We enjoyed the trip very much. Everything was done as planned on time. A trip like this would not be possible without the assistance of an outstanding guide and we had the best.The personal touches suggested By our agents were very helpful and the chance to meet them was an added bonus. Of the 24 meals arranged by our travel agency I would rate only 2 below 4-5 star. Our Housing was as we expected-many great experiences with only one being below par. Our pick ups including airport arrival on time if not early. If we wanted something altered our guide took care of it and I noticed if he sensed we were unhappy with something he worked to change it. A couple times during the trip our agent contacted us to check on how things were going and to see if we needed anything. Trip well organized no unpleasant surprises.
There wasn't much we didn't enjoy. The scenery is awesome. we enjoyed our car trips from location to the next even if the roads were bad. Each one of our meals was an experience, not just the cultural difference, but presentation. We enjoyed the train ride because of the things you could see differently in a short and very comfortable time. Our cloud forest lodge location and night walk will not be forgotten. the trip through the valley of volcanoes and the market in Otavalos. Also the horse ride to the condor reserve and lunch in the solarium at Zoleta. And finally the massage and relaxation on the pools of Papallacta. Almost forgot the changing of the guard that we lucky enough to watch and all the activity around election day.
there were four things we would have liked changed. First was a candy making class-although a good idea the way it was set up was not good-the class was done with other customers walking around and in front open door with much street noise. Very hard to follow instructors directions-Felt there was really not a beginning or end to class/should have been done in more private area. Second, a cupolas experience was set up for us-again a neat idea that back fired. First to get to the Cupolas was not made for our age people-at anytime we could have slipped or missed a step and ended in a disaster. While the view was great the food was not. Although the lady who presented the food was nice with cultural attire her appetizers were pretty medicore with chocolate in plastic - wrappers-wine was good-I believe a lot of effort was put onto this event-it just didn't work for us-I actually thought it was a group function we would be joining. With this said the tour we were given afterwards was the best of the week-the church manager gave a very complete and private tour. Third-Although the cloud forest lodge is a wonderful place we would liked to change one thing-during our meeting to discuss activities we agreed to take the walk to the water falls. we agreed to the 700 meter walk and not the 45 minute hike-some how there was a mix-up and we went on the long hike which was really too much for either one of us-also because of taking the hike there was not time during our stay to visit butter fly house or humming bird gathering. A little more discussion of activities available would have improved our stay. Our biggest disappointment was day one at Zuleta. Although they contacted our tour guide several times before we arrived they seemed surprised to see us. the Host at the main guest was not very friendly and had short of an attitude. She gave us a tour of the cheese factory which was closed and the windows we were suppose look through to see the factory were steamed over-she then told us if we wanted to see the milking operation someone would meet us at a certain time and that we should pay her $10. when the lady arrived she took out in the pasture to assist her in milking a cow. we were brought up on a farm so milking cows was not something new to us-I thought we were going to visit Zuleta's milking operation. And the dinner we had that night was the worst on the trip. It was in a room that was dimly lit with a chandelier that kept blinking. We had cream of mushroom soup that was good, Sea Bass, green beans and brown rice. Sea Bass was especially not tasty and the green beans and rice were pretty medicore. This was a shame because the next day everything from breakfast on was was 100% completely different. It is amazing how one person can influence a day. Although she did not fix the meal I believe the whole place was out of sorts the day we arrived. Even our tour guide was unhappy with our evening meal.
TRAVEL COMPANY COMMENTS:
Thanks so much for your kind words and positive review. We appreciate your constructive feedback on both the positive and negative experiences you had during your trip.
We have been doing an aggressive follow-up with all our suppliers. We work with the best hotels, guides, and services in Ecuador; we have selected them carefully.
The visit to the Santo Domingo Cupolas is a very exclusive activity. We are sorry the food was not up to your standards. To be honest, this is the first time we receive a complaint. Please consider these were only appetizers and that you had a 3-courses dinner included that you decided to cancel that night. Nevertheless, the food supplier is taking note of this issue and will be more careful in the future.
Concerning the stairs, we appreciate your observation since this could be a little difficult for certain passengers. We will communicate better about this constraint with future passengers.
The lodges that you stayed at are two of the top hotel destinations in the country. We have shared with them your comments and concerns. They are very grateful for your feedback and have done a follow-up with the guide and front desk worker you mentioned.
In Zuleta, there was no fee to see the milking operation. The $10 was a suggested tip for the local woman who takes care of the cows. We are sorry there was some missed communication on this issue. You are not obliged to pay for this.
Thanks again for your review. We take all of our guests’ comments very serious since they help us to improve and provide the best services.
We hope we can help you again plan another escapade to Ecuador!
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