Holiday review by Sue Richardson

Name: Sue Richardson

Date of trip: 11/06/2015

Number of people: 2

In particular, I had hoped to see the Galapagos Hawk but had been told to expect sightings to be relatively rare. So, I was thrilled to see them on two of the islands we visited - and so close up that I actually had to back off to get the best view in my camera viewfinder!

  • Plaza Grande hotel in Quito, Ecuador © PCook

    Plaza Grande hotel in Quito, Ecuador

  • Mashpi Lodge in the cloud forest, Ecuador © Mashpi Lodge

    Mashpi Lodge in the cloud forest, Ecuador

  • Sea Star Journey lounge and dining area


  • Sea Star Journey and penguins


  • Sea Star Journey sundeck


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Sitting on the top deck of the Galapagos Sea Star Journey with the other guests, relaxing with a drink after dinner, and looking at the fabulous constellations in the clear night sky - quite magical!

Tribes Overall:

Everything we had hoped for, and delivered by helpful, friendly and knowledgeable travel partners and guides.

Tribes Service:

Many thanks to Guy for helping us through the arrangements for our holiday of a lifetime - we couldn't have done it without him!


How is it even possible to find a stick insect from around 5 metres distance,during a night trek? No problem for our local guide at Mashpi Lodge!

Social & Environmental Responsibility:

Apart from taking the measures appropriate to a Biodiversity Region, Masphi Lodge is providing jobs for over 70 people, mainly from the closest village.
Our guide on Galapagos was rightly keen to ensure that our group observed the rules necessary to protect the islands and the wildlife.

The places you stayed

Plaza Grande hotel in Quito, Ecuador © PCook

Hotel Plaza Grande


The fresh rose petals in our bedroom and bathroom were a lovely touch!

Mashpi Lodge in the cloud forest, Ecuador © Mashpi Lodge

Mashpi Lodge

Northwest of Quito

Masphi Lodge was a brilliant experience! 
Our luxurious bedroom made us feel totally immersed in the forest,
the hotel facilities were excellent (I did manage to find time
for a lovely relaxing herbal massage) and the staff were without exception
professional, friendly and helpful.  The food in particular was delicious,
and the wide selection of lovely fruit juices and smoothies were very welcome,
particularly after some great - but often strenuous, due to the high
humidity levels - treks with the knowledgeable and amazing guides (I had
trouble finding some of the birds in the thick forest canopy, let alone being
able to spot them in trees several hundred yards away, which the local guide
managed easily!).  We were sorry to leave for our return journey to Quito
- there were demonstrations taking place in Quito that day, so the staff delayed our departure slightly to ensure that they
could deliver us safely to our hotel once the perceived threat was over. 
You don't get that sort of service if you make your own travel arrangements!

Sea Star Journey lounge and dining area

Sea Star Journey

Galapagos Islands

Some parts of the vessel are getting slightly worn - furniture in the suite, and the air conditioning in some parts of the boat. Food rather "canteen"-like, but probably to be expected on a boat of that size. Otherwise, all great - and the crew were brilliant.Note from Tribes: This vessel is being refurbished in August 2015 and we are sure these points will be addressed by the owners.