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Private Tours or Taxis?


ALadyNCal

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I am reading about a lot of people arranging private tours in Buenos Aires, Santiago, and some of the ports. I may very well end up doing that for our group of 5.

 

When you go to all the ports in the Caribbean, there are always tons of taxi drivers waiting for a fare or wanting to give you a tour of "their island".

 

Does this happen in the South American cities?

Can we use taxis for tours upon arrival?

Or is it really just best to book our specific tours in advance with a company?

 

As for taxis, are there many vans? As we will have 5 people and luggage part of the time, I was just wondering.

 

THANKS!

 

~~Celebrity Infinity 02/2005~~; NCL Sun 02/2003; Celebrity Millennium 05/2002; Ocean Princess 10/2001; Ocean Princess 8/2001; NCL Sea 7/2000; Ocean Princess 3/2000; Celebrity Mercury 10/1998; Star Princess 3/1996; NCL Dream 8/1995; Azure Seas 2/1991

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In my experience, few of the cab drivers spoke any English in BA or Santiago, and I would imagine this is true in most other ports. In BA you only want to use radio call cabs, so this can also be a hassle. There are some cabs that are vans.

 

Personally I would stick to private tours. More secure, and you are guaranteed to have a guide who not only can show you the sights, but speaks English too.

 

We used www.southstartours.com to arrange nearly all our trips when we were in SA and were very happy with the quality of the tours and guides, and felt very safe. All of our tours were via 10 passenger vans except once when we had a small bus. We had between 3-8 people on each tour, and got to see a lot that the ship's bus tours did not. The only exception was when we booked a private car and driver in Puerto Montt directly on the internet.

 

HA Constitution 1986

NCL Skyward 1988

Crystal Harmony 1992

Dawn Princess 1994

HA Independence 1995

Celebrity Zenith 1997

Grand Princess 1999

Regal Princess 2000

Crystal Harmony 2000

HAL Ryndam 2001

HAL Statendam 2003

RCI Vision of the Seas 2003

HAL Ryndam 2004

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Thanks for the link to South Star. However, I can't find daily tours, only 3 to 10 days!

What am I doing wrong?

I definitely think that private tours are the way to go.

Carol

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Hi,

 

We were on the Infinity Feb. 1 -- Valparaiso to Buenos Aires and used www.portcompass.com and were very happy with all our tours. Sometimes, we had four people and other times ten. We didn't use them in Buenos Aires since we went home early and had toured Buenos Aires several years ago. Our friends told us that they were very pleased with their B.A. tours.

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shoshona2,

Did you do the penguin rookery tour through Port Compass? How did that compare to the one offered by the ship? Did you hear any feedback or comparisons?

 

Celebrity Infinity Trans-Canal ~ April 25, 2004.

HAL Statendam on the Southbound Glacier Discovery Cruise ~ July 27, 2003.

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I believe i read in other reviews that the people with Port Compass had a better excursion in that they were to the penguins first and spent more time there than the cruise ship buses.

 

~~Celebrity Infinity 02/2005~~; NCL Sun 02/2003; Celebrity Millennium 05/2002; Ocean Princess 10/2001; Ocean Princess 8/2001; NCL Sea 7/2000; Ocean Princess 3/2000; Celebrity Mercury 10/1998; Star Princess 3/1996; NCL Dream 8/1995; Azure Seas 2/1991

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If you write to South Star Tours they will send you a South America Shore Excursions list.

 

Sailing from Galveston aboard the Grand in

countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=800000&cdt=2004;11;20;16;00;00&timezone=GMT-0600

Cruise/Tour around Cape Horn in

countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=8b0000&cdt=2005;1;20;9;00;00&timezone=GMT-0300

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Donna,

I was on the Port Compass tours with Shoshonna. The Penguin rookery tour was indeed a highlight. Our van beat all the buses so we practically had the place by ourselves. Another good Port Compass tour was the volcano and Petrohue Falls in Port Montt. Again we worked around the buses and missed all the crowds. We all had nothing but praise for Port Compass.

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