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“Surfing in El Salvador”

Guinness Travel - Day Tours
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Here at Guinness Travel it is our priority to ensure that you as a traveler are provided with a safe and enjoyable experience, be it on an adventure uncovering the magic of Ancient Mayan Ruins, relaxing on black sand beaches, exploring the caves of Semuc Champey, or being mesmerized by the amazing vistas in Lake Atitlan. We are here to aid you in having an enjoyable and authentic Guatemalan experience where you will discover amazing cultures and products of the natural world, make life long friends, and have once in a life time experiences.
Reviewed September 13, 2012

This past May-June I traveled to Guatemala with a student organization from the University of Wisconsin-Madison for a medical service outreach program. We decided that since we had been working hard in the clinics, we deserved a little fun. We chose Guinness' weekend trip to El Salvador to learn how to surf, and we could not contain our excitement! None of us had surfed before (you can't really surf in Lake Mendota or Lake Michigan) nor had any of us been to El Salvador. After a 4 hour van ride-which was pretty entertaining thanks to Carlos letting us play all of our iPods on the radio-we finally made it to the hostel (La Escencia Nativa?). The hostel where we stayed was one of the most welcoming, beautiful, and authentic hotel's I've ever been to (and I've been to a lot of places). Everything was outside, and there were surf boards everywhere-it was almost too good to be true, it felt like a dream! Our surfing instructors were professional, experienced, personable, and fun! They helped every person get up on their boards, and we were riding the waves for hours like pros. Every time I think about this trip it brings a smile to my face-it was one of the coolest things I've ever done, and I had an amazing time with all of my friends, the instructors, and Carlos. In fact, all of us had so much fun on the trip that we're planning another visit next summer for the full week of 'Surf Camp'! What's awesome about Guinness Travel is that they personalize all of their excursions to your personal needs. Carlos is a fantastic trip leader and business man, and I definitely recommend Guinness for anyone who is traveling in the Antigua area.

Thank BridgetMucha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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92 - 96 of 142 reviews

Reviewed July 13, 2012

Guinness Travel is prompt, organized, and trustworthy. Carlos knows the areas he travels very well which allowed us to see and do more in less time. He takes the time to make you feel comfortable about the areas and the interary. Compared to other companies the tour we did was very affordable. It felt like you were traveling with a friend who you have known for years who just happens to have connections all around the country. The connections between activities are seamless. I would reccommend Guinness Travel to singles, students, couples, and families. My only regret is that we didn't have time to do additional tours with Guinness Travel. I am a client for life!

1  Thank Christina S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 12, 2012

My friend and I were very excited to travel to Guatemala, but even more excited at the possibility of touring some Mayan ruins. We were referred to Guinness Travel and heard very positive reviews...they definitely lived up to their reputation. When we arrived in Guatemala, Carlos picked us up and immediately made us feel very welcome. He was so friendly and helpful with advice on restaurants, attractions and hot spots to visit in Antigua (our destination). He offered to help us with anything and everything that we needed. We told him that we wanted to go to Tikal. When we went to book the tour the next morning, some of the other visitors had cancelled their tour, leaving just my friend and I wanting to go to Tikal...probably not very profitable for Carlos, but knowing how badly we wanted to go, he decided to take us on the tour anyways.

He picked us up where we were staying, and even came equipped with music and snacks for the long car ride. He was a great guide even on the drive to Tikal - telling us all about the scenery and some history of Guatemala. He was very prepared, and seemed to have the tour very well planned, right down to the exact time we would be making each rest stop and exactly what minute we could expect to arrive at the restaurant for lunch. The restaurant atmosphere was great - with an island feel and amazing food. When we arrived at our hotel for the night, he had yet another fantastic restaurant for us to have dinner at - including some strong recommendations for which foods to try. He also kept us laughing the whole time :).

We woke up the next morning -to breakfast on the hotel patio - overlooking a beautiful lake and then made our way to Tikal. When we arrived in Tikal, we were greeted by a guide who was also very friendly. He spoke very good english (which was important for us beginning spanish speakers) and very knowledgeable about the history of Tikal. He and Carlos took us through the park, not only explaining the history, but also taking the time to point out some aspects that may have otherwise gone unnoticed - like the army of ants diligently moving leaves through the jungle or tarantula hidden in a rock, pointing out wildlife (monkeys, tucans, termite nests, etc.) and showing us which plant to rub on our skin to avoid mosquito bites. They were more than willing to take as many pictures as we requested (which were many), and they were very good at recognizing when we were getting tired and needed a break for a cold water or beer (there are stands throughout the park). The guide even offered to help me fix my camera, when i dropped it while trying to take pictures of a Tucan. The ruins are really amazing - it is a surreal experience to stand where such an advanced and mysterious civilization once lived.

The entire experience was truly unforgettable and would not have been half as good without Guinness travel. I highly recommend this tour to anyone traveling to Guatemala - it is a reason in itself just to go there!

I will say that the car ride from Antigua to Tikal is rather long - so take some medicine if you get car sick, or fly there. Also, wear good walking shoes and light clothing - it gets VERY hot in the jungle.

Thank Nicole J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 9, 2012

I found mention of this company on another website and after emailing with Carlos decided to book ground transportation for a 7 day family trip with them. I was a little nervous as I hadnt seen any reviews. However from when we were met at the airport by Alexandra with our full itinerary mapped out, cold water and an air conditioned bus to our last day we were not disappointed. Alexandra and Carlos went out of their way to ensure we had everything we needed, they were punctual and the drivers were friendly and safe ;) They even arranged a visit to play soccer in a nearby village with local kids which made the trip for our soccer mad kids ( 8 & 12). A great trip made even better by a company that went out of their way to provide excellent service - thank you!

Thank LisaATX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 2, 2012

We had a very disappointing day to see Lake Atitlan. We scheduled the day with Carlos several at Guiness Tours weeks in advance, but my husband was sick the night before the trip. Carlos said no problem, that we could go the following day. However, the next day Carlos arrived and said that his associate (who did not speak English) would drive us to the lake, but that we would have an English speaking local guide once we arrived. So, since our Spanish is limited, our driver took us the 2 1/2 hours each way in near silence. We learned nothing about the country, the people, the history, etc. When we got to the lake, the local guide was virtually worthless. Her English was very hard to understand and she gave us very little information. Basically, she told us the women in the villages did handicrafts and the men fished. This we already knew from a 1 paragraph brochure we got at the hotel. We took a boat ride to 3 villages and came back for lunch (we paid for our own plus the lunches of the driver and "guide") and then we were driven back (2 1/2 hours) in silence to our hotel. Why did this cost $245 ?? Carlos should have told us the day didn't work for him rather than push us off on the "B-team". VERY disappointing!! FYI - the driver and "guide" were nice people, but they didn't provide a "tour" which is what we thought we were getting. We felt (and still feel) ripped off.

4  Thank NicaSpouses
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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