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“Well organized - Best Guides” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Expediciones Apullacta

Expediciones Apullacta
Gran Colombia 11-02 y General Torres Esq., Cuenca, Ecuador
(593 7) 2837-815
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Owner description: For Expediciones Apullacta, environmental conservation is more than a business policy, it’s a lifestyle. We instill the importance of moderate natural resource use in our personnel and clients and we reuse wastes. There is no better way to educate than by example! We include visits to local communities in our programs and routes and we encourage visitors to get to know and appreciate the autochthonous culture and beliefs, to respect nature, and to embark on this new challenge to make small changes with sustainable actions.
Stuttgart, Germany
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Well organized - Best Guides”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2012

During my stay in Ecuador this summer, I passed the lovely city of Cuenca. Having only a few days for exploring the city and its surrounding area, I decided to book some guided tours in order to get the most out of the short period of time.

My travel guide recommended Apullacta as the number one agency in Cuenca. Although the agency has not the cheapest fees, I decided to book a city tour via this agency, hoping to get qualified background information to Cuenca. Depending on my first experience with this agency I planned to decide, whether or not to book two more tours the following days.

After I arrived at the agency, I was advised by Sandy, a very friendly and well organized person, which patiently explained to me all the options I had – in English, since my Spanish was very poor. Although I was late that day, she could spontaneously arrange a city tour for me. The city tour was a full success and so I decided to book two more tours the following days to Parque nacional El Cajas and to the lovely villages/towns San San Bartolome, Gualaceo and Chordeleg.

Having a great day and the most beautiful weather in Cajas, the arts and handcraft tour on the third day offered a new highlight. I was lucky to be guided by Patty (see also review of Ted G - 29. July 2012). I have been taking many guided tours until today, but I definitely have to say, that Patty was the best guide I had so far. Right from the start in the car, she was giving us a lot of detailed information about culture and nature of the local region and the country. While doing this, she was paying much attention to reach all the participants and was explaining everything and Spanish, English and some parts even in French. During the whole tour you could feel, that she really loved presenting us all the background information about the places, we visited and the people and things we saw. It was very important for her to let us experience and learn about her Ecuador. And this attitude together with her deep knowledge and her personal manner made our group really enjoy each minute of the tour.
One personal highlight for me was, that Patty helped me collecting different types of seeds of local plants, which I promised to bring my mum for her garden. Today, these seeds are flourishing and remind me at Ecuador, every time I visit my mum. :-)

-> Insiders’ tip: Ask Patty for the special ice, which you can buy in Chordeleg. Without doubt, it’s the most delicious ice, I ever had!

Looking back on my three days in Cuenca, I would definitely make the same decision again and book these tours at Apullacta. The agency made a very professional and good organized impression to me and offered very friendly and experienced guides. Many thanks to Sandy and the other guides and especially to Patty for making this time and unforgettable one for me!

Visited July 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Expediciones Ap... E, Director de Relaciones Públicas at Expediciones Apullacta, responded to this review, December 9, 2013
We are really glad you had a wonderful time in Ecuador and we hope you can come back soon.
We are thankful to think about for your trips to Ecuador.
Your comments are really important for us because it help us to improve ourselves every day and be the best for you.
Best wishes
Sincerely
Apullacta Expeditions.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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28 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Cuenca, EC
1 review
“Sandy of Apullacta”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2012

Sandy provides excellent, careful service and we've used her for several trips in Ecuador and abroad. If a plane should change it's schedule, Sandy is right on top of it, notifying us by email. She speaks English. When Sandy handles our arrangements, we relax.

Visited September 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Expediciones Ap... E, Director de Relaciones Públicas at Expediciones Apullacta, responded to this review, December 9, 2013
We are really glad you had a wonderful time in Ecuador and we hope you can come back soon.
We are thankful to think about us for your trips to Ecuador.
Your comments are really important for us because it help us to improve ourselves every day and be the best for you.
Best wishes
Sincerely
Apullacta Expeditions.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Langley, Canada
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Fantastic Tour Agency, for all purposes”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2012

we used Sandy Bravo for everything from flights to expeditions to horseback riding tours. Very knowledgeable, great attitude. Highly recommended.

Visited July 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Expediciones Ap... E, Director de Relaciones Públicas at Expediciones Apullacta, responded to this review, December 9, 2013
We are really glad you had a wonderful time in Ecuador and we hope you can come back soon.
We are thankful to think about us for your trips to Ecuador.
Your comments are really important for us because it help us to improve ourselves every day and be the best for you.
Best wishes
Sincerely
Apullacta Expeditions.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gulf of mexico
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“excellent service , caring staff”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2012

I handled my tours and all my travel around Cuenca through Expediciones Apullacta. They have a very thorough staff and excellent guides. Do not miss the horse ride through the Andes with Francisco, he has a wonderful ranchero and great knowledge of the trails. The favorite tour was to Saraguro. The whole community treated me like a VIP. What a treat to see this wonderful countryside. Maria and the rest of the staff handled all my reservations across the internet as i was in Africa at the time i was planning the trip. 5 star plus service.

Visited July 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Expediciones Ap... E, Director de Relaciones Públicas at Expediciones Apullacta, responded to this review, December 9, 2013
We are really glad you had a wonderful time in Ecuador and we hope you can come back soon.
We are thankful to think about us for your trips to Ecuador.
Your comments are really important for us because it help us to improve ourselves every day and be the best for you.
Best wishes
Sincerely
Apullacta Expeditions.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Great Tour Agency for Ingapirca and Cajas”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2012

Full disclosure, I have enjoyed every guided walking tour I have ever taken, and will take tours wherever they fit into my budget. I am probably more easily impressed than most people.

That said, Apullacta exceeded my expectations and put together two very good tours of the relatively modest-sized Inca site Ingapirca (the largest in Ecuador) and the misty and beautiful Cajas National Park (June 2012). Both times I joined a group tour, and both tours were led by the young and enthusiastic Patty. The tours were roughly day trips that included 2-3 hours of driving and 2-3 hours of walking, as well as EXCELLENT lunches in well decorated restaurants (the restaurant outside of Cajas was basically a well-furnished greenhouse built into a mountain).

While it is near impossible to not enjoy Ingapirca or Cajas National Park, even without a guide, Patty brought a personal touch to both sites that would be absent if you did either on your own. My group was relatively small on both tours, and Patty effortlessly moved from person to person answering individual questions about Incan history, bird species, and plant life. Apparently part of a tour guide’s training is learning bird calls, because Patty had a crazy ability to name and point out birds before they even appeared. I think the thing that impressed me the most though was that Patty and the drivers provided by Apullacta really made you feel at home. There was never that tour guide/tourist divide that I frequently find. It was very fun and casual, and you could tell that Patty was very passionate about Ingapirca, Cajas, Ecuador, and meeting people from abroad. Everyone in the group were friends by the end.

Two other things that I should mention. First, I am told that tour length and maybe quality can vary depending on the age, fitness, and interests of those in your group, especially in Cajas, so plan accordingly. My Cajas tour was shorter than usual because it was a little rainy and a couple of the other people on the tour were out of shape. It is a good thing that Patty paced the tour based on how far the least fit could enjoyably walk, but I would have enjoyed spending a little more time at the park.

Second, the price is a little steep if you are traveling on a budget, although both tours are well-worth it in my opinion. You can visit Ingapirca easily and cheaply on your own if you are willing to skip the interesting site by site commentary (blasphemy!), but Cajas is another matter. There are heavy restrictions on where you can walk there without a tour guide, and while there are multiple paths, they are split up and it is a hassle to travel by car from one to another (or so I was told by a traveler at my hotel). Plus, don’t you want to know what you’re seeing? I really enjoyed these tours.

Visited June 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Expediciones Ap... E, Director de Relaciones Públicas at Expediciones Apullacta, responded to this review, December 9, 2013
We are really glad you had a wonderful time in Ecuador and we hope you can come back soon.
We are thankful to think about us for your trips to Ecuador.
Your comments are really important for us because it help us to improve ourselves every day and be the best for you.
Best wishes
Sincerely
Apullacta Expeditions.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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