Andean Trails: South America Tours Specialist

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Meet The Team

Team Member

Kat Dougal

Ecuador, Bolivia, Galapagos, Families, Peru

About Kat Dougal… I caught the travel bug from my older sister and set off on my first backpacking adventure …

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Team Member

Tom Shearman

Galapagos, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Patagonia, Colombia

About Tom… Venturing out of the Forest of Dean at a young age on a bus to Gloucester set me …

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Team Member

Alan Lyall

Chile, Patagonia, Argentina, Guyana

About Alan… I was born in Zambia to Scottish expats and first set foot in South America as a 5-year-old, …

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Team Member

Kathy Jarvis

Trekking, Peru, Climbing, Bolivia, Patagonia, Ecuador

About Kathy… I first set foot in South America in Chile in 1994 and spent the next four years guiding …

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Andean Trails office staff and our partners in South America

Our UK office, and headquarters is based in Leith, Edinburgh, Scotland. However, all of our staff have lived and travelled extensively in South America over the last 20 years.

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Finch Bay selfie with land Iguana Galapagos

Galapagos Islands: Essential Honeymoon Planning Guide

  What better way to celebrate the biggest day of our life than going to the Galapagos Islands on honeymoon? Our travel expert Tom Shearman explains why this remote archipelago’s …

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Testimonials

Quotation Mark

What was the highlight of your holiday? Was there a low point?

  • Both Napo and Galapagos were incredible nature experiences, but driving through the Andean highlands was also spectacular.
  • The Coral II is an older ship and after the Anakonda, it was a bit underwhelming.
  • The staff and the excursions made the Galapagos a highlight and the food was very good (we actually had a company "hotel manager" on board with us, who inspected everything (like a quality control person), so the staff was on full alert. The staff helped to create a special birthday evening for me with cake and song.
  How would you rate accommodation/ food/ guides/ overall organisation?
  • All accommodations were top rate, we asked for unique historical boutique hotels and you delivered.
  • The Hacienda San Augustin de Callo was amazing, and we are so glad you booked three nights!!!!!.  Please never book them for only one night, people we met who only had one night were all very disappointed. We also really enjoyed the Hacienda Cusin, be sure to tell guests to also check out their next door property, the Monastery.
  • Food was good everywhere, great Ecuadorian cuisine
  • Guides were all very good and spoke English well.
  What would you like to do differently next time?
  • Stay longer and add Cuenca. I also would buy an underwater camera.
  Out of interest why did you choose the places you visited and why Andean Trails to organise your trip?
  • Kat really helped me to put this together.  We shared our interests and she really listened to our input. I looked at different companies online and you were very responsive.
  Miscellaneous comments
  • At both Cusin and San Augustin, there were nights were we were the only guests or there was perhaps one other couple or family.
  • Weather was much better then we expected.  We had some rain, but it never got in the way of our trips and if it rained, it was never for long. This must be their low season, but it was great to not have the crowds.
  • Altitude was not a big deal, but hiking uphill was not an easy feat
  • As gay men travelling, we felt very welcome everywhere, even though we were offered separate beds in multiple places. In all cases, the situation was quickly resolved once we explained that we were a married couple.  In Ecuador there is still a bit of a macho culture but certainly in the tourism world, being a gay couple did not present any issues.  The owner of San Augustin actually hosted a gay wedding at her hacienda (perhaps something you can add to your trips.....)

H Winters, USA, May 2019

Quotation Mark

 

Hi Kathy,

Thanks for everything. It was a great experience and we are very glad we went with Andean Trails.

Thanks

Siva..

- What was the highlight of your holiday? Was there a low point?  The highlight of our trip was our trek (Inca Trail). It was a great experience and the team (guide, chef and porters) was amazing!!! The green house bed & breakfast was a great experience as well. Beautiful property, serene location, friendly owner/host. Even though we just spent the evening before the hike, we were impressed and happy we got to spend some time there. No low points (have to be very picky to point out low points). - How would you rate accommodation/ food/ guides/ overall organisation? Very well organized. We had dietary restrictions (vegetarians, one of us had allergies) but they made it look easy & seamless. Shout out to the chef who made tasty, nutritious meals through out the trek. Accommodation was excellent - clean and nice tents, great locations with very good views, very comfortable. No complaints from the first time campers (including two teenage daughters!!!) Guide (Wilson) was very experienced, friendly, helpful, informative, and put us at ease.  They were as supportive as they could be and made it enjoyable in spite of the physically demanding trek / terrain.   - Did you feel you benefited the local communities? One of the reasons we chose Andean trails was to benefit the local communities. All the porters and the chef were from the local communities and we felt they were treated properly. I was amazed at the guest to porters ratio (4:10) and it not only provided employment for more but also helped in not overloading the porters!!!   - What would you like to do differently next time? I cant think of anything major that I would do differently. Sites we went to, pace we did everything was great (we had a private tour), no complaints.       -   Out of interest why did you choose the places you visited and why Andean Trails to organise your trip? I have been waiting until my kids could do the Inca Trail trek with me and with limited time (spring break) we could not do much of other things around in Peru. I was looking for a dependable company who were experienced in organizing the trek and benefiting local community - Andean trails came with good recommendations from my friend who had done a Peru trip with them earlier. They truly fulfilled my expectations.  

Siva and family, USA, April 2019

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