I was very impressed by the efficiency of Nahuat Tours. I emailed them requesting more details and information on their tours, and they replied in less than an hour, answering all of my questions! I booked the Full Mayan Tour/Complete Mayan Route for Sunday 19th May 2013, and everything was confirmed in a super efficient manner via emails. Additionally, Mario Dominguez called me on the morning of my tour (despite being ill) to reconfirm everything and to let me know that the driver was running a few minutes late. The service and efficiency for the booking process was excellent! And I was really impressed.
I was the first person to book this tour, and the company was aware that I am an English speaker and did not speak Spanish. Subsequently two ladies signed up to the tour and they were Spanish speakers. I was assured that the tour would be conducted in both Spanish and English. However, the tour guide would speak for long periods in Spanish, and often forgot to translate into English. He would explain things in Spanish and point out something of interest and then immediately start to move on to the next thing. I had to keeping stopping him and keep asking him what he had just said. This became really annoying and really frustrating after awhile. Additionally, the English explanation always seemed very short. sometimes only one sentence or two, when he would have been speaking for 5 minutes in Spanish immediately before.
Also the guide kept insisting that he was taking us to Lake Coatepeque as a special treat and this was something that was not included in our tour. But he was doing it as a favour to us! This was (clearly) completely untrue as the Lake was clearly included in NahuatTours description for the Full Mayan Route:
"We will Visit Joya de Ceren, a Mayan village declared by UNESCO as world heritage in 1993 and considered the "Pompeii of America", the ceremonial center of San Andrés ruins and the museum. Then a visit to the archaeological park “Tazumal” where is the most impressive Mayan pyramid in El Salvador, ending with the "Casa Blanca" one of the oldest pre-Columbian settlements in the country where we see partial dig pyramids. Includes panoramic views of the beautiful Coatepeque Lake of volcanic origin and a visit to the historical center of Santa Ana where you can appreciate the beauty of the cathedral architecture and the theater".
We also did NOT visit the historical centre of Santa Ana and we did not see the cathedral or the theatre. I didnt mind missing these sights but I thought it was dishonest for the guide to say that he was taking us to the Lake as a special treat on his own time and that no one one else would have, and that it wasnt included in the tour.
In spite of this, the archaelogical sites I did see were extremely worthwhile. This tour is especially useful if you dont have much time in El Salvador as it enables you to see many different sites in a day (some of which are quite a distance from town and in opposite directions!) Nahuat also has a huge variety of tours, they are clearly efficient and great organisers. Plus Mario Dominguez was really excellent and I felt so reassured by his professionalism. Perhaps Nahuat just has to keep a closer eye on the quality of its guides???
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