9 independent reviews for Ecuador and Amazon vacation

Reviews for Ecuador and Amazon vacation

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review 9 Dec 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Climbing a waterfall in the jungle.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Have fun! Watch what you eat--4 and 5 course Ecuadorian food that's fresh and healthy can pile on the pounds if you aren't careful. Hike a LOT to keep it off. Bring a fillable water bottle and stay away from the ubiquitous water bottles in the hotel to help reduce plastic.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

I sure left some $ behind. My recycled water bottle helped reduce plastic pollution. Met some great people. Kitchwa family "home" stay probably helped them. (bring something to leave on the wall--postcard/picture/toys for the kids).

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

This was my first trip with the tour operator and I had some biases. Our group was 7 people, mostly mature, sociable and willing to try nearly everything. Our guide was a local Ecuadorian with 10 years experience. Hotels were good to great (with one exception ---the Hacienda, which had seen better days several decades ago). Was overall a great trip.

review 30 Sep 2015

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Hard to say as there was so much variety and there were so many memorable moments. I loved all the hiking and learning about the wildlife and plants. The whitewater rafting was special - spectacular views, adreneline rush of riding down rapids and swimming with butterflies, hard to beat!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

This is a very active vacation so you need to be fit and have relevant hiking, walking, swimming gear. There are a lot of optional activities each day, budget accordingly. Everyone is different but you're likely to find someone who wants to do the same thing as you. Bring along a good first aid kit. If you don't need anything someone else in your group most likely will - if you forget something not to worry everyone shares and you can buy supplies in the larger towns. Be open-minded and you will have one of a supremely enjoyable vacation.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

I think that the local people did benefit from our visit particularly in the jungle. It was also beneficial in the sense that they were able to share their way of life with us and explain about their culture. I suppose we reduced environmental impacts and supported conservation by our itinerary - the more people who visit the parks, the likelier they are to remain unspoiled.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

This was a fantastic vacation. Even though we could only see a small part of the country, I felt that the places and accommodation were all carefully considered and charming throughout. I loved the variety of geography, outdoor activity vs tourist about town, everywhere was scenic. I usually travel independently and it was a treat to have all the hassle of transport and accommodation being taken out of my hands. Our guide was fantastic - passionate, informative and extremely thoughtful about how to get the most out of our trip. I need to start saving my pennies for the next one!

review 2 May 2013

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Staying in the jungle lodge - in the middle of nowhere

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

It's less active than you might think. Be wary of altitude and stomach bugs - and be wary of the cold at altitude. It got freezing.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, absolutely.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Brilliant, got a good feel for Ecuador!

review 25 Jun 2012

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

The 4 days in the jungle were amazing! The local family were so friendly and the scenery and activities were fantastic. The rafting, tubing, jungle hike and trip to the wildlife centre were my favourites. All the people I met on the trip were so friendly and helpful.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Bring shoes with good grip. Don't worry about mosquito nets. They're only needed in the jungle and they are provided with the bed. Bring some nicer/ smarter clothes than jungle gear if you want to go out during nights in a city.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, our guide explained how the trip supported the school near Tena. We were encouraged to donate to a wildlife rescue centre and Ecuator science research project. We used environmentally friendly toiletries. We supported the local economy by using public transport and buying from artesans and craft markets.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Brilliant, better than I imagined. For 16 days I saw and experienced so much. The scenery and activities were diverse and we were able to meet and talk to many people living in Ecuador. The guides gave us plenty of information and activity options and went out of their way to help if any of us had a problem. I would rate this trip 10 out of 10.

review 23 Oct 2011

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

I loved the Quichua Homestay... learning their traditions and experiencing life in the jungle. They are wonderful, warm people who seem naturally shy whilst very honest and giving.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Relax, enjoy, and take every opportunity for adventure that you get! The weather was colder and wetter than I expected for September so bring a few fleeces and a lightweight waterproof!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

It will almost certainly have benefitted local people as we stayed at local hotels, bought from local shops and took adventures (white water rafting, canyoning, horse riding etc) with local companies. I'm not sure we were very popular taking local buses... it left fewer seats for locals and I wonder if they didn't think we should be traveling privately if we could afford it. The environmental impact of our trip was never really discussed... I don't think we did anything special to reduce our impact.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

This was an experience as well as a vacation. I loved it. A great mix between cultural and adventure. Our guide was a little disappointing and I feel like I could have learned more about Ecuador history, daily life, clothes etc than I did.

review 4 Jul 2011

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

I really enjoyed the jungle lodge, and all of the helpful, funny guides there. I enjoyed the 5 day festival in Cuenca.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Learn some Spanish before going so as to speak with locals.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes - took public busses, and stayed with a quichua family.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

It was really great. Maria, our guide, made the tour especially smooth and enjoyable.

review 1 Oct 2010

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

There are too many highlights to pick just one! The Amazon homestay and jungle lodge, the white water rafting, horse riding in Banos, Cajas National Park.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Take more money than the operator suggests, as you won't want to miss out on all the optional extras.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes. We stayed with a family in the Amazon, as a part of which we visited a school built using funds from the operator. We used public transport. Some of the hotels we stayed in advised us not to wash towels every day, quoting environmental reasons.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Action packed, with enough variation to fill three vacations! Really good.

review 9 Oct 2008

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Our Shaman host at the jungle homestay. He glided around, playfully and skilfully making leaf hats etc. and happily sharing with us his knowledge and Chechan philosophy. A wise man and free spirit in a beautiful place.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

No need for mosquito nets and no need for malaria pills - except for the ultra-precautionary. The 'basic' hotels were good - soap, shampoo and towels provided. Minimal walking with full luggage. Weather cooler than expected - very pleasant. Laundry facilities available so ration clothing but bring camera battery charger! The active add-ons are a must - don't miss out. Learn a few words of Spanish and read a little about Ecuador if time.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes. The Indigenous people seem undemanding and worthy of help/understanding.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Brilliant. Helped very much by our excellent guide.

review 28 Jan 2008

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Hard to narrow it to one, but an example was horseback riding up the mountain in Banos, Ecuador while listening to, and FEELING (!) Volcan Tungurahua rumble back to life. Equally wonderful was interacting with the warm & gentle Ecuadorian people who welcome you with their shy smiles, polite ways and creative art.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

1.Pay attention to the wet and dry seasons, which are the only real differences in seasons;. 2.Realize clean bottled water is available everywhere, as are most essentials, so forget the water purifiers & extra personal items, etc.. 3.Bring useable but worn clothing you leave behind to make room for the wonderfully affordable local art & clothing. 4. Practice a little Spanish so you can interact with the local folks who reward any communication with a quick smile and immediate charm.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Absolutely. We mostly used public transportation; ate local food; did a 2 night home stay; cleaned and refilled water bottles; bought food & items from local markets where our guide introduced us to new items; walked on local trails & learned about conservation efforts; and visited and supported several local cooperative art centers.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Very high. Great value for the money; emphasis upon real interaction with local people and getting off the beaten path. Thanks!

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