Holiday review by Mr. Aubrey Fox
Name: Mr. Aubrey Fox
Date of trip: 27/11/2014
Number of people: 2
The first time I saw an albatross on Espanola was unforgettable. I turned a corner and came across a strange looking, large brown fluffy bird staring back, panting in the sun. It was a juvenille. Then another, and another, and adults. And then they were flying overhead, their massive wings very dwarfing the numerous frigates, red-billed tropicbirds, and boobies. Magic.
After heavy rain, the power and sound of the El Pailon del Diablo waterfall near Banos was incredible. We got soaked to the skin walking underneath it, having to crawl through a short but narrow fissure in the rock to get close. Well worth it.
We had a marvellous 2 weeks. Our guide Paul was brilliant and great fun. We loved the trip down the Andes. The Galapagos trip was awesome. Our naturalist and crew were great too.
We initial suggestions for the holiday were very welcome and hit the mark. We liked the briefing dossier. There were some confusing details about the plane times and routes at the beginning. We should have been offered the choice of routes back to the UK from Guayaquil. We flew back to Quito for an extra night and then back to Guayaquil the following day, but all the other Europeans on our boat (2 of whom also booked with Tribes) went directly from Guayaquil to Amsterdam.
Our mainland guide seemed to know everyone we met along the way down the Avenue of the Volcanoes, and managed to charm those he didn\'t know, sp everything ran very smoothly. He also tailored our trip to our interests.
The naturalist and crew on the Beluga were fantastic.
Social & Environmental Responsibility:
We spent money at the local restaurants and hotels, and markets, and bought souvenirs from street traders, and employed indirectly local guides and staff.
The places you stayed
Very friendly and helpful staff. Lovely interior. Interesting rooms with an bed upstairs and downstairs. Very handy for the main square in the old town, though could be noisy outside from fireworks and bands. Ear plugs are offered.
Brilliant setting. Lovely room. Every so welcoming and genuinely pleased that we had come to their country. Very peaceful.
Lovely rooms. Our favourite of the hotels we stayed in. Very peaceful. Nice grounds teaming with hummingbirds. Very accommodating and friendly staff. Very peaceful.
You need your sea legs as the boat does feel the movements of the sea. However, being small, it can anchor much closer to shore than the large ships and also go to some places the larger boats can\'t. The cabins are compact but then you don\'t spend much waking time in the cabin. The catering was first class given the confines of the galley.