Michael M USA
Very nice trip indeed! We got to see flora and fauna that I have never seen before. The guides were informative and friendly. Both Spanish and English were spoken fluently.
Well worth it! Why? Title is misleading. There is a 3 hour tour of Tortuga Bay, then a 2 hour lunch break, then another 3 hour cruise (with snorkeling and mask provided free) followed by another beach tour. On the downside, because I misunderstood, I showed up in a bathing suit and coverup at start of trip! ARGH! Highly frowned on, but I honestly thought the entire thing was a 1/2 day boat tour of both Tortuga Bay and La Loberia! So wear tee shirt, shorts and good hiking shoes for first round of trip (which also includes a refreshing swim in Tortuga Bay, so make sure you wear your bathing suit under your hiking clothes), then enjoy lunch and get ready for a great time in the afternoon. The staff was SUPERB! They do speak English but most of your tour mates will speak Spanish, the primary language of the guides. It is worth studying Spanish for a couple of months just to understand and communicate with your tour guides and tour mates. I HIGHLY recommend this! Had no clue I would get this kind of value for my money! Hotel pickup fast and easy; Eduardo in Quito confirmed and doubled confirmed my hotel pickup. There is, however, no "drop off" but guess what? Puerto Ayora is only about 1/4 square miles, so walking back from the main docks (directly across from the only real grocery store) to your flat or hotel is easy as punch. There's no such thing as getting lost in Puerto Ayora. This tour was a great and FULL day of fun and adventure!
We sorely missed having an English speaking guide as we were promised. The guide gave us the wrong time for the second part of the tour ( or our translation was in error) which caused us to miss the yacht cruise entirely. We also had difficulty contacting the company (mostly due to holiday hours) so we unsure when to be ready to go in the morning. Loved the hike, the bay and especially the blue-footed boobies. A better explanation of what to expect would have been helpful.
I cannot believe Viator would permit the local tour operator to offer this tour as a "yacht" excursion. Perhaps others were fortunate enough to partake of the tour on a yacht, but my daughter and I were not so lucky. Where the description of this excursion states the vessel will be a yacht, the vessel used in our trip was a single-deck, single out-board engine transporter, equipped with no bathroom, and with a posted passenger limit of 16 (similar in build to the water taxis used in the harbor at Puerto Ayora). The guide spoke some English, but directed most of his commentary to the 14 or so passengers who spoke Spanish. I grew increasingly nervous when I saw the behavior of the boat's captain, who clowned around, standing on the outboard engine, joking and entertaining the crowd in Spanish, while operating the boat.
In addition, I don't know how our guide expected us to sustain a four-hour trip without restroom facilities - so I suspect he planned on allowing those passengers who wanted to snorkel to go to the bathroom while they were swimming. That was not a viable solution for the four of us who chose not to swim.
I am also concerned that the captain set off with 18 passengers, in a boat that was marked with a capacity for 16 passengers. This excursion fell far below what I have come to expect from Viator. If nothing else, the title of this excursion should be changed to reflect that no yacht is involved.
Extremely disappointing experience. This is an overpriced tourist trap. We booked this cruise based upon a previous review and Viator's reputation. Our " Yachi" turned out to be a wobbly modified water taxi or an old speed boat, whichever comes first. Our snorkling experience lasted 15 minutes and on our way back, about 1000 yards from the shore, engine was cut and our guide pulled out a satisfaction survey which one of the other passangers filled with a chuckle. Whole process had an effect of a "shotgun wedding" and was extremely inappropriate. We were dropped off at the docks around 12:30PM and were told we would be picked up back at 2PM for a trip to Tortuga Bay. At that time we boarded a bus and five minutes later we were at the entrance to a walkway which leads to Tortuga Bay. It's about a 40 minutes walk but at the end we found ourselves on one of the most beautiful and pristine beaches anywhere. We stayed for a couple of hours and walked back bypassing our tour bus.
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