Emma and Vero
Thank you so much for making this amazing trip possible for us! It was not only fun but also so helpful, and it was all because of the hard work and generosity of Original Ecuador. We are so blessed to work with you amazing ladies, and we hope to see you all again soon!
Dear Emma and Vero,
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you have done "behind the scenes" to make this dream trip a reality for us. We are truly so thankful for all the amazing opportunities you made possible!
Many thanks for the email and apologies for the delay in replying.
Overall we had a lovely time in Ecuador and the Galapagos and felt the trip was very well organised. The flexibility to our needs was much appreciated. We liked all the places we stayed - especially the Mindo eco-lodge, which we felt was very special. The hotels in the Galapagos were serviceable but unremarkable. The nature guides were all excellent, knowledgeable and enthusiastic. Memo and Jorge were both really helpful. I think the only bits we would have changed are booking the flight back from Isabela to Baltra in the first instance, adding timings to the itinerary and making us aware that some of the hotel swimming pools have quite restricted opening hours. We had a brilliant stay overall, though. The Galapagos was just magical. I would definitely recommend Original Ecuador to friends planning a trip.
Hi, Emma. Yes, everything went well, we were very happy with the assistance we received in Quito. We felt very well cared for.
Thanks to you and Jorge for making our trip so much easier.
Good morning Emma,
Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you. We really enjoyed our birding day with Gonzalo. Our driver Jorge spoke excellent English and was well versed in the economy and history of Ecuador. We peppered him with questions and happily, he was willing and eager to share his knowledge. Wonderful. And he was a safe driver - always a plus!
We enjoyed our time with Gonzalo. He took us to 3 different sites at different altitudes with different birds. He knew where we could find the birds and knew the names. He managed the pace to our interest. He obviously had history with all the owners/supervisors of the locations which made it comfortable to be there. Loved the personal tour with the owner at Punto Ornithological - Mindo. We found more bird species than we had anticipated. We very much enjoyed his sketches as well. He is a great guide and I would certainly recommend him to anyone going there.
Thanks for organizing this and the flexibility in changing our tour locations at the last minute.
Hi Emma, thanks for getting in touch. Unfortunately, the trip is no longer quite as fresh in my mind as it was a few weeks ago but…. For the most part, I had a wonderful time. As you may have heard from Nena, I had some stomach trouble which impacted my fun level a little but that certainly wasn’t any of your doing.
All the guides were very friendly and accommodating for the most part. I felt a little rushed through the program I set out for myself but I suppose that may only be because there was so much to see and do and so little time (a week), in which to see and do it.
I wish I could have had a little longer in Baños. Baños seemed like so much fun on so many levels. I only got to explore a little of the area and I felt like there was more to see. I wasn’t totally prepared for the zipline experience on my 2nd day I think it was in Baños but I did enjoy it.
For me perhaps one of the highlights of the tour was in fact Hotel Vieja de Cuba which was really a wonderful little hotel. Very quiet and welcoming, the rooms were charming, the atmosphere was somehow South American yet international at the same time, and the staff was friendly.
The Amazon jungle itself was a little challenging for me especially because of the stomach issues I was having while there but seeing monkeys was a lot of fun. Perhaps my only criticism for the whole tour (which may or may not have had to do with how little time I had) was not being able to spend more time amongst the people who live along the Napo river. I would have liked to get to know them a little better.
I’m sad I didn’t get to hike in the Andes or visit the Galapagos but perhaps another time.
Aside from a few difficulties along the way, really, all in all, a wonderful trip. Thanks so much.
In addition to being a wonderfully informative and knowledgeable tour guide, Jorge modified the tour to accommodate Katie's increasing fatigue, rushed us to the local pharmacy and helped us order medicine, and even picked up umbrellas at a nearby vendor to shield us from the rain. We are both so thankful for his help and kindness that day.
I also greatly appreciate Nena's help last week, and appreciate her fielding so many questions via WhatsApp. I truly don't know what we would've done without you! We are both feeling entirely recovered now.
Our time in Napo was absolutely incredible. I've wanted to see the amazon rainforest since before I could read, so I came with high expectations - all of which were far surpassed by Napo. Our guide, Guido, had an amazing eye for hidden wildlife and encyclopaedic knowledge of the rainforest. Katie and I are still flipping back through our photos in disbelief at the amazing plants and animals we saw with our own eyes! The food and accommodations were top notch, and the staff were all friendly. The experience at Napo could not have been more perfect.
Even with COVID, cancellations, and a few days' isolation, the trip was wonderful overall thanks to our time at Napo.
Coming to Galapagos has been a dream of mine for so long, I wondered if I would ever get there. There were many conversations with girlfriends about going, but something always got in the way. And then of course there was the covid drama.
But finally I got there, with lots of helps from you! Thank you so much for making it happen; for all your organization, knowledge, advice and support along the way. It has been an amazing trip I will never forget. I couldn't have done it without you! So thank you again!
Coralie and I have been home three weeks now and we are still trying to compute all we did in Ecuador!
What an amazing place and what an experience for us. As you know we were celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary, albeit 2 years late!! Everywhere we went we were warmly welcomed and found the wildlife exceptional and the guides showing us the wildlife exceptional too.
Many thanks to you and Jorge for all your help. Jorge was always on time and polite. He gave us a very interesting introduction to the history of his country and a tour of the old town. When acting as our taxi driver he was excellent, please pass on our thanks.
A big thank you to you too for helping to put the pieces of our jigsaw together, it all went like clockwork and not even the strikes and road blocks in our last week caused any delay. Our trip to Sacha Lodge was truly memorable. Fausto made us very welcome and all the jungle was able to offer us during our brief trip was brilliantly explained by our guide, Gus.
I understand you know Gabriel, at Hacienda Alegria. He and Paty made us very welcome and our riding in the Cotopaxi National Park gave us the perfect end to our holiday.
None of the above mentions the Galapagos by which we were mesmerised. Two day trips to Bartolome and to North Seymour completed our knowledge on the geology and wildlife of the ‘Enchanted Islands’ and 8 days on a dive boat gave us world class diving. Diving with the schooling hammerheads and a number of whale sharks ticked off a forty year old ambition!!
Once again many thanks for all your help.
With love and best wishes
All is well with us. We're in San Miguel de Allende in Mexico. The weather is fabulous and the town is as cute, if not cuter, than Cuenca.
Our tour of the Avenue of the Volcanoes was fantastic. Juan Fernando Duran is an outstanding tour guide. He is knowledgeable, entertaining and accommodating. He educated us not only about the geology of Ecuador, but its history, politics and the socio/economic conditions in the country. He introduced us to indigenous people who still farm the land as they have for centuries. He also took us to local restaurants where we sampled the "tipico platos" (typical dishes). When my companion, Kathleen, mentioned it would be fun to take a tour of a rose farm, Juan immediately arranged one for us. The farm was as interesting as we thought it would be.
The lodgings you booked us into are top-notch, clean and very comfortable. The owners of the hacienda, Hato Verde, are warm and welcoming people. Their home and farm, which are four generations old, are beautiful and our stay there was a joy. The hotels where we stayed were very attractive. Their staff are professional and very helpful. Our only regret regarding the hotels, especially Samari in Banos, was that we were only staying one night at each of them. It barely gave us time to appreciate the impressive amenities.
The tour of the volcanoes was everything we expected. The mountain vistas are breath-taking (literally), the people we encountered are delightful, and the overall experience was rewarding. We highly recommend it.
Thank you again. As mentioned, you were lovely to work with and I appreciate everything you've done! I will be sure to pass you along to family and friends!
Have a nice rest of your weekend!
Hello Emma and Maria
Everything was perfect, thank you so much. Every recommendation was outstanding. The hotel in Santa Cruz was terrific, the day excursion with Finch Bay was terrific and Sacha Lodge was the best. Maria, you picked up seamlessly where Emma left off. I am so impressed with the impeccable service you both provided and again, the great recommendations. I'll be sure to write public reviews. Thank you both so, so much!!
Sorry it's taken me so long to respond.
The Avenue of the Volcanoes tour was terrific - we really enjoyed it. We especially liked the guides we had - both of them. It's hard to imagine nicer or more helpful people. Please tell Juan Fernando Duran that I am really enjoying the book he recommended, The Invention of Nature by Andrea Wulf, and remind him to look at the books 1491 and 1493 by Charles C. Mann, and Crises by Jared Diamond. (Clearly, we had a lot of good talks while driving south.) We didn't have as much time to get to know the second Juan, but we also liked him a lot.
We were a little disappointed in the Devil's Nose train ride. That has nothing to do with your tour, it's just that the train ride itself is less thrilling than it seemed on the web. The other parts of the tour were great!
Thank you for providing a very good tour.