The holiday was fantastic - it was beyond my expectations and the two guides were both outstanding and contributed hugely to making it a very special trip. Xavier was extremely knowledgeable about Quito, Ecuador and South American history, birds and wildlife in general. Nothing was too much trouble form him, a very intelligent and supportive guide, very enthusiastic too - a treasure! Juan was wonderful, non-stop enthusiasm about all wildlife and extremely knowledgeable about everything. He made the whole trip fun and exciting. The hotel in Quito was excellent and a nice place to acclimatise. The museums in Quito were excellent. The snorkelling was brilliant. A wonderful trip and yes, we will be using you again!
An amazing adventure. Any lover of nature should put these places at the top of their agenda. The Amazon basin is somewhere we have all seen on TV but to experience it gives a new perspective. Seeing giant otters, many species of monkey and the varied and magnificent bird life is something worth doing in its own right. However, to accompany such a visit with a tour of the Galapagos raises the experience to a whole new level. I have been to many wonderful places in Africa, America and Australia but I would put the Galapagos top of my list. The combination of islands in all their variety and the sea cruises in between, in waters teeming with marine life is exhilarating. The wildlife is so unafraid of humans that the main problem is to avoid accidentally stepping on sleeping sea lions or nesting birds as you walk along the paths and beaches. Snorkelling with sea lions, feeding turtles, penguins, flightless cormorants, sharks, rays and a variety of tropical fish is a wonderful thing to do. We used a small 16 berth schooner on our Naturetrek holiday and I am pleased that we did. It seemed to put us in touch with our surroundings in a way that the bigger boats we saw wouldn't have done. The group were brilliant and everyone got along, having a common interest in nature. The crew were marvellous, the food great and our guide, Darwin, couldn't have been better. His knowledge and ability to inspire were first class. We were looked after wonderfully and Naturetrek's organisation was impeccable. Every day involves wet and dry landings on the islands, walks to see the wildlife and geology, swimming and snorkelling or simply relaxing on the boat if that's what you felt like. This combination of activities and relaxation made the holiday into far more than a simple passive viewing experience.
Everything was planned very well and all transport arrangements worked like clockwork. This was our first Naturetrek experience and we were slightly taken aback by the pace of the activities, running one after the other. However, we embraced all the experiences as we knew it was the best way to see everything there was to see both above and below the water. The crew of the Cachalote were highly professional, efficient, polite and patient at all times. The Chef should be Michelin starred as he performed magic in the Galley. David our guide was brilliant. His knowledge on the subject of all life forms, geology, geography and history of the Galapagos Islands was vast. The captain and the crew worked hard to take us round the Islands and transport us to and from the Islands. Sacha Lodge was equally as good. Klinger and Walter our guides were knowledgeable about all subjects related to the Amazon. The accommodation was excellent.