Agent Name: Gisela Maskell
Date: February 2005
Trip Location: Cruising on the Crystal Cruise Symphony from Buenos Aires to Valparaiso
Places Visited: Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Falkland Islands, Ushuaia, Puerto Montt,
Santiago and the Colchagua Valley wine region of Chile.
Overall Trip Impression: February is a great time of the year to travel to South America. Buenos Aires is an amazing city with wonderful architecture, very friendly people, great diversity, and in the historical neighborhood of San Telmo you will find many antique stores and craft and antique markets every Sunday. Not to be missed is Recoleta, a residential neighborhood with many fashionable restaurants, boutiques and coffee shops. Recoleta Commentary, where Evita’s tomb can be found, is located in the centre and in walking distance from most hotels. Great Steak houses and the Tango show at Esquina Carlos Gardel is a must.
Crystal Symphony is one of my favorite cruise lines – very personal and attentive staff, and with only 980 passengers I never had the feeling of being crowded or having to line up for any events or shore excursions. The 14 days of exceptional service and hospitality made this trip in South America a wonderful and unique experience. Crystal offered informative lectures before we would reach our next destination and the days at seas were filled with activities and even an opportunity to learn the Tango.
Recommended Tours: The Crystal shore excursions were well organized and I would recommend taking take part in some of these great excursions to explore the different ports and to see more of the countryside.
In Chile I would highly recommend a day trip to the wine region in the Colchagua Valley, approximately one hours drive from Santiago. Chile is world renown for its wines. For more information on this wine region http://www.colchaguavalley.cl
Favourite Hotels: In Buenos Aires, the Park Plaza Kempinski, a small boutique type hotel in a great location and with very friendly staff. In Santiago the Santiago Park Plaza Hotel, a small European type boutique hotel in an exclusive residential neighborhood well known for its classic tree-lined streets. It is in a great location for shopping and local specialty restaurants.
How to get there: I flew with Air Canada to Buenos Aires via Toronto and returned from Santiago also with Air Canada via Toronto. The service was excellent, and with only 4 hours time difference between Vancouver and Buenos Aires and 3 hours between Santiago and Vancouver, time difference was not really an issue.