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Puerto Madryn - Private excursions, who and how much??


S&B

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Our daughter and son-in-law did this trip 3 years ago and raved about "Whales Patagonia" (contact person is Ileana Medici) and their trip to Punto Tombo. We are signed up with them for Celebrity 1/3/10 sailing. They do not include lunch or entrance fee. It's $85pp.

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  • 5 months later...

I have been in touch with Forastero Tours. I was amazed that I received a reply so quickly on a Saturday night. Those of you that posted on this thread that were booked with Forastero, were you happy with the tour? Thanks for any info you can give me.

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I have been in touch with Forastero Tours. I was amazed that I received a reply so quickly on a Saturday night. Those of you that posted on this thread that were booked with Forastero, were you happy with the tour? Thanks for any info you can give me.

 

I had a group of ten to Punta Tombo this past February and we were very pleased with our tour through Forastero.

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Hi Diane and Lou,

Your comments in this thread are the reason I have been communicating with them. They were most helpful. I was also wanting to hear from others that said they had booked them or have toured with them.

 

I have gotten very fast responses from them on the various questions I have asked; which is a very good sign.

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Hi Diane and Lou,

Your comments in this thread are the reason I have been communicating with them. They were most helpful. I was also wanting to hear from others that said they had booked them or have toured with them.

 

I have gotten very fast responses from them on the various questions I have asked; which is a very good sign.

 

I booked them based on one review on CC recommending a specific guide. I had also asked for that guide. Got an email while on the ship a couple of days prior to our tour advising us that our requested guide was sick and not available for our tour suggesting another guide and asking if we still wanted the tour. They could have just sent another guide, but asked first. To me that is excellent customer service. The vehicle they provided was a very comfortable 13-passenger van.

 

Diane

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I booked them based on one review on CC recommending a specific guide. I had also asked for that guide. Got an email while on the ship a couple of days prior to our tour advising us that our requested guide was sick and not available for our tour suggesting another guide and asking if we still wanted the tour. They could have just sent another guide, but asked first. To me that is excellent customer service. The vehicle they provided was a very comfortable 13-passenger van.

 

Diane

 

I couldn't agree more with your comments. I had also requested Marcello, but they said "Marcelo is not working as a guide, he is in consideration for companies". Whatever that means. Which guide did you have?

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I couldn't agree more with your comments. I had also requested Marcello, but they said "Marcelo is not working as a guide, he is in consideration for companies". Whatever that means. Which guide did you have?
We had Noemi. She was excellent, too.
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My Dad and I used Forastero Tours for our stop at Puerto Madryn in February, 2010. Booking was a breeze. Leticia from Forastero usually answered our e-mails the same day.

 

Because my Dad has limited mobility, Leticia recommended a Punta Loma,

Trelew Paleontological Museum, and Gaiman Welsh Tea House itinerary.

Our driver/guide was the young and personable Bruno Hangano. Bruno was born and raised in the area, and spoke very good English.

 

Bruno picked us up at the ship, and drove us through the town of Puerto Madryn, and continued on the short distance to Punta Loma.

 

Punta Loma has a large sea lion colony on a beach beneath a cliff. It's a short, level walk from the parking lot to the viewing area atop the cliff. I recommend bringing binoculars or a high zoom camera for viewing the sea lions. At first glance, it looks like the sea lions are just lying around, but there's actually a lot of action going on down there. It was fun to observe them!

 

Next, Bruno took us to the Paleontological Museum in Trelew and let us roam around at our leisure. The museum was small, but very new and well done. Great for the dinosaur and fossil lover.

 

Next was the highlight of the day...A visit to Ty Cymraeg, a tea house in the Welsh village of Gaiman ( http://www.gaimantea.com ). We were greeted there by one of the owners, Miguel Owens. Miguel told us a bit of the history of his family and of the house, and then started us off with some tea, bread, scones and jam ( plum and apricot, I think ). Next came the treats. Miguel brought out three identical plates of treats...one each for Dad, Bruno, and me. We really, really wanted to try each of the goodies, but there was just no way! Miguel took what remained and wrapped them up for Dad and me to take back to the ship, and for Bruno to take home.

 

Our last stop was an unplanned visit to the "Museum of the Poet" in Gaiman. Miguel from the tea house told us about the place. I believe he said it is owned by his family. The museum is a converted, early 20th century house, and was once the home of Gaiman's award-winning Welsh poet and newspaper editor, Evan Thomas.

 

The museum is full of perfectly preserved furniture, books, photos, houseware, clothing, and even the poet's old printing press. The

curator lives across the street, and the sign on the museum door instructed us to go there to collect her. She was a pleasant young lady, and she gave us a nice tour of the home in Spanish, which Bruno translated for us.

 

Bruno drove us back to Puerto Madryn, telling us more about the town and area along the way, and dropped us off at the ship. Dad and I were very pleased with our experience with Forastero Tours and Bruno.

 

If you'd like to see photos of our Puerto Madryn excursion, I've put some up on Google/Picasa Web Albums. Here's the link:

 

http://picasaweb.google.com/101896291710545146815/PuertoMadrynFebruary2010#

 

Bill Hjort

Maplewood, Minnesota

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  • 4 weeks later...
I was in Puerta Madryn a couple of weeks ago and booked a tour directly with Forastero Tour (from a list put out by the city). There were 4 in our group and we paid US$90 each. We met the tour at the end of the pier and our guide, Marcello, was very informative and went out of his way to be sure we enjoyed our tour. We went to Punto Tombo and were there before the crowds from the busses arrived. He took us shopping in the city when we returned because we requested it, but we could have stopped in Trelew or done whatever we wanted, as time allowed. I highly recommend them and be sure to ask for Marcello.

We also did this tour through the same company. Noemi was our guide. The day was quite foggy in mid-March 2010 so we didn't see as much scenery on the drive as we might have. The penguins were interesting to see but not what we were expecting. They were in ranch country (with sheep!) along the seaside, instead of in snow.

 

Our reservation in recommending this company is that they combined another group with ours after we got to the port. They did not ask us nor inform us about that. We rode together with the other group in the same van. They were pleasant people but had their own agenda and the woman who arranged their tour was pushy about what she wanted. Noemi went with what the other woman said. She wanted to go shopping and Noemi planned to drop ALL of us off downtown where we would have to find the shuttle buses back to the ship. My husband said "no way!" and we were taken back to the ship. We paid as much as they did for our tour and it was irritating that they called the shots.

 

Also on the drive to the park, we stopped for a restroom break. All in our group was ready to go in 5 minutes but we had to stand waiting for another 25 minutes while Noemi visited over coffee and pastry with the driver. We thought that was not only inconsiderate of us but a waste of our tour time that we'd paid for.

 

If I used this company again, I'd verify a few things up front before signing up.

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  • 11 months later...

I wanted to share a bad experience that my husband and I had in Puerto Madryn, Argentina this past February:

 

After much debate, we decided to go with independent tour guide, Monica Mato. We had read some good reviews and thought that paying her $400.00US for a private tour for two to the Punta Tombo penguin rookery would be worth it, as we love doing private tours.

 

After the terrible experience we had with her, I would highly discourage the use of Monica as a guide. As there are many, and I am sure better, options.

 

She did a number of things that we did not appreciate. Here are a few:

 

 

1. There was a miscommunication at the very beginning (we thought that she was meeting us on the pier, like all of the other tour guides) and she had thought that we were meeting her in town. This does not sound like a big deal, but when you have a tour booked, get off of the ship, expect to see your name, and do not – it is very stressful. Regardless of whose fault the miscommunication was, I took the blame…just wanting to move forward and get on with our tour. She, literally, scolded us like children for at least a half an hour about the screw up. I can’t express in words how demeaning she was being. I have never been treated this way by a stranger, much less to someone who was getting $400.00 regardless.

We eventually found out a few more things:

*** She had sent us the final e-mail with the meet-up information AFTER we had already left for our trip, so that was the reason for the miscommunication.

*** She did not meet us at the pier because she did not want to pay a little bit extra for the insurance to come and greet us, making it more troublesome for us. It seemed that a lot of the other tour guides did meet their parties on the pier. She works as some kind of counselor at a school (she calls herself a teacher) and her husband is an anesthesiologist. They are not, by any means, poor and since they were the most expensive tour that we had come across, it was definitely a shock that she was so stingy.

 

 

2. She did give us quite a bit of information, but not all of it was accurate. We had a couple of wonderful naturalists onboard our ship (through the Smithsonian) who gave us a multitude of different lectures and a wealth of (great) information – she did not tell us anything that we did not already know.

 

3. At Punta Tombo, you have to walk on a roped off path. The penguins cross the path and you are to stop and let them have the right of way (of course). Any time that it looked like someone MIGHT move forward Monica would, literally, yell at them. It was embarrassing. Just for comparison: We went of Volunteer Point in the Falkland Islands, and you were free to walk around (except for the designated areas) without being watched like a hawk. Everyone was respectful and there were no problems. Monica should have allowed us the choice to have her with us once we got there or not.

 

 

I, for the first time ever, would recommend the ship tour before going with Monica. The ship tour was less expensive ($400.00US is quite a bit of money for this part of the world), they picked you up on the pier, and you had more freedom once you arrived at Punta Tombo.

 

There were also tour companies right on the pier to use as well. I did not get a chance to look at the prices, but they are always less expensive than the ship and would be a much better choice than Monica.

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  • 4 months later...

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