You have decided that this year, you will visit the exotic Galápagos Islands for your annual vacation. But it’s so far away! Even though you know that a DIY trip is possible after you land on the Galapagos islands, you would rather fix things up. You start searching the internet for options and you are bombarded with search results that list various travel agencies. I did the same too… and then, finally booked my tour with Ecuatraveling, which is a Quito based travel company that organises trips to Galapagos and the Amazon. Here are the criteria that made me choose Ecuatraveling …
1. Competitive quotes:I sent mails to over ten travel companies to receive quotes for the same travel itinerary, with same category of hotels. The quotes varied from USD 1300 to USD 2000. I chose to continue my dialogue with the most competitive quotes.
2. Language Barrier: Spanish is the main language in South America. Many travel agents could not understand my questions in English. Pablo from Ecuatraveling was great with his English and helped me plan my itinerary better.
3. Security: There is plenty of fraud that happens in South America. I was worried that I would make an online payment to a tour company, which might be a dummy company… and I would get duped! My mind was put at ease after reading reviews of the company. Also, Ecuatraveling was fine booking my tours without any advance payment, meeting me at the airport to share the final itinerary and then collecting the money from me.
4. Flexibility: Suggest going with a company that offers you flexibility in customising your trip. While I went in for a diving and hiking package, I hurt my knee at Galapagos and could not go hiking. The local travel agency was nice enough to put me on a snorkelling trip instead ( I had to pay the price difference).
5. Value Addition: Some companies will simply book the package that you ask for while others, will try to understand your exact requirements, interests and budget and then suggest an appropriate tour. There is only so much that you can read on the internet … and nothing beats local knowledge. If you are going to pay a travel agent, you would rather pay one who can add some value to your itinerary.
I used Ecuatraveling to book my tour to the Galápagos Islands as well as to the Amazon. Pablo, from the agency, was in touch with me. He was prompt and available on email as well as Whatsapp, which helped me plan things on the go. His English was great and he suggested tours that I throughly enjoyed.
Here is the link and contact coordinates for Ecuatraveling :
Disclaimer: I paid for all of my trips, hotels, flights and tours in South America …none of these were sponsored or discounted. All opinions mentioned in the blog are unbiased. I have provided contact coordinates and reviews to help you plan better because I did struggle quite a bit when I was planning my trip.