Make Your Next Trip Extraordinary

Our thanks to Paul Irvine for his careful and complete planning of our amazing southern Brazil excursion!

When we docked in Rio at the conclusion of a two-week cruise, Patricia met us at the terminal and we immediately began two intensive days getting acquainted with the city and its surroundings. She adapted the tour to our interests and covered the must-see features of Rio along with delightful morsels that most visitors probably don’t experience — hidden vistas overlooking the city, a walk through one of the favelas, and much more.

We moved on to Paraty for a complete change of pace, beginning with a private tour of Paraty Bay on a converted fishing boat. We relaxed on the boat as we visited many of the beautiful small bays and islands. We made a stop to swim in the warm Atlantic water and another to enjoy lunch at a great restaurant where all the patrons arrived by boat.

Also near Paraty, we enjoyed a forest hike with Rodrigo and Felipe with a restful stop at a waterfall. After the hike we enjoyed an excellent lunch at Fazenda Bananal prepared from ingredients grown on the farm where it is located. A highlight was a demonstration of produce grown on the farm including the various uses and how some of the exotic fruits and vegetables are opened and eaten.

We finished with our bucket-list item — a visit to Iguazu Falls! What an incredible place! Unfortunately, the only sun we saw there was as we were leaving our hotel for the airport at the conclusion of our visit. But our guide showed us both the Argentine and Brazilian sides of the falls and we thoroughly enjoyed hiking the walkways that brought us to amazing views, despite the need for umbrellas. On our last morning, because our stay at the Belmond Hotel offered us early-morning access to the Brazil-side walkways before the influx of visitors, our guide took us on a hike when almost no one else was on the walkways, all the way down until we stood only a few feet above the crest of one of the nearly 300 individual waterfalls that make up this complex — followed by an elevator ride up to where our driver waited for us.

The entire excursion was a wonderful experience! Our Zoom conference with Paul kicked off the planning and we exchanged emails as the details came together. The resulting plan with the hotel and transportation facilities it included couldn’t have been better crafted. Paul and his staff were available throughout the tour to support us, including messages to greet us at each hotel, having boarding passes for our flights delivered to us at the hotel, and assisting us with airport check-ins since we didn’t speak the local language.

My wife and I have recently returned from a trip to South America. We were gone from October 5th till October 19th. Paul and his team did an excellent job in planning our trip to Brazil and Argentina. Paul developed an itinerary that fit into our flights we had to and from South America. When we had to make a change to the itinerary for our first night, Paul was able to make the adjustment immediately. Paul listened to our requests, such as keeping our tours to no more than four hours a day to give us time each afternoon to relax.

The guides that Paul was able to arrange for us in each location (São Paulo, Paraty, Rio, Iguaçu Falls and Buenos Aires) were all excellent. They were all top-notch and we enjoyed learning about each location from them. Getting to know them and their personal stories was very interesting.

One of the highlights was the fact that Paul arranged for us to stay in Iguaçu Falls at the Belmond Hotel das Cataratas, which was located in the national park overlooking the falls. Based on our guide’s advice I was able to see the falls early in the morning before the park opened and after 5PM when the park closed to the public. Seeing the falls without the crowds was truly special.

We had an outstanding trip and would highly recommend Paul and his team to anyone looking to visit South America.

Desert, city, jungle, beach, and pampas all in one fantastic itinerary. My husband and I spent a month sampling the wonders of Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. Paul organized a great itinerary with activities, free days and travel days that went seamlessly. Plus, we had a surprise WOW Moment/anniversary boat trip to one of the most beautiful beaches in Brazil. Paul took great care of us, including checking us in for our flights and having the hotels print our boarding passes. He made restaurant recommendations and reservations for us. His hotel choices met all the needs we requested. The activities were varied, interesting, enjoyable and perfect for two people in their 70s.

Paul Irvine planned a whirlwind tour of Brazil in December for me and my husband. This was my 2nd time trusting a Wendy Perrin travel partner with my vacation; Paul Irvine and his team did not disappoint. Paul was extremely patient and responsive throughout the entire process from planning, last-minute changes, to quick assistance during the trip when we had weather issues, both in Brazil and back home in Texas. Paul picked perfectly appointed hotels at every destination, and we really enjoyed all of our English-speaking guides and drivers throughout the trip. In Rio, we had Lais for two days of the city and art. She was one of the best, and most likable tour guides we’ve ever had — truly great, full of fun facts, history, culture and just a super interesting person. On to Paraty. It was a long (4+hour drive) to get to Paraty. We had an excellent driver who filled the time with great stories, info about Brazil etc,

While we found Paraty to be a quaint little village and our boutique accommodations at Casa Turquesa were seriously AMAZING; the tiny town itself wasn’t the highlight, not quite for us. The weather was cold and rainy, so unfortunately our tours were canceled. But, our driver picked us up early from Paraty and we squeezed in a day in São Paulo, which more than made up for the downtime in Paraty. My husband got to see a few art galleries on his list, and we did a fabulous neighborhood tour full of murals from local artists. We loved São Paulo! Unfortunately a bad freeze came through in Texas and the U.S. while we were traveling; my husband opted to go home early to winterize our home, while I continued on to Trancoso solo. Paul’s team helped us tremendously with these last-minute changes — they were flexible, accommodating and professional. The AXUS app Paul’s office uses was an invaluable tool to have. My time in Trancoso was nice, it’s a cute place and the tours, accommodation and food were great. No complaints at all, just a huge thank you to Paul and his team for all the help. We ended up being a high-maintenance client given our unforeseen issues. Thanks again to Paul, his team, and Wendy Perrin!

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