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Pilar Albuja

I decided to study truism because I love traveling, and I was lucky to do my last year in Switzerland at Glion, where I met people from all over the world. My curiosity to learn more about other countries and cultures opened more. After Switzerland, I was lucky to live in Portugal, Thailand, and Hong Kong, and after that, I decided to return to Ecuador to sell what I love the most ¡MY COUNTRY! because Ecuador has it all, we have so much to offer in such a small country.
I love Ecuador and am here to share my knowledge and experience with our guests.

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"All over Ecuador especially: Galapagos, Amazon, Quito, and surroundings.
I also offer tours of Ecuador and Peru, therefore I believe that Peru is also one of the places I feel with more experience, specially Machupichu, and Cusco."

How did you get involved in travel?

"
I began studying psychology for one year, and then I decided to follow my heart and change of career to Tourism, which I love. I have been able to visit more than 20 countries and hopefully, I can add more to my list.
"

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"I was able to attend a Royal Wedding in India, I think that was the most memorable experience because I reunited with my university friends, but especially I was able to learn more about the culture in India, the wedding lasted for 6 days and we had to move each day to a different location/city.
It was a fun trip but also so cultural, where I learned so much, it was an experience I will never forget.
"

Pilar is part of the following groups: Ecuador Travel Agents, Galapagos Islands Travel Agents
Top itineraries and travel advice

Recent trip reviews for Pilar

An 6-day trip to Peru for adult couple
Galapagos Islands | Feb 2 - Feb 7, 2024

J
Jerry S.
Los Angeles, CA | Reviewed on Feb 11, 2024
This is a review of an 6-day trip to Peru for an adult couple from the United States. Summary ratings:
Travel specialist (Pilar): 5/5
KimKim platform: 4.5/5
Adherence to Itinerary: 5/5
Quality of local guides: 5/5
Lodging: 5/5
Overall Value: 5/5
As you can see from the ratings, we had a very positive experience with our trip arranged by KimKim. We used to plan our own trips and made our own itineraries to places like England, Greece and Japan in the... Read more

This is a review of an 6-day trip to Peru for an adult couple from the United States.

Summary ratings:
Travel specialist (Pilar): 5/5
KimKim platform: 4.5/5
Adherence to Itinerary: 5/5
Quality of local guides: 5/5
Lodging: 5/5
Overall Value: 5/5

As you can see from the ratings, we had a very positive experience with our trip arranged by KimKim. We used to plan our own trips and made our own itineraries to places like England, Greece and Japan in the past. We really enjoyed that ability to do what we wanted to do but it was a lot of work. We decided to try out a service like KimKim to see if we can still get a "personalized" itinerary but let someone else do the hard legwork.

Overall, the KimKim platform was very good. We filled out a detailed survey which helps them gauge what the traveler's preferences are and that helps them plan an itinerary to suit the individual traveler. They then come up with a proposed itinerary. We also did a little research and came up with a couple of places not on the original itinerary, and they were very flexible and easily incorporated our requests into the itinerary. The only drawback on the KimKim platform was when there were a couple of changes made and the platform did not keep up in a timely manner, which led to a little confusion. Our travel specialist was very helpful in clearing up any confusion arising from the website platform.

Our travel specialist Pilar did an excellent job working with us to personalize our travel experience. Our original plan was to visit the Galapagos Islands, but schedules did not work out with what we wanted to do, so Plan B was to explore Quito, the highlands of Ecuador, Cotopaxi and then fly to Cusco and make our way to Machu Picchu. However, a national emergency in Ecuador made us change our plans again, and we then made the trip exclusively for Peru as Plan C. On short notice, Pilar worked tirelessly with us to come up with a new itinerary that suited our needs. She was very responsive to questions, and readily available by phone or email.

We spent 3 nights in Cusco and visited the city, the local ruins in Sacsayhuana, the surrounding salt terraces of Maras and the agriculture terraces of Moray. Absolutely loved the city and all of the tours. Our guide Carlos was very informative and engaged, and sprinkled his discussions with lots of history and little bits of politics. At our request, Carlos took us to a local's market where we saw what the local population ate, wore, and shopped for. We saw stalls with over 20 different potato varieties, different exotic fruits and salted alpaca meat. The shopping was cheaper and better than in Lima. I bought an alpaca sweater and my wife purchased a couple of beautiful jewelry pieces at probably half the price we would have paid in the US.

We also visited Machu Picchu (MP) on a full day tour (i.e. - 4 hours). Since the pandemic, the Peruvian government has limited the amount of time visitors can spend at the site. We took Circuit 2, which is the longest circuit and the one that is probably the most comprehensive of all of the 4 or 5 circuits available to tour. Our guide Antonieta was fabulous. So very informative and with a dry sense of humor. She was also an excellent photographer, and we got pictures that we would never have gotten if we did not have her knowledge and help. MP certainly lived up to its billing as one of the new Wonders of the World. Just an impressive archeological site and with an equally fascinating story. Would recommend to anyone with interests in history, engineering, and the outdoors.

We ended our trip with a night in Lima and a city tour the following day. Lima is a bustling city of 11 million people. We stayed in Miraflores, which is the touristy (and safer) part of Lima. We strolled around the Larcomere shopping center, which reminded me of a high-end shopping mall in the US. We enjoyed the city tour comprising tours of the Lima Cathedral, the Aliaga house and the Larco Museum (lots of Inca and pre-Inca artifacts).

The hotels arranged by KimKim were all excellent. Our local tours and guides were provided by Lima Tours.
Transportation pickups were punctual, and the vans were clean and air-conditioned, which was a necessity in hot and humid Lima in February. It was such a pleasure to be picked up and dropped off at various sites and not have to worry about arranging transportation.

The food in Peru was excellent and above my expectations. We had breakfast buffets at the hotels and then usually had lunch or dinner on our own. The breakfast buffets are all full buffets, and on par with what you expect at 4-star hotels in the US. On our own, we tried the local fare like Andean trout, lomo saltado, alpaca tenderloin and yes, even cuy (sorry, squeaker). My wife still raves about the quinoa salad and Andean soup from Chull's in Cusco, and I had the alpaca tenderloin there (would rate 9/10). People talk about how Peruvian food is ascendant on the world stage, and I would wholeheartedly agree.

Overall, we had a fabulous time in Peru, and owe much of that to the itinerary and arrangements made through Pilar, Lima Tours and KimKim.

This was the first time we used KimKim, and we were impressed by the experience and will definitely use them again on our next adventure.

Local specialist: Pilar Albuja

Kimkim will be on repeat!
Ecuador | Dec 23 - Dec 30, 2023

lalitha
lalitha t.
Newark, NJ | Reviewed on Jan 02, 2024
I typically create our itineraries and was not sure how it would be using an agency. Booking our trip to Ecuador with Kimkim was a breeze because the communication was clear and timely. Pilar took into account our needs and desire when creating the itinerary. All plans were thoughtful and executed well. Thanks to Pilar, we saw and experienced so much in the time we had in Ecuador. Read more

I typically create our itineraries and was not sure how it would be using an agency. Booking our trip to Ecuador with Kimkim was a breeze because the communication was clear and timely. Pilar took into account our needs and desire when creating the itinerary. All plans were thoughtful and executed well. Thanks to Pilar, we saw and experienced so much in the time we had in Ecuador.

Hotel Review
Kuyana Amazon Lodge
Archidona

Ivan and Lou have created a wonderful space in which to experience the rainforest. Their staff is hospitable, responsive and caring. Leo, our guide for all our adventures was phenomenal. As a vegetarian, I was blown away by the preparation and p\resentation of the meals.

Authenticity & Character
The space was designed to integrate with its natural surroundings and not to dominate it. You can appreciate the respect for the rainforest.
Location
It was accessible (as opposed to the other lodge we considered which required a flight into the jungle)
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Reviews
Kuyana Lodge Day 1- Arrival Day with a special Christmas Dinner
Kuyana Lodge Day 1- Arrival Day with a special Christmas Dinner
Archidona

it was so creative - the guests were asked to put on a little holiday show for the other guests. wealso decorated xmas cookies before feasting on an incredible meal.

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Day 2 Kuyana Lodge
Day 2 Kuyana Lodge
Archidona

trek ino the jungle to a 2 tier waterfall and lagoon where we could swim

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Local specialist: Pilar Albuja
Pilar
Pilar Albuja
Local specialist in Ecuador Quito | Replied on Jan 03, 2024
Hi Lalitha, I hope this email finds you well!
I'm thrilled to hear that your experience with Kimkim and Link Experiences, was such a positive one. It's always our goal to ensure that our clients have a seamless and enjoyable travel experience.
I'm delighted to hear that I was able to create an itinerary that met your needs and desires. It If there's anything else you'd like to share, please feel free to let us know. We truly appreciate your input as it helps us continually improve our... Read more

Hi Lalitha,

I hope this email finds you well!
I'm thrilled to hear that your experience with Kimkim and Link Experiences, was such a positive one. It's always our goal to ensure that our clients have a seamless and enjoyable travel experience.

I'm delighted to hear that I was able to create an itinerary that met your needs and desires. It

If there's anything else you'd like to share, please feel free to let us know.

We truly appreciate your input as it helps us continually improve our services.

Thank you once again for choosing Kimkim and Link Experiences and we hope to assist you with your future travel plans!

Best regards,
Pilar

We were two families with teenagers traveling...
Ecuador | Dec 23 - Dec 30, 2023

Sejal
Sejal S.
Sudbury, MA | Reviewed on Jan 02, 2024
We were two families with teenagers traveling together from different parts of the USA, so lots of logistics. Pilar Albuja helped plan our itinerary. She was very responsive in drafting it, answering questions and finalizing our plan. We had a really nice mix of locations and activities. At the Amazon, we stayed at Kuyana Lodge which was a wonderful experience. With only 7 jungle huts, it is a really intimate experience. Our guide, Leo, was helpful, full of information and easy to get along... Read more

We were two families with teenagers traveling together from different parts of the USA, so lots of logistics. Pilar Albuja helped plan our itinerary. She was very responsive in drafting it, answering questions and finalizing our plan. We had a really nice mix of locations and activities. At the Amazon, we stayed at Kuyana Lodge which was a wonderful experience. With only 7 jungle huts, it is a really intimate experience. Our guide, Leo, was helpful, full of information and easy to get along with -- which was a good thing because we were with him a lot! The food at the lodge is so amazing. We had several vegetarian and other dietary and allergy restrictions and the lodge was able to accommodate everything and were especially careful with the allergy. Chef prepared the best food, we wanted to bring him home and make him our personal chef! He used many local ingredients from the Amazon and we enjoyed some incredibly tasty meals. The food was also presented really well - felt like Michelin star dining! All the activities were interesting, hikes, night hikes, river tubing or simply listening to the sounds of the jungle in one of the many seating areas around the lodge.
In Quito, we had a guide named Nancy for visits to Quito, Middle of the World, Otavalo, and Cotopaxi. Nancy was full of information about history and culture - we learned so much from her. Nancy was energetic, always accommodating to our requests and provided advice when we felt the effects of altitude sickness. She was very friendly and approachable. Our activities were all wonderful including the Quito old town tour, visit to the equator was super cool, the lake at Otavalo and a hike up a volcano near Cotopaxi to get better views. Nancy's insight definitely made for a better experience. We highly recommend kimkim and will definitely use them again in the future!

Hotel Review
Kuyana Amazon Lodge
Archidona

Lodge is in a beautiful area. The guides are knowledgeable and very caring. The Chef is amazing - most delicious meals! And we loved the pet monkey, Ramona. More details in my main review. The only feedback would be to include a boxed lunch on the visit to the Napo River / indigenous people village / tubing day so that we can eat during the lunch hour.

Authenticity & Character
Wood construction, open air buildings ... just felt reallly one with nature.
Location
surrounded by jungle. I loved my jungle hut sitting on the banks of a creek. Spacious room, beautiful bathroom and a wonderful deck!
Staff
Everyone is so knowledgeable, hospitable ... we were pampered!
Cleanliness & Comfort
Everything . . leave the shoes at the steps is a wonderful requirement!
Activity Reviews
Day 2 Kuyana Lodge
Day 2 Kuyana Lodge
Archidona

Waterfalls were beautiful .. everyone should take a dip! Leo was helpful to us in navigating some tricky areas. We loved that Ramona the monkey came with us!

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Discover Quito's Best-Kept Secrets: A Full-Day Tour of the Historic and the Middle of the World
Discover Quito's Best-Kept Secrets: A Full-Day Tour of the Historic and the Middle of the World
Quito

Loved that our guide took us to the top of the tower at Basilica del Voto Nacional as we had amazing views. The chocolate tasting at Yumbas was so delicious, and so much variety allowed us to get a better understanding of how flavors of cacao vary. Middle of the World science experiments are super cool ... I learned a lot and it was mind blowing to see!

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
 Discover the Magic of Otavalo: Immerse Yourself in Indigenous Culture and Vibrant Markets and visit  Cuicocha Lake.
Discover the Magic of Otavalo: Immerse Yourself in Indigenous Culture and Vibrant Markets and visit Cuicocha Lake.
Ecuador

The Cotacachi Lake is not to be missed. It is stunning. Our guide had lots of information about local plants. If you have traveled to other countries with crafts markets, Otavalo Market is different in that the items are different, but the market itself is not unique.

Quality of Experience
Food
Beautiful 500 year old hacienda ... and food was good too!
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Conquer the Majestic Cotopaxi: A Thrilling Full-Day Adventure in the Land of Volcanoes
Conquer the Majestic Cotopaxi: A Thrilling Full-Day Adventure in the Land of Volcanoes
Cotopaxi

I loved that our guide suggested a hike to a different volcano that has a viewing point to get better views of Cotopaxi. We hiked around a lake and then up to the viewing point. The lake is more like a marsh than a lake due to human consumption of water and climate change. Not sure the 2 hours were worth it for that portion. The hike up the volcano was difficult for altitude, but breathtaking and we did get some glimpses of Cotopaxi! The horseback riding at El Porvenir was surreal. It is such a gorgeous landscape. Even though it rained a bit, they provided us with ponchos and rain ponchos and we stayed toasty warm.

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Local specialist: Pilar Albuja
Pilar
Pilar Albuja
Local specialist in Ecuador Quito | Replied on Jan 03, 2024
Hi Sejal, I hope this message finds you well! I am absolutely delighted to hear that you and your families had such a fantastic experience during your recent trip to Ecuador. It was truly a pleasure assisting you in planning your itinerary, and I'm thrilled to know that it met your expectations. Your kind words about Kuyana Lodge and the Amazon experience bring a big smile to my face. I'm glad that the intimate setting, guided by Leo, provided a memorable and immersive jungle adventure.
...
Read more

Hi Sejal,

I hope this message finds you well!

I am absolutely delighted to hear that you and your families had such a fantastic experience during your recent trip to Ecuador. It was truly a pleasure assisting you in planning your itinerary, and I'm thrilled to know that it met your expectations.

Your kind words about Kuyana Lodge and the Amazon experience bring a big smile to my face. I'm glad that the intimate setting, guided by Leo, provided a memorable and immersive jungle adventure.
It's fantastic to hear that the lodge's chef could cater to various dietary restrictions and allergies, making your culinary experience as delightful as the rest of your stay. I must admit, the idea of bringing the chef home as a personal chef sounds tempting!

I'm also pleased that Nancy made your time in Quito, Middle of the World, Otavalo, and Cotopaxi so enriching. Her energy, knowledge, and friendly nature certainly add a special touch to the tours. I'm glad she could provide valuable insights and assistance, especially when dealing with altitude sickness.

Your positive feedback is the best reward for the hard work we put into creating memorable travel experiences. Thank you for choosing kimkim, and we look forward to the opportunity to assist you with your future travel plans. If there's anything else you'd like to share or discuss, feel free to reach out.

Wishing you and your families wonderful adventures ahead!

Warm regards,

Pilar Albuja