Viento Sur Travel Agency
2KM west of Urubamba on Ollantaytambo Road, Urubamba, Peru
Viento Sur Travel Agency Urubamba Reviews
Flat out thiefs Apr 07, 2008
Viento Sur is run out of the Sol y Luna Lodge in Urubamba, Peru. My guidebook listed it as being run by two Swiss owners who really specialized in the tours they offered. I went to Urubamba, specifically to spend some serious cash with these professionals. Horseback riding, paragliding, tours of the valley, I was prepared to do it all. I wasn't staying at the lodge because it's wicked expensive, but I took a taxi out there and signed up for horseback riding. 3 hours with a private guide through the countryside, going up into the mountains a bit, a snack included, on beautiful Peruvian Paso Fino horses. $65 USD with a healthy exchange rate benefitting the hotel, it was about 200+ soles.
About 30 minutes into my ride, which was two guides, one of the guides' horses became seriously ill. it started sweating out, frothing at the mouth, and at one point started falling down and couldn't get up. the guides were extremely worried about him, obviously, and it was really scary to watch because the guide kept saying "this horse is going to die" over and over. Someone ran off to get it medicine, and to find a stable hand to help us back, because as my guide said to me, "we have to go back and take care of this". fine, i was freaked out anyway. but we couldn't go back because we were in a dumpy back woods neighborhood (hadn't seen anything yet) and a truck was blocking the only way we could get back. the truck owners were not at all sympathetic to moving their truck for a dying horse, but came to watch anyway.
after 45 minutes we finally got past the truck and booked it back to Sol y Luna. from that point on I was entirely ignored because everyone was worrying about the horse. I went to the front desk and told the receptionist what happened and that I wanted a refund. obviously i am not being spiteful about a sick horse, but i also don't think i should pay for a trip that i didn't go on. i was told that the manager was away for an hour but they would see what they could do. I ended up waiting 3 hours, with no one talking to me, no one asking if i was hungry or thirsty, or disturbed by what i had seen.
finally i go back to reception where i am told that because i simply mounted the horse, and left the lodge land, i have to pay half of the $65. "that's the policy". I asked if I could defer the $65 into another tour, do the Pisac market journey tomorrow with a $65 discount. the agent called Moises, the manager, who told me to fuck off. they don't offer discounts, i could take it or leave it.
I have never been treated so poorly or inconsiderately by what is supposed to be a luxury operation, both in hotelling and tourism. I even work in hotelling and i know that there is no "policy", that if a manager actually has a soul they can do anything they want, so I was horrified by Moises's attitude. He is no better than a common thief, end of story.
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