Our family of five recently returned from an incredible trip to Brazil that was planned perfectly by Jill and her team. Our family of five, which includes three daughters (17, 15 and 9) were looking for a mix of cosmopolitan Rio, natural beauty and some relaxing sun and sand. Jill planned a magnificent trip that began and ended in Rio, detoured to Iguazu Falls and then took us to beautiful Trancoso. Every accommodation, transfer, and detail was handled seamlessly and professionally. I was able to totally relax knowing that Jill had our family in excellent hands. Our guide in Rio, Valeria, was just perfect, as was the driver. Anyone traveling to Brazil would be well served using Jill Siegel. We really had a trip of a lifetime!
A friend and I decided to attend Carnival this February (2013) and opted to expand the trip to see some of the other highlights of Brazil. I’ve been underwhelmed using “off-the-web” travel services in the past when traveling to South America so decided to check Conde Nast Traveler. The recommendation to utilize Jill Siegel paid off. We had a great trip, enjoying a great Carnival experience, a visit to the Southern Pantanal, a stay in Amazonia and a return to Rio to experience the highlights of that great city when not dominated by Carnival. We were very satisfied with all aspects of the trip planning and attention to detail and would definitely recommend her to others planning to travel to Brazil!
I called Jill to arrange a two week trip for my wife and myself and two friends. My initial impression was fantastic. Her in depth knowledge of Brazil inspired confidence, and the manner in which she responded to inquiries was very refreshing. She was very responsive to our interests, especially Brazilian music, and together we planned a detailed itinerary consisting of Rio, Buzios , Salvador and Trancoso. The service was very personalized and friendly and involved her making personal introductions to musicians in Rio. Our guides in Rio and Salvador were excellent. In particular our guide in Rio , Leticia was simply the best guide we have had in all out travels. All the travelling arrangements were seamless. The hotel and restaurant suggestions were all excellent. Her superlative level of service continued throughout our trip as she responded to almost daily inquiries. We cannot recommend Jill highly enough!
My boyfriend and I have recently returned from a wonderful 2 week South American trip arranged by Jill Siegel. Despite a relatively complex itinerary involving the Amazon jungle, beaches of Rio and the wilderness of the Pantanal, she was able to give us a seamless itinerary. We always had English speaking guides, even in places where this appeared pretty rare. Special mention should be made of Leticia, the private guide that Jill arranged for our 3 days in Rio–it was more like travelling with a friend of the family than having a hired guide. Although Conde Nast lists Jill as a Brazil expert, she didn’t miss a beat when we wanted to tack on several days in Peru. Different ground operator, same first class service. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Jill to anyone thinking of traveling to Brazil.
We contacted Jill with a request for a vacation that would be very focused on the nature of the Amazon forest. She came back with a recommendation for a river cruise up the Rio Negro, which was a great match to our request. We had a terrific trip; all arrangements were well handled, and when bad weather threatened our departure, Jill was working with us on a back-up plan (fortunately unneeded, but reassuring to know there was one). We would love to work with Jill again for a trip to Brazil. We had a very special experience there.
CRAIG OWENS (CFO Campbell’s Soup Company)
We just returned from the trip of a lifetime, arranged by Jill for my husband and me, along with my best childhood friend and her husband. We spent two fabulous weeks, visiting Rio, Iguazu Falls, Salvador da Bahia and Trancoso (a piece of heave on earth). Jill worked closely with us to determine what our priorities were and what we wanted to see and do. Once we arrived, everything was so seamless. We were met by fabulous guides each step of the way, who were both charming and knowledgeable. Our accommodations were top notch and we truly enjoyed every minute. Every segment of our trip was special, thanks to Jill’s expertise. I am so grateful that I was able to find Jill via Wendy’s list. Though I have used Wendy’s recommendations before for renting villas many places, this is the first time I have contacted a specialist. If Jill is representative of the quality of Wendy’s contacts, I would not hesitate again. And, I highly recommend Jill without reservation for anyone planning to visit Brazil.
My wife and I recently returned from a wonderful South America cruise on Regent Seven Seas Mariner that dropped us off in Rio just after Carnival. We were traveling with another couple and Jill worked closely with us to plan our hotel in Leblon (with an incredible ocean view on Ipanema) and reserved a private guide for four memorable days of touring Rio de Janeiro! Our guide was simply amazing and provided us with a complete overview of life in Rio (as well as Brazil in general) and was very knowledgeable and experienced. She was also a great human being and fun traveling companion. Our driver was exceptionally skilled, a requirement to handle the challenges on navigating through snarled traffic to get us to our destinations on time. We highly recommend Jill and when we decide to plan our next trip to Brazil (the Amazon?), we will call her first.
OMG! Jill “Just Ask Me” Siegel is the best! We just returned from a fabulous 2 weeks in Brazil and because of Jill “I’ll take care of it” Siegel the trip was perfect. Despite their best efforts, our group of six prima donnas had no complaints! Managing expired visas, late arrivals and last minute extra guests, Jill handled it all. She knows her territory and navigates the eccentricities of her clients with charm and good humor. From the charming beach town of Trancoso, through Salvador, mighty Iguacu Falls and the craziness of Rio, Jill’s choices were perfect and advice spot-on. Her guides were warm, knowledgeable and accommodating, the hotels were lovely and relaxing, and transportation was always clean and on time. Even Rio on New Year’s Eve was a piece of cake! We can’t wait for her to plan our next trip to the Amazon and the Pantanal! Thanks Jill!
My husband and I just came back from our Brazil (much delayed) honeymoon trip and we both had a great time!! Both guides Jill arranged for us were knowledgeable and wonderful to spend the day with. We learned so much about Brazilian history and the culture from them. We went to Rio, Buzios, Salvador and Trancoso. While we enjoyed each destination, our favorites were probably Salvador (thanks Paula’s in-depth knowledge on the history of the city) and Trancoso (which was pure paradise). Jill’s choices for boutique style hotels were exactly what we needed, centrally located but tucked away. Her restaurant recommendations were current and offered us a wide range of food choices both in terms of cuisine and price points. The trip was smooth at each and every transition point and we were able to just relax and enjoy our time there. All in all, a truly wonderful experience and I will definitely be recommending Jill to my friends who are interested in going to Brazil!
We just returned from our Brazilian honeymoon, and thanks to Jill, it was the trip of a lifetime. Between the rainforest of Ariau, the history and culture of Salvador, and the beaches of Trancoso, she made our trip perfect. She also did a great job making sure that our transportation arrangements and connecting flights went smoothly. This being our first time in Brazil, Jill ensured that our experiences were unique and diverse – the hotels and excursions really gave us a wonderful sampling of the country. Thanks again, Jill, for making our honeymoon fantastic!
BRIAN AND CHRISTY BILIACK