Kimkim Trip Reviews for Bolivia

Reviews from actual kimkim travelers. We publish all reviews.
4.6
(17 reviews)
Read 17 verified reviews by travelers who booked their trip on kimkim.

You can also read reviews about kimkim on 3rd party sites including Google, TrustPilot and Yelp.

Super helpful · Bolivia - Oct 26 - Nov 2, 2019

Traveler: Alicia T. - Local specialist: Milenka Omireis

We unfortunately had to change our plans at the last minute due to the protests in La Paz however Malenka was super helpful in changing our plans and giving us options to choose from.

Milenka Omireis profile photo
Milenka Omireis, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hola Alicia,

I hope you had a great return back home, and despite the last-minute changes we had to do, thank you for visiting Bolivia. I hope you decide to come another time and have more time to enjoy this amazing country.

Our driver and our guide (Carla) were great. ... · Bolivia - Oct 25 - Oct 29, 2019

Traveler: Lisa A. - Local specialist: Milenka Omireis

Our driver and our guide (Carla) were great. We even have a continuing contact with her now we liked her so much. Her English is good and she was great at explaining the bad political current climate we couldn't understand. We had to change our plans because if it and Milenka had our back as well as she could with the last minute changes.

Milenka Omireis profile photo
Milenka Omireis, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hola Lisa,

Thank you for your review, we sorry about the political situation that you'd been through during your stay here in Bolivia. Despite that, I hope you enjoyed your time in Uyuni and I will share with Carla about your kind words here in KimKim.

Best regards,
Milenka

BOLIVIA TRIP WITH DESIREE · Bolivia - Sep 22 - Oct 4, 2019

Traveler: alton r. - Local specialist: Collin Stewart

We really enjoyed the trip and Collin was great about listening to what we wanted and making it happen for us. For the most part, the trip was easy and enjoyable and things ran smoothly. The accommodations, food and guides were excellent for the most part.
There were a couple of communication errors -- For the Salar de Uyuni trip, we were not informed of any details during the 3 days, so for example, we were not told to bring suits and towels for the hot springs. Also when we arrived to... read more

We really enjoyed the trip and Collin was great about listening to what we wanted and making it happen for us. For the most part, the trip was easy and enjoyable and things ran smoothly. The accommodations, food and guides were excellent for the most part.
There were a couple of communication errors -- For the Salar de Uyuni trip, we were not informed of any details during the 3 days, so for example, we were not told to bring suits and towels for the hot springs. Also when we arrived to our hotel in Sucre, we were told they did not have a booking and we were sent to a different hotel, where they told us they had booked a matrimonial suite with one bed for us. Everything worked out in the end, but it was a little stressful and we don't understand why we weren't told of the change until after we had arrived at the wrong hotel.
For the Salar de Uyuni tour, we had been told it was just us on the tour, but when they picked us up to leave the next morning, they left us waiting for another family for over one hour and we didn't depart for the salt flats until after 11:30 am. This family expected a French language tour and came with a screaming 5-year old child. They kept us waiting several times over the 3-day tour, resulting in some rushed sight seeing and late arrivals in the evenings. The Uyuni guide was good, but also said some things that we thought were less than professional. While we understand this is "luck of the draw," we can't help but feel that this wasn't quite the tour we had arranged and paid for.

Collin Stewart profile photo
Collin Stewart, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Alton,

I'm glad to hear you really enjoyed the trip and felt I listened to you well during the planning stage. I'm also happy to hear that the accommodations and services were, on the whole, excellent.

I also really appreciate you taking the time to give us feedback on specific points where we can improve. I'll be adding the bathing suit recommendation to the info right away! I'm sorry about the miscommunication with the hotel. That was our mistake, and I'm sure it was frustrating after... read more

Hi Alton,

I'm glad to hear you really enjoyed the trip and felt I listened to you well during the planning stage. I'm also happy to hear that the accommodations and services were, on the whole, excellent.

I also really appreciate you taking the time to give us feedback on specific points where we can improve. I'll be adding the bathing suit recommendation to the info right away! I'm sorry about the miscommunication with the hotel. That was our mistake, and I'm sure it was frustrating after a long day of travelling. And in Uyuni, I'm sorry to hear the group was less than ideal.

I hope you're return to the US went smoothly and that you brought away some great memories and photos from Bolivia!

Collin

Ari

Adeventure trip. · Bolivia - Aug 1 - Aug 11, 2019

Traveler: Ari F. - Local specialist: Milenka Omireis

Milenka was great and we had an awesome trip. We are 3 adults in our 30s and we really loved our time in the Pampas we stayed in Mashapique Eco Lodge and had an awesome guide named Wilman! Death Road, Tocana Coca Village, La Paz and Coroico, were soooo nice. Our guide in La Paz area David was THE BEST.

We also loved seeing the Salt Flats and Desert. The one issue here was that our guide Jaime in the Uyuni area really wasn't good. He rushed us and didn't really explain things well and was... read more

Milenka was great and we had an awesome trip. We are 3 adults in our 30s and we really loved our time in the Pampas we stayed in Mashapique Eco Lodge and had an awesome guide named Wilman! Death Road, Tocana Coca Village, La Paz and Coroico, were soooo nice. Our guide in La Paz area David was THE BEST.

We also loved seeing the Salt Flats and Desert. The one issue here was that our guide Jaime in the Uyuni area really wasn't good. He rushed us and didn't really explain things well and was just not fun. Milenka explained that he is not usually the guide they use though. Just our guide had an emergency at the last second.

Overall we had a great and awesome experience. Highly recommend Milenka and KimKim

Milenka Omireis profile photo
Milenka Omireis, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hola Aaron,

Welcome back to your home! In name of all the team, thank you very much for your words. This helps us to keep working in provide to all of our clients a good service and we are happy that you had a great time in Bolivia!

Regards,
Milenka

Trip to Bolivia · Bolivia - Jun 1 - Jun 10, 2019

Traveler: Flaminia R. - Local specialist: Milenka Omireis

We thoroughly enjoyed our trip to the Bolivian Altiplano. Milenka was very good at planning the trip for our group of six . She was available for help and tips before and during the trip . It was very easy to work with her. The hotels she picked were comfortable and in great locations . We especially enjoyed the Hacienda Cayara in Potosi ( it was like going back in time) and the Palacio de Sal. Her guides were all very nice and knowledgeable. I want to especially commend the two drivers we... read more

We thoroughly enjoyed our trip to the Bolivian Altiplano. Milenka was very good at planning the trip for our group of six . She was available for help and tips before and during the trip . It was very easy to work with her. The hotels she picked were comfortable and in great locations . We especially enjoyed the Hacienda Cayara in Potosi ( it was like going back in time) and the Palacio de Sal. Her guides were all very nice and knowledgeable. I want to especially commend the two drivers we had from Carolina del Norte Tours , Roger and Martin. They were very safe and professional ( and helped me improve my Spanish ). Bolivia is safe and an incredible beautiful country (the Salar and the Eduardo Avaroa Reserve are among the most memorable places I have ever seen) and its people are very friendly . Speaking some Spanish helped us meet some locals who were eager to talk to us : a miner or the people in the salteña shop or at the markets, and especially Nieves who gave us the plantation tour at Munaipata Coffee.

Milenka Omireis profile photo
Milenka Omireis, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hola Flaminia,

Thank you for your great comments for all the team! I am so happy you had a great time in Bolivia. I would have like to meet you when you arrived at La Paz but I had a family inconvenient and could not go to your hotel, I am sorry.
By the way, nice pictures :)

Jay

Trip to Bolivia · Bolivia - May 26 - May 30, 2019

Traveler: Jay P. - Local specialist: Milenka Omireis

Bolivia was an amazing country. Lots to see and the people were friendly. Our drivers were great, very accommodating and friendly and handled the rough roads very well. Our guide Carla was good as well, but I do believe there are limitations to this trip based on your preferences. She tried her best to make the trip as comfortable as possible but the itinerary I believe was not planned properly. As a group, we wanted to stay in hotels (not hostels) however, it was not made clear that this... read more

Bolivia was an amazing country. Lots to see and the people were friendly. Our drivers were great, very accommodating and friendly and handled the rough roads very well. Our guide Carla was good as well, but I do believe there are limitations to this trip based on your preferences. She tried her best to make the trip as comfortable as possible but the itinerary I believe was not planned properly. As a group, we wanted to stay in hotels (not hostels) however, it was not made clear that this preference would require a lot of time spent in a Jeep on very rough roads. It's unfortunate that the flights to Uyuni do not align very well with flights in and out of La Paz. We had to stay overnight in La Paz twice because of flight schedules but the hotel, due to traffic, was almost an hour away from the airport. Once the trip really started we had a great time on the Salt Flats, visiting the giant Cacti and learned a lot about the area from Carla. Day 2 however, we were in the car for almost 13 hours because the only hotel was not close to the sights. Part of this I believe could have been resolved with better planning, and also if the vehicles (we had 3 in our group) were able to communicate. I would highly recommend if you have a large group to request radios or bring your own. If you want to see all the sights and limit driving time, my understanding is the only way to do this is to stay in a hostel along the way or camping which I believe would have been a good but pricey option. I do wish the amount of travel time had been made clear to us originally as we may have made alternate plans. Other than that the trip was good, but I would warn others that if they are not comfortable sitting in an SUV on bumpy roads for extended periods of time this may not be the trip for them, although the sites and views were incredible.

Milenka Omireis profile photo
Milenka Omireis, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Hashmuk, Jay, and, Daniel,

Thank you for your feedback. I understand your disappointment and that your trip to Uyuni wasn't what you expected. I am very sorry.

The tours require a lot of time in the jeeps due to the far distances between each site and extremely remote locations. In our kimkim conversation, I mentioned the conditions of the tour and that it was a driving tour. I'm very sorry this wasn't clear.

Your feedback is important and I added the range of time spent in the car... read more

Dear Hashmuk, Jay, and, Daniel,

Thank you for your feedback. I understand your disappointment and that your trip to Uyuni wasn't what you expected. I am very sorry.

The tours require a lot of time in the jeeps due to the far distances between each site and extremely remote locations. In our kimkim conversation, I mentioned the conditions of the tour and that it was a driving tour. I'm very sorry this wasn't clear.

Your feedback is important and I added the range of time spent in the car for each day on our trip plans. We also provide your group a refund. I am very sorry that you did not like the jeep rides, but I hope you enjoyed the beautiful, unique scenery of the region.

Thank you again for travel with us and your review,
Milenka

Darina

explore bolivia · Bolivia - Apr 26 - May 12, 2019

Traveler: Darina B. - Local specialist: Milenka Omireis

This was our 2nd time using Kim Kim for international travel & we were very satisfied again. Milenka was very helpful in building the itinerary we requested & was also very flexible when we needed to make modifications mid trip.
The local guides were all exceptional, bringing their expertise & knowledge of the area, as well as warm & welcoming personalities. The accommodations & activities all met or exceeded our expectations. We would definitely consider using Kim Kim again for a unique travel experience.
Regards, Darina & Tim Bellman

Milenka Omireis profile photo
Milenka Omireis, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hola Darina & Tim,

Thank you very much for your kind words. In name of all the team, we are so happy you enjoyed your time in Bolivia and it was a pleasure to organize the tour for you.
Hope you will return soon!

Best regards,
Milenka

Uyani tours · Bolivia - Apr 6 - Apr 8, 2019

Traveler: Shaun B. - Local specialist: Milenka Omireis

Rachel was an excellent guide! Very informative and attentive to our needs. We had a great 2 days during out tour of the salt flats and Uyuni.

Milenka Omireis profile photo
Milenka Omireis, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hola Shaun,

Thank you very much for your words. In name of all the team, it was a pleasure to coordinate the tour for you and we are so glad you enjoyed your tour with us.

Hope you can return in another time.

Thanks for visiting Bolivia!

Dave

Bolivia Highlights · Bolivia - Feb 27 - Mar 7, 2019

Traveler: Dave F. - Local specialist: Milenka Omireis

We have now returned from our recent trip to Bolivia which you organised on behalf of KimKim. As I will outline below, there were a lot of things which did not go to plan, which led to a very unpleasant holiday experience. I will start from the beginning and outline the failing's chronologically and then make some general observations at the end:

27th Feb: Our driver arrived 30min after we had exited the airport. We were the only foreigners in a strange airport and I wish I had not paid... read more

We have now returned from our recent trip to Bolivia which you organised on behalf of KimKim. As I will outline below, there were a lot of things which did not go to plan, which led to a very unpleasant holiday experience. I will start from the beginning and outline the failing's chronologically and then make some general observations at the end:

27th Feb: Our driver arrived 30min after we had exited the airport. We were the only foreigners in a strange airport and I wish I had not paid extra for your transfer. I should have simply paid for a taxi off the rank to avoid an uncomfortable experience (we were approached several times which was discomforting). Surely your drivers have access to the internet to check flights details? A very poor start to our trip.
28th Feb: Anna-Marie was our guide for the Sucre 1/2 day city tour. Although she knew her town well, she spoke poor English making it very difficult for us to understand her points. We stayed far too long in the 2 museums we visited, the textile museum was of limited interest (max 30mins), but the museum containing all of Bolivia's presidents was frankly boring and we were there nearly 90mins. I made it quite clear that we wanted to move-on, but she kept to her script. We were very bored and frustrated by the tour - I told her I liked Architecture and was keen to photograph many of Sucre's best buildings, we saw little of interest and didn't really establish much about the Bolivian way of life. We were disappointed with Anna-Marie and left her no tip.
1st Mar: Our driver met us on time to drive from Sucre to Potosi. The man spoke no English and drove like a maniac. He drove more than double the speed-limit for most of the journey, so much so that we were sweating in the back seats, unable to talk as we hung on to the car interior handles petrified that we were going to crash over the steep precipice and die. He completed the 3 hour journey in just over 2 hours. We didn't stop for photo's (one of the main reason we were on this trip). We mentioned it to Willie in Potosi and he was shocked and said he'd look into it.
1st Mar: Willie was our guide and he spoke good English and was very informative and also a good driver. However we were unable to undertake the main highlight of our visit to Potosi (the Mint House) as it was unexpectedly closed. To make matters worse we then set-off on a 4hr drive to Uyuni? At no stage was this long drive ever mentioned (it's not in our information pack PDF) and we were certainly not expecting 7 hours of scheduled driving on this day. Willie generally provided good service, so we tipped him.
2nd Mar: Jamie our guide for the longest part of the trip (3 long days) spoke no English. This was a major disappointment as he was unable to explain the day's schedule and we only had your itinerary to refer to (which didn't include any times). We missed out massively as we had no understanding on how the salt flats were formed, the wildlife or how they change through the seasons. Jaime wasn't a guide, he was a driver. We got so confused at one stage, that Jaime had to ring his colleague Oscar in the office who spoke excellent English. Oscar should have been our guide for the money we paid.
2nd Mar: To make matters worse, I contracted Salmonella and Paula food poisoning and we had to spend 2 days in hospital. We incurred a bill over $1000 during our stay in hospital. After carefully researching Salmonella, we are certain that this was caused by the chicken lunch served by Jaime. He had no refrigeration services in his vehicle (not even ice blocks). The only other food we ate before falling ill was in the hotels chosen by yourself.
3rd Mar: I had experienced a dreadful night's sleep with a temperature and bad dreams/hallucinating. I tried to explained this to Jaime at the start of our day, but he couldn't comprehend - so we set off for what would be a 5 hour drive morning drive. At no stage were we told to expect a 5 hour drive on unsurfaced roads. Needless to say at this stage I was nearly unconscious and unable to eat lunch. Tourists from another group could see I was in trouble and came to my rescue interpreting to tell Jaime how ill I was. I decided we should avoid another 5 hour drive on more unsurfaced roads in the afternoon and instead go straight to our hotel - nowhere did our information pack state we'd be spending 10-11 hours on gravel roads in a single day, this is very poor indeed. Nearly 3 hours later we arrived and the hotel owner could see how ill I was and took my temperature (nearly 40C) and said we must drive straight to hospital. Jaime drove well into the night for another 3 hours to get us to the hospital whereupon the doctor was visibly shocked by my condition and insisted I was given immediate oxygen and placed on a medical drip and stay overnight under multiple medications. I was very ill indeed and Paula was also treated for food poisoning by the hospital.
4th Mar (my birthday): We spent most of the day in Uyuni hospital, eventually leaving and having to pay a further $350Bol for a day room in Uyuni before Jamie took us to the airport for our flight to La Paz. We obviously missed numerous inclusive meals whilst we were unwell/in hospital and were unable to travel to the colourful lagoons or hot springs. At the time I was unsure as to the exact root cause of my salmonella, so we did tip Jaime to thank him for driving me to hospital into the night.
4th Mar: Laz Paz hotel was ok, but our room faced over the main road and with it being carnival we were kept awake with loud music until 2:30am, only to be awoken at 5:00am with fire-crackers - there was no double-glazing. We endured 2 dreadful night's sleep despite the hotel staff being very helpful. The buffet breakfast was very poor at the hotel - dried meat which had curled up at the edges, warm cheese/butter and the pineapple had turned brown. Certainly not what we needed with our salmonella and food poisoning!
5th Mar: We met our guide Carlao who was a very bubbly individual. Sadly his English was dreadful. He said "Oh My God" or "Yes" almost every time he opened his mouth. This was both annoying and very unhelpful as we could never get a straight answer from him. We quickly established he was Brazilian and his main job was an Archaeologist, he'd only done guide-work twice before and he implied that he was only doing this job as a big favour to his friend Tomas?! He also confirmed 100% that our salmonella/food poisoning would definitely have been caused by Jaime's chicken lunch. He knew virtually nothing about Bolivia and by the 2nd day we realised we needed to refer to Lonely Planet to get the real information as he frequently made up stories. eg in Copacabana Cathedral he stated that the British Army had robbed the gems from the carvings. I researched this online and the British Army has never even been to Bolivia and would certainly never do such a thing. The actual theft was in 2013, alleged by a Swiss collector. Such lies and deceit were not helpful. This man is not a guide and should never be employed again as one.
5th Mar: Carlao didn't take us to the Moon Valley as listed in our itinerary, though we did visit the horrible Witch Market which stunk of urine and was displaying grotesque 'toys' of baby llama's that Carlao said had been killed for the carnival - this really isn't what today's eco-friendly tourists want to see. We would have much sooner been told information such as: www.theguardian.com/world/gallery/2018/feb/22/rise-bolivia-indigenous-cholitas-in-pictures

The rise of Bolivia’s indigenous 'cholitas' – in pictures | World news | The Guardian - News, sport and opinion from the Guardian's US edition
In Cholita’s Rise, the photographer Eduardo Leal has created an exhibition of work that portrays their accomplishments and celebrates their success while also looking to inspire others
www.theguardian.com

6th Mar: We endured a further drive to Copacabana, and Carloa said it would be over 4 hours - again we had not been expecting such a long drive. Yet again the driver drove way too fast, putting all of our lives in danger and not stopping for photo's, unless I loudly shouted 'Stop!'. It was a very unpleasant drive which he completed in just over 3 hours after taking far too many risks on dangerous roads. We checked into our hotel (Las Olas - very nice) and then set off on the boat to the Sun Island. When we got there we were shocked at the walk Carlao lead us on - according to our phones we climbed 46 flights of stairs that day, something that we were not prepared for. Paula broke her ankle last October and at no stage does the itinerary indicate how physical the trip would be with quite so much climbing. We managed it, but better communication is needed.
7th Mar: Perhaps the final straw, our boat was hit hard by another boat whilst making the ferry crossing - Paula was badly shaken by this experience as the boat missed her head by a few cm.

As you can read, the whole trip from start to finish was a disaster. We requested to be part of a group wherever possible, but instead ended-up paying more for a private tour with dreadful guides who spoke little to no English and knew very little about Bolivia.

We are experienced travellers and both work in the travel industry. We have visited over 150 countries and have never encountered such poor service, or indeed set foot in a local hospital. We paid a good price for this trip, but after careful consideration I must now request a full refund for the reasons listed above.

Milenka Omireis profile photo
Milenka Omireis, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dave, I am finally able to respond to your last email. I hope that Kimkim's resolution to your complaints and the partial refund and generous travel credit you received was helpful to you and to bring closure to the matter. I would like to mention, once again, that many of the experiences you complained of were events that were out of our control and/or total anomalies, such as the possible source of your gastrointestinal problems. For better or for worse, many travelers to Bolivia do... read more

Dave, I am finally able to respond to your last email. I hope that Kimkim's resolution to your complaints and the partial refund and generous travel credit you received was helpful to you and to bring closure to the matter. I would like to mention, once again, that many of the experiences you complained of were events that were out of our control and/or total anomalies, such as the possible source of your gastrointestinal problems. For better or for worse, many travelers to Bolivia do experience food-related illness and we are very sorry that you had to be one of them, whatever the source may have been.

That said and as you already know, we do accept responsibility for the transfer conditions between Sucre and Potosi and have made the necessary follow up and quality control measures with your driver.

Respetuosamente,
Milenka

IncaTour · Bolivia - Jan 4 - Jan 18, 2019

Traveler: Eric M. - Local specialist: Milenka Omireis

The trip to La Paz, Sucre and the Altiplano including Potosi, Uyuni and southern altiplano was excellent. We had a few days to adjust to the altitude flying in from NYC and Mexico City in La Paz (we all speak Spanish so no need for English guides etc and well connected to diverse local communities). We headed of to Copacabana and Titicaca Isla del Sol with Carlao a fine guide and caring individual and stayed at the excellent EcoLodge before heading back to Tiwanaku and la Paz. The walk was... read more

The trip to La Paz, Sucre and the Altiplano including Potosi, Uyuni and southern altiplano was excellent. We had a few days to adjust to the altitude flying in from NYC and Mexico City in La Paz (we all speak Spanish so no need for English guides etc and well connected to diverse local communities). We headed of to Copacabana and Titicaca Isla del Sol with Carlao a fine guide and caring individual and stayed at the excellent EcoLodge before heading back to Tiwanaku and la Paz. The walk was strenuous on Isla and perhaps too long. Would have made more sense to visit the ruins and then take the boat closer to the Lodge. Breathtaking experience.

We flew to Sucre for a few days enjoying the amazing art of the Tarabucu and Jalka indigenous groups before a drive by Wilfredo to Potosi and trip into the mines. Wilfredi was exceptional. Both a local Potosino and from a mining family he graciously shared all of his intimate knowledge and insured we were well looked after. A trip highlight as we paid respects to El Tio and imagined Cerro Rico's impact over centuries.

From there W drove us to Uyuni where we stayed at fine lodge and were handed off to Carolina del Norte tour group with Ariel our driver and guide. Spectacular day at the Salar. And then a deep drive south into the desert, lagos, lagoons, flamingos, vicunas, llamas, volcanoes, etc at the border with Chile and back up to Uyuni for flight to La Paz.

Extraordinary trip we will remember deeply and a long list of things to look up, come back to and savor.
Milenka mil gracias por tu atencion y cuidado. Un abrazo fuerte. eric

Milenka Omireis profile photo
Milenka Omireis, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hola Eric,

Thank you very much for your kind words. It was a pleasure for me and all the team to give you a good experience her in Bolivia. I really hope you come back soon and meet us again.

Saludos y abrazos.
Milenka

Discover Bolivia · Bolivia - Jan 2 - Jan 12, 2019

Traveler: Alfredo H. - Local specialist: Lucia Berrios

It was a great trip and experience
Lucia Berrios did a great job and I was extremely happy with her services. She even provided me with a phone number that I could call. I called that number and received immediate response.

Lucia Berrios profile photo
Lucia Berrios, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Mr. Herrera, thank you for your nice comments! I am really glad that everything worked out. As always, we are proud of our team and we'll let them know your comments about them! By the way, I loved your pictures! :) Take care!

Yifan

4 days private trip · Bolivia - Dec 22 - Dec 25, 2018

Traveler: Yifan L. - Local specialist: Milenka Omireis

It was an amazing trip and exceeded my expectation! Despite I was there during the dry season so it was a pity that I did not see the beautiful reflection, I saw the breathtaking flamingo and Red Lagoon and I took many amazing photos. Andrea is an excellent guide, and she is very friendly and informative. I would say she is a huge plus for our trip. All the accommodations we had for the four days were great, and the food they provided either by hotels or our guide was delicious. I really feel I mad either right decision by choosing Kimkim.

Milenka Omireis profile photo
Milenka Omireis, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hola Yifan & Zhiyuan,

Thank you very much for your review, we are so glad you enjoyed your time with us, and if you return to Bolivia it will be a pleasure to assist you.

Saludos!

Photography Documentary · Bolivia - Nov 8 - Nov 19, 2018

Traveler: Michael H. - Local specialist: Stephen Taranto

Trip planning was good. Communication was great. I had asked for a trip outside the normal tourist trip and the team complied well with my request. The overall price was way too high for what I received. The accommodations were as basic as I've ever seen in Latin America. I can't understand where $2700 USD went when planning this trip. My goal was to find hard evidence of climate change in the region. There wasn't any hard evidence. I know climate change is hard to capture in a photograph,... read more

Trip planning was good. Communication was great. I had asked for a trip outside the normal tourist trip and the team complied well with my request. The overall price was way too high for what I received. The accommodations were as basic as I've ever seen in Latin America. I can't understand where $2700 USD went when planning this trip. My goal was to find hard evidence of climate change in the region. There wasn't any hard evidence. I know climate change is hard to capture in a photograph, but I was led to believe that signs of climate change were everywhere. And the people of Apolobamba would be able to speak of it in specific and direct terms. That wasn't the case. Lastly, the accommodations at the last night with Alfonso were extremely rough. I cannot pinpoint where I would have contracted the two infections I'm dealing with now but perhaps they were here. I am currently in and out of the hospital with Typhoid Fever and Shigella. I appreciate Stephen and Milenka's work but this trip didn't warrant such an expensive bill. Thank you. Michael

Stephen Taranto profile photo
Stephen Taranto, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Michael, thank you for your feedback. I am disappointed that part of your experiences in Bolivia were not as you had hoped for/expected. I would like to respond to some of your comments here and if you would like to speak by phone please do not hesitate to give me a call via Skype, my handle is s_taranto.

Regarding the cost of your program, in our September 17th message we explained that “a bit more than 50% of the cost” was from the private transport and in your September 18th... read more

Dear Michael, thank you for your feedback. I am disappointed that part of your experiences in Bolivia were not as you had hoped for/expected. I would like to respond to some of your comments here and if you would like to speak by phone please do not hesitate to give me a call via Skype, my handle is s_taranto.

Regarding the cost of your program, in our September 17th message we explained that “a bit more than 50% of the cost” was from the private transport and in your September 18th response your preference for private transport, despite the higher cost and our proposal to use public transport on one of the legs of the journey. You confirmed then that you were opting for private transport and would be tracking down the necessary funds because it would "let you take photos if something comes up.”

As you now know, Apolobamba is quite remote and some sections of the roads there are in terrible condition. Furthermore, your driver made two trips to the region, one to take you there and one to pick you up, in itself explaining much of the cost of your travel to and from the protected area. You also had a number of private services in La Paz as well as much farther away on the outskirts of El Alto that added to the high overall transport costs of your program.

Regarding the assertion that we led you to believe that there would be clear signs of climate change impacts on local communities, I recall you explaining to me when we spoke that this was an initial, exploratory mission and that if you found some of the potential stories and images of interest you’d be back for longer. I encourage you to return and spend more time in Apolobamba because I am certain that doing so will bring forward the impacts that are being felt in the region. There may not be wildfires and mega-storms but there are most certainly slower, less visible impacts such as soil depletion and loss and associated crop failures, disruption of cultural and agricultural calendars due to changing rainfall patterns, the rise of diseases historically found at lower altitudes and many others. If the specific families and other actors you met with during your short time there were not able to provide the stories and images you were after, more time in the area will allow you to find the ones that can, if they are willing to do so. I can also provide you with several peer-reviewed articles from the region that attest to the growing impacts of climate change in the Central Andes.

Finally, we are, of course, sorry to learn that you may have contracted a sickness while in Bolivia. While it is possible to become sick from food and other vectors anywhere in the world, in Bolivia there are often higher risks in restaurants and homes that are not accustomed to cooking for international visitors. Due to your repeated requests for non-touristic services and as we do not work on a regular basis with some of the families you met and stayed with, it was impossible for us to guarantee their hygiene. By the same token and due to your international travel experience in our region, including Chile before your arrival in Bolivia, we were confident that you would be taking at least partial responsibility on this front. If you need some tips on how to do so in the future, we'd be happy to share some of our experiences and you can also review the health and safety guidance on our website.

Once again, we are disappointed that not everything turned out as you hoped and would be happy to discuss your experiences further by Skype.

Regards,

Stephen Taranto and Milenka Omireis

Bolivia · Bolivia - Oct 11 - Oct 22, 2018

Traveler: Mary A. - Local specialist: Milenka Omireis

I can't say enough good things about our experiences in Bolivia with kimkim. Our guides were all very knowledgeable. Guida was especially good in explaining the history of indigenous people of the AltoPlano. Each one was personable and experienced. Xemina showed us the wonders of the cable cars system and let us experience LaPaz in the air and on foot. Teresa did a fabulous job interacting with the ladies of C.O.M.C.A. collective. That experience was especially meaningful, as my son... read more

I can't say enough good things about our experiences in Bolivia with kimkim. Our guides were all very knowledgeable. Guida was especially good in explaining the history of indigenous people of the AltoPlano. Each one was personable and experienced. Xemina showed us the wonders of the cable cars system and let us experience LaPaz in the air and on foot. Teresa did a fabulous job interacting with the ladies of C.O.M.C.A. collective. That experience was especially meaningful, as my son Warren is a weaver, too. We enjoyed the ladies of the collective and the work they are preserving. Elias in Uyuni was very experienced in maneuvering in the Salar. Although he didn't speak English, we managed to get a lot our of our tour with him. He provided us with a delicious meal in the most remote place in the world. How he navigated the salar is still a mystery to me. The Palacio de Sal was a beautiful hotel. Juan the driver was a professional. I can't imagine navigating the streets of LaPaz on my own. The help you provided on the last day was most appreciated. You were so prompt and flexible in meeting our sudden changes. Thank you for the unforgettable days we spent in Bolivia. Mary and Warren Aldrich

Milenka Omireis profile photo
Milenka Omireis, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Mary & Warren,
Thank you very much for your kind words about our guides and drivers. It was a pleasure to organize your trip to Bolivia and it is important for us to give you good services to you can enjoy the beauty of this amazing country.

Thank you again!

experience bolivia · Bolivia - Aug 10 - Aug 16, 2018

Traveler: ben j. - Local specialist: Lucia Berrios

Lucia was fantastic. Always available and extremely helpful. All the tour guides and drivers (Ariel and Umberto in Toro Toro and especially Carla and Narcisso for the salt flats) were fantastic. Please make sure you keep giving them work. Loved Bolivia and would recommend it as a holiday destination to all my friends.

Lucia Berrios profile photo
Lucia Berrios, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Ben & Felicity, thanks for your kind feedback! We are proud of our team and we'll let them know your comments about them! I hope you can come back in the future and visit the places that you couldn't the last time. :)

Cassie

Go back to my roots · Bolivia - Apr 1 - Apr 16, 2018

Traveler: Cassie B. - Local specialist: Marie Lainé

We had a wonderful time. Terra Andina were really good checking on us at arrival and notifying us of any changes. For me personally I loved La Paz and found Teresita the guide really informative. She helped me understand the many situations in the country and also the culture.

We found the trip was divided into 3 sections. The first being La Paz and lake Titicaca and staying with locals. We had a wonderful time in all aspects. Found Jamie and Marisol so kind and I think we ate the best food... read more

We had a wonderful time. Terra Andina were really good checking on us at arrival and notifying us of any changes. For me personally I loved La Paz and found Teresita the guide really informative. She helped me understand the many situations in the country and also the culture.

We found the trip was divided into 3 sections. The first being La Paz and lake Titicaca and staying with locals. We had a wonderful time in all aspects. Found Jamie and Marisol so kind and I think we ate the best food with them. Really enjoyed that they encouraged us to join in with activities such as picking potatoes and making cheese. Plus as it was my birthday I found they helped me celebrate well.

Then the 4 day trip round the sur lipez and salt flats. Eloy our driver and guide was brilliant. He was always finding us lovely places to eat not with the other tourists and the lunches were delicious . Set in breathtaking scenery. The whole 4 days was just amazing to see the diversity of the country. We were treated so well with Eloy and thoroughly enjoyed.

The final part was Potosi and Sucre. For us we didn’t enjoy Potosi but I think by then we were very tired. Was glad of a free day in Sucre to chill and enjoy the city at our leisure. The final day in La Paz was nice as to see the city sights plus the wrestling. Teresita was a great guide for us.

Overall it exceeded our expectations. I’m glad we went for a personal tour as would never have got all the information or places to eat and go. Thanks again to all the guides and Kim Kim and Terra Andina . Awesome

Marie Lainé profile photo
Marie Lainé, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you very much Cassie !

The whole team was delighted to organize your trip back to your roots.

I personaly thank you for the great comments about our guides and driver. It's important for us to always gives a profesional service.

Thank you Cassie and Tim for being amazing travelers !

Laura

Cuzco to Bolivia Salt Flats · Bolivia - Jul 4 - Jul 9, 2017

Traveler: Laura B. - Local specialist: Derren Patterson

The planning for this trip was very seamless. I left everything up to Derren and he made sure I was set up with the best Salt Flat tour company and day tour in La Paz possible. I had no idea what tour operator I was joining in the Salt Flats but once I got there I knew I was in good hands and they were very good. I had the best time and the pictures were priceless. It took the stress of out of booking on my end since there are hundreds of tour companies to choose from and it's hard to know if... read more

The planning for this trip was very seamless. I left everything up to Derren and he made sure I was set up with the best Salt Flat tour company and day tour in La Paz possible. I had no idea what tour operator I was joining in the Salt Flats but once I got there I knew I was in good hands and they were very good. I had the best time and the pictures were priceless. It took the stress of out of booking on my end since there are hundreds of tour companies to choose from and it's hard to know if you are making the right decision with all the trip reviews online and so on. Thanks again for a successful experience!

Derren gave me great tips on what tours to do and where to stay. He suggested the Adventure Brew Hostel. I would never had known that if Derren didn't suggest it. It was right next to the bus terminal etc.

Derren Patterson profile photo
Derren Patterson, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you Laura for the feedback.
We are so happy to have helped you make the most of your time in this amazing country! Enjoy the rest of your trip and let us know if you ever get back this way, there's much more to see! All the best.