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“Best Tour of the South Rim”

Ranked #80 of 251 Tours in Las Vegas
Type: Bus Tours, Tours
Attraction details
Reviewed April 24, 2013

We travelled by Grand Canyon Tour Company this year from Phoenix.We were very pleased.

Our guide Leis, was the most knowledgable tour guide one ca think of.

This tour gave us enough opportunities to explore, south and east rim as well as drive by north rim.

Enthusiasm of the tour guide is exemplary.

I strongly recommend this touring company, no surprise they got the excellence award last year !! They deserver it.

Thank PoornimaRao
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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697 - 701 of 976 reviews

Reviewed April 23, 2013

This was my first time visiting the Grand Canyon. I was estastic! Seeing the Grand Canyon was going to be a giant positive anchor in my life so it would be difficult to dent my enthusiasm.

✓ 3 Hours
You have 3 hours to enjoy the Grand Canyon. 2-to-2.5 of those hours are spent off the bus. Is it enough time?
Yes, if you're visiting just to see it, to check it off a "to do" list, or simply for the heck of it.
Barely, if you want to take a ton of quality photos.
Hardly, if you want to spend your time drawing or painting.
No, if you want to do any amount of hiking.

Why then is it a positive that you only get 2.5-3 hours at the Grand Canyon if it's "hardly" enough time? This is a full day trip. People are already picked up very early. Check in is around 10am, which is after picking up everyone from their hotel. Then you drive and drive and drive. You get back around 9:30pm. To have more time at the canyon means being picked up earlier, which may mean that some will be too tired to enjoy the trip. You will not be getting a quality nap on the bus. I would not have a good time if I had to be picked up at 4-5am! Being dropped off later might not be such a hot idea either. The later it is, the darker it is. The drive back home might not be as safe if it's done too late. Leaving the canyon could be a tad bit dangerous. I smell a recipe for disaster!

So, as much as I would love to have longer time at the canyon, I do understand why it's limited to 3 hours. Maybe 4 hours would be possible, but who knows!

✓ The Best Rim! Absolutely Beautiful
I read that the South Rim is the most scenic part of the Grand Canyon. Well, the views were breathtaking. Every time I look at the photos I took, I cannot believe I actually saw it all with my own eyes! It's an experience that everyone should have.

✓ Buffet for Lunch
The food at the buffet we went to was fine. Nothing spectacular, but nothing gross either. I was disappointed in the options. The day I went, I was able to choose between rice, corn, chicken, and mashed potato. These options were repeated on the other half of the buffet. You will be underwhelmed, but at least you can be full and satisfied.

✓ Hotel Pick Up & Drop Off
They will pick you up from your hotel, even if you're as far back as the Stratosphere hotel, or if you're off the strip at Rio.

✓ Access to Really Great Souvenirs
Every stop has wonderful souvenirs. The best souvenirs can be found at the Grand Canyon. That's where I bought my sweater, mugs, magnets, and shot glasses. I wanted to buy more but here is the dilemma. Although the gifts are better, you are taking away from the time you are spending looking at the actual canyon. So limit your time in the shop. Go there early on because the lines can be long. You don't want to go last minute and not even be able to buy what you wanted!

✓ Informative Videos
I don't know if this varies per bus. The first video watched was on Hoover Dam. I never knew why it was significant but now I do! We also watched a video on Route 66. I appreciated these videos. The last two videos were Herbie Fully Loaded (Lindsay Lohan) and RV (Robin Williams). Eh.

✓ Seat Belts
Yes, there were seat belts, which is always good to have that option. The seats were relatively comfortable.

✓ Morning Snack
It is described on the site as a "morning snack" - which is a very accurate description. You are picked up by one bus to be brought to a place to check in. Then you get on your real bus. At this building, there is water bottles, snacks such as muffins and cookies, and one or two other things. I wasn't expecting this so it was a nice surprise. That being said, be sure to sit in the front when you're initially picked up so you can get in line faster. The faster you get out of the check in line, the quicker you can either get your breakfast or pick your seat in your assigned bus.

✓ Cost
Spending $180 is a lot. I was able to buy my ticket for only $87 as a "first time customer" special, and this price is including all extra charges. This deal was available for at least 3 months! The tour is definitely worth its sale price. To be honest though, I was originally prepared to pay $180. The 50% deal was a very happy surprise!

✓ Customer Service (on the phone)
When I called in to ask questions on the tour, the people I spoke to were nice. I spoke to two different women two different times and both were very friendly, patient, and helpful.

✓ View of Hoover Dam
The site is a bit misleading because you expect to see the dam during the day. You do not pass the dam on the way to the canyon because it will take too long and set you off track. You do see it on the drive back. It's a brief glimpse that last for maybe 5 minutes. Be sure to ask your driver to give everyone notification when you're nearing it so you can take a video. Pictures will not work very well since it will be night. It's likely for photos to be blurry so I wouldn't focus on taking photos.

✓ Solo Traveler Tip
You can take great pictures of yourself at the Grand Canyon. I mean, you really should have your picture taken. When will you have an experience like this again? Ask someone who seems trustworthy to take your photo, or do what I did and bring a tripod. Have your digital camera on self timer and take your own photo! :)

- ☆☆ Stars

Bus Bathroom -
Be sure to use the bathroom during the rest stops! The bathroom in the bus is not built for women! :( Might be okay for kids since it's so small.

Bus Driver -
You can't choose your bus so it's up to luck if you have a good bus driver. Our bus driver was a very sketchy old man who looked to be in his 60s+.

1. He had a "pity me" attitude because he wanted tips. He often put himself on a pedestal for doing the job since, apparently, no one else is crazy enough to do the job. That might be true, but shoving this in our face won't make us more likely to tip you. It just makes the person annoying. Every so often he brought up how he only has time for his job and how he doesn't have money to do much in his life. I really didn't like this attitude of his.

2. When giving us informative talks about Route 66, the Grand Canyon, etc. while driving, he had a nasally monotonous voice. This wasn't his actual voice. It was an annoying voice he stressed when doing his tour talk. No one liked it. We all whispered to each other about how we hoped he would stop talking. He clearly hated his job.

3. This guy was inappropriate. During our first rest stop he was WAY too close behind me and he rested his hand on my shoulder. I don't know if he was hitting on me, or just inappropriately casual. He approached me again later on and I was dismissive again, so then he left me alone for the rest of the trip. I wasn't comfortable around this guy. Also, while dropping people off at their hotels, he got out of the bus to yell at a small bus that was parked where he shouldn't be parked. The strange thing was that he wasn't in the way of the bus or anyone else! From his body language I could almost promise that he was cursing out the other driver. He seemed to have a lot of inner anger.

I WISH I remembered this guy's name. But, then, I don't know if I would feel comfortable giving it out to the world - especially since you can't pick your own bus. You might be able to call ahead of time to request to be on the bus who doesn't have the tall old skinny white driver with white hair and a cowboy hat. Not sure if that'll get you very far!! I'm not good with names, so once again I'm sorry for not taking note of it.

Bottom Line: I went on this tour and I had an amazing time. It's the Grand Canyon! It's under the definition of EPIC.

If you can afford a better rated company, then go for it! But I think this company is safe. At least they get you there!! I'm sure experiences varies.

1  Thank MelanieTheArtist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 21, 2013

This is an amazing tour and well worth the 10 hours return trip. The Grand Canyon is an amazing beauty created by nature.

Thank Kelley D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 19, 2013

We did the south rim tour as a couple. We had read the reviews and also called the company prior to committing. While it was a good enough product for what we expected, I wouldn't recommend doing this tour unless you are very limited for time in the area. If I had to do it again, I would have rented a car or done an overnight trip. It's just too far to go for the amount of time you have on the ground. It's the Grand Canyon, after all, and it needs more time to really 'get it.'

We had booked the trip prior to arriving in Vegas and given a credit card number to reserve the space but we still had to stand in line when we arrived at the tour desk to pay. I don't understand why they couldn't have just processed the payment at the time of booking and checked us in as we arrived. I've read some reviews of people complaining about the Danish for breakfast...it's what they say they're going to give you if you do any amount of research on their website. However, they only allow you to take one bottle of water on the trip and if you end up with a hot day, be prepared to buy more at one of the stops along the way.

There are several busses heading to the Canyon from the tour company at the same time. We left Las Vegas before 7:30 and had a rest stop just about two hours later. A very "interesting" place with a trailer for toilets. All the busses stop here within minutes of each other. If you're on one of the later busses...use your imagination.

Back on the bus off to Williams, Arizona for a lunch stop. I appreciate that it's a long day and a good lunch is helpful, but in reality I would have appreciated more time at the Canyon rather than the 45 minute break for lunch. The food was generally plain.

When we arrived at the Grand Canyon, we had two stops. The first at Mather Point gave us a great view of the scenery. We had about 45 minutes there. The second stop was at the Bright Angel Trail. We had about an hour and fifteen minutes here. There's a good hike which you can start but there's hardly enough time to get far. And as the signs warn, "Don't underestimate the Grand Canyon!"

The bus driver was a knowledgable and interesting man who kept us entertained with stories, factoids and videos. Sometimes it's just nice to have silence though...some of the videos were boring and audio was terrible for a few of them. We sat toward the front of the bus and had a good view of the screen, but people at the back may have had a harder time seeing the screen.

Four hours+ in each direction, two hours on the ground...Again, if you only have a couple of days in Vegas and include this trip as part of your visit, it's fine. But if you really want to do more than look at the Grand Canyon, I would suggest a different approach to a trip there.

2  Thank rogie1506
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 19, 2013

Our vacation with this bus tour company turned into a nightmare. The bus broke down on the way to the canyon and left us in middle of the highway stranded for 3 hours until another bus was dispatch from Vegas. We reached the canyon so late and had so little to enjoy. On our way back the bus broke down again :-( This time we were stranded on a lonely highway in Arizona for 4 hours. No bathroom, no food and diabetic patients onboard. When the bus company refused to send any help desperate passengers called the police. Police helped the bus towed to a nearest town but in the meantime discovered safety violations by the driver and bus company. Only after the police intervened, the tour company was forced to arrange a backup bus and we finally reached Vegas at 2am. Sounds like a movie, but it was a horrible day to handle. Specially with a child.

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

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