Trip Reviews

The latest reviews by travelers who booked their trip on kimkim
Romain

The best short treks in nepal - trekking itineraries ranging from 3 to 10 days, Nepal - Apr 20 - Apr 24, 2018

Traveler: Romain K. - Local specialist: Amanda Delecca

Welcoming by people living in the mountains was always good. Teahouse food always freshly cooked on demand and very good, which was surprising with the remoteness of the villages or base camp.
Dawa our guide know well the track so no issue about being guided. Many new roads are being built so sometimes it was hard to find the right track. From the description of our trip, we went through a cheese factory village. Dawa didn't tell us and it is a bit disappointed that he never talked about... read more

Welcoming by people living in the mountains was always good. Teahouse food always freshly cooked on demand and very good, which was surprising with the remoteness of the villages or base camp.
Dawa our guide know well the track so no issue about being guided. Many new roads are being built so sometimes it was hard to find the right track. From the description of our trip, we went through a cheese factory village. Dawa didn't tell us and it is a bit disappointed that he never talked about life of people living in villages, how they sustain, what is their culture and values.
Amanda was welcoming before and after the treck and helpful for any question.

Kelly

Balthali village trek via namo buddha and panauti, Nepal - Apr 6 - Apr 12, 2018

Traveler: Kelly W. - Local specialist: Kripa Sunuwar

Overall the planning process was smooth - Kripa was responsive and addressed my questions. My guide, Rishi was great! He was knowledgeable, friendly, and a pleasure to trek with.

Unfortunately, I was disappointed with the route (Balthali Village Trek) designed by kimkim. Based on the descriptions on the site (and research I did online), I was under the impression I would be trekking between quiet hillside villages, off the beaten path, near mountains. This was not the case. While Rishi... read more

Overall the planning process was smooth - Kripa was responsive and addressed my questions. My guide, Rishi was great! He was knowledgeable, friendly, and a pleasure to trek with.

Unfortunately, I was disappointed with the route (Balthali Village Trek) designed by kimkim. Based on the descriptions on the site (and research I did online), I was under the impression I would be trekking between quiet hillside villages, off the beaten path, near mountains. This was not the case. While Rishi made every effort to take alternative routes that took us off main roads, most of the trek was in earshot of bus and truck horns, loud music, and general city life. I wish kimkim had been upfront about the type of trek this was and had more accurate descriptions of where I would be trekking (ie, between cities, on roads). I would not recommend this trek to anyone interested in a peaceful trek through the mountains or countryside.

In addition, while I walk fast, I thought the trekking time estimates were really off. One day, the trekking time was listed as 5 hours, but I completed the distance in 2.5. Adding distance to the descriptions would be helpful.

Trip to morocco, Morocco - Apr 9 - Apr 23, 2018

Traveler: Vini N. - Local specialist: Larbi Anzal

While we enjoyed our trip to this amazing country , I would have a some suggestions .
We were two people on a private tour .

Clarify every arrangement clearly
Eg no shopping stops on guided tours / guides could be higher quality
All drivers or taxi services provide by company to have basic English ( or language requested by client ) . We struggled with this on our last three days , was tiresome .
We requested a luxury tent in the Desert , but only a standard one was booked . When we... read more

While we enjoyed our trip to this amazing country , I would have a some suggestions .
We were two people on a private tour .

Clarify every arrangement clearly
Eg no shopping stops on guided tours / guides could be higher quality
All drivers or taxi services provide by company to have basic English ( or language requested by client ) . We struggled with this on our last three days , was tiresome .
We requested a luxury tent in the Desert , but only a standard one was booked . When we queried it and requested itemised costs , nothing received . My final quote was based on this,
Also I had requested meals to be omitted , to offer more flexibilty , this was not done .
So we ended up pay AUD 500 eac more , not totally sure what for .
Our initial driver could have had more engagement / charisma . Felt he wa just ‘doing a job ‘ most of the time .
One hotels and one meal below standard .
We were not informed of our drivers name or called by Larbi initially to check if all was going smoothly .
On the positive when we did contact Larbi if was very good . Our driver was flexible and adjusted our itinery so we got a full day on Fez .
Overall had some great experiences, Morocco scenery , food and interesting weather !

Larbi Anzal, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hello Vini. It is good to read that many aspects of your tour were great and positive. About those items that you found less so, I hope that they did not cloud your tour too much. In a developing country language can be a challenge sometimes and I am sorry that you found this to be this way for you. Most often we only hear good things about our drivers and Guides so this is unfortunate. There was discussion in the email conversations about what level of desert tent you wished but your final... read more

Hello Vini. It is good to read that many aspects of your tour were great and positive. About those items that you found less so, I hope that they did not cloud your tour too much. In a developing country language can be a challenge sometimes and I am sorry that you found this to be this way for you. Most often we only hear good things about our drivers and Guides so this is unfortunate. There was discussion in the email conversations about what level of desert tent you wished but your final Trip Plan (stating all inclusions/exclusions) did not show a deluxe tent; as all your other accommodations were requested to be at 3*, a standard tent was booked for you (And it was this standard that was costed in). I hope that your meals eaten in the accommodations were enjoyable; I note one was not so good for you and I will seek to enquire about this. Our travellers usually like eating in their accommodations after a long day, when they can freshen up, relax and reflect on the day. I am pleased that you found my service towards you helpful whilst you were on tour.

Harold

Group departure - three passes trek - the ultimate 19-day trek in the everest region of nepal, Nepal - Apr 7 - Apr 23, 2018

Traveler: Harold S. - Local specialist: Ngima Dorji Sherpa

Nepal is a great place but can be chaotic even by South African standards. Every trip to Nepal and Himalaya should be done with a guide from a reputable company.

From the start to the end of our trip we were in the fast lane. When people were queuing, either Ngima or our guide Mingmar got us to the front with no hassle.

There are premium accommodation options along the EBC and Three passes trek, however, most are very basic but adequate. Western toilets become a rarity the closer one gets... read more

Nepal is a great place but can be chaotic even by South African standards. Every trip to Nepal and Himalaya should be done with a guide from a reputable company.

From the start to the end of our trip we were in the fast lane. When people were queuing, either Ngima or our guide Mingmar got us to the front with no hassle.

There are premium accommodation options along the EBC and Three passes trek, however, most are very basic but adequate. Western toilets become a rarity the closer one gets to Base Camp.

The trip was amazing. It was also very hard. I would not recommend three passes or Base Camp/Kala Patthar to anyone that is unfit, is injured, is overweight.

Deborah

Deborah's trip to the amazon, Peru - Apr 14 - Apr 16, 2018

Traveler: Deborah H. - Local specialist: James L. Mackender

I'm a traveler success manager at kimkim, and I booked part of my recent trip to Peru with James at Unu Raymi.

I had been itching to check out the Amazon rainforest, but knew that I wouldn't have a lot of time to explore during my recent trip to South America. James helped me plan a great 3-day trip to Huitoto Lodge; a beautiful, family-owned, remote lodge in the Tambopata region of the Peruvian Amazon.

Huitoto Lodge is situated on the bank of its very own oxbow lake, slightly removed... read more

I'm a traveler success manager at kimkim, and I booked part of my recent trip to Peru with James at Unu Raymi.

I had been itching to check out the Amazon rainforest, but knew that I wouldn't have a lot of time to explore during my recent trip to South America. James helped me plan a great 3-day trip to Huitoto Lodge; a beautiful, family-owned, remote lodge in the Tambopata region of the Peruvian Amazon.

Huitoto Lodge is situated on the bank of its very own oxbow lake, slightly removed from the powerful Madre de Dios river. This location affords the lodge a great amount of privacy, peace, and access to pristine jungle areas.

Each day, I had the opportunity to participate in different excursions with my guide, Efrain, including jungle walks, birding, fishing, and caiman-watching. In the downtime between activities, I enjoyed reading and relaxing in the peace and quiet of the lodge.

During my stay, I also had the pleasure of meeting the owners of the lodge, Flor and Gilberto. The two built the lodge together to share the beauty of the region with travelers, and to protect the land and its inhabitants in perpetuity. They take pride in providing great experiences for all of their guests. I should mention, Flor also helps out in the kitchen and is an excellent cook.

My favorite memory from my stay is of the boat trip I took around the island located in the middle of the oxbow lake. Efrain, Elmer (the boat driver), and I had the lake all to ourselves, so we had the opportunity to see an incredible amount of flora and fauna without interruption. On our way around the island, Efrain pointed out one spider monkey and two howler monkeys. He said that Flor and Gilberto had rescued these monkeys from illegal trafficking, and had given them a home on this island where they could remain free, but also protected from territorial monkeys in the mainland jungle areas. I loved seeing these monkeys playing in the wild!

I feel very fortunate that I had the opportunity to experience this unique lodge, and meet some of the passionate people behind its success.

James L. Mackender, local specialist, responded to this review:

Many thanks for your review of the lodge Deborah, it was great to be able to organise this trip for you. It's a great lodge in the Tambopata & I'm really pleased that Flor & Gilberto were able to host you also. There are a few routes we can do in the jungle that incorporate Huitoto Lake Lodge & it's a secluded place that offers a unique experience of the Amazon Jungle that we like to include as part of our trips. We'd love to show you more next time you're down this way! best regards, James

Jordan, Jordan - Apr 11 - Apr 16, 2018

Traveler: Justin T. - Local specialist: Andy Nurse

Great support by Andy. Local guide, Waleed, had very in-depth knowledge and was able to show us exactly what we were looking for.

Andy Nurse, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thanks Justin. I was happy to support your trip to Jordan and I am very pleased to hear that you liked your guide Waleed.

Trip to ethiopia, Ethiopia - Apr 7 - Apr 18, 2018

Traveler: Robyn B. - Local specialist: Marco Degasper

I had wanted to go to Ethiopia for sometime, when it was decided I searched the internet for a company that could deliver the tour that I wanted.
I found kimkim and through them found Marco from Simien Eco Tours.
I also looked at least 3 other tour operators. I had a specific list of things I wanted to see and was open to suggestions of what else Ethiopia had to offer. I specifically wanted to go to Aksum, Lalibela and the archaeology site where 'Lucy' was found. I emailed Marco stating as... read more

I had wanted to go to Ethiopia for sometime, when it was decided I searched the internet for a company that could deliver the tour that I wanted.
I found kimkim and through them found Marco from Simien Eco Tours.
I also looked at least 3 other tour operators. I had a specific list of things I wanted to see and was open to suggestions of what else Ethiopia had to offer. I specifically wanted to go to Aksum, Lalibela and the archaeology site where 'Lucy' was found. I emailed Marco stating as much and his first reaction to the Lucy site was 'why would you want to go there, there is nothing there'.
I must admit I was a bit annoyed that I received this reply and responded with 'Because I want to!'. His reply to me was a detailed itinerary of our trip which included the northern historic tour of Bahir Dar, Gondar, the Simien Mountains, Aksum, Lalibela and then a drive to Samera and the Lucy site. The fact that he immediately responded to the request of the client sealed the deal with me.
The itinerary was more than I had anticipated and was delivered very professionally.
We were met at the airport by Marco taken to our hotel to freshen up from the long trip. We met a short time later and he advised us of our trip in the days ahead. We were taken to see the National Museum and the displays therein. My focus was on Lucy and I was not disappointed. However, if you are looking for a museum similar to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo then you will be disappointed. This is Ethiopia and I think that western tourism is in its infancy, the infrastructure is still a work in progress.
We were then taken to lunch, to be introduced to the local food, injera. We went to the Taitu Hotel, as Marco advised it is in a seriously rundown condition, there are bedrooms, but you certainly wouldn't stay there, however the restaurant hadn’t changed in a hundred years and the food was great. And he wasn't wrong, it is a great restaurant for the tourist to begin. Marco had to beg off after lunch and left us with Mohamed and a driver, we were asked where we wanted to go and decided to have a look at the Mercato Markets.
We also spoke about other things to do in Addis, the only other choice was a church. We don't go travelling without doing some research on the place and I already knew that there is not a lot to do in one day for a tourist in Addis. We were happy with the Mercato for a couple of hours.
Marco picked us up in the morning and took us to the airport for our flight to Bahir Dar where we would meet our guide Yirga who would look after us for the next 12 days.
The flight was uneventful and were met an hour later by Yirga and our driver Awasha. Over the next 12 days Yirga was the best. His English was excellent, his knowledge of all things Ethiopian fantastic. He told us that he had been a guide for at least 15 years, this certainly showed, what really impressed me was his enthusiasm.
Bahir Dar was excellent, a trip to the Blue Nile Falls, a boat trip to the 14th century monastery was a great day the next day we drove to Gondar. At Gondar we had a guide (I apologize for not remembering his name) who showed us around the castle (palace) and a couple of churches. One thing which always pleases me is the knowledge that the guides have of what they are showing you. The castle you might be able to see in half an hour, with the guide we spent 2 -3 hours and learned so much, I wish I could remember it all.
On to the Simien Mountains the next day. A simply wonderful drive, we arrived early afternoon and after checking in Yirga suggested a short walk. He loves trekking and short walk to him was 2 hours, fortunately for us it was all downhill!! Along the way we saw a small group of gelada baboons, several different birds and many species of plants all which Yirga knew the English names.
We were met 2 hours later by our driver with the car and were driven back up the lodge. We were stopped by a large group of gelada's. Having these animals within an arm’s reach was quite remarkable.
Next day off to Aksum. Aksum is a very holy city and if you don't know anything about it get on the internet and do your research, 2 days was not enough. Again, Yirga made sure that we were Ok and again provided us with a guide for the city and surrounds and again everything was exceptional.
We flew to Lalibela and were met with a new driver, Bekele, a great driver and a very nice man.
Again, we had a great guide and again we had a great time in Lalibela. Lalibela is the hone to the rock hewn churches and they do not disappoint. After spending a day and a half looking at the churches, we went to the open-air market. It was Saturday and market day, and what a great market this is, through the household goods, pots, pans etc through the vegetable area, through the meat market, meat was still live on the hoof, sheep, goats and cattle. Then onto the grain, wheat, split peas, tef, all for sale (tef is the grain they use to make injera) Then onto the spices, what a great day.
A quick note on the hotels we stayed at, as earlier stated tourism infrastructure is still a work in progress, the hotels look nice and the staff are unbelievably friendly and accommodating, but not everything works as you might like, accept the small inconveniences as a work in progress and have a good chuckle. You don't live there, are only in Ethiopia for a short time so enjoy.
For me the best was yet to come. We had a long drive to the city of Samera, not that it is far in distance but the roads, goats, sheep, cows, people on the road slow you down a bit. However, the scenery was fantastic. We drove for about 7 hours with a couple of stops for coffee and lunch.
The next day we drove south to the Hadar region, stopped in a small town to negotiate with the town mayor for the right to drive to the Lucy site, all the official paperwork in order and off we go across the landscape, we had to take the town mayor and another. Along the way we went through an administration centre, a few buildings in the middle of nowhere, we picked up the local policeman (not sure why) and set off for another 45 minutes through the landscape.
We arrived, walked for about 10 minutes over hill and dale and came to a stone cairn with a plaque stating that Lucy was discovered here in 1974. There was much backslapping, hi-fiveing and hand shaking, why because it turns out that we are the very first tourist to ever visit this site. Over the years there have been a few archaeological groups come out and survey or dig, a couple of documentary groups but never any tourists except us. It was Yirga's first time as well and he was as excited as us.
I know that I have waffled on a bit, but I wanted to try and give you an account of the great trip we had in Ethiopia. I cannot praise Marco enough for the organisation of the trip that he put in, there was no hiccups. Yirga, what can I say about this young man, except that his attention to us, our needs and wants went far beyond what I was expecting. I have no doubt that he provides this level of service to all his clients and he will truly make your holiday memorable.
To Marco and Yirga and all who made our holiday what it was, I can only say Ameseginalehu.

Marco Degasper, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Robyn,
wow, what a long review full of enthusiasm! This shows me you really enjoyed the tour.
I'm happy to hear that your expectations, especially in terms of the Lucy site, have been fully met.
There are also other archaeological sites that you still haven't seen. So we're happy to see you again here... ;-)
Marco & Yirga

Jennifer

Content research trip - writer & editor for kimkim, Jordan - Mar 19 - Mar 31, 2018

Traveler: Jennifer K. - Local specialist: Andy Nurse

I'm the Head of Content at kimkim, and booked the first half of my recent trip to Jordan with Andy from Experience Jordan. A major goal of my trip was research for original article ideas, and my criteria was challenging. Andy did an amazing job of curating unique activities in Amman and throughout Northern Jordan that lived up to my "off the beaten path" standards.

Two favorite memories come to mind from my trip. I loved the hike that Andy arranged in the Ayoun area of Northern Jordan,... read more

I'm the Head of Content at kimkim, and booked the first half of my recent trip to Jordan with Andy from Experience Jordan. A major goal of my trip was research for original article ideas, and my criteria was challenging. Andy did an amazing job of curating unique activities in Amman and throughout Northern Jordan that lived up to my "off the beaten path" standards.

Two favorite memories come to mind from my trip. I loved the hike that Andy arranged in the Ayoun area of Northern Jordan, complete with a local guide and home-cooked Jordanian lunch. The day before my hike, the length of the hike had to be shortened significantly to accommodate a meeting I had later that afternoon. Andy was able to quickly make the change and worked with the hiking guide to find a shorter route that was still beautiful and enjoyable.

Andy also booked a tour of the winery facility at Eagle Distilleries, the oldest distillery in Jordan. It was so special to chat with the winery director, who was so passionate about his work, and to sample some of the best wines made in Jordan. These tours are now available to the public, and getting a sneak peek was a treat!

Thank you so much Andy for your incredible flexibility and responsiveness during my trip (and for making my border crossings from Israel so seamless)!!

Andy Nurse, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thanks Jennifer!

I really enjoyed meeting you in Jordan. Your pictures look amazing, you can really see how green northern Jordan is around March and April.

Wine and foodie tours are definitely something that we growing and will be happy to provide those experiences to customers. Additionally, I was very happy to hear your talk about how great Jordan is a great tourist destination and that you would like your parents to have an extended visit one day. I believe Jordan really is spectacular, and I look forward to promoting tourism to Jordan more with you.

Jennifer

Content research trip - writer & editor for kimkim, Jordan - Mar 24 - Mar 31, 2018

Traveler: Jennifer K. - Local specialist: Carmen Scholten

I'm the Head of Content at kimkim, and booked part of my recent trip to Jordan with Carmen from In2Jordan. A major goal of my trip was research for original article ideas, and my criteria was pretty challenging. Carmen did an amazing job of curating interesting, unique, and immersive experiences that lived up to my "off the beaten path" standards.

One of my absolute favorite memories is from my time in Wadi Rum, the desert wilderness in southern Jordan. I was originally scheduled for an... read more

I'm the Head of Content at kimkim, and booked part of my recent trip to Jordan with Carmen from In2Jordan. A major goal of my trip was research for original article ideas, and my criteria was pretty challenging. Carmen did an amazing job of curating interesting, unique, and immersive experiences that lived up to my "off the beaten path" standards.

One of my absolute favorite memories is from my time in Wadi Rum, the desert wilderness in southern Jordan. I was originally scheduled for an overnight "digital detox" experience, complete with private yoga sessions and sleeping under the stars (no tent!) in the middle of the beautiful desert. Due to crazy weather and some other unavoidable circumstances, this had to be canceled day-of. Carmen immediately got to work finding alternate options for me, and managed to book one of the very highly coveted bubble tents at Wadi Rum Night Luxury Camp (see photo). This was unforgettable - I felt like I was waking up on Mars!

Thank you to Carmen for being reliable and available during my trip, and quickly coming to my rescue with a fantastic alternative to my original plan!

Carmen Scholten, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Jennifer,

Thank you so much for your kind review! Organizing your trip was a challenge at times, but it was a pleasure to do so! We'll keep in touch!

Thank you for having us organizing part of your trip in Jordan!!

Carmen

Hugh

Volcano tour with my daughter, Nicaragua - Apr 13 - Apr 21, 2018

Traveler: Hugh B. - Local specialist: Katherine Torres

Incredible holiday in Nicaragua exploring the lakes and volcanoes and absorbing some of the history of this beautiful country. Our tour allowed us to climb and explore 4 volcanoes, kayak around the Isletas de Granada and the Rio Istiam, tour the cities of Leon and Granada, visit the beautiful Ometepe Island and zip line through the treetop canopy on the slopes of the Mombacho volcano and on Ometepe. The highlight has to be climbing Cerro Negro volcano and ash boarding down the steep south... read more

Incredible holiday in Nicaragua exploring the lakes and volcanoes and absorbing some of the history of this beautiful country. Our tour allowed us to climb and explore 4 volcanoes, kayak around the Isletas de Granada and the Rio Istiam, tour the cities of Leon and Granada, visit the beautiful Ometepe Island and zip line through the treetop canopy on the slopes of the Mombacho volcano and on Ometepe. The highlight has to be climbing Cerro Negro volcano and ash boarding down the steep south face of this amazing volcano. Throughout the tour we we had amazing Vapues guides and drivers (Franklin in Leon, Renee in Granada and Roberto in Managua and the local guide, Enoch on Ometepe Island) who ensured all our trips went to plan and offered us an insight into the local wildlife, culture, foods and history. Franklin climbed half way down the ash slope to ensure we got incredible photographs of our descent - what incredible commitment to customer service! Throughout the whole tour we were made to feel like guests rather than customers - nothing was too much trouble. Franklin said ‘this is your holiday so we will do whatever you want to do and at your pace’ as he introduced us to the beautiful city of Leon. Renee took us to the top of the active Masaya volcano to see the lava pool and kayaked with us around the Isletas de Granada pointing out the fabulous birds, monkeys, reptiles and mammals. The little bat colony living on a branch overhanging one of the inlets and the hooting of the Howler monkeys was a particular highlight. Granada was a stunning city with fabulous coloured buildings and a lively street scene which we really enjoyed. Enoch led us up Maderas Volcano (a very challenging hike/climb in the heat) and guided our kayaking adventure in Lake Nicaragua and into the Rio Istiam, pointing out exotic birds and cayman. Roberto guides us around Chocoverde were we saw snakes, lizards and many morpho blue butterflies
The whole tour was incredible - Kimkim and Vapues more than met our expectations- we had an incredible holiday and the way they handled the end of our tour during the unrest in Managua was very impressive- we felt totally secure

Micky

Patagonia: torres del paine, Chile - Apr 15 - Apr 21, 2018

Traveler: Micky C. - Local specialist: James Mackender

I personally didn’t get this trip started Kristin did. The email chain was informed and answered Most questions what questions I did have was promptly answered by James. Cam our guide was amazing I can’t thank him enough for the experience he gave us all.

Thank you

James Mackender, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thanks Micky, appreciate your comments. Some of the pictures look awesome. Keep in touch, best James

Angelica

Experience jordan tour - 8 days, Jordan - Apr 7 - Apr 15, 2018

Traveler: Angelica F. - Local specialist: Andy Nurse

Everything on this trip was great except for the mishap with the Visa situation upon our arrival and the pick up from the airport. Also, our last hotel was changed and the hotel didn't have a double bed option in the non-smoking room. My roomate and i had to share a bed.

Cliff

Vietnam nature trip, Vietnam - Mar 31 - Apr 19, 2018

Traveler: Cliff F. - Local specialist: Andy Carroll

We had a great time touring Vietnam and Cambodia for three weeks. We wanted a trip that covered the main tourist areas, as well as getting out to some of the national parks to see the birds and wildlife. Kimkim put together a package that encompassed everything we wanted to do, and suggested more items too. Everything worked according to plan. We had six different guides in various parts of the countries, and all did an excellent job. All spoke English to a reasonable or better standard,... read more

We had a great time touring Vietnam and Cambodia for three weeks. We wanted a trip that covered the main tourist areas, as well as getting out to some of the national parks to see the birds and wildlife. Kimkim put together a package that encompassed everything we wanted to do, and suggested more items too. Everything worked according to plan. We had six different guides in various parts of the countries, and all did an excellent job. All spoke English to a reasonable or better standard, and were a great help in navigating our way through the trip. It was great having such personal attention. The guides were flexible in the itinerary as well. We changed our minds a couple of times about what we wanted to see, and were easily and happily accommodated. Highlights for the trip would have been seeing the ruins at My Son in Vietnam, and Angkor in Cambodia, as well as some amazing birdwatching tours through Cat Tien N.P. in the south of Vietnam. Other memorable moments included kayaking in Ba Be National Park and Halong Bay Bay, and even an impromptu game of volleyball with some locals in a small village north of Hanoi, and all the amazing food that was served to us, especially in small local places.

Jordan: petra & the dead sea - 3 days, Jordan - Apr 19 - Apr 21, 2018

Traveler: Jason G. - Local specialist: Carmen Scholten

If I were to do this again,

I would want more information up front from the guide about what has been paid for already and what hasn't.

Carmen Scholten, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Jason!

Thank you for your 5* review. It's always nice for me to receive feedback on the guides and how to organize things better. I hope I've inspired you to come back to Jordan again!

Thank you for traveling with In2Jordan!

Patagonia: torres del paine, Chile - Apr 15 - Apr 21, 2018

Traveler: Julie T. - Local specialist: James Mackender

Cem was a wonderful guide!!! Though I think I was the guide for most of the time haha——loved every moment of my trip to Patagonian Chile. Learned a lot and greatly appreciated Cem sharing his knowledge about the area. Everyone was amazing and will greatly miss this trip. Definitely a memory that will last forever in my mind and my heart.

James Mackender, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Julie, many thanks for leaving your comments, we're really pleased you enjoyed being guided by Cem. I will make sure he reads the reviews you've left.
It's great to leave with awesome memories, it's the best outcome for a trip I think. It was a pleasure to have you with us, please keep in touch, best James

Cory

Patagonia: torres del paine, Chile - Apr 15 - Apr 21, 2018

Traveler: Cory Z. - Local specialist: James Mackender

Cem was fantastic and truly entertaining. He was focused on providing our group with the best possible experience in Patagonia and was very considerate of hiking paces and experience levels. Also, he was prepared to assist with any small injuries or areas of discomfort caused by the trails themselves. I truly enjoyed every moment of hiking the “W” and can’t wait to hike even more in the future! Thank you!

James Mackender, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Cory, thanks for leaving your comments, we're really pleased you enjoyed being guided by Cem on the 'w' route.
Torres del Paine is a superb park for trekking. Please keep in touch, even just for advice ... it's our speciality! best James

Trip to nepal, Nepal - Mar 7 - Mar 16, 2018

Traveler: mojdeh p. - Local specialist: Kim Bannister

Everything about my trip was wonderful! I booked this trip on pretty short notice so I really relied on Kim at the KimKim to plan everything and I’m glad I did. Kim and I talked about what I was looking for and she was really helpful in letting me know the different options. She recommended a trek in the Everest region and it was exactly what I wanted. My guide, Phutashi, was great - he was really knowledgeable and friendly and made sure I had a great trek. He changed our route a little after... read more

Everything about my trip was wonderful! I booked this trip on pretty short notice so I really relied on Kim at the KimKim to plan everything and I’m glad I did. Kim and I talked about what I was looking for and she was really helpful in letting me know the different options. She recommended a trek in the Everest region and it was exactly what I wanted. My guide, Phutashi, was great - he was really knowledgeable and friendly and made sure I had a great trek. He changed our route a little after one of the Everest-viewing days turned out to be cloudy, and took me to Mong La, which had some of the best views of the trek and was one of my favorite spots. I’d highly recommend booking through the KimKim - everything was really easy and I had an amazing trip. And for anyone wondering, I’m a female and was traveling alone and felt perfectly safe the entire time.

Kim Bannister, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thanks so much for the review, Mojdeh! So glad your trek to the Everest region was a great journey, and we hope to have you travel with us again soon!
(-:
Kim

Safari with sophi, South Africa - Apr 20 - Apr 20, 2018

Traveler: sanjeev k. - Local specialist: Carla Ferreira

great day trips to both cape point and the safari!!

Carla Ferreira, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Sanjeev
Thank you for rating your tours
I hope to see you again in future
You can contact me for anything at anytime
Take care

Salkantay trek to machu picchu - 5 days, Peru - Apr 9 - Apr 13, 2018

Traveler: catherine S. - Local specialist: Nicole Koch

My husband and I have travelled much of the world and we would put this as one of our top trips. The country was beautiful, the people were amazing.
Nicole helped arrange everything for us and it was a perfect combination of trekking and learning about the local people and their cultures.
Our guide Ruben was fantastic!! He catered to us and went above and beyond to help us and to make our experience as memorable as possible. As an experienced guide, we slowed him down but he waited... read more

My husband and I have travelled much of the world and we would put this as one of our top trips. The country was beautiful, the people were amazing.
Nicole helped arrange everything for us and it was a perfect combination of trekking and learning about the local people and their cultures.
Our guide Ruben was fantastic!! He catered to us and went above and beyond to help us and to make our experience as memorable as possible. As an experienced guide, we slowed him down but he waited patiently for us with a smile! All of the people we met along the way seemed very comfortable with Ruben and were very welcoming to us.
When we left Toronto to head to Peru both of us were a bit scared as to what was ahead of us for a trek, but we made it and Ruben helped us every step of the way.

I have suggested to my friends and family to do the same trek, it is a trip we will always remember and cherish.
thanks to Nicole and Ruben!!

Jon

Trekking with your family in nepal, Nepal - Apr 9 - Apr 14, 2018

Traveler: Jon C. - Local specialist: Kripa Sunuwar

My family and I had a great time on the Panchese trek. Kripa was able to adjust our trip to ad 1 more day. This made it easier for the 2 kids ( 3 and 6). The first two days were a little long for the 6 year old but she made it and did an excellent job. Chhepaul was and outstanding guide who showed patience and bonded with the kids. He was able to customize a basket to carry the 3 year old. The porter ( Mime? ) was awesome with the kids especially the 3 year old. There was a language barrier but I thing they both enjoyed each other’s company
Thanks 🙏

Kripa Sunuwar, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Jon,
Thank you so much for your review. Happy to know that both of your kids are really strong that they completed the trek without having any problem. It was a pleasure to host a trip for you and your family.
Hope to see you again in coming days!
Thanks, Kripa

Norway, Norway - Apr 16 - Apr 20, 2018

Traveler: Luckshman R. - Local specialist: Ingrid Thornes

We had an amazing time in Norway. Ingrid was great with organising the whole trip and was very knowledgeable. She was always very prompt with responses.

Would highly recommend.

Ingrid Thornes, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi there Luckshman,

Thank you so much for the nice review! I really appreciate it and are so happy that you had such a great time!

Welcome back any time!!

All the best,
Ingrid

The ultimate guide to wadi rum - jordan's adventure paradise, Jordan - Apr 5 - Apr 12, 2018

Traveler: myriam d. - Local specialist: Carmen Scholten

Wonderful country and nice people.
We enjoy a lot and our trip was a great experience.
Good organisation, maybe just one driver had been better as a new one every day !
Thank’s a lot !

Carmen Scholten, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Myriam!

Thank you for your kind review. You've surely met a lot of different people on your trip, however we'll do our best to stick to one driver for future customers. Thank you for sharing this with me. I hope we've inspired you to come to discover more of what beautiful Jordan has to offer.

Again thank you for traveling with In2Jordan!

Carmen

Salkantay trek to machu picchu, Peru - Apr 9 - Apr 13, 2018

Traveler: John M. - Local specialist: James Mackender

I and my wife joined my sister and her fiance on a visit to Peru 4/2018.

From the start, James at KimKim was always available to answers questions and helped us get set up with the travel plan and trek we wanted. He was in touch with us from beginning via phone even to make sure we were able to coordinate with Quechua Treks for what was needed: from contacts, to prices, to dietary restrictions! Thanks so much, James!

On the night before our trek, our guide Rolfi met with us to provide our... read more

I and my wife joined my sister and her fiance on a visit to Peru 4/2018.

From the start, James at KimKim was always available to answers questions and helped us get set up with the travel plan and trek we wanted. He was in touch with us from beginning via phone even to make sure we were able to coordinate with Quechua Treks for what was needed: from contacts, to prices, to dietary restrictions! Thanks so much, James!

On the night before our trek, our guide Rolfi met with us to provide our briefing for the trip. We immediately felt at ease with him and with the entire crew, whom we were introduced to the next morning (muleteers/porters/tent men Americo and Huaman, chef Edgar, assistant cook Donato, and Ronaldino our driver). The men were all very professional but down to earth. We all came to enjoy each other's company quickly and since my wife speaks fluent Spanish, there were no problems there. However, our guide, Rolfi, was fluent in English as well, and there were no communication barriers whatsoever. We were such a small group that everyone had a blast.

The food prepared by our chefs, Edgar and assistant Donato, was out of this world, fresh, filling, healthy, and so good; there were hot drinks, fresh fruits, jams, vegetables, quinoa, bean bread, an abundance of tasty gluten free foods and snacks due to dietary restrictions, salads, potatoes of course, chicken, hearty soups, stir-fry’s, desserts, even a cupcake for my birthday made last minute; we agreed that we enjoyed our meals on the trek much more than the delicious food we tried later in Lima, said to be THE food capital. We got hot water and tea in the morning! Being used to “roughing it” on camping and backpacking trips, when I saw pictures of how our meals would be served at tables with nice table cloth, napkins, utensils, and camping chairs in a tent I thought we were going to be over-pampered but wow was I grateful for the comfort of a space like that after a long day’s trek. Edgar and Donato were with us during days 1-3 of our trek.

Ronaldino was a skilled driver, negotiating rough and narrow roads expertly, getting us to our starting point and meeting us later at different points of our adventure on day 3 and at the end on our last day to get us back to Cusco from the train. We thoroughly enjoyed our time with him and loved getting to know him a little! A very sweet guy!

Americo and Huaman were our muleteers and the entire crew helped quickly and efficiently set up and break down our camps. We typically started ahead of them on our treks while they finished packing up the horses and mules but before we knew it, they were passing us up, running ahead to meet us at lunch and the end of the days. Americo and Huaman were with us during days 1-2 of our trek. They were wonderful.

Rolfi our guide was the heart of the entire group, bringing everyone together. He never stopped cracking jokes, was a wealth of history and information to our million questions, constantly pointing out things to us as we trekked, and always had the best stories to share. Our group was interested in just about everything on the trek (fauna, history, culture, etc.), and Rolfi had something to each about everything we asked about. He was unendingly patient with us as we were perpetually, “National Geographic,” stopping to take photos of the beauty around us and as we huffed and puffed during our ascents. Rolfi was nothing but encouraging and great fun. I don’t think we ever ran out of good conversation. He was there with us from start to finish, ensuring that each of us were feeling well and enjoying ourselves, extremely astute to each of our interests, and we all learned a lot from one another. We loved him and could not have asked for a better guide! It was hard for us all to say farewell to everyone in our crew and especially to Rolfi.

The sights were unforgettable. Incredible microclimates with endless kinds of flora and fauna, butterflies, waterfalls, wild strawberries, racing clouds, tree canopies. Thousands of years old aqueducts and ancient Incan ruins, meeting local people along the way. We were awed by the numerous valleys, towering mountain ranges, glaciers, and our summit views. On our 1st night of camp, our bright view of the milky-way galaxy was incredible. We loved touring the coffee plantation, zip-lining and very much enjoyed the hot springs on our 3rd day. Our camping tents were perfectly comfortable. Our train ride on Peru Rail and accommodations in Cola de Mono and Aguas Calientes were also very nice. Machu Picchu and its history was unreal and climbing Huayna Picchu was totally worth it!

James Mackender, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi John, your review backs up the great review from Laura. We're thrilled you had a great time & the photos prove it also! It was a pleasure to have you guys with us, and to know that our crew looked after you the way we love them to operate. It's quite rare to have a group as relaxed & easy going as yourselves so many thanks for making the crew part of your trek. I'll make sure they all know the review you've left for them. Please keep in touch, best regards, James

Group departure - salkantay trek to machu picchu - 5 days, Peru - Apr 9 - Apr 13, 2018

Traveler: Laura M. - Local specialist: James Mackender

Salkantay Trek with Quechua Treks Peru to Machu Picchu, 5 Days, 4 Nights

After a couple years saving up for our dream adventure to Peru and Machu Picchu, my fiancé and I were finally able to take the time to plan our trip for the end of the rainy season in early April. My brother and his wife joined us as well and the four of us had an absolutely amazing visit to Peru! After a lot of research, we decided on booking a guided trek through KimKim with Quechua Treks Peru; this turned out to be... read more

Salkantay Trek with Quechua Treks Peru to Machu Picchu, 5 Days, 4 Nights

After a couple years saving up for our dream adventure to Peru and Machu Picchu, my fiancé and I were finally able to take the time to plan our trip for the end of the rainy season in early April. My brother and his wife joined us as well and the four of us had an absolutely amazing visit to Peru! After a lot of research, we decided on booking a guided trek through KimKim with Quechua Treks Peru; this turned out to be an experience of a lifetime, one to be so fondly remembered and that cannot be fully shared with others in words and photos. You simply had to be there.

From the start, James at KimKim was always available to answers questions and helped us get set up with the travel plan and trek we wanted. He was in touch with us from beginning to end and made sure we were able to coordinate with Quechua Treks for what was needed, from contacts, to prices, to dietary restrictions! Thanks so much, James! Mayra was also in touch with us from Quechua Treks and helped us along the way.

We arrived in Cusco in order to acclimate to the altitude for about 2 days before our trek. Cusco is located at over 11,000 ft and our Salkantay Trek would take us to almost 15,000 ft. On the night before our trek, our guide Rolfi met with us to provide our briefing for the trip. We immediately felt at ease with him and with the entire crew, whom we were introduced to the next morning (muleteers/porters/tent men Americo and Huaman, chef Edgar, assistant cook Donato, and Ronaldino our driver). As two women, my sister-in-law and I felt respected and never uncomfortable in a group of otherwise all men. My sister-in-law was the only one among us four who really spoke Spanish and while Rolfi our guide was very fluent in English, no part of the language barriers between us prevented us all from enjoying each other, constantly laughing, gesturing, translating for each other, cracking jokes, and learning from each other. I felt that everyone became family and I will never forget each of the wonderful crew members and the warmth they showed us. They took such good care of us.

The food prepared by our chefs, Edgar and assistant Donato, was out of this world, fresh, filling, healthy, and so good; there were hot drinks, fresh fruits, jams, vegetables, quinoa, bean bread, an abundance of tasty gluten free foods and snacks due to dietary restrictions, salads, potatoes of course, chicken, hearty soups, stir-fry’s, desserts, even a cupcake for my birthday made last minute; we agreed that we enjoyed our meals on the trek much more than the delicious food we tried later in Lima, said to be THE food capital. Hot water and tea in the morning! Being used to “roughing it” on camping and backpacking trips, when I saw pictures of how our meals would be served at tables with nice table cloth, napkins, utensils, and camping chairs in a tent I thought we were going to be over-pampered but wow was I grateful for the comfort of a space like that after a long day’s trek. Edgar and Donato were with us during days 1-3 of our trek.

Ronaldino was an excellent driver, negotiating rough and narrow roads expertly, getting us to our starting point and meeting us later at different points of our adventure on day 3 and at the end on our last day to get us back to Cusco from the train. We thoroughly enjoyed our time with him and loved getting to know him a little!

Americo and Huaman were our muleteers and the entire crew helped quickly and efficiently set up and break down our camps. We typically started ahead of them on our treks while they finished packing up the horses and mules but before we knew it, they were passing us up, running ahead to meet us at lunch and the end of the days. Americo and Huaman were with us during days 1-2 of our trek. They were wonderful.

Rolfi :) our guide was the heart of the entire group, bringing everyone together. He never stopped cracking jokes, was a wealth of history and information to our million questions, constantly pointing out things to us as we trekked, and always had the best stories to share. He was unendingly patient with us as we were perpetually, “National Geographic,” stopping to take photos of the beauty around us and as we huffed and puffed during our ascents. Rolfi was nothing but encouraging and great fun. I don’t think we ever ran out of good conversation. He was there with us from start to finish, ensuring that each of us were feeling well and enjoying ourselves, extremely astute to each of our interests, and we all learned a lot from one another. We loved him and could not have asked for a better guide! It was hard for us all to say farewell to everyone in our crew and especially to Rolfi.

The sights were unforgettable. Incredible microclimates with endless kinds of flora and fauna, butterflies, waterfalls, wild strawberries, racing clouds, tree canopies. Thousands of years old aqueducts and ancient Incan ruins, meeting local people along the way. We were awed by the numerous valleys, towering mountain ranges, glaciers, and our summit views. On our 1st night of camp, our bright view of the milky-way galaxy was incredible. We loved touring the coffee plantation, zip-lining and very much enjoyed the hot springs on our 3rd day. Our camping tents were perfectly comfortable. Our train ride on Peru Rail and accommodations in Cola de Mono and Aguas Calientes were also very nice. Machu Picchu and its history was unreal and climbing Huayna Picchu was totally worth it!

After this extraordinary trek, I felt changed, refreshed, and encouraged in many ways related to my personal life. I returned home feeling better about myself, the extreme physical challenges I faced, and my motivation to take the time to eat healthier and take kinder care of myself re-emerged. I left Peru gaining new perspective and new friends I felt sorry to part with. From the bottom of my heart, thank you Quechua Treks Peru and KimKim family.

Tips about this trek, during the end of the rainy season in early April:
The weather for us ranged from 30’sF at highest altitudes to 60’sF. Obviously, the weather will vary from year to year but during the trek, there are MANY difference microclimates you will travel through, with weather changes occurring even from minute to minute, from rainy, windy, sunny, freezing, very comfortable temperate, to humid and hot. You will always feel different based on whether you are moving or sitting still.

Our guide provided us each with a duffel bag the day before our trek that would mostly be carried on the mules to hold our belongings that we could mostly access at the end of each day only, until the next morning when we were back on our way; at times later during the trip, we were also responsible for hanging on to our duffels ourselves (carrying them to our hotels, the train, etc). The bags are meant to hold 7kg of your belongings maximum, which is completely manageable.

- General packing: while you are away on a trek, many people find that they are able to leave some things with their hotel/air bnb in cusco. I ended up leaving my main 42 L hiking backpack and souveniers I had picked up in Cusco to this purpose and taking just my 22L REI flashpack as my day pack, the rest stored in the duffel bag that was provided. They do keep your bags covered on the mules but it was advised to store the belongings inside the duffel in a trash bag or dry sacks just in case of heavy rains, so we did so.
- Clothes: clothes with merino wool mixed or tanks of polyester fabric are the way to go to prolong your laundry and to temperature regulate. For our trek, I did fine with 2 pairs of trekking pants, 1 pair of shorts, a merino base layer top and bottom for the cold evening/days, 3 tshirts/tanks, 1 merino bra, swim suit, 2 merino toe socks, 1 regular merino pair of socks. Toe socks are amazing, I did not get one blister. Merino wool socks are double-amazing, you really can wear them for many days without developing odor. I brought extra changes of things in case of dirt and/or getting wet from rain.
- Outerwear/Raingear: Umbrella. Genius Rolfi. He gave credit to a group of Japanese trekkers he led about 15 years ago. I did not have one and being a bit of a Seattle snob about umbrellas, wish I had. The weather changes are fast and often on the trek and there already is a lot of stopping to un-layer and re-layer jackets, hats, hoods, rain covers, etc. Having an umbrella would have reduced some of that :) My trekking pants dried very quickly from body heat even after getting soaked several times, and while moving I was not cold. Others in my group brought outer rain pants and that was helpful to them as well. I had one ultralight down and one fleece in addition to a base layer if needed for warmth and that was plenty. A headband to go over the ears, beanie, and a water-proof hat for sun and rain in addition to my light rain jacket/wind breaker. Sunglasses, of course. Rain cover for my day pack. Gloves. Small dry sacks and sandwich/freezer bags for some things just in case to extra protect some items in my pack.
- Shoes: To lighten weight, I was happy I went with Saucony Peregrine trail runners; these are not water proof but dry quickly while wearing from body heat and whenever I expected rainy weather, particularly the first 2 days, I went ahead and wore water-proof Sealskinz socks. For the most part, the peregrines stayed dry anyway. I also brought a pair of LL Bean Maine Hunting Shoes and a pair of flip flops to wear around camp and also at the hot springs for the flip flops.
- Other Equipment: I brought one trekking pole and this was helpful to me during steep ascents and especially descents. At Machu Picchu itself, they may or may not let you in with a trekking pole but if so you will definitely require rubber caps. Power adapter for when there was access. My 5000mAh external battery was perfect for keeping my phone charged for photos. Headlamp.
- Snacks: snacks were actually provided to us for the trail every day but we did bring some of our own such as jerky, chocolate/candy, peanut butter.
- Backpacks: My day pack was under 10 lbs not including water, while my porter pack was about 12 lbs. In my day pack/on me, I kept personal valuables like my passport, an extra pair of socks, my baselayer top, hats, gloves, sometimes my camp towel, snacks for the day, water, external battery for my phone, jackets and fleece, rain cover, some toilet paper, pain relievers like advil, first aid basics, insect repellant, sunscreen, sunglasses, trekking pole.
- Water: Camelback pouch, 2 to 3 liters size is plenty. You will get clean water refills every evening and morning. No need to bring water purifiers.
- Altitude prophylaxis/meds: acetazolamide is essential to help protect you from altitude sickness. Start 24 hours before you arrive to Cusco and continue for 1-2 days after your highest elevation. I also acquired the typhoid vaccine.
- First aid/bug repellant/sunscreen: lip balm, sunscreen, insect repellant (we really liked the Picaridin instead of DEET; it doesn’t leave a residue and a little bit goes a long way). Quechua Treks carries a first aid kit and oxygen tank if needed but I brought my own kit as well, including ace wrap, Zofran, some basic antibiotics in case of bacterial diarrhea, bandaids, advil/Tylenol/Benadryl/antibiotic ointment, leukotape in case of blisters, among other first aid basics of choice.
- Sleeping: My thin sleeping liner plus down quilt for 20 degrees F was plenty warm for the purpose of this hike. Quechua Treks provides the inflatable sleeping pads and for the first night or two comfy sleeping liners and pillow were also provided; however, I believe these got wet during a heavy rain and so I was glad to have brought my own liner. Earplugs were very nice to have.
- Toiletries/laundry: you may laugh, but having the Pstyle for the ladies was perfect, especially when we had to use that “Incan toilet” on the trail. At camp and at rest-stops on the trail, there were toilets. Bring your own toilet paper just in case. Aside from your personal toiletries, wet wipes were nice to have for extra clean up if needed and Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap (2 oz) was perfect for hand-washing a couple things along the way. I found that bringing a couple clamps/clothespins was helpful for drying out some clothes on the trail (hooked onto outside of my pack) or overnight. Camping towel.
- Money: If you have a debt card with no foreign transaction fee, withdraw money in soles at an ATM such as at the airport when you arrive in Cusco. In Cusco, while restaurants generally accepted mastercard or visa, pretty much everywhere else except for fancy stores only take soles. In Aguas Calientes, most of the shops in the market will take a credit card as well and will often accept small denominations of USD. Best to have denominations of 50 or less in soles while you are on the road and keep some 1 sole coins to use toilets at rest-stops along the trail. Set aside some soles ahead of time for tipping your crew.

James Mackender, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Laura, we're all blown away by your review. For you to take the time to let us know how it was, is incredible. The guys all appreciate it, Laura, it's not very often that they get the mention their work merits. I'll make sure everyone sees it :) When we get groups like yours, you understand what we're about and you made the most of your time here. Your group is the reason we do what we do, it was a pleasure to have you with us & please keep in touch. Your pictures are some of the best I've... read more

Hi Laura, we're all blown away by your review. For you to take the time to let us know how it was, is incredible. The guys all appreciate it, Laura, it's not very often that they get the mention their work merits. I'll make sure everyone sees it :) When we get groups like yours, you understand what we're about and you made the most of your time here. Your group is the reason we do what we do, it was a pleasure to have you with us & please keep in touch. Your pictures are some of the best I've seen, the variety of flora I still find astounding! We hope you'll be back to Peru some time.
best regards, James

Ivan

India , India - Mar 31 - Apr 18, 2018

Traveler: Ivan T. - Local specialist: Priya Dikshit

Everything was excellent, from the drivers to the guides to the welcoming reps at every place. Especially wanted to thank Mr. Sahil Singh in Amnitsar for his excellent services as a guide. He was patient and knowledgeable of the places and culture of his city. Made every effort to make us feel welcomed and comfortable. Every guide and driver was good, but Mr. Sahil went the extra mile. As a whole this was an excellent trip to an amazing destination. Every place was very special, and it is... read more

Everything was excellent, from the drivers to the guides to the welcoming reps at every place. Especially wanted to thank Mr. Sahil Singh in Amnitsar for his excellent services as a guide. He was patient and knowledgeable of the places and culture of his city. Made every effort to make us feel welcomed and comfortable. Every guide and driver was good, but Mr. Sahil went the extra mile. As a whole this was an excellent trip to an amazing destination. Every place was very special, and it is very difficult to select the most memorable. If I had to mention a few, I would select The Golden Temple, Udaipur, Agra Fort, Jaipur, and obviously the Taj.

Hazel

Experience jordan tour - 8 days, Jordan - Apr 7 - Apr 15, 2018

Traveler: Hazel O. - Local specialist: Andy Nurse

I have been wanting to go to Jordan and have done a lot of research and comparison between different tour operators. I have also considered just renting a car and doing it on my own since I want the experience to be as intimate as possible and not be stuck with a big tour group. Thankfully, I came across Kimkim's 8 days Experience Jordan Tour which offered the type of itinerary I was looking for and also offered a fair price as a private tour. The communication platform of Kimkim worked... read more

I have been wanting to go to Jordan and have done a lot of research and comparison between different tour operators. I have also considered just renting a car and doing it on my own since I want the experience to be as intimate as possible and not be stuck with a big tour group. Thankfully, I came across Kimkim's 8 days Experience Jordan Tour which offered the type of itinerary I was looking for and also offered a fair price as a private tour. The communication platform of Kimkim worked great for our group and Andy Nurse, our tour specialist was able to answer all our questions and concerns on a timely manner. He was the one responsible to set up our tour and was very patient with all the changes and adjustments we made until the last minute. Joost Schreve and Alex Buri also came to our rescue to make sure our needs were attended to. They all worked well as a team.

There were 8 of us in our group and everyone came back home safely and full of amazing memories and adventures created during our tour of Jordan. We were also happy with our tour guide, Abdallah As'ad, who gave us an insight about Jordan's culture & history through out our tour. He was easy going, patient, knowledgable, accommodating and a great company to be with.

As far as the negative side, the only hiccup I have experienced was during our arrival at the airport. The 4 of us out of the 8 in the group arrived a day earlier at the airport. The representative who was supposed to meet us and process our visas failed to show up. It was late at night so we got a bit frantic not knowing if we were going to get picked up or not. We waited for about 20 minutes just incase they were running late before we decided that we needed to get a hold of somebody from the company. Fortunately, we were able to call the main office based out of California and with the time difference, the office was open at that time and that was when Alex Buri stepped in to help us out. He got a hold of Andy for us and got things straightened out from there. The airport representative never made it so we got instructed to buy our own visas which later got reimbursed by the company. It set us back almost an hour until we got picked up by our driver to take us to our hotel. The rest of our group who arrived the following day had no issues with their airport transport.

Overall, I recommend Kimkim and I would chose to book again with them for future travels.

BTW, since we arrived a day early, we were able to do an extra activity by having Kimkim arrange our R/T transfer to Wadi Mujib Resereve. We did the Siq trail Hike and I highly recommend this thrilling activity if you are looking for something different to do while in Amman. The book Lonely Planet quoted one of the reserve ranger describe this hike as "Petra with water".

Andy Nurse, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you Hazel for the great review! I am really happy that you had a great time. Abdalalah As'ad is one of the best guides, so I was really excited that I was able to reserve him for your trip. That is one of the benefits of booking early, like you did!

Apologies for the first day airport mixup, we had a problem with one of the three dates written on one of your group's manifest for the government that caused the issue. My sincere apologies, and we tried to do our best to resolve the... read more

Thank you Hazel for the great review! I am really happy that you had a great time. Abdalalah As'ad is one of the best guides, so I was really excited that I was able to reserve him for your trip. That is one of the benefits of booking early, like you did!

Apologies for the first day airport mixup, we had a problem with one of the three dates written on one of your group's manifest for the government that caused the issue. My sincere apologies, and we tried to do our best to resolve the matter. Alex and Joost are great associates who were able to help all the way from the other side of the world.

I think it was really smart of the four of you who arrived early to do the Wadi Mujib Sig trail as a day trip from Amman. It really is a great adventurous water hike that is easy to do as a day trip from the capital. That is one place where your planning came in handy! It was a pleasure hosting you in Jordan and I wish you the best on your next adventure!

Stelios

Jordan: amman, petra and wadi rum - 4 days, Jordan - Apr 11 - Apr 14, 2018

Traveler: Stelios S. - Local specialist: Lena Sluga

Our trip to Jordan was great. Lena created a perfect itinerary for us and she included in it everything we wanted. Even if we changed our requirements a lot of times and we booked our trip at the very last minute, Lena was very patient, responsive and understanding.

We didn't have any problems. and our driver was very funny, professional and friendly. The price was very good as well. Highly recommended!

The only thing that I would change is the 4-hour 4x4 Jeep Tour that we had in the... read more

Our trip to Jordan was great. Lena created a perfect itinerary for us and she included in it everything we wanted. Even if we changed our requirements a lot of times and we booked our trip at the very last minute, Lena was very patient, responsive and understanding.

We didn't have any problems. and our driver was very funny, professional and friendly. The price was very good as well. Highly recommended!

The only thing that I would change is the 4-hour 4x4 Jeep Tour that we had in the desert. We really enjoyed that tour, but the car was not even close to a Jeep. It was an old vintage car, which caused us some headache.

Lena Sluga, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you very much for your review, it was my pleasure to plan this trip with you!

Machapichi, hiking, adventures, good food. , Peru - Apr 7 - Apr 15, 2018

Traveler: Donna W. - Local specialist: Steve Wilson

Tom and I had a wonderful experience in Peru. Every detail was taken care on so we could just relax and enjoy. Luis was very knowledgeable and so easy to be around. He spoiled us! Paul was our driver and he too was very helpful. Aspiring Adventures had every detail planned so that our trip was seamless. Love the bike ride down the Andes and this special group did a great job of making us feel comfortable. The value was terrific! Two recommendations. Try another accommodation in... read more

Tom and I had a wonderful experience in Peru. Every detail was taken care on so we could just relax and enjoy. Luis was very knowledgeable and so easy to be around. He spoiled us! Paul was our driver and he too was very helpful. Aspiring Adventures had every detail planned so that our trip was seamless. Love the bike ride down the Andes and this special group did a great job of making us feel comfortable. The value was terrific! Two recommendations. Try another accommodation in Olyamtamba and make sure local drivers in Santa Teresa have seat belts. That's picky so as you can see the entire trip was wonderful and we will definitely use this group again. Their planning let us VACATiON!
Tom andDonna

Steve Wilson, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Donna
Great to hear you and Tom had a wonderful experience - and indeed, how could you not, with Luis and Paul taking care of you!
I'm delighted you appreciated the planning that went into making sure the trip ran smoothly and apparently effortlessly, while avoiding allergens as far as humanly possible.. the Kuychipunku kittycat let us down there!
Thanks for travelling with us and we would love to host you and Tom again!
Cheers
Steve

Cassie

Go back to my roots, Bolivia - Apr 1 - Apr 16, 2018

Traveler: Cassie B. - Local specialist: Marie Lainé

We had a wonderful time. Terra Andina were really good checking on us at arrival and notifying us of any changes. For me personally I loved La Paz and found Teresita the guide really informative. She helped me understand the many situations in the country and also the culture.

We found the trip was divided into 3 sections. The first being La Paz and lake Titicaca and staying with locals. We had a wonderful time in all aspects. Found Jamie and Marisol so kind and I think we ate the best food... read more

We had a wonderful time. Terra Andina were really good checking on us at arrival and notifying us of any changes. For me personally I loved La Paz and found Teresita the guide really informative. She helped me understand the many situations in the country and also the culture.

We found the trip was divided into 3 sections. The first being La Paz and lake Titicaca and staying with locals. We had a wonderful time in all aspects. Found Jamie and Marisol so kind and I think we ate the best food with them. Really enjoyed that they encouraged us to join in with activities such as picking potatoes and making cheese. Plus as it was my birthday I found they helped me celebrate well.

Then the 4 day trip round the sur lipez and salt flats. Eloy our driver and guide was brilliant. He was always finding us lovely places to eat not with the other tourists and the lunches were delicious . Set in breathtaking scenery. The whole 4 days was just amazing to see the diversity of the country. We were treated so well with Eloy and thoroughly enjoyed.

The final part was Potosi and Sucre. For us we didn’t enjoy Potosi but I think by then we were very tired. Was glad of a free day in Sucre to chill and enjoy the city at our leisure. The final day in La Paz was nice as to see the city sights plus the wrestling. Teresita was a great guide for us.

Overall it exceeded our expectations. I’m glad we went for a personal tour as would never have got all the information or places to eat and go. Thanks again to all the guides and Kim Kim and Terra Andina . Awesome

Marie Lainé, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you very much Cassie !

The whole team was delighted to organize your trip back to your roots.

I personaly thank you for the great comments about our guides and driver. It's important for us to always gives a profesional service.

Thank you Cassie and Tim for being amazing travelers !

Jordan, Jordan - Apr 11 - Apr 16, 2018

Traveler: Auey D. - Local specialist: Andy Nurse

There were a few bumps along the road with the reservations and requests for activities that didn't go through e.g. we were placed into a different hotel than the one we had requested and weren't notified; we only found out when we got to the hotel and had to call Andy ourselves. Granted, the hotel was a much nicer one than he one we had requested but "I changed the booking I just didn't tell you" isn't what passes for an apology or a suitable notification.
For the dive in the Red Sea, we... read more

There were a few bumps along the road with the reservations and requests for activities that didn't go through e.g. we were placed into a different hotel than the one we had requested and weren't notified; we only found out when we got to the hotel and had to call Andy ourselves. Granted, the hotel was a much nicer one than he one we had requested but "I changed the booking I just didn't tell you" isn't what passes for an apology or a suitable notification.
For the dive in the Red Sea, we asked for 2 dives and we paid for the 2 dived each but when we got onto the boat we were told that we were only to do 1 dive because thats what they were notified.

Our freelance tour guide, Walid, along with the bus driver who was provided by the Agency helped a lot in getting us around and giving us information and knowledge on the places we were to, and gave us insider trips to get us the best deals.

However, I think we could've done without the bus driver smoking on the bus every time we got off. It was nauseating every time we came back onto the bus.

Ultimately, it was an amazing experience visiting that part of the world for the very first time, it wouldn't be an adventure if we didn't have any obstacles.

Andy Nurse, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Auey, I am happy to hear that it was an amazing experience.

The diving experience was never finalized or added to the trip costs. But I added it "on the house" as the guide told me your group wanted to dive and we had talked about diving before. Even if I did not charge for it, and we did not agree on how many dive, I wanted your group to have a great experience so I was happy to cover it for you.

I have noted the complaint about the bus driver smoking, and will alert my boss about it.... read more

Hi Auey, I am happy to hear that it was an amazing experience.

The diving experience was never finalized or added to the trip costs. But I added it "on the house" as the guide told me your group wanted to dive and we had talked about diving before. Even if I did not charge for it, and we did not agree on how many dive, I wanted your group to have a great experience so I was happy to cover it for you.

I have noted the complaint about the bus driver smoking, and will alert my boss about it. Overall, I'm glad to hear that Waleed helped a lot and that it was an amazing experience. Safe travels!

Jordan, Jordan - Apr 11 - Apr 16, 2018

Traveler: Ploy U. - Local specialist: Andy Nurse

Our group had an amazing time in Jordan! Despite some minor miscommunication at the beginning of our trip with Andy, our local specialist, about some accommodation details, it was overall a pretty smooth experience and he was able to help us with the problems we had. We very much enjoyed our time with our local guide, Waleed, who was very accommodating and had ample knowledge about Jordan's history and traditions, all of which we very much enjoyed hearing about.

We spent a total of 5 days... read more

Our group had an amazing time in Jordan! Despite some minor miscommunication at the beginning of our trip with Andy, our local specialist, about some accommodation details, it was overall a pretty smooth experience and he was able to help us with the problems we had. We very much enjoyed our time with our local guide, Waleed, who was very accommodating and had ample knowledge about Jordan's history and traditions, all of which we very much enjoyed hearing about.

We spent a total of 5 days there and we felt that was enough to see everything without having to rush, although more time to relax at the Dead Sea at the end of our trip could have been the cherry on top. Petra is truly a world wonder and we spent about 7 hours exploring, which for the average traveler, I think is plenty of time. But, if you are very interested in ancient history and want to do more of the hiking trails, perhaps an extra day in Petra would be good. I wouldn't necessarily recommend the Petra by Night experience because it is quite a long walk and you don't get to see much in the dark -- but it might be worth it to some people. We also went to Aqaba, which is worth a boat trip if you are into snorkeling/scuba diving but otherwise, there isn't much to do in the city. Wadi Rum is also a very cool spot, but if you stay at one of the campsites, I would recommend trying to get there a bit on the earlier side to explore the grounds -- but that and the desert jeep tour warrants about a full day at most.

The meet-and-assist step at the airport both upon our arrival and departure was highly convenient, although it would have perhaps been useful to know what to expect about the visa process prior to our arrival.

The only downside was our bus. The driver was very nice but he had the habit of smoking in the car (albeit, when we were not there) which made long bus rides very uncomfortable because of the smell. The driving was sometimes erratic but I think that can be partially attributed to the slightly bumpy roads!

Andy Nurse, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi ploy thanks for your review. Waleed and I were in communication throughout the trip, trying to make sure things run as smoothly as possible. It is great to hear that you really enjoyed his guiding and that Alaa our airport representative was very helpful.

For buses in Jordan unfortunately Jett is really our only option at the moment. So we do not have much control over the driver. But I have noted your feedback and we will think about ways to improve it.

Best wishes!

Nepal and trekking, Nepal - Mar 26 - Apr 9, 2018

Traveler: Kim S. - Local specialist: Amanda Delecca

Where to start! What an amazing trek! Amanda was great throughout the organising, answering any questions I had (and I had a lot!). We had a good group of us who did the trek together. Our guides Gelu and Nurbu were awesome and so were our porters always smiling and helping! I was blown away by their efforts put into the trek because they never rested! They were even in the kitchen preparing our meals when the cook had a day off! They were also very helpful while walking especially on the... read more

Where to start! What an amazing trek! Amanda was great throughout the organising, answering any questions I had (and I had a lot!). We had a good group of us who did the trek together. Our guides Gelu and Nurbu were awesome and so were our porters always smiling and helping! I was blown away by their efforts put into the trek because they never rested! They were even in the kitchen preparing our meals when the cook had a day off! They were also very helpful while walking especially on the pass day coming down Nurbu was always right there if we fell over or making sure it was safe! Most of the guest houses and food was great just the night before the pass when we were in tents was a hard night but I don't think that will change. The scenery varied a lot which was great. Overall we had an amazing time and will never forget it!! If we decide to do another trek we would definitely want the same guides and porters again!! Thank you!

After our trek we went down to Chitwan national park and did a home stay in the Tharu village. This was so awesome!! Really grassroots but the best decision! Right from the beginning we were totally immersed in the culture. The village activities were so much fun! We felt like part of the family! Everyone was so friendly! The meals were delicious and very fresh! This is something I would highly recommend for people to do, even families because all of the kids would play together. I really cannot put into words this experience. Sukram did a great job of organising everything and making sure we were looked after.

John

Experience jordan tour - 8 days, Jordan - Apr 7 - Apr 15, 2018

Traveler: John P. - Local specialist: Andy Nurse

The trip was simply amazing.. The online scheduling department, the driver and the guide were all top notch. I could not have hoped for a better experience. Honestly, what a great country, experience and team that are at Kimkim... Thank you to all of you for all of your effort.

Andy Nurse, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi John, thank you for the review! I am really glad that you enjoyed your time in Jordan. I am also really happy that you came away from the experience thinking Jordan was a great country. The toughest thing we face is the reputation of being in the middle east, so the more travelers especially American travelers, that visit the country and come away with a positive experience the better! I really believe that travel helps makes the world a better place, so thanks for contributing to that.

Group departure - manaslu circuit trek - the ultimate off-the-beaten-path trek in nepal - 13 to 19 days, Nepal - Mar 26 - Apr 9, 2018

Traveler: chris m. - Local specialist: Amanda Delecca

I believe our trek guide Gelu did an amazing job throughout the 2 weeks. His experience, and temperament was valued, whilst his willingness to help all trekkers to have an amazing trip was first class. Actually this is true for his whole team, including porters and assistant guide Nu bo. They all performed roles from guides, to cooks, to waiters, to boot fixers etc with a smile and pleasant nature.
In regards to the trek itself, it included beautiful country and challenging terrain towards... read more

I believe our trek guide Gelu did an amazing job throughout the 2 weeks. His experience, and temperament was valued, whilst his willingness to help all trekkers to have an amazing trip was first class. Actually this is true for his whole team, including porters and assistant guide Nu bo. They all performed roles from guides, to cooks, to waiters, to boot fixers etc with a smile and pleasant nature.
In regards to the trek itself, it included beautiful country and challenging terrain towards the top. I would personally probably prefer bigger days in the lower country and reducing the number of days over over the trek or including a few more days in the Annapurna region towards the end. Overall great trip with some great people.

Costa rica surfing adventure, Costa Rica - Mar 30 - Apr 10, 2018

Traveler: Jamie O. - Local specialist: Sylvia Jurado

Great trip! Thanks for the change in transportation to Tamarindo as the ride was awesome with the forst half hour on the beach and the most of the rest on backroads thru the countryside. On reflection i would have stayed an extra day at Flor Blanca versus goign to Tamarindo which was too touristy for me but great for my 16 year old. Thanks for your help!

Sylvia Jurado, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hola Jamie!
Happy to learn that you had a great surfing adventure in Costa Rica with your son and that he liked Tamarindo for more surfing!! Flor Blanca is a great resort and I knew that you will love it when I proposed it to you!

You have to come back to explore Costa Rica and explore other destinations such as the Arenal Volcano area and why not surfing down on the Caribbean coast!

Wishing you a great day!

Kind regards,

Sylvia

Kathmandu valley starting from pokhara, Nepal - Apr 7 - Apr 13, 2018

Traveler: Sebastien V. - Local specialist: Amanda Delecca

The platform provided by Kimkim is innovative in its simplicity and ease of use. We were immediately linked to a local expert Amanda who put together the trip for us. With patience and enthusiasm, she tailored the trip to our needs and wishes. In the end we had the perfect mix of local culture, sightseeing and relaxing. Babu is a professional and safe driver and was always on time and helping us with our bags. We also learned a lot from our local guide, Rajeev, who answered so many of our questions and introduced us to several local restaurants. Great service!

Christie

Classic costa rica: 7-day self-drive tour, Costa Rica - Mar 30 - Apr 6, 2018

Traveler: Christie C. - Local specialist: Sylvia Jurado

Sylvia was very patient and help us a lot with the tour. We had a great time and will use the service again in the future.

Sylvia Jurado, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hola Christie!
Thank you for your trip review and glad to learn that you had a great time in Costa Rica!
Hope that you can come back soon and explore another exciting destinations that you missed this time!
Kind regards,
Sylvia

Explore iceland in 5 days - seven optimized itineraries to help you make the most of your short trip to iceland , Iceland - Apr 7 - Apr 13, 2018

Traveler: Brette H. - Local specialist: Halldor Bjarkason

Hálldor and Preeti did a phenomenal job in picking the hotels, locations and excursion companies. Everything worked out perfectly, the hotels were perfect and the excursions were private with personable, knowledgeable and great guides.

When I go back to Iceland, I intend on using Hálldor and Preeti again. They’re fantastic and I’m very happy with the experience.

Trip to iceland, Iceland - Apr 1 - Apr 7, 2018

Traveler: Karen S. - Local specialist: Preeti Bhide

This was a dream trip! I was so busy with work and Preeti had everything planned according to where we wanted to go and sights we wanted to see. The self driving tour was great and the hotels were all amazing!!

I will definitely use Kim Kim again - it’s perfect for a busy person who doesn’t have time to plan all the logistics of a trip

Thank you

sheldon

Petra and jordan, Jordan - Apr 4 - Apr 6, 2018

Traveler: sheldon k. - Local specialist: Andy Nurse

Our trip to Jordan was just as expected. We were met at every stop exactly on time. The guides and drivers spoke english well enough to explain our needs and to hold an enjoyable conversation on some long drives. The cars used were new and comfortable. The hotels, camp, and spa were excellent with the exception of occasionally poor hot water for showers. We had a great time and felt safe and well cared for throughout our tip. I would suggest that the company issue a list of contact numbers when they send out the written itinerary before the trip.

Andy Nurse, local specialist, responded to this review:

I am very happy that you had a great time in Jordan! I have noted the contact information: As much as possible we try to send the number of the airport representative, driver, guide, and tour operator. I will make sure to communicate these numbers for more of my groups.

Most importantly, I am glad to hear you felt safe and well taken care of by our team. Thanks for the feedback and review and I hope you enjoy your next adventure!

Trip to myanmar, Myanmar - Mar 8 - Apr 12, 2018

Traveler: Herve F. - Local specialist: Andy Carroll

Andy took care of our 6 weeks tour of Asia and everything went well. We had a good time and most of it, drivers, guides, Hotel etc were perfect. I will used Andy again for a another trip for sure.

Climbing, Slovenia - Apr 7 - Apr 11, 2018

Traveler: Sharmilee G. - Local specialist: Siggi Sveinsson

Polona and Luka organised the day well and I enjoyed my time rock climbing. Siggi was very good at getting back about the plans promptly.

Balthali village trek via namo buddha and panauti, Nepal - Mar 24 - Apr 5, 2018

Traveler: LeaAnn F. - Local specialist: Kripa Sunuwar

The 8 days we spent with Tendu were very memorable. He was very knowledgeable with the areas that we were trekking. He was very personable, professional and his sense of humour kept us motivated when we needed motivation. He was very attentive to our needs at the various tea houses. Lapka and Kazi were a delight to have along on the trek. I would highly recommend Tendu as a guide to anyone coming to Nepal.

Kripa Sunuwar, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi LeaAnn, thanks for your wonderful review of our guide Tendu. Gald to know that you really enjoyed the company of Tendu throughout your travel period. I will be sure to pass your appreciation to him and his team.

Jill

Adventure , Nepal - Mar 25 - Apr 7, 2018

Traveler: Jill S. - Local specialist: Amanda Delecca

Our trip was truly amazing! We saw so much of Nepal and its people. Amanda was truly wonderful in crafting an experience that perfectly incorporated our adventurous spirits, need for a little rest and relaxation, our want to be immersed in the local culture and excitement about visiting a new country. She was quick to respond to all my concerns and questions during our planning process, prior to our travel dates and during our trip. She was able to make adjustments to our itinerary of... read more

Our trip was truly amazing! We saw so much of Nepal and its people. Amanda was truly wonderful in crafting an experience that perfectly incorporated our adventurous spirits, need for a little rest and relaxation, our want to be immersed in the local culture and excitement about visiting a new country. She was quick to respond to all my concerns and questions during our planning process, prior to our travel dates and during our trip. She was able to make adjustments to our itinerary of the fly without hesitation.
All of the guides were incredibly knowledgeable, patient, polite and eager to share their culture with us. Amanda arranged drivers, pick-ups, guides, hotel stays, a trekking itinerary, tea house stays, meals, sight seeing suggestions, in-country flight tickets and more. We had no worries at all and felt safe every step of the way.
We arrived in Kathmandu, were picked up and brought to the Hotel Manaslu - very nice, clean with modern bathroom and breakfast was provided. After a brief rest our guide picked us up and took us on a walking tour of Thamel and other sites in the area. We even got a very rare view of the Kathmandu Kumari coming out of her house to attend a celebration. We stayed in the Thamel area and had dinner before walking back to our hotel. The following day our same guide picked us up with a driver and we toured UNESCO sites and more in the city and Patan.
We trekked for the next three and a half days, staying in tea houses along the way to Pikey Peak. It was a little disappointing that it never really cleared up, therefore we didn't get a clear view of the Himalaya mountain range. The trekking was very hard and technical (we bit off a bit more than we could chew but our guide Reeche (I'm sure I didn't spell that right) was amazing. The mountains were so lovely Its hard to describe. My suggestion regarding the trekking would be to get more detailed information as to the difficulty and technical aspects of the trek. We were not prepared for the very long days and technical aspects of the trails.
We spent a full day rest at the Panorama Charikot resort after trekking. Wonderful, wonderful place with great views and amazing staff. Food was very good.
The only hiccup of the trip was the horrible jeep ride from Charikot to Namobudda monastery. It was extremely terrible roads and took 7 hours to get to the monastery. The trip was only suppose to take half that time. Our driver didn't speak English so it was hard to know what was happening along the way. We loved the monastery but probably would have passed had we know how long of a jeep ride it was to get to it.
Off to Bhaktapur were we stayed at the Milla Guesthouse. I can't say enough about this beautiful boutique hotel in the heart of the city. Its an oasis and the breakfast on the roof terrace was the best we had on our trip. Our guide and driver took us to all the heritage and culture sites in the area and well has some shopping at various artisan places.
Next to the Chitwan Jungle were we stayed at the Jungle View Resort. We had a private bungalow with lovely views of the Rapti River were Rhinos freely roam. The field guides were knowledgeable and able to answer all our questions. We took an elephant safari ride, canoe ride and visit to the crocodile breeding reserve and jeep safari. The animals were a site to see; rhinos, sloth bear, bison, wild peacock, various deer, crocodiles and many birds
Lastly on to Patan where we stayed at The Inn- Patan. Amazing old Newari home redone into a lovely boutique hotel with a courtyard that reminded me of Italy. The original wood carving throughout was stunning. Great service and food in the heart of the city but yet quiet. We were lucky to get a large room with a small balcony overlooking the courtyard.
We ended our trip with a flight around Mt. Everest. Again, it wasn't super clear but we were able to the see the peaks and Everest. It was a pleasant end to our trip.
Overall, it was an amazing trip and I would highly recommend Amanda, KimKim and Himalayan Adventure travels and tours.

Amanda Delecca, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Jill, thanks so much for your review. While the weather wasn't great when you were here, hopefully you were able to squeeze in enough the mountain views that your trip was all about. Lots of ups and down on your trip, I'm glad we were able to modify things along the way to suit your needs, such as the extra night at the lovely Panorama Resort in Charikot.

The mountains are always here for next time! ;)

Cheers,
Amanda

Group departure - manaslu circuit trek - the ultimate off-the-beaten-path trek in nepal - 13 to 19 days, Nepal - Mar 26 - Apr 9, 2018

Traveler: Farhan R. - Local specialist: Amanda Delecca

Gelu, the cheif guide and Nurbu were both amazing. Incredibly helpful, and caring.

I'd like to add that Gelu's insight when tweaking the itinerary really helped make the trip even better- affording us better rest, to save time and to make it to the pass on a much better (sunny) day. Gelu was also very good at crisis management- I had issues with my knee, did not manage to get a raincoat for the trek and a friend really struggled. Gelu was incredibly patient and helpful with all of us.

Nurbu... read more

Gelu, the cheif guide and Nurbu were both amazing. Incredibly helpful, and caring.

I'd like to add that Gelu's insight when tweaking the itinerary really helped make the trip even better- affording us better rest, to save time and to make it to the pass on a much better (sunny) day. Gelu was also very good at crisis management- I had issues with my knee, did not manage to get a raincoat for the trek and a friend really struggled. Gelu was incredibly patient and helpful with all of us.

Nurbu as well, with better experience would be a good guide.

The porters were all amazing and incredibly helpful, even with/ without the luggage being carried.

Amanda Delecca, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Farhan, great to hear that Gelu and the crew helped you have such a great trip! We think they're pretty awesome and do an excellent job in the mountains, so hearing that from you after your 2 weeks together is fantastic. Great job on pushing through the trek with your knee issues, that's no mean feat!!

Thanks for your review, Gelu and your porters will no doubt be very happy to hear your feedback.

Cheers,
Amanda

Mikhail

Best of jordan, Jordan - Mar 28 - Apr 1, 2018

Traveler: Mikhail K. - Local specialist: Raísa Jorge

The trip was very well organized. The whole process of communication with Raisa and payment process before the trip was very easy. Raisa picked the best itinerary for our short four days stay in Jordan. Our guides were very professional and knowledgeable. Drivers were very polite and courteous. Hotels and bedouin camp which Raisa picked for us were very good, provided great service.

Raísa Jorge, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Mikhail,
Thanks again for experiencing Jordan with us. I am glad to know you had such a good time!
Happy to be at your service.

We hope to see you again in our beautiful country.

Happy travels!

Best,
Raisa

Linda Ming

Khopra danda trek - a great off the beaten path trek in the annapurna region, Nepal - Mar 31 - Apr 8, 2018

Traveler: Linda Ming L. - Local specialist: Ngima Dorji Sherpa

Booking our trip on kimkim was extremely simple and convenient. We were connected to Ngima right away, and he was professional and attentive all the way through. Everything that we experienced prior to the trip was easy, smooth, and enjoyable.

The trip itself was rather disappointing because our guide failed time and time again to do his job properly. He seemed entirely unfamiliar with the region of Nepal that we trekked through and depended on our porter to do a number of things that he... read more

Booking our trip on kimkim was extremely simple and convenient. We were connected to Ngima right away, and he was professional and attentive all the way through. Everything that we experienced prior to the trip was easy, smooth, and enjoyable.

The trip itself was rather disappointing because our guide failed time and time again to do his job properly. He seemed entirely unfamiliar with the region of Nepal that we trekked through and depended on our porter to do a number of things that he should have been able to do: lead us on our walks, correctly identify and name the mountains we saw, get us to the right tea houses at the end of each day, etc. Certainly we felt like we had been ripped off given the amount of money that we'd paid for our guide's expertise, but the bigger problem was that his incompetence led to some uncomfortable and frustrating problems -- one of them being a rather serious problem when he'd failed to inform us that there were no bottles of water for sale in the whole Ghorepani region (an endeavor to cut down on plastic waste). Had our guide briefed us on this, we could have purchased bottles of water on our way to Ghorepani, or at the very least, we would have known to save our empty bottles to fill up with filtered water. However, we were never advised on this matter, so we simply threw away our bottles assuming we'd be able to buy more. Needless to say, we felt outraged and panicked when we realized that we hadn't been sufficiently briefed, and that we didn't have any bottles for collecting water to get through the evening and the next day's walk. This made it crystal clear that our guide hadn't done his "homework" to prepare for a trek in a part of Nepal that he was unfamiliar with. (We also felt that Ngima should have advised us about the water situation in Ghorepani. The packing list that he shared did not indicate reusable water bottles as a must. It noted that we'd be able to buy bottles of water along the way, which led us to believe that there was no need to bring our own bottles at all. Given the situation at Ghorepani, Ngima really should have equipped us with better advice.)

There was one other incident concerning our guide that really frustrated and disappointed us. He had arranged to pick us up at our hotel in Pokhara at 2:00PM to take us to the airport for our 3:15PM flight to Kathmandu. We waited 30 minutes for his arrival, and then arranged our own ride to the airport when he still hadn't shown up by 2:30PM. We were terribly anxious for that whole half hour as we didn't want to miss the flight back to Kathmandu since we had an international flight to jump on from there. It was bad enough that we had to arrange and pay for transportation that the trip provider should have covered (we found this truly outrageous), but we really couldn't believe how irresponsible our guide had been. A guide should never make his clients feel so worried.

All in all, we are shocked and disappointed that this was the experience we paid for. In truth, we would like to be refunded the money that we paid to have a guide.

Needless to say, we cannot recommend Ngima's company, Nepal Myths and Mountain Trails.

Ngima Dorji Sherpa, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Linda,

I am so sorry to read that you had such bad experience traveling with us. But I am also equally surprised that you complained me nothing about guide's service when we met in Kathmandu after you return from your trek and asked you how your trip was. And now, suddenly all your experience flooded back in your review with a refund of guide fee.

Please allow me to clarify the situation. I just completed meeting with your guide to have a talk about the issue and now I would like to... read more

Dear Linda,

I am so sorry to read that you had such bad experience traveling with us. But I am also equally surprised that you complained me nothing about guide's service when we met in Kathmandu after you return from your trek and asked you how your trip was. And now, suddenly all your experience flooded back in your review with a refund of guide fee.

Please allow me to clarify the situation. I just completed meeting with your guide to have a talk about the issue and now I would like to explain what did happen on the trek after the inquiry meeting held with the guide.

According to your guide, who is one of the experienced and good guides of our company, performed his best to guide your trip. Most of the times, guide and porters co-ordinate with each other during the trip for service arrangements and easy workflow during the trip. I asked him about the mountains seen from Ghorepani and Khopra Ridge just to cross check his knowledge and he did answer correctly. If you ask other guides for the information instead of asking your guide and if they mislead you with wrong information about the mountains seen from the very particular area, I am sorry but it is wrong to say that your guide had no knowledge at all. You should have trusted your guide rather than trusting some random guides or people you met on the way. If he knows the names and answers me correctly then we can assume that he will definitely deliver the same information to you too.

Regarding, drinking water issue in Ghorepani, your guide suggested you carry multiple numbers of water bottles and so you did accordingly. But we too were totally unaware of the new rule on effect from Tirkhedhunga to Ghorepani area which was regulated recently. It's true that now travelers cannot purchase 1L water bottles but instead they can fill up water in their bottles from 20L jars from the lodge. And to address this issue, your guide purchased two reusable water bottles out of the trek budget which was just allocated for your trek accommodation, lunch, dinner and tea/coffee. He did not even claim for reimbursement of the price. And in addition, he suggested you fill up only boiled water instead of filling water from the jar just to avoid any water-related health issue to you. I think blaming guides expertise for suddenly changed rule in the certain area does not make sense at all. It's the responsibility of travelers to coordinate with the guide to cope with the prevailing rules and enjoy the trip rather than getting disappointed. Had I known earlier about the water bottle issue in Tirkhedhunga to Ghorepani area, I would have suggested you purchase water bottle in Kathmandu which was previously not needed.

Regarding, the flight issue, we had arranged your flight together with your guide. This is an expensive option to choose over transporting guides by local bus but we thought on your comfort in case the flight gets delayed or canceled due to weather problems or any unseen issues. And exactly that happened. Your flight got delayed by around half an hour and your guide re-confirmed your ticket with the new time schedule. He informed that he would pick you up at 2.30 pm at your hotel instead of going airport early and staying idle so that you will have slightly more time to enjoy Pokhara. Your guide reached hotel just a few minutes later after you left to the airport. I think you should have considered waiting few more minutes as missing your flight means missing his flight too and he should report to our office that day anyhow if the flight was operating. Point to be noted is that your guide was staying in another hotel as your Pokhara hotel don't provide guide room if it's directly booked by clients.

In a nutshell, if you were that much disappointed with guide's service that it compelled you to ask for a refund for what you paid for having a guide, why did you tip your guide with around USD 110.00? As usually tipping is done at last after completion of trek depending on your satisfaction with the services provided to you, we can say that you were happy with the trip.

We would love to hear you say in our email: info@nepalmountaintrails.com

Best wishes,

Ngima and whole NMMT family.

Colombia trip, Colombia - Mar 10 - Mar 16, 2018

Traveler: monica r. - Local specialist: Sidrah Qureshi

Our trip in Columbia was wonderful. great country, very safe. We had exceptional experience with Aventura Columbia. The organization of the trip was impeccable.
The only bad part was flying with Avianca. All flight we took in Columbia were delayed.

Thailand & cambodia , Cambodia - Mar 27 - Mar 31, 2018

Traveler: Claire B. - Local specialist: Adam Platt-Hepworth

The entire trip with kimkim and Grasshopper adventures was truly a seamless and spectacular experience. The details were perfectly coordinated and the service was outstanding. My boyfriend and I enjoyed all sorts of nice surprises and experiences along the way from refreshments and cool towels to awesome stops at longan orchards and temples and roadside stands. Our two guides, Tik and Vicheka and their drivers were true professionals and did a great job of making us feel comfortable and... read more

The entire trip with kimkim and Grasshopper adventures was truly a seamless and spectacular experience. The details were perfectly coordinated and the service was outstanding. My boyfriend and I enjoyed all sorts of nice surprises and experiences along the way from refreshments and cool towels to awesome stops at longan orchards and temples and roadside stands. Our two guides, Tik and Vicheka and their drivers were true professionals and did a great job of making us feel comfortable and safe and going above and beyond to make sure we had a wonderful time. The trip was amazing and we are so glad we went with KimKim and Grasshopper!

Adam Platt-Hepworth, local specialist, responded to this review:

Claire,
We are all quite happy to read your review. Thanks for the kind words! I've had a chance to debrief with the guides and they very much enjoyed being with you on tour. There's lots to explore in Asia and we look forward to seeing you again in this part of the world.

Surprise trip for husband , Bhutan - Mar 22 - Apr 2, 2018

Traveler: Sarah G. - Local specialist: Vishal Pradhan

Working with Vishal and Sonam in planning, booking and enjoying this trip was great from start to finish. They provided good advice on what to do and see during the given time of year and the duration of our trip. We had to chop and change the trip as we had some members of our party drop out and some new people enter during the planning portion. They were very patient and flexible during the whole process and were consistent in their expert professionalism. Our guide, Tek, was very... read more

Working with Vishal and Sonam in planning, booking and enjoying this trip was great from start to finish. They provided good advice on what to do and see during the given time of year and the duration of our trip. We had to chop and change the trip as we had some members of our party drop out and some new people enter during the planning portion. They were very patient and flexible during the whole process and were consistent in their expert professionalism. Our guide, Tek, was very knowledgeable, punctual, and had the bonus of being fun to be around. Vishal and Sonam actually took to the time to check in with us personally multiple times during the extent of our trip, to ensure that everything was to standard and to see if there were any reasonable ways to improve the trip. Bhutan is an extraordinary place and Vishal/Sonam's exceptional customer service made it easy and comfortable the whole way through. I was dubious of the guided nature of this trip as I usually travel freestyle, however Tek and the team made this one of the best trips I have ever embarked on!

Vishal Pradhan, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Sarah, Shannon, Josh, Emilio,

First and foremost, thank you ladies for doing this for the boys!

And Thank you again for giving us this opportunity to showcase Bhutan to Josh and Emilio.

Me and my team thoroughly enjoyed the interaction and glad to hear that we able to cater to your expectation.

We look forward welcoming you again in too not distance future, till then Take Care and best regards from Bhutan.

Sonam

Puerto queztal guatemala, Guatemala - Apr 2 - Apr 2, 2018

Traveler: Bryan C. - Local specialist: Chris Gwinner

Sebastian our guide on the hike up the volcano was great. Roasting marshmallows on the fresh lava rocks was fun!

Chris Gwinner, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you again for your business Bryan. It was a pleasure to have you and your family out on Pacaya Volcano with us. We hope to see you again in Guatemala one day!
Chris

Magnificent myanmar - 8 days, Myanmar - Mar 30 - Apr 8, 2018

Traveler: egidio c. - Local specialist: Anne Cruickshanks

Very professional experience that meet expectations. I would recommend both kimkim and Anne.

Anne Cruickshanks, local specialist, responded to this review:

Mingalarbar Egidio and Chinyu, thanks for the kind words! I am glad you enjoyed your time here - our guides really appreciated your enthusiasm for the local culture and their hometowns. If you have the chance to visit again we would love to show your more of Myanmar!

Julie

Guatemala orphange, Guatemala - Mar 24 - Apr 1, 2018

Traveler: Julie L. - Local specialist: Chris Gwinner

Hello there,
My son and I were planning a trip back to his birthplace in Guatemala as well as visiting some orphanages along the way to bring them some donations he had collected. Chris was amazing in helping me out figuring out what was doable and what was not. I truly appreciate all his help which is why I am not giving this a worse review. I also loved our tour guide Ricardo to Rio Dulce Las Canchas and the place he sent us too. However, it really was not a replacement for what I... read more

Hello there,
My son and I were planning a trip back to his birthplace in Guatemala as well as visiting some orphanages along the way to bring them some donations he had collected. Chris was amazing in helping me out figuring out what was doable and what was not. I truly appreciate all his help which is why I am not giving this a worse review. I also loved our tour guide Ricardo to Rio Dulce Las Canchas and the place he sent us too. However, it really was not a replacement for what I told him my original plan was for that day which was a relaxing day at Semuc Champey. The first tour to Tikal was very good in that Edwardo was able to show me the rules of the road since he drove my car to Tikal. He was also able to speak to the Hertz rental car person when they lost my reservation. That was great!!
As for the other tours not so great. After great discussion with Chris that I thought the tours he was offering were far more expensive than others I found on different tour sites he assured me that they were better in quality. We initiated the early departure to Pacaya Volcano so that we could get back on the road to our next destination. We were not to be picked up at the hotel rather meet at his place in Antigua. We also encouraged him to find more people to go on the trip as it would be cheaper and more entertaining for us. They did find one more for the pacaya trip and apparently they left without us. We were told that his place was next to Central Parque and a map we had said it was on the corner of it. So we went to all 4 corners before we decided to head down a remote street and found it at 7:15. I tried to call Chris and no one attempted to call me as Edwardo did when our plane was delayed for Flores. So I feel that us being the original people for this tour and the fact that we had already paid deserved a call to see if we were having difficulty. If that had happened they would have found us one block away. I am not sure if Chris did not give him the number or he chose not to try it but either way it was unprofessional. At this time I chose to cancel our last trip in Pana as I did not see anyone else joined and I did not want to pay the huge price for a potentially unsatisfactory trip as well. Chris has graciously attempted to return some of the money however, I am not sure if I agree with taking the 25% off of the last trip as we cancelled in plenty of time.
I am not saying I would not recommend this site again but I certainly would have some reservations. I appreciate the return of monies but it would be better if it was a full return especially since the 2nd one was not exactly what we expected either but we were not asking for a return. Sorry this was long, but I guess I wanted to make sure you got all the information.

Trip, Myanmar - Mar 24 - Apr 2, 2018

Traveler: christian r. - Local specialist: Anne Cruickshanks

Anne and the rest of the guides/drivers were great. I could not say more about Anne and the response time, care of client etc... This was a once in a lifetime trip and I was happy that Anne was the one that could plan it for me.

Anne Cruickshanks, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thanks Christian! It was fun planning this trip - you were up for every local experience we could offer! And so glad we could fit in the visit to Green Hill Valley at the last minute. I hope you enjoyed your onward travels in Thailand and that we get a chance to welcome you to Myanmar again soon!

Trip to thailand, Thailand - Apr 3 - Apr 6, 2018

Traveler: christian r. - Local specialist: Holly Richter

After coming off a great trip with you guys in Myanmar I had the same expectations for the trip to Thailand but it couldn't be further from the truth. The biggest issue that I had was not having the items included in the list available upon arrival. The hotel was changed lat minute and when I arrived they had a sign out front that said cheap rooms with the price. Fair enough I went into the room and there was a sewage issue that made the room smell constantly. There was a gap under the... read more

After coming off a great trip with you guys in Myanmar I had the same expectations for the trip to Thailand but it couldn't be further from the truth. The biggest issue that I had was not having the items included in the list available upon arrival. The hotel was changed lat minute and when I arrived they had a sign out front that said cheap rooms with the price. Fair enough I went into the room and there was a sewage issue that made the room smell constantly. There was a gap under the door that let mosquitoes in at a constant rate but no mosquito net. These in themselves are not deal breakers but I paid $1,900 for 3 nights in a hotel and a guide for 3 1/2 days. The total for the hotel for the two nights that I was supposed to stay there would be $65 USD and the hotel on the last night would be $150 USD. That means that there was roughly $1,700 out there for a driver and a guide for 3 1/2 days. Since the room was unacceptable I went and paid for 2 more nights on my own and in my discussion with Holly I was never once offered a refund for the other night in the hotel. I then questioned the pricing and Holly gave me a breakdown which didn't actually add up tot he entire cost. When I responded back with questions there was never a response. I hate to say this but at the end of the day I feel that I was taken advantage of since its such a high tourist destination area. Feeling that I was taken advantage of did not help to the satisfaction of the trip even though the guide and driver were great. At the end of the day it is not hard to look at a menu or understand the cost of a hotel since they are right in front of you and then listen to the cost from the trip planner. I have no issue paying for value but there was no value added for this trip. I hope that the communications are reviewed and steps taken to make sure that others do not fall into the same situation. Again my trip t Myanmar though KimKim was awesome but the trip to Thailand has since changed my mind.

7 days | dogsledding in alta | bergen - flåm - oslo , Norway - Mar 26 - Apr 1, 2018

Traveler: Cyndi P. - Local specialist: Ingrid Thornes

Alta was my favorite part of the trip, especially dog sledding!! The hotel we stayed at in Alta was great and had an amazing breakfast buffet. The tours we took were a lot of fun and allowed us to view as much of Norway as possible in the small amount of time we had. We did two dog sledding trips, went ice fishing/snow shoeing, RIB boat on the Fjords in Flam, and more. Ingrid did a great job listening to what we wanted to do and helped plan a trip that was really memorable. I can't wait to visit Norway again!!

Ingrid Thornes, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Cyndi,

Thank you so much for the great review! I am so happy you had such a great time and welcome back to home country anytime!

All the best,
Ingrid

Toni

Sicily, Italy - Mar 31 - Apr 7, 2018

Traveler: Toni S. - Local specialist: Giorgia Carraffa

With our input, Giorgia came up with a great itinerary for our trip to Sicily, and the experience was smooth and stress free. We were paired up with very knowledgeable guides and really enjoyed the street food and culture tour in Palermo and the tour of the temple ruins in Agrigento. The hotels where we we we stayed were clean and centrally located so that we had only short walks to the center of town, The agriturismo was my favorite stay -- located in the countryside with gracious hosts... read more

With our input, Giorgia came up with a great itinerary for our trip to Sicily, and the experience was smooth and stress free. We were paired up with very knowledgeable guides and really enjoyed the street food and culture tour in Palermo and the tour of the temple ruins in Agrigento. The hotels where we we we stayed were clean and centrally located so that we had only short walks to the center of town, The agriturismo was my favorite stay -- located in the countryside with gracious hosts and a veranda with spectacular views of the countryside which we enjoyed while we sipped some wine and relaxed at the end of our day,

The drivers were courteous and arrived promptly, and having a driver really made a difference in our enjoyment of the trip. We would have had some issues finding some of the places where we stayed, especially in the agriturismo which is tucked away and off the beaten path, Having this trip planned for us by an expert allowed us to really enjoy the experience without the worry and work that normally goes into planning vacation of this sort. I don't think I would travel any other way from now on!

Giorgia Carraffa, local specialist, responded to this review:

Tony! thanks so much for your feedback! Happy to know that you enjoyed Sicily and you will have beautiful memories about this trip.
Really hope to have you again in Italy!
Giorgia

Morocco spring break, Morocco - Mar 23 - Apr 1, 2018

Traveler: Mathew V. - Local specialist: Larbi Anzal

Pluses:
+ we loved the people, country and culture of Morocco
+ our driver Moad was good - friendly and drove very safely over the 1,500 kms we
+ 2 places we stayed in Quarzazette and Marrakesh were good

Negatives:
- Larbi, does not review the trip advisor ratings of places he books people into. He claims 3 stars, but the ratings are much worse and the experience is just as spotty.
- the bathrooms in the desert saffari were terrible and the “standard luxury” tent was mattresses laid on... read more

Pluses:
+ we loved the people, country and culture of Morocco
+ our driver Moad was good - friendly and drove very safely over the 1,500 kms we
+ 2 places we stayed in Quarzazette and Marrakesh were good

Negatives:
- Larbi, does not review the trip advisor ratings of places he books people into. He claims 3 stars, but the ratings are much worse and the experience is just as spotty.
- the bathrooms in the desert saffari were terrible and the “standard luxury” tent was mattresses laid on carpets. There was no “luxury”. Clearly a bait and switch operation.
- when we pointed out the poor quality about some of the places we were staying in, his reaction was pretty much take it or leave it, you are on your own. This was true especially on our last day in Casablanca.

Conclusion:
- we would NOT recommed using Larbi.

Larbi Anzal, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you, Mathew, for taking time to write a review of your tour. Such reviews are read with care and all points raised by our travelers are considered and evaluated and acted upon where needs be. It is great to hear that you enjoyed the itinerary with a safe and helpful driver; this is very encouraging to hear. Anzal Tours has great itinerary planning specialists and it was good to develop your bespoke tour itinerary to be just as you wished. Regarding your accommodation comments, however,... read more

Thank you, Mathew, for taking time to write a review of your tour. Such reviews are read with care and all points raised by our travelers are considered and evaluated and acted upon where needs be. It is great to hear that you enjoyed the itinerary with a safe and helpful driver; this is very encouraging to hear. Anzal Tours has great itinerary planning specialists and it was good to develop your bespoke tour itinerary to be just as you wished. Regarding your accommodation comments, however, your tour was booked on a 3* accommodation basis. Your comment about your “standard luxury” tent is not what was costed; in fact there is no such classification as “standard luxury” tent. We offer only either standard tent or deluxe tent and you had standard desert tent. I note your comments about stating that the “bathrooms were terrible” and I will certainly raise this with the Bedouin tent company to enquire about their provision. We had other travelers staying in the same Bedouin camp when you were there and no such negative comments have been received but, of course, I will be checking. Your hotel in Casablanca, although your tour was costed on a 3* accommodation basis, Anzal Tours had actually booked for you a 4* hotel, an hotel that has given us no cause for concern from any of our previous travelers. It was around 17.30 when you ‘phoned me to ask to change the hotel but at such short notice this was not viable. I believe that you asked for one room in the hotel to be changed for you and this was done. But I am soon to be in Casablanca so I will make a point of calling in to the hotel and check it. As both the itinerary planner and tour component coordinator for your tour I, Larbi, always keep a close eye on our traveler provision so I thank you for your observations. Larbi Anzal

Kelly

Mera peak trek, Nepal - Mar 19 - Apr 5, 2018

Traveler: Kelly P. - Local specialist: Ngima Dorji Sherpa

This was my second trip to Nepal. Booked with Nepal Myths and Trails Trekking/climbing Company. So Glad I did. Nigma Dorje is an absolutely amazing owner and operator of his guiding company.
By far the best communication out of the guding companies I’ve used in Nepal. He asnwers all questions and concers promptly and to your full satisfaction! All his staff from his fully certified and experienced guides and porters to his person taxi/driving staff for airport pick ups and drops offs are... read more

This was my second trip to Nepal. Booked with Nepal Myths and Trails Trekking/climbing Company. So Glad I did. Nigma Dorje is an absolutely amazing owner and operator of his guiding company.
By far the best communication out of the guding companies I’ve used in Nepal. He asnwers all questions and concers promptly and to your full satisfaction! All his staff from his fully certified and experienced guides and porters to his person taxi/driving staff for airport pick ups and drops offs are very hard working and are very dedicated to catering to any and all needs you may have and do it with full smiles. Everything about this company is above and beyond expectations.

Our trekking and mountain climb trip to Mera Peak was a complete pleasure in every aspect. Not to mention our Guide Ang-Gelu Sherpa, was the only guide able to get his clients to the summit and back of Mera Peak saftely in the face of a week of bad weather on the mountain. He along with our high alttitude porters (Dawa Sherpa and Kunga) were able to successfully and in a very short weather window of 4 hours get us to the top with out any set backs.

I would highly reccomend anyone wanting to trek or climb in Nepal to book with this company. Heard soo many horry stories from other clients during this trip about their guiding companies and staff. I will definately be back to Nepal again for more climbing and will be booking again with Nigma Dorje Sherpa. Thanks soo much to everyone at Nepal Myths and Trails for a 100% successful expedition!!!

Ngima Dorji Sherpa, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Kelly, Thank you so much for your wonderful review, it was a great pleasure to organize Mera peak climbing expedition for you. Many congratulations to you on making to the top. I am very happy that you had a wonderful expedition and you were very happy with the services provided by our staffs. I will look forward to welcoming you soon again for your next trip to Nepal.

Best wishes,
Ngima and whole NMMT family.

Ghandruk trek - scenic 3-4 day trek through the annapurna foothills, Nepal - Mar 30 - Apr 6, 2018

Traveler: Richard M. - Local specialist: Marie Stissing Jensen

What an amazing adventure! KimKim.com got us into contact with Marie Stissing from Tiger Tops. Highly recommended. Organisation was impeccable. Itinerary developed by Marie was excellent. Her services are professional and personal. We did a 3 day trek with Mr Saila, an amazing guide and the great Mr Jongkwe as our porter. Mr Mangal did an great job with guiding and advising us with all the transfers. It was like clockwork and he took great care of us. All accommodation was really good and... read more

What an amazing adventure! KimKim.com got us into contact with Marie Stissing from Tiger Tops. Highly recommended. Organisation was impeccable. Itinerary developed by Marie was excellent. Her services are professional and personal. We did a 3 day trek with Mr Saila, an amazing guide and the great Mr Jongkwe as our porter. Mr Mangal did an great job with guiding and advising us with all the transfers. It was like clockwork and he took great care of us. All accommodation was really good and very diverse. It gave us a very good opportunity to get a feel for beautiful Nepal in a very short time. Mr Laxman was a very pleasant and confident driver. We hope to come back and spend more time in Nepal. We will definitely book again with KimKim.com and TigerTops! Thank you!

Marie Stissing Jensen, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Richard,

Thank you very much for your kind words and a great review, I will pass your words on to our staff. I hope to see you and your family back here in Nepal in the future.

Kind regards,
Marie

Tom

Trip to bhutan, Bhutan - Mar 31 - Apr 5, 2018

Traveler: Tom L. - Local specialist: Bas Naus

I have traveled a lot--around 130 countries--and I almost never use an organized tour. I thought I didn't like them. But this trip changed my mind. Mr. Pema, my guide, was impeccable, as was my driver, Mr. Ugee. They anticipated my every need, were beautifully friendly and polite and quite interesting people. I felt like I was traveling with friends. Mr. Pema was very skillful and knowledgeable as a guide to both the sites and the culture, and we had philosophical as well as historical... read more

I have traveled a lot--around 130 countries--and I almost never use an organized tour. I thought I didn't like them. But this trip changed my mind. Mr. Pema, my guide, was impeccable, as was my driver, Mr. Ugee. They anticipated my every need, were beautifully friendly and polite and quite interesting people. I felt like I was traveling with friends. Mr. Pema was very skillful and knowledgeable as a guide to both the sites and the culture, and we had philosophical as well as historical conversations of some depth. Windhorse made all the arrangements painless, kept in touch just enough, and everything, top to bottom, was perfectly done. The wifi in hotel rooms, as it is in many countries with a similar economic base, left something to be desired, but that was outside their control, and I'm sure it will continue to improve as the tourist infrastructure continues to grow. My only wish was that I had been able to stay longer and go further into the country.

Bas Naus, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Tom,
Thanks for sharing this with us! Great to hear you had a nice trip to Bhutan with us. We are also glad to hear that our guide and driver changed your perspective on organized tours! Very nice that you enjoyed their services as well as their company and having conversations with them. If you ever plan to come back for a longer stay, we would be more than happy to host your trip again. All the best to you and see you again some time!
Bas.

Michele

2018 safari, Kenya - Mar 29 - Apr 4, 2018

Traveler: Michele B. - Local specialist: Joseph Njoroge

Joseph of Jossy Travel treated us incredible, he exceeded our wildest dreams! We were able to see the big five and many other animals and we were so close! Joseph explained interesting facts and told wonderful stories that I am sure we will be telling our family for many years to come. Joseph knows the ins and out and was even able to get us a new card for our camera when we ran out of space., Birthday cake for my daughter, helped us bargain hunt by speaking to the locals. There is nothing... read more

Joseph of Jossy Travel treated us incredible, he exceeded our wildest dreams! We were able to see the big five and many other animals and we were so close! Joseph explained interesting facts and told wonderful stories that I am sure we will be telling our family for many years to come. Joseph knows the ins and out and was even able to get us a new card for our camera when we ran out of space., Birthday cake for my daughter, helped us bargain hunt by speaking to the locals. There is nothing this man can’t accomplish for you. We will miss Joseph smile, laugh and just knowing we were taken care of in such a wonderful way.

Joseph Njoroge, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you, Michele, for your honest review, we worked together to make that happen, I must say you have a very nice family and I am happy we made the family "African dream come true", thank again!

Norway 2018, Norway - Mar 25 - Mar 31, 2018

Traveler: Julio V. - Local specialist: Elina Hutton

First of all: kudos to Elina - her attention was first-class and, I am very grateful for it - above all, I value the personalized attention. We wanted to experience the artic environment in Norway and we did get it. Our days spent in and around Tromso are unforgettable - to remember thru our lifetime. We took this trip as an opportunity to experience (first time ever) the cold artic in a leisure way and we did -so much so that we skipped some activities to simply enjoy the scenery and the... read more

First of all: kudos to Elina - her attention was first-class and, I am very grateful for it - above all, I value the personalized attention. We wanted to experience the artic environment in Norway and we did get it. Our days spent in and around Tromso are unforgettable - to remember thru our lifetime. We took this trip as an opportunity to experience (first time ever) the cold artic in a leisure way and we did -so much so that we skipped some activities to simply enjoy the scenery and the moments. The schedule was followed as planned, guides showed up as planned, well-mannered and confident - great experience overall, Thanks!

Elina Hutton, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you Julio. I'm really glad you both enjoyed the holiday and had the possibility to just relax and enjoy. Best wishes, Elina

Amy

Nepal in 5 days from ktm...nature, animals, and fresh air please! , Nepal - Mar 23 - Mar 28, 2018

Traveler: Amy A. - Local specialist: Amanda Delecca

This was my first time using kimkim, and I'm so glad I did! Amanda was great to work with, she gave me great tour options to fit my needs and advice to go along with it. I was able to customize the trip I wanted, and it was super easy when we had a few hiccups along the way (adding additional travelers, dealing with a flight cancellation). As planning became reality, my friends and I spent 3 days trekking east of Kathmandu through quaint villages and beautiful steppes from Dhulikhel to... read more

This was my first time using kimkim, and I'm so glad I did! Amanda was great to work with, she gave me great tour options to fit my needs and advice to go along with it. I was able to customize the trip I wanted, and it was super easy when we had a few hiccups along the way (adding additional travelers, dealing with a flight cancellation). As planning became reality, my friends and I spent 3 days trekking east of Kathmandu through quaint villages and beautiful steppes from Dhulikhel to Panauti. After our trek, we were able to enjoy a few days in Kathmandu exploring. One of Amanda's recommendations was a highlight and a visit I won't soon forget - Pashupatinath, a Hindu crematorium. In a place surrounded by death, there is so much life as well, and in a way that I never imagined. As an American, it really opened my eyes to a different culture and perspective.

Amanda Delecca, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hey Amy, many thanks for your review! Doing what we do, we always hope to show people a little of what we love about this incredible country and we couldn't be more pleased that we were able to show this to you. It of course also takes a traveler who is open minded and willing to see the world in a different way so thanks for being open to the experience.

All the best, until next time :)
Amanda

Wayne

Jordan, Jordan - Mar 29 - Apr 3, 2018

Traveler: Wayne L. - Local specialist: Andy Nurse

Overall Andy and our the local guide and driver were excellent. They were responsive and designed a bespoke trip for us , managed all the logistics well and really knew Jordan.

Andy Nurse, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thanks Wayne, I am happy that you enjoyed your trip in Jordan!

Christian

Trip to nepal, Nepal - Mar 20 - Apr 4, 2018

Traveler: Christian T. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

Another epic trip! Mads and his team are first class. Not only great guides but great friends!

Off the beaten path adventures. Lifelong memories.

Mads Mathiasen, local specialist, responded to this review:

Great photos Christian, so happy to hear you had another great trip and got Greer hooked on Nepal as well :-) Next time I hope to see you in Kathmandu! Thanks, Mads

Jordan in 7 days - amman, jerash, mt nebo, petra, wadi rum, aqaba and the dead sea, Jordan - Mar 27 - Apr 3, 2018

Traveler: Atanu N. - Local specialist: Andy Nurse

Our Jordan trip for 8 days covering Amman, Jerash, Mount Nebo, Petra,Wadi Rum, Aquaba and Dead Sea has been excellent. The trip was well organised by Andy Nurse and we had hassle free trip with the driver and car provided to us. The driver Khalid Hdaib was great , friendly and always ready to help.
The whole package organised by Andy Nurse was good value for money.

Andy Nurse, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thanks Atanu, it was a pleasure hosting you in Jordan. I am very happy to hear that you enjoyed the trip, your driver, and that the trip was hassle free.

Best wishes!

Teahouse trekking in nepal, Nepal - Mar 11 - Mar 24, 2018

Traveler: John N. - Local specialist: Ngima Dorji Sherpa

We were very impressed with how promptly, patiently, and thoroughly Ngima Dorji Sherpa answered all our numerous emailed questions. His attention made us feel at ease that he was personally making sure all our requirements were being attended to. We were personally greeted when we arrived in Kathmandu and fully briefed on the details of our meeting with our guide and porter at Lukla.

Our first trip to the Sagarmatha National Park was a most enjoyable and unforgettable experience thanks in... read more

We were very impressed with how promptly, patiently, and thoroughly Ngima Dorji Sherpa answered all our numerous emailed questions. His attention made us feel at ease that he was personally making sure all our requirements were being attended to. We were personally greeted when we arrived in Kathmandu and fully briefed on the details of our meeting with our guide and porter at Lukla.

Our first trip to the Sagarmatha National Park was a most enjoyable and unforgettable experience thanks in large part to the attentive, sensitive, and patient care of our guide Mingmar Gyaljen Sherpa, and porter Chhiring Sherpa. They answered every question, attended every need, steered us away from potential folly, and genuinely looked after our well being. For this they have gained not only our admiration but also our friendship. We now better understand why the uniquely majestic Kumbu Valley region and it warm hearted people make visitors want to come again, and again!

Ngima Dorji Sherpa, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you so much John for your wonderful review, it was a great pleasure for me to organize a trek for you. I am very happy that you had a wonderful time during your stay in Nepal and the services provided by our staffs. I will look forward to welcoming you soon again with your family for next adventure. I would loved to organize another memorable trek for you.

Best wishes,
Ngima and whole NMMT family.

7 days | dogsledding in alta | bergen - flåm - oslo , Norway - Mar 26 - Apr 1, 2018

Traveler: Timothy H. - Local specialist: Ingrid Thornes

We had a fantastic time on our trip to Norway. The highlight for me was definitely the two days of dog sledding in Alta. We had two fantastic guides - Elaine the first day, who was very experienced, friendly and helpful, and explained everything we needed to know very clearly, and shared lots of great stories and knowledge about all the dogs and her experiences with them. I loved how they really let us do everything ourselves too, after they gave us some instruction, so we got to walk... read more

We had a fantastic time on our trip to Norway. The highlight for me was definitely the two days of dog sledding in Alta. We had two fantastic guides - Elaine the first day, who was very experienced, friendly and helpful, and explained everything we needed to know very clearly, and shared lots of great stories and knowledge about all the dogs and her experiences with them. I loved how they really let us do everything ourselves too, after they gave us some instruction, so we got to walk around the yard and find the five dogs assigned to each of our teams, meet them and get comfortable with them, then we got to harness and hook them up to the sled ourselves. That made it way more rewarding than if they had done everything for us. Our guide the 2nd day was not as experienced with teaching tourists the ropes, but her personal story was incredible (she is only 18, and is the youngest person to ever complete the Finnmark race, which is the northernmost and second longest dog sled race in the world at 1200km), and we had a great time with her as well. The actual experience of dogsledding was one of the coolest things I have ever done, it was amazing, and I can’t say enough how much I enjoyed it.

The first day we also visited the ice hotel in Alta (recommended by the cook from lunch), which was incredible. The ice sculptures and carvings in the walls were unbelievable. Even if you don’t stay there, anyone who visits Alta really needs to check this out!!!

Since we had some time the second day in Alta, we booked an ice fishing/snow shoeing excursion through the same company that did our northern lights outing, and I would highly recommend them as well. Our guide Rolf (and his trusty dog Javri) took us on a beautiful forest hike (on snow shoes) to a lake called Kvenvannet, nestled in the snowy mountains, where he showed us everything we needed to know to try to catch fish in a lake that was about a meter of solid ice with another half meter or so of snow on top. I did catch a small trout, which was pretty exciting. He then made us an awesome lunch of salmon and vegetables cooked over the fire. Which reminds me - you Norwegians know your food! We did not have a disappointing meal all week. The breakfast spread at the Thon hotel in Alta was phenomenal, and the staff there was great as well. I wish we had good bread everywhere in America like you seem to there! The meals we had at the dog sledding place and the northern lights place were both delicious, two very different style soups with local fish and vegetables, and of course really good bread.

The northern lights tour was great, but unfortunately it was pretty much completely overcast the entire time, so we did not get a chance to see them, but we still enjoyed ourselves. I guess we’ll just have to make a trip back!

The 2nd half of the week was great as well. We had an awesome time exploring Bergen, we had beautiful sunny weather when we were there, and we had a great dinner at the restaurant attached to the fish market. After dinner we took the funicular train up to the mountain overlooking Bergen and the fjord where we saw the sunset which was beautiful.

The train rides from Bergen to Flåm were great, and the views were gorgeous. The fjordsafari tour on the RIB boat was really fun as well. They gave us plenty of extra layers so we all stayed pretty warm except maybe the bottom half of my face, I guess I needed a scarf, but our guide (I forget his name) was great, the ride was smooth, we stayed totally dry, and he did a great job of stopping and telling us all about the fjords, the mountains, and the villages all along them. We got a great lunch afterwards at one of the cafes in Flåm before our train ride back to Oslo.

Kevin and Betsi took off that morning, but Cyndi and I had one last day in Oslo where we went cross country skiing at Oslo Winter Park which was great fun and great exercise (we had both downhill skied before, but never cross country). We figured when in Norway might as well do as the Norwegians do!

We had such a great time, and I left Norway just wanting to come back again. Thanks so much for all your help in planning this incredible trip!

Ingrid Thornes, local specialist, responded to this review:

HI Timothy,

Thank you so so much for the detailed review! We really appreciate that! We wish you welcome back to Norway anytime!

All the best,
Ingrid

Federica

Nature and adventure , Costa Rica - Mar 8 - Mar 23, 2018

Traveler: Federica M. - Local specialist: Randall Jiménez

We have recently returned from two weeks in Costa Rica and we loved it!
From day one the communication with Randall was amazing. He got back to all of my messages within hours. His speed and kind way were really helpful. We booked the trip a few months ahead and Randall kept in touch with us leading up to it, a nice touch. 

When we arrived in Costa Rica, again everything was very well organised and Randall always kept us up to date with those couple of minor changes in flights or pick up... read more

We have recently returned from two weeks in Costa Rica and we loved it!
From day one the communication with Randall was amazing. He got back to all of my messages within hours. His speed and kind way were really helpful. We booked the trip a few months ahead and Randall kept in touch with us leading up to it, a nice touch. 

When we arrived in Costa Rica, again everything was very well organised and Randall always kept us up to date with those couple of minor changes in flights or pick up times we encountered. Nothing ever seemed an inconvenience for him and it was great to know I could message him if needed.

In terms of the holiday itself, the places we visited were beautiful. Cloud forest, jungle, Pacific and Atlantic coasts. Lots of animals and activities everywhere plus time to relax. The holiday really ticked all the boxes.

Costa Rica is a stunning country and the way of life there is something I have taken home with me.. Pura Vida!!

 

Randall Jiménez, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Federica,

I want to thank you so much your feedback about the trip and for sharing your experience, it really makes me so happy that you and James have enjoyed the arrangements that we did for your vacation, I just hope to have the chance to welcome you again in a future in my country and meet you in person this time.

Greetings from Costa Rica & Pura Vida!!! :)

Randall

Spring break in nepal, Nepal - Mar 25 - Mar 31, 2018

Traveler: Tiana B. - Local specialist: Mingma Sherpa

From the moment I requested information about the Poon Hill Trek to the moment I arrived back home from the perfectly organized trip, Mingma and his team have been helpful, kind, informative, and attentive. As a solo female traveler, I was a little apprehensive about what my experience would be. Mingma laid out a tentative itinerary in detail that fit my requests and needs. I was extremely pleased. The price for all of the services (airport pickup, hotel stays, flights between Kathmandu... read more

From the moment I requested information about the Poon Hill Trek to the moment I arrived back home from the perfectly organized trip, Mingma and his team have been helpful, kind, informative, and attentive. As a solo female traveler, I was a little apprehensive about what my experience would be. Mingma laid out a tentative itinerary in detail that fit my requests and needs. I was extremely pleased. The price for all of the services (airport pickup, hotel stays, flights between Kathmandu and Pokhara, and a guide) was affordable too! This is a hands-on company! I had a representative from the company accessible to me at all times. Bishow, was my greeter and accompanied me to all of my airport drop-offs and pick-ups, contacted me by phone to make sure my guide and porter where in contact with me, and just made sure I was taken care of. My guide, JB, and porter, Ram, for the trek were very familiar with the trek and were very knowledgable about the area. It was great to have a guide that spoke English as well as the local language and could help with communication! Overall, this company, Mingma, Bishow, JB, and Ram provided a safe and quality experience. I will definitely use them again and refer anyone to them who is looking for a Nepal trekking experience. Thank you guys so much! My time in Nepal was a very memorable and amazing experience!

Mingma Sherpa, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Tiana,

Thank you for the review and sharing your experience. It was a pleasure to prepare this trip for you along with my team.

We look forward to welcoming you to Nepal for any of your future trips.

Best regards,

Mingma

Nar and phu trek, Nepal - Mar 20 - Apr 1, 2018

Traveler: Jennifer K. - Local specialist: Amanda Delecca

My son and I had an absolutely amazing experience on the Nar Phu Valley trek. Our guide Chhiring and porter Nara, were fantastic. Chhiring provided us with a lot of commentary about the places, people, and social and cultural influences both past and present. Visiting the villages of Nar and Phu, particularly when there were very few other trekkers, was a remarkable experience but of course the stunning scenery the entire way, was the highlight. When it snowed heavily the night before we... read more

My son and I had an absolutely amazing experience on the Nar Phu Valley trek. Our guide Chhiring and porter Nara, were fantastic. Chhiring provided us with a lot of commentary about the places, people, and social and cultural influences both past and present. Visiting the villages of Nar and Phu, particularly when there were very few other trekkers, was a remarkable experience but of course the stunning scenery the entire way, was the highlight. When it snowed heavily the night before we were to ascend and cross the Kangla Pass, we were prepared to turn back but Chhiring, having monitored the situation, confidently led us on to the Pass. We often lost the path in the snow but Chhiring expertly picked a line and despite the oft times deep snow, we made it in good time and it was truly an exhilarating moment to reach the top!
Amanda was extremely informative and addressed all our concerns promptly. She was very helpful in both the initial planning stages and very amenable to any changes that we considered. I felt completely confident that the trek was well organized and safe. It was also a pleasure to meet with her and Chhiring before the trek. I would highly recommend Kimkim and Amanda from Himalayan Trails.

Amanda Delecca, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Jennifer, many thanks for your feedback! We've had a very wet Spring which is still continuing, which means snow in the mountains. Fantastic to hear that everything went well with your trek and that you were well taken care of with Chirring.

Until next time! :)

Cheers,
Amanda

Surprise trip for husband , Bhutan - Mar 22 - Apr 2, 2018

Traveler: Emilio V. - Local specialist: Vishal Pradhan

Great. Tek was an amazing guide out in the mountains and in the cultural tour too.

Vishal Pradhan, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Emilio,

Great hearing from you.

It was a pleasure for me and our team to host you in Bhutan.

We are delighted to hear that Dagala Trek adventure lived up to your expectation.

Thank you once again for this opportunity and look forward to yet another adventure.

Sincerely,

Sonam

Stephen

Best of costa rica in 7 days: explore jungles, volcanoes and beaches, Costa Rica - Mar 3 - Mar 10, 2018

Traveler: Stephen C. - Local specialist: Sylvia Jurado

I would wholeheartedly recommend kim kim and particularly Sylvia Durado.
My flight over to Costa Rica was delayed due to adverse weather conditions. Sylvia was a lifesaver, altering my booking accordingly. No stress, no hassle.
When i finally got to Costa Rica, everything was seamless!
I had an amazing trip and I cant wait to return!!

Sylvia Jurado, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hola Stephen!
Thank you for your nice review and glad to know that you had a great trip in Costa Rica!
I hope that you can come back soon , so you can explore the exhuberant Tortuguero that you missed due to your flight cancellation!
Pura Vida!!

ALAN

Myanmar culture focus, Myanmar - Jan 12 - Jan 26, 2018

Traveler: ALAN G. - Local specialist: Wai Lin Tun

Everything went smoothly from start to finish. We were met at Yangon airport and transferred to our accommodation.
This was of a very acceptable standard.
Our trip to Bago was easy (an excellent driver) and our guide was knowledgable and informative.
The accommodation in Bago (Shwe Pyi Resort) did have some minor problems (power failures, termites? eating the bamboo bedheads, and the distance to breakfast). But I recognise that there were not a lot of alternatives. I was happy there but my... read more

Everything went smoothly from start to finish. We were met at Yangon airport and transferred to our accommodation.
This was of a very acceptable standard.
Our trip to Bago was easy (an excellent driver) and our guide was knowledgable and informative.
The accommodation in Bago (Shwe Pyi Resort) did have some minor problems (power failures, termites? eating the bamboo bedheads, and the distance to breakfast). But I recognise that there were not a lot of alternatives. I was happy there but my travel companion (Jacqui) did need to move rooms.
The drive from Bago to Pyay was smooth and interesting. and we enjoyed the sightseeing and museum there. The spectacled Buddha was a highlight.
The accommodation was comfortable and spacious.
The drive to Mt Popa seemed very long and in hindsight we might have stopped more along the way to look at the scenery.
We were probably too late arriving at Mt Popa to climb the stairs but probably would not have done so even with an earlier arrival. If I were to do the trip again I would recommend a night or two at the Mt Popa Resort as it did seem to be beautiful.
The temples in Bagan are stunning and the number of them is astounding.
The accommodation was very good and was close to restaurants and bars.
At Bagan, Jacqui and I have different responses to our guide. Jacqui believes that he was not very communicative with her at first but that he treated me with more respect because I was a male. I am not sure if this was the case but we both found him to be knowledgable and (after a discussion with me) helpful in varying/amending our itinerary to ensure that we had extra time at the archaeological dig sites.
Jacqui was most impressed by Bagan and it was her favourite location - she is a history teacher.
Mandalay had some great experiences and our guide was informative and helpful. She made sure we had the best possible experiences while in the city.
Our accommodation (the Yadanarpon Dynasty Hotel) was spacious and comfortable.
I think that for both Jacqui and I the Teak Temple was the most amazing sight.
Finishing at Inle Lake was a good choice, as it was more "laid back" and touristy. The lake is beautiful and the pace much slower than elsewhere. The boat trip up the canal to Pa-Oh village was well worth the time. Accommodation (Inle Resort) was very comfortable. In future I would ask for a room closer to the restaurant and reception as it would be a long walk from the back rooms if it rained (unlikely in the day season).
Our guide, who seemed quite young, was very helpful and has excellent English. I believe that he will become an excellent guide who could take on longer sections of a trip in future.
Returning to Yangon, we had just enough time there to unwind and get ready for our trip home.

All up, the trip was very well organised and suited to our interests and level of fitness. I am happy that we did not pre-plan lunch and evening meals and the guides provided excellent suggestions and took us to places that were not too challenging for a western palate.
All flights , transfers and pick-ups were efficiently handled and all vehicles were clean and comfortable.

After meeting with all your guides, I feel that both Jacqui and I have a greater understanding of social and political life in Myanmar.

What would I change if I were to return?
I would try to get away from the more tourist busy areas to get an experience of Myanmar village and rural life.

Thank you, Wai Lin, for your thorough organisation.
Your efforts ensured that we had a great experience in your country.

Irene

One week in ecuador: 5 great itineraries , Ecuador - Mar 24 - Mar 31, 2018

Traveler: Irene H. - Local specialist: Marielisa Terán

Marielisa was planned a wonderful vacation for me and my husband. We loved our guide, the itinerary, and her responsiveness when there was a challenge or question. Thanks so much for making our trip to Ecuador one to remember!

Marielisa Terán, local specialist, responded to this review:

I am so happy you enjoyed your time in Ecuador, Irene! Glad I could play a small part in your incredible adventure.

10-day ring road self drive adventure, Iceland - Mar 21 - Mar 30, 2018

Traveler: Jodi G. - Local specialist: Caroline Bjarnason

Our trip planned by Caroline exceeded our expectations. Everything went so smooth. We loved all our accommodations and were treated very well; great service, clean, good breakfast included. We loved the Fosshotels. Out favorite was Fosshotel Eastfjords right on the water. We stayed at the Ice Hotel Marina before we started the Ring Road Road self driving tour and when we returned. It was unique, contemporary and fun...close to everything. The excursions suggested were perfect leaving... read more

Our trip planned by Caroline exceeded our expectations. Everything went so smooth. We loved all our accommodations and were treated very well; great service, clean, good breakfast included. We loved the Fosshotels. Out favorite was Fosshotel Eastfjords right on the water. We stayed at the Ice Hotel Marina before we started the Ring Road Road self driving tour and when we returned. It was unique, contemporary and fun...close to everything. The excursions suggested were perfect leaving us time to do things on our own too. We ventured to the north fjords which were not planned and are glad we did. Amazingly beautiful country with small towns and history. Iceland’s country changes at every turn. Blue lagoon was fun (pretty crazy busy), the lava tube
was a must see.

Thank you! I would definitely recommend Kimkim and Caroline. We will use them again.

Caroline Bjarnason, local specialist, responded to this review:

It was a pleasure working with you, so pleased to hear you had a great road trip around Iceland. Fabulous photos and lots of new precious memories :) Best wishes from Iceland, Caroline.

Nepal - march 2018, Nepal - Mar 13 - Mar 23, 2018

Traveler: Gary S. - Local specialist: Ngima Dorji Sherpa

First of all kimkim was very easy to use, it was fast, accurate and we would definitely use them again.

Within hours of our initial inquiry, 4/6 weeks before the trip itself, we received a message from Ngima of Nepal Myths and Mountain Trails (NMMT), a Kathmandu based trekking company and from that moment we had direct contact with our tour operator right up until the day we traveled. Ngima listened to our requests and was able to create a bespoke itinerary matching our exact needs. He... read more

First of all kimkim was very easy to use, it was fast, accurate and we would definitely use them again.

Within hours of our initial inquiry, 4/6 weeks before the trip itself, we received a message from Ngima of Nepal Myths and Mountain Trails (NMMT), a Kathmandu based trekking company and from that moment we had direct contact with our tour operator right up until the day we traveled. Ngima listened to our requests and was able to create a bespoke itinerary matching our exact needs. He also provided sound advice in relation to equipment needed and any other questions we had, always responding pretty much immediately or within 24 hours (Max). We opted for the 8 day Khopra Danda Trek, via Ghandruk, asking NMMT to arrange everything from the airport pick up to the airport drop off, including, internal flights, accommodation, breakfast, lunch and dinner throughout. The cost for two people for 10 days seemed very reasonable.

The trek was everything we could have hoped for. We met Ngima and our guide Lahkpa Sherpa on day one and were given a full briefing of the itinerary prior to the start of the Trek. The next day we met our Assistant Guide Sonam Sherpa and the trek began shortly after. Throughout the trek, both Lakhpa and Sonam were extremely attentive, professional and respectful. Both guides (everyone we met along the way) were extremely kind, good natured and really did make us feel safe and welcome throughout. In addition, Lahkpa's knowledge and experience provided us with a detailed insight into Sherpa life, the local culture and trekking routes through the Himalayas. The scenery itself was spectacular, awe inspiring and majestic... We had never really seen anything quite like it before and our words and pictures could never really do it justice. We were also very lucky with the weather so i'm sure this did help with our experience, as did sticking to the local Dal Bhat for lunch and dinner to avoid any unwanted issues with the food.

Im not the kind of person to rate something 10/10 but im really struggling to find fault in anything we experienced during our trip, so we cannot thank the whole NMMT team enough, especially our two guides Lahkpa and Sonam.

If you are looking for a first class experience with an experienced team of people in the most incredible of locations, then look no further.

Ngima Dorji Sherpa, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you very much, Gary, for taking some of your valuable time to share your experience traveling with us. It was a great pleasure to be here to help you plan your trip and we are much happy that you returned back home with deep satisfaction and a wide smile on your face. We look forward to welcoming you soon again in Nepal for your next adventure.

Best wishes,

Ngima and whole NMMT family.

Cartagena, Colombia - Mar 24 - Mar 30, 2018

Traveler: Mark S. - Local specialist: Jules Domine

Our family of two teen boys + Mom & Dad had the best time on our trip to Cartagena and the Caribbean coast. Our guide Nicholas was amazing. Flexible enough to change things on the fly, but also got to every place on the itinerary. Jules and Nicholas put together a terrific itinerary based on our looking for a mix of city and country. We wanted some off the beaten path and we got it in spades! Colombia is a big country and we look forward to exploring more next time.

Jules Domine, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Mark ! Thanks so much for your review and traveling with us ! Nicholas is one of my favorite person to travel with in Colombia and I'm happy your family got the chance to see Colombia though his guidance ! It was such a pleasure to create with you this itinerary and find the perfect balance between the classics and the more secret places of the Coast ! We would love to have you back any time and explore an other amazing part of Colombia ! Maybe Medellin ;)

Have a wonderful return home and THANKS again for choosing Kimkim and Expedition Colombia for your holidays :)

Sights and adventure, Indonesia - Mar 13 - Mar 23, 2018

Traveler: Corinne L. - Local specialist: Jessica A

Thank you Kimkim and Shanti for creating the best honeymoon experience for us! It was an unforgettable experience and we have fallen in love with Bali and all its culture. Wayan was an excellent driver and we will always be grateful for him. He took us to many of his favorite local warungs and even ordered our food for us and made sure we were ok (when there was a language barrier with the staff). Our trip would not be the same without him!

Matthieu was also wonderful. During our meeting, he... read more

Thank you Kimkim and Shanti for creating the best honeymoon experience for us! It was an unforgettable experience and we have fallen in love with Bali and all its culture. Wayan was an excellent driver and we will always be grateful for him. He took us to many of his favorite local warungs and even ordered our food for us and made sure we were ok (when there was a language barrier with the staff). Our trip would not be the same without him!

Matthieu was also wonderful. During our meeting, he made sure we were comfortable with our program and reassured us that he would be there at any time if we had any issues down the road. I am highly allergic to mold, and our initial room at Abian Ayu was covered in it. My husband and I are very low maintenance when it comes to room arrangements, but there was no way I would've been able to be comfortable in that room. Alvin contacted Matthieu, and within a matter of minutes, the hotel staff apologized and made other arrangements for us.

The service at The Alena was absolutely incredible. We felt so welcome everywhere we went, and the staff even remembered our names.

Places we visited that stood out the most: our entire stay at Gili, Uluwatu Temple (used on our free day), and Tirta Gangga.

All in all a fantastic, memorable experience. Thank you for everything!

Jessica A, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you so much for your wonderful review. We are so happy to hear you had a great trip and fell in love with Bali. We know your honeymoon is very special and we are so glad you let us be a part of making your trip dreams come true.

We always do our best to pick quality drivers and it is great to hear that your driver Wayan was so helpful; we will be sure to let him know.

Sorry to hear about the mold, we apologize for any inconvenience it caused. As it is a tropical climate, we are... read more

Thank you so much for your wonderful review. We are so happy to hear you had a great trip and fell in love with Bali. We know your honeymoon is very special and we are so glad you let us be a part of making your trip dreams come true.

We always do our best to pick quality drivers and it is great to hear that your driver Wayan was so helpful; we will be sure to let him know.

Sorry to hear about the mold, we apologize for any inconvenience it caused. As it is a tropical climate, we are aware these issues can arise, therefore our Travel Specialists are always available to help address any issues like this, and it is good to hear that Matthieu and the hotel quickly remedied this for you. We always want you to be very comfortable with your accommodation and are happy you had very good service at The Alena.

We look forward to and hope you allow us to help plan your next trip to Asia. Welcome to the Shanti Family! & Happy Travels!

Riddell lapland trip, Finland - Mar 5 - Mar 8, 2018

Traveler: Craig R. - Local specialist: Elina Hutton

Elina planned a fantastic trip for us. Her and her husband Gareth were very accommodating to us given the late notice we gave them, they even managed to condense a 5 day trip into 4 days for us.
The whole trip was a highlight and all the activities exceeded our expectations!!!
- Accommodation in Tromso was great and the breakfast at the hotel was amazing.
- Husky sledding was brilliant and the lunch in and tour of the ice dome/igloo was an unexpected bonus.
- Snowmobiling was fantastic.
-... read more

Elina planned a fantastic trip for us. Her and her husband Gareth were very accommodating to us given the late notice we gave them, they even managed to condense a 5 day trip into 4 days for us.
The whole trip was a highlight and all the activities exceeded our expectations!!!
- Accommodation in Tromso was great and the breakfast at the hotel was amazing.
- Husky sledding was brilliant and the lunch in and tour of the ice dome/igloo was an unexpected bonus.
- Snowmobiling was fantastic.
- Gareth was absolutely awesome, he checked in on one of our party when they were sick. He hunted down the Northern Lights for us two nights in a row. Even took us to a supermarket to get snacks and "roadies".
- The Reindeer Ranch and the opportunity to be hosted by a Sami family in their own home was very special and unique.

Elina and Gareth were an incredible team and we would highly recommend them to anyone thinking of heading to the region. We would absolutely use them again.

Elina Hutton, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Craig, thank you so much for your kind words. It was really great meeting you and all your family. Gareth had a great time guiding you and reconnecting with fellow Kiwis. Please send our love to all of the family and wish you all the best with the new job. Elina & Gareth.

Annapurna circuit trek - 16 days: one of the classic treks in nepal, Nepal - Mar 2 - Mar 15, 2018

Traveler: Sebastian S. - Local specialist: Sudarshan Shrestha

Sudarshan was super reliable at any times. He always answered within an hour. Has been very helpful with the planning of the trek. Super professional but also always worried and concerned about how my trek was going. The guide he provided me for the trek was one of the nicest human beings I have met throughoutmy life (Takta). I couldn't have asked for more, I had a great time with him. Making it an unforgettable experience for me. Sudarshan would always make sure the trek was tailormade to my... read more

Sudarshan was super reliable at any times. He always answered within an hour. Has been very helpful with the planning of the trek. Super professional but also always worried and concerned about how my trek was going. The guide he provided me for the trek was one of the nicest human beings I have met throughoutmy life (Takta). I couldn't have asked for more, I had a great time with him. Making it an unforgettable experience for me. Sudarshan would always make sure the trek was tailormade to my preferences. And he makes sure to meet with you after the trek to give some feedback on how things went throughout the trek. The one thing I can assure is that Sudarshan is highly recommendable to anyone seeking for some adventure in Nepal. He has the knowledge and professionalism to satisfy your needs.

Sudarshan Shrestha, local specialist, responded to this review:

Sebastian. Thank you for your kind feedback. It was great working for a traveler like you who loves new challenges, experiences and reaching new heights (5416m). All the best for the remainder of your trip around the world :-)

Gayle

Costa rica, Costa Rica - Mar 5 - Mar 21, 2018

Traveler: Gayle M. - Local specialist: Sylvia Jurado

A great time was had in a wonderful country. We travelled from San Jose to Tortuguero national park where all arranged tour were perfect. The lodge we stayed in was great with good food. From there we were transferred to Arenal where the accommodation was wonderful and all tours again were perfect. From there we went to Monteverde with swinging bridge and night walk tours and again it went perfectly. We then went to Playa Hermosa for our final 5 nights and had a lovely time relaxing in... read more

A great time was had in a wonderful country. We travelled from San Jose to Tortuguero national park where all arranged tour were perfect. The lodge we stayed in was great with good food. From there we were transferred to Arenal where the accommodation was wonderful and all tours again were perfect. From there we went to Monteverde with swinging bridge and night walk tours and again it went perfectly. We then went to Playa Hermosa for our final 5 nights and had a lovely time relaxing in our hotel which was right on the beach. Couldn’t fault the wonderful job Sylvia did organising this trip everything ran extremely smoothly. Would highly recommend.

Sylvia Jurado, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hola Gayle!
Thank you so much for your great travel review and glad to learn that you liked my suggested hotels and activities, and that everything runned smoothly during your stay in Costa Rica!
Hope that you can come back in a near future and explore other amazing destinations that will be awaiting for you!
Pura Vida

Trip to nepal, Nepal - Mar 20 - Mar 27, 2018

Traveler: Karin G. - Local specialist: Amita Daibagya

The local team did a great job taking care of us and helping with all our needs! This went beyond the organized part of the tour (buying trekking shoes our organizing transport out of Kathmandu) and we could always count on them

Amita Daibagya, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you Karin for your comment and we hope to serve you in future as well. Enjoy your upcoming trip to India. Take Care and have fun.

Regards,
Amita.

Shanna

Best of the kathmandu valley in 2 days, Nepal - Mar 8 - Mar 10, 2018

Traveler: Shanna R. - Local specialist: Kencho Ongdi

I really had a great experience in Nepal thanks to Kencho and the guide, Mr. Sherpa. It was really a sweet escape and I just had a blast. Everyone was so nice and helpful (starting from the pickup-drop), the resort was great, the track and tour was also memorable. I am so happy that the trip really captured what I want and I really look forward to be in Nepal again

Kencho Ongdi, local specialist, responded to this review:

I am really pleased you had a good time Shanna! I will personally let Mr. Sherpa know you enjoyed the days we planned. I am looking forward to hearing from you again :)

Philip

Ghorepani, pokhara and kathmandu, Nepal - Mar 2 - Mar 16, 2018

Traveler: Philip H. - Local specialist: Amanda Delecca

Summary

These guys know their stuff and can handle much more difficult challenges than ours.

Background

John and I started walking about a year ago and decided that it would be a good challenge to go trekking in Nepal. We are 67 and 64 years old and no previous trekking experience.

We first looked at holiday packages to Nepal, many are 14 day packages with 3-4 days trekking. That wasn’t enough trekking for us. Google search recommended using trekking companies being members of the... read more

Summary

These guys know their stuff and can handle much more difficult challenges than ours.

Background

John and I started walking about a year ago and decided that it would be a good challenge to go trekking in Nepal. We are 67 and 64 years old and no previous trekking experience.

We first looked at holiday packages to Nepal, many are 14 day packages with 3-4 days trekking. That wasn’t enough trekking for us. Google search recommended using trekking companies being members of the Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal. Himalayan Trails is on the members list and are also a travel agency with excellent reviews on TripAdvisor. We live in Australia and Himalayan Trails has a sales representative from Australia, Amanda Delecca who handled our package.

Package Development

Contact and financial control was through the US online travel agency Kim Kim website portal. Amanda considered our inexperience, age and general health to design options for us. We chose the lower Annapurna Circuit. After several “conversations” through the Kim Kim portal we extended the 6 day loop to 8 days with a “rest” day at Ghorepani.

On the lead up to our trip Amanda communicated with us giving encouragement and sent helpful tip sheets for arrival and departure, what to pack, etc.

We wanted some cultural experience in our package. Our final itinerary is below.

Day 1. Arrive from Australia.

Day 2. Catch-up day in Kathmandu to meet Amanda and our trekking guide to help us get those last minute items - buy or hire.

Day 3. Sightseeing Pashupati Ceremonial area, Boudhanath Stupa and Swoyambhunath.

Amanda suggested we fly to Pokhara. The flight takes 25 minutes and saves a day on the road. So for about $200 we saved 2 full days travel.

Days 4-11. Fly to Pokhara and drive 45 minutes to start trekking at Phedi to Potana, trek to Landruk, to Grandruk, to Tadapani, to Ghorepani, up Poon Hill pre dawn and return to Ghorepani, to Tikhedhunga, to Hile (20 minutes to catch vehicle for 2 hour drive to Pokhara). This direction around the loop avoided the huge number of steps on the first day ensuring our continued enjoyment.

Day 12. After our trekking we had 2 nights in Pokhara, giving us one and a half days sightseeing on our own.

Day 13-15. On return to Kathmandu, Himalayan Trails met us at the airport and took us up to Namobuddha, the next day to Bhaktapur, then we were off.

The Actual Experience

I have travelled a little bit now and my wife and I often book a package at our country destination, such as in Jordan, or Morocco. It is always a consideration as to whether we would be met at the airport. In this case the guide and driver were there holding a sign so we knew we had “landed”.

From there everything went as promised. Guides and drivers were all very good, not rushed, knew their stuff, and were patient while I took photos, or had to repeat information. All vehicles were modern and clean in as new condition. We got the sense that they considered it a privilege to work for Himalayan Trails. We had a different guide and driver on our return, they knew their areas, being a Buddhist and living in Bhaktapur.

The most important people were our trekking guide and porter. Turns out they were both from the Sherpa region. Our guide “No-wun” was very experienced having been on mountaineering expeditions since he was 14, on Mt Everest and leading climbing expeditions on other mountains. No-wun checked everything we hired, bought, or used. On the trail he set a comfortable pace for us, rested us when needed, checked our rooms, monitored the kitchens, looked after all our needs.

Our porter “Peppi” walked with us following up behind, waiting when one of us stopped. Eventually Peppi joined with John and I singing on trail.

All four of us easily interacted like old friends.

Each day we trekked 3-5 hours with two 6 hour days. It meant we were checked into our tea house most days by 2pm avoiding the need to trek in the afternoon storms. In March the sun shines in the morning and clouds and rain come in the afternoon. We had plenty of time to dodge the hail and explore local villages on our own.

Accommodation Food and Facilities

The hotels and resorts in Kathmandu Valley and Pokhara were excellent. Our first was The Inn Patan right next to the central square. It was originally a large family home. So convenient to historic sites. John and I walked around at dusk. The room was big and faced a back courtyard so very quiet, beds very comfortable and menu cosmopolitan enough for us both.

In Pokhara we stayed in the Temple Tree Resort. It was definitely a resort! Beautiful property, big rooms and really hot showers. Prices for food and clothes washing were high, so we ate out at Moondance cafe each meal and I got my washing done across the street in a small laundry opposite the entrance for next to nothing, so I gave the lady double. We visited the Gurkha Museum and the International Mountaineering Museum on our first day; and went for a boat ride on Lake Fewa and shopping the next.

We stayed at the Namobuddha Resort high on a Hill. It was very unusual with separate buildings, vegetarian food, and a sense of serenity. We sat outside having a vodka before going to the main building for dinner. Rooms were generous, the bathroom was in a separate building and massive! Loved the food there.

Our last few nights were at 1905 Suites. We were blown away by this boutique property. We ate dinner in and the food was amazing.

Some summing up the hotel and resort part of the package - all properties were privately owned and offered completely different experiences, rooms and food excellent, bathrooms functional. We would recommend any of them to our friends.

Accommodation on the trail was “Tea Houses”. All offered us twin rooms with a simple, but comfortable bed in dormitory style accommodation. Meals were limited, with the same menu appearing almost everywhere. All the food we tried was good - especially given where we were! The Chicken Dal Bhat was my local favourite. Those with sweet tooth can try mars roll, or chocolate pudding!

We had a mix of washroom arrangements, but most were ensuite. All places had an English type toilet in the room, and at least one English communal toilet. Hot water ranged from almost cold to scolding, so test your water first. We trekked early March so we had limited number of other trekkers. The only Tea House that was a bit average was the one a Tadapani. Our favourite was the one in Ghorepani called Superview Hotel. All Tea Houses had wi-fi, but power was not reliable. If you take a lot of video then take a power bank with you. I used mine once to recharge.

All our expectations for a great trip and trekking were well exceeded.

We had a debrief with Amanda on our last day - just where we started at Himalayan Java Coffee at the entrance to Thamel. Great place. We spent an hour with her going through all aspects of our trip before saying goodbye. It was evident that Amanda had been in contact daily with our guides and hotels/resorts and was across our whole trip.

Conclusion

Well there is much that I cannot say in this short space, but our experience with Himalayan Trails was outstanding. Although our trekking was simple and easy (compared to others) we felt we were treated with the same high levels of service and safety. We would confidently recommend them to any of our friends.

Other Things You Should Know

If your going that far to Nepal, take a scenic flight to Mt Everest, after all it is the “big daddy”and see the top of the world go by. We tried it on Day 3 but due to cloud got cancelled on the runway. Himalayan Trails rescheduled us with Buddha Airlines on Day 15. We saw it. Truly awesome experience.

When in Nepal, use taxis. They are not that dear. Negotiate a price up front and get to where you need to be fast. Don’t waste your time travelling - you’ve paid to be there so get to where you want to be quickly.

Be generous. Tip for good service. You don’t have too, but a small amount in European, American, or Australian is nothing to you and is a great deal to the Nepalese.

Happy trekking.

Phil Hewitt
Adelaide Australia

Amanda Delecca, local specialist, responded to this review:

Phil, thanks so much for the detailed review! Over the almost year that we've been planning your trip, I have come to expect nothing less! :)
Nawang really enjoyed your company and said it was a lot of fun having you on the trail. It was such a pleasure to help you with this trip, and a special thanks for your reviews and feedback along the way!

Cheers,
Amanda

David

Views of the mountains, Nepal - Mar 15 - Mar 19, 2018

Traveler: David H. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

Overall excellent. Good hotel in Kathmandu (Shankar). Amanda and team came to brief us. All well organised and implemented. Day trip around K was not enough (so we spent some more time on our own later). Requested "old folks" walking trip in hills near K was well organised and guide (Dawa) was sympathetic and adjusted pace to suit our knees. Very interesting and comfortable places to stay along route. We requested "view of the mountains" and it was provided! (courtesy of some rain which cleared the smog).

Overall - excellent.

Mads Mathiasen, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi David, thanks for your review, I am happy to hear you enjoyed the company of Dawa and the trek. Always good when we get some spring rain to clear the haze, I am glad you got to see the mountains, it makes it extra special. Thanks for traveling with us and we hope to see you back in the Himalayas soon. Mads

Adventure, exploration, Jordan - Mar 11 - Mar 19, 2018

Traveler: Graham I. - Local specialist: Carmen Scholten

The trip was amazing. Carmen did a great job planning the excursion, she was always available to answer any questions or make last minute accommodations.
Akram was our guide for most of the trip. He was knowledgeable about all the sites we travelled to. Gave us lots of free time to explore. His english is impeccable but most impressive was his driving skills. Couldn't ask for a better guide.
Petra was unbelievable. We were there for 2 nights and 1 full day. If you like hiking I would recommend 2 to 3 days there. A lot more to see then just the treasury.
Overall the trip was 5 stars

Carmen Scholten, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Graham,

Thank you very much for your kind review. It was my pleasure. All the best to you and your brother!

Thank you for traveling with In2Jordan!!

Carmen

Looking to do a vn cycling trip, probably about 2.5 weeks duration, Vietnam - Mar 4 - Mar 24, 2018

Traveler: Ross B. - Local specialist: Adam Platt-Hepworth

We worked with Adam, then Ging from Garasshopper Adventures. Other than some issues with the weather, the entire trip was nearly flawless. Our guides were top notch. Knowledgeable, helpful and personable. We especially liked Thang and Nguyen. I would highly recommend Kimkim and Grasshopper.

Adam Platt-Hepworth, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thanks for the review Ross! Great to hear you enjoyed your trip, especially the time with Thang and Nguyen! Thanks for choosing to travel with us!

Northern lights and nature , Iceland - Mar 11 - Mar 18, 2018

Traveler: Keith F. - Local specialist: Midgard Adventure Team

We had an awesome experience in Iceland and really thank both KimKim and Midgard. I would definitely use KimKim again the next time we go on international travel for a bit of adventure. They contacted me immediately and set me up with a local Iceland representative, Anna from Midgard. Anna did a great job, especially considering I was booking things at the last minute and my wife decided to join the trip after most of our plans were already set up. Anna was flexible and stayed at the... read more

We had an awesome experience in Iceland and really thank both KimKim and Midgard. I would definitely use KimKim again the next time we go on international travel for a bit of adventure. They contacted me immediately and set me up with a local Iceland representative, Anna from Midgard. Anna did a great job, especially considering I was booking things at the last minute and my wife decided to join the trip after most of our plans were already set up. Anna was flexible and stayed at the budget that we set. My only advice to other travelers is to book earlier than I did – we really got serious about five weeks before our trip. It understandably took a while for Anna to coordinate with me on what we would like – I did not come in with a clear agenda and, instead, let Anna guide me along the way.

When we got to Iceland, Midgard was amazing. The best description is they treated us like family. They were on time for every event and organized our trip flawlessly. The staff are knowledgeable, accommodating, and friendly – it was a real treat to see Iceland off the beaten path and to meet its wonderful people through Midgard.

If we return to Iceland in the future, we would definitely use Midgard.

Trip to costa rica, Costa Rica - Mar 13 - Mar 20, 2018

Traveler: Debra H. - Local specialist: Randall Jiménez

Costa Rica is a beautiful country with extremely welcoming and genuinely nice people. Overall we had a nice vacation in Costa Rica but mostly because we were able to roll with the things we found disappointing. We found that all the tours/adventures booked for us by Randall were excellent. The tour guides were extremely knowledgeable and the tours/adventures themselves were well executed. The guides were always on time and went out of their way to be welcoming.

The accommodations were from... read more

Costa Rica is a beautiful country with extremely welcoming and genuinely nice people. Overall we had a nice vacation in Costa Rica but mostly because we were able to roll with the things we found disappointing. We found that all the tours/adventures booked for us by Randall were excellent. The tour guides were extremely knowledgeable and the tours/adventures themselves were well executed. The guides were always on time and went out of their way to be welcoming.

The accommodations were from OK to terrible. The Country Inn in San Jose was fine. There was no real restaurant to have dinner at night. The casino next door that did have dinner, was not an appropriate place to have my young son visit.

The hotel in La Fortuna, was serviceable. We did not enjoy the bunkhouse feel of the room. Although the grounds were nice, the hotel room was just ok. Again, there was no restaurant for dinner and we had to walk to town in the dark when we arrived, not knowing where we were going.

Finally, the hotel in Puerto Viejo, the Cariblue, was terrible. Even though we switched rooms, the second room had roaches, had a shower that didn't drain well, curtains that didn't provide privacy and was generally built with old shoddy materials. It was really depressing. And although it had views of the ocean, they were across a busy road with loud motorcycles, construction trucks and other vehicles. It was very loud all night. We did call Coast to Coast about our disappointment, but nothing was done. We felt trapped and frustrated.

I have to say that in my dealings with Randall prior to our trip, I felt he tried very hard to meet our expectations for our trip. However, we obviously were not on the same page (with him or Kim Kim) regarding what I wanted for our vacation in terms of accommodations and beach feel. We expected to stay at much higher quality hotels, like at the Tabacon where we enjoyed the hot springs. And, the Caribbean side was not what I was looking for during the "beach" portion of our vacation. We found the Caribbean much more suited to the "surfer" crowd and was not appropriate for the family vacation we wanted. It was a real party scene and not the tranquil wide open beaches we were hoping to relax on. Most of our tour guides told us that that would be found on the Pacific side. We were really upset that we spent most of our time on the Caribbean. Also we also did not realize that we would be in a van for over 12 hours (at least 4 hours through a congested commercial area that was not very attractive) getting from one location to another. I wished that had been made clear.

In terms of our dealings with Coast to Coast in Costa Rica, I have mixed reviews. Our driver, Jose, was always on time, was very knowledgeable and stopped at restaurants he knew along the way for lunch/snacks. We really appreciated that. However, we did not enjoy being in his older, loud van for 8 hours. We also found him to be an aggressive driver and he seemed upset when we told him to be more careful. We also found him moody, especially after the trip back to San Jose, after we had complained about our hotel to Randall. This made for an unpleasant ride back.

I put the blame on Kim Kim, Coast to Coast and myself for not discerning or appropriately communicating what we were getting/asking for. You should let your customers know that you provide middle of the road accommodations for a middle market. I will not recommend any of your companies to my friends.

Debra Hernandez

Randall Jiménez, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Debra,

I would like to thank you so much for your comments. As I always say, it is quite important to us to receive completely honest feedback.

In Costa Rica, the fortunes of hotels can change very quickly and when we receive complaints, we like to act quickly. We will certainly be looking into making a new site inspection, mainly to the hotel Cariblue on the Caribbean coast, which is ranked within the best 10 hotels in that area and I always try to offer trips that are perfectly... read more

Hi Debra,

I would like to thank you so much for your comments. As I always say, it is quite important to us to receive completely honest feedback.

In Costa Rica, the fortunes of hotels can change very quickly and when we receive complaints, we like to act quickly. We will certainly be looking into making a new site inspection, mainly to the hotel Cariblue on the Caribbean coast, which is ranked within the best 10 hotels in that area and I always try to offer trips that are perfectly tailored to my travelers interests, and as you very much wanted to experience the Afro-Caribbean culture of Puerto Viejo, I made sure to include it in your trip. However, I apologize for not setting more realistic expectations for the limited variety of hotels available in this lesser-known part of the country. While clean and safe, there are other areas in Costa Rica that would have better suited your accommodation and beach preferences had our communication been clearer on what your expectations were. Moving forward I will be sure to educate my travellers on this subject so we can both be sure the destinations perfectly suit their travel styles.

As you said, perhaps the Pacific coast would be a better area for you to stay and I mentioned that to your husband when he called us the day that you arrived in Puerto Viejo, for an obvious reason, we could not take you that day from one coast to the other which was the only option that I think you would be happy to.

As far as the driver from Arenal at 8:00 am to the Caribbean coast, you had included that day a 2- hours tour in the middle to the Sloth Sanctuary, that is the reason why you arrived at the Caribbean coast about 4:30 pm, 8 hours and a half after you were picked up in Arenal

I am very sorry to hear about the bad feeling that you have at the end of the trip because the most important thing to me is to create unforgettable vacations for people who visit us. We will take your comments very seriously as we are a small company but one that prides itself on the service we offer and we can only improve on this with feedback from clients.

Best regards,
Randall

Colombia trip, Colombia - Mar 12 - Mar 23, 2018

Traveler: Geetu P. - Local specialist: Sidrah Qureshi

Sidrah - was amazing as our tour coordinator. She worked with us and accommodated our requests for changes as we had some last minute scheduled business meetings. She was really on the ball- and proactive in checking with us and making sure we were ok with all arrangements. She was wonderful to work with and very responsive and prompt. The only problem we had was with the arrangement of the islands tour in Cartagena- we had planned to have a English speaking guide, however that request was... read more

Sidrah - was amazing as our tour coordinator. She worked with us and accommodated our requests for changes as we had some last minute scheduled business meetings. She was really on the ball- and proactive in checking with us and making sure we were ok with all arrangements. She was wonderful to work with and very responsive and prompt. The only problem we had was with the arrangement of the islands tour in Cartagena- we had planned to have a English speaking guide, however that request was lost in communication with Sidrah. As a result of this- we cut short our trip as we were unable to understand the captains of our boat and were not able to learn/ enjoy our trip with them.

Bogota guide- Tatiana- We rated her 6 out of 10- as her English and the accent was hard for us to understand. She was really polite and flexible,however lacked the organization and knowledge that we were looking for. For example- she did not budget enough time for lunch and we almost missed our Graffitti tour. Otherwise- she was really flexible and helped us with things ourtside of the tour as well.

Coffee region Guide- Juan David- 7/10- Was really knowledgeable and great to have around

Cartagena Guide- Densy- 9/10- Her knowledge of the city and history was amazing. She was passionate and really knowledgeable. The only negative about her was her English accent as the children had a hard time understanding her.

Sidrah Qureshi, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hello Geetu,

Thank you so much for trusting our services! It was great working with you. I hope you and your family left Colombia with many many beautiful memories. You are welcome back any time!!

Best wishes,
Sidrah

Slovenia and iceland, Slovenia - Mar 18 - Mar 22, 2018

Traveler: Jerold K. - Local specialist: Miha Gantar

We had an absolutely wonderful time. The planning and logistics were impeccable by Miha. Lodging and venue selections exceeded our expectations.

The best selection was picking Domen to be our guide. He was the consummate guide and host for our two days on the road. Knowledgeable, passionate about his country, personable and flexible. Besides the main venues we wanted to see, he took us to out of the way “local” spots and venues so we saw amazing natural beauty and had time to interact... read more

We had an absolutely wonderful time. The planning and logistics were impeccable by Miha. Lodging and venue selections exceeded our expectations.

The best selection was picking Domen to be our guide. He was the consummate guide and host for our two days on the road. Knowledgeable, passionate about his country, personable and flexible. Besides the main venues we wanted to see, he took us to out of the way “local” spots and venues so we saw amazing natural beauty and had time to interact with local business people. We hated to leave!

Finally, thanks to Urban Hotel for refunding our first night due to flight delays, and special thanks again to Miha for arranging transport for our son on his last day.

Miha Gantar, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Jerry!

Thank you so much for your lovely feedback! I am very glad you have enjoyed your trip in Slovenia, especially after all the hassle you've had with your flights. Thank you for visiting us and welcome back anytime! :)

Warm wishes!
Domen & Miha

2018 is time for adventures , Colombia - Mar 8 - Mar 17, 2018

Traveler: Jaden M. - Local specialist: Nathalie Clavel

I would 100% recommend KimKim. Our local specialist Nathalie was quick to respond and answer our questions. She put together an amazing trip for myself and friend. She took care of arranging our tours, hotels and flights. Nathalie stayed in touched with us while in Colombia and ensured our trip was going as planned.

Nathalie Clavel, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hello Jaden, thank you for your comments!
We hope to see you again soon for another trip!
Best wishes,
Nathalie

David

Cold war experience , Albania - Mar 10 - Mar 21, 2018

Traveler: David S. - Local specialist: Ed Reeves

Road trip with Ernesto. Had Ed put together a 10 day road trip through Albania, Macedonia and Kosovo, had the great fortune of being paired up with Nesti. Here is the kind of guide who makes a journey. While sticking to the basic itinerary, he was always flexible, with grace and humor at all times. Had a great time, travelled many miles, had great dining experiences (none of the stupid crap with pre-arranged, tour approved restaurants) and many opportunities to travel the road less... read more

Road trip with Ernesto. Had Ed put together a 10 day road trip through Albania, Macedonia and Kosovo, had the great fortune of being paired up with Nesti. Here is the kind of guide who makes a journey. While sticking to the basic itinerary, he was always flexible, with grace and humor at all times. Had a great time, travelled many miles, had great dining experiences (none of the stupid crap with pre-arranged, tour approved restaurants) and many opportunities to travel the road less traveled. I've been to over 70 countries and this has been one of my favorite trips, I cannot say enough about the beauty of Albania, its unspoiled vibe, friendliness of her people, and of course the superb services of Nesti and Drive Albania. Go before it all changes!
-Dave Spaeth March 2018

Ed Reeves, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thanks so much for the great review, David! Nesti had a great time showing you Albania, Macedonia and Kosovo - was a brilliant first tour for 2018! Hope you can make it back to the Balkans in the future. Best, Ed & Nesti

10 days in south africa: cape town, garden route and safari, South Africa - Mar 9 - Mar 16, 2018

Traveler: George M. - Local specialist: Howard Spencer-Wilson

Every part of my trip went like clockwork exactly according to plan. Both of the lodges that I went to were very good although Settlers Drift was the best. The rangers and wild life was also excellent.
All my car transfers wore on time with good drivers and my Avis hire car was good and as planned

Howard Spencer-Wilson, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi George,
Thank you so much for your feedback.... It was great to work with you and hope to be of assistance in the near future! Until then take care and make good memories!

Jordan in 7 days - amman, jerash, mt nebo, petra, wadi rum, aqaba and the dead sea, Jordan - Mar 12 - Mar 19, 2018

Traveler: Sarah S. - Local specialist: Carmen Scholten

I booked this trip as a surprise for my husbands 40th birthday. Carmen was amazing in putting the itinerary together and answering all of my many questions, no question to stupid, ensuring it was a birthday to remember!
From Jerash to the Dead Sea we saw so many amazing sites with our driver Bashar nothing was any trouble!
For the birthday day itself we went to Petra which no words can describe it’s beauty and wonder! Followed by a night under the stars at Wadi Rum.
Even on returning home... read more

I booked this trip as a surprise for my husbands 40th birthday. Carmen was amazing in putting the itinerary together and answering all of my many questions, no question to stupid, ensuring it was a birthday to remember!
From Jerash to the Dead Sea we saw so many amazing sites with our driver Bashar nothing was any trouble!
For the birthday day itself we went to Petra which no words can describe it’s beauty and wonder! Followed by a night under the stars at Wadi Rum.
Even on returning home Carmen and her KimKim team have been amazing as I left my Bose headphones in the car transfer to the airport!!! Carmen had tracked them down and sent them home to me.
First time using KimKim and I’m sure not the last! Fantastic service from everyone!!

Carmen Scholten, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Sarah,

Thank you so much for your kind review! It was my pleasure assisting you with this trip. Fantastic to hear that you've made great memories.

Thank you for traveling with In2Jordan!!

Carmen

Clare

Ghandruk trek - scenic 3-4 day trek through the annapurna foothills, Nepal - Mar 16 - Mar 21, 2018

Traveler: Clare I. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

Mads was so quick to suggest the great trek designed specifically for my 10 yr old daughter and I. He responded fast to any questions we had in the organisation phase too, nothing was too much bother for him.
Amanda contacted us in Kathmandu and it was lovely to meet her and Niresh (our guide) prior to commencing our adventure the next day.
Niresh was a gentle, knowledgeable guide who answered all of my silly local questions and shared so much of his knowledge and experience with us. He... read more

Mads was so quick to suggest the great trek designed specifically for my 10 yr old daughter and I. He responded fast to any questions we had in the organisation phase too, nothing was too much bother for him.
Amanda contacted us in Kathmandu and it was lovely to meet her and Niresh (our guide) prior to commencing our adventure the next day.
Niresh was a gentle, knowledgeable guide who answered all of my silly local questions and shared so much of his knowledge and experience with us. He took care of everything each day (even my daughters ravenous apetite!!) .
Receiving a special thank you gift from Amanda at HT after our adventures had finished was a beautiful surprise! And the follow up phone call the next day was great too.
We can’t wait to book another trek!! Communication and in country support was second to none x

Mads Mathiasen, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thanks for such nice feedback Clare, I am so glad you and your daughter had a good time trekking with us. Very happy you enjoyed your time with Naresh, I don't know if he told you but my son spent his first 5 years, having Naresh around to play with most of the time :-) We would love to see you both back for another trek, just let me know when you are ready to plan. Thanks, Mads

Best of guatemala - 8 days, Guatemala - Mar 10 - Mar 17, 2018

Traveler: Siyu W. - Local specialist: Chris Gwinner

The whole trip was so great and beyond my expectation. Our leader Alex, was the most professional outdoor adventure leader I've met. He speaks English so well and took good care of everyone. He encouraged me a lot before our hiking to Volcano Acatenango. He made great meals for us during hiking. And he is a really nice guy with kindness and humanism. I appreciate a lot that Old Town Outfitters provided me a so comfortable and enjoyable trip. Other guides and drivers I met during the trip were also great. Luv them all.

Chris Gwinner, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Siyu,
Thank you so much for your kind words, we always love passing along this feedback to our awesome guides and staff. We hope to see you again in Guatemala one day.
Chris

Short pokhara getaway, Nepal - Mar 12 - Mar 19, 2018

Traveler: Helen A. - Local specialist: Amanda Delecca

We had a wonderful 8 days in Nepal. Our itineray was very professionally organised by Amanda Delecca from start to finish. I could not fault her communication skills which was the reason we chose Amanda versus other tour operators. Amanda even arranged to meet us personally on arrival at our hotel to make sure everything was ok for the trip and to introduce us to our guides. Because of our limited time in Nepal Amanda had a good understanding of the amount of time we would need in each... read more

We had a wonderful 8 days in Nepal. Our itineray was very professionally organised by Amanda Delecca from start to finish. I could not fault her communication skills which was the reason we chose Amanda versus other tour operators. Amanda even arranged to meet us personally on arrival at our hotel to make sure everything was ok for the trip and to introduce us to our guides. Because of our limited time in Nepal Amanda had a good understanding of the amount of time we would need in each place including Kathmandu and Pokhara and our 3 day trek to Dhampus and Astam. Every detail was taken care of including pickup and drop off at the airports, our accommodation at Mums Garden in Pokhara and hotel Manaslu in Kathmandu which were both comfortable and clean and the Eco lodges on our trek even had hot water. I would like to make a special mention of our amazing treking guide Tendu who was very caring and went out of his way to make sure everything was ok throughout our time away and also the lovely quietly spoken sherpa Lakpa.They both travelled 8 hours on the bus from Kathmandu to Pokhara to accompany us on the trek. The highlight of the trek was to wake up early on our last day at Astam Ecco Village to see that the rain and mist had cleared and we had a magnificent view of the Annupurna mountains. Thank you all concerned for a most memorable time in Nepal. Helen and Ralph Arbon

Amanda Delecca, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hey Helen and Ralph, thanks so much for your review. I was also relieved to hear that you got some great mountain views on your last day of trek after the clouds parted. It was our pleasure to look after your trip arrangements!

Cheers,
Amanda