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organized tour in Salta area - recommendations are needed

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Hungary
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organized tour in Salta area - recommendations are needed

hi,

I read alot of complimenets to tracy on the private tours,

Did someone did organized tour with Northwest Nomad or any recommendations on other agencys?

looking for daily organized tours in Slata area

Thanks,

Eva

Italy
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1. Re: organized tour in Salta area - recommendations are needed

Day tours aren't the best option in Salta, it's better to stay overnight in Purmamarca in the North and Cachi and Cafayate in the South, this would give you a better experience of the area.

Hungary
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2. Re: organized tour in Salta area - recommendations are needed

thanks. any recommendation of a good company? I read alot about Northwest Nomad but mainly on private tours with Tracy. did someone experiencedthe guided tours?

Barcelona, Spain
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3. Re: organized tour in Salta area - recommendations are needed

I'm with Chrella, you can travel by public transport, overnight and spend more time in Humahuaca, Cafayate, Cachi...

Maect

www.unmundoparaviajarlo.com

4. Re: organized tour in Salta area - recommendations are needed

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5. Re: organized tour in Salta area - recommendations are needed

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Australia
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6. Re: organized tour in Salta area - recommendations are needed

I would preface this by saying that we rarely used guided tours and prefer to organise our own travel.

But as part of a month-long trip to South America - largely for the sake of convenience - we did a four-night guided tour with private guide using their car.

We flew BA to Salta, stayed in Salta one night, then the guide met us for the tour. This is a standard itinerary, from what I've seen online:

- drove Salta to Cachi, one night Cachi

- drove Cachi to Cafayate via Colome winery/gallery, one night Cafayate

- drove Cafayate to Salta, one night Salta

- drove Salta to Tilcara, Purmamarca etc, one night Purmamarca

Then we took a bus over the Andes to Chile.

In hindsight, and given the magnificent bus ride over the Andes to Chile, we wished we had done this:

- fly BA to Salta

- hire car and drive to Cafayate

- 2-3 nights in and around Cafayate

- 1 night in Salta

- bus to Purmamarca and 1 night there

- then take bus to Chile

It was good to have the flexibility of a private guide, but we thought our tour was expensive for what we got. We also thought there was too much time in the car.

We got very little time in Cafayate, which was a shame because we enjoy (and my partner is knowledgeable about) wine. But the bodegas were closed on Sunday, the day we were there. We'd advised the guide we were interested in wine before our trip, and we didn't realise most bodegas close on Sundays until the guide told us on the Saturday evening we arrived in Cafayate (in Australia wineries usually open all weekend).

REMEMBER CAFAYATE BODEGAS SHUT SUNDAYS IF YOU HAVE LIMITED TIME THERE AND ARE INTERESTED IN WINE.

There was a good number of domestic/international tourists driving themselves and doing pretty much the same route - we kept bumping into them. In hindsight, we wished we had done the same.

I do realise that some people want the convenience, security etc of a guided tour. We DID NOT use Tracey at NWNomad - we used another guide. But Tracey does get good feedback and her website is a good place to start planning northwestnomad.com/#.

If you're going to use a guide - particularly a private one - around Salta I'd flag these points:

1. Get a detailed itinerary in writing with confirmation of all accommodation booked, what you will see and when you will see it (if that's important to you)

2. Ensure you confirm the price of your guide's services and compare these prices with other services; make sure you are clear on what is/is not included in the price; be clear if they want to be paid USD cash

3. Ask your guide about OPTIONS for accommodation and dining - obviously guides get free hospitality, have established relationships etc in some places, but these might not be the best places for you

4. Confirm when/where the payment to your guide will be made - for example, will you be required to deviate from your itinerary to drive to the guide's house so they can leave the payment with their husband? Also be clear as to whether you will get a receipt, particularly if you need this for business or insurance purposes.

You can see my reviews of accommodation etc around Salta for additional information. I am happy to answer questions about our guided tour if you contact me via Tripadvisor.

Argentina
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7. Re: organized tour in Salta area - recommendations are needed

Ferro turismo is a good option when looking for a day tour. Personlized tours are the most recommended in the NW as you can have a deeper experience in both areas, North and South of Salta.

If you are looking for the best way to maximize your time in the area take two days to see Purmamarca, the salt flats, Humahuaca and Tilcara... and back to Salta. And ... if you have two days do Salta - Cafayate , Cafayate . Salta in two days, or.... Salta - Cachi - Cachi - Cafayate - Cafayate - Salta in three days... or... take an extra day in Cafayate to visit more wineries and give a taste to the fantastic Goat cheese they produce in town.

That is up to you.

Salta is like a delicious dessert, it deserves to be enjoyed slowly...

Warm regads,

Angie/Giena

8. Re: organized tour in Salta area - recommendations are needed

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9. Re: organized tour in Salta area - recommendations are needed

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Australia
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10. Re: organized tour in Salta area - recommendations are needed

Tracey - thanks for your response, updated website details and advice. I appreciate you are likely being diplomatic and don't want to get involved in criticisms of other guides.

But the issues I'm raising about our guide experience have more serious implications than just the fullness of an itinerary or the optimisation of time: they relate to basic ideas of professionalism.

If one is paying in the region of USD250 per day (not including accommodation, meals etc) for private guiding services, one expects a high-quality professional service, which includes:

- LISTENING to a client's wishes and consulting about the itinerary and, in particular, CONSULTING about any changes and the OPTIONS available to the client

- TRANSPARENCY/DISCLOSURE about recommendations where the guide gets free accommodation, meals etc

- DELIVERING on undertakings - for example we were advised we would get an introductory tour of Salta that did not eventuate

While going to the guide's house so they can drop off their USD cash does eat up time in the client's itinerary, more importantly we felt the guide wanted her husband's backup in case there were problems with payment (perhaps there have been problems before - little wonder given the issues we encountered). There was a range of other arrangements/methods for payment, and the guide only mentioned she wanted to go via her house once we were in the car and moving with all our bags. We were in a situation where we could not really say no ... I found this approach unprofessional and, in fact, intimidating. My husband and I were both shocked by what we considered to be an act of bad faith.

But if we're going to talk about wasting client's time, what about following a pickup that apparently has the supposedly stolen motorbike of the guide's friend on the back of it, so the guide can take photos and get the registration numbers for her friend. As I noted, really unprofessional.

Again, I emphasise for the Salta forum community, Tracey was NOT our guide.

I am happy to take further questions via Tripadvisor.