Elqui Valley Wine Tasting

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The tour that we had scheduled with Southern Excursions in Coquimbo was not at all what was promised. We paid over $300. The guides were not where they said they would be, and when we found them they asked what “we wanted to do”. We had contracted with Javier M Zahn at Southern Excursions for a specific wine tasting trip in the Elqui Valley. He had written at great length about a wine maker there that was a “must” to visit. We booked 6 months in advance and checked in with him prior to the trip to be sure all was still on schedule. The winery was closed when we got there, after having to show the guide his emails about where to go. The guides admitted that Javier had originally told them the tour was on the day before and called at the last minute to change the date. He obviously had not made any reservations. They finally took us to a Pisco winery that we could have gotten through the ship (ship’s tour buses were there) for much less cost. Then driver said he called a place where we could at least taste wines from the closed winery. It turned out to be a Pisco bar that did not serve regular wine! Luckily a very nice young man there asked why we were so upset. When we told him, he made arrangements for us to visit a local winery. Javier had nothing to do with it. When we asked Javier for at least 50% of our money back we were told by Javier that he found us another winery and that since we were smiling in pictures the guide took we should be happy. What were we to do? Stick our tongues out at the driver! What a fiasco. Southern Excursions gets a 10 thumbs down.

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