My wife and I are back from our first trip to South America, visiting Chile and Argentina. We worked with Jordan and his team to put together a trip that mixed hiking, wine tasting, and big city tours. Knowmad did a flawless job organizing the somewhat complex itinerary and provided outstanding guides and drivers in every venue ( which is always critical on these trips). As expected the high-end hotels were excellent but the “boutique” hotels they selected also were great and interesting to visit. For sure, anyone visiting this area should stay at Awasi, even though pricey. The wine tastings that were arranged in Mendoza were well done and our boutique hotel at a vineyard there (Finca Adalgisa) was fun with good wine and a great cooking class. All around a great trip with a good mix of outdoor adventure and luxury touches.
I’m happy to note that our 17-day South American trip planned by Jordan Harvey and his staff (Chile’s Pucón and Puerto Varas followed by Argentina’s Bariloche, Mendoza, and Buenos Aires) was delightful. This is the latest of several trips (at least New Zealand, Hawaii, British Columbia and Eastern Europe) organized for us by your recommended experts, and you may recall that you helped us switch early on in our South America planning from Maita to Jordan.
Like a lot of professionals who have led or run organizations, we have high expectations and are detail oriented. At the same time, we think that travel should be great fun, we love meeting people, and have established persisting relationships through travel over the decades with people around the world.
Here are some of the things I’d note about Knowmad:
— MOST IMPORTANT: RELIABLE JUDGEMENT: Jordan and I initially had a long conversation discussing our style, hopes and (some physical) limitations, and those ideas were beautifully realized in the selection of locations, lodging, activities, and guides. Although such discussions are pretty typical when planning a trip, sometimes details aren’t noticed, are misinterpreted, or aren’t weighted properly by travel planners. Jordan’s choices were pretty much exactly what we were after given our taste, range of experience and budget. In my opinion, this ability to accurately “read” clients is arguably the most important characteristic of a travel planner.
— RESPONSIVENESS: Jordan and Krista, his administrative assistant, were immediately on top of things that we perceived as problems during planning or that arose during the trip itself. For example, we had difficulty scheduling a meal for New Year’s Day in Mendoza for a variety of reasons: because most places were closed for the holiday; the fact that establishments in that region tend to take a very casual attitude toward longer-term (like six weeks…) planning; and the (bordering on comic) expense of being transported on New Year’s. Krista made numerous contacts over months to arrange what became a lovely cooking demonstration and meal at a vineyard, with transportation at about one-third the originally quoted price. We also have relatives whom we wanted to visit spread through Buenos Aires and she was able to arrange private transportation that was punctual, convenient and cost less than the standard taxi services.
— INTERACTIVE EASE: I found Jordan and Krista very easy to relate to verbally and digitally. They always seemed to easily grasp what I wanted and were timely in addressing all issues.
— QUALITY OF GUIDES/TRANSPORTATION: We have traveled extensively and have cultivated, formally and otherwise, a good bit of historical, artistic and cultural experience/knowledge. Because I love expanding my knowledge base, it bothers me when I feel that I may know more about his/her subject than a guide or when he/she is repeatedly unable to address topical questions. The guides arranged by Knowmad were top-notch in terms of both professionalism and scholarship, and very consistent with our style, and the character of the associated transportation and the drivers’ ability to work well with the guides was exactly what I expect from a quality planner. Example: We were usually short of cash because the banks that we visited, especially in Argentina, limited the amount that could be withdrawn from an ATM daily and per visit (apparently related to older currency stabilization laws/regulations that had never been modified). The guides/drivers were both aware of the withdrawal rules and had a circuit of ATMs that they’d weave into the plans for adventure activities.
In sum, we were delighted with Jordan and Krista and would engage them again for South American travel without hesitation.
Jordan Harvey and his team organized our holiday trip to Chile and Patagonia for our family. He asked all the right questions beforehand and custom designed the perfect vacation for our very active family. We missed our connection on the way home and his team member Krista bent over backward. She helped find flight alternatives, furnished us with hotel options, helped plan the following day’s activities and kept in constant contact. She’s a true gem. I would not hesitate to recommend Jordan and his team to anyone planning travel to Chile & Patagonia.
I knew I could work on planning a trip with Jordan after our first phone conversation. He listened to my interests and then provided some suggestions. I truly felt he knew the area we wanted to travel and could provide a great deal of feedback on hotels, itineraries, etc. What I don’t want when planning a trip is a “cookie-cutter” itinerary…Jordan didn’t do that. We had a fabulous ten day trip to Chile and everything went smoothly. His drivers, guides, etc. were all great. I definitely would recommend Jordan and his team for travel in South America.
Great trip. We loved Jordan’s choice of the Explora lodges at both Easter Island and the Atacama Desert. It fit our description of a “land cruise” – the ability for us to spend time together as a family and yet allow different family members to choose different activities during the day depending on our preferences and energy levels. For example in Atacama, one day I went along with a guide for a walking historical tour of San Pedro, my husband and daughter took a bike ride through a beautiful valley and our son hiked with a guide to a mountain top at 18,000 feet!
Jordan of Knowmad Travel was charming, responsive and creative in planning our trip to Chile in February of this year. We were a group of four people with varying degrees of physical ability and diverse interests that ranged from hiking to culture, to meeting local people, appreciating the environment and satisfying our appetite for good food and wine.
Jordan, with much of our input, organized our stays at remarkable resorts in both Chiloe and at Vira Vira in Pucon. The experiences at those places combined all our interests and provided us with extraordinary guides, memorable activities, and excellent food and wine. We got to see the Pablo Neruda houses in Santiago and Valparaiso and were impressed with the guides who accompanied us, some of whom became friends. In addition, when one of our group had her purse taken (with her passport) on the first day in Santiago, Jordan’s team and our guides made sure that we could continue our trip; got in touch with the embassy; took our passportless friend to the embassy before we left for home and got her a temporary passport in an hour. They were totally supportive and helpful.
They should go to the top of your WOW list. Thank you for introducing us to Jordan.
A small group of us just returned from a two-week vacation in Chile (late January to mid-February 2017) arranged by Jordan Harvey and his staff. It was one of the best vacations I’ve ever taken, thanks in large part to the careful planning and attentive service of the Jordan and his staff. We traveled to southern Chile, Chiloe, and then returned to central Chile to visit Valparaiso and the wine country. All of our destinations and hotels were first-rate, as were the guide services. On top of that, I lost my passport while traveling and Jordan’s staff was very supportive, helping me through the process of getting a replacement. I would definitely use him again on any future vacation to South America.