When we did our little 5 k walk to a series of waterfalls near Machay on the Avenue of the Waterfalls road, we were amazed at how many butterflies there were. We were positively swamped with them, landing on us every time we made a photo stop and often before...which led to a photo stop!
As I am not too fussy and prefer to keep my mind calm and my face unwrinkled... especially on vacation, I am usually quite or very happy with tours. But this one left me really disappointed and I have to warn you. The worst is that in response to my complaints they only said they were sorry in such an unconcerned tone that made me read in their mind: “Who cares. We have already got your money” They offered me no compensation not even a cheap 5$ ride, just to make me feel better.
Well, they took 50$!!! for a fullday schedule. They only accomplished one third of the activities promised. We started 1,5 hours later. They made me sit in the same seat with another girl who had put some very smelly ointment for some skin problem she had! In half an hour I felt nauseous from the strong smell. I didn't want to offend the girl so I privately complained to the driver-guide who insisted it was MY imagination!!! He smelt worse than her, by the way... So I had to sit at the back of the small open truck, trying to keep my balance with difficulty on the bumpy road to the jungle. At least I could breathe fresh air and I soon felt much better. My co-travellers didn't care about the schedule but were constantly hungry and in search of food. The guide was a weak, insecure person who didn't even think of refusing them anything and it didn't ever cross his mind that I was a client, too. He never even apologised or mentioned anything in the end! So we stopped every now and then delaying thus our schedule. The result was we arrived very late having done less than half. When we arrived at the river for the canoe ride there was nobody there to take us. They hadn't arranged it!
When I went to the office the next day they said “Oh, really? I am sorry” in a very indifferent way!
I had to do some of the same things again by myself.
So make them give their schedule written and do negotiate!
What I did enjoy though was the walk in the jungle! And the tasty food that the lady in the jungle hotel cooked for us! And the young couples traveling with me were really warm and nice !
The agency is : Sebastian Moya – AVENTURA Y EXPEDICIONES CIA, LTDA
Oriente 12-08 y Tomas Halflants Tel 02 2484287 cel: 097 565098
In 1999 volcan Tungurahua had an explosive eruption. Baños was evacuated for months. There have been more eruptions since, including in 2006, with small villages destroyed and some casualties. The main road from Pelileo to Baños was cut off. Near the road, hardened lava flows remain, as well as destroyed houses.
In Baños, you see "Evacuation Route" signs everywhere.
Just thought you should know...
We were passed 3 x $20 fake US$ notes in the main shopping street of Banos. My friend bought a picture and was given it in the change. We didn't notice it (weren't aware that we had to watch out for it in Ecuador) until the next day when we went to spend it and they threw their hands up in the shop shouting "Fako". We were advised to go to the police to report it which we did. That was a mission as only one of the police had English and that was very limited. Anyway, we told them the shop it came from in case another tourist had a problem there.