Jon Messner

Wanted to comment about Jill Siegel who is a Brazil Travel Specialist w/ her company called South American Escapes. my wife and I went to Brazil w/ my 2 small children (then 3 and 5) and Jill was a complete rockstar!! We went in December – January of 2009, and gave Jill less than 3 weeks to plan our entire trip, complete w/ multiple internal flights. Not only were we very happy about EVERYTHING that Jill did, we not only had a great trip, but we now have experiences that words cannot describe. Both of our children constantly ask us,”When are we going back to Brazil??” We spent a week in the Amazon, and also traveled all over the country. Jill had a colleague of hers pick us up and give us a tour of Rio at the conclusion of out trip. Jill made the whole trip not only seamless, but also simple. She helped us w/ feeling safe, finding kid friendly places to stay as well as safe and efficient ways of traveling around the country. I can not say enough good things about her professionalism, and highly rec. Jill for anyone wanted guidance.- Jon & Phyllis Messner Jon Messner | Messner Productions | President / Producer| 502 Hudson Street #4 Hoboken, NJ 07030 (NJ Office) Office: 917.301.1202 | Fax: 917.677.8393| jon@messnerproductions.com | jjmess@mac.com

JON MESSNER

Mike and Nancy Phillips

Talk about an amazing agent to work with! Jill Siegel is world class. To start with Jill is easy to communicate with. Seemingly any time or day she is available answering email and offering suggestions. We began planning a two week trip to Brazil (Feb 2011) several months ago, and when I tossed out an introductory email on a weekend night, I quickly got a reply much to my surprise! This was later topped, when we were caught in a snow storm on our way to Brazil and she came to the rescue with suggestions of help then later a follow up email at the end of our trip inquiring to how things went, again on a weekend. Does she ever rest? Her knowledge of the country, customs, people and culture were invaluable to planning and completing out memorable vacation. She listened to our specific interests and desires then tailored the trip to our specifications. What transpired was one of the most relaxing, well planned and seamless vacations we’ve experienced. We were interested in gardens, food, cooking lessons, adventure, photography, nature/birding and culture. Jill through her handpicked network of amazing friends and guides from Rio, Manaus, and Bahia, crafted days of enjoyment touring world class gardens, relaxing with a local Brazilian family in their home while learning to cook moqueca, hang gliding over Rio, dancing the Samba through the night with a crowd of Cariocas, getting to know the Amazon rainforest first hand with natives, and being befriended by many warm and gracious Brazilians. Her recommendations led to us to wonderful places we would not have considered going on our own. Jill’s affable and knowledgeable approach to trip planning is world class. Her communication is unparalleled. We look forward to working with her again!

MIKE AND NANCY PHILLIPS

Hugh F. Oates, Jr. ESQ.

DO NOT! I repeat, DO NOT consider booking a trip to Brasil without the help of Jill Siegel! I wanted to take my wife, two kids/their spouces and our 10-year old grandson to Brasil to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversery. Someone recommended using a Brazilian/American agency in NYC to book things. I called the agency four different times and they said an agent would call me back to book things–no one ever did even after I told them we were a party of 7. Then, looking at the web cite for Ariau Towers in the Amazon, I stumbled upon Jill’s name and number. I placed the call with no great expectations of a quick response. After two rings,I was stunned when someone answered and said, “Hello, this is Jill, how may I help you”. How did she not help us!!?? For the next month and a half she helped me plan and schedule one of the greatest trips of our lives: Sal Paulo to Manaus, Ariau Amazon Towers, Copacabana Palace Hotel in Rio, a fabulous day trip to the exotic sea-side village of Buzios (South America’s Saint Tropez). Jill was meticulous in her attention to every detail and she helped me navigate pleasing 7 different people,interests and expectations–not an easy task for any family. Most importantly, every plan/conversation/email I had with Jill was done with great humor and savoire faire! My wife and I have visited most of the greatest hotels in Europe and love travel immensely, but the advance preparation Jill did for us was extraordinary and placed bumped this trip above the rest–surpassing even our beloved Hotel Il San Pietro in Possitano. From December 29th, 2010–January 10, 2011 Jill Siegel made us smile everyday! Jill is not a travel agent. She is indeed a “travel specialist” in every sense of the word! Thank you, Ms. Siegel!

HUGH F. OATES, JR., ESQ.

Fran and David Meckler

My husband and I found Jill on the internet through Conde Nast Traveler, (not the way we normally find a travel agent!) and we couldn’t have been more pleased. Jill put together a 2 week holiday for our family of 4 in Brazil this past December. Everything: the hotels, the guides, the flights, the excursions and the restaurant recommendations were terrific! Jill is organized, thorough and meticulous with her planning. If we ever had a question or problem, Jill emailed us back with an answer or solution within the hour. We visited Bahia and Rio,from cities with rich culture and vibrant nightlife to small enchanting towns, magnificent beaches, and tropical rainforests- we took bike rides on the beach, met with Pataxo Indians on their reserve, and learned to dance the samba! We highly recommend Jill for anyone considering a holiday in South America!

FRAN AND DAVID MECKLER

Joyce and Ted Eisenberg

I contacted Jill to arrange a 16-day South America trip for our group of 8 friends. We traveled in late Oct./early Nov. 2010. Planning for our group was challenging. The couples had different budgets, different wish-lists, and various questions and concerns. Jill was incredibly patient and thorough and after close to a year of planning — and dozens and dozens of e-mails — we had a trip that satisfied everyone. We spent a few days in Rio, then traveled to the Pantanal (Brazil’s wetlands) for a ranch-type stay. Then on to Iguacu Falls, Buenos Aires and finally a few-day stay at Cavas Wine Lodge in Mendoza (Argentina’s wine country). The guides were superb, the transfers seamless, the city hotels were intimate and in the best neighborhoods for exploring, and the accommodations in the other places were top-notch. The trip was spectacular and we got to see a big chunk of South America. We all highly recommend Jill. She was thorough, knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and made the trip smooth so we could just enjoy ourselves.

JOYCE AND TED EISENBERG

Francesca and David Gardner

David and I chose Jill to formulate a unique Brazilian adventure, and we were not disappointed. This was a very comprehensive and challenging itinerary to plan. The result was a seamless journey to some of the most colorful, charming cities and Unesco World Heritage sites in the country (such as Rio, Manuas, Brasilia, Ouro Preto, Olinda, Salvador, Sao Luis, Belo Horizonte). We ended the trip viewing wildlife in Canastra, Das Emas, and the Pantanal followed by viewing the energy and beauty of Iguazu Falls. Our vacation offered us a well-rounded view of Brazil’s landscape, culture, history, and nature. Jill provided us with informative and personable guides, booking us in unique inns and hotels with prime locations for exploration. Having a passion for photography, Jill’s choice of locales provided us with a wealth of beauty to capture with our digital cameras. (We took over 4,000 pictures.) The trip left us exhilirated and filled with a love for the country that Jill so clearly exhibited in all our talks with her. We highly recommend her expertise!

FRANCESCA AND DAVID GARDNER