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!
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