Ecuador and Galapagos Customer reviews
We are very proud of the feedback that we get from our trips and are pleased to share reviews from past travellers. These are kept as up to date as possible. Please have a read through to get a real sense of the kind of experience that you might have on a family trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands.
Burnat Family (with children aged 9 and 12)
Travelled October Half Term 2023 – Ecuador & Galapagos
Hi Helene and Sarah. We had a great adventure in Ecuador. Our lodge in the Amazon and the Galápagos cruise were both really nice, and we thoroughly enjoyed them. In the Amazon, our local guide took the time to paint our faces during our forest walks, and we had a lovely afternoon doing art and pottery in the local community, which we really enjoyed. Kind regards.
McCarthy Family (with teenager aged 17)
Travelled Summer 2023 – Ecuador & Galapagos
Hi Helene. Ecuador was incredible! The diversity of the country is truly breath-taking with páramo, cloud forest, volcanoes, and the Galapagos! The change in weather from hour to hour is fascinating – climbing Cotopaxi we had rain, hail, wind but yet I was sunburned. Your in-country colleagues were excellent. Our first guide Diego Jaramillo was fabulous – knowledgeable, incredible English, a Liverpool fan like my husband! All the trips were wonderful – the walks, the crater lakes, the bird watching, the horse riding, the cookery class and all contributed to enriching our enjoyment of the trip. And the accommodation was fantastic with extremely helpful and friendly staff.
Then there was Galapagos! This has been my dream destination for as long as I can remember and they exceeded all my expectations. To snorkel with penguins, turtles and seals, to stand watching a seal feed her pup, to watch blue-footed boobies courting, to be in a small boat 10m from an orca and its calf, to kayak amongst bobbing turtles heads, to watch giant tortoises graze and bathe, sharks, cormorants, iguanas, frigate birds…I could go on forever. It was out of this world.
If we were to go again (and we will), I would go on La Pinta. It was the most amazing expedition vessel with the most amazing crew, who all contributed to making our trip the most memorable ever. The guides were excellent, even to the point where we would have our own guide as P was slower at walking. They ensured he didn’t miss out on anything. The food was wonderful, and the cabin staff so helpful- I cannot fault any of it.
Finch Bay was wonderful and I must thank you for advising us to take a few days r and r after the cruise. We were absolutely knackered and a couple of days sharing a swimming pool with herons and pintail ducks was just what was needed.
I am also so glad we had a whistle-stop tour of Mindo before leaving and would definitely spend longer there on our next Ecuador trip. The cloud forest, hummingbirds and butterflies were beautiful.
Helene, I cannot thank you, Sarah, and anyone else who helped with any part of our adventure enough – it was a trip of a lifetime!
Bourne Family (with children aged 8 and 10)
Travelled Christmas 2019 / New Year 2020
Hi Helene – Happy New Year to you. I hope you had a good break and time with family over the holidays. I wanted to pass on my sincere thanks for organising and facilitating our trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos. It was the most amazing trip from beginning to end. Our guide, Danny, was superb, the itinerary was perfect and the boat worked really well and as you predicted was a great boat for us. I can’t believe it’s all over now but absolutely amazing, incredible memories. I don’t have enough words to thank you for all your help and work to organise that trip for us, it was the best holiday I’ve ever had and there is literally nothing I would have changed. Thank you! I will absolutely be back in touch when we are thinking about our next adventure.
Harris Family (with children aged 9 and 13)
Travelled Summer 2019
Dear Helene – We had a brilliant time in Ecuador and enjoyed the incredible variety of extraordinary landscapes, sights, smells, flora, fauna and people. It was a magical experience and one I think we will always remember. Many thanks for co-ordinating such a wonderful trip – we liked all the places we stayed and particularly loved the the Hacienda and the Galapagos Legend. All the arrangements and connections ran smoothly and I think we benefitted from the night in Banos as we saw another part of Ecuador and if the town itself isn’t that beautiful the surrounding landscape certainly is. The kids had an amazing time zip-lining from terrifying heights – we watched in awe…
Visiting the Galapagos was very special indeed and I hope we get to go again one day.
We really rated our guide in Ecuador, Raul Miranda – he was bright, informative, sensitive, responsive and fun, – we thoroughly enjoyed our time with him and recommend him highly – do please pass this on…
One thought that occurred to us that could have been done differently was on the return leg back from the Galapagos – it would have made sense (and saved two flights and time) if we’d go off at Guayaquil and stayed the night there and picked up the return flight to Amsterdam the following day.
Also and don’t want to make a big deal about this but our guide for the day on Santa Cruz – Mario didn’t speak English very well – it was fine and we all got by but we had high expectations after Raul.
We all took a range of great photographs so will enter into your competition. We’ve got a real taste for South America and are keen to explore more…
Huge thanks for all your help and advice.
Travelled Summer 2018
Thank you to Stubborn Mule for organising a magical once in a lifetime holiday to Peru and the Galapagos. Helene was very responsive to our needs and kept us well-informed so we could prepare adequately for the trip. The itinerary gave us a good length of time in each of our three main areas, with nice city breaks in-between.
The Peruvian Amazon was very interesting indeed. The guides kept us busy with several walks and boat rides each day to explore the flora and fauna. The Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu exceeded expectations, which were already high.
A real highlight was walking down the mountain to Pisac Village past the Incan ruins – the view was astonishing. The salt pans of Salinas were fascinating, and catching our first glimpse of Machu Picchu in the morning sunlight with a few wisps of clouds was magical.
When we thought it couldn’t get any better, we reached the Galapagos. The hotel was wonderful – luxurious with excellent food, including for our vegetarian daughter. The days were packed with two activities in the morning and two in the afternoon – snorkelling, hiking and dinghy trips. We saw just about every possible animal. The guides were so knowledgeable and friendly. I had wanted to see a marine turtle and ended up swimming with countless turtles. We visited 6 islands in 5 days. The captain even took a different route so that he could sail us past the erupting Sierra Negra volcano on Isabella.
All accommodation was excellent, as were the guides and drivers.
We didn’t want to come home!
Holland Family (with children aged 16, 19 and 21)
Travelled June 2018
Hi Helene – the trip was amazing and ran like clockwork. All the accommodation was very comfortable, well equipped and clean and the staff were all fantastic. La Selva managed to satisfy the fishermen of the family and Sixto took the boys out fishing on the lake in a boat, and was even planning on diving into the water to retrieve a lost lure before the boys stopped him!
The problem at the airport was only due to the fact Javier shot off claiming he was going to sort the luggage, then came back and suggested we carried it all inside (when we suggested we would get trolleys) then ran off again coming back empty handed after which the airport guy then got involved, until we told Javier to go, and sorted it ourselves which was a lot easier!
All other assistance and guides were fabulous and Ivan deserves a special mention for being informative, friendly, welcoming and cool enough for the “boys” to comment on how great he was too.
There was a taxi arranged by the hotel Gangotena to take us to dinner which should have been $25, the taxi driver charged us $35 (Alfonso at the hotel kindly refunded the $10) and the 2 taxis we ordered to bring us back came to $4 each so a rather inflated option through the hotel.
These were the only blips in an otherwise idyllic holiday and will not feature in our memories of the wonderful 2 weeks.
For information, we bought both walking boots and water filter bottles, but there was always ample water provided, and containers provided in both La Selva and La Pinta and welly boots were provided and worn (to protect against snake and insect bites to the legs) in La Selva and other walks on Galapagos were easy and trainers or comfortable shoes would be fine.
In short, a holiday of a lifetime and one none of us will forget in a hurry.
Thank you for your assistance and attention to detail.
Roach Family (with kids ages 5, 10 and 11)
Travelled Christmas 2017
Hi Helene. Happy New Year and a belated thank-you for all your help and patience with our trip to Ecuador! Wow, what an amazing country, we loved it. Loads of cool memories to get us through the second half of winter…. All the best, thanks again.
Whitehead Family (with children aged 12 and 14)
Travelled Summer 2017
Hello – Just wanted to say that we had a fantastic holiday. A and D loved the mountain biking and we all really enjoyed the Amazon, our first time in the jungle. Our guide was so informative and passionate, and very thoughtful about getting the most out the trip for the kids. The markets, mountains and exploring Quito were fun too. Ecuador is such a beautiful country, much more than I had realised. But of course our trip to the Galapagos was sensational. We couldn’t get over just how relaxed the birds and wildlife were with humans. It’s like being on a movie set! Thank you so much for your wonderful organisation and for being so patient as we planned the trip with you, with all our questions and changes along the way! Will definitely be in touch about what next….
You have probably been wondering how we are getting on. Thank you so much for organising it all. The Eclipse was great. Food really good and mostly really lovely people. It wasn’t full which was good. The guides were wonderful – very professional and we saw so many birds, sea lions, iguanas and sharks. It was a bit like being in The Army as they beat you out of bed at 6.30 and it was non stop leaping in and out of boats until supper time and the lecture on next days activities. However, it was completely worth all the effort and swimming with the sea lions was fantastic.
The Finch Bay is a lovely laid back hotel and so relaxing, so we are enjoying three whole days here – I’m so glad we added this on.
The Hacienda Cusin was hilarious although the odd Faulty Towers moment such as if you plugged in the kettle and the heater at the same time, it fused. However, generally it was splendid and one night I mentioned to the reception that I really would have loved a bath (we didn’t have one in our room) and the next thing we knew, I was shepherded to the owner’s suite for a bath there!
It rained torrentially for one of the days so we hunkered down with a log fire and watched captain Phillips and the Book Thief. Luckily the next day was gorgeous and we had a hike up a mountain and a lovely dance group from the University came and did a show of traditional dancing In the garden. The costumes were gorgeous so that was an added bonus.
Everything has been brilliantly smooth so thank you so much.
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Ecuador & Galapagos in pictures
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