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active 3 hours ago

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
How to Spend 5 Days in Ecuador

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

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.

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.

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!

Island hopper, Galapagos Islands - Jul 28 - Aug 4, 2018

Traveler: Fatema L. - Local specialist: Mathias Onisseit

Mathias was fantastic in both the planning and in guiding us in Quito.
The planning and booking process was seamless!

However, we did have some issues getting to the Galapagos due to a 3 hour flight delay out of Los Angeles which almost derailed the whole trip. I was left in tears and had 12 hours of pure stress as we were stuck in Panama City without any knowledge of how to get from Quito and to Baltra.
But I was able to work it on my own. I wish I had more support and advise from KimKim.... read more

Mathias was fantastic in both the planning and in guiding us in Quito.
The planning and booking process was seamless!

However, we did have some issues getting to the Galapagos due to a 3 hour flight delay out of Los Angeles which almost derailed the whole trip. I was left in tears and had 12 hours of pure stress as we were stuck in Panama City without any knowledge of how to get from Quito and to Baltra.
But I was able to work it on my own. I wish I had more support and advise from KimKim.
If I were to advise any of my friends on future travel to the Galapagos, I would highlight this.
It looks like it happens frequently as there are only a few flights into the islands daily.
We heard this from fellow travelers as well and hope KimKim notifies future travelers of this.
Otherwise the trip was great; I think the local guides were good but did try to cut corners with sub optimal hotels, restaurants, and truncated itineraries.

I would recommend kimkim to family and friends and may use kimkim for my upcoming trip to Cuba.

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!

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!

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.