Holiday review by Jon Cable

Name: Jon Cable

Date of trip: 17/09/2014

Number of people: 2

It was only as I set foot on the first of the Galapagos Islands that I fully came to understand that the wildlife has little or no fear of humans. It's not that the birds and animals are tame; they simply treat us like another species sharing their world, and that is magical!

  • Bellavista Cloud Forest Lodge


  • Bellavista view


  • Bellavista is a good birding destination


  • Accommodation at Bellavista


  • Termas Papallacta


  • Bedroom at Termas Papallacta


  • Relax in the spa at Termas Papallacta


  • Termas Papallacta dining room


  • Relaxing on deck on Mary Anne


  • Sunset through the rigging on Mary Anne


  • Mary Anne under sail


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Tribes Overall:

A holiday on this scale was a one off for me and at almost every step of the way it at least met my expectations, and often exceeded them, especially in the Galapagos Islands.

Tribes Service:

The thought that went into the planning of the holiday, especially by Paul Cook, really paid off and everything went according to plan so that I didn't have to worry about such things as getting to and from airports. I consider myself really lucky to have found Tribes and I would wholeheartedly recommend you to anyone planning a trip such as the one I undertook.


The guides were generally good, knowledgeable about their patch and able to communicate well in English. The best of them all were the guys at the Canopy Tower Hotel. The exception was the guide for my day on the Pipe Line Road in Panama who was disappointing since he made little effort to seek out birds and did not appear to be as well informed as the guide from the Tower Canopy hotel who took me there a few days earlier and who in a short space of time and indeed over a far shorter part of the trail, was able to spot and point out a far wider variety of species.
In fact I was led to believe that the day (26 September) was meant to be a full day tour, but fact was less than half a day (I was back in my hotel around mid day).

Social & Environmental Responsibility:

It was encouraging to see ecotourism in full swing. I lived in Ecuador 30 odd years ago and virtually nothing was being done then - now it seems they are embracing the opportunities which in turn provides work and income for the local population as well as helping to protect what are very important environments. The Galapagos Islands are exemplary in this sense and I came away with the impression that there is a real desire to return them to as close to a natural and unsullied state as possible.

The places you stayed

Bellavista Cloud Forest Lodge

Bellavista Cloud Forest Lodge


Like the Canopy Tower Hotel it was a little basic but again it was comfortable. The staff were friendly and the guides were good. The food was fine.

Termas Papallacta

Termas Papallacta


The hotel was a in a bit of a time warp, but thereby went its charm. The staff were really friendly, the food very good and the range of facilities was also fine.

Relaxing on deck on Mary Anne

Mary Anne

Galapagos Islands

This was a fun boat to be on - far better than some of the other cruisers we saw round the islands since it had real character. The captain and crew were a great bunch, really helpful and always on hand. The food was of mixed quality, but never poor - the chef had a tendency to overcook things and breakfasts were presented in an odd order at times!