I booked two, single day tours in September 2012. Rita was very helpful - I had only one request, since I was staying with family, was it possible to pick up/drop off at my family's home in the city not a hotel. For a nominal fee, Rita said it would not be a problem.
However, that in itself was THEE problem. My tour guide/driver for both days was Hugo. Older gentleman, who called my aunt the day before my tour and asked if I could meet him at a pick up location because my family's house was too far away.... Ummmm, the whole reason why I booked the tour was because Rita said it would not be an issue.
The day of the tour, Hugo was 45 minutes late and he blamed my aunt for the wrong directions! He must have called at least four times, the morning of and he couldn't have googled the directions the day before? Ummm.... the address was given to Rita, who booked my tour prior to my departure to avoid such a conflict! That should've been a clear indication of how my day would turn out. There was an other woman who we had to pick up at Tikal Hotel and the driver was confiding in me that she was a problematic tourist, five minutes into our voyage. Granted there was rush hour traffic, a problem with him finding my home (for whatever reason) however, she was upset because she was waiting outside the hotel since 6:30am and waiting outside for over an hour with no courtesy call would be a problem for anyone.
I tried to make the most of my day for the Lake Atitlan Tour however its not what I expected, so I brushed a few things off like:
Tour Guide Hugo on his personal cell phone while driving
Hugo taking many food/beverage breaks
Hugo asking me for money to buy a beverage
Hugo taking a nap on the boat ride to Santiago
Was not a fun tour overall
However, this is where my day took a sour turn for the worst. It turns out, on that the day of my tour, it was also pay day. So Hugo was making plans about getting his check cashed and having the unfortunate luck to having to go to the airport to pick up clients coming back from the Tikal Tour and he couldn't be late. AND the other tour vehicle was at the shop and he was the only one with a functioning vehicle.... We go drop off the problmatic tourist, which she really wasn't, she had EVERY reason to be upset and I don't blame her at all for being so upset and here is why:
Hugo tells me that I'm have to take a taxi to my house from the drop off hotel. WAIT.... WHAT? All because he has to pick up other people at the airport, he wants to dump me in a taxi AFTER I prepaid the company to take me to my family's house. At this point, I'm frightened for my life, because you can not jump in a taxi in Guatemala City and expect to get to your destination in one piece or at all.
So I ask Hugo if he was paying for the taxi because there was no way I was going to pay for it out of my pocket if I already paid them to take me to my house. This man, in no way, takes the blame. He blames everyone else but himself for the situation, including me! I ask the hotel concierage if the taxi service is from a trusted source. He tells me that they exclusively work with a taxi company and they know every taxi driver by name. I had no choice but to go with it because Hugo was wheelin' & dealin' negociating a deal with the taxi driver to take me home! Hugo is pissed because he can't get his money and has to go to the airport. Luckily, I got home and the taxi driver was a very nice guy and very pleasant to talk to despite the unfortunate circumstance.
How can a tour company allow this to happen?! As a traveler, you do your research into a company and trust that they will uphold thier part but comprosing my safety was not acceptable. Its a shame that I'm the only one who's bothered to write a bad review and I am extremely disappointed to this day, three months later!
AND, I was stuck with the same guy the next day for my day trip to Pacaya and he was just my driver because he doesn't hike the volcano (but he did make lunch plans with a pal while he waiting for me to return from my hike)
Never again, will I ever want to do business with this company.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.