Jacky: professional, enthusiastic, engaged, knowledgeable!
Ecuador | Oct 13 - Oct 19, 2022

Renee
Renee E.
Canada | Reviewed on Nov 03, 2022

Jackie was a complete delight to work with. She was knowledgeable, professional, enthusiastic, and totally engaged with us as clients. We had booked a Galapagos cruise directly with a cruise tour operator, pre-Covid, and then worked with Jackie to set up a land portion for us at various haciendas in the highlands. We ran into numerous cancellations with the cruise, including one that happened *while we were in transit* to Ecuador. Although it was not her problem to solve, Jackie took the time... read more

Jackie was a complete delight to work with. She was knowledgeable, professional, enthusiastic, and totally engaged with us as clients. We had booked a Galapagos cruise directly with a cruise tour operator, pre-Covid, and then worked with Jackie to set up a land portion for us at various haciendas in the highlands. We ran into numerous cancellations with the cruise, including one that happened *while we were in transit* to Ecuador. Although it was not her problem to solve, Jackie took the time to talk with the less-experienced agency now in charge of that, and it was *only* through her intervention and advice that we had a Galápagos experience on par with the one we had originally booked with a now-defunct company. Her initiative to help us with the very stressful cruise situation showed a level of professionalism and client engagement that was truly above and beyond the call of duty. Our driver and guide for the land portion, Dario, was exceptional — his knowledge was simply remarkable. We particularly liked the Hacienda Cienega (truly superb) and Hacienda Pinsaqui. Jackie arranged for a several surprises that were memorable for different reasons, including a visit to an indigenous community and an opportunity for horseback riding at another hacienda. In closing, we came to feel a great sense of trust in Jackie as someone who had both the experience and empathy to make our Ecuador experience quite remarkable. And when arranging things from far away, trust in the person you are working with locally is paramount.

Hotel Reviews
Hacienda La Cienega
Cotopaxi

Hacienda La Cienega is simply a stunning place. Steeped in history. Amazing staff and food. I would recommend staying more than a single night (we didn’t wish to leave!) and using it as a base to explore the area.

Authenticity & Character
Words cannot describe how utterly stunning it is.
Location
Convenient for day trips out, with a driver.
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
San Jose de Puembo Quito Airport, an Ascend Hotel Collection
Puembo, Quito

We stayed here for two nights to recover from a vert long trip down, and because we we’re starting a tour of the highlands (so it didn’t make sense to stay in Quito at that time). Recommended by Jackie, our Kimkim agent. We felt delighted in the Ecuadorian feel of the common areas, rooms, and grounds. Its atmosphere belies the notion that it is an “airport hotel” — it was originally something else and its property includes adjacent farms land., which guests can walk through. The immediate property had stunning gardens, complete with a few wandering llamas on the grounds. I it was a magical place to experience upon arriving. If your immediate plans are to explore regions outside of Quito, we *highly* recommend staying here.

Authenticity & Character
The Ecuadorian feel of the common areas and rooms, gardens and the paths for guest through the adjacent farm and pasture lands. A fantastic place to land upon arrival in Ecuador.
Location
Outside of the city and therefore convenient for immediate arrival in Ecuador, especially if arriving late and/or taking off for explorations outside of Quito.
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Hacienda Pinsaqui
Otavalo

This is a lovely hacienda with exceptionally lovely gardens, and a walking path through them and property at large. The common areas were especially nice. Although we were there just as a couple, we were invited to attend welcoming receptions for larger groups (10 or so) that were also staying there. The reception included music from a local Ecuadorian group, Ecuadorian drinks and snacks, and a bit of history about the place. Recommend getting the largest rooms or suites available.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Useful for excursions planned by our kimkim agent.
Staff
Management was very engaged and approachable.
Cleanliness & Comfort
Hacienda El Porvenir
Machachi

My husband liked it well enough, but I didn’t. The road to get there is horrible and long—-the end result was simply not worth it. The food was not that good and yet more expensive than more upscale haciendas. ; extra charge for eggs with breakfast. I unwisely ordered a salad — forgetting that any greens wouldn’t necessarily be washed with purified water and I guess they weren’t. I got quite ill for days afterwards. The rooms are rustic at best. Granted, it’s a farm kind of hacienda. But it’s a very arduous and uncomfortable drive for a not very remarkable experience. I saw some nose-to-tail horse riding in the cold mist going on. It was clouded in, so any advertised amazing views of Cotapaxi weren’t going to happen. Cotapaxi views are more easily had anywhere else. So even without the getting-sick experience, I just would not recommend this place.

Authenticity & Character
It’s character is what it is — a very remote farm.
Location
Such a long and uncomfortable drive to get to. Nothing to be changed about that.
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Nothing can be changed I think, given the structures they are working with.
Activity Reviews
Limpiopungo & Roses farm
Ecuador

The roses farm was jaw dropping. I didn’t expect it to be. I didn’t even have a concept of a ‘rose farm’. This was a real highlight of our entire 2 week stay in Ecuador. The Laguna de limiopunga was also lovely. Allocate enough time there if your schedule (and weather) allows to do more walking around.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Our guide, Dario, seemed to know so much about everything fro. Geology to history to medicinal plants.
Transport
Panoramic visit to Quilotoa Lagoon
Ecuador

This is a spectacular crater lagoon and another example of Ecuador’s natural beauty. But as important, the area is home to indigenous people who have adapted to and taken responsibility for this locale. The ability to see Quilotoa Lagoon as an example of this, and the chance to visit an indigenous family in a remote area were both profound and thought provoking experiences.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Local specialist: Jackeline Valarezo
Jackeline
Jackeline Valarezo
Local specialist in Ecuador | Reviewed on Nov 05, 2022

Hello, Renee.
Thank you so much for your kind words; they mean a lot to me, and I really appreciate your detailed feedback on your trip to Ecuador.
It was a pleasure to assist you and Francis with everything; you deserve it! I am happy to be a part of your wonderful memories in Ecuador.
Warmest hugs from the middle of the world, hope to see you again!
Jacky!