Holiday review by Shirley Chapman

Name: Shirley Chapman

Date of trip: 15/01/2018

Number of people: 2

We’re we very impressed with the high standards of respect for nature and wildlife throughout our trip. The Napo wildlife centre was beautiful and we saw more wildlife than we had ever dreamed of. The area has been managed so well by the local community that animals were not afraid of humans and the guides were highly skilled at spotting things and enabling us to get close without disturbing them. Although the weather was not kind to us in the Andes section of our trip our guide was able to lead us on some beautiful walks, encouraged us to cycle and Banos and I somehow found myself doing a zip wire ride over the canyon that I certainly hadn’t planned to do! Unforgettable! Galapagos was very special. Standing in Fernandinho surrounded by iguanas, crabs, birds was stunning, as though we were on the edge of the world. The snorkelling was magical, I never expected to be swimming with sea lions, turtles and penguins in one day.

  • Patio Andaluz

     

  • King room at Patio Andaluz

     

  • Courtyard restaurant at Patio Andaluz

     

  • Artwork at Patio Andaluz

     

  • Napo Wildlife Centre from the lake

     

  • Parrot clay lick near Napo Wildlife Centre

     

  • Boat trip at Napo Wildlife Centre

     

  • Caiman near Napo Wildlife Centre

     

  • San Agustin de Callo

     

  • Bedroom at San Agustin de Callo

     

  • San Agustin de Callo dining

     

  • Horses at San Agustin de Callo

     

  • Hacienda Manteles main house

     

  • Horse riding at Hacienda Manteles

     

  • Hacienda Manteles junior suite

     

  • The lounge at Hacienda Manteles

     

  • Hacienda Abraspungo

     

  • Bedroom at Hacienda Abraspungo

     

  • Hacienda Abraspungo rooms

     

  • Hacienda Abraspungo and gardens

     

  • Grand Hotel

     

  • Bedroom at Grand Hotel

     

  • Grand Hotel outdoor pool

     

  • Grand Hotel lobby

     

  • Relaxing on deck on Mary Anne

     

  • Sunset through the rigging on Mary Anne

     

  • Mary Anne under sail

     

Tribes Overall:

It was a wonderful holiday and exceeded my expectations

Tribes Service:

All advice and documentation was timely and precise.
Thanks for providing a varied and interesting schedule and linking us with the ground handler in Ecuador

Guides:

Our guide was extremely knowledgable about nature, history, economics and culture in Ecuador. He was a good safe driver and went out of his way to ensure that we did the sort of activities we wanted to do in the easiest way possible. Most importantly given that we were with him for nearly two weeks he was good company but knew when to leave us to do things independently and privately.

Social & Environmental Responsibility:

Both the Napo Wildlife centre and Galapagos trips were run by local communities who had benefited from input from overseas to start their businesses but were now being run exclusively by locals. We were impressed that Ecuador starts tourism education in schools and that eco tourism is high on the agenda.


The places you stayed

Patio Andaluz

Patio Andaluz

Ecuador

Room very nice but the public spaces in the hotel were very cold.


Napo Wildlife Centre from the lake

Napo Wildlife Centre

Ecuador

Beautiful from the moment we were collected at Coca to the end. All staff were very knowledgeable and went out of their way to ensure we got the most from our trip. We liked the fact that we were only 3 in our canoe with a guide and local paddler and spotter but the communal eating meant that we met people at mealtimes and in the bar to share experiences. Excellent food.
A very special place.


San Agustin de Callo

San Agustin de Callo

Ecuador

We arrived on a cold day to find log fires lit in our bedroom and bathroom. Beautiful rooms set around a courtyard built around old Inca walls. Very special atmosphere in the Inca dining room.
No choice on the menu but the food was beautifully cooked and the local staff lovely.
We met the owner who is continuing to restore this beautiful and historic building and was happy to tell us about the history of the hacienda over a glass of wine.


Hacienda Manteles main house

Hacienda Manteles

Ecuador

Rooms not as described in brochure. They have built modern rooms in the garden with big picture windows looking out to the volcano(sadly in cloud all the time)
We were the only guests the night we were there and they were not quite prepared but the food was homely and freshly prepared.


Hacienda Abraspungo

Hacienda Abraspungo

Ecuador

Nice room, busy buzzing restaurant. Good breakfast at 5.30 in the morning!


Grand Hotel

Grand Hotel

Ecuador

Very corporate hotel but there is little choice in Guayaquil. Not safe to be walking out at night and we were given very strict instructions which streets were patrolled by police and therefore where it was safe to walk. Food very average


Relaxing on deck on Mary Anne

Mary Anne

Galapagos Islands

The crew and public areas of the boat were wonderful but this is not quite the luxury boat is was made out to be. The cabins are all below decks and although the ensuite bathrooms were all good with plenty of hot water, they were very noisy as the engine, generators and air conditioning were going all night. Air conditioning had no temperature control. Bed linen was too small for the beds so we did not sleep well.
The food was extremely good, the wildlife guides, panga drivers and general camaraderie amongst the crew and guests wonderful. We ended the holiday by teaching the crew Scottish reels while they taught us samba dancing.