Holiday review by Miss. Christine Waddington
Name: Miss. Christine Waddington
Date of trip: 15/10/2016
Number of people: 2
Iguacu was amazing and if I could do it all again I would have an additional day there to fully appreciate the falls (particularly on the Argentinian side). The Bird Park next to the San Martin hotel was wonderful but we had very little time to spend there, which was a shame. So a third day would have been perfect.
I've wanted to go to Brazil for a long time and I know that sometimes places don't quite live up to expectations. But this one did!
Paul was unfailingly patient with all the changes we wanted to make to the itinerary before booking. The pre-departure information was also excellent.
Overall the guides were very good. Particularly Cesar in Iguacu who, despite having limited knowledge of English, was informative and very helpful at all times. He really couldn't do too much to make our stay enjoyable.
Likewise Vincent in Rio was a very pleasant companion for half a day and made sure that we saw as much as possible of the city.
Carlos in the Pantanal was pleasant as well, but he did not freely impart information and we always had to ask him for details of times, what would be happening the next day etc. Also he was by no means an experienced naturalist which was slightly disappointing, particularly during the boat trips. He was not proactive in pointing out animals, birds, plants etc and it was left to us to ask him for information about the wildlife, the local area etc. I got the impression that he might have been doing the job to earn some money to support his studies at the university. Or maybe he just needs more experience.
Social & Environmental Responsibility:
Average to Good here. It's important that the local people in the Pantanal understand that by protecting their environment/wildlife it will benefit them in the long term by bringing in tourist revenue. But I expect it will take a long time for that to happen in a more meaningful way.
The places you stayed
I was pleasantly surprised by this hotel as some of the reviews I read on line weren't particularly complimentary. Serves me right for reading reviews on Trip Adviser!
The lodge was pretty much what I expected, having travelled extensively throughout Africa and stayed in similar accommodation. However, the staff weren't particularly "service" orientated and had to be reminded about bringing drinks when ordered. Possibly a language problem?
My comments are much the same as for Southwild Pantanal. The room was very small but was what I expected. However, it was slightly irritating that it was next to a staff room of some description and during our "down time" (i.e. between trips) a number of the staff would meet there and they were noisy to say the least! The problem seemed to be very thin walls and ceilings which didn't block out any noise.
It was also a little disappointing that there was nowhere outside to sit and watch the world go by. Obviously there's nothing that you can do about this, but an outside area with chairs would be nice. The window in our room was tiny and although there was a small lounge area it didn't give a clear view of the river/bank.