To be fair, I will start with the positive: our guide, Sergio, was very knowledgable, kind and interesting. The food provided was good, and the cook was very kind and helpful.
Now, for all the reasons why you should NOT use Amarongachi tours:
1. The tours are cheaper than others because they are low budget. Not all that organized, you may wait for a taxi, eat on the side of the road, etc. they are also not what they advertise. The "indigenous visit" boasted being taught cultural traditions by the people you visit such as making chicha, artesania or cocoa. The guide talked to us about the culture and we ate in someone's house. No one spoke to us but children, and we saw the inside of the house, and not much more.
2. The hotel they rent out is FILTHY. There were mice in the ceiling that kept us awake with their squealing and scratching, and I am now battling bed bugs instead of enjoying my trip in Ecuador. I am awake itching and frantically washing all my things trying not to give my next hotel an infestation. I know we are in the jungle and there are many bugs, so I would not make this accusation without fully doing my research and being sure.
3. Worst shower of your life. Spurts of scalding hot, then freezing. Again, I know this is the jungle, but everywhere else in the jungle has managed at least half decent showers.
4. If all the other things don't keep you awake, the property's giant dog barking outside your window until 2am will. No owner is there overnight to stop him, and they know he does it and don't seem to find it a problem.
5. Crappy quality. Rubber boots are included in the price of the jungle trek bc you go wading through water. In the middle of the jungle when we crossed a stream, I found out there was a giant hole in one of my boots. The guide was great about helping me clean the sand out to avoid irritation then, but it was miserable the rest of the day. Management was informed, and made no effort to apologize or to switch the boots during lunch for the second (and even wetter) half of the day. I wasn't the only one with leaky boots, I just had the worst.
6. Overall shady management. He just gives you that slimy vibe, and many people who communicate with Julio over email (who seems much nicer) never actually get to speak to him in person. When a small refund for the useless boots was brought up (as suggested by tour staff), Mauricio the owner said, "what do you want? Money? No, we don't do that." Overall negative ending to a negative experience.
Again, Ecuador is amazing, and our guide made low budget, sometimes poorly planned trips as great as he could in a great country. But you could do much better with a different tour company.
- Also Known As:
- Amarongachi Jungle Eco Hotel Tena