18 days - Quito, Yasuni, Mindo, Galapagos and more
Jul 9 - Jul 26, 2023
We have spent very nice and rather intensive holidays in Yasuni Natonal Park (by plane and boat), Quito-Mindo-Otovalu-Cotacachi (by car), Galapagos - San Cristobal-Santa Cruz-Isabela (by boat staying/sleeping on 3 islands)
Our experience was very good and I will recommend this type of trip to Ecuador to all people who are limited on time and have no time to plan/manage everything personally. It is possible that you can do it cheaper but you need to have a lot on information and do it long time in advance. I’m no longer a backpacker and wanted to see as much Ecuador as possible during given time. I decided to give this planning to the KimKim company. I think it was good idea.
There are two topic which I want to share however.
In hotel in Mindo someone has stolen a mobile phone of my wife. It was very unpleasant as she had already her pictures/movies from Amazon forest and obviously other important info there. It was family owned small and very nice hotel. The reception area was very small – we noticed that some local people are walking across without any control. The area was not monitored – no cameras. We realized that phone is lost and reported the fact to the owner. But he was of opinion that he can only ask some other guests. It was very disappointing. We left the hotel as there was already next activity planned but my wife was not in good mood… Fortunately and surprisingly after 1-2 hrs our guide (Ximena) got info that smartphone has been found… I do not how the owner has managed it but finally we got the phone back. Apparently someone was already unlocking the phone because date and some other settings were changed. My advice – keep all you important stuff with you, never leave it unattended and ask if there are cameras in the hotels. This is however another argument to travel through agency because owner of the hotel has been contacted by agency representative and this was probably most important.
Second comment is on guides. In general our experience with them was very good. Usually we had a local guides who ware looking after logistics and giving some practical information, sometimes travelling with us. Other guides were in the national parks - the certified professionals. Local guides however were sometimes also very talkative and helpful – sharing a lot of information with us (we send our best regards to Ximena in Quito and Stephany in San Cristobal). I have to mention however that on Santa Cruz Island we met a very nice person but she was not really speaking English. So the guide was only ordering taxi and informing us about time of departure and arrival. This was in contrast to all other locations. I recommend to address it. We were asking some questions about possible activities and places to visit on Island but there was no info - it was embarrassing for both sides (I guess).
I think KimKim/Responsibletravel knew that we do not understand Spanish.
Overall experience was fantastic and we regret that we did not have more time to explore more places.
I travelled with my wife and 13 years old son.
this was definitely one of the best snorkeling points. Regret there was no time to organize scuba diving. We have seen white tip sharks, many turtles and hammerhead shark - which is not that often showing up. I advise to consider diving and during all snorkeling wear a swimming cloths (against sun)