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Ecuador Discovery EC

Visiting: Ecuador
Trip Duration 14 Days

Reviews for Ecuador Discovery

Travellers were asked to provide a review of the trip, including highlights and tips.

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Ecuador Discovery reviews verified by reevooReevoo

19 reviews

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Ecuador DiscoveryScores 8.7 out of 10 based on 19 reviews
(9 out of 10)

Marilyn

Lancashire
Mainland Ecuador exceeded my expectations, I found it to be a friendly welcoming country. People have a ready smile and often say good morning/afternoon when you pass in the street. Hotel, restaurant staff and local guides are pleasant, helpful and strive to give good service. Ecuador is a very clean country with high standards of hygiene. It is a lot safer than I had imagined and I felt able to wander around freely. Obviously there are areas in the big cities which should be avoided but in the tourist areas there is always a police/security presence.

Ecuador has stunning scenery, from volcanoes to jungle. There is a lot of variety and this itinerary covers it well, almost every day brings a new experience. It is difficult to pick out a highlight, I enjoyed it all. I thought the itinerary was well thought out and worked smoothly apart from, as mentioned by other reviewers, the nights stop in Riobamba. The hotel is too far out of the centre to comfortably go there to eat in the evening plus the hotel’s restaurant is not very inspiring. This needs changing to an overnight stay in Alausi. There is ample time to do a city tour of Riobamba before driving onto Alausi to arrive by early evening, which is infinitely better than a 5 am get up to do the drive the following morning from Riobamba. There are places to stay in Alausi from a recently refurbished hotel to basic hostels which would be much more desirable than staying in Riobamba. Alausi is a gorgeous little town and over-nighting there would give the experience of staying in a small, lovely Ecuadorian town.

Myriam our tour leader loves her country and rightly shows it off to its best with pride. She encompasses the best of leading a group, she wants everyone to enjoy the trip and have a wonderful time. Myriam worked hard, was efficient, informative and always pleasant. Her daily surprises were an added bonus. She often asked us for feedback on places we had visited or eaten, implying she wasn’t complacent and she would improve the trip when and where necessary.

Carlos our driver kept the minibus spotless and ensured we had a safe and smooth drive each day. He would slow down and often stop when he or Myriam realised we had seen something of interest along the way.

The accommodation was comfortable and clean, some hotels and the hacienda were very good indeed. We had some excellent meals, either included or recommended by Myriam or ones we searched out ourselves.

Take note of reviewer’s comments about the weather. In April it was often cool and it rained a great deal, but this did not stop me having a wonderful trip

The Galapagos Islands may be the highlight of the country but as Ecuador's tourism board say.....

Ecuador is like nowhere else, all you need is Ecuador!
Confirmed traveller: 21 April 2017
Published on: 03 June 2017
(8 out of 10)

Jayne

Spain
Myriam was our tour leader and she was excellent - she has so much knowledge and gave us lots of information about Ecuador plus she always had a smile on her face.

The itinerary covered everything you would want to see and do in Ecuador with a variety of different places to visit and stay.

Travel light but make sure you have a good rain jacket!!
Confirmed traveller: 21 April 2017
Published on: 19 May 2017
(9 out of 10)

John

Burnley
This was an excellent trip, the only suggestion I have to improve the trip would be; there is no reason to stay in Riobamba and the drive to Alausi very early in the morning to catch the train. Why not stay in accommodation in Alausi instead. There was plenty of time to drive on from Riobamba to Alausi. Alausi was an interesting town with plenty going on. Riobamba had very little to recommend it, particularly where the hotel was situated.
Confirmed traveller: 21 April 2017
Published on: 25 April 2017
(8 out of 10)

Sarah

Swindon
This trip gives a fascinating insight into a less well known country. It is a country of contrasts; we experienced mountains, the coast, the jungle, volcanos, rain, sun and snow (really!). Our leader Myriam was simply fabulous - so knowledgeable and clearly rightly proud of her country. She promised magic and didn't let us down, providing a daily surprise and keeping her smile despite suffering from a heavy cold. In return we introduced her to the delights of a snowball fight on Chimborazo at 4600m! Our driver Carlos was young but dealt maturely with some challenging situations (not least driving in snow for the first time).

Only 3 slightly negative points. First, the weather. This trip spends much time in the Highlands and as such the weather is unpredictable, and we were unlucky on a few days. Don't underestimate the number of days you'll need long trousers! Second, the hotel in Riobamba is pretty poor. It felt grubby and served up the 2 poorest meals of the trip, though the staff were lovely. This stop is a tactical one to position you for the train the next morning and is only for one night, but use of this hotel could do with a rethink. Third, the flight home from Guayaquil to Madrid, though booked as Iberia, was actually operated by Latam. Very uncomfortable seats, staff who couldn't care less (not even an attempt at cleaning the toilets in an 11 hour flight) and the 2 most meagre meals I've ever been served on a flight. And as for the safety issues....I'll be contacting Explore with the details and will make enquiries in the future in order to do everything possible to avoid flying with this airline again, and I recommend others do too.

But none of that spoiled the trip. We saw wonderful views, had some excellent meals (including breakfast with parrots!) and wine and enjoyed the genuine hospitality of the Ecuadorians. You don't need to go to Peru if you want the Andes, the Inca Trail and the Amazon - you can get all that, and more, in Ecuador. Oh, and a genuine Panama hat!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Confirmed traveller: 24 September 2016
Published on: 17 October 2016
(10 out of 10)

Liam

Peterborough
An excellent trip. Great tour leader. We really got a good feel for the country and its culture. You will experience a wide range of climates - so make sure you have some warm clothes and waterproofs!
Confirmed traveller: 24 September 2016
Published on: 03 October 2016
(8 out of 10)

Jennifer

Vancouver
Overall the tour was great. Our tour leader's knowledge was excellent. It was a shame I couldn't find a Galapagos tour that could have been added so I had to do that through another company.
Confirmed traveller: 23 September 2016
Published on: 28 September 2016
(8 out of 10)

Ian

Brassington, Matlock
The tour was very enjoyable and covered a range of geographical areas including Andes, rain forest and coast. The roads were spectacular in the Andes with amazing views.
As there were only 3 of us on the tour, we had the close attention of the guide.
The accommodation was very good except in Riobamba where the hotel was poor and the service lousy. We had an early start and were promised coffee before we left. It didn't appear and the sandwiches provided were disappointing. There was also a problem finding our companion's valuables which were left for safe keeping!
The Hacienda was excellent and in a beautiful position but the evening meal was expensive by Ecuadorian standards. Because of its remote location there was no alternative. Perhaps it would be better if the meal was included in the package as it was during the stay in the rain forest.
Initially our driver seemed to think he was in a rally, even in the mist crossing the mountains on one occasion. After a word with the guide, he did slow down to a more acceptable speed which allowed us to concentrate on the scenery.
Cristian our guide was very good and we really enjoyed the walks in mountains - Antisana and Chimborazo. Although the stay in the rain forest was excellent and the tame birds and monkey in the hotel were entertaining, the walks were a little disappointing. As they were in secondary forest, the wildlife was restricted to insects and frogs. Having been in the rain forest in Bolivia we were hoping to see some mammals and more birds.
Overall a good introduction to Ecuador.
Confirmed traveller: 30 August 2016
Published on: 16 September 2016
(9 out of 10)

Rosie

London
Some of my favourites included the old town area of Quito, the caldera lake near Cotacachi, Chimborazo volcano, Otovalo market and the treks through the rain forest. Not so impressed by Guayaquil but by then we'd seen so many stunning sights it didn't seem to matter. Different indigenous dress of the local people was fascinating to see too. Very knowledgeable guide but at times he 'shaved' certain scheduled trips off the itinerary or didn't take part in some activities. Particularly disappointed that the condor visit on the Tuesday was closed. Take some very warm gear for Antisana and Chimborazo - both were freezing! A terrific experience.
Confirmed traveller: 20 August 2016
Published on: 05 October 2016
(9 out of 10)

Gideon

Cape Town
A most enjoyable tour.
Highlights.The Manteles Hacienda, The Devils Nose train trip,CajasNational Park.
Confirmed traveller: 17 April 2016
Published on: 03 May 2016
(7 out of 10)

John

Byfleet
A good tour, but not as good as many of the other tours I have done. A little too much shops and cities and not enough nature. A visit to Cotopaxi, Ecuador's active volcano was cancelled because it was showing signs of activity! The lodge was poor compared to other lodges I have been to. Would have been better to go to one with better trails and in primary forest. We didn't see hardly any wildlife except for some tame parrots at the lodge. Avenue of the volcanoes was also disappointing, as more of a moterway journey than a wilderness tour.
The minibus was too small for the group size, with only one spare seat. We needed a bus with bigger seats (2+3 abreast instead of 3+4) or more spare seats for our day sacks and breathing space
Confirmed traveller: 15 April 2016
Published on: 18 April 2016