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“Dolphin Tours was blah.”
2 of 5 bubbles Review of River Yacuma

River Yacuma
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
130 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Dolphin Tours was blah.”
Reviewed July 24, 2013

I was really excited for the Pampas tour after all the hype. After walking into agency after agency we finally went with Dolphin Tours.

The adventure starts with a 4 hours ride in a tiny car on a dirt road with tons of potholes. If you get carsick take meds!!!! The way there was alright because the driver just kept up the speed and didn't swerve. On the way back I don't think I've ever been so sick. The driver kept braking suddenly to stop for potholes and then speeding up really quickly and swerving around everything. Horrible Horrible Horrible. It took me about 5 hours to come around after that ride.

The boat ride to the lodge was the best part. We saw everything we could have seen including monkeys, several types of birds, dolphins, caymens, turtles, etc. Our guide was Oscar, I think. Nobody in our group of 6 knew because he had never told us his name. But in the end I think someone asked and it was Oscar. He was very disappointing. We had to constantly ask him to talk to us and what stuff was and he never wanted to talk.

The next few paragraphs are the most memorable parts of the trip...aka complaints

The first night we went to a little field with a bar to watch the sunset. After the sun had gone down the mosquitoes were really bad and we all asked Oscar if we could go. He kept saying we would go in a minute and he drank another beer while we all got totally chewed. I think we left 45 minutes later? Thank goodness for malaria meds!

On the morning when we were supposed to wake up to see the sunrise we had to go wake Oscar up because he had slept in. We were all waiting in the boat when he came out and he said it was too cloudy and we should all go back to sleep. We were very firm about wanting to go and he was irritated that we made him. So he threw a fit by taking us a few minutes up the river and we just sat floating down it while he still claimed we wouldn't see anything. Well the sunrise was clear and the colors were amazing, but the trees were blocking the view from the river. We all agreed that if he had taken us to where we were supposed to go it would have been beautiful.

During the anaconda hunt he told us to "look for them" and after asking him tips on how to best see them several times, he still ignored us. We did see an anaconda on the way back. Another group had found one wrapped up next to the boats.

During "piranha fishing" he gave us little sticks with fishing line wrapped around them. Then he told us to fish and slept for a while without telling us what to do. Wonderful.

The great thing about this place was the food. It was awesome and we even got a cake and wine on our last night. The cooks were very friendly and sweet and they get an A+. Otherwise this company was disappointing on so many levels.

We love roughing it and typically I'm not a complainer, but our guide really took the cake on laziness. If I had to do it again I would not choose this company.

We went with Mashaquipe for our jungle trip and they were amazing.

Visited May 2013
Thank taace1i1a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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138 reviews from our community

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English first
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Donato Pampa tours, dirty, scary and squalid building site”
Reviewed July 14, 2013

if you have seen the movie Deliverance.... now imagine that in construction. There was no-where to sit except our bed or the dining table, the resort was in construction. There were holes in the floor of the dining area and the walkways between the areas. to get to our room we had to walk through the dining area, and it was dirty really dirty, the floors had not seen water in years and our room was covered in Bat faeces. The beds were unmade and so we were given sheets to make our own beds. During the night the bats flew around our room and you could hear the faeces falling on the floor. We spent the first of our 2 nights huddled together under the mosquito net, with torches and insect repellant handy listening to the bats flying round our room and shitting on the net and the floor. Be aware I had paid u$d1170 for this 2 night 3 day trip. The next morning we had had enough, we moved far away from this disgusting dump.

Visited July 2013
1 Thank tomrixton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
85 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Indigena Tours”
Reviewed July 10, 2013 via mobile

As with everyone else we did a fair bit of research for the Pampas tours but settled on Indigena having had them recommended by three separate friends.

They were awesome. The lodges were basic but good and very clean. The staff were friendly and the food was amazing.

We had the best guide we've had of three recent tours (Galapagos, Ecuadorian jungle, and Pampas). Domingo was amazing. He spoke excellent English, was very good at explaining everything and pointing out all of the wildlife around us. He was great at slowing/stopping the boat when we wanted to take photos but as soon as he could see we were done he'd move on. He clearly enjoys his job and that made it an excellent experience for all of us.

The only reason I haven't given Indigena 5/5 across the board is due to the transport. Yes the roads are bad an it is difficult to be at all comfortable generally, an for me the issue wasn't so much the age of the car. My issue was that one had seats which faced inwards, rather than forwards, the seats were exceptionally uncomfortable and they can fit eight people in the back and then you have no room, nothing to hold onto and are thrown around all over the place. We were lucky to only have six of us in the back so we could hold on. I felt like i'd been in a spin dryer by the end of it.

So overall, perfect tour....just need to sort that one car!!

Visited July 2013
Thank TravellerS1703
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Indigena good, but no different to the cheaper companies...”
Reviewed June 30, 2013 via mobile

We've just returned from having a great time out at the pampas. One thing we would say however is its difficult choosing a company. We went with the more expensive (900Bs) and branded company indigena which although ticking all of the boxes appear not to be worth paying double for (were offered the same itinerary though a competitor for (484Bs). All of the companies seem to have the same itinerary and basic accommodation after speaking to fellow travellers at the sunset bar you are taken to (only place for a beer on the tour but peak hour for mosquitoes!). Bring a book as although there is plenty to do there is a lot of spare time to relax. The old 4WD that ran us to Santa Rosa broke down when coming to pick us up as well, replacement vehicle was a public mini van packed fullof locals. Instead of a 3 hour wet and bumpy drive back to rurre it was a 5 hour trip after a 3 hour wait on the riverbank, there was little communication with us when this event occurred which was disappointing.

Visited June 2013
Thank Matt F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
“be careful with choosing Pampas tour companies!!!”
Reviewed June 19, 2013

We spent some weeks in Bolivia during this March,2013... going here and there. And in our tour to Pampas,we had a really bad experience ,especially with the company we went with. We had such a disappointing experience that I think I should have chosen another agency. We started the tour late and not as the company said (09:00am). Then, we got a poor english spoken guide and to be honest the all group thought we will have a english speaking guide as Dolphin tour ( travel=?)had promised us. In the tour the guide didn't explain or at least give us information, the guide just said words yelling such as Capybaras!!...or... Monkey!!!! pointing at the same time. unpleasant. when we came back from pampas We asked to the assitant at Dolphin's office why we didn't get a english spoken guide but she couldn't even understand what we said. I think we missed the opportunity to see a lot of wildlife and it is sad. Pampas itself was good, but we regret having hired Dolphin Travel's service!


Visited March 2013
Thank foreste u
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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