Andean Adventure - Dec 21 - Dec 26, 2018

Traveler: Brett H. - Local specialist: Mathias Onisseit

After eight days in the Galapagos we enjoyed our short trip to Cotopaxi National Park. The park was beautiful with grand vistas and beautiful canyons. Frank, our guide, was knowledgeable and attentive. He provided strong support throughout the trip. Tambopaxi lodge was lovely and the food was exceptional. The southern refuge was unique with gracious staff and epic views. We have a number of really enjoyable treks.

The rating was based on two reasons. 1.) Of the five planned treks we completed only two. This was due to the weather that made one of the treks impossible and two others miserable. Feedback from local guides was that this weather was expected for time of year. Understand weather can be unpredictable at altitude, but there should have been better planning to ensure we had alternative itineraries. 2.) Logistics were not ideal. Transportation was provided in a 1980s era Toyota Land Rover. Perfect for the rough roads of the national park. However, no seat belts in the back for lengthy highway trip. Both coming and going we were packed very tightly into back seat with camp staff. And on our return trip took a lengthy diversion to drop off family members. Not a huge issue, but not ideal logistics.

All in all, good experience. Enjoyed Cotopaxi National Park and would endorse Frank as a guide. Would have like to see stronger planning to maximize our stay.

Mathias Onisseit profile photo
Mathias Onisseit, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Brett! I’m glad you enjoyed your hike in the Cotopaxi National Park. Unfortunately, the weather was quite bad during your dates, which is unusual during that time of the year, but as you say, the weather can be unpredictable, and this didn’t let you enjoy as you should have.
Despite the weather you had, Frank your trekking guide, tried his best to give you alternative activities like hiking to the glacier and visiting nearby waterfalls.
The vehicle used was typical of a mountain trekking... read more

Hi Brett! I’m glad you enjoyed your hike in the Cotopaxi National Park. Unfortunately, the weather was quite bad during your dates, which is unusual during that time of the year, but as you say, the weather can be unpredictable, and this didn’t let you enjoy as you should have.
Despite the weather you had, Frank your trekking guide, tried his best to give you alternative activities like hiking to the glacier and visiting nearby waterfalls.
The vehicle used was typical of a mountain trekking tour in Ecuador and it has all the necessary permits. Furthermore, our guides drive with additional care to account for vehicle and street conditions. As for the lift the guide gave two friends on the way back to the hotel near Quito, they were dropped off directly on the way (in Sangolquí which is on the direct route to the Posada Mirolindo) and you agreed to taking them, however, given the car was already packed this wasn’t such a good idea after all.