“We are a family of 4 with adult children. Two of us are experienced divers and definitely want to dive in the Azores! We'd love to see whales, although I understand this might not be the best time of year. We also enjoy fishing. All of us want to hike and do enjoy nature but prefer to come home to a luxury hotel. We are adventurous eaters.”
Cátia Chaves, a local specialist from the Azores, helped this traveler put together a customized itinerary.
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Trip planning highlights
Best of the Azores 2017
Summary of the trip planning conversation
Hellow, thank you very much for your contact and interest. I'm Tiago, and I will help you plan a great program.
Just a couple of questions:
- Would you prefer Big game fishing or something else?
- How many dives would you consider in a week time?
Also, I'm going to present alternatives for the 2 non-divers, during the diving time, is that ok with you? Thanks, and looking forward to making this program!
Big game fishing. 2 days diving. And yes please present alternatives for the nondivers. Thank you!
I choose 2 double rooms in a nice 4-star hotel, the Azoris Royal Garden. And I have considered the big game fishing for the 4 of you. If you have any additional questions, please get in touch.
Diving starts in Ponta Delgada Marina, and it´s operated by a local diving center of our trust, with diving instructors by PADI. The trips I recommended are 2 dives per morning, in a shipwreck close to Ponta Delgada harbor, full of marine life.
The trip was amazing! The people were wonderful, warm, kind and friendly, the island is incredibly beautiful, the activities were fantastic. We loved it!
What could have been better then? More detail in the information provided. After booking the trip, we received nothing to confirm and no more specific information than was provided in the initial trip plan description.
Why was this a problem? For example, on the afternoon we arrived in Ponta Delgada, we were scheduled to go whale watching, but no information was provided as to the time, location or meeting point for the activity. Before we left I thought to ask Cátia specifically about this and was told 1 pm, but I should have asked for more details. I guess I thought we would receive them on arrival, but we didn't. While it might have seemed obvious to them that we would meet at the boats in Ponta Delgada harbor, it was not obvious to us on the day of our arrival!
Similarly, the description provided for each activity was good for a general idea of the activity but fell short of giving enough specific information - duration, degree of difficulty, starting point, starting time, etc. For another example, the description of the "Route to Pristine" doesn't mention that it is a 14K hike with the first 3K uphill, never mind where you meet and what time, etc. The hike was fabulous and we loved it but it would have been good to know what we were getting into before we started on the journey.
Whenever we asked, the information was provided, and it was correct, but sometimes we didn't ask quite enough questions. Before traveling we asked Cátia to reserve a restaurant table only one night, at a small place where we heard reservations were necessary, which she kindly did. But we had to ask the date and time of the reservation (the day of), and were not told that the restaurant was cash only, which they say they tell you at the time the reservation is made, something we didn't find out until we had finished our meal. Fortunately, the owner seemed unfazed, we paid with all the Euros we had, but had to return by cab (the place was in another town) another day with enough cash to pay off the entire bill.
We figured most things out and they were expecting us at each step along the way, but it would have been good to provide us with a bit more specific of an agenda, at the latest upon arrival.
Please do not take this as a negative review! Overall, the activities were fantastic! We just would have liked a bit more detail in our itinerary.
Tiago and Cátia planned an incredible trip for us and we enjoyed it immensely. I'd like to thank all our drivers/guides/hiking companions - Luis, Luis, Mario, Philip and the Azores Fishing guys Eduardo and Diogo for being so wonderful, knowledgeable and kind, and showing us their beautiful home and all the great things there are to do there. Had we booked this trip without kimkim's help, we probably would have done less than half of what we did and certainly would not have tried canyoning, now my son's favorite new activity!