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active 5 days ago

Edwin Vega

I like to travel and to see new places, to live new experiences, to meet new people and to learn about new customs and traditions. Additionally, I like to try new cuisines. I love sharing my passion for Ecuador with others so that they too can fall in love with my country, its wildlife, biodiversity, people, history, and culture.

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"Jungle and indigenous communities, Highlands and the Andean culture, The Galápagos Islands, as well as cultural, historical and adventure trips."

How did you get involved in travel?

"I started traveling with my family at a young age, which contributed to my love for travel and tourism. Later, I decided to continue my studies and specialized in the areas of sustainability, conservation, and wildlife."

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"I spent a month in the jungle and had the opportunity to gain an in-depth experience living with a Quechua community, during which we rescued animals that made me care even more for wildlife, it was spectacular!"

Edwin is part of the following groups: Galapagos Islands Travel Agents, Ecuador Travel Agents
Baby Alpaca
Multi Country South America Adventure: Ecuador & Peru - 14 Days

Experience the best of Ecuador's mainland and Peru's highlights on this two-week trip. Start in Quito to tour the UNESCO-designated city center, then head to the Amazon for cultural experiences with the Kichwa indigenous community, wildlife viewing, and a peaceful rainforest atmosphere. Return to Quito by way of Cotopaxi National Park, home to the eponymous volcano. Then, catch a flight to Lima—the urban hub of Peru. End the trip with a visit to Cusco's pre-Inca ruins and a tour of the Sacred Valley and imperial Machu Picchu residence.

"Chagras" Cowboys in Cotopaxi National Park
Trekking in Ecuador's Highlands: Cotopaxi, Chimborazo, & More - 14 Days

Spend two weeks exploring mountainous landscapes in a country that's equally famous for its volcanoes and rainforest. From Quito's colonial city center to the high-elevation hacienda refuge on Cotopaxi, you'll trek through historic sites and stunning nature. Spot rare Andean condors, haggle for goods at a mountain market, summit volcanoes, and more. 

Snowy massif
Hiking in the Andes Mountains of Ecuador - 7 Days

Ecuador is famous for its snow-capped volcanoes and UNESCO historic sites, and you'll get to visit both on this 7-day itinerary. In Quito, visit colonial churches, stand on both hemispheres at the Middle of the World, and hike the nearby  Ruco Pichincha Volcano. You'll also hike the Pasochoa Volcano, admire the scenery in Cotopaxi, and browse for gifts at mountain markets. 

Quito's Historic center
Explore Quito: History, Culture, & Volcanoes - 5 Days

If you want to experience the best that Ecuador has to offer but don't have time to wander far, this 5-day trip is full of adventures. Explore Quito—the site of the equatorial line, historic downtown, and ethnographic museums—then head out of the city to stretch your legs on the hiking trails. You'll hike on two nearby volcanoes, look for rare wildlife, and breathe in the fresh Andes mountain air. 

Best of Peru Tour & Galapagos Cruise - 12 Days
Best of Peru Tour & Galapagos Cruise - 12 Days

Discover ancient ruins, colonial architecture, fantastic food, and folk culture in Cusco, the Sacred Valley, and iconic Machu Picchu.  Then hop aboard the luxurious Galapagos Legend—the only cruise boat in the Galapagos with an on-deck swimming pool—for a multi-island expedition to observe the birds, iguanas, and sea creatures that make this place so special.

Wandering through the cobblestone plazas of Quito's beautiful Old Town
5 Days in Ecuador - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

Have just five days in Ecuador? No problem: it's one of the smallest countries in South America, so it's possible to move around to more than one place in less than a week. Read on for our top suggestions for a quick visit to this gorgeous and geographically diverse destination.

Recent trip reviews for Edwin

Outstanding trip to the Galapagos · Galapagos Islands - Mar 1 - Mar 6, 2020

Traveler: Victoria L. - Local specialist: Edwin Vega

Thank you Edwin for organizing the perfect experience in the Galapagos for us. Our guide Karla was the best! She was knowledgeable about all aspects of the island and very sensitive to our needs. We had a great time and would highly recommend Karla as a guide!

Edwin Vega profile photo
Edwin Vega, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Victoria!

I am so glad to read your review and am truly happy for your great trip!

I will definitely hand over your kind words and greetings to everyone who contributed to this tour :), I will also hand over your kind words to Karla.

Of 'course, if you need any assistance in the future, feel free to contact us, we will be happy to provide you with assistance!

Take care and all the best,
Edwin

Extremely Organized and Professional Company · Ecuador - Feb 2 - Feb 16, 2020

Traveler: Lianne T. - Local specialist: Edwin Vega

I have never used a travel agency to plan a vacation before, so initially, I was a little nervous. However, it turned out to be a fantastic experience from the beginning to the end. Edwin helped me plan my trip and was very responsive and flexible. He was easy to communicate with friendly and professional. While the booking and planning part when well, I still wasn't sure how it would be when I got there. Waiting for me at the airport was my pickup and local guide, Dario. Dario was extremely... read more

I have never used a travel agency to plan a vacation before, so initially, I was a little nervous. However, it turned out to be a fantastic experience from the beginning to the end. Edwin helped me plan my trip and was very responsive and flexible. He was easy to communicate with friendly and professional. While the booking and planning part when well, I still wasn't sure how it would be when I got there. Waiting for me at the airport was my pickup and local guide, Dario. Dario was extremely professional, friendly, knowledgeable, and you can tell that he loves his job as a guide. I felt at ease with him at all times and wasn't afraid to ask if I needed anything. All the transfers happened very smoothly, and I have no idea how I would have planned such activities alone or how I would have gotten to any of the places I did. Getting to Yacuma EcoLodge was a little complicated, so having someone to take care of each step was so helpful. It allowed me to relax and be on vacation! I stayed for a week at Yacuma EcoLodge and experienced a lot of great activities in the rainforest. My one comment is that if you want to see a lot of animals, Yacuma EcoLodge might not be the place to stay. However, if you are interested in just being in the rainforest, plants, nature, you will love it. I enjoyed every second of the experience despite not seeing a lot of animals. After spending a week at Yacuma Ecolodge, I transferred to Galapagos islands, where I met other guides - Enrique and several others that assisted me and made sure that everything went smoothly. In Santa Cruz, I also had several planned activities, including snorkeling (which I was I had more time planned for) in which I saw sea lions, sea turtles, and all sorts of fish. In Isabela, my guide Pablo was great. He was very entertaining, professional, and very interesting to talk to. I did many exciting activities there as well. Everything went smoothly from start to finish, and I am 100% sure I did more and saw more than I ever could have seen had I planned the trip myself. Each day someone from the operations department would call me to check in and see how my day went and if I had any problems or concerns. There was one night, I had a bit of an issue at one of the hotels. They were very responsive and took my concerns very seriously. To sum up, EcoAndes was a very organized and professional company. My brother and I are thinking about a trip to Peru in December, and I will be using EcoAndes for future travel planning in all the countries that they serve.

Edwin Vega profile photo
Edwin Vega, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Lianne!

I am so glad to read your review and am truly happy for your great trip!
It´s nice to hear that your vacations went well and that you are returning home with great memories and experiences.
I will hand over your nice words to Dario and everyone in our operations team who did their best for your trip to work out the way it did :)
If you ever consider returning or planning a trip to Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina or Colombia, feel free to contact me again, I will be happy to help!

Warmest regards,
Edwin

Memorable Family Christmas Trip in Galapagos · Galapagos Islands - Dec 21 - Dec 28, 2019

Traveler: Jean Y. - Local specialist: Edwin Vega

My family just came back from our Christmas trip to Galapagos and it was wonderful. Since I booked the trip too late (even it was 6 months ahead), I couldn't find a cruise that would fit our schedules. So I turned to my old friend Kimkim. They once again did a good job arranging our 8 day trip among the three islands. The whole trip went smoothly and we were in good hands at each step, all the tours and guides we had were very good as well. We will never forget the experience of swimming... read more

My family just came back from our Christmas trip to Galapagos and it was wonderful. Since I booked the trip too late (even it was 6 months ahead), I couldn't find a cruise that would fit our schedules. So I turned to my old friend Kimkim. They once again did a good job arranging our 8 day trip among the three islands. The whole trip went smoothly and we were in good hands at each step, all the tours and guides we had were very good as well. We will never forget the experience of swimming with sea turtles, it was surreal. Thank our local specialist Edwin for being patient with my while designing the trip and also his speedy help during the trip. Especially thanks for our guide Nelly (The lady who lead our Tuneles tour on the Christmas day), she encouraged and helped me (since I had an injured arm) to complete the snorkeling which turned out to be the highlight of the trip.
If I have to say one thing to improve, it would be that the instruction should emphasize the entrance fees etc. can only be paid by cash.

Edwin Vega profile photo
Edwin Vega, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Jean!

I am so glad to read your review and am truly happy for your great trip!
It´s nice to hear that your vacations went well and that you are returning home with great memories and experiences. Additional, thanks for your suggestions.

Warmest regards,
Edwin

Peter

Great guides, amazing experiences! · Ecuador - Dec 19 - Dec 28, 2019

Traveler: Peter S. - Local specialist: Edwin Vega

Our guide, Patricio, was among the best parts of the trip. A native with 22 years experience as a guide, Patricio took time to ask specifically how we would like to be guided, and what we would like to do. That meant our experience was tailored to our specific expectations and abilities. Old town Quito, Cotapaxi, Qiletoa, and Banos were all unique experiences not to be missed. Although the Galapagos portion of the itinerary featured several guides, each were experts who provided deep insight... read more

Our guide, Patricio, was among the best parts of the trip. A native with 22 years experience as a guide, Patricio took time to ask specifically how we would like to be guided, and what we would like to do. That meant our experience was tailored to our specific expectations and abilities. Old town Quito, Cotapaxi, Qiletoa, and Banos were all unique experiences not to be missed. Although the Galapagos portion of the itinerary featured several guides, each were experts who provided deep insight into the one-of-a-kind wildlife and environment of the islands. Be sure to include snorkeling in your itinerary! The up- close encounters with sea turtles and sea lions were are among the most extraordinary portions of the experience. Truly, this was the trip of a lifetime!

Edwin Vega profile photo
Edwin Vega, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Peter!

I am so glad to read your review and am truly happy for your great trip!

I will definitely hand over your kind words and greetings to everyone who contributed to this tour :), I will also hand over your kind words to Patricio.

Of 'course, if you need any assistance in the future, feel free to contact us, we will be happy to provide you with assistance!

Take care and all the best,
Edwin

Anne

Ecuador was amazing but don’t hike during electrical storm · Ecuador - Nov 14 - Nov 20, 2019

Traveler: Anne O. - Local specialist: Edwin Vega

Pedro was great and shared lots of interesting facts. He was very accommodating with some of the changes we made at the beginning of the journey. He picked us up at the airport and then the next morning arrived to take us to Otovalo and the leather town and a good place to eat On the way back we stopped to buy roses on the side of the road. What a treat. On Monday, Santiago was on time to pick us up. His car was also very clean and he was interesting to talk to. We drove to the Cotopaxi park... read more

Pedro was great and shared lots of interesting facts. He was very accommodating with some of the changes we made at the beginning of the journey. He picked us up at the airport and then the next morning arrived to take us to Otovalo and the leather town and a good place to eat On the way back we stopped to buy roses on the side of the road. What a treat. On Monday, Santiago was on time to pick us up. His car was also very clean and he was interesting to talk to. We drove to the Cotopaxi park to walk 5 km around a lagoon. It was a nice hike. We noticed that the volcano top was storming and it has turned to snow within the hour around the lake. It started to sleet just as we got to the car. We headed up the volcano road which was very slippery for his car. I suggested if he was not comfortable we could skip the hike. He drove us up to the parking lot of Cotopaxi to walk the 400m to the refuge. The weather was extremely bad with snow and sleet. I trusted his judgement since he is a local guide. However, he should never have let us hike up Cotopaxi in an electrical snow storm. I didn’t realize the danger and he did not seem concerned. We got up halfway to the refuge in the storm and my husband and I immediately started to pick up an electrical charge which I did not understand at the moment what was happening. I knew it was bad and as I was being shocked and in pain he ignored these dangerous signs of an imminent sign of being struck by lightning. I immediately turned to run down the mountain screaming help me. Then I got a shock or was actually struck by lightning. My husband then got to me and rushed me down the mountain as fast as we could. I don’t know how I survived. Everything I’ve read about this situation that I now understand this to be is that it is rare to survive this type of electrical phenomenon and most people do not survive to tell their story. I know I would not survived if I’d had a heart problem because there was no phone signal or medical training by our guide. After my horrifying experience we drove to the hacienda and enjoyed the rest of our journey as much as we could. El Porvenir was awesome. The last day was supposed to be hiking on Quilotoa. In addition to not feeling well and the fear of hiking in the rain again, we asked to change our journey and went to the cloud forest to see hummingbirds and at lunch at Papallacta. We stopped at an amazing Rose plantation I found a brochure for in Papallacta. We appreciate all the last minute changes but my experience prompts me to ask a lot of questions about the knowledge of safety that these free lance guides are expected to have. We never knew the risks of hiking at high altitudes while it is snowing and with poor weather but our guide should have. When I did some research on the internet and mentioned to my guide that we shouldn’t have gone and that I was lucky to be alive he blew it off and said I should’ve unzipped my jacket? What? I expected an apology and for him to do additional research into this subject of hiking in an electrical storm. For the 2 days we stayed after, I remained in a short of shocked state unsure of my emotions and physical well being although I felt mostly well. We were so far from anywhere and I didn’t want to go to an Ecuadorian medical facility. I pushed the incident to the back of mind so as to enjoy my life since it was spared and the rest of our trip. I visited my doctor a few hours after my arrival home and have been given a bill of health which I am grateful for. My doctor had only seen a few patients who have been electrocuted/shocked/struck by lightning and told me how lucky I was to not have had any damage or death. most don’t live to tell the tale.

Edwin Vega profile photo
Edwin Vega, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Anne!

Thanks so much for your feedback!

First of all, I´m glad that the overall trip experience was positive. With regards to the hike at the Cotopaxi National Park, I´m very sorry that you experienced this beautiful place in such a negative way. I´d like you to know that all the guides that work with us are professionals and certified and under no circumstances would they put the lives of our tourists in danger. We already sat down with Santiago and agreed that he should have taken the... read more

Hi Anne!

Thanks so much for your feedback!

First of all, I´m glad that the overall trip experience was positive. With regards to the hike at the Cotopaxi National Park, I´m very sorry that you experienced this beautiful place in such a negative way. I´d like you to know that all the guides that work with us are professionals and certified and under no circumstances would they put the lives of our tourists in danger. We already sat down with Santiago and agreed that he should have taken the situation more seriously and will definitely do so in the future. On a company level, we are establishing some new standards in operations in order to increase the security and feeling of comfort of all our travelers. We will be receiving reports from the national climate and weather agency, so that we can always give proper information on expected weather conditions at each destination, especially in the mountains.

Please know, that we take your comment very seriously and will do everything to be able to avoid such situations. I hope that all in all you returned home with good memories! If I can help you with anything else in the future, please let me know!

Take care,
Edwin

Land based adventure · Galapagos Islands - Jul 20 - Jul 27, 2019

Traveler: Raeanne M. - Local specialist: Edwin Vega

We had a most memorable trip. From our conversations via message with Edwin, who answered all my queries, to Karla who met us at the airport and then guided us through her Galapagos. Her passion and knowledge for the Islands was evident and she was patient in explaining all the different flora and fauna. She was so accommodating with me when we had to do the 3x 3 hour boat trips as I can get sea sick and also helped out a complete stranger who was really sick on one of the trips. We enjoyed... read more

We had a most memorable trip. From our conversations via message with Edwin, who answered all my queries, to Karla who met us at the airport and then guided us through her Galapagos. Her passion and knowledge for the Islands was evident and she was patient in explaining all the different flora and fauna. She was so accommodating with me when we had to do the 3x 3 hour boat trips as I can get sea sick and also helped out a complete stranger who was really sick on one of the trips. We enjoyed having our own free time and Karla’s suggestions for dinner.
I was great to have someone who spoke Spanish and knew the ways to get tickets, where o go and the best places to sit.
The different activities were good but I would suggest offering to be able to bike ride the wetlands on Isabela Island so that the wall of tears could be reached as well. Also just something a bit different as we enjoy bike riding. Or maybe offer it as something that could be done on the free afternoon.
Taking into account where we were, I felt the first stay on San Cristobel was just adequate. Santa Cruz’s Hotel was lovely but Isabela Island hostel was very basic. Our room was next to a generator that constantly went off. The ‘taxi driver’ was the son of the hotelier. He was not friendly, drove like he was on a car rally and totally did not understand his clients.
That was really the only down side to an otherwise memorable trip to the Galapagos!! Thanks kimkim

Ps- other that me losing my necklace that will hopefully be at one of the hotels!!
Raeanne and Colin McLean

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Edwin Vega, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Raeanne!

Thank you for the feedback and the photos, they look amazing! :)

I´m so glad to hear your comments :) It´s nice to hear that your vacations went well and that you are returning home with great memories and experiences. Additional, thanks for your suggestions.

With respect to your necklace, we have found it and we will send it to your home :).

Warmest regards,
Edwin

Fun for all family vacation · Ecuador - Apr 11 - Apr 21, 2019

Traveler: Yair A. - Local specialist: Edwin Vega

Our planing with Edwin the trip adviser was very good. communication was flowing and his follow up on our demands were excellent.
Our guide Daniel Maldonado was amazing. from the moment he picked us up at the airport through the walks in the jungles and at the restaurants and hotels on the way. He was very resourceful. spoke fluently English and was a charm.
Also our driver Ceasar was very helpful. with our long distance drives and sometimes into the night because of change in plans. Was there on time, helping with the luggage and watching over us at all times.

Edwin Vega profile photo
Edwin Vega, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Yair!

Thank you so much for your comment! I´m glad that you had a great time in Ecuador and that you´ll be using KimKim for your future travels.

Keep us in mind if you want to visit Peru or Bolivia or Ecuador again :)

Best wishes,
Edwin