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Mathias Onisseit

Originally from Germany, in 2010 I set out to explore South America and soon fell in love with the super-diverse country named Ecuador (and its neat little attachment Galapagos). What fascinates me the most about this country is the fact that it has it all: lush rainforests, mystic cloud forests, snow-capped mountain peaks, endless beaches and the most particular ecosystem, the Galapagos Islands. Everything just a few hours travel away. Diverse landscapes along with equally diverse people. My goal is to make you experience all of this first-hand. If after your trip you wish to return to Ecuador (you wouldn’t be the first!) then my mission has been achieved.

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"We specialize in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. Because this country is multifaceted, our portfolio of places and activities is also quite ample. And because each of our guests is different, the tailor-made trip that we will design together is, too: be it Andean markets, climbing the majestic Cotopaxi volcano, paddling along rivers in the Amazon rainforest, photo-hunting rare birds or getting up close with untamed wildlife in the natural laboratory of evolution, the Galapagos Islands – or a mix of it. As our tours are tailored to your preferences, you can be as active as you like: you may be driven up to the sites or go all the way on multi-day treks, braving the ugliest weather. On the Galapagos Islands, we focus on cruises (anything from budget to luxury) and customized island hoppings for those of you that prefer to spend the night on land instead of the sea. You can choose between the must-see highlights and the hidden gems off the beaten track. The choice is yours and we help you to choose wisely. Join me and explore the country of the 4 worlds!"

How did you get involved in travel?

"While at the biggest travel fare of them all (ITB in Berlin), I was looking for some new travel inspiration, I stumbled into what would be my future employer, a travel agency in Ecuador. Immediately I was excited about the idea of being able to share the fascination of this country with others and at the same time being able to live here."

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"To me, there is not the one special travel experience, instead it is the simple things that make memories: waking up to the singing of birds and howling of monkeys, snorkeling with baby sharks on a sunny beach day, a stroll in the rain on a muddy cloud forest trail or the interminable hike to the top of an active volcano. And of course, all the incredible personalities that you meet along the road contribute to awesome experiences that last a lifetime."

Featured trips & expertise

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.

Pelican and a Galapagos Cruise Ship.
Galapagos Cruises: Suggested Itineraries

From snorkeling with sea turtles and hiking up a dormant volcano to spotting giant tortoises and penguins, a journey to the Galapagos brings an array of incredible sights and activities. With a cruise, you’ll get further from the main islands, and there’s no need to pack each day for a new hotel as your accommodation and transportation are combined. Use this guide to get the most out of your Galapagos cruise.

Recent trip reviews for Mathias

New , Ecuador - Mar 22 - Apr 4, 2019

Traveler: Abdullah A. - Local specialist: Mathias Onisseit

My guide was Mr. Marco Herrera. Good English and excellent guide. Very helpful and adaptive to changes.

Overall the trip was perfect. It was my first time in Ecuador, but Mr. Marco and the people from kimkim.com helped in giving many options to explore. From lagoons to national reserve parks and forest, all was arranged perfectly.
People at the hotels were very nice and polite.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone and I, most definitely, would arrange future trips with them again.
5/5

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Mathias Onisseit, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Abdullah! I am glad you enjoyed your trip to Ecuador exploring the Andes, with its many lagoons, volcanoes and National Parks.
It would be a pleasure to welcome you again one day in Ecuador!
Best,
Mathias

Ben

Trip to galapagos islands, Galapagos Islands - Feb 4 - Feb 8, 2019

Traveler: Ben J. - Local specialist: Mathias Onisseit

Overall the trip was absolutely amazing. It was also very easy to organise the trip through Kim Kim.
Two things to note were that on one day we sat on the boat stationary for 6 hours without a guide and weren't able to do anything as we waited for others to arrive.

Secondly, on our itinerary it was different to the itinerary the boat had for us on the last day. We had to go off by ourselves to see the tortoises and meant we were additionally out of pocket to go see this site as another... read more

Overall the trip was absolutely amazing. It was also very easy to organise the trip through Kim Kim.
Two things to note were that on one day we sat on the boat stationary for 6 hours without a guide and weren't able to do anything as we waited for others to arrive.

Secondly, on our itinerary it was different to the itinerary the boat had for us on the last day. We had to go off by ourselves to see the tortoises and meant we were additionally out of pocket to go see this site as another place was planned for the others. This was our last chance to see them so we had to do it at this time. The people on the boat said this was an issue with the people who made our booking.

Other than that, was a great trip.

Thanks for everything.

Ben

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Mathias Onisseit, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Ben,

first of all, I thank you for travelling with us, I'm happy that you enjoyed the trip. Regarding the two points you mentioned:

1. On the first day, passengers tend to arrive at different times and activities begin when everyone is on board the ship (except for extreme delays). This way, nobody misses out any activity, for the first day there is only 1 activity scheduled in the afternoon. Unfortunately, the National Park is very restrictive regarding additional activities, only those... read more

Hi Ben,

first of all, I thank you for travelling with us, I'm happy that you enjoyed the trip. Regarding the two points you mentioned:

1. On the first day, passengers tend to arrive at different times and activities begin when everyone is on board the ship (except for extreme delays). This way, nobody misses out any activity, for the first day there is only 1 activity scheduled in the afternoon. Unfortunately, the National Park is very restrictive regarding additional activities, only those scheduled at certain times and places. This is why you couldn't do any additional activity the first day while waiting for the others to arrive.

2. For the changed program on the last day, I have to apologize, the ship had changed their itinerary slightly and we did not get notified. I will contact you through the chat to see how we can handle the additional expenses you incurred in order to get to Cerro Colorado.

Best,
Mathias

Amy

Quito, Ecuador - Jan 1 - Jan 5, 2019

Traveler: Amy P. - Local specialist: Mathias Onisseit

Our trip was fantastic!!! Everyone in my family enjoyed it! The tour company, Darcar tours, that we had our driver and our tour guide through were outstanding. Super knowledgeable, patient with my kids, and very flexible. They had excellent suggestions throughout the tour to accommodate our needs, even on our arrival day when our flight was delayed. They communicated very easily with us and offered insider knowledge about every facet of Ecuador. Selfides, our chofer was excellent. He had a... read more

Our trip was fantastic!!! Everyone in my family enjoyed it! The tour company, Darcar tours, that we had our driver and our tour guide through were outstanding. Super knowledgeable, patient with my kids, and very flexible. They had excellent suggestions throughout the tour to accommodate our needs, even on our arrival day when our flight was delayed. They communicated very easily with us and offered insider knowledge about every facet of Ecuador. Selfides, our chofer was excellent. He had a wealth of knowledge about plants, animals, foods and unique culture in Ecuador. David, our tour guide, was professional, knowledgeable, and extremely flexible and patient with our young children. He made sure to give us all of the highlights while considering their ages and our time constraints. The tour itinerary Matthias gave us was excellent and creative. We saw some really off the beaten path things including the artisans of Peguche and the cooking class. The Hacienda Pensaqui, although historical, charming, and set in a beautiful landscape, was unfortunately dirty. There was dust everywhere. The food was mediocre, and the office staff were very unorganized. Apparently, the owner passed away a year ago and is now being cared for by his family. It appears very run down which is a shame because it has such potential! We still loved our stay there due to its historical charm and familial feel, however, I think it is necessary that you be aware that it may not be what it once was. The cooking class was phenomenal!!! Chef Edwin was funny, patient, and extremely talented! My kids participated in everything and loved it!!! Termas de Papallactas was exactly as we had hoped. Relaxing, breathtaking views, and good service.

We loved our stay in the Andes Mountains of Quito and would love to return!!! I will use KImKim again for sure! It was so much less stressful and may be our new way of travel. Thanks again!!!

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Mathias Onisseit, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Amy, I'm glad that you and your kids enjoyed the tour, especially the cooking class, which is a real hands-on experience!
As for the Hacienda Pinsaquí, I am a bit surprised about your comments, I was there a couple of weeks ago and found it in good condition. Maybe the dust was due to refurbishments taking place currently. Maybe you can send me more information through chat? I could forward it to the Hacienda to help them improve those points.
I'm glad you liked the Termas de Papallacta... read more

Hi Amy, I'm glad that you and your kids enjoyed the tour, especially the cooking class, which is a real hands-on experience!
As for the Hacienda Pinsaquí, I am a bit surprised about your comments, I was there a couple of weeks ago and found it in good condition. Maybe the dust was due to refurbishments taking place currently. Maybe you can send me more information through chat? I could forward it to the Hacienda to help them improve those points.
I'm glad you liked the Termas de Papallacta with its natural hot springs, it's a great place to spend some relaxed time after an exciting tour.

We are looking forward to having you in the future to explore the rest of this beautiful country!

Andean adventure, Ecuador - Dec 21 - Dec 26, 2018

Traveler: Brett H. - Local specialist: Mathias Onisseit

After eight days in the Galapagos we enjoyed our short trip to Cotopaxi National Park. The park was beautiful with grand vistas and beautiful canyons. Frank, our guide, was knowledgeable and attentive. He provided strong support throughout the trip. Tambopaxi lodge was lovely and the food was exceptional. The southern refuge was unique with gracious staff and epic views. We have a number of really enjoyable treks.

The rating was based on two reasons. 1.) Of the five planned... read more

After eight days in the Galapagos we enjoyed our short trip to Cotopaxi National Park. The park was beautiful with grand vistas and beautiful canyons. Frank, our guide, was knowledgeable and attentive. He provided strong support throughout the trip. Tambopaxi lodge was lovely and the food was exceptional. The southern refuge was unique with gracious staff and epic views. We have a number of really enjoyable treks.

The rating was based on two reasons. 1.) Of the five planned treks we completed only two. This was due to the weather that made one of the treks impossible and two others miserable. Feedback from local guides was that this weather was expected for time of year. Understand weather can be unpredictable at altitude, but there should have been better planning to ensure we had alternative itineraries. 2.) Logistics were not ideal. Transportation was provided in a 1980s era Toyota Land Rover. Perfect for the rough roads of the national park. However, no seat belts in the back for lengthy highway trip. Both coming and going we were packed very tightly into back seat with camp staff. And on our return trip took a lengthy diversion to drop off family members. Not a huge issue, but not ideal logistics.

All in all, good experience. Enjoyed Cotopaxi National Park and would endorse Frank as a guide. Would have like to see stronger planning to maximize our stay.

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Mathias Onisseit, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Brett! I’m glad you enjoyed your hike in the Cotopaxi National Park. Unfortunately, the weather was quite bad during your dates, which is unusual during that time of the year, but as you say, the weather can be unpredictable, and this didn’t let you enjoy as you should have.
Despite the weather you had, Frank your trekking guide, tried his best to give you alternative activities like hiking to the glacier and visiting nearby waterfalls.
The vehicle used was typical of a mountain trekking... read more

Hi Brett! I’m glad you enjoyed your hike in the Cotopaxi National Park. Unfortunately, the weather was quite bad during your dates, which is unusual during that time of the year, but as you say, the weather can be unpredictable, and this didn’t let you enjoy as you should have.
Despite the weather you had, Frank your trekking guide, tried his best to give you alternative activities like hiking to the glacier and visiting nearby waterfalls.
The vehicle used was typical of a mountain trekking tour in Ecuador and it has all the necessary permits. Furthermore, our guides drive with additional care to account for vehicle and street conditions. As for the lift the guide gave two friends on the way back to the hotel near Quito, they were dropped off directly on the way (in Sangolquí which is on the direct route to the Posada Mirolindo) and you agreed to taking them, however, given the car was already packed this wasn’t such a good idea after all.

Quito & the galapagos islands - 8 days, Ecuador - Dec 21 - Dec 28, 2018

Traveler: Ko-Hsuan C. - Local specialist: Mathias Onisseit

Mathias helped us plan a very last minute Christmas trip to Ecuador, and it turned out to be an amazing trip! He went through the trip plan multiple times even with limited time left before to the trip and responded to our questions pretty promptly. We spent 5 days in the Galapagos and 3 days in Quito. For the Galapagos -- We especially love the uninhabited island Seymour where we saw so many animals and the yacht was really nice! We were really amazed by the rich culture and nature around... read more

Mathias helped us plan a very last minute Christmas trip to Ecuador, and it turned out to be an amazing trip! He went through the trip plan multiple times even with limited time left before to the trip and responded to our questions pretty promptly. We spent 5 days in the Galapagos and 3 days in Quito. For the Galapagos -- We especially love the uninhabited island Seymour where we saw so many animals and the yacht was really nice! We were really amazed by the rich culture and nature around Quito. We especially enjoyed our time with David who took us to Cotopaxi National Park. All the tour guides pick us up on time. In addition, we realized the price Kimkim offered is really reasonable after we cross-checked the hotel and tour prices.

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Mathias Onisseit, local specialist, responded to this review:

Ko-Hsuan, thanks for your comments! I am happy that we could organize your Christmas trip on such a short notice (especially Galapagos can get booked out fast for these dates). And I'm even happier that you enjoyed the trip. Maybe you will return another Christmas to see the rest of this multi-faceted country?

How to spend 5 days in ecuador, Ecuador - Nov 15 - Nov 22, 2018

Traveler: Gaby E. - Local specialist: Mathias Onisseit

The driver , who was supposed to pick me up from the Airport ,after the Amazone ,left without me.
Not a good feeling, being forgotten..
Casa Sol had a very small breakfast and the shower was not hot.
I loved the Sisakuna Lodge. Good breakfast , nice room, hot shower.
My guide was good.

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Mathias Onisseit, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Gaby, thanks a lot for your valuable feedback.
I think there was a misunderstanding, after talking with the driver, it turned out that he took you and 2 other travelers whose driver could not go on a very last notice. So actually, you had a transfer with "your" driver. However, this was an exceptional case to help out the others, our transfers, as you have seen with the other 3 transfers you had, are entirely private.

As for the breakfast at Casa Sol, they serve American-style... read more

Dear Gaby, thanks a lot for your valuable feedback.
I think there was a misunderstanding, after talking with the driver, it turned out that he took you and 2 other travelers whose driver could not go on a very last notice. So actually, you had a transfer with "your" driver. However, this was an exceptional case to help out the others, our transfers, as you have seen with the other 3 transfers you had, are entirely private.

As for the breakfast at Casa Sol, they serve American-style breakfast, which consists in coffee, tea, fresh fruit juice, fresh fruit salad, bread, homemade jam, butter and eggs of choice. Maybe you are referring to the quantity? It is always a good idea to address this kind of issues directly with the hotel staff to find an immediate solution. In case you decide to return to explore the rest of Ecuador with us, you are invited to a typical local-style breakfast.

I'm glad you liked Mindo and the Sisakuna Lodge and our guide!

Best of the ecuadorian highlands - 8 days, Ecuador - Oct 21 - Oct 28, 2018

Traveler: Carl N. - Local specialist: Mathias Onisseit

I booked a trip from Quito to Guayaquil prior to a Sierra Club Trip to the Galapagos.
I was hesitant booking the trip and paying online.
Mathias was great. He promptly answered all my questions. We went through three versions of the trip until I was happy with it.
The trip was better than I expected. The hotels were wonderful. Christian, our tour guide/driver, gave us an insight into the highlands of Ecuador that we will always remember.
We especially enjoyed the walking tour of Quito, hikes in Mindo, Ingapirca ruins, hiking in Cajas, and Cuenca.

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Mathias Onisseit, local specialist, responded to this review:

Carl, thanks for travelling with us, I am happy that the trip exceeded your expectations! Hopefully we will have the pleasure to hosting you some time in the future, so you can see the wonderful places you couldn't this time!

12 days in ecuador , Ecuador - May 29 - Jun 1, 2018

Traveler: Kati M. - Local specialist: Mathias Onisseit

We had an incredible trip to Nicky Lodge on the Aguarico River. Our primary guide, Evi, was incredibly knowledgable (able to name nearly every species we asked about by its scientific name and also in Spanish, English and one or two of the local dialects), patient and fun. The secondary guide was not quite as knowledgable, but had a great knack for spotting hard-to-see animals. The guides (and the canoe drivers, too) paid close attention to the interests of our group, and would happily stop... read more

We had an incredible trip to Nicky Lodge on the Aguarico River. Our primary guide, Evi, was incredibly knowledgable (able to name nearly every species we asked about by its scientific name and also in Spanish, English and one or two of the local dialects), patient and fun. The secondary guide was not quite as knowledgable, but had a great knack for spotting hard-to-see animals. The guides (and the canoe drivers, too) paid close attention to the interests of our group, and would happily stop (or turn around) the boat to point out interesting creatures.

The lodgings were very comfortable, with running water (and it got nice and hot, important for the days we got soaked by the rain), but with no bells-and-whistles which made it feel like a proper jungle experience. The food was also simple but delicious, and the staff was very attentive to food allergies (my mom is gluten free).

Of course, in the jungle it's the plants and animals which really draw your attention - but the professionalism, comfort and service at Nicky Lodge made the whole trip seamless and wonderful.

Thanks!

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Mathias Onisseit, local specialist, responded to this review:

Kati, I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed your time in the rainforest and saw many of the native animals which make that place special!

12 days in ecuador , Ecuador - May 29 - Jun 1, 2018

Traveler: George M. - Local specialist: Mathias Onisseit

Mathias did a great job in setting up our 4-day adventure to the Amazon. He was very easy to communicate with and helpful in planning our trip - great advice, great service. All of the arrangements went smoothly and we loved the accommodations. We had a wonderful time!

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Mathias Onisseit, local specialist, responded to this review:

I'm happy that you liked the tour, George! It was a pleasure planning this trip with you.