616 messages

Iñaki Rubio

Born and raise in San Sebastian, Iñaki majored in English at Deusto University but soon realized he preferred the outdoors over the classroom and switched to providing outdoor experiences all over Spain and Portugal.

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"I specialize in the north of Spain in general and even the south of France and the Pyrenees. Hiking and biking tours on the Camino de Santiago and the Basque Country, apart from Culinary tours in San Sebastian and Bilbao, and Wine Tours in the most famous regions in the north of Spain such as La Rioja, Ribera del Duero, and Bierzo."

How did you get involved in travel?

"I entered the world of luxury travel through some American luxury active travel companies where I conducted private hiking and biking tours all over Spain."

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"Walking over the Cebreiro mountain under a big storm I met Marcelo, a Brazilian pilgrim who was doing the Camino de Santiago from Saint Jean de Pied de Port in barefoot. His smile and happiness helped me to face the situation with a positive attitude. Now in the hard situations, I remember Marcelo and he pushes me."

Featured trips & expertise

Bay of Biscay
Essential Basque Country - 5-Day Itinerary

Discover the most emblematic spots of this gentle corner of Spain. Ancient history, culture, and language, but a modern way of life with amazing gastronomy and wines. For nature lovers, you also have a selection of great outdoor activities and lovely cities with fantastic beaches at the foothills of the Pyrenees. This 5-day itinerary was designed to help you discover these great places, and learn about the Basque Country and its people.

Landscape of the Basque Country
Hiking In The Basque Country - 5 Days

Discover the amazing landscapes and diversity of the Basque Country. Enjoy five days of walking through diverse nature and local culture along the famous St. James Way — a combination of inland routes with spectacular coastal ones. From the glamorous city of San Sebastian to small towns rich in Basque history, you'll meet locals and learn how the Basque heritage has survived for thousands of years. Combined with fantastic gastronomy and charming hotels, this will be an experience that you won't easily forget.

MONTE DE GOZO
Camino de Santiago - 7-Day Itinerary

Make your way along a legendary 1,100-year-old trail and trace the footsteps of ancient pilgrims like St. Francis of Assisi and Louis VII. It's a pilgrimage through the centuries, full of miracles, legends, and apparitions at every turn of the road to Santiago. History, nature, gastronomy, adventure and walking mixed together on this journey crossing the north of the Iberian peninsula. You'll become part of the history that surrounds you.

Recent trip reviews for Iñaki

We want to walk the camino de santiago , Basque Country - May 3 - May 16, 2018

Traveler: mike d. - Local specialist: Iñaki Rubio

Stay away from Inaki and "FollowMe" tours. This guy is a scammer. He is not personally involved in any of the trip - he subcontracts to other guides. That alone is not a big deal - other than you are giving quite a bit away to him as a "middle man". HOWEVER - It gets worse. He is a rip off artist like few I have seen. First, he demands his money 100% payment, upfront. That is a red flag and I should have known it.

If you are forced to use this guy, don't give him all of the money upfront... read more

Stay away from Inaki and "FollowMe" tours. This guy is a scammer. He is not personally involved in any of the trip - he subcontracts to other guides. That alone is not a big deal - other than you are giving quite a bit away to him as a "middle man". HOWEVER - It gets worse. He is a rip off artist like few I have seen. First, he demands his money 100% payment, upfront. That is a red flag and I should have known it.

If you are forced to use this guy, don't give him all of the money upfront and MAKE SURE you ask him the exact hotel he is booking for the tour (and look up online how much it is), and do your research on how much the services he is booking for you cost. I did not do this, as he refused to share with me the names of the hotels because he was fearful I would go around him and book them myself - or at least that is what he told me. I came to understand why he told me that after I paid him $1000 a day for a 19 day trip on the Camino for two people (my sister and I). For that we were to get a full time guide and car (to porter our suitcases so we didn't have to carry back packs), 3 meals per day and three to four star hotel accommodations. He put us in mainly two star hotels - which cost between $100 and $150 per day. He made us pay for dinner for half the nights and told the guide that our lunch was not to exceed $15 per day each. Ends up he charges up to 300% premiums on hotel rooms and car transfers that he organized. He got us a car from Compostela to Sarria - 50 Eruo on the meter - he charged us 150 Euro.

Having been an investment banker in my past career, I am accustom to simple addition. As each day went by, we realized we got screwed. This guy kept about HALF our money for setting up the trip - and of course he demands payment upfront - and for good reason. By the time we finished the trip, we had staying in mostly 2 star accommodations, with a few 3 stars thrown in as we started to complain to our guides - who readily admitted that they did not work for him and had no understanding of the money side of the tour. I talked with him several times and complained and he seemed to not care since he had my money. I told him I wanted a refund, he laughed. At one point, after complaining that I paid $1000 a day and I could only see $500 (at most) a day in expenses on his end, I worried he was going to cancel the rest of the hotels and then I would have to come out of pocket on top of the money I gave him. At one hotel in Leon - it was so bad that my bath tub had a flooding issue and my sisters toilet had no seat - the place was disgusting and I called him and told him we needed a new hotel room. He promptly told me that was my problem. So we, in fact, had to come out of pocket $450 to get rooms. I asked him for a refund - he laughed. So, he got $9,000 for setting up a 19 day trip - and lying to me. I think I would have paid $1500 for setting up the trip. So I guess he got $7500 for lying - which is what I think his main business model is. So my advice is stay away from him.

Iñaki Rubio, local specialist, responded to this review:

Good afternoon Mike,

I´m not a scammer, I showed you all the real numbers and I don´t understand how you can continue telling all those false things about me. it´s clear you just want to damage our image and I can see you have no scruples. You are inventing here conversations and things that we never did (I never laughed).

I´m sorry because you were not satisfied with the tour, but I never tried to cheat you. Maybe there was some kind of miscommunication of what it was offer and what... read more

Good afternoon Mike,

I´m not a scammer, I showed you all the real numbers and I don´t understand how you can continue telling all those false things about me. it´s clear you just want to damage our image and I can see you have no scruples. You are inventing here conversations and things that we never did (I never laughed).

I´m sorry because you were not satisfied with the tour, but I never tried to cheat you. Maybe there was some kind of miscommunication of what it was offer and what you thought you were going to get. It was charged what you got.

I will answer to all your comments:

I have done the Camino more than 140 times in the last 20 years. I was on another tour, that´s why you had Alfonso and Javier leaded this Camino for you. I´m not a middle man, I was behind the tour almost everyday through the phone and email, asking the guides and you directly about how everything was going on.

Always all these kind of tours are paid upfront.

You asked for 3 stars hotels, but 6 nights you had 4 stars hotels (mainly at the first part of the Camino where there are better options than the last section, and less in May one of the busiest months on the Camino. I told you in advance some of the places in the last section would be nice rural hotels or small inns with some character and well located, but not luxury because it doesn´t exist luxury places on the last section of the Camino or they were fully booked up months in advance.

I sent you the final itinerary with all details, name of hotels and restaurants on april 9th, and you finally paid on April 14th.

I told you that guiding and transportation (I showed you the invoice from our guides) was around 500€ a day (around 600 USD). Total invoice from the guides was 6642€ + 600€ (around 8700 USD). You knew about this, and you had a full guide and transportation service. Now you say you didn´t need it. I told you the different options, and you chose this one. I was clear with this. Everything was perfectly described in WHAT´S INCLUDED.

We calculate 15€/pax for lunch a day (but I told the guides they could spend some more if needed because you didn´t drink wine. I had this conversation with Alfonso).

You were in 3-4 stars hotels and some rural hotels (places not luxury but very authentic, well located, charming and clean). I´m sorry about the hotel Paris in Leon. We (we were behind all that from the very first moment (I never laughed as you say).

Alfonso has been working for us for more than 5 years. He is a freelance as all the guides.

We never had that conversation where you say I laughed, and that you were worried I was going to cancel all your hotels......I was always behind, sending you emails and asking the guides how everything was going.

Here you say the following:

" At one hotel in Leon - it was so bad that my bath tub had a flooding issue and my sisters toilet had no seat - the place was disgusting and I called him and told him we needed a new hotel room. He promptly told me that was my problem. So we, in fact, had to come out of pocket $450 to get rooms. I asked him for a refund - he laughed.".

And here you can read the reality, and the messages we crossed as I was behind :
"I found an even cheaper place a bit outside town. Just 135 per night. And it's clean. Thank you for working with us on the change. We are having a great Camino so far and I appreciate your planning and support.

MIchael ".

About the taxi ride, we were told the ride from Santiago to Sarria was 130€. That´s why I calculate both transfers the same. But we had a final balance to do, and I never asked you to pay 150€ for the second transfer that was 61€.

Here you don´t mention that we were very flexibles and that 2 more people joined the tour in the last days. Also I was accused of ripping you off for telling you that there would be some extras for those 2 more people for breakfast, lunch, dinner.......

Michael, not sure what happened in that second part of the tour. Everything was fine and as you told me everything was being great and you were very happy.
Now you are being super aggressive , insulting ................

I´m very sad with all this. In 20 years we can count with one hand the customers that were not satisfied with our services.

I am open to talk to you in a relaxed and educated way if you wanted , and try to find a happy end to this situation.

Inaki Rubio

Essential basque country - 5-day itinerary, Basque Country - May 2 - May 2, 2018

Traveler: Mary W. - Local specialist: Iñaki Rubio

Inaki was really wonderful. He was very good at giving us a full experience on all the many facets of the Basque country. He is very enthusiastic about his country and is extremely knowledgeable. I had a great time and he was very, very good. Was attentive to our needs and gave up choices. The Cooking Lesson and the Pintos tour was a lot of fun. He also did a video of our trip for us. What a nice touch!

Iñaki Rubio, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you Mary for your words. It was great to meet you here in the Basque Country. I enjoyed it too.

All the best.

Inaki

Essential basque country - 5-day itinerary, Basque Country - May 2 - May 2, 2018

Traveler: Judy M. - Local specialist: Iñaki Rubio

Inaki was fantastic. He has very attuned to our needs. We were four woman and he kept us all happy. He had made special every where, so no matter where we went to sight se, cook or eat he knew someone and we were given the royal treatment.

We would all use him and again and have already written to our friends who will be coming his area.

Iñaki Rubio, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Judy,

Thank you for your words. It was a pleasure to have you here. I enjoyed spending those days with you. Happy to hear you passed a great time. I hope we meet again one day. Best regards. Inaki

Danielle

A guided tour of the french basque country, Basque Country - Apr 26 - Apr 29, 2018

Traveler: Danielle B. - Local specialist: Iñaki Rubio

I feel so fortunate to have discovered Inaki Rubio and his company, Just Follow Me. The tour that I took with him of the French Basque Country was the highlight of my trip to Spain. I had suggested a few places that I would like to visit (specifically St. Jean de Luz, Espalette, and the Le Petit Train de la Rhune), and he helped me to plan a day that I will always remember. Inaki was the ideal host, as his knowledge of the area was evident throughout the tour. I am fascinated with learning... read more

I feel so fortunate to have discovered Inaki Rubio and his company, Just Follow Me. The tour that I took with him of the French Basque Country was the highlight of my trip to Spain. I had suggested a few places that I would like to visit (specifically St. Jean de Luz, Espalette, and the Le Petit Train de la Rhune), and he helped me to plan a day that I will always remember. Inaki was the ideal host, as his knowledge of the area was evident throughout the tour. I am fascinated with learning more about the Basque culture, and he answered all of my questions, sharing anecdotes and history with me. I really appreciated his flexibility, as we were originally going to take the train up to the top of La Rhune and hike down, but I changed my mind when I realized that the weather was a bit too cold and windy. So instead I was able to spend more time in Espalette, Biarritz, St. Jean de Luz, and Hondarribia. I also appreciated that he showed me some interesting places to visit in San Sebastian, and even offered to help me make reservations at a local restaurant. I will definitely be recommending Just Follow Me to all of my friends and family, and I hope to take another tour with Inaki when I visit the area again in the future.

Iñaki Rubio, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thanks for those words Danielle. It was a pleasure to spend the day with you. My best regards. I hope we meet again one day. Inaki

Spain, Basque Country - Jun 30 - Jul 11, 2017

Traveler: Amelia B. - Local specialist: Iñaki Rubio

We toured a vineyard with the ninth generation winemaker, hiked along the Camino de Santiago, learned local favorites at a cooking school, saw the Running of the Bulls, and had a Pintxos tour with a native. I could not have planned this trip on my own, and there are no travel companies who sell a tour that happened to be exactly what I wanted. I loved being able to customize the trip on KimKim!

Inaki's recommendations were fantastic! I so much appreciate his guidance in planning a trip that included so many highlights that could not have been arranged with out the expertise of a local guide.

Iñaki Rubio, local specialist, responded to this review:

Great to hear Amelia. Thank you for your feedback. All the best. Inaki