Rail South America

Old Oct 8th, 2022, 09:23 PM
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Rail South America

I have come across a company called Rail South America who offer small group tours utilizing rail and private coach, The 21-day fully guided itinerary Buenos Aires to Lima with Machu Piccu is perfect and covers everything we want to do plus we like a small group, however I cant find any reviews or any information about them other than their website
which is very professional. Sending large sums to an obscure operator in Sout America is a bit daunting, but I am inclined to take a leap of faith.
Buenos Aires to Lima - High Andes & Machu Picchu (railsouthamerica.com)
Anyone travelled with them?
sharich is offline  
Old Oct 9th, 2022, 05:54 AM
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I would want to see a track record also. Not just a fancy website.There are some special issues with touring Bolivia. Not sure if it still requires a Bolivian agent as it used to.
mlgb is offline  
Old Oct 9th, 2022, 10:37 AM
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Having read parts of the website, I don’t think I would be quite so inclined inclined to take a "leap of faith".

E.g. the parts on refunds seem to indicate that once you have paid they absolve responsibility for getting your money back if things go wrong and expect you to deal with their subcontractors;

What if I have a claim or want to file for a Refund?This should never happen, but if—for some reason—it does, we ask that you file for any refund or claim against any of our sub-contracted tour providers or operators within 30 days. Resolution of a claim or refund is much easier for all parties involved if it’s taken care of quickly and efficiently. “RAIL SOUTH AMERICA” will work with you to address any issues such as this quickly, efficiently, and to your benefit.

i certainly wouldn’t pay ANY funds to this organisation by any method other than credit card which will at least ensure that you are afforded the protection of joint and several liability.

i would also want to check out an get reassurance re the financial stability of the organisation. I may be wrong but this appears to be a "one man band" which I would never contemplate sending large amounts to.

i assume that the organisation is incorporated in the USA? If so, I would check out what regulatory and trade body protections you have.

Sorry, but I would not want to pay them any money without significantly researching their background beforehand. There are lots of well established small group operators out there that may be able to do what you want. Alternatively, it can be a lot of fun to go DIY.

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Old Oct 9th, 2022, 12:31 PM
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What crellston said. This seems to be a one-man operation, with all responsibility pushed of on the "sub-contractors". Read the FAQs carefully. Very carefully.

There are not a lot of railways in SA, so much of the travel on the tours will not be by train. Strongly suggest reading the info at: https://www.seat61.com/SouthAmerica.htm and https://www.seat61.com/Peru.htm

Also agree with crellston that SA is fine as a DIY destination. I spent a couple of months going from Rio to Santiago via Patagonia independently (click on my name to find the TR) and had a great time.
thursdaysd is offline  
Old Oct 9th, 2022, 12:53 PM
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Thanks for the replies, all reconfirming my thoughts, All reviews are pre Covid, and were all glowing, and one from the tour last month which was also full of praise, and I am sure this chap puts together and leads a good tour, but it is the financials that concern me.
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