Custom Podocarpus National Park Trip
Ecuador | Aug 27 - Sep 1, 2022

M
Michael S.
New York, NY | Reviewed on Sep 14, 2022

Linda was able to create a custom trip for us to visit Loja and the Podocarpus National Park. She was great at working with us to shape an itinerary with complex transfers and a handful of special considerations.

Everything went great! The guides were fantastic (especially Milton in Quito), the hotels were nice, the park was beautiful, and the transfers smooth. The Loja coffee tasting set up by our guide Kevin was a surprise highlight and HIGHLY recommended if you're in or near... read more

Linda was able to create a custom trip for us to visit Loja and the Podocarpus National Park. She was great at working with us to shape an itinerary with complex transfers and a handful of special considerations.

Everything went great! The guides were fantastic (especially Milton in Quito), the hotels were nice, the park was beautiful, and the transfers smooth. The Loja coffee tasting set up by our guide Kevin was a surprise highlight and HIGHLY recommended if you're in or near Loja--Ecuadorean coffee is a much better gift for folks back home than t-shirts :).

Hotel Review
Casa Bolívar Hotel Museo
Loja

Very interesting hotel in a renovated historical home, extremely well located in Loja, comfortably appointed and in good shape despite the very old building. It's not really a museum, but there are a lot of very old decorative features and some antique items from people who lived there before it was renovated into a hotel. Breakfast was decent, if a bit slow, and the room was good but a bit off in some ways--the bed could have been more comfortable, there were a lot of automatic lights that easily triggered during the night, and our juliet balcony inner doors didn't entirely close (not unexpected in a building this old and the exterior door closed just fine). It does feel like the hotel is still maybe finding their legs. The operation is a bit new and it looks like not every room is being used yet. The restaurant had good foot traffic but still has very few reviews. I expect they'll work out the kinks a bit, we'd consider giving it another try in a year or so if we're back in Loja given the interesting building, excellent location, friendly staff, historic room interiors, and tasty breakfast.

Authenticity & Character
Very much the highlight! A fascinating old building, crazy room interiors (antique furniture, finishes, even wallpaper), tons of character. Maybe the most unique and most "historic"-feeling boutique hotel we've ever stayed in.
Location
Right in the center of Loja, near plenty of restaurants, safe neighborhood.
Staff
Friendly staff, always at least one English speaker.
Cleanliness & Comfort
Was clean!
Local specialist: Linda Schulz
Linda
Linda Schulz
Local specialist in Quito | Reviewed on Sep 14, 2022

Hi Mike,
I am so happy to hear that you and Clare have enjoyed your time in Quito and Southern Ecuador - and that you had the chance to taste the delicious coffee from Loja!
I will forward your compliments to your guides Milton and Kevin.
I hope that you’ve had a great time on Galapagos as well, and a safe flight back home. Hopefully, you can come back to mainland Ecuador one day to explore the other parts of the country!
All the best for you and Clare,
Linda