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Holiday review by Jackie Asher

Name: Jacqal
Date of trip: 11/05/2016
Number of people: 2
Country: Galapagos Islands

Overall level of Satisfaction

 
Tribes Overall: "Overall, this trip was simply magnificent, Tribes partners delivered everything (and more in some cases) than we expected and everything worked to schedule. None of the negatives, although worth noting, were sufficient to spoil our visits and the only aspect we would change with hindsight is to stay an extra couple of days to help overcome the altitude issues and the time difference and to take on a little more around Cusco and Quito. The Galapagos Legend briefings need to be improved to reduce the confusion and uncertainty on a day to day basis and the arrangements for those staying on for back to back itineraries needs to be changed. However, the overall experience on the boat was very positive."
 
Tribes Service: "Paul was extremely knowledgeable and communicated well making good suggestions for the components of a relatively complex trip. He answered all questions promptly and helpfully pre-departure and in the planning stages. It would have been helpful to know the flight timings before we agreed the full schedule as this probably would have influenced us to allow some extra days."
 
Guides: "LIMA: Positive • Met at airport as expected. Took us to hotel and helped us check in. • Gave us boarding passes for flight to Cusco. All as expected and first class. Negative • Seats on plane were not together but someone offered to exchange seats when we boarded. CUSCO: Positive • Met at airport by Maria and returned there as expected. Helped with check in. • Provided suggestions as to where to eat and what to see. Could not be faulted. • Driver careful, helpful and considerate. • Guide Benjamin superb – good knowledge of his subjects and very considerate of our needs. Negative • Maria's English occasionally needed a little extra effort to understand but easily dealt with. MACHU PICCHU: Positive • Guide Benjamin (same guide as for Cusco) was superb • Carried our rucksacks from the station to the hotel and checked us in • Considerate of our needs in Machu Picchu helping me with the large stone steps. • His enthusiasm and knowledge of his subject was excellent. We would recommend him to anyone. Negative • A minor point - not really a negative - he didn't have a great knowledge outside of his subject as he has not travelled much outside of Peru. QUITO: Positive • Met us (Gloria) and took us back (Wendy) to the airport, helped us check in. • Driver helpful and friendly. • Gloria was our day trip guide. Excellent English, knowledgeable and enthusiastic and considerate of our needs. • Excellent lunch in lovely location"
 
Social & Environmental Responsibility: "Tourism is a major financial contribution to the economies of Peru and Ecuador and in visiting we made a contribution. From an environmental perspective, the locals seem very conscious of the potential damage and hopefully can contain any damage caused by visitors. We were very conscious of all the efforts re recycling, for instance."

Accommodation

 
Wyndham Costa del Sol Lima Airport
Positive • Ideal location. Room large, comfortable beds, relatively quiet despite location. Service excellent. • Dinner menu a little limited but they offered to make (and made) a simple pasta dish. Negative • Cold hot pancakes at breakfast.
 
El MaPi
Positive • Perfect location. Extremely comfortable bed. • Excellent service at front desk for check in/out and storing/retrieving our luggage. Negative • Forgot our dessert at dinner! They were very apologetic! • Dinner and breakfast a little limited but adequate.
 
Casa Andina Plaza
Positive • Ideal location Near Plaza de Armas • Excellent Service. • First room on 4th floor large. • Second room on 2nd floor smaller than first and warmer. Fine for 1 night. Negative • First room got cold enough for us to switch on heater partly because windows were left open in room and corridor outside room. • Woken about 4:30 by clattering from preparation for breakfast (4th floor bedroom and dining room). • Breakfast a bit limited and cold hot pancakes!
 
Patio Andaluz
Positive • Great hotel. Perfect location. Superb duplex room • Service from reception and bell boys excellent Negative • Room never cool enough. • Upstairs bathroom and lots of hanging storage might not suit some people (going to the bathroom in the middle of the night could result in a fall on the stairs which could be slippery). • It took 20 mins from the time we ordered our welcome drink in the bar to get it. • One dinner main course of hamburgers was very over cooked (the other was fine). They offered us free dessert as compensation - a good response. • No decaf coffee - the only hotel not to!
 
Galapagos Legend
Positive • Cabin good with plenty of storage and comfortable beds. • Good guides. • Service excellent from all staff. • Good choice of good food at all meals • Boat provided everything one could reasonably expect • Felt safe on and off the boat and when transferring to/from the zodiacs • Good vegetarian menu available for dinner • Varied itinerary (B), walks, islands, panga rides • Glad we upgraded to junior suite • All extras on the Legend are put on a tab and can be paid in cash or credit card at the end of the trip Negative • Air conditioning not individually controlled – could only close the vents; sometimes too cold. • Briefings often confusing; generic videos often contradicted the guide's description. • Programme for the day not always clear – on one occasion we retired to the cabin after dinner only to hear invitations to activities • TV in cabin a computer which didn't provide the sort of information it should and didn't work properly. Some people said they couldn’t get theirs to work at all • Technology needs updating • At end of first 4 days we had to go to the airport with those leaving & hang about before we could get back to the boat. Nobody was clear about the arrangements - poor organisation which was unacceptable • Difficult to find out what the fish was that was being offered as part of the normal menu - they often didn't know or got it wrong. • The boutique on board was pathetic not that it was important • Asked to complete comment card but had to be done on a screen in reception and wasn’t available until the morning of departure when there was little/no time to complete it!

Our Memories

"The whole experience within the Galapagos islands is special. Machu Picchu is an amazing site which one has to see to believe Cusco, Agua Calientes and Quito are fascinating towns/cities full of character and interesting buildings There were too many individual highlights to list here!"

customer rating

5/5 from 48 reviews

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facts and information

Time: GMT - 6 hours

Flight time: Flights to the Galapagos Islands leave from Quito and touch down in Guayaquil en route, taking about 3 hours from Quito or 2 hours from Guayaquil. The flights land either at Baltra or San Cristobal.

Language: Spanish is the official language in the Galapagos Islands.

Visas: Not required for British travellers. Other nationalities should obtain advice from their embassy.

Health: There are no compulsory vaccinations.

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Otley, Suffolk, IP6 9JW.
Office hours: Monday - Friday: 9am to 5.30pm
Telephone: 01473 890499

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