Amazing Adventure - Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands - Daniel was INVALUABLE!
Ecuador | Jun 20 - Jun 28, 2022

Marcy
Marcy H.
Novi, MI | Jul 08, 2022

Our trip using KimKim and our local specialist Daniel, was nothing short of INCREDIBLE! Daniel was truly invaluable to us during the planning as well as the actual trip as during our time there the situation in Ecuador was changing. My husband and I are experienced independent travelers so using a service like KimKim was new for us and I was apprehensive - I thought I could put it together myself but I didn't have the time to work on the logistics and since the Galapagos is so unique we... read more

Our trip using KimKim and our local specialist Daniel, was nothing short of INCREDIBLE! Daniel was truly invaluable to us during the planning as well as the actual trip as during our time there the situation in Ecuador was changing. My husband and I are experienced independent travelers so using a service like KimKim was new for us and I was apprehensive - I thought I could put it together myself but I didn't have the time to work on the logistics and since the Galapagos is so unique we wanted some help. We had several what's app calls and exchanged lots of messages as we tweaked the itinerary a few times. He was so friendly with excellent communication skills and listened to questions and understood what we wanted to experience in out time in Ecuador as we only had a week and there was so much to see between the mainland and the Galapagos islands. As things changed on the ground in Quito upon our arrival, Daniel called right after we landed as he already had a Plan B (C, D and E) as well. We felt safe and calm and I knew I Daniel was available to us anytime and so responsive on WhatsApp. Beyond the changes we made last minute, the rest of what we planned was wonderful. It was so wonderful to have the transfers, day trips and everything planned. The hotels I selected knew our itinerary and times we would be picked up. The town of Puerto Aroya on Santa Cruz was so much fun. We were picked up at the airport by Alexandra who was so warm and welcoming and explained our day as we headed off Baltra island to the ranch where we saw the tortoises on the reserve. The lunch was excellent and we had such a nice peaceful time enjoying the green lush ground watching the tortoises in their environment. I think the trip was perfectly planned to provide balance between busy days and then having some free days. We especially enjoyed the hike and kayaking around Tortuga Bay; the afternoon boat tour and snorkeling with a sea turtle is something I will never forget. Daniel made sure that we worked the trip around a beautiful day cruise to the island of Bartolome - his profile pic. We had a day on luxurious boat served a delicious breakfast and lunch while we hiked and again snorkeled with the penguins - that is what I wanted to see most. Due to our last minute changes from the mainland, we were now fortunate enough to visit another island and Daniel selected Isabela for it's raw beauty and wildlife. The speedboat ride was an adventure in itself and the boat tour there to La Tintoreras we really special - more penguins,, boobies and a lava tunnel full of animals and the opportunity for more snorkeling. Daniel and I pretty much connected daily as I just loved reaching out to him to share pics, our experiences and he was always responsive immediately and so positive. We loved the local fish market in Puerto Aroya just as he said we would - stopping by daily to see the women cutting up the fresh catch and having an audience of pelicans, sea lions, frigate birds, herons and marine iguanas. All right on the street - such an amazing experience. I think our land based tour with day trips was wonderful - we only wish we had more time! I have not stopped telling friends and family about Daniel and his amazing planning - having an on the ground local resource accessible to us all the time was truly invaluable. We are thankful for his guidance and kindness! Surely many of my friends have already asked about this trip or it's already on their bucket list. We definitely plan to use KimKim again for our next adventure - it is truly a great resource for independent travelers and took our trip to the next level!

Activity Reviews

Welcome to Galapagos: Santa Cruz Highlands & Charles Darwin Research Station

Galapagos Islands

Absolutely delicious lunch in such a peaceful environment. I could have spent all day walking amongst the giant tortoises. Our guide Alexandra was great and you could tell she loved being there and welcoming us.

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, drivers and staff
Alexandra and Andres were a great team
Transport

Kayaking Adventure in Tortuga Bay & Afternoon Bay Tour of Santa Cruz Island

Puerto Ayora

We enjoyed the whole day! Our first guide Ramiro was so welcoming and pointed out so many things along the hike to the beach - he offered to take so many pictures and made us feel at easy on the kayaks and we found so much wildlife together in the water. He made sure we got to our hotel with enough time to rest and have lunch before we were picked up and taken to the waterfront for the afternoon bay tour. This was so nice as we saw so many bird from the boat, enjoyed the walk on an island when we got off and it was our first snorkel. The captain of the boat made us feel at ease in the water and had a gopro and took amazing videos of me swimming with a sea turtle. It was a long busy day but great experiences to get a feel for the island.

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, drivers and staff
Transport
Local specialist: Daniel Larrea
Daniel
Daniel Larrea
Local specialist in Quito | Jul 08, 2022

Hola Marcy and Mike!!
Words cannot describe on how grateful and happy I am to have worked with you on this trip!
I am so glad you had such an amazing time in our lovely country despite the issues it was going through. Thankfully everything is back to normal so we are reactivating everything and as optimists as ever! It's so cool that you got to see so many things and live so many amazing experiences with a perfect mixture of the touristy stuff and local things too!
The whole time you were... read more

Hola Marcy and Mike!!
Words cannot describe on how grateful and happy I am to have worked with you on this trip!
I am so glad you had such an amazing time in our lovely country despite the issues it was going through. Thankfully everything is back to normal so we are reactivating everything and as optimists as ever! It's so cool that you got to see so many things and live so many amazing experiences with a perfect mixture of the touristy stuff and local things too!
The whole time you were here I only wished you the best, and even after your trip I still do!

Thank you once again for your amazing vibe and how you enjoyed our tiny yet huge country, even in the tough times! We truly wish for you to return someday and be able to enjoy mainland Ecuador!

Looking forward to hearing from you two soon, as always, I will be more than happy to help you out!! I am so glad you got to forge those everlasting memories :)

Best regards from your friend from the middle of the world,
Daniel :)