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!
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.