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Ecuador Galapagos Travels

The Ecuador & Galapagos specialist for fascinating cultural and adventure tours in the Andes; relaxing beach holidays at sandy beaches at the Pacific Coast; trips into the mysterious verdant world of the Amazon rainforest; comfortable hotel accommodation in major cities; and cruises which let you explore the enchanted Galapagos Islands.

Featured trips & expertise

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 Ecuador Galapagos Travels

Heather

Top wildlife lodges in the ecuadorian amazon, Ecuador - Sep 4 - Sep 25, 2019

Traveler: Heather K. - Local specialist: Mathias Onisseit

It was an absolute pleasure working with Mathias:

1. He listened carefully to our special areas of interest (birding photography) and designed a fantastic itinerary for us.
2. The accommodation and guides that he set up for us exceeded our expectations.
3. His personal input and support when we needed urgent medical assistance was invaluable.
4. He was always available and responsive throughout the whole 4 week trip

In Mindo, Mathias set us up with Edison from... read more

It was an absolute pleasure working with Mathias:

1. He listened carefully to our special areas of interest (birding photography) and designed a fantastic itinerary for us.
2. The accommodation and guides that he set up for us exceeded our expectations.
3. His personal input and support when we needed urgent medical assistance was invaluable.
4. He was always available and responsive throughout the whole 4 week trip

In Mindo, Mathias set us up with Edison from http://www.swordbilledexpeditions.com/about-us/ . Ed’s bird knowledge was remarkable, his photographic skills superb, he was able to get us into unusual and remote locations, he introduced us to fascinating people and was just a wonderful person to spend time with. We stayed at the Septimo Paraiso and the Bellavista Cloudforest Lodge, both of which were stunning

My research showed very mixed feedback between Cuyabeno and Yasuni, and so based on Mathias’s recommendation we did both – and in hindsight he was completely correct. They are very different, unique and special in their own distinct ways. In Cuyabeno we stayed at the Nicki Lodge for 5 nights and I loved it. We met a couple of travelers who had had bad experiences at some of the other local lodges, but the service and friendliness from our staff was fantastic. The lodge is more casual and low key but I felt closer to the environment and with the narrower rivers the forest seemed to be more intimate. We had a young guide called Jefferson who was from Quito - he had fallen in love with the natural environment and was passionate about sharing it with us. Through his share dedication we managed to see a young family of endangered otters, the beautiful fresh water dolphins, birds, insects, caiman, spiders and flora (as well as lots of very muddy walks – well worth the effort). The lovely lodge chef cooked up tasty local meals shared at one long table which allowed us to meet backpackers through to seasoned international travelers.

Sacha Lodge, on the other hand, was truly spectacular and upmarket. Mathias organized a “master” ornithologist for us (a local Kichwe called Osca) who managed to help us identify 130 bird species in 3 days (including a great sighting of a juvenile Harpy Eagle), over and above the 5 monkey species, stick insects, frogs, parrots at the clay lick, and quiet moments in the canoe simply enjoying the environment.

There is no way we could have put together a trip like this without the local knowledge, experience and expertise of Mathias and his team. Mathias provided us with a level of service, professionalism and personal input that I have never experienced before. Kudos to him and his team.

Steven

Islands and amazon eco., Ecuador - Aug 31 - Sep 14, 2019

Traveler: Steven M. - Local specialist: Isabel Pérez

Ecuador, the essentials. Quito, Yasuni National Park Amazon, and Galapagos!

Our 14 day vacation was exceptional from start to finish. Our trip advisor, Isabel Perez, worked with me in the months leading up to our holiday to ensure we were able to visit our 'must see' places, and also find relaxation time. Her recommendation of the Napo Cultural Centre in Yasuni was the perfect choice for us. Not only is this first class eco-lodge located in a beautiful part of the Amazon, but it is also... read more

Ecuador, the essentials. Quito, Yasuni National Park Amazon, and Galapagos!

Our 14 day vacation was exceptional from start to finish. Our trip advisor, Isabel Perez, worked with me in the months leading up to our holiday to ensure we were able to visit our 'must see' places, and also find relaxation time. Her recommendation of the Napo Cultural Centre in Yasuni was the perfect choice for us. Not only is this first class eco-lodge located in a beautiful part of the Amazon, but it is also home to the local indigenous community school, doctor's office, and cultural events. So you can interact with the local people as well as the parrots and monkeys!

Then after a few days visiting more of Quito we spent 6 unforgettable days on Santa Cruz and Isabela islands. Kimkim arranged for our door to door transportation, great hotels, and unforgettable activities.

We highly recommend partnering with Kimkim to ensure you have the best, seamless, and unforgettable experience in Ecuador!

Isabel Pérez profile photo
Isabel Pérez, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Steve! I'm glad the two of you had a wonderful experience here in Ecuador, hope it was a healing time and you came back home with renewed strength! It was a real pleasure planning this trip with you, hopefully, you will come back and see more of the wonders Ecuador has to offer.

Warm regards,
Isabel

Options for touring ecuador, Ecuador - Jul 27 - Jul 29, 2019

Traveler: Leslie T. - Local specialist: Isabel Pérez

The trip was amazing. Isabel did a wonderful job of planning the trip and Christian, our tour guide was unbelievable. He took us everywhere on the itinerary and even included extra stops along the way that he thought would interest us. He was very knowledgeable and we had a fantastic time on the trip. We would definitely recommend that anyone traveling to the Quito area use KimKim and request Christian as your tour guide!

Isabel Pérez profile photo
Isabel Pérez, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Leslie,
I'm so happy to hear that you have enjoyed your time and experiences in Ecuador! I will hand over your nice words to Christian and everyone else who helped to make your short-trip an unforgettable experience!
Please don't hesitate to contact me again in case you - or maybe friends of yours? - want to come to Ecuador again one day! It will be a pleasure for me to plan another great trip together with you.
Warm regards from Ecuador,
Isabel

Trip to galapagos islands, Galapagos Islands - May 27 - May 31, 2019

Traveler: Keri B. - Local specialist: Isabel Pérez

We enjoyed our 5 days of sailing in the Galapagos aboard the Fragata. Our guide, Roberto, was entertaining and knowledgeable about the islands. We especially enjoyed our interactions with the crew, namely Ramon and Jordan. They made our time aboard the boat fun by joining us for games. It was great to get to know them.

Overall, we had a great experience.

One suggestion is about snorkel gear rental. The Fragata website is not clear about cost of rentals. It lists a price for snorkel... read more

We enjoyed our 5 days of sailing in the Galapagos aboard the Fragata. Our guide, Roberto, was entertaining and knowledgeable about the islands. We especially enjoyed our interactions with the crew, namely Ramon and Jordan. They made our time aboard the boat fun by joining us for games. It was great to get to know them.

Overall, we had a great experience.

One suggestion is about snorkel gear rental. The Fragata website is not clear about cost of rentals. It lists a price for snorkel equipment. What is not clear is that this price is for either snorkel and mask OR fins. If you want the full package, it is double the cost.

Isabel Pérez profile photo
Isabel Pérez, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Keri! I'm happy you all had a great experience, especially with the crew!
I'm really sorry about the confusion with the prices for the snorkel equipment but thank you for letting me know! I will get in touch with the company so the website is reviewed and it clarifies the exact price of the full package.
Kind regards,
Isabel

Galapagos islands land-based adventure tour: 6 days, Galapagos Islands - Jun 18 - Jun 22, 2019

Traveler: Gretchen R. - Local specialist: Isabel Pérez

I am so glad I found this site. I was able to describe our interests, and Isabel put together a very nice itinerary that hit all our interests and maximized the use of our limited time, but still had some down time built in. Having a local "shepherd" us, first from the airport onto the bus/hotel, and then each morning to the group activity, took so much stress off of us (standing in line, buying tickets, wondering where the meet point was, etc.). We have traveled in many countries, but this... read more

I am so glad I found this site. I was able to describe our interests, and Isabel put together a very nice itinerary that hit all our interests and maximized the use of our limited time, but still had some down time built in. Having a local "shepherd" us, first from the airport onto the bus/hotel, and then each morning to the group activity, took so much stress off of us (standing in line, buying tickets, wondering where the meet point was, etc.). We have traveled in many countries, but this by far was maybe the smoothest and best thing I've ever done -- all the comfort of a local who speaks the language without the constraints of being tied to the same group/same activities each day. Once in Puerto Ayora, Karina checked us into the hotel and explained the itinerary for the coming week, including what activities, recommended footwear, etc. Karina was both personable and efficient - always on time to the minute, with the taxi right on time as well - no stress at all. The group tour (hiking and snorkeling - our two favorite things) with Fausto on Santa Cruz was a big highlight - great tour!

Isabel Pérez profile photo
Isabel Pérez, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Gretchen! I'm honestly really happy that although your days were limited, you were able to enjoy the diversity the Galapagos islands have to offer, even got to snorkel and hike the Sierra Negra volcano, which I believe is quite breathtaking. I'm glad the service was smooth and everything was clear for you as to what to do next, I will let Karina and Fausto know your thoughts!

Broken leg family, Ecuador - Jun 16 - Jun 29, 2019

Traveler: Jessica y. - Local specialist: Isabel Pérez

Isabel was phenomenal. She promptly responded to all messages and was so helpful along the way. Thank you!

Isabel Pérez profile photo
Isabel Pérez, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Jessica! I'm really glad you had an amazing time here in Ecuador with your family and got the chance to visit some of the most adventurous towns, Baños de Agua Santa and Montañita. From the pictures, it seems like you all enjoyed it!

Warm regards,
Isabel

Ecuador highlands & amazon - 7 days, Ecuador - Apr 29 - May 6, 2019

Traveler: Sam S. - Local specialist: Isabel Pérez

Our trip to Ecuador booked through kimkim was incredible! Isabel made sure that everything was dealt with in terms of accomodations, activities, and logistics which took a lot of the planning off of our hands! The itinerary put together and the welcome packet at the first hotel made sure we never were confused about any meeting points or activities.

In terms of the trip itself, Ecuador is amazing in its diversity of climates and the two that my girlfriend and I wanted to experience (Volcano... read more

Our trip to Ecuador booked through kimkim was incredible! Isabel made sure that everything was dealt with in terms of accomodations, activities, and logistics which took a lot of the planning off of our hands! The itinerary put together and the welcome packet at the first hotel made sure we never were confused about any meeting points or activities.

In terms of the trip itself, Ecuador is amazing in its diversity of climates and the two that my girlfriend and I wanted to experience (Volcano and rainforest) were both unforgettable experiences! From biking down Cotopaxi and the surrounding park to spotting monkeys, birds, caimans, and pink dolphins in the rainforest we couldn’t have asked for a better trip. Thank you to Isabel and our guides for the two portions, Ricardo (biking) and Diego (rainforest). I would highly recommend kimkim for any travel plans and will 100% be using them again in the future!

Isabel Pérez profile photo
Isabel Pérez, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Sam and Megan, I am really happy to hear that you had a great time in Ecuador! It was a pleasure to plan this trip with you, mixing a bit of what you both like, keeping it always fun with. I hope you will have the opportunity to come back to Ecuador, maybe explore some other regions of Ecuador, different volcanoes or go deeper into the rain forest!

Warm regards,
Isabel

7 days in ecuador: 5 unique itinerary ideas, Ecuador - Apr 28 - May 5, 2019

Traveler: William O. - Local specialist: Linda Schulz

All drivers and guides were very professional and friendly, they listened and steered us to aspects we told them we were interested in (in my case it was local foods and sighting as many wild birds as possible). The entire LaSelva experience was extremely well organized and fulfilling. Transportation was clean and comfortable. We appreciated having water available for us for every leg of the journey. The hotels in Quito and the Hacienda Cusin were all enjoyable. We loved the local fruits and Ecuadorian dishes for breakfast. All in all just a wonderful trip!

Linda Schulz profile photo
Linda Schulz, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Bill,
it is great to hear that you had a wonderful time here in Ecuador! I am happy that you liked Ecuador's beautiful nature and the traditional food and hope to welcome you back one day!
All the best for the future,
Linda

Pradyumn

Quito & the galapagos islands - 8 days, Ecuador - Apr 14 - Apr 18, 2019

Traveler: Pradyumn S. - Local specialist: Linda Schulz

Everything was well taken care of. No significant glitches. Good guides provided, who were knowledgeable, helpful and attentive. Superb experience. Communication and responses from Linda were prompt and clear.

Linda Schulz profile photo
Linda Schulz, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Pradyumn, thank you very much for your feedback about your Galapagos trip in April! I am glad to hear that you have enjoyed your holidays and hope to welcome you again one day in Ecuador so that you can explore the rest of the country!
All the best,
Linda

A taste of equador, Ecuador - Apr 19 - Apr 29, 2019

Traveler: Sheila R. - Local specialist: Linda Schulz

Our Ecuador adventure was amazing due to the excellent support from Linda and Kimkim. Linda helped us pull together a diverse itinerary for the relatively short amount of time we had in a country we knew nothing about. She was very responsive to emails and patient with our questions and worked within our parameters that kept changing. We loved all the accommodations recommended by Linda, in particular the Inti Sisa Art Guesthouse in Guamote and Hosteria Mandala at the coast in Puerto... read more

Our Ecuador adventure was amazing due to the excellent support from Linda and Kimkim. Linda helped us pull together a diverse itinerary for the relatively short amount of time we had in a country we knew nothing about. She was very responsive to emails and patient with our questions and worked within our parameters that kept changing. We loved all the accommodations recommended by Linda, in particular the Inti Sisa Art Guesthouse in Guamote and Hosteria Mandala at the coast in Puerto Lopez - both so amazing and gorgeous, and each supporting important social and environmental projects in their communities which was important to us. And in our price range! We appreciated Linda’s recommendation to have a driver/guide traveling from Quito to Banos, and enjoyed a full day with Annibal V learning about Ecuador, and seeing the sites. A more expensive transportation option, but but well worth it and balanced off with the super inexpensive (and more adventurous!) buses we took at other points in our travel. Another highlight was our day trip to Isla de la Plata with Machalilla Tours - again recommended by Linda and we felt confident in the quality and safety of their equipment, services and guides. Thanks Linda for helping to create such a memorable trip for three Canadian gals, we would not hesitate to highly recommend your services to others.

Linda Schulz profile photo
Linda Schulz, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Sheila,
thanks a lot for your great feedback on your Ecuador trip and for sharing your pictures with us - it looks like the three of you had an amazing time! It was a pleasure to help you plan this trip! Please don't hesitate to contact me again if you come back to Ecuador one day to explore the rest of the country which you couldn't visit this time.
All the best for the three of you,
Linda

Abby

Ecuador, Ecuador - Feb 22 - Mar 1, 2019

Traveler: Abby J. - Local specialist: Linda Schulz

Overall this trip was fun. The planning processes was relatively straight-forward with Linda though there was a bunch of back and forth that I think may have been solved by being more forth coming with "this is the company we normally go with" or "these will be stops on XYZ."
For the actual trip, I don't think the airport transfer went smoothly. The person who was supposed to pick us up, sent someone else into the airport, spelled our name wrong, and were holding a sign not associated with... read more

Overall this trip was fun. The planning processes was relatively straight-forward with Linda though there was a bunch of back and forth that I think may have been solved by being more forth coming with "this is the company we normally go with" or "these will be stops on XYZ."
For the actual trip, I don't think the airport transfer went smoothly. The person who was supposed to pick us up, sent someone else into the airport, spelled our name wrong, and were holding a sign not associated with KimKim or any service I'd heard from. It was only because I speak some Spanish I decided that sign was the only one remotely close to our name we ended up with the right person.
Our guide, Marco, while very nice and resourceful I would have put in the category of "driver," not a true "guide." I frequently found myself at the edge of other tour groups in order to learn more history/background/context of what we were seeing. Marco effectively got us from place to place, but he might spend 3-5 minutes telling us about a centuries old church and then leaving us to our own devices. This is fine, but had I known, I would have hired a private tour guide for Quito at least.
We LOVED our experience mountain biking with Biking Dutchman down Cotopaxi. Despite the fact is was raining and cold, it was so cool and our guide/transport were great. Heads up that transport isn't super comfy/questionable seatbelt safety, but probably fine.
Banos was fun, there were some small issues with the group who did our rock climbing/ Via Ferrata tour, but they were easy to work with and responsive in handling mistakes.
I honestly normally do all of our trip planning myself, but do to cost of renting an automatic vehicle and my middling at best Spanish, thought this might be a good opportunity to test out a tour guide company. As I said above, this was a fun trip and parts were really very cool, but the parts we most enjoyed was stuff I specifically researched and suggested, so I'm on the fence about whether I would do this again.
It's probably a great service if you don't have time/desire to do the research, but I think TripAdvisor and Google will continue to be my go-tos.

Thanks for helping have a fun time in Ecuador!

Linda Schulz profile photo
Linda Schulz, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Abby,

thank you very much for your valuable feedback! First of all, I am happy that you had a fun time in Ecuador.

I am sorry to hear that you didn’t like Marco’s guiding style. Marco, a guide with many years of experience, has successfully guided a lot of guests through Ecuador, and has received very good feedback and reviews in the past (one example for a recent feedback from another guest: https://www.kimkim.com/trip-reviews/4RvZpKRd).

It’s great to hear that the activities and... read more

Hi Abby,

thank you very much for your valuable feedback! First of all, I am happy that you had a fun time in Ecuador.

I am sorry to hear that you didn’t like Marco’s guiding style. Marco, a guide with many years of experience, has successfully guided a lot of guests through Ecuador, and has received very good feedback and reviews in the past (one example for a recent feedback from another guest: https://www.kimkim.com/trip-reviews/4RvZpKRd).

It’s great to hear that the activities and providers you had especially researched for parts of your tour were essentially our top picks, which shows that you have done excellent research about Ecuador as a travel destination!

Regarding your airport transfer, I apologize for the confusion. Due to unpredicted circumstances a different staff had to welcome you at the arrival hall and escort you to the previously announced driver. This was an exception as we always send the driver/guide that we previously communicate, along with a clearly identifiable sign (logo with guest`s name). Again, I am sorry for the inconvenience.

I wish you all the best for future travels,
Linda

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

Mathias Onisseit profile photo
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

Ultimate guide to diving in the galapagos, Galapagos Islands - Mar 25 - Apr 2, 2019

Traveler: Heather H. - Local specialist: Linda Schulz

Linda was absolutely amazing and put together the ideal itinerary for us which turned out to be the trip of a lifetime! Not only was she there for all the preparation and planning but when we arrived she was a total star in sorting out lost luggage, making sure we were ok, and even tracking down a lost pair of glasses that caught up with us by high speed boat just before we were about to leave. 5 stars is just not enough, Linda really was a life saver! I highly recommend Linda and Kim Kim, absolutely brilliant!

Linda Schulz profile photo
Linda Schulz, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Heather, I am more than happy to hear that you had unforgettable holidays (despite delayed luggage and forgotten glasses) - it was a pleasure to help you organize everything! Please don't hesitate to contact me in the future if you come to Ecuador again.
All the best for the three of you,
Linda

Quito +amazon+galapagos , Ecuador - Mar 20 - Mar 28, 2019

Traveler: Danlin H. - Local specialist: Linda Schulz

This trip was amazing! Linda was so helpful from the very beginning. During the whole trip, I didn't have to worry about anything. There was always someone with a sign of my name waiting for me at the airport. There were different local guides to take care of our schedule. (Although I hope the local guide in Galapagos is more professional and helpful. She didn't give us any useful information about the tours, Galapagos in general, other than taking us from the hotel to the meeting points of... read more

This trip was amazing! Linda was so helpful from the very beginning. During the whole trip, I didn't have to worry about anything. There was always someone with a sign of my name waiting for me at the airport. There were different local guides to take care of our schedule. (Although I hope the local guide in Galapagos is more professional and helpful. She didn't give us any useful information about the tours, Galapagos in general, other than taking us from the hotel to the meeting points of our tours every day) The hotels were absolutely amazing. The hotel in Quito is in the best location, and the service was so great. Both the hotel in Quito and Galapagos upgraded the room for us for free. The tours were fun overall. We had limited time so we didn't get to go deep into the Amazon, so we didn't get to see lots of animals. Nonetheless, the guide was still amazing and the experience was still great.

Linda Schulz profile photo
Linda Schulz, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Danlin,
I'm glad that you have enjoyed your trip to Ecuador and Galapagos, even if you only had one week.
Hopefully you will have the chance to come back one day to go deeper into the Amazon and explore more regions of Ecuador!
All the best,
Linda

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

Mathias Onisseit profile photo
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

lois

Volcanos, Ecuador - Jan 14 - Jan 18, 2019

Traveler: lois b. - Local specialist: Linda Schulz

Marco our bilingual guide was a very safe & entertaining driver with whom we were able to practice our conversational Spanish .The 5 day Avenue of volcanoes tour was an amazing series of national parks and hacienda stays which enabled us to reach Guayaquil for our Galapagos trip visiting markets,walking in beautiful places and experiencing the unique hospitality of haciendas.

Linda Schulz profile photo
Linda Schulz, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Lois, great to hear that you have enjoyed your tour through the Andes and the overnight stays in different, traditional Haciendas! In just a short time you were able to see many different parts of Ecuador - from volcanoes to lagoons and typical indigenous markets. I hope you will leave Ecuador with many beautiful memories!

Trip to galapagos islands, Galapagos Islands - Dec 15 - Dec 27, 2018

Traveler: ramachandran v. - Local specialist: Linda Schulz

Overall I can sum up our experience as Excellent!! Thanks to Linda who did a wonderful job of getting the tour planning and arrangements taken care of. Our entire trip was very well organized and worked like a clock right from the day we landed in Quito. Linda worked methodically answering every question that we had during the planning process, customizing the minute details, dietary requirements, transportation, guide information etc. I liked the personalization of the whole package. I would... read more

Overall I can sum up our experience as Excellent!! Thanks to Linda who did a wonderful job of getting the tour planning and arrangements taken care of. Our entire trip was very well organized and worked like a clock right from the day we landed in Quito. Linda worked methodically answering every question that we had during the planning process, customizing the minute details, dietary requirements, transportation, guide information etc. I liked the personalization of the whole package. I would recommend Kimkim travels to anyone who considers planning a vacation to the Galapagos and Amazon. Great staff, very courteous and affordable.

Linda Schulz profile photo
Linda Schulz, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Venkat, great to hear that you have enjoyed your trip to Ecuador and Galapagos - I was more than happy to help you organize your vacation, and I hope to welcome you again one day in Ecuador to explore the rest of the country!
All the best for you and your family,
Linda

Exploring ecuador, Ecuador - Dec 31 - Jan 14, 2019

Traveler: Jet A. - Local specialist: Linda Schulz

We highly recommend Linda if you're considering going to Ecuador. Linda was extremely responsive throughout, and on top of that, she was in constant communication with local guides to make sure we were taken care of when we got sick during the trip.

We had considered going there on our own, and we're so glad we didn't. The itinerary that Linda put together for us was perfect, as we were able to truly see how distinct and diverse different parts of the country are. The local guide that she... read more

We highly recommend Linda if you're considering going to Ecuador. Linda was extremely responsive throughout, and on top of that, she was in constant communication with local guides to make sure we were taken care of when we got sick during the trip.

We had considered going there on our own, and we're so glad we didn't. The itinerary that Linda put together for us was perfect, as we were able to truly see how distinct and diverse different parts of the country are. The local guide that she paired us with, Christian, was great as well. He was very knowledgeable about history of the country, and he also recommended some hole-in-the-wall restaurants, which made our experiences very unique and memorable!

Don't think twice about contacting Linda if you're considering going to Ecuador!

Linda Schulz profile photo
Linda Schulz, local specialist, responded to this review:

Jet, thank you very much for your great feedback! Once again, I am very sorry that you got sick during your trip - it is great to hear that you could enjoy your holidays despite this inconvenience and that you have been able to gain a good insight into the country, its culture and its people.
It would be a pleasure to welcome you again one day in Ecuador!
All the best for future travels,
Linda

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!!!

Mathias Onisseit profile photo
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.

Mathias Onisseit profile photo
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.

10 days in ecuador: 5 suggested itineraries, Ecuador - Dec 24 - Jan 4, 2019

Traveler: Roopa K. - Local specialist: Linda Schulz

Our first trip to Ecuador was breath-taking to say the least. Galapagos has been on my bucket list for a long time and it was an exhilarating experience. Every island we visited was different and unique. It was impossible to get bored on the islands. Places like Los Tunales, the beach on Isabela island, and the ride on "Windrose" yacht are permanently etched in my memory.

Our trip was for 12 days, including 2 days for traveling. We spent 4 days in mainland Ecuador and 6 on Galapagos. In... read more

Our first trip to Ecuador was breath-taking to say the least. Galapagos has been on my bucket list for a long time and it was an exhilarating experience. Every island we visited was different and unique. It was impossible to get bored on the islands. Places like Los Tunales, the beach on Isabela island, and the ride on "Windrose" yacht are permanently etched in my memory.

Our trip was for 12 days, including 2 days for traveling. We spent 4 days in mainland Ecuador and 6 on Galapagos. In retrospect, we would have spent at least 1 day less in mainland and more time on Galapagos. Historical Quito, Mitad Del Mundo, Otavalo and Cotopaxi were good places to visit on mainland. Ideally, I would have loved more time in Otavalo instead of visiting some local waterfalls. Even Cuicocha lagoon was hyped up as a lake with active volcanic bubbles, but it was a major let down. All the places we visited on Galapagos were wonderful and given more time, we would have loved to visit more islands. The speed boat ride from Puerto Ayora to Isabela island was the bumpiest ride ever and there was not a single person on the boat who didn't come out without a queasy stomach. FYI, a one-way ferry ride costs $30 and lasts 2.5 hours. A plane trip costs $135 and lasts 30 mins. In the large scheme of things, we might have just selected the plane trip instead of enduring the bumpiest boat ride of our lives.

Linda was extremely informative and knowledgeable about Ecuador. She was great at setting our expectations and answering our questions promptly. Our local guides were a collective mix. Jorge (George), our guide on land, was great, but provided info that was less engaging for the kids. On Galapagos, our guide to Los Tunales, Sebastian, stole the show. He was patient, funny and knew a lot about the local area and habitats. While snorkeling, he ensured we all saw the key pieces without rushing . He walked with my mom, who is 72 years old, at her pace guiding her on the rocks etc. Overall, a great experience with him. All the other guides were decent.

As a group of 9, finding hotel rooms together was a big challenge. In most places, we didn't have rooms near each other. They were almost always on different floors, which was a logistical headache. In Quito, our hotel, Cruz Loma, didn't have elevators and it was painful to trudge up 4 flights of stairs with suitcases. Unfortunately, they didn't offer help with our luggage nor did they heed our request for rooms on lower floors. The hotels on Galapagos islands were normal 3-star places. Nothing too fancy to write about. Again, no elevators, but the staff helped our with our stuff. Breakfast was included for all our days, but 10 days of eating nothing but eggs, bread, yogurt and juice got too tiring. I wish they would provide a bit more variety, even if we had to pay for it.

Overall, this was a once in a lifetime trip and one that we will recall for many years to come. Thanks to Linda and Kimkim for helping us with this vacation !

Linda Schulz profile photo
Linda Schulz, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Roopa and Lakshmi,

I am very happy to hear that you will recall your trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands for many years to come, it was a pleasure to help you organize it!

I apologize for any inconveniences with your hotels. Unfortunately, most of the smaller, 3-star hotels here in Ecuador don't have elevators (due to logistic reasons, especially on Galapagos). Thanks a lot for letting me know about the circumstances in Hotel Cruz Loma, I will get in touch with them.
It is great... read more

Hi Roopa and Lakshmi,

I am very happy to hear that you will recall your trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands for many years to come, it was a pleasure to help you organize it!

I apologize for any inconveniences with your hotels. Unfortunately, most of the smaller, 3-star hotels here in Ecuador don't have elevators (due to logistic reasons, especially on Galapagos). Thanks a lot for letting me know about the circumstances in Hotel Cruz Loma, I will get in touch with them.
It is great to hear though that you have enjoyed the different excursions on Galapagos as well as on mainland Ecuador and that the guides provided interesting and helpful information as well as personal assistance.

I wish you all the best for future travels and hope to welcome you again one day in Ecuador!

Effrosyni

Trip to galapagos islands, Galapagos Islands - Dec 24 - Dec 27, 2018

Traveler: Effrosyni K. - Local specialist: Linda Schulz

Linda was absolutely wonderful. She booked my last minute Galapagos trip . She was eager to help very responsive and knew the area really well. I am grateful for her help and I strongly recommend her to other travelers. Thank you Linda

Linda Schulz profile photo
Linda Schulz, local specialist, responded to this review:

I am happy to hear that you have enjoyed your time on Galapagos, Effrosyni! Thanks a lot for sharing your fotos with us - it looks like you have been able to see a lot of wildlife and beautiful landscapes in just a short time. Take care & safe travels!

Wendy

Ecuador, Ecuador - Dec 24 - Dec 27, 2018

Traveler: Wendy D. - Local specialist: Linda Schulz

Tour at Nicky Amazon Lodge exceeded my expectation. My favorite part was exploring the night life of the Amazon rainforest. It is something I would never think because it was not mentioned in the textbook. Birding watching and hiking options at Bellavista was very good. This would not be possible without kimkim. Kimkim's online platform was helpful because I had a busy schedule and their advice and support made a difference in my decision-making process. To the point, the trip was well-tailored thanks to kimkim's service.

Linda Schulz profile photo
Linda Schulz, local specialist, responded to this review:

Wendy, great to hear that you have enjoyed your tour to the Amazon and the cloud forest! It was a pleasure to help you planning those parts of your trip.
All the best for future travels,
Linda

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.

Mathias Onisseit profile photo
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?

Quito,crater lake, Ecuador - Dec 15 - Dec 18, 2018

Traveler: Raj R. - Local specialist: Linda Schulz

Advanced planning
Good pick up times
Easily available for any questions
Custom itenary based on personal preference.
I would recommend to anyone.

Linda Schulz profile photo
Linda Schulz, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Raj, thank you very much for your review and for traveling with us! I hope that we will have the chance to welcome you again in Ecuador one day for another adventure.
All the best and safe travels in the future!

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.

Mathias Onisseit profile photo
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.

Mathias Onisseit profile photo
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!

Trip to ecuador and galapagos, Ecuador - Sep 21 - Oct 8, 2018

Traveler: Natascia V. - Local specialist: Linda Schulz

We stayed 10 days in Ecuador and 8 days on Galapagos.
All was very good.
Linda planned us the exactly trip we asked her.
The guide who went with us, Marco, was very friendly, also for trip not planned.
We went to Quito, on Cotopaxi, Quilatoa Lagoon, Baños, Chimborazo, Guamote, Cuenca and Guayaquil. A great trip !
Than on Galapagos we stayed two days on San Cristobal, one day on Santa Cruz and the last 5 days on a very beautiful Cruise.
All the accomodation of our trip was fantastic.
We're enthusiastics of this beautiful experience.
Thanks Linda !

Natascia and Giampaolo (Italy)

Linda Schulz profile photo
Linda Schulz, local specialist, responded to this review:

Ciao Natascia e Giampaolo,

thank you very much for your great review! I am happy to hear that you have enjoyed your time in mainland Ecuador as well as on the Galapagos Islands, and that you could return back home with a lot of unforgettable memories.
I hope to welcome you again one day in Ecuador!

All the best and safe travels in the future,
Linda

Jessica

Looking to take in as much as possible during a 4-5 day visit! , Ecuador - Aug 5 - Aug 11, 2018

Traveler: Jessica H. - Local specialist: Linda Schulz

Linda was outstanding, she was quick at answering all my questions and made sure I was in the loop when itineraries changed.

All the guides did a wonderful job explaining Ecuador and the different locations that are popular to visit or that make Ecuador unique.

The city tour was nice, I really enjoyed the mitad del mundo museum - very informative.
Otavalo, Cotopaxi, Quilotoa, and Baños were all wonderful experiences!

I was very thankful that Linda was able to connect with my hotel and ensure that I had a to go breakfast on the days I left early. I love breakfast!!

Linda Schulz profile photo
Linda Schulz, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Jess,
thank you so much, it was a pleasure to help you planning your trip!
I am very happy that you had the chance to see so many different places in Ecuador and that you enjoyed each destination!

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 profile photo
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 profile photo
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.