Make Your Next Trip Extraordinary

This Is WOW: Surprise WOW Moments Described by Real Travelers

by Wendy Perrin | April 16, 2024

Have you heard of my WOW Moments project? “Wendy’s WOW Moments” are surprise insider experiences that help make a trip extraordinary.  WOW List travelers earn them by submitting reviews of their trips.  After you take two qualifying trips, we will send you a WOW Moment certificate to redeem on a future qualifying trip. Learn how to get your own surprise in Wendy Wants To Amp Up Your Trip!  Then travel vicariously via the WOW Moment reviews below and give yourself something to look forward to!


India: “We participated in the rituals, learned a lot, and enjoyed the experience of ‘renewing our vows’ in a different culture…”

Travelers and the elephant at the Dera Amer sanctuary in India.

Michael and Lisa Riggs with new friend Rangmala at the Dera Amer sanctuary.

“As with every WOW List specialist we have worked with over the past five years, we found that Victoria had everything planned and arranged to perfection. Any glitches were handled and fixed immediately. Most notable, after I left a packing cube with my husband’s polo shirts in the Delhi hotel, Victoria’s team managed to retrieve them and get them to us, via a variety of drivers and tour guides, at a later destination. Meanwhile, our guide Vanch suggested we get some shirts made, which was fun, inexpensive, and quick. A great souvenir from India, whether or not you lose yours.

The hotels were 5-star, gorgeous, and even historic. At The Imperial in New Delhi, the site of many historic meetings, we enjoyed sitting at the same table Gandhi did!

In Agra, we were surprised by our WOW Moment: an authentic Hindu marriage ceremony for us! We participated in the rituals, learned a lot, and enjoyed the experience of ‘renewing our vows’ in a different culture. Now we will be together for 7 lifetimes, the priest told us. Luckily, we’re good with that.

Our WOW celebration continued with an excellent dinner of Mughal tandoor cuisine, with a traditional Santoor musician, at the highly rated Esphahan restaurant in our hotel, the Oberoi.

It was wedding season in Rajasthan, and it was fun to see things even more ornately decorated than usual, including horses, elephants, vehicles in the streets and our hotel, The Taj Rambagh Palace (a former Jaipur Maharaja’s palace). The elaborate Mughal gardens were the site of a large and lavish wedding reception, all day and into the night. It was fun and interesting to witness. Even the staff was impressed.

One of our favorite stops was the Dera Amer camp, an animal sanctuary and home of elephant rescues. We fed and took a walk with Rangmala and her mahout, and she allowed us to pet her and pose for photos.

We saw sunset and sunrise at the Taj Mahal and were thrilled to tour the inside of this monument and many other historic forts, temples, mosques and palaces. It was a beautiful trip to a most interesting country.” —Lisa Riggs

Read more reviews of India trips. Learn how to get your own WOW Moment. Or use our trip questionnaire (reached via the black button below) to start a WOW trip.

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Peru: “We went all over the city, sampling different types of ceviche and learning about this rich Peruvian tradition…”

Ceviche at Amaz Restaurant, Lima, Peru

Ceviche at Amaz Restaurant in Lima, Peru. Photo: Amaz

“Just returned from Chile, Peru, and Bolivia! Recently, Wendy has been recommending South America, and I’m so grateful I took advantage of this. Despite the warm temperatures, there were few tourists, which ensured a really authentic experience. Ashton helped me plan an extended trip to all my desired destinations: Torres Del Paine, the Amazon Basin, Lima, Santiago, Valparaiso, the Atacama, and the Altiplano of Bolivia.

It was a long journey, but I felt so supported as a single traveler all along the way. In Patagonia, Ashton recommended Patagonia Camp, a fantastic place owned by the Matetic family, of Chilean wine fame. Outstanding guides, excellent excursions, beautiful lakeside yurts, and the most divine food/wine. The camp helped ensure I met other travelers, so meals were always full of conversations.

For the Amazon, I asked for somewhere that didn’t have a ton of tourists, which took the cruises out of Iquitos off the agenda. Instead, Ashton recommended Posada Amazonas, an indigenous cooperative that sits on the Tambopata River in Peru. Here, I was the only guest for the first two days, so fully enjoyed my hikes, boat rides, and village visits that allowed me to see how life is lived in this region. The rooms are open to the rainforest, which made for magical evenings full of sounds. And it did rain on several days, which sounded one thousand times better than any recorded soundscape!

Then it was time for a few cities—Lima, Santiago, and Valparaiso. In Lima, Ashton and Wendy arranged a WOW Moment, which was right up my street: a ceviche lesson, tasting, and tour with Marisol. We went all over the city, sampling different types of ceviche and learning about this rich Peruvian tradition.

My last stop was my favorite part, four days in San Pedro de Atacama, followed by a four-day “travesia” across the Altiplano to the Uyuni Salt Flats. My Quechuan guide and driver introduced me to so many aspects of the local culture, including participating in the carnival celebrations. We hiked up volcanoes, sat in hot spring pools, rode bikes through slot canyons, and ate all the local dishes. On our final evening in Uyuni, after indulging in a wine/tapas al fresco meal, it started to rain, which meant the salt flats became a mirror of the skies. I spent three days in La Paz on the way home and loved that too. Such fascinating geography and a lively city. Four weeks of amazing journeys in three countries. I could not have asked for more, and was so thrilled with all of Ashton’s recommendations and support.

My favorite aspects of working with one of Wendy’s experts is the ability to customize when/where I’m going, to focus on places that are not overrun with tourists, to meet the local people and see how they live, and to get outside and really feel a part of the stunning landscape. Onwards!” —Milinda Martin

Read more reviews of South America trips. Learn how to get your own WOW Moment. Or use our trip questionnaire (reached via the black button below) to start a WOW trip.

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Belize: “A local family served us a traditional Mayan lunch, nouvelle-style. And Patricia met us there for lunch…”

Our travelers Salena and Allen Kern with WOW Lister Patricia Johnson in Belize.

WOW Lister Patricia Johnson joined Salena and Allen Kern for lunch one day.

“My criteria was a direct flight from Newark, warmth, a place we’d never been to with lots to do if we wished, and a Wendy Perrin advisor. It took about a minute to find Belize and Patricia. And we were off…. Patricia recommended a few places to stay, and two of the resorts (one in the jungle and the other on the beach) were owned by Francis Ford Coppola. Who knew? Not I, for sure. Well, my husband was an extra in Apocalypse Now many years ago and that was that. He was thrilled to be seeing what Coppola had created in Belize. Both resorts were beautiful but Blancaneaux Lodge was one of the nicest places I have stayed in my life.

We climbed ruins, rafted through a cave that should have been a cathedral, and visited an entrepreneurial coffee “factory” amongst other things. Most important to me, however, was that we got to know something about the current economy of this young country and much about its varied cultures. On our first full day, we were surprised by our WOW Moment. At this most beautiful site, overlooking a series of waterfalls, we were served lunch by a local family (now, Patricia did know that I am a bit of a foodie) who served us a traditional Mayan lunch, nouvelle-style. The family has a catering company called U Janal Masewal, Ancient Recipes for a Modern World. That sort of sums up my worldview too. We were happy! And Patricia met us there for lunch. Thank you, Patricia and Wendy.

This lunch opened our eyes to what was happening in the local communities. The Mayan culture isn’t stuck in the past or lost, as it is in Chiapas, Mexico, where I visited last year. The Belizeans are creating a wonderful and mixed culture ripe for all sorts of tourism. Our week in Belize was full of surprises. I would recommend it to older people like us, to young families, well, to anyone who likes travel.” —Salena Kern

Read more reviews of Belize trips. Learn how to get your own WOW Moment. Or use our trip questionnaire (reached via the black button below) to start a WOW trip.

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Ecuador: “A new species, the ‘Mashpi glass frog,’ which he found for us on a night walk…”

A frog clinging on the traveler's glasses frame.

A Mashpi glass frog clings to a traveler’s glasses frame. Photo: Traveler Robin Madden

“We chose to visit the Amazon and stay at Napo Wildlife Center, and Mashpi Lodge in the Cloud Forest. These two places were chosen due to their commitment to the local communities and preservation of the incredibly biologically diverse ecosystems in which they are each set. Carmen on Jordan’s team put together a seamless experience.

The Napo Wildlife Center is owned and operated by the local community—a rarity in luxury lodges. Mornings started early, 5:30, but oh, the payoff! We saw multiple species of monkeys, more than 40 different birds, caiman, river otters, and a sloth, as well as various snakes and insects. Our WOW Moment occurred while being paddled on the lake at sunset, when chilled wine was served along with gifts of handmade jewelry and a gorgeous bowl made by the local women. Then upon arriving back at the dock, there was a sumptuous spread of food and more wine! Enough to share with many others.

At Mashpi, Fernando was our guide, and he is the ‘frog whisperer.’ He is a biologist who did research there prior to becoming a guide and identified a new species, the ‘Mashpi glass frog,’ which he found for us on a night walk. We had the extraordinary luck of witnessing a battle between a wasp and a tarantula. The wasp won, killing the tarantula and depositing her eggs inside to hatch in about 10 days. Fernando videotaped the whole encounter. It was like watching a National Geographic special, but it was right there in front of us.” —Robin Madden

Read more reviews of Ecuador trips. Learn how to get your own WOW Moment. Or use our trip questionnaire (reached via the black button below) to start a WOW trip.

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Chile: “A cooking class and dinner with a chef who hosted us at his home overlooking the city and mountains…”

Travelers on a field of lupine during a birdwatching excursion in Chilean Patagonia.

Bill Livingood, Lynn Woodhouse, Sandra Quinn, and Stephen Thomas walk through a field of lupine during a birdwatching excursion in Chilean Patagonia.

“My husband, two friends and I have just returned from our trip to Chilean Patagonia, and once again, we were in the expert hands of Maita and her team. We began with a 3-night stay at the Singular Patagonia, outside of Puerto Natales. What a stunning and unique small hotel in a gorgeous setting overlooking a fjord. With our great guide, we spent literally an entire day hiking through forest, pampa and the wetlands, spotting 41 species of birds…. From there, we drove to Tierra Patagonia, just outside Torres del Paine National Park. Magnificent view from our huge window in our room!!!  We saw lots of wildlife, wildflowers, stunning sunsets, and on our last morning, the entire dining room was abuzz when we saw a puma saunter across the property in front of us.

Before our departure for the US, we had an extraordinary WOW Moment: Maita and team had arranged a cooking class and dinner with Tatan, a chef who hosted us at his home overlooking the city and mountains. He was gracious, interesting, and charming. We began with luscious appetizers on the balcony, and moved to the kitchen where he had organized work stations and assignments for each of us as we made ceviche and pisco sours. In addition to having fun, we learned new cooking skills. Gary, our escort to the airport, had to drag us away as we enjoyed our meal and delicious cheesecake on the balcony.” —Sandra Quinn

Read more reviews of Patagonia trips. Learn how to get your own WOW Moment. Or use our trip questionnaire (reached via the black button below) to start a WOW trip.

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Belize: “A private concert with up-and-coming Belizian vocalist Kylon Eiley on our villa patio…”

Turquoise water in the Caribbean Caye Caulker island, Belize.

The Caribbean island of Caye Caulker, Belize. Photo: Shutterstock

“Just back from a wonderful week in Belize with our adult daughters (23 and 25). Patricia, Rachael and their team did a great job. They exemplify why I use your planners—they really listened and planned accordingly, were easy to communicate with, have in-country expertise and contacts (Rachael met us at the airport!), and were able to adjust on the fly.  We were looking for a Christmas-week alternative to our typical beach-resort experience where we stay at the hotel and rarely venture out. Instead, we had a 2-bedroom villa in a small hotel right on the lagoon, with day trips tailored to our desires. That first morning when I opened my door and walked 20 steps in my PJs to the completely quiet beach and into the still, clear waters was magical.  All alone in paradise.  We snorkeled, zip lined, floated on the river, visited a spice farm and learned all about cacao and chocolate. We also relaxed on the beach, ate lots of ceviche, and discovered a new taste for rum.

Rachael planned a lovely WOW Moment—a private concert with up-and-coming Belizian vocalist Kylon Eiley on our villa patio, complete with margaritas….” —Kathryn Barden

Read more reviews of Belize trips. Learn how to get your own WOW Moment. Or use our trip questionnaire (reached via the black button below) to start a WOW trip.

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Paris: “Since we couldn’t go to Israel, this was a Jerusalem-Paris dining experience…”

Versailles palace, Paris.

Versailles Palace, Paris. Photo: Shutterstock

“We had three weeks to plan a Paris trip with our adult children after our Israel trip was canceled. Jennifer, a WOW planner through Wendy Perrin, created a trip fit for royalty. We stayed in a gorgeous, boutique hotel in the Marais district and had private car and tour guides for the Louvre, Versailles, Chateau, Jewish and History Tours. We saw the Eiffel Tower with a private tour, the Dior Exhibit at the Foundation, we had an amazing time.

Our WOW Moment started with a car picking us up at noon, taking us to an unknown destination which was a fabulous restaurant, Shabour. The owner told us that since we couldn’t go to Israel, this was a Jerusalem-Paris dining experience. We sat at the bar to watch the chefs prepare a delicious, fun, memorable lunch. It was awesome.  We have traveled the world with Wendy Perrin’s WOW List. It is the best way and the only way we travel.” —Adrienne, Phil, Lindsey, Billy Goldberg

Read more reviews of Paris trips. Learn how to get your own WOW Moment. Or use our trip questionnaire (reached via the black button below) to start a WOW trip.

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New Zealand: “A studio visit with Delani Brown, a Maori/Irish wood artist in Taupo…”

The guide taking a photo of Barbara and Larry Schoenfeld birdwatching at the Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari ecological park, New Zealand.

Barbara and Larry Schoenfeld birdwatching at the Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari ecological park.

Jean-Michel’s colleague Clare organized five days of interesting, off-the-beaten path experiences in New Zealand. One of the highlights was a private guided tour of Maungatautari, a Sanctuary Mountain. It’s an incredible conservation area where they constructed one of the world’s largest pest-proof fences and succeeded in rejuvenating tree and bird species, especially New Zealand’s endangered kiwis.  She also arranged for my husband and me to accompany a Maori leader on a spiritual ceremony greeting the dawn, followed by a visit and discussion about Orakei Marae, his tribal community in the hills near Auckland.

The next day, we spent a fascinating few hours with Mamakan, a botanical artist who led us through her forest restoration project in Parau and then served us an elegant foraged lunch. A highlight of our trip was the Wendy WOW Moment, a studio visit with Delani Brown, a Maori/Irish wood artist in Taupo who produces giant columns and edifices for buildings and public spaces worldwide.” —Barbara Schoenfeld

Read more reviews of New Zealand trips. Learn how to get your own WOW Moment. Or use our trip questionnaire (reached via the black button below) to start a WOW trip.

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Sicily: “A private dinner at the home of chef Gabriella Garajo…”

The view of Sicily's western coastline and Monte Cofano seen from Erice.

Sicily’s western coastline and Monte Cofano, as seen from Erice. Photo: Traveler Nancy Footer

“I took the advice found in many reviews by previous clients and gave Marcello and Matteo free rein to design the itinerary, and I am so glad I did. I spent my first day in Palermo—such a bustling and exquisite city—seeing all the key historic sites, the waterfront, and the Capo Mercato with Giorgio, a thoroughly charming and expert guide….We traveled next into the hills near Camporeale for a private tour, lunch and tasting at Porta del Vento winery. Marco, the owner, was a generous and engaging host, and I appreciated learning about his wines and his journey to becoming a vintner. It was a treat to see the harvest, learn about the winemaking process and then taste his award-winning wines.

And then, when I thought the day couldn’t get any better, I was surprised with a WOW Moment—a private dinner at the home of chef Gabriella Garajo. The meal was remarkable—contemporary versions of Sicilian classics made with local ingredients served at Gabriella’s dining table set with her family china and silver. It was a perfect finish to a most memorable day.” —Nancy Footer

Read more reviews of Sicily trips. Learn how to get your own WOW Moment. Or use our trip questionnaire (reached via the black button below) to start a WOW trip.

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Italy: “A cocktail class at the Martini and Rossi headquarters…”

The verdant Barolo wine region in Italy.

The verdant Barolo wine region in Italy. Photo: Traveler Joe Lyle

“Our trip to Piedmont was excellently planned and executed by Maria and her team. We started in Torino, where the highlights were a chocolate tasting and a tour of the Egyptian Museum (which has the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts outside of Egypt). Before leaving Torino, we were treated to a fun WOW Moment: a cocktail class at the Martini and Rossi headquarters outside of Torino.

Then the real fun began as we moved on to the winemaking region of Piedmont, touring its villages, staying in restored castles in Sinio and Guarene, and tasting Barolo, Barbaresco, Barbara and white wines of the region while sampling the regional dishes. One of the many highlights of the trip was truffle hunting. Watching the dog track down truffles was amazing. Unlike the French, Italians don’t use pigs for truffle hunting. Why? Pigs don’t listen, and they eat the truffles.” —Joe Lyle

Read more reviews of Italy trips. Learn how to get your own WOW Moment. Or use our trip questionnaire (reached via the black button below) to start a WOW trip.

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Italy: “A private cooking demo in the kitchen with chef Anna Barbina…”

Morning seascape of Adriatic sea with the Miramare Castle.

Miramare Castle in Trieste, Italy. Photo: Shutterstock

Jennifer helped us plan a two-week trip to Friuli Venezia Giulia. The area is a melting pot of northern Italian, Austrian and Slovenian cuisines and has great wines (mostly white). Inexplicably, the region doesn’t seem to be on the tourist radar, so of course we decided that this was the place for us!  The accommodation Jennifer suggested to us in the Collio was outstanding—just what we were hoping for!  The property was lovely, with a spa and walking paths through the surrounding vineyards.  After our break in the countryside, we moved on to Udine. A highlight was seeing Tiepolo’s amazing ceiling frescoes.

We also had a WOW Moment while staying in Udine: We had a private cooking demo in the kitchen with chef Anna Barbina and her mother, who serves as her sommelier. Anna made five traditional dishes for us to sample (with wine served by her mother, of course), then we had lunch in her osteria, AB Osteria Contemporanea, where she serves contemporary twists on traditional cooking. Heavenly! Anna and her mother were delightful and couldn’t have been more gracious.  FVG was full of beautiful scenery and art, brimming over with fascinating history, and the food and wine were simply spectacular. We’ve had many incredible meals in Italy over the years, but we had more standouts on this trip than any other. If food is your religion, you should make your way to FVG.” —Rachel Webber

Read more reviews of Italy trips. Learn how to get your own WOW Moment. Or use our trip questionnaire (reached via the black button below) to start a WOW trip.

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Turkey: “One day we traveled via flat-bottomed boat through the reeds to the Lycian Rock Tombs…”

Sailing the Turquoise Coast on a private gulet.

Anne Hall and her husband and sister sailed the Turquoise Coast on a private gulet. Photo: Traveler Anne Hall

“My husband, sister, and I spent eight days in Turkey. Many thanks to Karen for a unique and amazing trip. After four exceptional days in Istanbul, we flew to Dalaman, where a driver and guide took us to Gocek marina to board the Serenity 70, a lovely two-masted gulet. We three were the only passengers.  How do you define perfect?  We can’t say enough about the incredible crew (captain, first mate, and chef) and the four days of sailing the southwestern coast of Turkey. We would sail for 2 to 3 hours each day, then anchored at one of the coast’s many bays. Each day we swam in the silky, blue waters and toured an ancient site on land.

One day we traveled via flat-bottomed boat through the reeds to the Lycian Rock Tombs and toured ancient villages. This was my WOW Moment provided by Wendy Perrin (thanks, Wendy!). The old tombs were amazing—like Petra in Jordan. We swam through the ruins of Cleopatra’s bath house and hiked Gemiler Island. Otherwise, we read, napped, or sat up above with the captain while he steered the boat.  At the end of the voyage the chef baked a cake for our newly retired sister, which congratulated her in Turkish on the top of the cake, and the whole crew joined us in the celebration.” —Anne Hall

Read more reviews of Turkey trips. Learn how to get your own WOW Moment. Or use our trip questionnaire (reached via the black button below) to start a WOW trip.

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Croatia: “You arranged to have a gorgeous private sailboat to sail around the Elaphiti Islands…”

Travelers swimming in the Adriatic Sea

Karen Bennett and Donna Praskach’s day on the water included a dip in the Adriatic.

“My girlfriend and I just returned from a most PERFECT and fabulous trip to Croatia that your expert agents designed for us (Sept. 27-Oct. 8, 2023).  The specific agent that we worked with, Ala, was just a wealth of knowledge. She arranged cooking classes, wine tastings, walking tours, visiting an oyster farm and having a private oyster and mussel tasting, but still plenty of time to relax and swim in the Adriatic Sea. It really was a trip of a lifetime and one of the most enjoyable trips I’ve taken abroad. And everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, came together without one hiccup happening. Truly, a PERFECT experience.

My friend had used WendyPerrin.com previously and, therefore, we were granted a WOW Moment and, oh my goodness, was it a WOW Moment!  Probably the highlight of our trip. You arranged to have a gorgeous private sailboat to sail around the Elaphiti Islands right off the coast of Dubrovnik. What an over-the-top experience that was for us and culminated our trip on the last day. It couldn’t have been more perfect, again, perfect!  Thank you, Wendy Perrin, and your incredible team of experts. A trip of a lifetime thanks to you!”—Donna Praskach

Read more reviews of Croatia trips. Learn how to get your own WOW Moment. Or use our trip questionnaire (reached via the black button below) to start a WOW trip.

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Italy: “A romantic dinner for my wife and me on the terrace of the Grand Hotel Tremezzo…”

Adam Amsterdam

A view of Lake Como was key to Adam Amsterdam’s villa vacation and WOW Moment. Photo: Traveler Adam Amsterdam

“We worked with Andrea and her excellent team to rent a wonderful villa for three weeks in Ossuccio, a small comune on the western shore of Lake Como (about 12 miles northeast of the city of Como). Andrea’s team found the perfect villa for us and our two adult children and made all the necessary arrangements with the owner and property manager. They even made sure that any groceries and household items we wanted were ordered and stocked for our arrival. Andrea arranged a cooking class for us in Bellagio with an award-winning celebrity chef. We made beautiful tri-color pasta and feasted on a delicious lunch. Andrea also arranged a boat with an English-speaking captain to take us to several towns along the western and eastern shores of Lake Como where we stopped for lunch, shopping, and gelato.

I also must mention that we had a WOW Moment, which was a romantic dinner for my wife and me on the terrace of the Grand Hotel Tremezzo overlooking Lake Como and the twinkling lights of Bellagio, all framed by the pre-Alps in the distance.” —Adam Amsterdam

Read more reviews of Italy trips. Learn how to get your own WOW Moment. Or use our trip questionnaire (reached via the black button below) to start a WOW trip.

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Canada: “We were treated to a private lobster dinner on the Bay of Fundy…”

Phil Hoch

East Point Lighthouse on Prince Edward Island. Photo: Traveler Phil Hoch

“We just returned from a trip to New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia, and could not be happier that we chose Jill as our travel expert.  Jill was excellent at listening to our thoughts and wishes and crafted a beautiful itinerary that kept us mostly focused on smaller towns and areas for walking/hiking. From St. Andrews to St. Martins, we could not have had a better introduction to the Bay of Fundy and life outside the big cities. Of particular note were our guides. Genny was fabulous in St. Andrews and got us on Ministers Island, which you can only drive to at low tide.

In St. Martins, Mike, Jordan, and Joe from Bay of Fundy Adventures took us hiking/walking, kayaking in the Bay and, best of all, our WOW Moment. We were treated to a private lobster dinner on the Bay of Fundy, watching the tide disappear, with enough scallops, lobster and more to feed us for a week. We tried to eat it all and failed!”—Phil Hoch

Read more reviews of Canada trips. Learn how to get your own WOW Moment. Or use our trip questionnaire (reached via the black button below) to start a WOW trip.

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Turkey: “Our WOW Moment was extra special—reminiscent of Skyfall on the roof of the Grand Bazaar…”

Tina Hunt

Tina Hunt and family on the rooftop of Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar.

“If you like to travel and experience diverse culture, food, history, and enjoy meeting welcoming people, then Turkey is not to be missed! We worked with Karen to curate and customize our adventure. We started with a three-day gulet voyage on the Prima Donna. Our chef, Zekai, was a wonder as he quietly turned out fantastic food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!  Just over-the-top fun.  After the relaxing gulet, we did a whirlwind tour of Ephesus, which was not to be missed if you enjoy ancient history and beautiful ruins. Cappadocia was a place of pure joy for us. The fairy landscape with the “mushroom”-capped chimneys and cave churches and dwellings provided a much needed bit of exercise with short hikes. Our sunrise balloon experience was pure early morning magic.

All too soon it was time to head back to Istanbul for our last three nights of our adventure. The history just permeates the entire vibe of the city and feels vibrant and modern while mixing seamlessly into structures that are thousands of years old…. Our WOW Moment was extra special—reminiscent of Skyfall on the roof of the Grand Bazaar. We found ourselves wishing for more time at almost every stop in Turkey and can’t wait to return!” —Tina Hunt

Read more reviews of Turkey trips. Learn how to get your own WOW Moment. Or use our trip questionnaire (reached via the black button below) to start a WOW trip.

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Portugal: “The surprise was a fantastic candlelight concert in a church courtyard…”

the colorful yellow and red turrets of Pena Palace, Sintra, Portugal

The Pena Palace, in Sintra, Portugal, is an outstanding example of the Romanticism style of architecture. Photo: Pixabay

Goncalo and Sara did a wonderful job planning and executing the details of our trip.  We started our trip in the Alentejo region and wish we had had more time to explore!  Our next stop was Lisbon, a beautiful and fascinating city, great for exploring and lots of walking up and down hills!

A highlight of our time in Lisbon was a wonderful WOW Moment arranged by Goncalo. We learned of this surprise when we checked into our hotel and received a note instructing us that a driver would pick us up one evening for a surprise and then return us to the hotel after. The surprise was a fantastic candlelight concert in a church courtyard. Wonderful musicians and setting!  The guide and driver organized for us to explore Sintra were both terrific and on point in every way—getting to explore Sintra alone before its official opening was a treat.” —Jen Kasoff

Read more reviews of Portugal trips. Learn how to get your own WOW Moment. Or use our trip questionnaire (reached via the black button below) to start a WOW trip.

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Italy: “We were given a special opportunity to be dressed up for the night in the Foligno Quintana traditional costumes for their festival…”

Andrea Phillips

Andrea Phillips and family during their WOW moment in Foligno, Umbria, dressing up in the traditional Quintana festival costumes.

“My family of four, with two teen girls, had a wonderful and action-packed trip to Italy covering Umbria, Tuscany, Florence, Bologna, Lake Como and Milan, planned with Maria.  Italy was busy with travelers while we were there, but I can honestly say that it did not affect our plans at all, as Maria had it coordinated and timed out so perfectly.  This trip was also to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary, and Maria had suggested two stops along the way that were very special. Wow, were they ever! Borgo Santo Pietro, a working farm and wellness resort in west Tuscany, and Grand Hotel Tremezzo, near Bellagio in Lake Como. Both resorts resembled something out of dream.

We were surprised with our WOW Moment early in this trip. We were given a special opportunity to be dressed up for the night in the Foligno Quintana traditional costumes for their festival later in the week. That was a unique experience and one that we would never have been able to arrange or even be allowed to do without Maria’s network in Italy. Thank you, Wendy and Maria!” –Andrea Phillips

Read more reviews of Italy trips. Learn how to get your own WOW Moment. Or use our trip questionnaire (reached via the black button below) to start a WOW trip.

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Turkey: “We also had the pleasure of our most memorable WOW Moment in Datca…”

Vanessa Hulme

Travelers Vanessa and Colin Hulme aboard their private yacht on the Turquoise Coast.

Karen and her team planned an absolutely flawless vacation for my husband and me for 3 days in Istanbul and a 6-day cruise on a gulet along the Turkish coast. Our incredible guide in Istanbul, Sinan, not only showed us the tourist highlights, but out-of-the ordinary places we would never have found on our own. He also introduced us to real Turkish food, even going so far as booking a dinner reservation and pre-ordering a menu that suited us perfectly.  From Istanbul, we flew to Bodrum and boarded our private gulet.  The crew was professional, accommodating, and went out of their way to make the trip special. The stops were beautiful and the food amazing.

We also had the pleasure of our most memorable WOW Moment in Datca, being the first and only guests at a hotel just prior to the opening!  We had the facility to ourselves, were served a gourmet dinner that was overseen by the General Manager and Food Service Manager, and were offered a gorgeous suite for an overnight stay; to say this was very, very special is an understatement. (Thank you, Wendy, Karen and Mustafa.)  Karen and those that work with her obviously have an in-depth knowledge of Turkey.” —Vanessa Hulme

Read more reviews of Turkey trips. Learn how to get your own WOW Moment. Or use our trip questionnaire (reached via the black button below) to start a WOW trip.

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Iceland: “My favorite part? The WOW Moment at the Blue Lagoon…”

Blue Lagoon, Iceland

Blue Lagoon, Iceland. Photo: Lindblad Expeditions

“Due to problems with a previous agent, we had our first conversation with Mads two months before our Icelandic adventure was set to begin. It was in the few first minutes that Mads noted that he is turning customers away as Iceland is sold out. Obviously freaking out, he quickly added, for Wendy and Brook VIPs, I have rooms/cars/guides. Across multiple calls, in a week, he hit our budget and planned our trip. It was amazing. What our first agent couldn’t do over six months, Mads did in six days…

This trip was to celebrate my birthday. Mads arranged for dinner at the best restaurant in Reykjavík (a pull I couldn’t make on my own), surprised me with not only birthday gifts, but a full hotel property upgrade AND his insistence of an adventure activity (snowmobiling) gave my wife her favorite part of the trip. My favorite part? The WOW Moment at the Blue Lagoon, thank you Wendy & Brook, never had a floating massage before…drifted to relaxation.” –Eric Hammer

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Egypt: “A VIP/behind-the-scenes tour of the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), not yet open to the public…”

Travelers posing in front of one of Giza pyramids

Beth Nury’s kids got to see the Pyramids without crowds marring their view. Photo: Traveler Beth Nury

“Arlene on Jim’s staff meticulously planned a 17-day adventure for our family of four that began in Egypt. Egypt continues to be an international tourist hot spot, and since we started planning a bit late, few accommodations were available. However, she was able to use her contacts for stays at the Four Seasons Cairo, where we took advantage of the strong USD and had two five-star dinners. Arlene recommended the Sonesta Sun Goddess Nile cruise ship, a recently refurbished ship. Her insight paid off—the ship was great!  As we sailed down the Nile over four days, we happened to see that our ship was one of the only that had an outdoor balcony, which my husband and I used regularly.

Once back on land in Cairo, we really enjoyed our WOW Moment, a VIP/behind-the-scenes tour of the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), not yet open to the public. Very few crowds. We then drove over to Giza, where our guide cleverly started our Pyramid/Sphinx tour backwards, avoiding long lines. Our photos were incredible! They look like we had a private tour of Giza, since there are very few tourists in the background.” —Beth Nury

Read more reviews of Egypt trips. Learn how to get your own WOW Moment. Or use our trip questionnaire (reached via the black button below) to start a WOW trip.

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Ireland: “A wine and cheese tasting in the wine vault of Ashford Castle…”

Nancy Mazarin

Nancy and Guy Mazarin enjoying their WOW Moment in the wine vault of Ashford Castle.

“My husband and I just returned from a fabulous two-week vacation in Ireland, spending time at some spectacular locations, particularly Ballyfin and Ashford Castle, where we enjoyed the extensive onsite activities and amenities. The food at Ballyfin and Ashford, as well as the restaurants selected, was delicious and the pubs were as much fun as expected. My husband started drinking Guinness and I tried a different gin every night.

One of the most memorable moments of the trip occurred at Ashford Castle, where we were treated to a special WOW Moment, a wine and cheese tasting in the wine vault of Ashford Castle. Jonathan coordinated our entire trip down to the smallest detail, providing expert advice about where to stay, what to see, and even when to visit.” —Nancy Mazarin

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Morocco: “A camel ride up the dunes with hor d’oeuvres and champagne as the sun set…”

Camel trek through the Sahara Desert, Morocco.

Camel trek through the Sahara Desert, Morocco. Photo: Geri Krauss

“My husband and I recently returned from a superb trip to Morocco planned by Michael. The trip spanned much of the country—from the cities of Marrakesh and Fes to the Atlas mountains, the Sahara desert and the seashore.  While we had to drive long distances to cover everything we wanted to see, the time passed quickly as the scenery throughout the country was gorgeous and dramatic. The hotels Michael recommended were each special in their own way (riads in the cities, kasbahs in the mountains and a tent in the desert) and the experiences he planned for us – cooking classes, dinner with a university professor to speak to us about the Sufis, walks through villages, markets and the old cities – were truly special.

Wendy treated us to a WOW Moment in the desert—a camel ride up the dunes with hor d’oeuvres and champagne as the sun set—which was truly WOW! T he country itself is fascinating—and we learned so much about its history, politics, culture and role in the world. We have traveled extensively with Wendy’s experts, and every trip has been great.” —Geri Krauss

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Norway: “We were in Aurland at a farm set in a stunningly beautiful valley…”

View of 292 Aurland.

Panoramic view of Aurland, Norway.

“We traveled from Oslo to Nesseby, which is past the Arctic Circle near the Russian border, spending 3 nights each in 7 venues. Torunn tailored the trip to our preferences, which lean toward a bit of adventure and agri-tourism. In the north we stayed at a 2-room lodge run by a Sami fisherman and spent a morning crab fishing on his boat and an afternoon on an archaeological walk with his wife. He was an excellent cook and served foods he and his wife had caught, shot, or foraged from the landscape.  The next day we toured the area with a Sami reindeer herder. We also spent time on a small island well out in the Atlantic where we kayaked along the seashore to a lighthouse; foraged in Trondheim with a professional forager picking plants for our lunch; visited a dairy near Oslo producing a unique cheese product and advocating a more humane way to treat dairy cattle; and spent 3 nights at a farm with a gourmet chef specializing in dishes featuring fruit and vegetables from the farm.

Our wedding anniversary occurred during the trip and Torunn arranged a WOW Moment for us that was great fun. We were in Aurland at a farm set in a stunningly beautiful valley with steep mountainsides and many waterfalls. We were serenaded by a musician playing a Norwegian Hardanger fiddle, a type of double-strung violin. The venue was a small shelter with a magnificent view, and we toasted ourselves and the trip with homemade pear Kombucha made by the chef. We thoroughly enjoyed it.” —George Stephens

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Japan: “Incredible multi-course dinner at the Michelin-star French/Japanese restaurant Motoï…”

Japanese garden with trees, cherry blossoms, and buildings next to the river.

Japanese garden in Heian Shrine, Kyoto, Japan. Photo: Shutterstock

“I wanted a mix of urban and rural life, so Scott made a number of recommendations that would fulfill my desires. Besides vibrant Tokyo and Kyoto, we included a trip through the Japanese Alps, through the Kiso Valley and its enchanting post towns and fairytale villages untouched by time, to the charming towns of Takayama and Kanazawa.

The trip was topped off with a two-day stay in beautiful Hakone. And the WOW Moment! Made even more special by the happy coincidence of Scott being in Kyoto for business. So he was able to join us at the incredible multi-course dinner at the Michelin-star French/Japanese restaurant Motoï, a beautifully atmospheric restaurant with divine food, made extra special by the talented chef visiting us at our table.” —Roseanne Horn

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France: “A tour of the Paris monuments by night in an open-top deux-chevaux…”

Pont Alexandre III (Alexander the third bridge) over river Seine in Paris, France. Architecture and landmarks of Paris.

River Seine in Paris, France. Photo: Shutterstock

“We started in the South, staying at the world-renowned Hotel du Cap—unavailable if you try to book it yourself, but available if you have Philip’s team working with you. One of the best, if not the best, hotel we’ve ever stayed at.   We spent four days touring Southern France with expert driver-guides arranged by Philip. We enjoyed a personal glass-blowing experience where we made our own sculpture (I can’t believe we were shaping 1,000-degree glass by hand, with only a wet newspaper to insulate us) and ate at some of the best restaurants on the French Riviera.  From the South of France, we moved on to Aix-en-Provence, where we stayed for three nights at the superb Villa Gallici, a beautiful hotel tucked into the hillside above Aix with an easy walk into town.  From Provence we took the 3-hour bullet-train ride from Aix to Paris. Dinner at the 3-Michelin-star Epicure restaurant—again, arranged by Philip when no reservations were available—was an absolute highlight of the trip.

On our final night in Paris, Wendy surprised us with a WOW Moment—a tour of the Paris monuments by night in an open-top deux-chevaux. What an amazing way to see the city on uncrowded streets and with all of the famous landmarks lit up at night.” —Larry Bridge

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Switzerland: “It was opened especially for us…”

Deborah Wente

Deb Wente with her husband and the winemaker at the winery overlooking Lake Geneva.

“We just returned from a fabulous trip to Switzerland arranged by Nina and David. There is so much talk of the crowds this summer, but we had many experiences that were intimate and uncrowded…. On our drive from Ascona we arrived to the top of the Gotthard Pass, where we had our WOW Moment. The mountains are hollowed out with tunnels and bunkers from WWII. One bunker has been turned into a hotel/restaurant, La Clavstra. It was opened especially for us for a tour, then a lovely meal 70 meters underground. It was fascinating.

Our next stop was Zermatt, where the skies cleared up for a beautiful view of the Matterhorn. We took the cog railway up to the Gornergrat.  Our last stop was Vevey, on the shores of Lake Geneva. Another incredibly special experience awaited us the afternoon of our arrival. We met our guide at our hotel, walked across the street and hopped in a 1966 Riva wooden boat. We drove along the Swiss Riviera, docked, and were driven to a vineyard in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Lavaux. Wine and fondue with the winemaker, it was magical.” —Deb Wente

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Italy: “WOW does not do justice to the opportunity to meet Marta Cucchia…”

Typical stone houses with stunning vineyard in the Chianti region in Tuscany.

Stunning vineyard in the Chianti region in Tuscany. Photo: Shutterstock

Maria planned an amazing trip for us. We traveled through Umbria and Tuscany with a focus on food, wine, and culture. Montefalco is a charming Umbrian town nestled in the hills with a focus on wine and olive oil. Maria had booked us into a charming hotel and made dinner reservations for our first night. The next day we went truffle hunting and shared perhaps the best meal of the trip with the family. Each of the seven courses were delicious and I could have eaten the entire tray of the homemade onion foccacia.

The next morning was our WOW Moment. WOW does not do justice to the opportunity to meet Marta Cucchia, the great-granddaughter of the founder Giuditta Brozzetti who has carried forward the textile workshops. Working on looms from the 15th century, she provided us with a look into the art of weaving. Her joy in the work and understanding of the complexity and history of this art form was enthralling.  This experience set the tone for the remainder of the trip meeting artisans, wine stewards, wine growers, balsamic vinegar artists, parmesan cheese makers, prosciutto ham makers, sculptors, cooks and guides and hoteliers that made us feel welcome. Although it was crowded already in Italy, we always felt as if we had our own private pathways to each activity.” —Lynne Golomb

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French Polynesia: “Such a beautiful evening on the water seeing the sun go down and having the boat to ourselves…”

Brando-Resort-Tahiti-OneTahi-motu.

The Brando resort, Tahiti. Photo: The Brando

“Our eight days of paradise were stunning, fun, relaxing, and so much more. Kleon listened to all my questions and desires and put together the perfect itinerary.  Our WOW Moment in Bora Bora with the sunset cruise was stunning and such a beautiful evening on the water seeing the sun go down and having the boat to ourselves. Our Captain was outstanding!! He sang and made drinks and had snacks for us but, most importantly, he sat and answered all the questions my friends were asking about life in French Polynesia and told us all about his family! He was so sweet and stayed out past all the other boats and we had a wonderful time with him that evening!

One of the treasures we will remember at The Brando is the early wake-up call to see the baby turtles released into the ocean after being born overnight. We were so lucky to be able to see this beautiful and unique experience.  One of the biggest things that we all commented on was how wonderful all the local Polynesians were and so genuine and happy to have visitors and talk or help us in any way. ” —Mary Frances

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Costa Rica: “A multi-hour sea voyage that enabled us to visit with the dolphins…”

Wavy Garza beach inn Costa Rica, surrounded by mountains.

Garza beach in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Photo: Shutterstock

Priscilla planned and executed a once-in-a-lifetime adventure for my multi-generational family. The needs and wants of teenagers, adults, and seniors were all addressed. We saw too many ‘creatures’ to list, including a breaching whale, dolphin pod, sloths, quetzals, trogons, etc. —something for everyone, which isn’t easy, given the age difference and some dietary restrictions. Thanks, Wendy, for the marvelous WOW Moment—a multi-hour sea voyage that enabled us to visit with the dolphins while learning the area’s history from the charming captain.

Priscilla ensured we saw the area highlights yet had sufficient time to just relax and enjoy where we were. I was able to reunite with guides I had first met in the early 90s. Also spoke with the owner of the local coffee company established in 1994 and selling me beans ever since. In thinking about highlights, the hanging bridges at Monteverde and the breaching whale rise to the top of the list, unless you count the smiles of the grandchildren throughout the day… every day. Who says you can’t relive the past?  We did!” —Linda and Joe Rothman

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Egypt: “Wendy arranged for a private sunset dinner cruise…”

Jeannie Mullen

WOW List traveler Jeannie Mullen and friends enjoying their WOW Moment on the Nile.

“Two friends and I just returned from a private three-week trip to Egypt planned by Jim. We started in Cairo on the Giza plateau with a private tour of the Sphinx, then moved on to the pyramids, temples and tombs that we all see in our dreams when we think of Egypt.  Our WOW Moment came in Aswan, after we disembarked from a Nile cruise and checked into the famous Old Cataract Hotel on the Nile. Wendy arranged for a private sunset dinner cruise that night which was just stunning. The crew members were lovely and the scenery was fabulous! Thank you again, Wendy!  I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that, among the many, many experiences we had, the thing that stood out to each of us the most was the warm and welcoming spirits of the Egyptian people.” —Jeannie Mullen

Read more reviews of Egypt trips. Learn how to get your own WOW Moment. Or use our trip questionnaire (reached via the black button below) to start a WOW trip.

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Mexico: “A special lunch at Los Danzantes, including our own personal mariachis…”

Palacio de Bellas Artes or Palace of Fine Arts, a famous theater,museum and music venue in Mexico City

The Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico. Photo: Shutterstock

“This was our second time using Zach’s services, this time for travels to Mexico City and San Miguel de Allende, and, yet again, they excelled. The tours and activities planned in Mexico City (historical city tour, visit to San Angel, Coyoacan, Casa Azul, etc.) were exactly what we wanted. They even arranged a private after-hours visit to the National Museum of Anthropology. We had the entire Museum to ourselves! Wandering through the galleries with an expert was definitely a magical experience and brought the cultures to life.  Before leaving Mexico City, we were treated to a WOW Moment with a special lunch at Los Danzantes, including our own personal mariachis (thanks, Wendy).” —Vanessa Hulme

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Chile: “We had a private stargazing evening, hosted by French astronomer Alain Maury…”

Alain Maury’s SPACE Observatory, Chile.

Alain Maury’s SPACE Observatory, Chile. Photo: Barbara Schoenfeld

Tom designed a Christmas/New Year’s trip to Chile for our family of six. He rose to the challenge of transporting us down and back up half the length of the continent. He organized visits to both Patagonia and the Atacama Desert, securing rooms at Hotel Las Torres in Patagonia and Explora Atacama. Both were excellent choices for their top-notch adventure staff and boutique experience.

And I’m not just saying this because I’m writing a review for Wendy’s WOW List, but the best part of the trip was the Wendy WOW Moment. We had a private stargazing evening, hosted by French astronomer Alain Maury, at his observatory called SPACE (San Pedro de Atacama Celestial Explorations). Above is the photo he took of us in front of one of his telescopes. Plus we have a video he recorded on my son’s cell phone where he described what we were seeing on the Sea of Tranquility on the moon—particularly the smudge where the US Apollo 11 landed.” —Barbara Schoenfeld

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Australia: “On Christmas Day we drove the Great Ocean Road and were completely surprised with a WOW Moment…”

two women in a helicopter flying over the 12 apostles

WOW Moment: A helicopter ride over the 12 Apostles. Photo: Jennifer Mann

“We just returned from an Australian holiday trip with our two teenage daughters. Stuart and Jacki put together a phenomenal itinerary with something for everyone! We began our trip in Melbourne. On Christmas Day we drove the Great Ocean Road and were completely surprised with a WOW Moment of a helicopter ride over the 12 Apostles. It was breathtaking!   The next day we drove through the wine country of the Yarra Valley—with tastings, lots of animal sightings, and delicious food—followed by a two-night stay at the Jackalope Hotel in the Mornington Peninsula area, about an hour-and-a-half from Melbourne. The Mornington Peninsula was also filled with award-winning wine and food, along with charming little beachside towns….” —Jennifer Mann

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Costa Rica: “Our private table was in a glassed-in small private dining area in the treetops…”

Monteverde Costa Rica

Monteverde, Costa Rica. Photo: Shutterstock

Priscilla did a fabulous job of planning a special family trip for us. In Tortuguero, a highlight was the kayaking trip down an inland waterway and a short detour into a small, seemingly endless series of creeks on the side of the main waterway. It was like going into another world, even in the otherworldliness of the jungle. When our guide asked us all to stop paddling, close our eyes, and just listen to the jungle sounds, it was magical.

We had a special WOW Moment in Monteverde when we were taken to the San Lucas Treetop Dining Experience. Each of the delicious small nine courses represented an area of Costa Rica that was explained to us as it was served. Our private table was in a glassed-in small private dining area in the treetops overlooking the town. We were there at sunset, and the view was amazing.” —Beverly Cameron

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Portugal: “A WOW Moment at Claus Porto, a private workshop that started in Porto in 1887…”

a house and vineyard in Douro Valley, Portugal

Douro Valley, Portugal. Photo: Mike Korn

Goncalo planned every detail of our Portugal trip to perfection. We started in the Alentejo—which we had not even thought of going to—and it was the perfect place to get over jet lag and recover in a gorgeous hotel and setting. From there we went to Porto, where he planned amazing walking tours and a day trip to the Douro with an incredible winery visit and lunch. We also had a WOW Moment at Claus Porto, a private workshop that started in Porto in 1887, and we had an incredible experience making soap.

After Porto came Lisbon. Goncalo planned our itinerary so that we had stops with tours on the way to each city, and everyone who toured us or drove us around knew so much about Portugal’s history. December was a great time to be in Portugal, and Goncalo made it a truly wonderful experience from the second we landed until we got on the plane to come home. We did not have to think of anything—he already had it all figured out. We can’t wait to go back!” —Jennifer Andrews

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Bora Bora: “A private sunset cruise and photo shoot…”

Bora Bora

Bora Bora. Photo: Traveler Albert Cemel

“The photos and videos we had seen of French Polynesia hardly compare to the breathtaking views and exhilaration you feel when you set foot on these islands. The lagoons around the Tahitian islands are crystal clear and brightened by every shade of blue you can imagine. Kleon has vast experience in the South Pacific islands and made some great recommendations on things we hadn’t even thought of….

Our final stop was Bora Bora, where the view at the airport was like a WOW Moment in and of itself!  The dazzling turquoise lagoon, a tiny palm-covered islet in the middle, and the beautiful green shades of the iconic Mount Otemanu in the background, makes for an unforgettable, jaw-dropping scene.  In Bora Bora we were fortunate to receive a WOW Moment selected by Wendy Perrin and Kleon. It was a private sunset cruise and photo shoot on a luxurious 21-foot Bayliner named “Love Boat.” It was a beautiful, romantic experience. The captain was a charming man raised on the French Riviera who had moved to Bora Bora 20 years ago and never looked back. We were given a USB key with close to 100 HD photos at the end of our cruise. The photos of my wife and me against beautiful background colors of the setting sun have provided us with wonderful memories of our trip to paradise.” —Al Cemel

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Panama: “We were picked up in a Panama school bus—Diablo Rojo—with all the neon lights flashing and the salsa music playing…”

National Theatre of Panama, Casco Antiguo, Panama City.

National Theatre of Panama, Casco Antiguo, Panama City. Photo: Shutterstock

“Even though our trip was short notice and over the New Year holidays, Pierre put together a really wonderful and memorable trip for us to Panama. We started out in Panama City, where we were given our WOW Moment—and what a Moment it was! We were picked up in a Panama school bus—Diablo Rojo—with all the neon lights flashing and the salsa music playing! It took us from the hotel to the Historic Old City where we had a great typical Panamanian dinner at a local restaurant, then enjoyed the view from a rooftop bar with a glass of wine. Finally, back to the hotel on Diablo Rojo!  What a fun outing!!

On Christmas Day we toured an agro-organic farm called Hacienda Mamecillo, where the family produces all their food organically, as well as a special coffee. It was so interesting and impressive. The meal they served was, honestly, one of the best meals we have ever had—worthy of any fine dining anywhere.” —Sally Boland

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Bolivia & Peru: “The unobstructed expanse of the isolated salt flats make star-gazing on the Salar de Uyuni a truly spellbinding experience…”

Salar de Uyuni salt flat during the starry night, Bolivia

Salar de Uyuni starry night, Bolivia. Photo: Shutterstock

“Our trip was amazing—from visiting the salt flats to checking out a silver mine, boating on Lake Titicaca, visiting cathedrals and museums, eating delicious foods, and meeting wonderful people.  We were delighted from start to finish with Marisol and Mark’s exceptional advice and service, and a big thank-you to Wendy for the WOW Moment: The unobstructed expanse of the isolated salt flats make star-gazing on the Salar de Uyuni a truly spellbinding experience, as the full breadth and immensity of the night sky can be observed and appreciated with the telescope provided or with the naked eye. Located at altitude with almost no light pollution thanks to a sparse population, the Salar de Uyuni is one of the best places to stargaze in South America.” —Dominique Tran

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Israel & Jordan: “We were flying simulated F-16 planes…”

Aerial sun set view of Mediterranean Seashore of Tel Aviv, Israel.

Mediterranean Seashore of Tel Aviv, Israel. Photo: Shutterstock

“Just back from an amazing trip to Israel and Jordan arranged by Joe and Jonathan. We had a WOW Moment on this trip where we were flying simulated F-16 planes—super fun, also very humbling, giving us an even greater respect for our fighter pilots. We had a graffiti tour of Tel Aviv with a very talented artist, as well as a food tour in the souk of Jerusalem.  As for Jordan, Petra was beyond incredible. It was quite an experience walking across the Israeli border into no man’s land and then walking to the Jordan border. We were thankful we had our trusted guides on either side of the border to guide us.” —Toni Casamento

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Scotland: “That afternoon was the highlight of our trip…”

St Andrews Cathedral in St. Andrews, Scotland

St Andrews Cathedral in St. Andrews, Scotland. Photo: Shutterstock

“To plan our 12 days in Scotland, we worked with Jonathan and Katie. Scotland is an incredibly picturesque country, and the people we met there could not have been more welcoming and enjoyable. Highlights included our walking tour of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh with Paul, who pointed out architectural details and many things we would have missed on our own that made us understand and appreciate the city even more; St. Andrews, a picture-perfect town with amazing golf, pubs, and restaurants; and our drive through The Great Glen, whose natural awesome beauty was breathtaking.  Every hotel we stayed at was amazing, and we were given exceptional treatment while there, no doubt because of the relationships they shared with Jonathan.

We had our WOW Moment in Glasgow at The Pot Still pub, a small homey place with hundreds of whiskies lining the walls. We sat at a table in the back, with locals all around us enjoying drinks with friends. There we were welcomed by Chris, who knew more about whisky than anyone I’d ever met. He spent two-plus hours explaining the intricacies of Scottish whisky, the differences between single malt, single grain, and blends. He told us where the various distilleries are and how the locations and production styles affect taste. And while we listened, we ate haggis pies and tasted a variety of different whiskies. That afternoon was the highlight of our trip and one of the reasons we’re already talking about a return trip to Scotland.” —Cindy Kelly

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Greece: “A wonderful dinner cooked by the mama of the house and a Greek dance performance…”

Traditional Greek food, Greece. Photo: Shutterstock

Jacoline listened to our travel preferences and hit the nail on the head: We focused on activities where we interacted with the locals. First was our WOW Moment: We had a wonderful dinner cooked by the mama of the house and a Greek dance performance which we eventually joined in. We sat in a beautiful courtyard, eating delicious food and enjoying the company of lovely people. The language barrier didn’t interfere with the wonderful evening.

Another highlight was visiting a farm in Kythira. I cooked lunch with Anastasia, and my husband spent the morning with Anastasia’s husband, watering the animals and riding the tractor. Lunch was delicious, and the warmth and kindness of these people so impressed us. I could go on and on describing similar experiences.  When we missed our flight from Athens to Santorini and were standing in line hoping to rebook a flight that night, my husband’s phone rang, and it was Jacoline’s team letting us know they had already booked us on another flight. That is why I work with Wendy’s WOW people. They are on top of everything.” —Leslie Goldenberg

Read more reviews of Greece trips. Learn how to get your own WOW Moment. Or use our trip questionnaire (reached via the black button below) to start a WOW trip.

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Italy: “Two local artisan workshops to see classic Venetian crafts—mosaics in hard stone, and paper marbling…”

Sunset in Florence, Italy.

Florence, Italy. Photo: Shutterstock

“We worked with Jennifer to craft a remarkable trip through Italy this September, and she was fantastic!  There were 6 of us in our group – my husband and me, another couple we have known for decades, and their 25-year-old daughter and her boyfriend. We began our adventures at the Grand Hotel Tremezzo, on the shores of Lake Como.  Our first morning was spent in a beautiful classic wooden speedboat, touring the shores of the lake, learning about history, architecture, and celebrity gossip. We had timed tickets to tour Villa Balbianello, had a wonderful lunch at a quiet café, and strolled around Bellagio. (As you can imagine, we had many great meals in Italy, and Jennifer secured dining reservations at several restaurants that we were unable to book on our own.)

It was in Florence that we had our WOW Moment.  Late afternoon we were met at the lobby of our hotel, where we discovered we would be visiting two local artisan workshops to see classic Venetian crafts – mosaics in hard stone, and paper marbling – and afterwards have a chance to relax with aperitifs and nibbles while talking with our wonderful guide. It was EXACTLY what I wanted.” —Bonnie Thompson

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Malta: “We had an incredibly beautiful picnic on the water with a solo musician playing guitar…”

colorful boats in Marsaxlokk Harbour, Malta

Marsaxlokk Harbour, Malta. Photo: Exclusively Malta

Jason was right to have us start in Gozo.  The hotel (Cesca Lodge) was a beautifully converted ancient stone building. We were tempted not to go out to dinner, but we pushed ourselves to go out to where Jason had booked us—and are we glad we did!!  The owner was amazing…treated us like old friends, and the food was delicious too!  It was such a fun night.  The next day we had an amazing tour with our private guide of Gozo which included some stunning views of the turquoise water from a hidden cave. Later that evening we had our WOW Moment, which was truly spectacular!!  We had an incredibly beautiful picnic on the water with a solo musician playing guitar…some songs which Jason had personally requested that he knew we would like!  We watched the sunset while drinking champagne, sitting on blankets and pillows, surrounded by twinkle lights.

The next day we took a private boat transfer to Malta. Along the way we passed Comino Island and the gorgeous waters of the blue lagoon. Jason arranged a picnic basket of food for us on the boat which was such a thoughtful touch…although the water was too rough for us to eat, once we got to the hotel we were certainly grateful to have some food. Our driver had been waiting for us…everything was organized perfectly. The hotel Jason recommended (Iniala) was beautiful and right on the Grand Harbour—an amazing location with a fabulous view. That afternoon we went exploring on our own and had dinner on an incredible rooftop terrace where an opera soloist was singing. Once again, the owner treated us like royalty, as we were guests of Jason’s.” —Elliot Laskin

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Germany: “In Berlin, we had the joy of our surprise WOW Moment…”

Aerial view of Berlin skyline with famous TV tower and Spree river in beautiful evening light at sunset in summer, Germany

Berlin, Germany. Photo: Shutterstock

“We have just returned from a spectacular two-and-a-half-week trip to Germany. We found a beautiful, diverse country with friendly people and an interesting but complex history. Claudia listened to our needs and desires and addressed them admirably. She contributed great ideas and arranged outstanding driver/guides, hotels, and restaurants.  To cover a broad swath of Germany in the time available, we moved every third day. Each time, we regretted leaving our wonderful hotel.  Especially memorable were our room in a real castle with a patio overlooking the Rhine River and our balcony overlooking Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau Castles in the Alps.

A variety of special experiences planned by Claudia enhanced our trip. They included visits to the Berlin Wall and Potsdam, castle visits, boat trips on the Rhine and Lake Constance, and a side trip to Strasbourg, France. In Berlin, we had the joy of our surprise WOW Moment, earned after two Wendy Perrin trips. It was a special riverside gourmet dinner followed by a wonderful nighttime cruise on the Spree River. This cruise, with all the city lights and activity, gave us a whole new perspective of Berlin. I could go on and on because we can’t stop talking about this trip.” —William and Lynn Martin

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Peru: “A tour of the ‘real’ Lima with a local guide…”

Panoramic view of Lima from Miraflores

Lima’s Miraflores, Peru. Photo: Shutterstock

“How many different ways can you say the word ‘amazing’???  Marisol and the experts on her staff were the sum of all the ways it can be expressed. One example is upon landing in Lima our first day. One of her team went out at 11pm at night and found and DELIVERED a new knee brace to our hotel, as the one my husband packed had been “misplaced” by the airline. We had an early flight in the morning, so this was nothing short of miraculous. Without this brace, my husband may not have been able to explore Machu Picchu or the other sites planned.

Our WOW Moment was a tour of the ‘real’ Lima with a local guide. We got the scoop of the good, the bad, and the ugly related to the nuances of life in Lima. Not just the tourist façade view of things. The fabulously in-depth tour was capped off with a visit to the Circuito Magico del Agua, a light/laser/fountain show in Lima. The projection show story was the perfect synopsis of all of the history we had learned that day in addition to being beautifully magical! We even convinced our guide to run through the water tunnel with us where we all got drenched! A good laugh is a good laugh in any language! ” —Andrea Reed

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Ireland: “Sitting on one of the columns at the Giant’s Causeway sipping Bushmill’s Reserve whiskey gives a new meaning to ‘whiskey on the rocks’…”

Giant's Causeway in a beautiful summer day, Northern Ireland

Giant’s Causeway on a beautiful summer day, Northern Ireland. Photo: Shutterstock

“Because we were traveling to different cities (Belfast, Dublin, Killarney, Cong and Galway), Jonathan suggested a driver rather than self-driving, and he was so right! Having the pressure of driving removed gave us so much more freedom to explore the areas and enjoy the days. Also, the drivers did not just drive, they provided historical facts, made suggestions of out-of-the-way places to visit, knew the best local places for a pub lunch, the best place to buy a special gift, the place to stop for the best view/photos, etc.  Many of our outstanding experiences—a day trip to the Aran Islands, a sheepdog demonstration, a food tour in Galway, etc.—we would not have known about, had it not been for the suggestion of Jonathan and his team.

Thank you, Wendy, for another memorable WOW Moment. Sitting on one of the columns at the Giant’s Causeway sipping Bushmill’s Reserve whiskey gives a new meaning to ‘whiskey on the rocks’. Everyone passing by us was jealous!” —Vanessa Hulme

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Greece: “The e-bike tour that we had there was incredible, especially the sunset—a true WOW Moment!”

 Varlaam monastery_Meteora_Greece-cr-Shutterstock

Varlaam monastery, Meteora, Greece. Photo: Shutterstock

“My son and I traveled in Greece together, and Mina’s team did a great job of identifying activities and places of interest for us. The most breathtaking place we went was Meteora, where we got to see, close-up and personal, the monasteries that were built on cliffs and how they functioned. The e-bike tour that we had there was incredible, especially the sunset—a true WOW Moment!  On the island of Naxos, on our river walk hike, our guide led us through the backcountry to unique places off the beaten path and showed us old water mills and different plants, wild herbs and vegetables that cover the landscape. Our catamaran day cruise was also an amazing experience, with snorkeling and great food.  My son and I are now officially addicted to tzatziki! Thanks so much for helping us plan this once-in-a-lifetime trip together.” —George Powers

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Egypt & Jordan: “We felt like Egyptian royalty sailing on our own private yacht on the Nile…”

Photo of a boat sailing down the Nile in Egypt

A sail along the Nile in Egypt. Photo: Billie Cohen

Jim crafted a mind-blowing three-week journey through Egypt and Jordan for us. Our itinerary was amazing at every turn. Highlights included: In Cairo, walking along the narrow, shop-lined streets of Old Cairo and then the even narrower alleys of the Khan al Khalili. We gained a true feeling of what the city was like in ancient times.  In Aswan, we appreciated being able to speak with a local in the Nubian Village and visit his home and learn about a part of Egyptian culture you hear little about.  In the Valley of the Kings, the most magnificent tomb was that of Nefertari, where we were the only people inside and our guide was very gracious in allowing us extra time there so that I could take photos of everything!  And in Jordan, our guide worked his connections to gain us access to the Petra by Night experience an hour before it officially opened to the public!  Walking through the candlelit Siq alone and coming upon the candlelit Treasury, we were awestruck.

Wendy, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for arranging with Jim our very special WOW Moment. Imagine our faces when we were taken to a yacht for a private sunset cruise on the Nile all around Elephantine and other islands. Sunset was magical as the colors of the sky, Nile waters, and surrounding land changed from yellow to golden to pink and then deep purple, followed by the twinkling lights of Aswan as night fell. This glorious sunset experience was followed by a seafood feast on the boat with a private chef. We felt like Egyptian royalty sailing on our own private yacht on the Nile!” —Mary Lou Voytko

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Hawaii: “We toasted the beautiful scenery, our gorgeous picnic, the kids below on their surfboards…”

Hawaii - Kaneohe Bay, Oahu

Aerial view of Kualoa Point at Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, Hawaii. Photo: Shutterstock

“We just came back from a three-generation trip to Oahu, Hawaii, which included a WOW Moment. First, your WOW List travel advisor, Dani, was fabulous—she knew just what we were interested in seeing and doing, and planned the trip we wanted around the grandchildren.  She made sure we had the best rooms, provided amenities at both resorts, and made this one of the best trips ever!

And now the WOW Moment—I have to say we were all impressed beyond words!  We had planned a surfing lesson at Turtle Bay for our two grandchildren at the Jamie O’Brien Surfing School. Dani arranged, on a promontory above where the lesson was taking place, the most sumptuous gourmet picnic we have ever enjoyed, complete with champagne. We toasted the beautiful scenery, our gorgeous picnic, the kids below on their surfboards—and Dani and Wendy Perrin!!!!  It was a perfect day, a perfect spot, and we loved every minute of it.  But that was not to be all —when the lesson was over, who came out to greet us but Jamie O’Brien himself!  Needless to say, we were all dazzled—especially the kids who had been watching this Hawaiian surfing legend on YouTube! This was all perfectly orchestrated—and was a WOW Moment my family will never forget.  By the way, my grandkids are now asking when they can be in our next WOW Moment!!!!!” —Nancy Bern

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Kenya & Rwanda: “We had a private tour of the Ol Pejeta Conservatory Northern White Rhino Project…”

African white rhino, National park of Kenya, Africa

White rhinos in Kenya. Photo: Shutterstock

“My main focus for the trip was not just an animal safari, but also to experience the African culture, see the local conservation efforts, witness the labors to preserve endangered species, and incorporate my interest in the work of Dian Fossey and Jane Goodall.  Dan’s connections with the best local operators and guides made things so much easier.  At Ol Pejeta Safari Cottages in Kenya, we had a very private and secluded cottage with a verandah for dining and just relaxing. We received royal treatment from the moment we arrived.

Our WOW Moment was perfect! We had a private tour of the Ol Pejeta Conservatory Northern White Rhino Project, met the two remaining Northern White Rhinos, and learned about the global efforts and cooperation amongst countries to save the species.” —Sue Newton

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Rwanda & Uganda: “Lunch out there at an amazing lodge with rapids rushing all around us…”

Waterside scenery showing the River Nile with lots of greenery on the sides.

The Nile River near Jinja, in Uganda. Photo: Shutterstock

“We travelled to Rwanda and Uganda for the month of January.  Cherri did a wonderful job of putting together all the pieces of a complicated multi-country trip with multiple lodgings in both countries. We saw very few other tourists.  On safari we rarely saw another Land Rover. The genocide museum in Kigali was empty, as was the art gallery we went to. As for the WOW Moment arranged by Cherri, all I can say is WOW WOW WOW! We flew by private helicopter from Entebbe to Jinja, the beginning of the Nile River, had lunch out there at an amazing lodge with rapids rushing all around us and then returned in time to catch our flight back home.” —Ron Klausner

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Italy: “An artist’s studio where she helped us make our own mosaics in her found-object style…”

Beautiful cityscape skyline of Firenze (Florence), Italy, with the bridges over the river Arno

Florence, Italy. Photo: Shutterstock

“My family of six—including four daughters, ages 5 through 11—traveled to Italy and Switzerland in November/December 2021. Maria pulled it all together on relatively short notice. She arranged for great hotels, fun excursions, and private guides in Florence and Zurich who were fantastic with the girls.  We had a fantastic time making pizza in Florence, and another major highlight was our WOW Moment. Thank you so much, Wendy, we really enjoyed it!  We walked across the river in Florence to a more residential neighborhood and visited an artist’s studio, where she welcomed us and helped us make our own mosaics in her found-object style.  While they dried, we enjoyed sandwiches and cake in the cafe. The artist and Elvira (our guide) were so friendly and welcoming it was a real treat to spend the afternoon with them.” —Rebecca Bartlett

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Belize: “After we wore ourselves out dancing, we were guided to a beautifully laid table on the beach and served an extraordinary 6-course private dinner…”

sunset in Belize at Ambergris Caye

Ambergris Caye, Belize. Photo: Absolute Belize

Patricia planned an excellent itinerary, matched by superior management of all logistics. Our family of five, with our three active teenagers, spent four nights in the jungle, then seven nights at the beach. While based in the jungle, we kept our three teenagers busy with horseback riding, cave tubing and visiting the Mayan ruins at Xunantunich. We enjoyed fantastic gourmet meals and even squeezed in some time at the spa and the pool. Then, at the beach, we enjoyed leisurely days at the pool and also snorkeling, fishing, and barbequing on the beach.

The highlight of the itinerary was the unexpected WOW Moment. Knowing that we have a strong interest in learning about local culture, Patricia arranged with the Black&White Garifuna Restaurant to come to our hotel for a private, immersive evening focused on the Garifuna Afro-Caribbean culture. We were treated to a magical singing and dancing performance, and then got dancing lessons and drumming lessons. We also received short, digestible lessons on Garifuna history, language, holidays, and cuisine. After we wore ourselves out dancing, we were guided to a beautifully laid table on the beach and served an extraordinary 6-course private dinner prepared by O Restaurant at Las Terrazas resort. While we dined, the singing and dancing continued. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.” —Robyn Smyers

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Italy: “We were meeting the Marchesa Elena Torrigiani at her estate and grounds in the middle of Florence!”

Giardini Torrigiani, Florence.

Giardini Torrigiani, Florence. Photo: Brian Dore.

“We just returned from a fantastic 3-week trip to Italy that Maria had arranged for us….When we thought it couldn’t get any better in our 3 days in Florence we had a Wendy WOW Moment that was over the top!!  We saw that Maria listed “a one of a kind experience” in the early evening. Of course, we tried getting hints from [our guide] Elvira, but she was not sharing anything, until we were almost at our destination and told us that we were meeting the Marchesa Elena Torrigiani at her estate and grounds in the middle of Florence!  Her family goes back generations and is considered royalty in Italy. The garden is 17 acres and she personally led us through the gardens and explained all the monuments, trees, etc. The best site on the grounds was a neo gothic tower and walls from the Middle Ages!  Elena was so charming and a wonderful host as she told us her interesting family history up to the present. She finally led us to an outside bistro where we had a wonderful dinner. What a way to end the day. Thank you Wendy!” —Sandy Collins

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Cabo, Mexico: “We took a private boat to a secluded cove for a private snorkel…”

El Arco, Cabo San Lucas Photo: Roberto Trama Mexico

Boating and fishing in Los Cabos. Photo: Roberto Trama

“We rented a very private home near San Jose del Cabo—with a gorgeous outdoor living space and pool—and felt completely safe.  Julie helped us all along the way, including helping us decide to stay closer to San Jose Del Cabo than to the more touristy Cabo San Lucas.  That turned out to be a great decision. We were traveling with our small family of three, including our young son. We had a 24/7 concierge named Hector the whole time, and he did a great job with questions about the house, activities, grocery stores, restaurants, and the like.

We were also lucky enough to have a WOW Moment on this trip: We were picked up at our house by our guide, Oscar, who is a lovely man with a great knowledge of the local area, its geology, history, traditions, culture, and food. Oscar took us to the marina in Cabo San Lucas, where we took a private boat to a secluded cove for a private snorkel. We were so happy with the location, especially as we saw how crowded the other snorkel locations were. Oscar helped our 10-year old son learn how to snorkel and helped him spot puffer fish, angel fish, and other cool wildlife. And then Oscar made us the most amazing gourmet lunch on the boat! We had some delicious local fish, sashimi style, and a ridiculously amazing guacamole. He loves food almost as much as I do! To top it off, Oscar helped us find a local fishmonger on the way back. I bought marlin and bonito, both caught that day and cleaned and cut to my specs, with a friendly pelican who enjoyed eating the fish scraps. We grilled the fish over the next two days, and they were amazing!  A total home run, and we were so grateful for this outing. Julie, Wendy, and team, a sincere thank-you!” —Chris Kloes

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Costa Rica: “We drove to the lake where a boat was waiting. There was a three-piece band and a dance teacher aboard…”

Amazing panoramic view of beautiful nature of Costa Rica with smoking volcano Arenal background. Panorama of volcano Arenal reflected on wonderful picturesque lake, La Fortuna, Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s Arenal volcano. Photo: Shutterstock

“My daughters (ages 15 and 16) and I went to Costa Rica, and Irene arranged a trip exactly to my specifications. We had adventure, culture, relaxation, and beautiful accommodations. We enjoyed so many experiences, from hiking to zip lining, an ATV tour, a private cooking class, a chocolate farm tour and tasting….

We also had our WOW Moment, which was really something special. Edgar picked us up in the late afternoon, and we drove to the lake where a boat was waiting. There was a three-piece band and a dance teacher aboard. We were serenaded and taught to dance the salsa. Back on shore, we were taken to the private home of a chef in town. He and his wife prepared a delicious four-course dinner, and we could see the prep, as the kitchen was outside by the table. The food was fantastic. Little did we know that Edgar had been observing our food preferences throughout our trip, and dinner was chosen from his recommendations. So much thought was put into the experience. My daughters and I will remember that night fondly.” —Karyn Sallus

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Belize: “We were driven to a pool by a waterfall where lunch had been set up with table and chairs…”

Tiger Fern waterfall in Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, Belize.

Tiger Fern waterfall, Belize. Photo: Shutterstock

Patricia could not have been more helpful and we ended up staying in three places. Her first recommendation was Cayo Espanto, a private island with a few luxury villas and with two butlers assigned to each villa. It could not have been a better choice, with great private snorkeling trips, bone fishing and water sports at the island. She then arranged a charter flight on Tropic Air to take us over the Blue Hole (well worth doing) and then to fly us out to Hidden Valley.

A highlight there was a WOW Moment when we were driven to a pool by a waterfall where lunch had been set up with table and chairs, sparkling wine in an ice bucket, a hammock and towels for bathing. We transferred from there via the Mayan site of Caracol to the Lodge at Chaa Creek, a magical place we last visited 25 years ago. It may be more modern, but it is still magical with the same owners who live on site. There Patricia organized a birding trip for us with a local expert, we canoed on the Macal River, lounged in our private plunge pool and hiked throughout the property.” —Tony & Jane Ford-Hutchinson

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The Maldives: “We headed across the atoll to use a drone to try to find whale sharks and manta rays…”

Arial view of an uninhabited, tropical island with lots of trees and turquoise water in Maldives.

Arial view of a tropical island in the Maldives. Photo: Shutterstock

Justin was fantastic! We planned our eight-day trip to the Maldives to split time between two resorts.  He was quite right in discouraging two seaplane-distance resorts, given our short time in the country and the unscheduled nature of seaplanes in the Maldives. His recommendations for restaurants to prioritize at both resorts was spot on, and he was very helpful with plans for scuba, advising on better house reefs, etc.

Our WOW Moment at Gili Lankanfushi was such fun!  We and the dive master and two naturalists headed out and we had a fantastic dive. Then we headed across the atoll to use a drone to try to find whale sharks and manta rays. While none were to be found, it was still a blast to watch the naturalists use the drone to hunt for them!” —Kim Prater

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Hawaii: “A fantastic hike to Pololu Valley and Beach…”

family posing at Pololu Valley with cliffs and ocean in background Big Island Hawaii

Traveler Kathy Gardner and her family hiking Pololu Valley on Hawaii’s Big Island.

“Hawaii expert Dani planned a fabulous vacation to the Big Island for our family and kindly included my sister and her family in our plans/reservations at the almost last minute. We really enjoyed the Fairmont Orchid, which Dani highly recommended. It was perfect for our families (parents and teens). She ensured we had lovely rooms with wonderful views and fantastic, attentive service. Dani recommended a snorkeling trip just for our two families.

Thanks to Wendy, our WOW Moment, a fantastic hike to Pololu Valley and Beach, was delightful. Dani engaged Derek Stuart, of Active Families Hawaii, as a personal guide, including visiting the Waimea Market, a stunning drive to the northeast of the Big Island and the above mentioned hike and picnic on the black sand beach.” —Kathy Gardner

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Belize: “A very special horseback riding morning and WOW Moment overlooking the entire property…”

A river surrounded by the Belizean jungle.

A river surrounded by the Belizean jungle.

Patricia was amazing to work with, and her recommendations of the Lodge at Chaa Creek and Belize Sailing Vacations were the perfect combination for our family of five.  The experience at Chaa Creek was incredible… from our outing to the ATM caves (one of the most amazing things we’ve ever done) to a very special horseback riding morning and WOW Moment overlooking the entire property along with an outdoor cooking experience, we couldn’t have asked for anything more.

From the jungle, we headed back towards town to meet our catamaran and crew. As new “sailors,” we can’t say enough about this adventure. Our chef, Ellen, fed us better than we could have imagined, all while giving us a taste of local flavor, including conch ceviche and conch fritters. Our captain made the adventure especially fun for our 11-year-old son by allowing him the chance to help onboard the boat with the anchor, fishing rods, etc… ” —Kate Rader

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The U.S. Southwest: “We had more time to go further into the canyon and do more repels and obstacles…”

woman rappelling and rock climbing in Zion national park

Amy Evers rock climbing in Zion National Park.

“Phoenix to Salt Lake City, with so much in between!  Melissa put together an amazing trip for my husband and I!   We went mountain biking twice and white water rafting. We went on a hot air balloon flight. We hiked in many gorgeous locales. We did a cooking class (the food was out of this world), a sunset tour in the dessert, a UTV tour, a stargazing experience, and jeep tours. We had some time to explore on our own as well. Our two favorite experiences were exploring the very narrow slot canyons in Escalante with a guide that took us off the tourist grid (we didn’t see anyone else!) and canyoneering near Zion. No doubt we are slight adrenaline junkies, but this trip really fulfilled our desires!

We also had a WOW Moment while canyoneering. We thought we were doing a half day trip but it turns out it was an entire day! And we had a photographer with us to take pictures of us all day! I am elated that we had more time to go further into the canyon and do more repels and obstacles. I haven’t seen the pictures yet but I’m guessing they are epic! There was even one small section that got me out of my comfort zone and that is usually what I’m looking for! ” —Amy Evers

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Uruguay: “We were serenaded at a private dinner outdoors and then rode back to the barn under the stars…”

Ron Klausner enjoys his WOW Moment in Uruguay.

The Klausners enjoying their WOW Moment in Uruguay.

“For our first stop in Uruguay, Maita sent us to a property north of Punte del Este called Sacromonte. It was heaven. Four cottages in the middle of a vineyard on more than 500 acres. The owner treated us like royalty. A local Belgian-French couple had recently opened a ‘private’ restaurant in their home that we wanted to try, but there was a minimum group size necessary for dinner, so Maita called the next door neighbors, a Canadian couple, to ask if they would join us for dinner. After an incredible meal, the Canadian couple, who live a 10-minute drive away on 1,000 acres, invited us to join them at their recently renovated estancia for coffee the next day. What a great experience!

Our next stop was lunch at the Bodega Garzon, a Francis Mallman restaurant at the top of a hill in the middle of an even greater vineyard. After lunch we then drove to the beach town of Jose Ignacio and stayed at another small, intimate property, Playa Vik. While there we went to a polo match at its sister property, Estancia Vik—our first—and it was spectacular. After the match we ate and drank with the players and exchanged stories; the polo players were from around the world and were all fluent in English and had very interesting personal lives. Our WOW Moment was the following night, back at the Estancia:  We took a horseback ride at sunset, played golf on a ‘homemade’ course, were serenaded at a private dinner outdoors and then rode back to the barn under the stars. Magnificent! ” —Ron Klausner

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London: “A private tour and tasting in The Stafford’s amazing wine cellar, which was built in the 17th century…”

Big Ben and Westminster Bridge on a cold, snowy winter day, London, United Kingdom

Big Ben and Westminster Bridge, London. Photo: Shutterstock

“It has become our practice to consult Wendy Perrin’s WOW List whenever we plan a trip. This time our goal was to spend Christmas in London. We spoke with Jonathan about our previous visits to London and our desire to see and do something new. As we had already seen most of the highlights of London, Jonathan suggested other tours we would not have thought of. One was a Charles Dickens walking tour; our guide was extremely knowledgeable and entertaining, and we now understand how London during Dickens’ time influenced his writing. Another highlight was a private ‘Behind the Glass’ after-hours tour of the Churchill War Rooms. We had seen the War Rooms before, but nothing can compare with going there in the evening when it’s closed and actually going into the rooms that are not accessible to the public.

Jonathan also executed a surprise “Wendy WOW Moment” for us during our stay. It was a private tour and tasting in The Stafford’s amazing wine cellar, which was built in the 17th century and used as an air raid shelter during WWII! The master sommelier, Gino, gave us the tour and made the experience very special!.” —Susan Ketchum

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Rome: “The food tour in Testaccio was so much fun…”

Gina Melton italy WOW

Gina Melton and her husband enjoying their WOW Moment in Rome, Italy.

Jennifer’s team provided top-notch, personalized service throughout our week in Rome. The private guides she selected for us were experts in their fields and added so much nuance and color to our personal tours. For example, I have a love of Baroque art, and our art guide was a former art-history academic who specialized in the Baroque period. Not only was Susanna able to really dig in and educate me more about art from this period, but we also did a specialized Caravaggio tour that culminated in visiting an art restoration studio with restorers who had worked on some of the Caravaggios that I had just seen hours before. Being in that studio, up close and personal with the art, was one of the most impactful travel experiences I have ever had—so much so that I was brought to tears.

I also want to thank Wendy and her team for the wonderful WOW Moment in Rome!  The food tour in Testaccio was so much fun!  We loved trying the Trapizzini (at Trapizzino), and I really enjoyed Mastro.  Jason loved meeting the owners of Giolitti. Thank you for making our trip special.” —Gina Melton

Read more reviews of Rome trips. Learn how to get your own WOW Moment. Or use our trip questionnaire (reached via the black button below) to start a WOW trip.

START A TRIP TO ROME

Africa: “A spectacular sunset and sundowners with about a dozen local Masai…”

man and guide looking over view in Africa

Paul Bennett at Sundowner Rock, Africa. Photo: Traveler Catherine Olsen

“We have many vivid memories of Africa, thanks to Cherri. We had one morning in the Southern Serengeti, where the day began with a visit to our Masai guide’s uncle’s traditional boma. We were invited inside his grandmother’s mud-and-dung hut for a tour of her humble home, but only after she’d carefully swept the mud floor and cleared a seat for us on her husband’s simple cot. Her son, who spoke fairly good English, explained why they’d moved up into the hills until the wildebeests and the tourists left the area. We continued for a bush walk through the hills, accompanied by more Masai; the hike culminated with breakfast, cooked over the fire, at a stunning cliff-edge perch overlooking the Rift Valley.

You’d think the day couldn’t get much better, but we still had our WOW Moment ahead of us. In the late afternoon, we were taken to a very special, quite spiritual escarpment called Sundowner Rock. After a spectacular sunset and sundowners with about a dozen local Masai, we were led around the back side of the rock, where a surprise dinner was being cooked for us in a cave over an open fire. Two fires, actually—one with local goat roasting on sticks for the Masai, and the other grilling chicken and beef for us. After we’d all feasted, the Masai sang and danced and entertained themselves (and us) by the campfire, and we reveled in how lucky we all were. It was truly magical. Thank you, Wendy, for a once-in-a-lifetime WOW Moment!” —Paul Bennett and Catherine Olsen

Read more reviews of Africa trips. Learn how to get your own WOW Moment. Or use our trip questionnaire (reached via the black button below) to start a WOW trip.

START A TRIP TO AFRICA

Romania: “We visited the highest tower at Bran Castle, an area generally off-limits to the public…”

Legendary Bran (Dracula) historical castle of Transylvania, Brasov region, Romania, Eastern Europe

Bran Castle (a.k.a. “Dracula’s Castle”) in Transylvania, Romania. Photo: Shutterstock

Raluca found us extraordinary accommodations in Romania. She tracked down a private residence in Bucharest where we had a private suite and were treated like personal friends of the family. We had three nights in Brasov in a lovely three-room hotel and four nights in Maremures in our own house on a 70-hectare property. The house was probably 100 years old and had been saved from destruction in the local village, moved to the host’s property, and completely remodeled inside. Raluca even arranged for a cook to come to the house and make us breakfast and dinner—truly special.  And Wendy, thanks for the WOW Moment. We really enjoyed getting to visit the highest tower at Bran Castle, an area generally off-limits to the public. Our very experienced guide had never been there.” —George Stephens

Read more reviews of Romania trips. Learn how to get your own WOW Moment. Or use our trip questionnaire (reached via the black button below) to start a WOW trip.

START A TRIP TO ROMANIA

Colombia: “We were surprised with a cooking class at Carmen’s, the best restaurant in Cartagena…”

colorfully painted walls on a block of Cartagena Colombia

Cartagena, Colombia. Photo: Shutterstock

Boris and Marc organized a wonderful itinerary in Colombia that kept me, my husband, and our two teenagers completely engaged. We loved visiting the very different regions of the country and learning about each area’s distinct history and culture.  The best part about working with Wendy’s WOW team are the WOW Moments: We were surprised with a cooking class at Carmen’s, the best restaurant in Cartagena. We all enjoyed learning about the local cuisine, preparing, cooking, and ultimately eating what we had prepared! The restaurant was truly lovely, and we won’t forget our time spent there.” —Barbara Palter

Read more reviews of Colombia trips. Learn how to get your own WOW Moment. Or use our trip questionnaire (reached via the black button below) to start a WOW trip.

START A TRIP TO COLOMBIA

Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, Canada: “We had an unbelievable meal that lasted the entire evening…”

chef cooking over fire at Inn at Bay Fortune Prince Edward Island Canada

Inn at Bay Fortune, Prince Edward Island.

Jill planned a fabulous trip for us in the Canadian Maritimes that included an evening of Nova Scotia wines and local specialties at Le Caveau (you haven’t lived until you’ve eaten Brant Lake Wagyu beef), staying at Glenora Distillery on Cape Breton Island, and dinner overlooking the Atlantic Ocean at Panorama at the Cabot Links golf course.

The pièce de résistance was our WOW Moment at The Inn at Bay Fortune on Prince Edward Island, where we had an unbelievable meal that lasted the entire evening. A farmer regaled us with stories about his farm and some of what we would be eating, we had a feast of oysters, and everything was cooked over an open flame! Little did we know there would be another WOW Moment the next morning, when we met the chef carving up a 322-pound tuna in the kitchen. ” —Sonja & Brian Haggert

Read more reviews of Canadian Maritimes trips. Learn how to get your own WOW Moment. Or use our trip questionnaire (reached via the black button below) to start a WOW trip.

START A TRIP TO THE CANADIAN MARITIMES

Paris: “We were guided to a beautiful shop in a charming neighborhood and into a private room…”

Caves Legrande is one of the oldest wine shops in Paris

Caves Legrande wine shop in Paris. Photo: Caves Legrande

Jennifer had a great feel for the kind of experience of Paris that my husband and I desired. We had an incredible food tour in Saint-Germain-des-Prés and a private cooking class with a chef who taught us how to prepare the most amazing duck recipes per our request. He also took us food shopping prior to the class; visiting all of the little shops in Paris for bread, cheese, wine, and our duck was a treat! In addition, Jennifer was able to secure some very hard-to-get dinner reservations; we were able to dine everywhere on my wish list.

Lastly, thank you, Wendy, for an incredible WOW Moment! Jennifer arranged our surprise WOW Moment at the oldest wine shop in Paris. We were guided to a beautiful shop in a charming neighborhood and into a private room for a wine tasting with a sommelier who said he was opening bottles that he had actually never been able to taste himself before, as they were that rare. He was thrilled with our WOW Moment too!” —Tina Sarafa

Read more reviews of Paris trips. Learn how to get your own WOW Moment. Or use our trip questionnaire (reached via the black button below) to start a WOW trip.

START A TRIP TO PARIS

Vienna: “A private tour at the Kunsthistorisches Museum with a curator who gave us special insight into the Klimt brothers’ paintings…”

The Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna Austria

The Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria. Photo: Shutterstock

Gwen provided excellent recommendations for ways to enjoy our time in Austria. The hotels and guides she selected were amazing, the transportation (train, driver, and rental car) seamless. She even teamed up with Wendy for our WOW Moment in Vienna—a private tour at the Kunsthistorisches Museum with a curator who gave us special insight into the Klimt brothers’ paintings on the Museum’s walls and ceiling. Not only did Julia teach us so much about the history of the works and the artists, but she had high-resolution photos of the works on her tablet that allowed us to zoom in on artistic details that you cannot see with the naked eye. This gave us a completely different perspective; the works of art are even more amazing when you see them through that lens. Thanks to Gwen (and Wendy!), we had a trip we will remember for a lifetime.” — Jennifer Webb

Read more reviews of Austria trips. Learn how to get your own WOW Moment. Or use our trip questionnaire (reached via the black button below) to start a WOW trip.

START A TRIP TO AUSTRIA

Croatia: “A private boat ride from the new harbor to the old harbor just outside the Ancient Walls…”

Aerial view at famous european travel destination in Croatia, Dubrovnik old town.

The old town of Dubrovnik, Croatia. Photo: Shutterstock

“We were traveling over Easter and wanted to maximize our time in Croatia.  We wanted a mix of history, art, culture, Jewish history, and Game of Thrones—and each of our three guides delivered.  Gwen was able to help us secure reservations at the restaurants we wanted, including Michelin-starred Restaurant 360 in Dubrovnik. We also loved her suggestions of Restaurant Dubrovnik and Adriatic Graso in Split — we had amazing meals and service.

While in Dubrovnik we were surprised with our WOW Moment. We had a private boat ride from the new harbor to the old harbor just outside the Ancient Walls of Dubrovnik. We were served wine and charcuterie. Despite the rough waters, Captain Chris gave us a wonderful tour and a new perspective of Dubrovnik. It was such a treat. Croatia is a magical place, and Gwen and her team are there to roll out the red carpet for you.” —Joellen Shelden

Read more reviews of Croatia trips. Learn how to get your own WOW Moment. Or use our trip questionnaire (reached via the black button below) to start a WOW trip.

START A TRIP TO CROATIA

Australia: “A seaplane ride over Sydney Harbour and the Opera House…”

seaplane flying over Sydney Harbour with bridge and opera house

A seaplane tour over Sydney Harbour. Photo: Stuart Rigg

“We would use Stuart again—our Australia trip was outstanding and everything went off without a hitch. Great properties, people, and experiences!! We also had our first Wendy Perrin WOW Moment, which happened to be a seaplane ride over Sydney Harbour and the Opera House. This is something that we would not have thought to do ourselves—and we would have missed out big-time! An amazing and fun experience. We even happened to get to travel up the coast a bit because the seaplane company needed to drop some passengers at a small resort destination. The views were stunning and provided a perspective we would not have had without Wendy’s WOW. Thank you, Wendy, for such a magnificent addition to an already outstanding adventure.” —Bill Schierl & Sarena Melotte

Read more reviews of Australia trips. Learn how to get your own WOW Moment. Or use our trip questionnaire (reached via the black button below) to start a WOW trip.

START A TRIP TO AUSTRALIA

Bali: “It was magnificent and thrilling—and what a surprise!”

Balinese dancer Dewi Aryani performs for travelers during a special presentation

Balinese dancer Dewi Aryani performs for travelers during a special WOW Moment. Photo: Edith Netter

“The WOW Moment that Diane arranged for us in Bali was magnificent and thrilling —and what a surprise! Four days into our trip (so we were still jet lagged), we were invited to a private area of our beautiful hotel to watch something riveting. We quickly forgot our jet lag. It was contemporary Balinese dancing at our doorstep. Dewi Aryani danced for us, and Rucina Ballinger responded to our many questions. We shared stories and learned about Balinese dancing. Dewi even got the two of us on our feet and dancing. Any dances we saw later in the trip could in no way approximate our experience with them. I should add that we had a lovely Balinese ‘tea,’ but the star of the show was Dewi .” —Edy Netter

Read more reviews of Bali trips. Learn how to get your own WOW Moment. Or use our trip questionnaire (reached via the black button below) to start a WOW trip.

START A TRIP TO BALI

Belize: “The entire resort came out to watch and dance with us…”

Belize

The Lerner family in Belize.

“We worked with Patricia to plan a special vacation to Belize with our adult children and a girlfriend. We loved literally every minute but, if there is one aspect of the trip that deserves special mention, it is our WOW Moment at Naia Resort in Placencia, on the Caribbean coast. We really didn’t know what to expect as we were escorted down to the beach… until we could hear the beating of the drums and see the flaming bonfire awaiting us at sunset. Richard and his family taught us about the indigenous Garifuna people and their very interesting history and culture. The many dances, including the ‘Go Mommy’ chant for my wife Julie’s birthday, were so much fun. The entire resort came out to watch and dance with us.” —Stephen and Julie Lerner

Read more reviews of Belize trips. Learn how to get your own WOW Moment. Or use our trip questionnaire (reached via the black button below) to start a WOW trip.

START A TRIP TO BELIZE

San Diego: “We spent the day riding electric bikes around the quaint residential areas, and then we kayaked out into the Bay…”

The Gill family WOW Moment.

The Gill family WOW Moment.

“Our teenagers are still talking about our Southern California paragliding adventure over the beaches and golf course at Torrey Pines and our beach barbeque at Crystal Cove State Park while watching the sunset with our toes in the sand. Sheri was very helpful in recommending and organizing hotel stays at both the new hipster Pendry Hotel in San Diego and the luxurious Pelican Hill Resort outside of Newport Beach. We initially had a little misunderstanding with the resort regarding our room location, but after a short conversation with Sheri, we were quickly upgraded to a room with a much better view (thanks, Sheri). This type of personalized service is the reason we plan most of our trips using Wendy Perrin’s trusted travel experts.

Since this was our third qualifying trip, Wendy surprised us with a WOW Moment—a day of adventure on charming Coronado Island. Our guide for the day picked us up at our hotel for a short ferry ride over to the historic island, where we spent the day riding electric bikes around the quaint residential areas, and then we kayaked out into the Bay. Thanks, Wendy and Sheri, for a very memorable day for all of us!”—Janette Gill

Read more reviews of Southern California trips. Learn how to get your own WOW Moment. Or use our trip questionnaire (reached via the black button below) to start a WOW trip.

START A TRIP TO CALIFORNIA

Chile: “We arrived at a spot in the middle of nowhere and were led by flashlight…”

Atacama desert, Andes, Chile

Atacama desert, Andes, Chile. Photo: Shutterstock

Maita planned a flawless trip for us to Chile. At the end of long days of hiking we had beautiful meals and fine Chilean wines to celebrate. The Explora lodges in the Atacama Desert and on Easter Island were amazing. And Wendy gave us a WOW Moment in the Atacama. We were picked up at 17:30 by our guide and told to bring a windbreaker and blanket. Then we traveled on gravel roads for what seemed like an hour. Our guide kept us in suspense until the last minute, when we arrived at a spot in the middle of nowhere and were led 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 the 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 feel like we were connected to the 21st century. It was an amazing evening and one we will never forget. Thank you, Wendy.” —Jeanne Lee

Read more reviews of Chile trips. Learn how to get your own WOW Moment. Or use our trip questionnaire (reached via the black button below) to start a WOW trip.

START A TRIP TO CHILE

Belize: “Lobster hunting! Those who wanted to went freediving with a spear…”

Snorkeling in the clear water in Belize.

Snorkeling in the clear water in Belize. Photo: Brook Wilkinson

“Without Patricia’s input, I would never have thought of chartering a catamaran for our trip to Belize. We very much enjoyed traveling along the reef in the boat and loved the snorkeling. The food was delicious! And being able to fish off the back of the boat was an unexpected bonus. And then we could eat what we caught! The stars at night were spectacular.

Our WOW Moment was really cool too. We were in a dinghy on our way to go snorkeling when we saw a plastic bottle floating in the water. I asked if we were going to pick it up, and Captain Dan said no, we’re going lobster hunting! Those who wanted to went freediving with a spear and shot lobsters (it took me five tries). Then Kainie made ceviche and served it with all the fixings and a bottle of Prosecco. It was a really great experience that I’ve been sharing with friends and family.” —Deborah Wente

Read more reviews of Belize trips. Learn how to get your own WOW Moment. Or use our trip questionnaire (reached via the black button below) to start a WOW trip.

START A TRIP TO BELIZE

Paris: “A private, behind-the-scenes tour of the Palais Garnier, the Beaux-Arts Paris opera house…”

interior view of the stage at Palais Garnier, Opera National de Paris France

Palais Garnier, Opera National de Paris. Photo: Shutterstock

“Our trip to France arranged by Jennifer was wonderful. The surprise for my daughter’s birthday on a Seine river cruise was spectacular, and my daughter and grandchildren were shocked—and pleased. Our guided tour of the Eiffel Tower was superb. Our WOW Moment was a private, behind-the-scenes tour of the Palais Garnier, the Beaux-Arts Paris opera house—and it was very special for all of us. Jennifer also arranged for a rental car, all hotels, and recommended events and restaurants as we drove from Paris to Strasbourg, Colmar, Dijon, Burgundy and back to Paris. Each hotel she chose was extremely well located.” —Richard Goldin

Read more reviews of France trips. Learn how to get your own WOW Moment. Or use our trip questionnaire (reached via the black button below) to start a WOW trip.

START A TRIP TO FRANCE

Paris: “A secret food adventure with a young chef who brought  us to the best specialty shops…”

aerial view of Famous palace Versailles with beautiful gardens and fountains in France

Versailles palace gardens, France. Photo: Shutterstock

“In Paris, it was all about special access, skip the line, and going to the private areas not accessible to the public. Our excellent guide to Versailles, Marie-Ange, is one of a kind. She knows the history and the palace very well, and she got permission for us to enter the “not for the public” sites in the palace.  At the Louvre, Jennifer managed to arrange an amazing tour with one of the curators, followed by a secret food adventure—part of our WOW Momentwith a young chef who brought us to the best specialty shops for meat, seafood, chocolate, jam, puff pastry, and macarons. We managed to taste them all in two hours, then go to the Eiffel Tower for another skip-the-line service. Despite the packed itinerary in Paris, we still had a whole day for shopping on our last day.” —Suryo Wibowo

Read more reviews of Paris trips. Learn how to get your own WOW Moment. Or use our trip questionnaire (reached via the black button below) to start a WOW trip.

START A TRIP TO PARIS

Australia: “The boat ride on the Yarra River gave us an amazing perspective of the city…”

Aerial view of the tip of Mornington Peninsula.

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Photo: Shutterstock

Stuart put together a wonderful month-long visit to Australia for my husband and me, with a great balance of programmed activity and free time. We had a variety of activities—a sailing trip; driving the Great Ocean Road; wonderful, knowledgeable guides for our hikes—but we also had ample time to walk and hike on our own in the national parks and the cities.

I also want to thank Wendy for our WOW Moment in Melbourne. The boat ride on the Yarra River gave us an amazing perspective of the city. It was a very enjoyable addition to our 53rd wedding-anniversary day. Thank you!”  —Sandra Southwick

Read more reviews of Australia trips. Learn how to get your own WOW Moment. Or use our trip questionnaire (reached via the black button below) to start a WOW trip.

START A TRIP TO AUSTRALIA

British Columbia, Canada: “A photographer gave us a personal tour of several waterfalls…”

aerial view of Sonora Resort in the Discovery Islands, British Columbia

Sonora Resort in the Discovery Islands, British Columbia. Photo: Tim Baker

“My husband and I and our two teenage daughters wanted to go to British Columbia, but to avoid any really crowded areas. Marc suggested we spend a few days in Whistler, then a few days on Sonora Island, and end in Vancouver. He set us up for fun activities in Whistler—RZR cars, white-water rafting, zip lining—and we were treated to a WOW Moment: A photographer gave us a personal tour of several waterfalls, giving us photography tips along the way and taking family photos; although I am the photography buff in the family, he was able to engage the whole family and everyone really enjoyed the experience (thank you, Wendy!).

We then took a seaplane to Sonora Resort, which the entire family agreed was heavenly. So remote, with beautiful scenery and gourmet food. On our eco-adventure tour we were lucky enough to be in the middle of a pod of about 100 dolphins.  Finally, in Vancouver, Marc suggested the Fairmont Pacific Rim for us, which also was in a fabulous location. Since we are foodies, he planned a food tour at Granville Island, where there are so many booths that it was helpful to have an expert direct us; the tour allowed us to sample more items in small quantities than we could have done on our own.” —Nancy Wolf

Read more reviews of British Columbia trips. Learn how to get your own WOW Moment. Or use our trip questionnaire (reached via the black button below) to start a WOW trip.

START A TRIP TO BRITISH COLUMBIA

Australia: “A not-to-be-missed helicopter ride over Uluru and Kata Tjuta…”

Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park

Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park. Photo Tourism Australia

“My husband and I spent five weeks in Australia on a spectacular trip planned and executed by Stuart and Debbie. We had long wanted to visit our seventh continent but quickly realized that even with five weeks we couldn’t see the entire country. My top priority was to see The Kimberley, a remote area in northwestern Australia that even many Australians never get to. We could not have had a better trip. That it was topped by one of Wendy’s WOW Moments—a not-to-be-missed helicopter ride over Uluru and Kata Tjuta—is just one more reason why Wendy Perrin’s experts are the best. Wendy’s experts (and we’ve used a lot of them) all share two essential traits—attention to detail in planning and careful execution of arrangements. Where they—and Stuart—are unmatched is in their ability to intuit what their clients want, need and, most important, will delight in. Kudos.” —Jan Heininger

Read more reviews of Australia trips. Learn how to get your own WOW Moment. Or use our trip questionnaire (reached via the black button below) to start a WOW trip.

START A TRIP TO AUSTRALIA

Shanghai: “We would never have known such an experience exists, nor that it would be so cool…”

The Bund at Night, Shanghai, China

The Bund at night, Shanghai, China

“The trip to Beijing and Shanghai that Mei arranged for my wife and me was outstanding. We requested ‘local’ hotels, and they exceeded our expectations; we ended up in areas with few other foreigners. Our food tour was one of our most memorable evenings; eating locally was a cultural plus. In Shanghai, we had the pleasure of receiving our WOW Moment—a motorcycle sidecar tour of the area near the Bund. We would never have known such an experience exists, nor that it would be so cool. The champagne toast on the bridge overlooking the amazing Shanghai skyline was a superb touch.” —Bill Schierl & Sarena Melotte

Read more reviews of China trips. Learn how to get your own WOW Moment. Or use our trip questionnaire (reached via the black button below) to start a WOW trip.

START A TRIP TO CHINAB

Vancouver and an Alaska cruise: “It truly was a moveable feast…”

Aerial view of Misty Fjords National Monument in Alaska

Aerial view of Misty Fjords National Monument in Alaska. Photo: Shutterstock

Tom planned a magical trip to Alaska for our multigenerational family that included our 10- and 12-year-old grandsons. He booked us adjoining rooms on Holland America’s Westerdam, which turned out to be an excellent choice and value. He arranged all our shore excursions with a private company. Each excursion was better than the description and a good value compared to what the ship was offering. The helicopter ride to the top of the glacier in Juneau was an otherworldly experience that thrilled every member of our family. Tom even arranged for all six of us to go in one helicopter, which is out of the ordinary. He also recommended a small zodiac tour in Ketchikan; we were divided 3 and 3, with my husband and son each driving a zodiac, following the guide. The best was when the guide waved a dead fish in the air and threw it into the water about 100 feet away where an eagle swooped right over us, picking it up. It then flew the fish back to its nest where we had just seen the fuzzy head of an eaglet. So memorable.

But the absolute best was our WOW Moment. During our three days in Vancouver, we were surprised with a private food tour of Granville Island Market. We sampled salmon with wine, cheese and specialty meats, light-as-air donuts, and much more. It truly was a moveable feast.” —Christine Stoll

Read more reviews of Alaska trips. Learn how to get your own WOW Moment. Or use our trip questionnaire (reached via the black button below) to start a WOW trip.

START A TRIP TO ALASKA

Easter Island, Chile: “It began with a private guided walk through fields, caves and coastline…”

woman toasting with wine on Easter Island

Eva Strasburger enjoying her WOW Moment on Easter Island.

“I contacted Jordan to organize a surprise birthday trip for my husband to Chile with a focus on Easter Island and stopovers at a Casablanca Valley vineyard and a night in Valparaiso.  The trip was hugely successful and my husband was both surprised and delighted. Highlights of the trip were meeting the people who looked after us – all very warm, friendly and knowledgeable, the unexpected surprise experiences along the way, like the graffiti lesson in Valparaiso and Wendy’s fabulous WOW Moment on our trip to Easter Island. It began with a private guided walk through fields, caves and coastline and ended with music, pisco sours, delicious bites, a presentation of a book on Rapa Nui, birthday cake and a sunset overlooking the moais and the ocean. It could not have been more perfect!  Thank you for this unforgettable moment and we were wowed.” —Eva Strasburger

Read more reviews of Chile trips. Learn how to get your own WOW Moment. Or use our trip questionnaire (reached via the black button below) to start a WOW trip.

START A TRIP TO CHILE

 

Wendy Wants To Amp Up Your Trip!

On every third qualifying trip, Wendy will add to your itinerary a surprise WOW Moment. A WOW Moment is an exclusive insider experience that helps make a trip extraordinary. Each WOW Moment is totally different. They vary depending on a huge range of factors, including the country you’re headed to, the timing of your trip, logistics, availability, and more. You can read a sampling of the more over-the-top WOW Moments (those most conducive to editorial coverage) here. Learn which trips qualify, and how the process works, here: Wendy Wants To Amp Up Your Trip!

 

Be a smarter traveler: Sign up for Wendy’s weekly newsletter to stay in the know. Read real travelers’ reviews, then use the black CONTACT buttons on Wendy’s WOW List to reach out to the right local fixer for your trip.

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