Israel B Israel
Nice, authentic, and colorful items made this whole experience fun.
Sharon P United Kingdom
I was very happy with the staff; the tour leader was great and spoke fluent English and Spanish, and he was very informative. The driver was very careful and considerate on the roads, and the vehicle was quite modern and comfortable. The market and other places we went to were great, and lunch was fine, too. However, the tour could have been slightly more "eco friendly". The tour leader showed us how a certain species of plant can be used as a needle and thread by pulling off the "needle" from the plant and later disposing of it. If this is repeated every week, that's a lot of plants being damaged needlessly. Also he showed us an insect that the Ecuadorians use for dye. He squashed an insect in front of us as an example. I for one feel these examples could have been explained verbally.
Unfortunately we didn't speak Spanish and most of the guests on the bus were Spanish speaking. The guide was very well intended, but was limited on his English speaking ability, especially when answering questions.
This tour would be better if there's extra time to explore the market in Otavalo and the leather stores in Cotacachi.
We were only allowed 1 hour and 15 mins in Otavalo which was very rushed. We didn't have a choice to stay behind in Otavalo when the tour went to Cotacachi. Would have much rather spent the time in Otavalo.
Overall the tour was good.
The way to Otavalo market is pretty following part of the Andean range. I found the market very tourist like. People who would like to see a market have a choice to see the artisans market in Quito and then choose another tour.
Both tours I took, the personnel was attentive and experienced, very punctual and helpful. The quality manager was also very professional when I expressed my deception about the Cotopaxi tour, in all a very reliable company.
Disappointed we were only allowed to spend an hour at the market and far too much time at other places, the tour says Otavalo market so should have spent more time there! The lunch option was good, restaurant choice and menu offered something for all tastes.
The tour guide was very conscientious but as with so many of these guides never seem to know just when
to stop talking. Otavalo Market itself is fascinating and the Andean mountain scenery en route is just mind
blowing. However, as with so many of these organized tours there are the inevitable 45 min stops at craft
stores, leather shops and pre-selected restraint the guide selects. Without these distractions, this 10 hour
tour cut have been cut down to 6 hours.
Its worth doing if you want totally taken care of all the way.
Was good except for the fact the driver didn't know where the bus registration was and we were delayed at a checkpoint for quite some time.
This trip was good except that it would have been better with more time at the market . An all day tour with only 1 1/2 hours at the market indicates too much time spent at other sites .
The guide was very knowledgable and helpful. Also, the bus was air conditioned and comfortable. The trip was on a day with heavy traffic and we spent over 4 hours getting back. We spent more time on the bus than at the actual markets. I felt rushed at the markets, which was the whole point of the trip. If I were to go on a normal day, without so much traffic, I think I would have enjoyed the tour more. One more thing...buying the package with the lunch is more expensive than just buying it once you get to the resturant.
The tour was more of a taxi to Otavelo than a tour
Later I understood from other travelers that there are more things to do in Otavello- like the animal market and I was disappointed by the superficial tour
The time at the market was not long enough, the trip to the rose farm was unnecessary. It would be better to go straight to the market, followed by lunch then the rest of the programme if there is time to fit it all in - the whole point of the trip was to go to the market.
It felt like a lot of driving to see a small market for tourists only... Our guide was great but the day itself was not really worth it.
Late bus, unable to go through the market for longer than an hour, poor timing
Was disappointed that I had to make my own way to the pick up point! Highlight of this tour is obviously the Otavalo Marketplace. It was totally amazing. However, having under two hours actually there to wander around and explore definitely was not enough time. I had chosen the tour which included the optional lunch. When lunch was over I was asked to pay $17. Apparently only $10 was allowed for lunch!! No where in the description of this tour did it mention that this would be the case! Eventually the tour guide refunded the difference. It took over two hours to actually get out of Quito and its surrounds because the bus had to pick up around 10 other couples who were staying at various hotels - many not on time! Again, the same when people were dropped off! I had given the tour guide the number of the taxi driver who was to pick me up from the hotel, so that he could phone him and let him know the approximate arrival time. It was estimated that we should be arriving back at 5:30 p.m. My taxi driver waited from that time, till well past 7:30 p.m. because the tour guide neglected to phone him as promised! All that waiting for a $2 taxi fare! I was so grateful to this driver for not abandoning me - I graciously gave him a $20 tip!! The majority of the tour group were Spanish- only around 5 of us could not understand the language! I felt that the tour guide could have made more of an effort to speak in English as much as he spoke in Spanish to other people! On the whole I was extremely disappointed in the organisation of this particular tour! My fault in part because I do not like to travel in large groups and somehow should have done more research on this particular tour.
Satish B USA
First of all, I have no issues with the tour guide, driver, and bus facilities. The guide's English was so-so, but he tried hard to explain things. My problem lies with the destination itself, which is why the 1 star. No matter if the journey was comfortable; I paid to see the market and was unimpressed. Otavalo is a super hyped place, and I did not find anything in the market that is not available in Quito, for more or less the same prices. It was ridiculous and disappointing to spend so much money and 10 hours to visit a market that had nothing new to offer. 99% of the stalls are selling the same thing: textile materials and clothes. I was hoping to see some artisan work there, but nothing. I recommend shopping in Quito. Otavalo is not worth the money or effort.
This tour was quite disappointing compared to our other Viator experiences.
Firstly, our scheduled 8 hour tour took over 10 hours and we almost missed an evening engagement with the rest of our travel group. Too much time allowed at shopping sites - the Otavalo Market (1.5 hours to visit too many similar stalls selling not so artisan goods and 1.75 hours checking out a street with leather stores as well as allowing time for lunch - which was quite good albeit in a tourist oriented restaurant). The food section of the market was very traditional, interesting and tasty!
Washroom breaks on the bus ride were well spaced and appreciated.
Our tour group consisted of 20 passengers and Roberto, our guide, had half English and half Spanish speaking clients. I do understand a bit of Spanish and understand enough that when there is a 3 minutes explanation about a site or bit of history in Spanish and the English version takes but 30 seconds - the Anglophone version was missing some interesting points. In some cases he would not offer an English version unless asked - a specific example being his explanation of typical foods of a region in Spanish and only when asked did the English version come forward.
As noted previously, my wife and I have enjoyed 2 previous Viator tours - I would not recommend this tour as a one day venture to 'experience' Equadorian culture outside of Quito.
The central market in Quito has all the same items and could be accessed more readily PLUS there were many stores that specialize had much higher quality and variety of clothing and handicraft goods including items from many South American countries.
While the drive was pleasant your photograph of the market was totally misleading. We expected to go to a fresh produce market and instead we were taken to a craft market for tourists. We didn't want lunch so we were left to look after ourselves for three hours in a town with very little to look at.
Our guide was poor and gave little information of value for the day and his time keeping was poor. In summary the day was a complete waste of time..leaving the hotel at 8.20am and not getting back until 7.10pm
"Horrible Service! Almost an Hour Late Picking Up! BEWARE!!"
My boyfriend and I booked the Saturday Otavalo Market tour through viator.com nearly a week before the actual tour date. When we booked the tour we were informed that we had to contact the tour operator to arrange the exact time for hotel pickup. On the Sunday before travel we began emailing the company to arrange hotel pickup. We received no response. We followed up again on Wednesday to arrange for hotel pickup. It wasn't until Thursday evening that the company emailed us back saying that they would let us know by Friday at 6:00 pm of the pickup time. Guess what? Friday at 6:00 pm we still hadn't received a response. In fact, it wasn't until well after midnight that we received a pickup time from the company (note, we didn't see the email until after we had awakened Saturday morning). The email indicated that hotel pickup was supposed to be at 7:40 that morning. We quickly got ready, and headed to the lobby to wait on the driver and guide.
Long story short, the guide didn't arrive at the hotel until 8:36 am - 56 MINUTES LATE!!! We emailed the tour operator numerous times that morning to determine the status, and only once did they respond. I think they told us the guide was in a "car accident." However, by the end of the day we had heard three different explanations: car accident, traffic, and flat tire. Not sure what story or combination of stories was true.
Because the guide was so late we, of course, didn't have time to complete the entire itinerary. We completely skipped Peguche, which left me extremely disappointed.
I would not recommend booking this tour. The Tour Operator is extremely unprofessional and their representatives/guides lack necessary customer service skills.
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