Holiday review by David and Diane Whiting

Name: David and Diane Whiting

Date of trip: 27/11/2016

Number of people: 2

Loved the rainforest - so remote and isolated with lots of animals and birds. Scenery in the cloud forest was mind blowing - even in the mist which added to the atmosphere. The Galapagos Islands were a real once in a lifetime adventure. Even though, like everyone, we had seen the David Attenborough films to actually experience something so other worldly was brilliant. Snorkelling - which we have done lots of over the years - was amazing - the colours, size and the quantities of fish surpassed our expectations. The land animals, especially the adorable sea lions and the way in which they had no fear of humans was marvellous

  • La Casona de la Ronda interior

     

  • La Casona de la Ronda room

     

  • La Casona de la Ronda dining room

     

  • La Casona de la Ronda lounge

     

  • Napo Wildlife Centre from the lake

     

  • Parrot clay lick near Napo Wildlife Centre

     

  • Boat trip at Napo Wildlife Centre

     

  • Caiman near Napo Wildlife Centre

     

  • Bellavista Cloud Forest Lodge

     

  • Bellavista view

     

  • Bellavista is a good birding destination

     

  • Accommodation at Bellavista

     

  • Beagle Galapagos Yacht

     

  • Beagle Galapagos Yacht

     

  • Beagle Galapagos Yacht

     

  • Beagle Galapagos Yacht

     

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Tribes Overall:

The holiday was absolutely fantastic. Ecuador and Galapagos have the most incredibly varied topography from the city of Quito, the rain forest, the cloud forest and each one of the many varied islands of the galapagos. The amount of travelling involved and the time spent in each of the destinations was perfect. We never felt either rushed or at a lose end for something to do. Normally we travel totally independently and sometimes find the amount of logistics we have to sort out while away can become a bit wearing at times, on the other hand we hate to be shepherded around in a group. But the balance achieved by Tribes was perfect.

Tribes Service:

Yes. Perfect. No complaints, very approachable and all worked perfectly

Guides:

We really appreciated that Tribes use local guides. Esteban in Quito was very informative about the history and culture of the city. Also Wendy who organised our collection from Quito and transfer to the airport for Galapagos was really informative and interesting to talk to. Paul our driver was really nice, great driving and easy to talk to. Wendy who collected us from Quito for the transfer to Galapagos was very friendly and extremely helpful when we discovered we had left our wallet in Paul's car. Thanks to both Wendy and Paul for its safe return. The approach of David in the rainforest was great, having been brought up and still living in the locality with his knowledge learnt over many years from his father and grandfather was refreshing. Nelson at Bellavista was positively encyclopaedic in his knowledge of the birds in the cloud forest. Quite how he managed to identify each specific bird even in through the mist was astonishing, if maybe at times just a little too scientific and specialised for us and maybe more suited to really serious ornithologists. Daniel in the Galapagos was great. Again he had been born on the island and hid enthusiasm and passion for it all really made for a superb time. He was able to gauge his approach differenty for different members of the trip.

Social & Environmental Responsibility:

In the rainforest and really appreciated the way that the local village was able to benefit so much and so directly from the NAPO Wildlife Centre. We enjoyed our trip to the local cultural centre.So often these sorts of visits can feel like the visitor is spying on a sort of human zoo but this was in no way the case here. The demonstrations and talks were very interesting, nor did we feel that we were being pressurised into buying souvenirs. The handicrafts we did buy here are genuinely appreciated for their quality, not just as a donation.


The places you stayed

La Casona de la Ronda interior

La Casona de la Ronda

Ecuador

Lovely hotel, and what a great location. In the interesting old quarter with bars cafes and restaurants on the doorstep. Very comfortable and even during the partying outside no noise disturbance at all. Perfect.


Napo Wildlife Centre from the lake

Napo Wildlife Centre

Ecuador

Again location was amazing here. Right on the lakeside. The cabins were very comfortable and spacious. The food very nice and EXTREMELY PLENTIFUL!!! Very hospitable people and so amazingly efficient and well organised. Lovely.


Bellavista Cloud Forest Lodge

Bellavista Cloud Forest Lodge

Ecuador

Brilliant location. The hummingbirds in the lodge grounds were such a treat. Had no idea there were so many species. The food here was very good too, as was the impeccable organisation. As it was relatively cool here after the rainforest at times we felt just a little bit chilly in the rooms but nothing really to concern us and of course we totally understand the nature of the lodge and its surroundings. We took advantage of the buying the optional day trip to see the cock of the rock, ant pittas and quails amongst many other birds. Well worth it.


Beagle Galapagos Yacht

Beagle

Galapagos Islands

This must be the best way to see the Galapagos. You couldn't fault the boat, its crew, our guide and the amenities. Loved the food which again was VERY PLENTIFUL!! If you like fish and seafood you are in for a treat. Just don't expect to go home weighing the same as on the way out. We saw other boats around but none of them had the character of the Beagle and none seemed to have dining facilities with just the right amount of open air and shelter. Brilliant supply of wet suits and snorkel gear to