The landscape is breathtaking; the Bhutanese people were warm and welcoming. There is a peace and quietness that permeates the culture. The children are beautiful; so are the men and women-truly a beautiful people.
Travel to Bhutan is not for the faint of heart. The roads seem no wider than an enlarged bicycle path, yet two vehicles manage to get by each other with what often looks like a half inch to spare. Roads are steep, mountainous and continually zigzag, with many passes on curves.
Our hotels were comfortable, though different from western standards. One must not be fussy or expect things to be like home. The four hotels where we stayed were clean, beds comfortable and warm.
Bhutan is unique and I hope the country will retain its beauty and allure. I felt like I was on another planet, the experience was unearthly because of the isolation-so remote, far from the outside world. The homes and temples built high on mountains are a wonder. How did the people get building materials to such isolated locations? The architecture is unique to Bhutan. Buddhism, the matrix of Bhutanese life, is anchored in the dzongs and temples, with stories of demons being subdued by monks or other holy men. Veneration of the enlightened Buddha and his many manifestations is supported by intricate artwork, glitter and ritual.
Barbara S., Greenbrae, CA
Roe, October 2012
BHUTAN AND INDIA TRIP
Thank you for all of your help arranging our trip to India & Bhutan. It was an amazing experience, and we had a perfect time thanks to all of the wonderful people who helped guide & drive us, as well as the wonderful accomodations in both countries.
In Bhutan, our warm and charming companions were guide Chimi, and driver, Gyembo - just the best! From day one, they made us feel so comfortable, cared for, and safe as we travelled Bhutan. And I cannot say enough about the accomodations at the Bongde Goma Resort in Paro. When we first arrived, the beauty of the hotel building and the surrounding countryside amazed us, and we loved our room. The bed & bedding was the most comfortable on our trip, and the simple but charming room was beautifully painted in traditional Bhutanese patterns, with a gorgeous wood ceiling, and balcony with a view over the rice fields of Paro Valley - heaven on Earth! The charming hostess, was also the finest cook. Our breakfast daily was an amazing 4-5 course feast of both American & Bhutanese foods & fresh fruits that both Sam & I loved. Dinners were equally outstanding, with tea when we arrived back from our day's excursion and so many delicious offerings each evening for dinner. Never have we in my many years of traveling felt such hospitality as a guests - we thoroughly enjoyed our stay with these warm and generous people, and highly recommend the Bongde Goma Resort.
Thank you again for your expertise and for the excellent agents, guides, drivers, and accomodations that made this experience so memorable.
Suzanne & Sam, OCTOBER 2010
Well Bhutan lived up to its hype: absolutely wonderful people who go out of their way to help show you their country, dramatic landscapes, festivals bordering on sensory overload, dzongs epitomizing unique and amazing architecture. We felt the 6 days we had were enough to get a pretty good feel of the culture although a few days to spend in the Bumthang area might have been worthwhile. We have only the highest praise for the family that ran Bongdey Gongma. Gembo, Yeshi, and the others let us stay in their house, drove us anywhere we wanted to go, cooked us meals and plied us with moonshine and a hot stone bath. We spent 2 days in and out of the Paro Festival. Everyone had their best dress on and sometimes it was hard to tell who was the most photogenic, the dancers or the locals. Our camera was smoking. The dzongs, especially Taksang, kept the camera busy too.
Stan, March 2010
The trip to Myanmar/Burma exceeded expectations and I particularly appreciated the visits away from the population centers. The Inle lake visit was special but maybe a little short. The people of Myanmar are the strongest selling point. They are happy to see Americans visit and are an amazingly cheerful people. Their personal dispositions puts most of America to shame. We have so much but seem to be far less appreciative than the wonderful Burmese.
I rate the trip 9 1/2 out of 10.
Bob L, Nov 2012
We had a good trip in Myanmar . Everything was on schedule and all the guides were fine.
We liked our hotels. In Bagan at the Kumudara we had the last bungalow which was very well situated. In Mandalay we had the back, practically to ourselves, out of the traffic areas. The Kalaw hotel was practically deserted, so while we ate, we had 2 - 3 ladies looking at us (disconcerting). I don't know whether they think its good service. The Inle Lake hotel was very good.
In Bagan for our free morning we went to a local park to see birdlife. We saw the eclipse beautifully from our hotel.
In Mandalay it was odd that our free day was the first day, but we just walked around. The teak bridge was a highlight.
By Kalaw we were tired of temples so Win our guide got us a bird guide and we did a 5 hour walk in the hills through farms and a park. Then at Inle lake, Win accommodated our wishes and we went to a bird observation tower with a guide for about an hour, skipped the temples, and got a more comprehensive lake view.
Dorothy, January 2010
CAMBODIA AND LAOS
Our trip was fantastic… we really had a wonderful time and all of your arrangements came through very well.
Luang Prabang is a real find… glad that we got to see it before it gets too well known. Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom were amazing… breathtaking. We really had a terrific time and have spoken to all our friends and family about how much we enjoyed it. I may be sending some more business your way in the form of my two brothers and their families.
In sum, the trip was very satisfying and gratifying… thank you so much for the excellent attention you gave us. I took over 800 photos that I need to go through.
I’ll try and write some more later about what all we saw, but I was very happy with the trip and would love to do something like that to other parts of Asia in the future.
Parag, November 2006
I was about to send you a message to thank you for organizing another fantastic trip for us. Tibet, Beijing, and Hong Kong were beyond our expectations. We loved every moment. We really trust your ability to connect to fantastic guides in all the places we have traveled with your company. We loved Phubu in Tibet and Mr. Wu in Beijing, both were so personable and kind, both went out of their way for us in every way, beyond punctual and reliable, and so intent on making our time fulfilling and worthwhile. Most impressive, you can tell that both are constantly learning and educating themselves about their countries and sights. We can't thank you enough for your excellent service stateside and ability to extend that service to the faraway places we have traveled through your company.
Lily and Bob, November 2010
THAILAND & VIETNAM
The trip went wonderfully well. Of course, all of your contracted people performed flawlessly making our many connections flow without anxiety.
The boutique hotel in Chiang Mai was a charmer. At first I thought it was just the neighborhood that was tacky but then realized that much of the city is tacky and crowded. The hotel staff was solicitous and the restaurant was as good as any we found elsewhere in the city. Chiang Rai was distinct improvement. Dusit Island Resort was posh and perfect. Operating out of the north got us to the tribal areas where I was flabbergasted by the Long Neck Karen and other tribes like the Big Ears. That was well worth the effort. I was resistant to the idea of the Elephant Camp thinking it was going to be all tourist clap-trap and, truly, some of it was. But the elephant show was jaw-dropping and the ride on our elephant was more exciting than I expected. The ride in the oxcart and on the raft was an anticlimax after the elephants.
Hanoi was worthwhile. Asian cities and motorbikes always equal death-defying street crossings but we got with the technique without having to find Asian Depends. The trip to HaLong Bay and on the boat ride was tops. That "junk" is misnamed. I expected a rust bucket belching smoke but it was more like a luxury liner. The cabin was small but very nicely furnished with our own AC and the bathroom was tiled and outfitted with the best European fixtures. What a nice shock. The meals were excellent. I saved the menus since I don't think many would equate a "junk" with what we were served. That whole experience was a winner. The natural wonder of it, the comfort of the cruise and even the physical workout climbing on and off boats and tenders and scaling the steps of the Surprise Cave - it all worked.
Our seat assignments worked out fine, too, so thank for that extra push. You can't beat Singapore Air if you are taking a spine-crushing long flight.
So thank you once again for a superb job of putting together a memorable travel experience for us. Even though we consider ourselves to be seasoned travelers, we still appreciate that that doesn't mean we have to put up with anxiety and inconvenience. Next we're thinking of something back in South America since the Peru trip you planned for us was so good.
Sheldon – April , 2013
VIETNAM , THAILAND AND CAMBODIA
I've been contemplating our trip since we returned, trying to think of any negatives. I honestly can't think of any. So I'll tell you what impressed us the most:
- the attention we received from all of the guides, but particularly Tumee (Tommy) in Bangkok , Ing in Cambodia , Dung (Zung) in HCM City and Thien in Hanoi . Tumee was so personable and knowledgeable; we felt like we were with a friend, not a guide. Dung probably had the most difficult assignment in taking Richard back to the towns where he was during the war. He was incredible; always patient, respectful, able to give so much information in spite of the emotion of the day AND he went out of his way to find places and roads that Richard might remember. Our driver in HCM City should also be recognized - Mr. Nam . I know that he was also seeking out places for Richard.
Heidi and Richard, July 2010
Our guide, Sutama, did his puppet program for us. He showed us much of the show and the various characters and voices while we were riding from one site to another. He showed us the hospitality of his home and the amazing musical gifts of his oldest son and a niece. We will carry a piece of Sut and Bali with us forever.
Scott P – May 2015
The trip was a 5 Star trip! It started out a little rocky when our flight was delayed a day. We can't thank you enough for getting that fixed as quickly as you did, and for rearranging our rooms to extend a day. We are so glad we spent the extra night at Komaneka! It was magical.
We celebrated our 41st wedding anniversary at one of the most beautiful places on the face of earth! THANK YOU for the wonderful and unforgettable memories. It was a trip of a lifetime!
Harry and Mary April 2014
We had a great time as usual in Bali. There were several changes as you know. Much more westernized than our first trip in 1997. Even some since 2009 when we were last there. Still a beautiful place. We were able to spend a morning at a temple celebrating Galangan with a village. I think if you go up north or north east, one will probably see Bali how it used to be. Traffic in Denpasar is like Mumbai. Shopping in Ubud still great. We spent most of our time in Lombok which I really enjoy as it is FAR less developed than Bali.(please don't tell your clients about Lombok) Rented a motorscooter for $6.00/24 hrs. Drove up to the North through typical Sasak villages. Had some great snorkeling in the Gili Islands. Overall, a great vacation. One cannot try and compare things as the one constant in life is change. Roe was right, the Russians are coming. I couldn't believe the number of Russian tourists! We may be using you again next year for a trip to Bhutan. We tend to like individualized trips rather than group endeavors. Probably similar time frame. Late March, early April. Will contact you when we get closer. Thanks again for all your help. We have used you for trips to Bali, Borneo, Nepal, and Burma. All your trips have been excellent! We both appreciate your help. keep up the good work.
All the best,
Kurt and Susan - April, 2013
Wonderful. Had to stay overnight in LA and Hong Kong But did get on the Cathey Pacific flight from HK to Bali. Thanks for your help in getting the flights for us.
The Escapes unlimited guide and driver were excellent. Sut, as we called the guide, was most informative about all the sites in Bali plus teaching us the Balinese culture, family life, and about many of the rituals. He is also a Puppeteer of note and has been invited to the US to preform In Santa Fe late in the year. He is truly a great asset to you organization. We added a brief tour on the way to Ubud and a Temple, Mountain, Old city tour. one of the days in Ubud.
The Beach area and the Intercontinental Hotel were excellent. Very restful which we needed. But Ubud seemed to be the Real Bali. and that was most informative and enjoyable. Our hotel, Komaneka on Monkey Road was a Pleasure Palace. Room with an Infinity pool, Sunken Marble bath in a Koa pool, canopy covered bed etc. patio overlooking jungle foliage and a rice field. Just as we pictured Bali would be. A Perfect delayed Honeymoon.
Again, Thanks for arranging this Wonderful experience.
Henry and Beverly – April, 2013
The trip was great. We loved everything. It was probably nicer than our trip there 12 years ago. We brought lots of pens, notebooks, etc. Nothing you give goes to waste. The high schools are not set up for receiving visitors to have English conversation with the students. This is unfortunate because this level would probably benefit most. The Puri Santrian and Puri Suraswati hotels were wonderful. They put us always closest to reception and the dining room- very thoughtful. Sanur is peaceful-just what we needed after a long trip. You made great arrangements on our seats. We had aisles across, which was great. The mountain hotel in Munduk was fine- it was better than almost any of the other hotels. They had good food and a took a nice hike and had the best massage there- we did indulge in that a few times. We went to lots of cultural shows. There is more choice and variety now. Recommend the frog dance to your clients- that was our favorite. The cooking class in Ubud was excellent. We were in Bali for 2 weeks and still did not do everything. The NEKA Museum is really good.
Kevin and Jane, June 2010
The trip was AWESOME!!!!!! Can’t wait to return for an even longer stay. Loved Peneeda View as well.
Everything was so great. You did a super job!
Tom and Julia, June 2010
Well five trips now and our luck and your planning keeps working. It is amazing how much like clockwork things seemed to work especially considering we were in SE Asia . Possibly the Chinese could even teach the Germans a lesson in efficiency. I have a good friend in the dive travel industry and he is miffed that I won't book our Bali trips with him. "Sorry, but we've got a long history with someone else." Scuba Seraya was absolutely perfect. I just couldn't find any fault with the place. It is small, 12 cottages, and maintained like a Hindu temple. You can't go wrong sending any of your dive oriented folks there. This was our third stay at Mimpi and it is a gorgeous spot as well. Again nothing but accolades. Sanur Beach hotel was quite a shock after Seraya. From 12 rooms to 220+. Really not our sort of place, but we got into the groove of it when the initial shock waned. The beach is the best in Sanur and the pools were great. Though we had ideal weather for the first 8 days, it began to blow and rain. We did not get out to Nusa Penida because of the weather. We got a lot of great diving at both Seraya and Mimpi so we didn't feel we missed too much. It was a great trip and we brought back the usual trove of handicrafts. We really love Bali and keep recommending it to our friends. So, thanks for putting a great trip together on such short notice.
Best, Rick and Brenda, May 13, 2010
I want to thank you for arranging a wonderful, wonderful trip to paradise for my daughter, , and her friend. Beyond the amazingly beautiful scenery of Bali, the pleasant surprise of Singapore , we felt that Singapore offered us tremendous value. The hotel was in such a good location and our room was spacious. The packet we received upon arrival provided free/discount coupons for most of what we wanted to do. Actually food costs (and the Singapore Slings at the Raffles) were our only costs for two days' visit. Our Bali experience was wonderful....thanks in part to your arrangements through your Bali office and their staff. Our guide, Rei, and driver, Mr. Coyo were responsible for allowing us to participate in a Hindu "Baby Ceremony" at their home which was a wonderful, special experience. They listened to what we wanted to do and tailored their services to our desires. Our hotel in Ubud was beyond beautiful and unlike some blogs, the breakfasts were good and adequate. Your advice for a villa at Sanur Beach was so appreciated. It really, really blew all of us away (My daughter’s friend has an ownership interest in a couple of Holiday Inn hotels here in South Dakota and my daughter, has travelled the world, so they are not easily impressed). We've stayed at Intercontinental Hotels in Cairo , Istanbul and other locations around the world. We were so very, very impressed with the Sanur facility, and it provided us all a sense of the "utlimate Balinese experience". So thank you so very much for your help and advice in arranging a perfect, perfect vacation.
Sharon, April 2010
Everything went very smoothly. I preferred Ubud. I live in Florida , so the beach was not my priority. I used the services of the guide who picked me up at the airport for the first few days. He took me to the northern parts of the island, so I didn’t spend a lot of time in Sanur. Still, it was nice to see the activity on that end of the island. The next couple of days I used drivers I found on the street in Ubud. I took a day trip to Yogo. ---- that was interesting. I thought Bali was Thailand meets Hawaii . I would recommend folks to visit. I never felt unsafe at anytime. Both hotels were very nice, the A/C smelled a bit mildewy at the Sanur hotel, but everything was clean ---- no bugs.
The stopover in Sing. was nice --- big spacious suite of a room. People say there is not a lot to do in Sing., but I think it easily deserves a couple of days. Since I had been to Sing. before, I didn’t spend the entire time there, I took a daytrip to Malacca in Malaysia . The town is rundown, but interesting for someone like me who is interested in history.
I also stopped over in Taipei on the way home. That city is not clean and cutting edge modern like Sing., and is a bit dirty, but interesting for a couple of days to visit --- the museum, tallest building in the world, night markets. It is accessible to English speakers ---- many street signs are in English, as is the subway. Also, the folks at the hotel, bus station, and tourist places speak English --- a stopover that most travelers could navigate.
Thank you for putting everything together, and thanks for wanting feedback --- not every agent does that
Ian, December 2006
Bali was wonderful. Thank you for understanding and arranging exactly what we wanted on our trip. Because of the downturn in tourism, both the Watergarden in Candi Dasi and the hotel in Ubud, upgraded us. The rooms were wonderful. At the Watergarden, having our cabins open out onto the Koi ponds was magical. We used the scuba diving facility next door, Yes Dive, email@example.com Nyoman A. Sumiatra instructor, who took us up the coast, for 2 dives of scuba and snorkel. We went to Tulaben, both the shelf and the wreck. The water was so clear and the fish we saw were fabulous. The guide we had, I Putu Artama, was great and we used him to drive us other days. He was very informative and helpful. We loved our hotel in Ubud being so close to the monkey forest, but close to town, and very comfortable rooms. We enjoyed massages at three places. It was a very special trip for my husband and I and my daughter and her boyfriend. We've all been raving about the trip and treasuring the photos and memories. Bali is such a magical, relaxing place. Thank you,
JoAnne and Neal, January 2007
I wouldn't recommend anyone else but you guys. I would say the snorkeling, value for the struggling American dollar and beauty of Bali would be my strongest ties- it was wonderful. Met lots of Aussie's, not another single American, unless they were at the Sri through Escapes. We're going to look at S. America for Jan. and will be in touch- the 4 of us, we love the trip you put together for us and know you are familiar with Argentina. Minnesota weather is brutal after Christmas so she wants to head south then. Thanks again so very much and if anyone Ever wants a live referral- contact me. address is
Sherry, March 2008
Bali was fantastic. Loved La Taverna, incredible staff. Took really good care of us. The people of Bali have such a great sense of humor and such a good outlook on life. Couldn't ask for nicer. We had an incredible vacation. Thank you very much for all your work. We are already talking about next year's vacation and will be contacting you again. Singapore was interesting. The city of the future. I am not sure I am ready for it. What a contrast between the 2 places. Singapore all bussiness, Bali so accepting. Any way thank you again and we really look forward to more escapes.
Patrick, October 2008
BALI AND LOMBOK Bali and Lombok are indeed heaven on earth. Ubud Village is indeed nice and I am glad you recommended it to us. The rooms are pretty, the service very nice.
Nara was very informative during the tour. We went for the whole day, seeing Bali dance, volcanoes, Batik, rice terraces and much more.
The facility of Alang Alang ( but even more so its neigbour hotel ) is simply fantastic. THe people were exceptionally hospitable, the pool great and the rooms right on the beach.
I definitely would recommend anyone for going there. Heaven !
Hotels, transfers and tours all perfect!! We quite fell in love with Anna, our Argentine guide that picked us up and delivered us on schedule at all times. United Airlines not so perfect -- but I don't know what airline is. That said, we were extremely impressed with LAN Airlines. We appreciate all of your help. We are safely home with many stories to tell, tired and very happy with our trip.
Vicki & Greg, Oct 2013
ARGENTINA & URUGUAY
We just returned from our Argentina/Uruguay trip and want to thank you for once again planning a fabulous vacation for us. We had a terrific stay and we appreciate how your preparation makes our travels so easy.
We were picked up right on time by our greeter, Sandra Rodriquez from Gateway Travel, and her driver. She instantly made us feel at home and provided us with fabulous information and guidance throughout our visit. (Even to the extent of changing our money and getting a fabulous rate.) She gave us a great tour of the city and made sure that all our comforts and needs were facilitated.
We loved the hotel (Ayres Apartments) you booked us in. The hotel room was spacious and spotless and the locations couldn’t have been better. (We were around the corner from the Central Park in Recoletta) and felt we were centrally near everything. We felt very safe and comfortable and would definitely stay there again. We loved the Tigre river tour and were glad we canceled the tango show and replaced it with a smaller venue at Tortoni’s.
Our trip to Igauzu Falls was wonderful and again, the Gateway guide, Celia, was terrific. Our flight was a bit late and the weather poor, so she canceled that first day in the park and we did everything on the 2nd day. It worked out perfectly. The hotel was also a good choice for us.
We fell in love with Colonia de Sacramento, and its old charm. We started with what we thought were a few glitches with Lares Travel Company but all that got resolved without any real mishap. We requested a City tour and the only person they had that spoke English was a driver who had never given the actual tour before. Turned out he was lovely and we learned a great deal from him.
Our trip ran smoothly from beginning to end and for that we attribute to you and Escapes Unlimited for making what could be traveling in a foreign country complicated and stressful, very easy and wonderful.
We look forward to having you prepare trips for us again in the future.
What a magnificent adventure we have just had!! It was wonderful in every way, and I want to thank you for making it so. Everything worked out perfectly. The representatives who met us at each place were very friendly and helpful and got us efficiently where we needed to be. All of the hotels were lovely. I especially liked the Sierra Nevada Hotel in El Calafate. It was charming with lovely grounds and a beautiful view of the lake. El Calafate was a fun town with lots of cute shops. Hotel Costas Australis was also very nice with tremendous views of the Strait and surrounding mountains. All six of our tours were fun and very interesting. The guides and drivers were excellent, helpful, and informative. We were very glad we had added the penguins and Valparaiso tours. Both were excellent. My favorite day was the one spent at Torres del Paine National Park. That was a place I had always wanted to see, and I have never seen such magnificent mountain scenery! It far surpassed my expectations. It has been a marvelous adventure in every way!!! Thank you so very much, Susan, for all you did to make it so. Escapes Unlimited is a wonderful company, and the very best way to go!
With much gratitude,
Marilyn, March 4, 2011
We are just stepping back into reality and wishing we could have stayed in Argentina just a bit longer.
We had a great time in Buenos Aires , the SurExpress folks were great and the service at the Castelar was a real treat. After our 5 days there, we went to the coast, to Mar de las Pampas , for a little post-city relaxation before heading back, which was another highlight.
Overall, lots of exploring, lots of great meals, moments, and memories.
Thanks for helping make it happen, it was the perfect "baby-moon"
Amy and Noah, November 06
Well, we're back, and we loved Colombia . Bogota was our favorite, and I'm so glad we had more days there. The Gold museum was amazing, and we also took a day tour to the Salt cathedral and a coffee farm that we enjoyed very much. We also took the tram to the top of Monserrate and enjoyed the great view, and a wonderful meal at the San Ysidro Restaurant. . We walked the streets of Bogota and Cartagena after dark, and felt very safe, no one bothered us. The old town part of Cartagena was beautiful, and we enjoyed wandering the streets, and found a great restaurant- Porton de San Sebastian . The Rosario Island tour was very nice- I enjoyed snorkelling, while my wife and son went to the aquarium show and had a great time. The beach across the street from the hotel was nice, but the vendors were very persistent. The people were all very friendly, but very few spoke English.
PS- My wife left her backpack full of valuables at a fast-food place in Cartagena . We went back in a half hour in a panic, but someone had turned it in-so much for Colombia being crime-ridden!
John, June 2010
ECUADOR AND PANAMA
Our trip was far more than we expected! Everything went smoothly with no unwelcome surprises. Ecuador was wonderful! We want to go back and see more of the country. The Galapagos Legend was excellent in comfort, food, and quality of guides. We also really enjoyed our brief stay in Panama City . We were really happy that we had upgraded to the Country Inn and Suites Amador.
Our entire trip was first class in every possible way!!!!! All the hotels were attentive and helpful. The food was fabulous at the Sumaq and we took a cooking class on making ceviche and of course Pisco Sours at the hotel. Sol y Luna reminded us of Meadowwood Country Club in the Napa Valley. Gorgeous setting and the meals/ bar there plus the room were spectacular. All our guides showed up on time and really answered all our many, many questions. Usually it was just the two of us and several times we had 2 additional people. All the hotels and guides provided us with 2-4 bottle of water per day. The Inti Raymi Festival was a well oiled machine. Organized and even with lots of people we were able to stay with our group of 15 easily. The guides were very aware of their guests needs and our seats at the festival were the very best!!!!!! Machu Picchu was awesome and we hiked all over with the guide the first day and then went back by ourselves the 2nd day.
Janet A & Robert F June 2014
We are back from Peru.
Everything went fine. The hotels were good, the tours were fabulous and local tour operator was outstanding. They held our hands the whole trip and made sure we were picked up and delivered on time and with ease. Of special note was Juan Carlos in Lima. He met us the first night after midnight to make sure we checked into the hotel okay. Then he was there early the next morning to make sure we got checked in at the airport. And then much to our surprise he was waiting at the airport on our return from Juliaca just to make sure our bags were checked through and we made it through security. I think he went above and beyond.
Thanks again for your help putting this trip together. I have been singing your praises to my travel friends and I hope to be able to book another trip with you in the future.
Spence A. May 2014
Where to start? The entire trip was perfect in everyway.....the hotels were wonderful....and the staff in every place we stayed were incredibly gracious and attentive. The drivers and tour guides with Lima Tours were perfect, always on time.... expert in making feel comfortable and involved.....
Cusco and Machu Picchu were the highlights.....the Casa del Sol was an unexpected surprise......our room was right on the river.... and our days up at the park and in town were an absolute delight......what a great trip! The climax was our paragliding flights at Miraflores......the perfect end to a thrilling adventure.
Thank you for all of your work and attention to exactly what we were looking for in this Peruvian holiday. This is why we keep coming back to Escapes Unlimited.......
Bev and Kent – October, 2013
The trip was beyond amazing,the ship was great with 14 people the crew and the guide were wonderful we seen all the wildlife we hoped we would and the weather was perfect! Peru and Machu Picchu were so awesome it is hard to find the right words to explain how we felt it is just so amazing to see what awesome people the incas were! Needless to say even though we came home with some "inca revenge" it was one of our best trips ever! The hotels were great the Haturchay Tower was really nice with a free dinner included that was very very good,probably one of our best dinners ever!The train was good the bus ride from the train station not so good but was worth it to see Machu Picchu! We feel very lucky that the train was running again to get us there! We loved the extra day at Machu Picchu also, a day to hike and explore by ourselves...perfect! So needless to say THANKS so very much for puttting together this awesome trip for us we will remember for a lifetime and hope to visit there again. I see now why you have been 9 times I'm sure there is much more to see then what we seen in a few short weeks! so sad to see in end but it will be in our hearts forever! Highly recommend this trip to everyone! Thanks again
Phil and Pat, May 2010
We are still processing this safari. It was so amazing! The combo of luxury lodges and tents was wonderful. The game drives got better and better every day. Our guides were reliable, caring, extremely knowledgeable. Their personalities and professionalism made the trip an exceptional adventure. The food was delicious beyond expectations. Everything was a 10 +++, perfectly balanced. Nicer than we dreamed!
Already recommending Escapes Unlimited to friends.
Andi- Sept 2013
We were so well taken care of and felt safe throughout the trip. The game viewing was spectacular. Escapes Unlimited came through on every aspect from accommodations, to food, to airport transfers, to information to prepare us for the trip.
I will recommend this trip to my friends. …..perhaps it doesn’t need any tweeking. I loved all the lodges and tented camps.
When you read this please sing to “On the Road Again”, our theme song fo the trip…..”On safari again. Yes. Going places I have never been. Seeing creatures I may never see again. It’s good to be on safari again.”
Barbara and Tuck – Sept 2013
We still can’t believe how many animals we saw and such amazing scenery. The best thing about the trip was the chance to experience a country which we were hesitant to travel to just the 2 of us. Your handling it was great. Just the right amount of guidance with a soft hand. We enjoyed almost everything about the trip: the people, the animals, meeting the Maasai and bushmen. We loved the guides.
– Sept 2013
Thanks very much for arranging St. Petersburg to Moscow Cruise on MS Tolstoy. It was one of the best trips our group has undertaken in the recent past. The program was very well planned, and executed. Everything went on as expected without any hitch, we all had a wonderful time. The staff on the boat was very courteous and attended to all our needs and the food was well prepared and presented. The sightseeing was thoughtfully planned and covered all the important items to visit. All of us truly enjoyed the trip. Below is a link to our pictures. Thanking You again,
Kanaga Aug 2013
The Russia cruise people delivered all the goods once we arrived in St. Petersburg. True, they were slow at times in communicating some details and with our visas, but those memories disappeared once we were in Russia. The accommodations in hotels and aboard ship were fine (my wife and I opted for the junior state room for a slightly higher fee and loved it). What stood out most was the Russian crew aboard ship and their interaction: from wait staff to guides to musicians and especially to the food service, elegant at times. The programing was excellent from language class to singing, dancing, cooking and variety show. The final session was a discussion with the Russian staff and was most revealing of life now compared to Soviet times. The only criticism might be too many churches and icons, but the culture and history exposure from St. Petersburg, down the Volga and in Moscow were most extensive. With snatches of extra time we saw Lenin in his tomb and toured the Armory to see the wealth of the Romanovs and the Faberge' eggs.
We came away with a very positive attitude for Russian art, cuisine and people and a better understanding of their history and politics not available in books. Roe was the perfect host and guide for our group and worked out the few difficult times with a smile. It was as if we had our mother with us (if you liked your mother). With patience as our guide, we received the full benefits of the Russian staff.
Jerry and Sandy - July 2013 group
Russian River Cruise: Our Russian River in July 2013 was one of the best vacations we have taken. The 12-day trip from St. Petersburg to Moscow on MS Lev Tolstoy was a combination of cruise ship convenience, historical sites and city highlights that created an effortless trip. No worries about the language or safety, as guides met and escorted you from the airport at the beginning, on all shore excursions, and to your departure. This was an excellent value for the basically all inclusive cruise, and they even obtain your visa which is included. Compare the prices with other cruise companies that offer a similar trip. Being on a ship with only 160 passengers made it friendly, and more personal. The staff were extremely helpful and took plenty of time to talk with you and answer any questions. Russians are proud to show their country and heritage, and that made it fun seeing the sites along the river and interacting with the people.
Tips: Book early, complete your paperwork exactly, (we were the first to receive our visa's and itineraries) and have a little patience if the Beef Stroganoff isn't exactly like Applebee's, it's 12 days of your life, and you will come home with some absolutely beautiful pictures and wonderful memories.
Glenn & Margie - July 2013
"Our St Petersburg-Moscow River Cruise adventure exceeded our expectations from beginning to end. We really didn't know what to expect and were delightfully surprised at every venture. Our room on the ship was cozy and comfortable and had all the amenities (even a hair dryer and candies on pillows at night!). The ship was clean and well appointed. The food was outstanding and beautifully presented. The many tours were well planned and interesting. Great shopping, too. But above all, the staff was outstanding. They were young and passionate about their work and went above and beyond to please. Russian language class, cultural discussions, craft class, dance lessons, etc were all original and fun because of the terrific crew. Moscow and St Petersburg are beautiful cities. We loved the energy, vibrancy and kindness of the people. Great trip all around! Highly recommended.
Roberta and Gus- July 2013
Escapes staff continues to impress me with the recent cruise from St Petersburg to Moscow. There was not a thing that disappointed. St. Petersburg was more beautiful than I could have dreamed. And I never imagined myself standing in Red Square at midnight, being dazzled by golden onion-domed churches, visiting Lenin’s tomb, learning a smattering of Russian, walking through the Kremlin, or loving a river cruise in Russia. Cruise staff helped us do all that and more!
I loved traveling at night and arriving at a new location or sitting at a meal and watching the beautiful forests go by. On board dinners were served with old-world charm by staff that ensured meals were a special occasion. Off boat tours were a nice mix of Russian cultures and our guides were informative and entertaining. Villages were picturesque and cities were magnificently historic. The cabin was cozy, though there was little opportunity to just sit. Between tours, classes on Russian culture and language, and just plain entertainment, the cruise went by all too quickly. Every request was met with a genuine desire to please. Be prepared to bring home way too many pics. The sights are unbelievable (and so is the experience)!
Shelli - July 2013
A friend of mine suggested that I join her and some others on a trip to Russia. I agreed and I met Roe Gruber of Escapes Unlimited who arranged a perfect trip to Russia! The St. Petersburg to Moscow Cruise (aboard the MS Tolstoy) was a fabulous trip filled with magnificent sights, experiences, and memorable people. All of this was enhanced by the fact that the trip went smoothly from beginning to end. All of our needs were anticipated and arranged.
St. Petersburg and Moscow have treasures and sights beyond one’s imagination! Our city guides were knowledgeable, eager, and proud to share their beautiful country with us. The MS Tolstoy was a lovely ship with all the necessary amenities (including a good hot shower and hair dryer – my pre trip worry!) and the staff was friendly and eager to please.
I would recommend this tour company wholeheartedly – a great value!