First, let me state that Fernando, who has received rave reviews on TripAdvisor, is no longer giving tours (at least that’s what he told us). He has opened a new restaurant, and his brother Rodolfo is leading the excursions.
We weren’t told about this switch until we arrived in Yelapa and checked into Fernando’s casa. Two weeks before our trip, we had contacted Kendra and arranged for two tours by Fernando, and she hadn’t mentioned that he was no longer available.
We were only in Yelapa for two days and were supposed to do a half-day snorkeling trip on our first day. Instead, Fernando tried to convince us that we shouldn’t do anything that day—he suggested that we just relax and get to know the town. His motive became apparent when we learned that the Okley boat was no longer available for our snorkeling tour. Instead, it had been given to another family (with 6 people) who wanted to go to the Marietas Islands. When we said that we really wanted to go snorkeling as promised, Fernando said that we could join the other family’s trip, and he offered a $5 discount. Rodolfo took us out to the islands; however, he didn’t try to fish along the way (as promised on the Okley website, for fresh fish cerviche), and he was not very engaging as a guide. The snorkeling trip was “good”, but not terrific, and it was not what we had expected.
On our second day, we were supposed to have a guided trip with Fernando to the Tacomata Falls, with deep pools that you could jump into from high rocks. Although Fernando told us that Rudolfo would now be our guide, Rudolfo did not want to take us! He announced on the way back from the Marietas Islands that he had to “stay with the boat” the next day and that perhaps someone else would be our guide. The real reason seemed to be that the cost of the tour ($25 per person, with 4 of us) was not enough to warrant his time, as he did not tell us that he couldn’t be the guide until he found out that the other family (of 6) was not interested in doing the hike with us. In the end, we opted not to go to the waterfall. We felt like we were being shuffled off from one person to the next, like some kind of burden, instead of being treated like valued customers.
Beware that if you reserve a tour with Okley, it may not happen. I would advise to look elsewhere in the first place.
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