Make Your Next Trip Extraordinary

We traveled to Argentina in April 2023 on our second trip with Jordan’s office (first was to Chile in 2018) and once again, the company provided a trip that surpassed our expectations! All the accommodations, activities and food recommendations were top-notch. In 2012, we traveled on our own to Buenos Aires and Iguazu Falls, so we were eager to use the company’s expertise to explore other parts of the country. We chose Bariloche and the Salta region to see a wide range of landscapes as well as to have exposure to indigenous culture in the NW. Both were wise selections for our interests. We stayed 4 nights in Bariloche and enjoyed terrific hiking and a variety of lake views. We loved staying at The Aldebaran, away from town and in a beautiful setting. Flying north to Salta for 11 nights, we stayed in four different communities (Purmamarca in Jujuy province and Salta, Cachi and Cafayate in Salta Province). Although the trip involved some long drives, the scenery was unbelievably gorgeous and the landscapes totally engaging. Our guide in the NW made a few wonderful itinerary changes, in consultation with Jordan’s office, based on weather conditions and assessing our interests. We had a fabulous evening in Salta enjoying a local peña (not a typical tourist show); visited three different weavers (including a very special visit at Tejedores Andinos); indulged in three lunches at different vineyards; had other amazing meals and wines in beautiful settings; and visited three museums that are among the most unique we’ve ever seen. We were treated to 2 wonderful WOW Moments that were great surprises. Working with Jordan’s team is an absolute pleasure: Krista (and Jordan) were always responsive to our interests when planning and adjusting the itinerary. They have fabulous local contacts and each of our two guides greatly enhanced our understanding of Argentina as well as making certain we were always comfortable and pleased with our activities. We’re grateful that Jordan’s office made this trip happen after having to postpone it in 2020 and 2021 — we highly recommend the company for any trip to South America!

We initially booked our Chile travel organized by Jordan Harvey for April 2020, and then rebooked for April 2021. Neither happened, of course. While Jordan tried to move our trip to 2022, it was not possible, so Jordan provided a credit for the entire amount we had paid, good for a year. When travel restrictions began to loosen, we decided to revisit our Chile trip and contacted Jordan in June 2022. We knew our credit had expired, but to our surprise and delight, Jordan was able to provide us credit for 2/3s of what we had paid for the 2020 trip. It was much appreciated.

We worked with Jordan and completely revised our itinerary, removing Easter Island and the Atacama Desert segments and replacing them with more time in the wine country and a 5-night stay at Tierra Chiloe, in the Chiloe archipelago. This halved the internal flights and avoided the still-present Covid-related travel requirements for Easter Island. While the travel to and from Tierra Chiloe consumed two days of our trip, it was a beautiful place, which, despite the long rides for our hiking and biking excursions, was most definitely worth the journey.

Tierra Chiloe is in an isolated but absolutely beautiful location. Jordan recommended a visit to the Chiloe archipelago (and Tierra Chiloe in particular), as it would provide an introduction to indigenous peoples of Chile and offer opportunities for hiking and biking. He was right. We loved it. Our room at Tierra Chiloe was very comfortable, with a great view of the wetlands and the migratory birds. The food and drink were very good, with the dinner menu changing daily. There are magnificent views from the dining and adjacent lounging area, and each area has fireplaces that kept the area very comfortable, even when the wind and rain were lashing the building. The staff were all pleasant and helpful. The grounds of Tierra Chiloe include a “backyard trail” that is not to be missed. Weather is temperamental on Chiloe but adds much to the charm. Our first excursion, the day after a heavy rain, was a 5-mile difficult hike through the woods, over streams, up and down sand dunes, and on a beach. We had light rain, mud, and wind. We passed close by cows and steers. The guide took time to identify trees, plants, flowers, and birds. The hike was one of the highlights of our trip. Our companions on the hike were native Chileans from Santiago. We loved meeting them, and we had many enjoyable conversations with them while we were at the resort. The other highlight in Chiloe was meeting Sandria. This occurred during an excursion to another island in the archipelago that required a short ferry ride. Our lunch that day was at Sandria’s farm. Sandria’s story is amazing. She is a single woman who, after working 20 years in the salmon-farming industry, bought 7 hectares of land (about 14 acres) and started an organic vegetable farm. She has been recognized as one of the best organic farmers in Chile by the Chilean government. She works the farm by herself – building fences and greenhouses, planting a multitude of vegetables (including the giant garlic that is her top income generator), raising chickens, sheep, and pigs, and picking fruit and making jellies and jams. In the winter, she keeps busy not only with maintenance chores, but by using the wool from her sheep to make socks that she sells to venders. Just an amazing and inspirational woman.

Backing up, we started our Chilean journey with a 3-night stay at Jordan’s recommendation — the Matetic Vineyards. It was a beautiful and quiet setting. We enjoyed guided morning bike rides around the property (it is quite a large property) of 26 and 31 kilometers, and an afternoon hike. Our guide for each of these adventures was a pleasant and engaging young man who shared much about life in Chile, from the educational system to the job market. Our journeys took us past not only vineyards and fields of organic blueberries, but also fields where cows, sheep, and alpaca were grazing. We saw the original, no-longer-used winery on the property, and ovens where charcoal was produced. Our room was very comfortable. The food was very good, with a different menu every night for dinner. The wine was excellent. All the staff and guides were pleasant and helpful. We could have stayed longer.

We then ventured to Santiago for two nights at Jordan’s recommended lodging — the Hotel Magnolia – a very nice boutique hotel in a restored palace. We ate dinner at the hotel’s rooftop terrace restaurant. The food and service were very good. In response to our desire to learn about Chilean history, Jordan arranged a tour of the city that included a visit to the Museum of Memory and Human Rights, a tour of the downtown area, a visit to the park, and rides on the funicular and cable car. The museum provided an in-depth look at the Pinochet years. On our second day in Santiago, we went to the Aconcagua Valley for wine tasting. Our itinerary called for a visit to two wineries, with lunch. We visited only one of those wineries in the itinerary, with two others being visited instead of the historic winery listed. We did not know about the change in advance. One of the substituted wineries was a great experience – Flaherty. The wines were excellent, including a wonderful Tempranillo which the Flahertys grow on in their tiny vineyard. We very much enjoyed seeing and learning about their winemaking process. This visit was another highlight of the trip.

We ended our Chilean journey in Valparaiso. Quite an impressive city on the coast with a working waterfront, lots of hills, funiculars to assist with getting up the hills, and, as Jordan told us, amazing street art. We enjoyed our walking tour of the city, during which our hunger for history was fed. The hotel Jordan recommended — Casa Higueras – was small and tucked away at the end of a street. Our room with a balcony had a marvelous view of the working waterfront. The room was comfortable and the views spectacular. We ate dinner at the hotel’s restaurant, sitting outside on the balcony with its wonderful views.

Addressing our desire to learn about Chilean wine, Jordan planned another day of visiting wineries while we were located in Valparaiso. We went to three wineries in the Casablanca Valley. We did not know the names of the wineries in advance and there was some confusion, as our guide did not have the specifics of what was happening at each winery, but our experience at the second winery – Kingston — was another highlight of the trip. We were given a private tour of the winemaking process with the winemaker, as well as for a wine tasting. Andy explained his philosophy of winemaking (every winemaker has one!). He had us dipping into the plastic vats of fermenting grapes and tasting the juice from 1, 2, and 4 days of fermenting for both pinot noir grapes for their top wines and the Chardonnay grapes for their sparkling wine. We got to see, and hear, the fermenting up close! This was one of our best wine experiences in 20 years.

Our driver for the trip, excluding Chiloe, was fantastic. He was not only an excellent driver but a wonderful person. His English was about the level of our Spanish, but we were always able to understand each other. We enjoyed the guide Jordan arranged, who was with us except in Chiloe and the city tour of Valparaiso. He was friendly and helpful. We appreciated his willingness to talk about life under Pinochet and what is going on in Chile from a political standpoint – again allowing us, as we had expressed to Jordan we wanted, to learn some history and understand the country better.

Jordan provided a local contact in Chile for emergency situations. We had to call them in connection with flight issues. First to let them know our international flight was delayed leaving the U.S. (4-hour delay) so the driver and guide picking us up could be alerted. Second was to alert them and obtain assistance in regards to our delayed and then diverted flight from Castro to Santiago. The two individuals we spoke with were competent, understanding, and helpful.

Jordan provided great recommendations and put together a wonderful itinerary. In hindsight, I realize we should have been a bit more specific with respect to what we wanted in connection with wine, but our experiences at the Flaherty and Kingston wineries were top-notch and we would recommend those wineries to all who have a lot of experience with private wine tours. They put Chile into the countries with our top private wine exploration experiences.

Chile is a large, varied and wonderful country! It takes effort to explore a lot of it, but it’s well worth it. We visited the wine country area in the Maipo valley, spent a lot of time hiking in Patagonia, and saw the Magellanic penguins down near Punta Arenas. All were wonderful, especially the time in Patagonia at the Explora resorts, and based on this trip it won’t be our last adventure in Chile/Argentina!

We are 2 couples who wanted to see parts of Chile and Argentina, and other tour companies did not cover all of the places we wanted to see. On Wendy’s site we found Jordan’s team. They designed an itinerary for the places that we wanted to see, which included Torres del Paine (Chilean Patagonia), El Calafate and Perito Moreno glacier in Argentine Patagonia, Buenos Aires, Iguazú Falls on the border with Brazil, and colonial northwest Argentina (Salta, Purmamarca, and environs). Originally planned before COVID to include stops in Santiago, Valparaiso, and Easter Island, Carmen and company (in Jordan’s office) stayed in touch, allowing us to reschedule our trip without difficulty. When things reopened, they helped redesign the trip without Easter Island, as it did not reopen. They arranged air, transfers, guides, and hotels, working with our preferences and budget. They listened to us and truly were great planning partners. All went superbly and all lodgings were excellent, except for the one in El Calafate. Throughout the trip Jordan’s team left nice touches—bottles of wine in a couple of rooms, chocolates, and a few others. We highly recommend flying premium economy in South America, as often the seats are similar to U.S. first class, but more importantly, the check-in for premium economy is much faster and has shorter lines than coach. Communication with Jordan’s office was excellent, especially as we rescheduled and made changes as places reopened. The pleasant surprise was that all of this detail and quality, for two couples, was only a little more expensive than booking with one of the larger tour companies that has larger group trips. We would certainly use Jordan again if we traveled to South America.

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