The team on board the Cachalote was exceptional. The food was magnificent throughout. Xavier, our tour leader was highly knowledgeable, cheerful and able to resolve minor problems without most people realising that they existed! He was always on hand with help and encouragement. Our National Park guide, Juan, was the star of the show...his evening briefings became eagerly awaited performances. His knowledge of plants and volcanic formations was encyclopaedic and his love of the islands and his respect for the wildlife was obvious. The expeditions to the various island sites were pitched at the right level for us and most of the group. The visit to the Santa Cruz highlands was one of the highlights, and the varying wildlife and landscapes of the islands provided an amazing experience which we will always remember. Both of us enjoyed the day in the Antisana region, and the Sacha extension provided another magical experience. The lodge was superb and the guides again excelled.
My recent trip to The Galapgaos/Sacha Lodge was everything I expected it to be - and more. Two nights in Quito included a comprehensive tour of that fascinating city. Our group(just 16 people)was met at Baltra by our guide, Darwin Alvarez, and our tour of the islands started immediately with a trip to see giant tortoises, followed by a lovely lunch, before boarding the Cachalote, our floating 'home' for the next two weeks. Darwin was just superb and his enthusiasm was infectious; his knowledge added even more to the experience of visiting so many of these very special islands. Nothing was too much trouble for the crew of the Cachalote either, with the captain willingly changing course if something interesting was spotted in the water. The chef catered for all/any special dietary requirements, even making me a glorious chocolate and nut cake for my birthday which occurred halfway through the cruise of the islands, and Richard's cocktails, to celebrate crossing the Equator, were something else!
Sacha Lodge was a totally different experience but equally as outstanding. The long and varied journey to even reach it was an adventure in itself and again, nothing was too much trouble for either the staff or the guides who took us out two or three times a day, either on foot or by canoe, to experience this truly magical part of the world.
Truly a holiday of a lifetime.
The tour content was a very nice balance. As a general nature photographer I felt that this tour gave everyone’s interests a chance, and didn’t focus only on birds. Darwin on the Cachalote and Fausto (assisted by Wilson) at Sacha were brilliant and really went the extra mile to make sure everyone was happy.