Holiday review by Mrs. Angela Frain-Bell
Name: Mrs. Angela Frain-Bell
Date of trip: 11/08/2018
Number of people: 2
The Galapagos Islands are amazing and we are thrilled to have gone. Overall the trip exceeded our expectations. This was a big financial commitment for us. The only change that we would have made was to have a more local hotel at the end of our trip ( and not add the 4 hour speedboat). Interesting for us was that only 2 of our group of 13 on the boat were originally booked on it. 10 ( including us) were transferred from other boats and 1 was a student with a last minute booking. So we felt that it is probably commonplace to get moved around on the boats and best to focus on the "overall" rather than the "specifics".Reply from Tribes: We work with nearly the entire Galapagos fleet and on any given week we will usually have clients on board a Galapagos cruise. In our experience a change of vessel or itinerary is very very unusual, but it can happen if, for example, a boat needs to go in for unscheduled repairs. So despite the impression you formed, this is in no way commonplace.
Going to the Galapagos is a big trip ( financial and far away) and we wouldn't have managed it without the imput of a specialist. Tribes gave us that service which combined the complexity of the multiple bookings and on the ground knowledge. Arriving at each destination and being met by a local hire made the trip so much more relaxing. The Equadorians love their country and are proud to show it off. We always felt safe. The trip to the Galapagos exceeded our expectations. I can't imagine anywhere else quite like it.
Working with Tribes ( Rory) took the strain out of our trip. There were a number of late changes to our plans from the local end and he patiently looked for the next best fit.
Given the revised route for the boat, it would have been better to change our final hotel stay to somewhere more local. The hotel had not been informed of the revised dates and expected us a day earlier. 2 x 2 hour speedboat trips in less than 48hrs wasn't worth it.
Our guide in Quito was Esteban.
He was welcoming, thorough and helped equip us for getting around the town. He was also patient as we tried out our Spanish.
Our nature guide was Johan who was very knowledgable. He had a good sense of humour which helped the group atmosphere.
The advice that they gave regarding tipping was as follows:
In Quito $10 for the guide per day and $5 for the driver (overall)
On the boat $17 for the crew per day and $10 for the guide.
This was on a per person basis so double the number for a couple travelling. All the staff were excellent and it would be helpful to share these rates with future travellers.
Social & Environmental Responsibility:
There is a very high level of awareness around protecting the environment and the wildlife.
Recycling was widely available.
Traveller bags are searched as you go on and off the islands and there is a $10 charge pp for Isabela Island.
The places you stayed
Why stay anywhere else in Quito?
We thoroughly enjoyed staying at this boutique hotel, so much more interesting than a big chain hotel. Staff were attentive and helpful. Top marks.