Veronica was able to change our pickup time and have our guide take us to the Santiago airport to get the bags on our way out of town, and this seemingly small thing made a huge difference to us. Our guides were friendly, knowledgeable, and spoke excellent English, and when one of them forgot the planned lunch stop he found another one that we very much enjoyed. Finally, the preliminary materials that Veronica sent to me were super helpful regarding everything from tipping customs to what to wear in various locales. I will definitely use Maita’s company again the next time we go to Argentina or Chile!
Maita was amazing at helping my wife and I plan our trip. We were asked what types of accommodations, activities, meals, etc. that we enjoyed and then Maita tailored the trip to meet our desires. All of her suggestions added to the overall experience of the trip.
During the trip, her staff regularly checked in with us to make sure that all of our travel arrangements, accommodations and activities were meeting our expectations. Our answers were almost always that our expectations had been exceeded!
Without exception all the guides, drivers and other tour companies that were engaged by her on our behalf were punctual, informative and attentive to our needs. Bravo!
During our trip, we only had one instance where weather caused a travel delay. This delay may have resulted in us missing a scheduled flight. Maita’s staff promptly answered my emails and expedited our transfer to make sure that we still made our flight. In short they did a great job relieving the stress that can accompany a weather related travel glitch.
Thank you Maita for an absolutely wonderful travel experience! We will definitely be planning another trip with you and recommending you to anyone that is interested in travelling to Argentina or Uruguay.
Maita Barrenechea and Alex on her team, proved to be an excellent recommendation by Wendy Perrin. Hotels, drivers, restaurants as well as the few guides we had were excellent. We particularly liked working through a specialist who was in country as this made for ease of adjusting our scheduled itinerary real time. Responsiveness to the changes we requested was tops. Far better than if we had been working through a US based operator. Will definitely use Maita and her team again for additional travel to Argentina, Chile and Uruguay.
Maita and her team did everything possible to make sure this “trip of a lifetime” was perfect!
They succeeded and we will treasure our memories. I would not hesitate to recommend
We have planned trips with multiple WOW list agents and as always, our trip with Maita met our expectations for thoughtful planning, great guides, and an overall wonderful trip. I talked with Maita, Santaigo and other staff early in the process to discuss our interests and then we worked well on email to nail down the specifics. One of the things I appreciated was receiving the pre-trip packet of information on traveling to Buenos Aires; that was very helpful. When we arrived, our driver met us and handed us a full packet of other materials to help us enjoy the city. As professors, we like having a real depth of information and resources to read.
One highlight for us was our evening with Fabrizio at a milonga. He was a thorough teacher in explaining tango and how milongas operate in the city. That was a fascinating look at tango and the culture that surrounds it. He is very well known in the tango world so we met other people who came to greet him and were clearly excited to see him. We decided once we were in the city to have a private tango lesson and Santaigo responded quickly and set it up. We really enjoyed that experience. I had worked with Maita to identify several museums to give us a breadth of experience in the city; we found MALBA very thought-provoking, the Evita museum a must see, and the El Zanjon de Granados colonial houses fascinating for its look into the citys development. Other highlights included excellent restaurants and lovely guides who were knowledgable, engaging and fun to be with. Maria took us to her favorite empanada restaurant so that we could try empanadas as they are made in the region of the country in which she grew up.
Finally, Santiago checked in with us via the phone on several occasions, and on Christmas Eve, there was a staff person on call who responded in a timely way to a question. We felt we were well cared for throughout the trip by Maita and her team. The experience really whetted our appetite for another trip to Argentina at some future date and without question, I would work with Maita again.
Thank you for developing the list of wonderful travel specialist by region. My family and I have just returned back from a trip to Argentina which was planned by Maita Barrenechea and her team at MAI 10. The trip was amazing! Maita and her team provided my family and I (my wife and I and our three children ages 23, 21 and 18) with a fabulous itinerary filled with adventure and memories that will last a lifetime.
The MAI 10 group’s attention to detail was obvious in everything they did. From booking amazing restaurants to printing out our boarding passes. Alex, who was our primary contact was on top of things and very communicative. He even came to bid us farewell during our last day in Buenos Aires.
In summary–an amazing time made amazing by Maita and her team. I would have never met them if it was not for you.
Thank you for another amazing set of memories to add to our collection of Wendy memories!
Maita and her team provided some great options for tours and lodging – we loved our hotels. Our drivers were excellent and the vehicles safe and new. The support from our guides and the agency was fantastic when my mother had her passport stolen – they went with us to get photos done and came to the airport to assist with re-booking and immigration documentation which was wonderful.
We have utilized travel specialists for other trips and have always been extremely satisfied with the results. When we took our trip to Argentina we utilized Maita Barrenechea and her team. They were extremely helpful in the planning of the trip. They provided suggestions but we never felt like we were being pushed into something we didn’t want to do. We were impressed when Maita and Alex both met us at our hotel upon arrival and provided some excellent information for our trip. It was obvious from their preparation that they were very organized and professional. We had to modify our trip due to a brief illness and they handled the changes quickly and helped to minimize the stress. In addition, I periodically emailed them with questions during our trip and they were always prompt with their response and willing to help whenever we needed them. I would highly recommend Maita Barrenechea for anyone planning a trip to Argentina and Uruguay.
I was very pleased with Maita. She was responsive, professional, and proactive. I had an ambitious set of goals (single woman traveling alone on her visit to three South American countries over a two week period with only about 10 days to plan!) Everything went according to schedule (I had numerous drivers transferring me from hotel to hotel or event to event). I felt safe and secure at all times. I would absolutely recommend Maita to another traveler.
I cannot speak highly enough of the superlative trip to Argentina from which I just returned. I researched trips to Argentina extensively, and had several itineraries planned for me from named high-end travel firms. Then Wendy Perrin’s WOW List for 2015 came out, and I spent some time and effort duplicating my efforts with Maita Barrenechea. Maita and her firm are everything Wendy says of them. They are attentive to the client, and carefully crafted a trip based on our needs and desires. They understand the nuances of travel in Argentina. Transfers were seamless. The itinerary and choices of tour guides and hotels were impeccable. Someone from the firm, often Maita herself, responded to every one of my emails quickly and thoroughly. Maita reviewed the itinerary with me by phone a week prior to the trip, to confirm all details and recommendations. The firm emailed nearly every day during the trip (without being at all intrusive) to ensure that the hotels and tours were to my satisfaction. The trip was not inexpensive, but it was priceless and worth every peso.
I could not have asked more from a travel agent both in the planning stages and during the trip. The group delivered exactly what I wanted as far as accommodations and excursions. I took a five week trip to Argentina and Chile so it was not a simple trip. During the trip they checked in by telephone and email every few days. Perfect!
We traveled to Argentina and Chile late January/early February 2016. Our travel planner was Mai10. They were very responsive but in retrospect I think we probably needed to have a conversation live rather than always email. We also had many changes in the itinerary over the course of the planning which made it confusing as well. All and all a good trip and parts were great….but overall not the best we have taken.
We have used many of Wendy’s trusted travel experts and Maita is top notch. She and her staff (especially Santiago) were not merely superb planners, tailoring our requests to what proved to be wonderful experiences, but they were on top of every aspect of our trip. Maita was able to get us access to experiences we could not have gotten on our own (or I suspect by other planners) from a day-long excursion with one of Argentina’s top condor experts (and a lovely man to boot) who not only taught us much about condor behavior but was a great birding guide as well, an outdoor lunch created and cooked for us by a young and talented chef (another lovely man) and a wonderful day fly fishing on a deserted river (where I learned to cast and catch fish despite very high winds). She also chose places for us to stay that were not merely memorable but perfectly suited to what we wanted in our accommodations. Our time in Argentina bracketed a three-week trip to the Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica. That we’d been to Argentina three times previously made it that much more important that we have a planner who could guide us to experiences we hadn’t had previously. I can’t recommend Maita and her staff highly enough. Wendy does a great job in choosing her trusted travel experts. And Maita is one of the best.
Maita is an excellent travel agent for a trip to Argentina. She asked us what type of places and activities we wanted to see and do – and she made it happen. We had the most wonderful guides from Buenos Aires to Bariloche to Cordoba to Iguazu Falls. Our Bariloche experiences were so amazing – hiking for 7 miles to reach the most beautiful views, having a private gourmet lunch at the top of the mountain, riding horses on a family ranch and sharing a special lunch with the entire family, to hiking to Iguazu Falls. We really felt that we got to experience Argentina.
Our family just got back from a wonderful trip to Buenos Aires, Colonia, Mendoza, Santiago and Valparaiso during Christmas week. Maita and Florencia put together a beautifully planned itinerary for us with great recommendations for sightseeing, hotels, restaurants and wineries. Our guides were excellent, and our itinerary was planned with great care and attention to detail. We are very happy that we used Maita’s team to plan our trip and highly recommend them.
My trip to Argentina was amazing! Everything was organized, and executed beautifully. All I had to do was be ready for every adventure at the right time! Maita and her staff “got me” and what I was looking for. Had a small “glitch” with one of my flights, and they magically altered my itinerary to fit the problem. I would highly recommend them to anyone looking to experience Argentina.
I wanted to share our amazing experience with Maita and Florencia. We had a wonderful trip this August as we spent 8 days in Buenos Aires. We had top-notch tour guides the entire way. We stayed at the Four Seasons which was amazing. Florencia was able to get us a late checkout at 6pm which made our last day so much more enjoyable. The pace of the trip was wonderful and we were able to enjoy sightseeing without feeling rushed. Not only did they arrange our tours but our guides communicated with each other to be sure they didn’t overlap sites. The shopping tour with Catalina (Maita’s daughter) was fabulous. We went to several private showrooms and received discounts as well. The tango show we booked, Rojo Tango, was very good. We did a day trip to Uruguay and everything went smoothly. They even confirmed all the restaurant reservations we requested. Thank you for suggesting such a great team of people.
My wife and I just completed a one week trip to Argentina that was arranged by Maita. We had a wonderful time celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary in our first trip to South America.
The experience with Maita was great from the beginning. It started with an email to Maita to arrange a time to speak about the trip. As you often recommend, it is important to initially speak with the travel expert to make sure that the travel expert is who you want to use. Maita called me and it was quickly apparent that her and the agency were going to be a great fit. Maita was very prepared for the conversation about the trip and we spoke for almost an hour with her asking question on our likes and dislikes as well as offering suggestions based on her expertise as to what we should do while in Argentina.
Maita then put together a suggested itinerary based on our conversation. We then communicated by email to refine the itinerary and ultimately finalized the itinerary. Maita then turned the trip over to Santiago in her office to make the arrangements. Santiago was very thorough and pleasant to deal with. Within a short period of time, he had made all the arrangements and the only thing left for us to do was to get on the plane to Argentina.
We arrived in Buenos Aires and everything went smoothly during our trip. We saw and experienced a lot of interesting things while in Argentina. We were really happy with our primary tour guides during the trip, Noonie Harrison and Teresa Vellagel. As I discussed with Maita when planning the trip, we enjoy tour guides who not only impart their knowledge, but also engage you in conversation. Maita hit it right on with Noonie and Teresa. We could not have asked for better guides as we experienced things like the Recoleta cemetery, MALBA, Pallarols silver workplace and a day trip to San Antonio de Areco Gaucho town.
Some really great experiences arranged by Maita were a tango night where we took a tango lesson Fabrizio Forti at his studio, then a tango show and dinner followed by Fabrizio meeting us and taking us on a milonga tour. Fabrizio was an excellent teacher who had a lot of patience to teach us and he was very interesting to talk with during the milonga tour. Another great experience was a cooking lesson with Chef Paula Mendez Carreras in her home. Paula was the most gracious host and we enjoyed our time learning to cook some Argentine specialties. The time just flew with Paula and we would recommend it immensely. We also took a quick one day trip to Uruguay as Maita said it would be a shame not to go to Colonia while in Buenos Aires. Maita was right and we loved Uruguay.