Gene Hollander

My wife and I just completed a trip to Brazil. We traveled in June, 2010. Jill was great in arranging an amazing trip to this country. She secured a wonderful guide in Rio, and insured that we stayed in an excellent hotel. When we missed a day in the city because our flight could not leave on time, Jill was diligent in following up to secure a refund for us. In Iguazu Falls, we stayed at the Hotel das Cataratas. I wondered how nice it would be considering, but it was a magical place. Very elegant and the food was excellent. Our guide there was extremely knowledgeable about the local bird life and was very gracious. Our last leg of the journey was at the Ariau Jungle Lodge in the Amazon. That too, was a fantastic way to see the local wildlife. Jill knew the exact amount of time that it would be worthwhile to stay there. In sum, Jill arranged a great and varied trip. We look forward to using her again when we explore the Pantanal.

GENE HOLLANDER

B. Williams

“We returned from our trip safe and sound. What a remarkable experience! You may recall that I had never really heard of Iguaçu Falls and it turned out to be one of the highlights of the trip. Weather was perfect the whole time, Ecuador & Brazil, and the places were indescribable. One thing in particular I need to follow up on. On July 4, our guide Michelle, took several of us to visit an Indian Village. She said that it was fortunate that they were there since the next closest village was about 300km away. Both Katherine and I were very moved by the experience and I would like to find out the name of the Indians. Hope all is well with you and thank you for such a great series of experiences” . — B. Williams

Mark Plotkin, Ph.D.

“I know of no one who has been involved longer or more successfully with ecotourism in the Amazon than Jill Siegel. I recommend her enthusiastically!”
Mark Plotkin, Ph.D.
Ethnobotanist and President,
Amazon Conservation Team

Lisa Watson

“First, I want to thank you for the book of Amazon photographs. It serves as one more
reminder of the most magnificent vacations we have ever taken! Brazil is
such a diverse country filled with natural beauty and warm, friendly people.
We don’t need to tell you that, however. Thanks to you we discovered a
country that we definitely want to return to. Our absolute favorite
destinations were the Amazon Towers and Praia do Forte Eco Resort
Your guidance during the planning stage of our vacation was invaluable.
You promptly sent us an itinerary to start with and patiently revised it
upon our request. In every instance you responded on the same day we spoke.
Your professionalism gave us confidence in our travel arrangements. We were
impressed by the organization of the many travel documents we received from
you. We appreciated your suggestions as to the best restaurants, shows and
attractions to visit. Arranging for Flavio to be our guide in Rio greatly
enhanced our experience in that city.
We highly recommend your services to anybody wanting to travel in
Brazil. We personally plan to call upon you again as well. You are truly a
Brazil Travel Specialist….Now, what other destinations/countries do you
have in mind for us?
Again, we can’t thank you enough for helping us plan the vacation of a
lifetime! Sincerely, Lisa Watson

Bill, Patty, Kari and Ryan Kelly

“Happy, healthy New Year! Just wanted to let you know that we had an absolutely fabulous trip! Chikera the spider monkey was the best good-will ambassador you could possibly meet and want to take home. Thank you for all your help and excellent reservations and a magnificent vacation. My nephew Michael was afraid of insects until he met a one-legged green katydid and carried it around all day as a good friend until he put him to bed in a beautiful flowered tree. Thanks again!” Joanne & David
P.S. David and I are avid birders and we feasted our eyes on the beautiful Hoatzin birds!”

“We are having a fantastic vacation! Thank you so much for all of the arrangements you made for us. Everything has been the best!”
Fondly, Bill, Patty, Kari and Ryan Kelly

Nancy & David Stoler

“We wanted to say thank you for all the arrangements you helped us with. Our trip to Brazil was everything and much more than we had hoped for. The people were absolutely wonderful and all the accommodations and sights and music and carnaval….what can we say…fabulous! We, too, can’t wait to go back again!”
Nancy & David Stoler

Jean Paul

“Just a quick note of thanks. As I expressed to you on the phone, I have planned a lot of trips over the internet. From start to finish you have been the most thorough, prompt and pleasurable to work with. We appreciate your great service in a world of increasingly poor service. You certainly stand out! My husband and son had a wonderful and memorable time on their Brazilian excursion. The hotels you recommended worked out just great as well as the restaurants.” Jean Paul

Megan, Adam and William Duckett

“We arrived home yesterday and we were so sad to leave Brazil. We had a wonderful time there and could not have been more pleased with the trip and your travel arrangements for us. Loved the Visconti in Rio. It was perfect with the baby, and a good location that allowed us to walk around Ipanema. Very clean and accommodating and an excellent in-room meal service of top quality. Flavio, our private guide was just excellent. His car is new and clean and air conditioned. His English is very fluent and he is a wealth of knowledge. He was flexible and worked with our needs as well as making recommendations for other things to do. Iguaçu Falls was just spectacular. The hotel is by far the best location we have stayed. Meals and staff were accommodating. We went repelling there and walked for miles. Very impressed with the environmentally friendly attitudes there – they are ahead of us here in the USA. So it was just lovely and we thank you for your efforts. I will be sure to recommend you to our friends”. With thanks, Megan, Adam and William Duckett

 

Randy Mims

“From all of the “Tallahassee contingency”, THANK YOU for the trip of a lifetime…we all had SUCH an amazing time…it’s really hard to decide what part we liked better, everything was special in its own way. We’ll send you pictures…I’m ready to go back!” Randy Mims

 

David Campbell

“Hey, Jill…Just wanted to say thanks for all of your help with our recent trip to Brazil. We had a great time…the selection of hotels was perfect! Thanks again for all of your assistance.” David Campbell – March of Dimes

Akiko and Jim Hamelmann

“We returned to Las Vegas from Brazil yesterday, and want to thank you for a most enjoyable trip! We encountered no problems with any of the arrangements you made for us. Thank you for arranging our guide, Flavio – he made our stay in Rio fantastic! Thanks for your thoughtful and professional attention to our needs.”
Sincerely, Akiko and Jim Hamelmann

Jane E. McCarty

“Wow! My trip to Rio and the Amazon was the best trip I have ever experienced! Words cannot do justice and/or express how I feel. Thank you, Jill, for coordinating the details of my trip, which was perfect! Rio was beautiful and Angela (my tour guide) was wonderful. The Amazon was indescribable and I loved every moment of it. My guide, Allan, and his assistants were truly great! Varig Airlines was excellent! I can’t say enough. I look forward to more trips to Brazil, and I would also like to go to Machu Picchu in Peru next! Thanks again. I look forward to working with you again.”
on-the-amazon.jpgJane E. McCarty, Harrison, New York

Carlota & Sandra

“I want to thank you very much for organizing such a wonderful trip for us! You are the best! Sandra and I were taken care of with such loving attention by your guide Ines, while in Rio. We loved her. We will email her today and keep in touch! In Manaus, the boat trip was awesome! We had a lot of little side trips and picnic lunches on the beach that made the trip more interesting for us. I’m already thinking of going back next year! Thanks again!” Carlota & Sandra – San Francisco

Gail

“Jill, I just wanted to thank you for planning a great trip for us. Ines was great! She and Andrea took us hang gliding and drove us through a favela. The next day she very patiently took us to a private marina because the boys insisted they wanted to go fishing. So the 4 of us went out on a 70 capacity schooner. The hotel was perfect, as were all of the accommodations. Thanks again!” Gail

Patty Bomash

“We loved working with Jill Siegel. This was the second time she has helped our family plan vacations in Brazil. My daughter and her husband went to Brazil a year ago. Jill helped them plan the trip, and they came home most pleased with all that she had arranged for them. They had such a delightful trip that our whole family (five of us) returned this past August. Jill was much more involved in planning all of the details as we traveled a lot more. I can’t recommend her highly enough. We were pleased with all that she arranged for us, and found that everything she had told us was exactly as she had promised. We’d all go back to Brazil in a minute. It simply was an unforgettable two weeks!” Patty Bomash

Flavio

“Everything ok with the Watson group. They are loving the whole trip. I´ve heard the best possible compliments to your work. They strongly recommend the resort in Bahia. They said it is probably the best services they ever had on hotels, for a reasonable price.” Flavio – Guide (Rio de Janeiro)

Terri

“I hope you don’t mind, but I posted a reply on Fodors for someone who was looking for a travel agent for their trip to Brazil. I suggested they contact you.
I will soon send some pictures and highlights of what was a fabulous trip.” Terri

M. Temkin

Thank you!
It’s been a real pleasure dealing with your agency. I’ve traveled quite a
bit and have never received such prompt responses and helpful suggestions.

M. Temkin – Philadelphia, PA

Gail

Bom dia, Jill,

Thank you so much for all the help you provided in putting together our wonderful Brasilian adventure. We had a fabulous time, and the mix of the Amazon, Pantanal (your idea!) and Rio gave us a fascinating glimpse of different regions and people. I know this wasn’t an easy trip for you to put together, since our personal situation forced us to reschedule it for a year later. We’re enormously grateful for your expertise and for the time you spent making sure everything from hotels to airpasses to tour guides was just right for us.

We enjoyed Manaus (the port area was fascinating—we could hardly tear ourselves away) and thought the Hotel Tropical was very nice. A good way to unwind after our long journey down (frequent flyer miles will do that to you since they route you to kingdom come and back).

Ariau was a hoot: a cross-collection of travel-loving people from around the world in a unique hotel in a stunning setting we’ve always dreamed of seeing. Our guide and canoeist, Joao and Edy, were superb, and the activities were great fun. I won’t ever forget the morning we sat in a canoe in the middle of the Rio Negro as the sun rose, watching for dolphins and listening to the howler monkeys waking up in the jungle. Caiman spotting and piranha fishing were a scream. And a jungle walk in a warm rain after a canoe ride through the flooded forest made us feel a real part of the rainforest. We walked every inch of the miles of walkways several times (both day and night), and saw a number of birds, monkeys and even sloths.

I know the dry season is more popular, but we loved being in Amazonia during the rainy season. Our Ariau group, which included people from the U.S., South Africa, Canada and the Philippines, really bonded…some of us even got together in Rio a week later!

Araras Eco-Lodge was an extraordinary find. We liked the contrast of the more energetic Ariau with the peace of the Pantanal lodge. The entire staff was terrific, the rooms were lovely and the food delicious. We loved having the mix of activities, from horseback riding to biking to hiking to boating. Where else could I get up at 5:00 (first checking for caimans sleeping outside the door) to milk a cow, go biking at 7:00, pet one of the vaqueiros’ pet anacondas at 11:00, nap in a hammock at 2:00, climb a tower to feed monkeys at 4:00 and go for a walk to admire the Southern Cross at 8:30? We saw loads of animals and birds; I became quite fond of the capybaras, coatis and jabirus especially.

Rio, ah, Rio! Every bit as beautiful and exciting as we’d always thought. Flavio is a true jewel; you must never let him get away! Besides being unbelievably friendly and kind, he’s a great student of history, sociology, literature and art. His comments and stories enriched our day immeasurably, and we got to see parts of the city and the surrounding area we’d have missed had we been on our own. With his tour under our belts to orient us, we thoroughly enjoyed the next day on our own, too. Wish we could have stayed longer in that happenin’ city.

Thanks again for the absolutely fantastic job you did planning our trip, Jill. We will be back to Brasil and to more of South America (we feel it calling!), so there is no doubt we’ll be calling on you again for your expert assistance.

Very best regards,
Gail

Bill Flanders

Jill,
I just wanted to drop a quick note about our recent trip. We returned
Sunday from our 10 day trip to Manaus. Yes the weather was either hot or
very wet but not to a point of being distracting. The trip was terrific.
The Tropical Manaus Hotel was great. The Ariau Towers was a great adventure. We loved the food, the service, the outings and the whole atmosphere. Thank you so much for helping to arrange such a wonderful trip. I appreciated the effort that our
guide John (I don’t remember the Brazilian spelling) took at every
opportunity to assure our involvement in all adventures. Again, what a
great trip. On another matter, JoLene and I would like to travel to Panama, visit the
locks and maybe tour any ruins that may be convenient to that City. Do you
arrange for any trips in that area? If we go, our trip would be about this
same time next year. Drop me a note if you have a chance and are able to help or if you can refer me to someone that can help arrange a trip. Again, thanks so much for your help on our recent travel. Bill Flanders

G. Mansfield

Dear Jill,
Thanks again for the beautiful job you did planning our trip to
Brazil this spring. It remains our favorite adventure ever. I think
often of the rainforest and the Pantanal, and hope very much we’ll
get back to both someday. But if we don’t, it was a once-in-a-
lifetime experience we’ll treasure. G. Mansfield

L. Holland

Hi Jill:

Contacting you was on my list of things to do today. We LOVED the trip!!!  The excursions and guides were wonderful as were the accommodations (especially the Alvear Palace). Our room in Iguacu actually had a view of the falls!  The breakfast at each hotel was awesome.  What was most special was that you arranged such diverse and varied experiences, making it seem as if we traveled to more places that we actually had.  I love South America and its people and want to return as soon as possible.  Valeria (one of the guides in Rio) suggested Chili and Patagonia.  When would be the best time to go?

You really belong on the Conde Nast list of the best!!! Thank you so much for everything that you arranged for us.

L. Holland