Holiday review by John & Jane Marchant
Name: John & Jane Marchant
Date of trip: 09/04/2017
Number of people: 2
Where to start! Arriving at the Napo Wildlife Centre in the dark after our journey in an open canoe in the pouring rain to be met with umbrellas and mugs of delicious hot chocolate was something special! Galapagos was extraordinary - everything we hoped for and more. The contrast between the islands, and the special encounters with wildlife both on land and in the water were very special. Perhaps the most abiding memory would be watching the swallow-tailed gulls hunting at night by the boat while we were trying to make sense of an equatorial night sky. In the cloud forest the numerous hummingbirds were a constant entertainment, even during the afternoon downpours!
What an adventure. We haven't been on this kind of holiday before, with everything planned and organised for us - it was great. We were particularly impressed with how smooth all the transitions were (apart from the last one - see below!)
We are new to package birding holidays and were grateful to Rory for answering our naive questions.
In Quito we were well looked after by Esteban and Gloria, who met us, showed us round and were ready to help with any queries we had. We learned a lot from them about the history of Ecuador and Quito in particular.
At Napo, Meliton, and our English-speaking guide Delfin, were superb. They were very skilled at finding things and making sure that we were all able to see.
In Galapagos Fred and Ceci were great. Their local knowledge, assistance and sense of humour ensured that the whole week was thoroughly enjoyable.
Our guide in the cloud forest was Luis, and he worked hard to show us as many bird species as possible.
Social & Environmental Responsibility:
We particularly felt this in the rainforest. The Napo Wildlife Centre was built by local people and run and managed by them. They were immensely proud of their project and their heritage. Visiting the cultural centre also showed us how the local people have benefited from the project.
Everywhere we felt that this type of tourism was providing jobs for local people, enabling them to use the riches of the environment to make a living.
The places you stayed
Very spacious, clean and comfortable accommodation. The food was delicious, varied and plentiful with many different local delicacies to taste. The staff were able to anticipate and meet our every need.
The accommodation was spacious and comfortable, the food good and the staff very friendly and helpful. The hotel is situated in an exciting part of historic Quito, very near the excellent museum. It is convenient for city birding and has great views from the upstairs lounge.
The accommodation on board the 'Letty' was comfortable and clean, serviced several times a day by the very efficient staff. The food was delicious and plentiful, with snacks in between ample meals! There was complementary wine with the evening meal. The staff, from the Captain down, were friendly, helpful and great fun! We particularly appreciated the chocolate samples left on our pillows each evening!
We only had a very brief stay here, arriving late one evening and leaving early the next morning. The accommodation was spacious and comfortable. We had dinner in the restaurant, the portions were huge!
The accommodation here was spacious, clean and comfortable. The staff were friendly and helpful, keen to make sure that we made the most of our short visit.