Ecuador - Feb 22 - Mar 1, 2019
Overall this trip was fun. The planning processes was relatively straight-forward with Linda though there was a bunch of back and forth that I think may have been solved by being more forth coming with "this is the company we normally go with" or "these will be stops on XYZ."
For the actual trip, I don't think the airport transfer went smoothly. The person who was supposed to pick us up, sent someone else into the airport, spelled our name wrong, and were holding a sign not associated with KimKim or any service I'd heard from. It was only because I speak some Spanish I decided that sign was the only one remotely close to our name we ended up with the right person.
Our guide, Marco, while very nice and resourceful I would have put in the category of "driver," not a true "guide." I frequently found myself at the edge of other tour groups in order to learn more history/background/context of what we were seeing. Marco effectively got us from place to place, but he might spend 3-5 minutes telling us about a centuries old church and then leaving us to our own devices. This is fine, but had I known, I would have hired a private tour guide for Quito at least.
We LOVED our experience mountain biking with Biking Dutchman down Cotopaxi. Despite the fact is was raining and cold, it was so cool and our guide/transport were great. Heads up that transport isn't super comfy/questionable seatbelt safety, but probably fine.
Banos was fun, there were some small issues with the group who did our rock climbing/ Via Ferrata tour, but they were easy to work with and responsive in handling mistakes.
I honestly normally do all of our trip planning myself, but do to cost of renting an automatic vehicle and my middling at best Spanish, thought this might be a good opportunity to test out a tour guide company. As I said above, this was a fun trip and parts were really very cool, but the parts we most enjoyed was stuff I specifically researched and suggested, so I'm on the fence about whether I would do this again.
It's probably a great service if you don't have time/desire to do the research, but I think TripAdvisor and Google will continue to be my go-tos.
Thanks for helping have a fun time in Ecuador!