smarTours is a leading provider of direct-to-consumer, affordable travel experiences to exotic global destinations. The Company offers travelers curated, pre-packaged itineraries to over 40 destinations across the globe. By offering tours directly to consumers, the Company provides premium-quality experiences at value prices, and as a result, has cultivated a highly passionate and loyal community of repeat travelers. More than 200,000 travelers have taken a smarTours trip since the founding of the Company in 1996. smarTours is… the smarter way to see the world.
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"The tour was very busy and we saw a lot. There were quite a few dinners included which we liked. Our tour guide was ok but he did not post our itinerary in the hotels, nor did he see to it that we all knew what was going on. Sometimes we couldn't hear him in the bus. That was a little frustrating.
But overall, the tour was "a lot of bang for the buck"."
"Our trip to Italy was sensational! The sights, the food, the hotels and our group was fantastic! Our tour guide Ambra was the most intelligent, kind and caring woman! She went above and beyond and we are hoping that she will be our guide on our next Smartour! We have made friends on this trip that will last a life time!!! Thank you!!!"
"Our tour to Bali and Java with Smartours was very enjoyable and more relaxing than other destinations that we have traveled. Our tour director "Jack" spoke excellent English and was able to answer all of our questions. All of the hotels exceeded our expectations and probably had the best included breakfasts of any of the many guided tours we have taken. After seeing the somewhat chaotic traffic particularly in Java we were thankful to be in a comfortable motor coach with an experienced driver. Two highlights: the worlds largest Buddhist temple, Borobudur, was amazing at sunrise. Shortly after sunup the small crowd disappeared and we stayed long enough to have the massive temple to just the Smartours group to explore in detail. Secondly, the whitewater rafting optional tour near Ubud is not to be missed. Rafting in the tropical waters of Bali is so much more comfortable then the snow melt filled rivers of the Colorado Rockies.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------"
"As usual, hotels were good, food was good. For me, I was unhappy that we spent a day each to travel from one capital to the other; three days in total. It meant that we had less time in each city. This was particularly evident in Vienna, where were really had only one full day, so I had little time to see the museums. [I would suggest travelling at night and arriving in each city in the morning].
Our Tour Manager was Renata Mikulovska. She was sublime. Professional, patient, organized, funny, compassionate. And most important, she shared her knowledge as if it was her first tour… she imparted information to a group of adults who were seeing the treasures of each city as novices. I am sure that she’s done this trip tens of times; yet her delivery was never stale. A true talent.
I travel alone; yet I never felt that way. This group was wonderful; the best from the three tours I have taken. And I know that I have made many new friends with whom I would love to meet on future SmarTours destinations."
"My husband & I enjoyed our tours to some really unique places on this Best of Bali & Java Smartours trip. Seeing Borobudur at sunrise was definitely the highlight in Java.
Our tour guide Jack was so knowledgeable & accommodating - he did a fantastic job for us.
The hotels were lovely, especially the Hotel Nikko Bali at Benoa Beach.
The only downside to our trip was the Cathay Pacific flight. Seats were 10 across on a Boeing 777 & extremely close to the seat in front. For a 15+ hour flight between LAX & Hong Kong, this is intolerable. Never again want to fly Cathay Pacific on a long-haul flight."
"This is the second Smartours tour I have been on, I would recommend them to anyone. I would advise people to check carefully the activity level of each trip. There were several people who could not do the planned activities.
I find Smartours very organized and well planned.
Our tour guide for the cruise portion, Granville Warner was exceptional! He went above and beyond to see that all members were accommodated! He was simply fabulous!"
"Smart tours acomplish almos all of my expectations in our tour to China; efficient, effective and trustworthy. We went to all the cities and places as planned. We end up the tour feeling that we really met China, its culture, history and development."
"It was our 3rd trip with Smartours. Previously South Africa , Machu Picchu and the Galapagos islands, all excellent.
Our Guide UT was fantastic. Took pictures of the group everyday and uploaded them to lour smart phones. Extremely knowledgeable with a great sense of humor.
The itinerary was well thought out and spaced properly. The hotels were all 4 & 5*'s.
We have booked 2 more tours, Egypt & Morocco."
"Our tour was great. Not only Turkey is a wonderful place to visit but our guide, Mehmet as well as our driver, another Mehmet, made the place come alive. The attention to detail and willingness to help, answers questions and satisfy all requests was the best we have ever had in any tour. The hotels were good and the food, sometimes better than others but still adequate. The only thing was the long bus rides... Going back to Istanbul was a full day affair, too long.... It was a good value for the money and we would recommend this tour highly!"
"SmarTours South American Odyssey was a terrific itinerary, we had a cohesive group who loved every minute of it, together and individually! We had great guides, very informative and very funny! Plus there were a few very adventurous activities added that were outstanding!!! Loved this tour!!!"
"It is one of the best travel agencies we have encountered. Their tours are very complete include most of the attractions , their hotels are very good and have excellent guides. We have taken 12 tours with this company."
"Our SmarTours group was 10 people, which made it a pleasure. Our guides went from good (Patricia in Chile) to very good (Mariano in Argentina) to pretty bad (Natalia in Buenos Aires). Food was occasionally good (two Estancias and all hotel breakfasts) and occasionally bad (hotel in Puerto Natale) or nonexistent (early breakfast in Santiago before a flight to Punta Arenas with no food available). The excursions were all very good, especially the penguins and the sheep shearing/lunch). We were very fortunate to see glaciers in excellent weather, plus glimpses of the splendid mountains between the clouds. Our guides should certainly have known that Argentina limits the amount of local cash we could get from the ATMs. Many of us walked from bank to bank, wasting a lot of time, only to learn online, later, that cash would not be forthcoming. Advance warning would have helped a lot. Having limited cash severely cut into tips for our guides, our drivers, hotel staff, and servers in restaurants."
"Overall, the South Africa tour was INCREDIBLE and our tour guide, JEREMY POOLE was organic, knowledgeable, incisive, passionate, and patient. Highlights included the natural beauty of South Africa, interacting with the cheetahs in Hsuhsului Preserve, seeing the BIG FIVE in one afternoon, and all things Mandela—from visiting his home in Soweto to going to the apartheid museum, and then, on an optional trip to Pretoria, seeing the courthouse he was held in and the cell where he wrote the Freedom Charter on the wall.
Negatives were as follows:
1–the small van we were in for most of the tour. We were told that we would have a BUS that had bathroom facilities on it. However, because there were only 12 on this tour, I guess that SmarTours decided to economize and we had a van that could seat 15 people, albeit uncomfortably. Two seats were situated over the wheel well, which made it difficult for anyone to sit there. Additionally, the seats were uncomfortably narrow, and the seatbelts dug into the bones of my rear. Two people on this trip suffered from Crohn’s disrase and one had an episode on the bus. It took a while to find a restroom for him, and while he remained good natured, if the bus had the promised facilities, he would not have had to go through this public embarrassment. For the last two days of the trip, in Johannesburg, we had the promised bus and then on the optional tour—with only seven of us—we had a van which had much wider comfortable seats (and a narrower aisle—which was a much better use of space.)
2–while the hotel in Cape Town was lovely and modern, it was in a HORRIBLE section of town. I was traveling with another woman, and when the hotel manager asked us our evening plans—which would have involved walking two blocks—he advised against it, and offered us a ride in the hotel limo—suggesting that we call him when we finished dinner so he could send a car to bring us home. The amount of homeless and drug addicts around the hotel was appalling. Needless to say, my friend and I opted for a restaurant across the street from the hotel—where Mr Poole wound up dining as well. The presence of so many security guards and warnings sent out red flags. Yet despite the precautions, an unbalanced homeless woman somehow got into the grounds and into the pool where she yelled for hours. Once I determined she was not being attacked, I went to bed, but several others on the tour were kept awake until the fire department took her away in an ambulance around midnight.
3- Swaziland. Why did we go there??! And the hotel was HIDEOUS. Mildew, tipped carpeting, stains on just about everything...disgusting in every way. I don’t know who awards stats but this one shouldn’t have any."
"I believe SmarTours need to include all expenses in the total cost. Too many expense after arriving to include the tips. Too many mornings up by 1:00 or 5:00 am to get to see everything. We felt rush throughout the trip with little or no personal time to rest."
"The tour was exceptional for the following reasons:
1. Great tour guide with superb explanations relating historical context to the activities and sights seen.
2. Great explanation of safari animals by the guides with the ability to see the big 5 in all reserves visited.
3. Excellent food and good accommodations.
4. Victoria Falls is a must see with the tour of Chobe park in Botswana a must see!
5. The only minor criticism I would offer is that the optional tours could have been better described and explained during the planning phase but the tour director more than made up for this with good explanations and descriptions."
"Glad you added Costa Rica!
We had a fantastic trip, with a great guide, Victor, and driver Jose. The other people on the trip were also great to travel with, thankfully!
Beautiful country and people. Love Costa Rica."
"The trip as all the Smartours was amazing! Our tour director Henry and all of his associates were very knowledgeable, helpful and professional!
Every trip I take with Smartours I come back and say Trip if a Lifetime but then I take another Smartour trip and it is equally incredible!!!"
"We both found the tour as well as all of the guides very informative and personable. Harry Sun was THE BEST!!! We did have a small problem on our return to the US. The flight coming from HK to Shanghai was a little late and we missed the connection. The airline put us all (8) up in a hotel and flew us out the next day. Other than that, everything was perfect."
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