Itinerary

DAY LOCATION(S) HOTEL MEALS DESCRIPTION
Day 1
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Alvear Palace Hotel Breakfast

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Welcome to Argentina! Upon arrival into the Ezeiza International Airport, please proceed through customs and immigration. Once you have cleared customs and immigration, collect your bags and exit the airport. As you exit, a Big Five representative will be waiting to welcome you and privately transfer you to your hotel.

Day 2
Ushuaia, Argentina
Aboard Stella Australis Cruise Breakfast, Dinner

Buenos Aires / Ushuaia / Murray Channel, Chile

This morning you are transferred with your private driver and English-speaking guide to the airport to board your flight to Ushuaia. When you arrive, you are transferred for check in at the Australis Travel Center in time to board your cruise ship. Board the M/V Stella Australis late this afternoon. After you enjoy a welcoming cocktail reception hosted by the captain and his crew, the ship departs for one of the remotest corners of planet Earth.

During the night you traverse the Beagle Channel and cross from Argentina into Chilean territorial waters. The lights of Ushuaia disappear as your ship turns into the narrow Murray Channel between Navarino and Hoste islands.

Day 3
Cabo de Hornos, Chile
Aboard Stella Australis Cruise Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Cape Horn / Wulaia Bay

Around the break of dawn, Stella Australis crosses Nassau Bay and enters the remote archipelago that comprises Cape Horn National Park. Weather and sea conditions permitting, you'll go ashore on the windswept island that harbors legendary Cape Horn. Discovered in 1616 by a Dutch maritime expedition -- and named after the town of Hoorn in West Friesland -- Cape Horn is a sheer 425-meter/1,394-foot high rocky promontory overlooking the turbulent waters of the Drake Passage. For many years, it was the only navigation route between the Pacific and Atlantic, and was often referred to as the "End of the Earth." The park was declared a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 2005. The Chilean navy maintains a permanent lighthouse on the island, staffed by a light keeper and his family. There is also the tiny Stella Maris Chapel and modern Cape Horn Monument (currently awaiting repair after being damaged by fierce winds).

Sailing back across Nassau Bay, you anchor at fabled Wulaia Bay, one of the few places in the archipelago where the human history is just as compelling as the natural environment. Originally, this was the site of one of the region’s largest Yámana aboriginal settlements. The bay was described by Charles Darwin and sketched by Captain FitzRoy in the 1830s during their voyages on HMS Beagle. This area is also renowned for its mesmerizing beauty and dramatic geography. After a visit to the Australis-sponsored museum in the old radio station -- which is especially strong on the Yámana people and European missionaries in the area -- passengers have a choice of three hikes (of increasing degrees of difficulty) that ascend the heavily wooded mountain behind the bay. On all of these you stroll through an enchanted Magellanic forest of lengas, coigües, canelos and ferns to reach panoramic viewpoints overlooking the bay.

Day 4
Alberto de Agostini National Park, Chile
Aboard Stella Australis Cruise Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

De Agostini Sound & Aguila Glacier

After nightfall, you reenter the Beagle Channel and sail westward along the southern edge of Tierra del Fuego into a watery wonderland protected within the confines of Alberto de Agostini National Park. Rounding the Brecknock Peninsula as the western extreme of Tierra del Fuego, Stella Australis is briefly exposed to the open Pacific. Then, navigate a zigzag route through the Cockburn Channel, Magdalena Channel and Keats Fjord to reach scenic De Agostini Sound. Named after an Italian Salesian priest who worked among the region's indigenous people during the first half of the 20th century, De Agostini Sound is flanked by numerous glaciers and sheer saw-toothed peaks reminiscent of Torres del Paine.

This morning's shore excursion is to Águila ("Eagle") Glacier, which hovers above a placid glacial lagoon surrounded by primeval forest. After a Zodiac landing on the beach, you hike around the edge of the lagoon to a spot near the base of the frozen facade. Condors can sometimes be seen winging high above, but there is always abundant bird life around the lagoon. This landing provides the perfect opportunity to experience the beauty of Patagonia’s sub-Antarctic rainforest and to see how the power of nature has molded the spectacular landscape.

Day 5
Puerto Montt, Chile
El Puesto Hostal Breakfast

Magdalena Island / Punta Arenas / Puerto Montt / Puerto Tranquilo

After an overnight cruise through Magdalena Channel and back into the Strait of Magellan, your ship anchors off Magdalena Island, which lies about halfway between Tierra del Fuego and the Chilean mainland. Crowned by a distinctive lighthouse, the island used to be an essential source of supplies for navigators and explorers and is inhabited by an immense colony of Magellanic penguins. At the break of dawn, weather permitting, go ashore and hike a path that leads through thousands of penguins to a small museum lodged inside the vintage 1902 lighthouse. Many other bird species are also found on the island. In September and April, when the penguins dwell elsewhere, this excursion is replaced by a ride aboard Zodiacs to Marta Island to observe South American sea lions. After a short cruise south along the strait, disembarkation at Punta Arenas is scheduled for around 11:30 AM. *Camera extension poles are prohibited on Magdalena Island.

NOTE: All of the excursions described can normally be carried out. Transportes Marítimos Terra Australis S.A., Transportes Marítimos Via Australis S.A., and Transportes Marítimos Geo Australis S.A reserve the right to reschedule, shorten, or alter all or part of the itineraries and/or excursions without prior notice, in order to safeguard the wellbeing and safety of passengers, preserve the environment, or in the event of any extraordinary circumstances, acts of God or force majeure. For the same reasons, the hours of departure or arrival of the vessels are subject to change. There is no guarantee of wildlife sighting because the precise location of these animals often changes and cannot be confirmed.

After you disembark, you will be transferred to the airport to board your flight to Puerto Montt airport. There you take your flight connection to Balmaceda/Coyhaique. Upon arrival, a private English-speaking driver/guide will take you on a four-hour drive to Puerto Tranquilo.

Day 6
Puerto Montt, Chile
Ice Camp Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Ice Trekking & Camping on Exploradores Glacier

The glacier is located 52 km/32 mi. west of Puerto Rio Tranquilo by the Valley Exploradores. This road will lead you to the Exploradores Bay, through sections that border the Tranquilo and Bayo Lakes, and the northern boundaries of the Northern Patagonia Ice Fields. After approximately 51 km/31.6 mi., you will come to the Deshielo River, which descends from the Exploradores Glacier. A short distance later, you arrive at the El Puesto Expediciones Refuge, the starting point of your ice adventure.

After a short safety talk, your guides will help you get settled with the equipment you’ll need to walk on the ice. Your first obstacle is the glacial moraine, a valley full of large rocks and loose stones that have been left from the advancement and regression of this giant mass of ice. After conquering the moraine, you will begin to walk on clean ice, a sign that it is time to put on your crampons! If you have never hiked with crampons before it can be a little awkward at first, but your guides will teach you the techniques and you will soon be on your way. As you walk, you will encounter an irregular surface, full of mounds, cracks, small streams and enormous sinks, which are deep holes that can reach all the way to the base of the glacier. On the ice, everything becomes magical: the landscape, the colors, the sculpted glacial forms, even the sound of the crampons breaking the ice. After a long day you will camp and sleep on Exploradores glacier.

Day 7
Puerto Montt, Chile
El Puesto Hostal Breakfast

Ice Climbing on Exploradores Glacier / Puerto Tranquilo

In the morning, after breakfast on the glacier, and if you want even more adventure, you have the option to try out ice climbing, one of the most exciting experiences that Patagonia can deliver. You will then trek back to the El Puesto Expediciones Refuge and drive back to Puerto Tranquilo in the early afternoon.

Day 8
Puerto Montt, Chile
Nawelpi Lodge Breakfast, Dinner

Puerto Tranquilo / Coyhaique / Puerto Montt / Huilo Huilo

Your private driver will take you to Coyhaique Airport for your flight to Puerto Montt. Upon arrival, you will be privately driven to Huilo Huilo. Your lodge in the Patagonian Forest nestles on the north side of the Puerto Fuy River. It is near the "Salto de la Leona" waterfall. Enjoy the magical world of Huilo Huilo. Your lodge has spacious rooms featuring a warm decor with noble materials, and are all equipped with a private bathroom with free toiletries, seating area and minibar. All rooms also have a private bathtub on their own terrace facing the River Fuy.

Day 9
Puerto Montt, Chile
Nawelpi Lodge Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Days 9/10: Huilo Huilo

Over the next two days, you select from a wide range of activities, and more than 40 different excursions. You choose your level of activity, including: trekking, horseback riding, mountain biking, kayaking, sailing, fishing and more.

This area is also known for its living heritage as seen in a collection of indigenous groups that are known overall as the Mapuche. The collective term refers to a wide-ranging ethnicity of groups who share a common social, religious and economic structure, as well as a common linguistic heritage as Mapudungun speakers. Because they are spread out and separated into family clans, the Mapuche were able to resist the Spanish invaders for 300 years, and were never successfully conquered. The Mapuche community today is working to maintain a proud heritage through a number of initiatives, including workshops that benefit local students such as art, painting, dance, wood carving, music, and baking and chocolate-making. You interact with members of this community and learn about their rich traditions, customs and mythology.

Day 10
Puerto Montt, Chile
Nawelpi Lodge Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Huilo Huilo Over the next two days, you select from a wide range of activities, and more than 40 different excursions. You choose your level of activity, including: trekking, horseback riding, mountain biking, kayaking, sailing, fishing and more.

This area is also known for its living heritage as seen in a collection of indigenous groups that are known overall as the Mapuche. The collective term refers to a wide-ranging ethnicity of groups who share a common social, religious and economic structure, as well as a common linguistic heritage as Mapudungun speakers. Because they are spread out and separated into family clans, the Mapuche were able to resist the Spanish invaders for 300 years, and were never successfully conquered. The Mapuche community today is working to maintain a proud heritage through a number of initiatives, including workshops that benefit local students such as art, painting, dance, wood carving, music, and baking and chocolate-making. You interact with members of this community and learn about their rich traditions, customs and mythology.
Day 11
Pucón, Chile
Hacienda Hotel Vira Vira Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today, you travel to Pucón situated next to a lake and volcano. It offers a variety of sports and adventure activities. Pucón has a small Mapuche Museum and many places where you can still explore the traditional Mapuche way of living, eating and socializing. This ancient civilization has survived a difficult history, continually facing opposition, but they have remained free and independent. They are well known for their beautiful metal work, especially silver jewelry such as head dresses and necklaces as well as unique wooden carvings. They also have an ancient tradition of weaving textiles and carpets.

Your hotel is set in a beautiful spot along the shores of the Liucura River in a native park. The hotel is both a hacienda and a hotel. The hacienda operates a farm and has as its principal aim to provide fresh, healthy and delicious food to guests and to provide an interesting insight into the operations of a modern farm and cheese dairy. The hotel has been designed to offer spacious, luxurious, cozy and comfortable suites. Take in the mystic ambiance of these ancient Mapuche territories. The guides are passionate about their work and about sharing their knowledge and experience. You meet around the cozy fireplace or at the fruit bar with the excursion manager to arrange your next day’s activities or excursions.

Day 12
Pucón, Chile
Hacienda Hotel Vira Vira Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Days 12/13: Pucón

During your time here, you can explore the stunning waterfalls with views across Lake Villarica. At Quelhue, see a typical Mapuche dwelling and learn about the traditional customs in local communities. Adventures include exploring some of the many untouched natural parks by horse, climbing with our experienced guide on top of the volcano, river rafting or kayaking on the Trancura River. You can also see the workings of the farm, how they make cheese, try your hand at creating art, or even practice yoga with one of the hacienda’s owners. In the winter, you ski on the volcano, go snowboarding, snowshoeing, or venture out on a winter horseback ride. Be as active or as relaxed as you choose. One night, you experience Mapuche night with traditional Mapuche food and drink and a Lonko, a Mapuche Tribal Chief, who will tell you stories about his village and his ancestors. There will also be the chance for you to learn about Mapuche cooking and to prepare your own dishes, if you like.

Day 13
Pucón, Chile
Hacienda Hotel Vira Vira Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Pucón

During your time here, you can explore the stunning waterfalls with views across Lake Villarica. At Quelhue, see a typical Mapuche dwelling and learn about the traditional customs in local communities. Adventures include exploring some of the many untouched natural parks by horse, climbing with our experienced guide on top of the volcano, river rafting or kayaking on the Trancura River. You can also see the workings of the farm, how they make cheese, try your hand at creating art, or even practice yoga with one of the hacienda’s owners. In the winter, you ski on the volcano, go snowboarding, snowshoeing, or venture out on a winter horseback ride. Be as active or as relaxed as you choose. One night, you experience Mapuche night with traditional Mapuche food and drink and a Lonko, a Mapuche Tribal Chief, who will tell you stories about his village and his ancestors. There will also be the chance for you to learn about Mapuche cooking and to prepare your own dishes, if you like

Day 14
Pucón, Chile
None Breakfast

Pucón / Santiago / Depart

Transfer to Temuco Airport for your flight to Santiago to connect with your flight home.

Tour Features

Experience(s)

Experiences have not been selected at this time

Description

Tour Highlights

Price starts from US$850 per person per day, land only, double occupancy.

Enjoy a three-night cruise aboard the M/V Stella Australis to discover one of the remotest corners of planet Earth, including the remote archipelago that comprises Cape Horn National Park

Anchor off Magdalena Island, halfway between Tierra del Fuego and the Chilean mainland, to see the immense colony of Magellanic penguins that now inhabit the island

For a special experience, go trekking, ice climbing and camping on Exploradores Glacier, and explore the glacial moraine, a valley full of large rocks and loose stones that have been left from the advancement and regression of this giant mass of ice

Enjoy the magical world of Huilo Huilo set in the Patagonian Forest, and choose from some 40 activities such as trekking, horseback riding, mountain biking, kayaking, sailing and fishing

In Pucón, explore the traditional Mapuche community’s way of living, visit a family in a typical Mapuche dwelling and learn about their skills at metal work, especially silver jewelry, wood carvings and the ancient tradition of weaving textiles and carpets

Included In The Tour Cost:

 Hotel accommodations as indicated in the itinerary, inclusive of taxes and service charges

 Meals as indicated in the itinerary (B-breakfast, L-lunch, D-dinner)

 All airport transfers as indicated in the itinerary

 All ground transportation as indicated in the itinerary

 Expert English-speaking guide services during included transfers and sightseeing

 All sightseeing as indicated, inclusive of entrance fees

 Baggage handling and tip to porter, for 1 piece of luggage per person, at airports

 Comprehensive assortment of pre-tour materials and amenities

 Big Five’s 24-hour White Glove Service® guest assistance

 Complimentary one year membership to One More Generation, including adoption of an endangered species

Not Included In The Tour Cost:

Any airfare; Any passport or visa fees; Supplemental Travel Insurance (which is strongly recommended)Excess baggage fees; Items of personal nature such as gratuities, telephone / fax / internet charges, laundry, beverages, meals and services not specified in the itinerary.

About Us

Since 1973, Big Five has created life-affirming journeys to some 44 destinations worldwide. Our Destination Specialists, award-winning adventures and premier 24-hour White Glove Service® guest assistance combine to present the journey of a lifetime to individuals, families and small groups. Sustainable travel is at the heart of Big Five. We have seen how the power of travel can change the world for the better. Sustainability benefits both the traveler and the places visited. Whether the focus is cultural, wildlife or adventure, we tailor each journey to the interests of guests traveling in Africa, Asia, Latin America and South Pacific.

Insider Tip

Contact your Virtuoso Travel Advisor for insider knowledge on the Big Five process, designed to enhance your experience.

Sustainability

How far can sustainable tourism practices go in creating amazing vacation experiences while also helping to protect our fragile planet? The Big Five sustainable journey was born on the back of a pub napkin listing innovative ideas that connect travelers with local people, traditions and cultures. This led to the creation of travel programs in partnership with indigenous communities, a vision realized when Big Five became one of the first travel companies in the world to create entire itineraries only using community-owned and managed conservancies. That sustainable path of Big Five honors the legacy of a father and son who continue to build on making the world a better place through meaningful, enjoyable travel experiences based on their company values of caring for local people, supporting the protection of nature, and promoting cultural diversity and international understanding. Big Five has twice won the prestigious Virtuoso Travel Network Sustainable Tourism Leadership Award.

Terms & Conditions

Varies. Please inquire.

The trademarks VIRTUOSO, the Globe Swirl Logo and SPECIALISTS IN THE ART OF TRAVEL are registered trademarks of Virtuoso, Ltd. Virtuoso, Ltd. has a U.S. copyright registration for the Globe Swirl Logo, ©2000. All rights reserved. Virtuoso CST#2069091-50. California CST# 2069091; TA# 808 - Registered Iowa Travel Agency; Washington UBI # 601 554 183. Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California.

Reviews and Recommendations for Big Five Tours & Expeditions, Inc.

100%

of 50
guests
recommend


Virtuoso Verified Traveler

All reviews are from confirmed guests sharing exclusive insights

Sort reviews by

Highly recommend

By: Jsquared


Reviewed on: 15 Oct 2013

In Chengdu our guide, Amanda, went above and beyond her responsibilities and made our stay there the highlight of the tour. We did not go through the locks on the Three Gorges Dam. Apparently the locks were shut down because of wind. However, when we reached the locks there was not even a breath of wind. We will be obliged if you could confirm the reason for the locks being closed,and in future pick a cruise ship that goes through the locks in daylight.
Travel Advisor:  Jodi Fox
  Loading comments. Please wait...

highly recommend

By: Sandy Z


Reviewed on: 02 Nov 2013

We used them for our most recent trip. The arrangements they made were very good. We had a few problems with flight time changes, but each time I emailed them and they were able to confirm the changes and reassure me that we would be picked up at the appropriate time at the other end. THey made good choices for hotels, and the cruise boat down the Amazon was fabulous!!
Travel Advisor:  Birgit Navarre
  Loading comments. Please wait...

Hardworking and experienced tour group

By: Not provided


Reviewed on: 20 Nov 2013

We've used Big Five Tours twice. The first experience had one or two bumps in the outcome but they corrected what could be done at the time and were attentive. We had doubts about their competency and experience but spent time going over the issues with them after the trip. After detailed discussions, we found them to be truly interested and they took our comments seriously. We decided to give them a 2nd chance with another large trip and they did a fabulous job!
Travel Advisor:  Sharon Cooper
  Loading comments. Please wait...

Very Accommodating

By: TGC and MJC


Reviewed on: 24 Nov 2013

Our trip to the the Galapagos Islands and Machi Picchu was fine tuned to our personal needs and time restrictions. The local tour companies in Ecuador (Klein Tours) and Peru (Fiesta Tours) were outstanding. Their staff and guides could not have been better. It was a trip of a lifetime.

Recommend

By: jpriest


Reviewed on: 25 Jun 2014

Travel Advisor:  Patty Calvert

Professional and timely

By: pelisons3


Reviewed on: 12 May 2015

Big Five provided a professional and individualized travel experience for us. Our guides were timely and informative and really seemed to want us to have a hassle free vacation while enjoying the beauty and culture of their country.
Travel Advisor:  Michele Vogel

Ditto previous comments

By: Jim


Reviewed on: 03 Nov 2015

See my other review that contains the same information -- altogether excellent!
Travel Advisor:  Honey Mistry

Thailand Myanmar

By: Been There


Reviewed on: 13 Mar 2016

Had a thoroughly enjoyable 17 day excursion to Bangkok, Amphawa, Chiang Mai, Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan, and Inle Lake areas. Travel connections were made without complication. Transportation (buses, vans) were comfortable, drivers and assistants were up to the task, Guides were knowledgeable, helpful, flexible, personable and communicated effectively. Accommodations for the most part were in keeping with what we expected. The restaurant in the Baan Amphawa Resort accommodation should not have served us supper as their kitchen was closing. The breakfast meals were good and set one up for the day. The accommodation in the Inle Lake accommodation (Inle Princess Hotel) has very weak internet connection for those needing to receive email. A travel companion had her US dollar cash reserve eliminated as the internet failed and she could not pay by credit card. Their water system pulses and surges giving uneven pressure when washing/showering. Had restful sleep in all hotels.
Travel Advisor:  Nancy Ferragine
  Loading comments. Please wait...

Comprehensive trip planners

By: Pamela


Reviewed on: 19 Jul 2016

This was our second trip with Big Five. We also travelled with them in Peru, where we had one guide for 10 days who was one of the most remarkable people we've ever met. This trip included safari, Victoria Falls, and a few days in Cape Town. Our trip had many logistical elements (we are a family of 5) and it went off pretty much without a hitch. We had multiple guides and drivers, all competent and timely, some more expert or personable than others. The safari camps chosen exceeded our needs and expectations. We would do the trip again in a heartbeat.
Travel Advisor:  Ken Neibaur
  Loading comments. Please wait...

Great tours

By: Jax


Reviewed on: 13 Aug 2016

Our vacation to Tanzania, Africa was fantastic. Big Five Tours did not disappoint. We did not know what to expect and they did a great job in every way. The tented camps were more than anyone could have imagined. The guides were extremely knowledgeable and friendly.
Travel Advisor:  Bill Beckett
  Loading comments. Please wait...

Amazing Company

By: Monica B


Reviewed on: 17 Aug 2016

Working with Ashish and Big Five Tours was a great experience. Every aspect our our tour was outstanding and we would not have changed anything with our itinerary. Ashish took the time to get to know what we wanted and expected and was bang on with everything on our trip.
Travel Advisor:  Sue Pechtel
  Loading comments. Please wait...

Great Tour Company!

By: Holly


Reviewed on: 06 Feb 2017

Everyone was on time and where they said they would be in our itinerary. We had amazing guides and drivers who took such great care of us. I would highly recommend Big Five to my friends and family!
Travel Advisor:  Courtney Regan
  Loading comments. Please wait...

Five

By: Jimbo


Reviewed on: 24 Feb 2017

Very good. Almost everything went off as planned. When there was a problem, a call took care of it. The guide was great: pleasant, knowledgeable and punctual. I would definitely recommend Big Five Tours.
Travel Advisor:  Steve Kuriga
  Loading comments. Please wait...

Uruguay

By: Liz


Reviewed on: 06 Mar 2017

This is our second time using Big Five. We were faced with an emergency situation of coming up with a 10 day itinerary for Uruguay with 2 weeks notice. They came through with a great program at a price point we were comfortable with. The planning and fine tuning was done quickly and efficiently. A great company for a good travel experience.
Travel Advisor:  Natasha Rhodes
  Loading comments. Please wait...

A boundary pushing vacation

By: Jann DH


Reviewed on: 27 Mar 2017

Having never been to Central America, it was important for our family to work with an experienced operator with trusted connections. Our amazing travel advisor Sheila Gallant-Halloran recommended Big Five, and together, we experienced our best vacation ever. Our accommodations were fantastic. While living in the jungle without electricity, waking up to the sound of howler monkeys and rappelling down 100ft waterfalls definitely pushed our personal comfort zones, it was always done within the parameters of safety, fun and new experiences (in addition to push comfort!). Having Gisele and Asheesh thoroughly explain the uniqueness of our vacation choices only added to the excitement upon arriving. The finely-detailed itinerary made for no surprises. Logistically, it was great to have people waiting for to take us to our next destination. Their local contacts Jose and Jannie checked in with us throughout our vacation, making sure all was well. Top marks for another great family vacation.
Travel Advisor:  Sheila Gallant-Halloran
  Loading comments. Please wait...

Good

By: Jimbo


Reviewed on: 30 Mar 2017

Most of our experience with Big Five was good. A couple of times drivers were not there but they recovered quickly. Guide was great. Trip through the canal went very well. Hi light of the trip.
Travel Advisor:  Steve Kuriga

Peru 2017

By: Mark B


Reviewed on: 10 Jun 2017

Another great trip with Big Five - every detail attended to, wonderful guides and destinantions.
Travel Advisor:  Ken Neibaur
  Loading comments. Please wait...

South America

By: Jay


Reviewed on: 03 Jun 2017

We could not fault the Big Five. We travelled to amazing places in Peru and Ecuador over 3 1/2 weeks and were looked after very well all the way. we had good accommodation, excellant guides and very good drivers with comfortable cars which all made for a good holiday.
  Loading comments. Please wait...

Extremely professional and knowledgeable

By: ConstantlyCurious


Reviewed on: 22 Jun 2017

While I still get a bit confused about the role of Big Five vs. the local agencies in Peru (not to mention my personal agent), our overall trip was extremely well managed. The guides were all incredibly knowledgeable, to the point where they could have been professors! Everything was extremely efficient. We always felt like someone was watching out for us - which was important to us in a country where we don't speak the language. And most importantly, we were able to experience some truly amazing things. Thanks for a great trip!
Travel Advisor:  Tisha Neufville

Big Five Tours

By: Neal


Reviewed on: 29 Jun 2017

Excellent.....most impressive was the Tour Guides we experienced throughout the five different Camps we visited. The Camps were well managed and efficient.
Travel Advisor:  Toni Lanfrank
  Loading comments. Please wait...

Great tour provider

By: Neets


Reviewed on: 19 Sep 2017

Big Five made sure our experience was exceptional. Our first experience in Africa was made memorable by Big Five. We were met at the bush plane by Michael our guide and from the minute we left the airstrip we felt safe and secure in his presence. Over the next several days he demonstrated his knowledge of the wildlife and their habits and made our experience a true adventure. He is more than a guide, he is an ambassador for Tanzania and a dedicated conservator of the wildlife resource. We saw and photographed so many different animals and had so much fun with Michael as he has a very developed sense of humour. The rest of our tour with Big Five was to the Ngorongoro Conservation area and was also memorable. Words cannot truly express the experiences provided us by Big Five you have to go there yourself. Big Five live up to their name and reputation and are the professionals they say they are.
Travel Advisor:  Geordie McDonald
  Loading comments. Please wait...

A Little Bit of Heaven

By: bus driver


Reviewed on: 08 Aug 2017

We couldn't have asked for a better experience. We were looked after right off from the start. During the whole trip we felt safe. The staff couldn't have been more accommodating,friendly caring people. The bus driver and myself highly recommend the Big Five to all who want a trip of a lifetime. try them you will never go to another.
Travel Advisor:  Bill Beckett
  Loading comments. Please wait...

Asia

By: Liz


Reviewed on: 11 Nov 2017

Very good. Have used Big Five on three different occasions and they provide an excellent service and itinerary leading to a very satisfying experience.
Travel Advisor:  Natasha Rhodes
  Loading comments. Please wait...

South America

By: big blue


Reviewed on: 04 Dec 2017

Wonderful experience with Big Five. The guides were uniformly excellent, both knowledgeable and very friendly. I would recommend them to anyone thinking of going to South America.
Travel Advisor:  Beth Jenkins Washington
  Loading comments. Please wait...

Patagonia

By: OMM


Reviewed on: 21 Jan 2018

The guides provided by the tour operator were amicable, yet professional. They were there for us all of the time from arrival to departure. Alvin was the best in Santiago. Joaquin was the best en El Cajon del Maipo. Remota Hotel provided great facilities with great guides. We thoroughly enjoyed our experience.
Travel Advisor:  Misty Jones
  Loading comments. Please wait...

Thank you Big Five

By: Frequent Travelers


Reviewed on: 14 Apr 2018

Big Five was awesome! They kept our family busy in Costa Rica with hiking, fishing, zip lining, horseback riding and more. Big Five seemed to have the insight on where to go with the time we had. The tour services booked were wonderful with very kind and knowledgable guides. The accommodations chosen were top notch and our family would love to return one day with Big Five as our event coordinator once again! Thanks Big Five
Travel Advisor:  Jeannie Sauleau
  Loading comments. Please wait...

Happy Traveler

By: ELL


Reviewed on: 20 Oct 2018

We enjoyed the things we saw and places we visited. They did an excellent job preparing a trip that suited the needs and desires of our group.
Travel Advisor:  Arlene Humble
  Loading comments. Please wait...

Family trip to Patagonia

By: Family trip to Patagonia


Reviewed on: 29 Oct 2018

Working with Big Five through Carissa Guylas was a great experience. They were very knowledgeable and helpful.
Travel Advisor:  Carissa Gulyas

Excellent Tour Operator

By: Bill


Reviewed on: 02 Jun 2018

Big Five Tours is a great agency to work with in providing on the ground travel experiences. As part of our cruise, we did a pre-cruise to Hong Kong and India and post cruise to Egypt. Via our travel advisor, Clare Isquist, Big Five made it happen. The hotels and guides and the itinerary in country were excellent. No complaints. Their in country representatives were always available to assist if needed and were a great help with plane reservations and airport formalities. Without Big Five we do not think our trip would have been the experience of a lifetime that it was.
Travel Advisor:  Clare Isquith
  Loading comments. Please wait...

Great tour guides and drivers

By: Trendy Traveler


Reviewed on: 18 Jun 2018

We used Big Five for our trip to Peru the end of May 2018. Each of the drivers and guides were so accommodating and knowledgable. Freddie and Erika, our guides in the Urubamba Sacred Valley really bent over backwards for us. Freddie even came all the way back to the train station to deliver my husband's reading glasses that he had left in the car. We had so much fun with them that we got a group picture with them at the end to put in our photo book. I would use Big Five again, but my only complaint is that we had a small issue come up and when we tried to use the "White Glove Service", they did not respond to us. The problem resolved itself, but if it had been a big deal, this would have been very upsetting because we were paying for the service. Otherwise, all was taken care of and we had a great time.
Travel Advisor:  Carol Brant
  Loading comments. Please wait...

Very good... in line with expectations

By: Steve


Reviewed on: 03 Jul 2018

we didn't really have much contact with them... they seemed to help on the itinerary... had a problem with a bag in Arusha and their ground operator Tandela helped with that
Travel Advisor:  Ken Neibaur
  Loading comments. Please wait...

Wow!

By: Happy Hamster


Reviewed on: 09 Aug 2018

I was nervous about going on a photo safari, but we were in very good hands with Big Five. We were met at each stop along the way by courteous and professional representatives even when our flight was 5 hours late on arrival. Our lodging at Kings Camp was the absolute lap of luxury and the guides, trackers and hotel staff were wonderful. We were also pleased with other arrangements at Victoria Falls and Chobe. We saw all of the 'big five' and so much more - birds of every color, animals small and large. I would definitely use them again.
Travel Advisor:  Joan Smith
  Loading comments. Please wait...

Flawless

By: Tom


Reviewed on: 09 Aug 2018

We have done two trips to South/Central America planned by Big Five. Both have been filled with activities and multiple destinations. Big Five provides a detailed itinerary which is flawlessly executed. Representatives are on hand and on time when promised. Reservations are in place and we are welcomed upon arrival. Transportation from jeeps, to rafts, to small planes are in place and on time. Everything comes together perfectly. I'm confident there is a lot of behind the scenes calling and confirming going on during the trip but we just experience the wonder of the locations with no logistical responsibilities or problems. Oh, and the trips themselves have been amazing, activity-filled vacations delivering what we requested and more than we expected!
Travel Advisor:  Mary Jean Thompson
  Loading comments. Please wait...

Great trip

By: sai


Reviewed on: 09 Aug 2018

This was our first time traveling with Big Five. They were very responsive from the planning stage to during the trip. Could not have been better!
Travel Advisor:  Jane Rosenkrantz
  Loading comments. Please wait...

Africa

By: Sunny


Reviewed on: 10 Sep 2018

Very good-all experiences were favorable-tour guides were good and on time and very pleasent
Travel Advisor:  Pam Anderson
  Loading comments. Please wait...

Big Five gets a high five

By: Dee


Reviewed on: 20 Oct 2018

Very impressive travel documents to prepare us for our South Africa adventure. Greatly appreciated the hotel upgrade to the Royal Livingstone. I’m sure they can’t guarantee upgrades but it was a very nice surprise.
Travel Advisor:  Arlene Humble
  Loading comments. Please wait...

South Africa

By: Lindale


Reviewed on: 27 Oct 2018

Excellent guide
Travel Advisor:  Arlene Humble
  Loading comments. Please wait...

Recent Africa trip

By: Tls


Reviewed on: 09 Nov 2018

Big five arranged an absolutely fantastic trip for us. All the arrangements worked very well, the pickups and local information were great, the camps were wonderful and perfectly chosen, and also all had their unique qualities. We had a fantastic wildlife viewing and got to see animal wildlife and desert adaptations. It was exactly the trip we had hoped for. Thank you Big Five!
Travel Advisor:  Lynn Klinger
  Loading comments. Please wait...

Definitely

By: Maddy


Reviewed on: 13 Nov 2018

Have used this company before and would again
Travel Advisor:  Arlene Humble
  Loading comments. Please wait...

South Africa and Beyond

By: Leslie


Reviewed on: 20 Dec 2018

We have been on many trips but this was one of the best.it was very well organized and there were no problems. The guides and drivers were excellent. We were always met when we were supposed to be and felt well looked after. The accommodations were all lovely and the various activities and excursions were incredible. Would love to do it all over again.
Travel Advisor:  Deanna Sutherland - Rigby
  Loading comments. Please wait...

big five

By: Me


Reviewed on: 30 Dec 2018

I would recommend Big Five - there were a couple of issues related to travel within Chile since the airport in Santiago is so messed up with the construction. however, the 2 lodges I was set up with in Pucon and San Pedro de Atacama were excellent and the excursions were fantastic. Almost everything was thought of and anticipated.
Travel Advisor:  Michael King
  Loading comments. Please wait...

A great guide makes a trip

By: CT Traveler


Reviewed on: 08 Jan 2019

Big Five helped our travel agent plan our trip to Peru. They matched us with Chris and Lalo - our amazing guide and driver. Chris is fun, knowledgeable, easy to spend time with and knows people everywhere. Lalo is a great driver (and the roads in the Cusco area are not easy!) and super nice. This team helped make our trip one we will never forget. Additionally, Big Five made some great suggestions for family activities - like rafting and horseback riding - that everyone enjoyed!
Travel Advisor:  Debbie Hires
  Loading comments. Please wait...

Egypt- Big 5

By: fjr


Reviewed on: 11 Jan 2019

The best thing about Big 5 is I don't have to think about anything- it's already done from the minute I land (For example entrance visa and hotel keys handed to me literally right off the flight). The guides are incredibly knowledgeable and the drivers great. Nothing is left to chance, or for me to figure out.
Travel Advisor:  Betsy Bouche
  Loading comments. Please wait...

Excellent Tour & Accommodations

By: The Great One


Reviewed on: 08 Mar 2019

Big Five was great and ensured our trip went smoothly. At no time, were we concerned about any phase of our trip. Their concierge service stayed in contact with us the entire trip and made sure we were aware of each step of the itinerary as the trip progressed. They have a reputation as being the best and we were never disappointed.
Travel Advisor:  Judy Gauthier
  Loading comments. Please wait...

We LOVED our trip!

By: Kate


Reviewed on: 22 Mar 2019

We had such an amazing experience in Morocco with Big Five. Our guide Jamal was absolutely amazing. We cried when we left him at the airport. He was so wonderful and knowledgeable. He made the trip unforgettable. And our driver Mohammed was also incredibly warm, professional and helpful. Big Five hit this trip out of the park. Huge thank you from our family..we will not forget this trip ever!
Travel Advisor:  Michelle Orr
  Loading comments. Please wait...

Peru & Ecuador Spring Break

By: Chris Mansfield


Reviewed on: 15 Apr 2019

Our experience in Peru and Ecuador was excellent. Big Five Tours really made our trip special -- guides were highly informative and personable, and we were met on time each and every day of our trip. Loved it!
Travel Advisor:  Shelley Rapp
  Loading comments. Please wait...

Great On Details

By: Ron


Reviewed on: 13 Apr 2019

We were extremely please with Big Five Tours for their assistance in planning and completing a tour of Morocco. Greetings and departures at airport was best we have experienced. Our itinerary was followed exactly and all details handled nicely. Great guide and driver, We would recommend using Big Five Tours.
Travel Advisor:  Sandra Staples
  Loading comments. Please wait...

Absolute Perfection!

By: Jen


Reviewed on: 19 Apr 2019

From the moment we arrived in Casablanca, we experienced pure perfection. Global Concierge services at all airports, 24/7 guide, Jamal, that was incredible and went above and beyond his job to make our trip memorable, perfect agenda and timing, superb accommodation suggestions including Richard Branson’s Kasbah, Agafay desert camp, and roads in Marrakech and Fes! Our camel riding, mule trekking, sidecar excursion thru Marrakech, cooking with Berbers in the Atlas Mountains, reservations at grand venues and contact throw out our trip! Everyone at Big Five deserves a high five for their work on our great trip! Thanks!
Travel Advisor:  Clare Isquith
  Loading comments. Please wait...

Loved Big 5....what a first class outfit

By: travelgirl53


Reviewed on: 30 May 2019

Big 5 was amazing. They met us at the airport, knew who we were through passport photos. They had an excellent guides, loads of fun, and absolute perfect tours during the whole trip. Every single guide we had was fun, very knowledgeable, and took excellent care of us
Travel Advisor:  Ken Neibaur
  Loading comments. Please wait...

Great Tour Operator

By: NF


Reviewed on: 29 Jul 2019

Big Five arranged a wonderful sightseeing trip to India. They provided excellent service from start to finish: planning, modifications to itinerary, support, followup. The trip was fantastic because they paid attention to every detail. The communication and support was great. I highly recommend Big Five for tour planning and will definitely use them again in the future.
Travel Advisor:  Sylvia Porter
  Loading comments. Please wait...