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“Belize & Guatemala” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Duende - Day Tours

Duende - Day Tours
Riviera Maya, Cozumel, Mexico
+52 5129617024
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Ranked #113 of 220 Tours & Activities in Cozumel
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Owner description: Duende Tours offers personalized travel and tour services throughout the Mayan World (Mexico, Belize and Guatemala). Explore the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza, Coba, Tulum, Palenque or Tikal and lesser known sites like Ek Balam, Calakmul or Yaxha. Spot wildlife on our birding tours or swim with whale sharks. For the more active traveler we offer diving, cenote snorkeling, zip-lining, cave tours, canoeing, jungle hiking, mountain biking and more... We can arrange anything that fits adventure travel; just send us an inquiry and we will customize to your needs! We look forward to giving you the service you deserve :)
San Francisco, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Belize & Guatemala”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2015

I visited Belize and Guatemala in January 2015 on an individual tour arranged with Chantal Willigers at Duende and had an excellent experience. I would use them again in a minute and strongly recommend them for anyone interested in the Yucatan, Belize and Guatemala. I initially contacted her about a Yucatan tour they offered, which I found on the internet. In back and forth emails, I expressed interest in seeing more wild life and Mayan ruins. She suggested Tikal and Yaxha in Guatemala and the howler monkey preserve and Chaa Creek nature resort in Belize. Chantal was extremely helpful and patient in working out my itinerary. She arranged accommodations, drivers and guides. I was travelling by myself, so was more concerned than normal about the logistics working. Ahead of the trip, I received numerous sheets providing detailed information on every aspect of the trip. And it all worked like clockwork. Going through the border crossing back and forth, switching drivers, meeting guides.....it all went very smoothly, thanks to Duende's arrangements. I also thoroughly enjoyed the drivers, guides and staff at the places I stayed. Ended up having some extra time after seeing the howler monkeys, so my driver gave me a fantastic tour of the Belize zoo, which is more like a wildlife preserve with only local animals, with one exception. I recommend the zoo for anyone interested in wild life in Belize. Accommodations in Guatemala were ecolodges, which meant they were located in the jungle and only had electricity morning and evening when the generators ran. No hot water. But they were clean, comfortable and safe. Food served was excellent. And while they lacked a few amenities, the settings were absolutely 5 star. Chaa Creek Resort was luxurious, with everything one would expect in a first class resort. And all the birds, butterflies, iguanas, spiders, etc. one could want on nature hikes. It was a great trip with no problems, thanks to Duende.

Visited January 2015
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36 reviews from our community

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  • English first
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English first
Cambridge, Ontario
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“Cozumel Birding with Rafael”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2015

The morning started at 5:30 right on the scheduled time, introductions out of the way and we are on the road in no time, nice truck to get around the island. Rafael is a local island Biologist so he is very familiar with the area including the Yucatan, and his English is very good so no communication issues, and he was very easy going. We went straight to the north side of the island near Passion Island, it didn’t take long before we were having some success with a flock of Roseate Spoonbilled, some white Ibis, brown pelicans and egrets, and out of the blue there was a family of pygmy raccoons at the base of the tower. Black vultures, Yucatan vireo, hooded, b&w warblers & a kiskadee. On the way back near the sewage treatment plant we saw some more warblers including the Palm, Magnolia, Yellow, Parula & Redstart, Common yellow throat, hooded, bannaquits were also in numbers, this was the only place mosquitoes were present. At the golf course we saw the mango hummingbird as well as the Cozumel emerald, black catbird, tropical kingbird, mocking bird, white winged dove, white eyed vireo, Yucatan woodpecker, black necked stilts, black bellied plover, common moorhen, spotted sandpiper, coots, jacarta, tropical cormorant, little blue heron and great egret at the pond by the entrance to the golf course.
At the marsh on the south east side of the island we saw some hooded orioles, black bellied whistling ducks, least grebes, pied billed grebes, blue wing teal ducks, a green heron & barn swallows. We saw 49 Species in total in the morning and would recommend Rafael to any birders visiting the island. We went birding on our 1st day in Cozumel in order to learn a bit about the local bird habits and locations for the remainder of our vacation and we believe it paid dividends.
Later in the week, along with most mentioned here we also saw the gartered trogon, Yucatan jay, summer tanager, western striped headed tanager, little heron, ruddy turnstone, flamingos, peacocks & a white crowned pigeon. We would do Cozumel again just for the birds!
Rafael is at greenpeza@hotmail.com

Visited January 2015
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bridgewater, New Jersey
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Birding in Cozumel”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2015

Enjoyed the opportunity to see various parts of this island, and appreciated my guide, Rafael's, knowledge. It might have been an akward tour since I was the only client, but he was easy to talk to, and I was just glad to be able to bird somewhere I'd never been before. We saw 44 birds in all and made 4-5 scheduled stops as well as a quick stop to move a baby crocodile out of one of the many large puddles we drove through. The ATVS who came roaring past us would certainly not have seen him! I didn't get any snacks, soft drinks or lunch as advertised, but a stop for lunch would have cut into the touring time so I didn't say anything. It's an expensive tour ($220), but it was my Christmas gift to myself and the chance to do something different than all the cookie-cutter tours that the cruise ship I was on offered. Chantal of Duende Tours was very responsive by e-mail, and since my husband and I plan to cruise to Cozumel again next year, I'll contact her to see if I can do a repeat - I look forward to that since I'll know better where I'd rather spend more time etc.

Visited December 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
onejungle, Manager at Duende - Day Tours, responded to this review, January 14, 2015
Hi D,
Thanks for your review!
We look forward to having you with us again next year. We will make up for your missed lunch then, as I do not know why Rafael did not offer you the light lunch which is always included in this tour. I have sent you an email about your next trips discount!
See you soon, Chantal
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Grand Rapids, Michigan
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
22 attraction reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
“Chichen Itza by Plane from Cozumel”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2014

We did the Chichen Itza trip by Cessna from Cozumel. It was an incredible day. It was so well organized and we had a blast. The pilot was prompt and professional. The plane ride was quick and comfortable. Once we arrived at the airport a private car arrived to take us to Chichen Itza and the Cenote. We also had a private tour guide at Chichen Itza who showed us around and had great stories. The included lunch was also quite nice. I highly recommend this trip to anyone who might be considering it. You will not regret it!

Visited December 2013
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onejungle, Manager at Duende - Day Tours, responded to this review, January 14, 2015
Thanks for the fantastic review and pictures! It was a pleasure having you on tour with us.
Drop a line next time you come to Cozumel, we do many more trips...
Best regards. Chantal
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Melbourne
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Chichen Itza and Cenote tour from Cozumel”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2014

This tour was one of the highlights of our entire trip. Cozumel was a port we visited via cruise ship and when we first looked into getting to Chichen Itza thought it was impossible given the limited time we were in port. Then we found Duende Tours who offer this tour, flying to Chichen Itza on a small plane.

We found Duende Tours to be professional and well organised. Right from the beginning of our planning, dealing with Chantal and everyone we encountered as part of the tour were great to deal with and the entire day ran so smoothly.

Octavio met us at the airport and took care of all the details. Gerry the pilot was fantastic. Our young daughters were quite apprehensive about their first light plane trip but they both really enjoyed it and commented that the takeoffs and landings were so smooth. The scenery flying over the jungle was beautiful and we even got to fly over the Chichen Itza area which gave us a great view from above. Willy our driver and Julian our guide at Chichen Itza were both wonderful, friendly and had so much knowledge about the area.

Chichen Itza itself was amazing and the lunch provided and swim at the Cenote was another unexpected highlight of the day. Using Duende Tours meant that we were at Chichen Itza well before the buses and crowds arrived and we got to enjoy more time exploring the area.

We made it back to the cruise ship easily.

I would highly recommend Dunede Tours to anyone wanting an amazing experience organised by a professional and friendly team of people.

Thank you and we hope to use Duende Tours again.

Visited October 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
onejungle, Manager at Duende - Day Tours, responded to this review, October 20, 2014
Hi Lgeaba,
Thanks for your great review. I made sure all staff involved in your tour received your thankful message which they greatly appreciated.
It was a pleasure to have you on tour with us.
Best regards,
Chantal
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