Turtle, Ecuador

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1 Review

  • Reviewed October 2018
    Mike Willingham

    Not my favourite holiday!

    Booked this tour with Grand American Adventures who run it with Exodus, both of which seem to be under the umbrella of Trek America, who contracted the tour out to Windigo Travel. Who exactly was running the show??? The places visited were interesting but not spectacular. The accommodation was generally very good, and we were taken to some reasonable eating places for our meals. Don't forget only 3or4 breakfasts are included in the price, and in some towns you are very limited with the choice of eateries available. The amount of travelling in the mini-bus is extensive and can get very boring with few changes of scenery from the huge expanses of forests. The walks were often through woodland but none were difficult by length or altitude if you are used to walking regularly.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I found Hopewell Rocks and the Bay of Fundy particularly interesting. PEI was a nice place to visit - a bit different to most of the other areas.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had Alexis, and the poor lad had been given 2days notice that he was doing the trip - which he had never done before, although he had visited the area. He was grossly overworked with long driving hours plus the organisation of meals, loading and maintaining the vehicle, plus the general organisation of the tour. He was often very tired, but he tried to keep the group happy. He was unable to give us much background information on the areas and places we visited. On some of the walks he did not accompany us - not a problem from the route finding point of view, but who was carrying the first aid in case of an accident which could easily have happened on the uneven rock and root strewn forest paths?

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is the scathing bit!! The vehicle provided by Windigo was like a school mini-bus. There were 13 of us on the tour and there was nowhere to put your day sacks other than on your knees or round your feet. Some of the seats were narrow and uncomfortable to sit on, and all had a small rake distance from the seat in front which made it impossible to sit with your legs straight in front of you if you were over 5ft 8inches tall. When you are travelling -sometimes 4 or 5 hours at a stretch- comfort is an important factor on a tour, and this tour was often very uncomfortable. If you are of a small stature, or if you are lucky enough to be in a half empty bus - fine - but if you are larger, think carefully about any tour that uses these small vehicles!