Holiday review by Rosemary, Swansea, Wales
Name: Rosemary, Swansea, Wales
Date of trip: 03/05/2016
Number of people: 2
The Tren Crucero was amazing. We had no idea about what to expect but, as my husband said, there was a surprise around every corner. We delighted in the changing scenery, the friendliness of the indigenous people and the colour and vastness of the landscape. The excursions from the train were interesting and entertaining and the food and haciendas were top class. It was easier to predict what would happen on the Galapagos but nothing prepares you for the first landing on an uninhabited island where the wildlife and birds really do ignore you and you can get up close to a frigate bird displaying to his mate or a red footed booby calmly sitting on her nest of 2 eggs as you walk past. Snorkelling with sealions whilst watching turtles and marine iguanas feeding and cormerants diving is a spectacle few people will ever experience and I felt truly privileged to be there.
In all ways, this trip exceeded our expectations. It was more than a holiday, it was an experience of the highest level and one that is unlikely to be surpassed.
The bound book we were sent prior to departure was informative and gave us lots of tips about what to take and what to expect. Unfortunately the information about where we were staying on the Tren Crucero was wrong, not that this mattered as the Hacienda's where we did stay were first class. It simply meant that the research I had done prior to the trip on the hotels, was wasted. Paul was incredibly knowledgeable about the Galapagos and answered all my inane questions with patience. I would certainly recommend Tribes to other travellers.
Andrea (tour manager) and Gabriella (tour guide) on the Tren Crucero were outstanding. Both of them went far beyond the call of duty to make sure we were comfortable on the train and well informed about the places we were seeing and and people we were meeting. Both spoke excellent English. I couldn't praise them enough - their contribution to our train experience was immeasurable.
On ERIC both Freddy and Jose were friendly, spoke good english and were extremely knowledgeable about the wildlife and the history of the islands. We learnt a great deal from them.
The places you stayed
We left our suitcases at the hotel at 7am. Surely they had enough time to take them to our rooms by 6.30pm, when we returned but no, they were nowhere to be found and it was only after telephone calls and Andrea (the Tren Crucero Tour manager)'s persistence that they were delivered at 7pm. We were not pleased. The curtains didn't draw and the blinds couldn't be lowered until we had phoned reception to find out what gadget to use. This may be a 5* hotel but it lacked the personal touch that we found in all the other hotels we stayed in. The air conditioning was noisy but at least it drowned out the traffic noise.
The food was first rate, especially when you think about the small space they had to prepare it. I particularly liked the snacks that we were offered after each activity, plus the delicious fruit juices. The cabin was bijou so I would advise people to cut down on what they take. You really do live in shorts and T shirts.