We wanted to do a tour in English including the Tlacolula Market (only open on Sundays) and Hierve al Agua, the petrified waterfall. The ticket tout for Monte Alban tour assured us that the all day Sunday tour had a bilingual guide and included both of these attractions. Believe me, we asked for confirmation several times. But he was not telling the truth.
The tour started late; again a "cycle race was blocking the streets", although we never saw any cyclists or closed off streets, and now reading a review below mentioning the same thing, I suspect there was no race.
Our driver spoke virtually no English, which was the first sign of trouble. He assured us that a guide speaking English would meet us at El Tule. There was indeed a guide there for about five minutes, and on each subsequent stop we met up with the half day tour, which was being led by an English-speaking guide, so we tagged along with that guide at the stops, but we missed all the commentary during each drive.
To be completely balanced: the mezcal tasting and the rug-making demonstration, while clearly designed to separate us from our money, were well done and interesting, with no pressure to buy. Mitla was interesting too. The bilingual guide from the half day tour was very good - he knew a lot about each location, and was a good driver.
But the real problem started when we were leaving Mitla: the driver of the half day tour, interpreting for our driver, told us we weren't going to Tlacolula Market after all. And apparently never were - the full day tour doesn't include Tlacolula even on a Sunday. We were furious. There was no way we could now get to both places. We transferred to the half day tour so we could get to Tlacolula, thus missing out on ever going to the waterfall.
Worse was yet to come: when we returned to the tour office to complain, we were treated rudely by the owner, a middle aged lady. All she was willing to do, after a long argument, was to pay us the difference between the full day tour and the half day tour, and insist that we not contact the tourist police. And while the original ticket seller did apologise, she didn't. So, tripadvisor friends, take heed: some of the guides in this company may be fine, but the company itself is dishonest - try someone else.
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