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- Adventures Within Reach Reviews
The safari was great, although very busy and lots of driving. Food at the lodges was very good. The variety in accommodation was nice - the tented camp was prob my favorite. I saw more animals than I thought I would - everything you would imagine! Being a single traveler, it is difficult to find set departure safaris to join at a reasonable price. I also liked the variety in accomodation offered.
5-day Safari, March 2015
The guides for both Kilimanjaro and the safari were more knowledgeable and experienced than we could have imagined. The porters do a miraculous job. Since we were just two trekkers with a guide and assistant guide (himself actually also a guide), we each had our own personal hero to help us out when we had our inevitable individual low point or crisis. And they always knew the right thing to say to keep our confidence up. Thanks to them we made it to the top!
7-day Machame Trek + 5-day Safari, February 2015
My Kilimanjaro guide, Rashid, was extremely knowledgeable and competent. His guidance was key to my successful summit. It was clear that his group of porters worked together very well, and were a good team. They were supportive of my trip and always positive. The food was good, especially the soup each evening. Summiting at Uhuru Peak was a great feeling!! Loved the Kilimanjaro song the guide and porters sang on the last day.
My husband really liked the hot air balloon ride over the Serengeti. And of course, all the animals were amazing. Our safari guide, Charles Goodluck, was wonderful in spotting animals, and took the time to explain the reasons for the animal migration and many characteristics we would have missed had he not taken the time to point them out.
Robin Paschall was very responsive to my questions, both by phone and by e-mail. Her availability and openness was definitely a factor in my decision.
7-day Machame Trek + 5-day Safari, January - February 2015
Exceeded expectations - much more high endan expected, great accommodations and good food!
New York, US
5-day Safari, December 2014
Trekking and hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu was an amazing experience. The whole trip exceeded expectations and each day was full of wonder and joy for me.
The guides were excellent and I would not have been able to complete the trek without their positivity, support, patience and encouragement. The porters were amazing, in addition to also providing encouragement when they passed me along the trail numerous times. The meals were restaurant quality (and the cooks baked me a great birthday cake!).
Barbara, you are awesome! I was anxious about a lot of things during this trip but one thing that I was always comfortable about were the trip arrangements. Clear, timely and detailed where appropriate. And always positive!
I loved everything about this trip! This was a trip of firsts for me: first trip to South America and Peru; first hike; first camping trip; first use of hiking gear; first time dealing with high altitudes; etc and I arrived in Cusco with a great deal of anxiety after 2 days of traveling (Fiji--Korea--USA--Peru). I started strongly but ran out of steam BEFORE lunch on the first day, suffering from dehydration and sunstroke. At that point I was seriously considering turning back and taking the train to Machu Picchu instead, I mean this was the meant to be the easy part of the hike! That I made it is testament to the excellent guides, Nep and Saul, the group I was with (I got lucky, they were kind, patient and encouraging) and a lot of self-reflection so that I was able to dig deep. Arriving at the Sun Gate and looking down at Machu Picchu with a great bunch of people felt so satisfying and so fulfilling; a dream come true.
5-day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Trek
Me and Sucheta want to personally thank you for being patient and working with us on this trip for several months. We had a great time hiking in the Machu Picchu and also later in northern coast of Peru discovering pre-Inca cultures and visiting those sites. Thanks again for being helpful through out the process and also wanted to mention that Explorandes was a wonderful team to work with.
5-day Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu
Amazon Rainforest excursion: Oh, wow! Great guides, food, lodging!!! Lake Titicaca excursion: Wow! Terrific guide, unbelievable reed villages, wonderful Isle Taquile. Great home stay!
Cusco city tour: I took double decker bus tour. Fabulous for only 20 soles! 1.5 hours! Great museums. Good to have the 15 places punch card. Sacred Valley tour: Fabulous! Great views, fun, folks, food! Guide - excellent! Halloween night in Cusco was unbelievable! Parents, trick-or-treaters, buses, cars, travelers EVERYWHERE, The next day you would never have known it! This city knows how to clean up fast!
The train ride [to Machu Picchu] was awesome! I loved it! Lots to see, many photos, and even a delicious "snack" going to M.P. (not coming home). Wonderful train staff. Lima city tour: We took a double-decker bus tour. Very nice! Nice airport hotel!
It was soooo easy to move from one part of Peru to another because to the transfer agents. They always had our tickets to the next place, were very punctual, and we never had to worry about a thing!
3-day Amazon Rainforest Excursion + 1/2 day Cusco City Tour + 1-day Sacred Valley Tour + 3-day Cusco tours + Vistadome train to Aguas Calientes + 3-day Lake Titicaca and the Floating Isles Excursion
October - November 2015
Amazon Rainforest excursion: Accommodations were a nice surprise. I didn't know what to expect, but what we had was very comfortable and fit well with the experience. I am very glad we had a cabana rather than a lodge room. The cabana cooled off well at night, while the lodge rooms retained the heat especially after the generator went off at night and the ceiling fan stopped. Food was delicious. Guides and day tours were interesting and enjoyable. The transfers to each activity and the airport was smooth, that made things comfortable and worry free.
Elkin was a great leader of the support team; porters, chef, etc. He also managed the [Machu Picchu] trekking team very well. We were an even[ly] matched and experienced group of trekkers, so our pace was steady although not fast. We took very few breaks, which was our preference, and thus arrived in camp 1-2 hours earlier than expected. Elkin did a great job administrating things so the support staff could succeed at their duties and still allow us to hike at our pace. For instance, after the first day we chose not to have a large cooked lunch on the trail. We chose some simple sandwiches and hot drink. This allowed the cook tent and dining tent to go on to the camp site. We then arrived in camp each day between 1:00 and 2:00 and had the cooked lunch at that time. Great adjustment.
Lake Titicaca excursion: Terrific serendipity!! We had no idea what to expect. It was fabulous. The home stay with Huatta a great cultural experience, and comfortable.
Let me just say it this way, we are considering a Kilimanjaro trip for next fall. If we go, I will definitely consider AWR as our agency. When I compared the services supplied by AWR and the accommodations chosen by AWR, to the other agencies represented in our trekking group, AWR wins hands down! Also, Exploreandes is a top rate organization. I like the way they treat their staff, the environment, and their professionalism. Great company!
3-day Amazon Rainforest Excursion + 1/2 day Cusco City Tour + 1-day Sacred Valley Tour + 5-day Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu + 3-day Lake Titicaca and the Floating Isles Excursion
October - November 2015
[Our guides] provided excellent information and personal attention when needed. I appreciate our guides – both were friendly, fun and personable throughout the whole adventure and they really looked out for our group. They made this trip very memorable for all of us. We had a great time.
Other than the amazing adventure in and of itself, the outfitter really made this trip execute flawlessly and is what I liked best. We were able to trust in our transfer agents to get us where we needed to be and I can’t say enough good things about our trek guides and their crew. Excellent, professional and personable.
5-day Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu
100% likely to recommend AWR to all and everyone!
My favorite part was Canon de la Vieja. The rafting (actually a blow up kayak) was totally fun, it was a nice resort. We also enjoyed the hiking there a whole lot, we did a hike on our own after the guided hike, which was really great. Monte Verde was also great as was Arenal area!
10-Day Custom Independent Budget Trip, December 2015 - January 2016
Very glad we went with the zip lines at Sky Trek in Monteverde (per your suggestion). What an implausible thing that is. The walking tour hike through there (it included the swing bridges) also was excellent. Saw some howler monkeys and a coati in the trees. We spent an entire day in the Monteverde Cloud Forest. The guide turned out to be a son of one of the founders of the Quaker community there, and his comments and tour were just beyond stellar. I can't remember a time in many years when I have enjoyed a community experience more than with that tour with that guide.
9-Day Custom Independent Budget Trip, August 2015
First of let me thank you for this trip, it was AWESOME. We would certainly recommend (already did :-) ) AWR to everybody even people we met there - it’s a 10. It is really hard to say which part was the best, but, probably the sight seeing of nature, the birds, monkeys, snakes, frogs, etc. Every part of the trip had something really special about it. Our trip went perfectly. Mélanie and me want to thank you for the great job you did planning this trip for us, we have memories that will last a lifetime and pictures to prove it :-)
St-Hubert, Quebec, Canada
15-Day Custom Family Trip, February-March 2015
Favorite part was in Manuel Antonio because that’s the place we finally got some good weather. The beach was great, and we went to the park and also did a boat trip. We also enjoyed an afternoon in San Jose after rescheduling our pickup in MA from afternoon to morning, saw the Gold and Jade museums and wandered around the town a little.
Washington, D.C., USA
11-Day Custom Costa Rica Trip, February 2015
The selected venues, the quality of the hotels, and the efficiency and friendliness of the inter-bus drivers was excellent. As l have said in a previous email, your website, booking, and general care that you were offering what we wanted was also excellent. We both felt the trip represented very good value for money. We would and will unreservedly recommend you in the future.
15-Day Independent Budget Grand Explorer Trip, January-February 2015
I would be very likely to recommend AWR to friends and in fact I already have. Our arrival in San Jose was smooth and the pickup/transfer was easy. The hotel was very pleasant and I would recommend it. The rooms were pretty and the view was nice. Our transport the next day to Arenal was also easy and good. We liked the Arenal Springs Resort in terms of the rooms, the springs and grounds. The service was great and the facilities were nice. Our favorite part of the trip was Tamarindo. We really enjoyed Tamarindo. The hotel was great and the location was good. And, what's not to love about the beach. I liked Tamarindo because it didn't fee so commercial and stylized.
8-Day Custom Family Trip to Arenal, Monteverde, and Tamarindo, January 2015
Guide was nothing short of excellent - went above and beyond in all departments. Excellent safari! Saw all the Big 5 up close plus other exciting animals and sights.
5-Day Kenya Nakaru and Mara Safari + Mara Balloon Safari, November 2013
Our safari exceeded our expectations from the moment we arrived in Nairobi. Welcomed everywhere we went, friendly people who couldn't do enough to make sure you were happy, beautiful weather and an abundance of every type of animal we could think of. Truly an amazing experience! Eric, our guide in Kenya and Godlisten in Tanzania were awesome! Friendly, funny guys with lots of knowledge of the parks and country. Lodges were really nice and our tented camps in Tanzania were awesome!
7-day Safari, February 2012
Himalayas - Bhutan, India, Nepal, & Tibet
I’m very happy with your services. Everything went according to plan and our guide and driver were very nice. I really enjoyed the day when we went to the arts and trade school. It was nice to see how the students were producing wonderful textiles, wood carving and paintings. Also the hike to the Tiger’s Nest was great.
Overall, Bhutan is a very nice country to visit. The lack of mass tourism makes it a very unique place and the whole country has a very authentic feeling to it. I’d probably recommend people going there to try to do a few short hikes in the mountains, which are really beautiful.
New York, US
Bhutan, April 2015
Thank you for helping make our visit of India, Nepal, and Bhutan very memorable. Everything was well organized from start to finish. (...) We had a great time visiting many wonderful places in India. We grew quite fond of our driver Manohar over the nine days we spent there. Our guides in each of the cities were very good and knowledgeable, and we did see a Bengal tiger on our first safari.
We were very happy with our Everest Base Camp Trek guide Nawong, and Tul our porter. In Kathmandu we enjoyed our guide Dickshya's enthusiasm and commentary, and Surya the driver with his calm and kind disposition. The sights were incredible (...).
Our Bhutan tour was excellent with lots of interesting sights to see and again a good driver (Sam), and a great guide called Dorgi. Throughout the trip our hotels were very good without being stuffy or pretentious. We were happy with the choices. All were clean and most had a local flavour. All the included breakfasts were quite good as well. If we were to do it again, we would plan to spend an extra night or two in the Neemrana Fort hotel. We were sorry to have to leave so soon. (...)
Overall, it was a very interesting trip. Thanks again for helping make it all possible.
India, Nepal Everest Base Camp, & Bhutan May 2013
We had a wonderful time and was probably one of the best trips we have ever taken. The people were amazing! My wife and I have been to several places around the world and we can honestly say our tour guide, Tashi Dorji, was by far the best tour guide we have ever had. On our second day we had "traveler's sickness" and was confined to our room for almost a day. Tashi tended to us like we were in a hospital. He went into town and got us banana's and drinks to get rehydrate us.
The destinations that we went to were perfect for the 7 days we were there. I would not have changed anything. The festival was just amazing.
Bhutan, March 2011
The trip was excellent. Swimming with the sea lions but also the breeding grounds of the myriad of birds. I would also commend Victor. He was an excellent, informative, passionate guide who was prepared to challenge anyone in a positive constructive manner who did not abide by the rules.
8-Day Galapagos Cruise, July 2015
We loved the cruise! We are so glad we upgraded to the suite, as it was so spacious. Our naturalist Harry on the cruise was also really well educated and was so interesting to listen to him tell all about the different birds, reptiles etc. on each of the islands. We were also very impressed with the meals on board. We always had healthy, veggie options and healthy snacks were available every time we came back from an excursion, we loved that! The crew was great and even the captain snorkeled with us on occasion. We made so many new international friends on board also. We loved the size of the Anahi since there were only 16 people on board - it made for such a much more personal experience. We cannot wait to be able to take our kids to the Galapagos some day, as it was the best trip I can remember ever taking. AMAZING.
The San Cristobal dive program was good but if I had it to do all over again I would have rather continued on a few more days on the cruise. The diving was good but we have dived in other amazing places and the snorkeling on the cruise with the seals, turtles etc. was superior to the diving at San Cristobal. Quito was great, beautiful city! Again I cannot thank AWR enough. Our trip was just wonderful!!!!
5-Day Galapagos Cruise + 4-Day Dive Program on San Cristobal, June 2015
The 10 year old twins had a blast! They were the only children in our group of 16 in Galapagos but assimilated well with the group and provided a lot of levity with their questions. We saw a tortoise in the wild halfway thru our volcano hike in Isabela and they wanted to know how long it took the animal to get up as high as we were. The rest of the group started calling out the variables such as, how far the tortoise can walk in an hour, how many meters we were above sea level, etc. Then a debate ensued because the answer did not factor if they walked straight up or zigzagged their way up or if they even started from town in the first place. I asked them what they enjoyed the most and surprisingly the answer was the hikes and speedboat rides! The middle of the world tour in Quito was also a hit. We started there first, and probably stayed longer than normal because they were enjoying the experiments. Since we were the only group in the tour, Patricia, the guide was very accommodating as long as we didn't mind taking the time away from some of the colonial portion of the itinerary. Thanks again. I already had a couple of inquiries on how I arranged the trip and gave them the link to Adventures within reach.
5-Day Galapagos Highlights Tour + 1-Day Quito City Tour and Equator, June 2015
Our Galapagos trip was beautiful! Thank you so much for helping with us to organize this trip for us and being very patient with me. The weather was beautiful during the entire trip and our favorite parts were definitely seeing a sea turtle while snorkeling and playing with the sea lions. Oswaldo is a great guide and the Nemo III is an amazing boat. I think everything was great and the only thing that could've been better was having more time. The food was fantastic too! It was incredible the quality of the food onboard such a small boat.
As for feedback for the booking process, I think you have an excellent help and very patient with my decision making. Also, the promptness of e-mail responses was exceptional, which makes a very large difference. Again, thank you for helping us plan such an amazing honeymoon!
4-Day Galapagos Cruise, January 2015
I wanted to tell you what an excellent trip we had. Thank you for reservations and recommendations. We have a fabulous time at Sacha Lodge. The expeditions were perfect, the food was excellent and the people were warm and very friendly. Both the hotels in Quito were good. Your recommendation to change to Patio Andaluz is very much appreciated. It was so close to the main center and the food was thoroughly enjoyed.
5-Day Ecuador Amazon Excusion, November 2014
Argentina / chile
AWR rocks!!!!! [Our group's] trip was "perfect", other than a couple of things outside of [AWR's] control. The entire trip was wonderful and amazing. [I] loved everything about the lodges, food, and excursions. Patagonia of course had an advantage with the amazing view. Easter Island had the best food although all of the food was great. In Atacama the hiking was a highlight. [We] also loved Antarctica XXI, Uncorked services, and Ilaia Hotel in Punta Arenas.
Chile - Torres del Paine, Antarcti Classic Fly Cruise, Santiago, Vina del Mar, Easter Island, and Atacama
December 2014 - January 2015
We had an incredible trip and have only positive things to say... We couldn't believe how close we got to the whales - both in our kayaks and on shore. The sea lions were another highlight, we felt like we had a bunch of friends following us. The trekking was an added bonus, we didn't realize there would be so much of it and that it would be so beautiful. We can't say enough about Pablo and Sofia! He was so knowledgeable in history, marine life, the peninsula and provided so many interesting facts. He was also a pleasure to travel with and as a guide. His ability to whip up delicious meals with only 2 pans and a camp stove was incredible. He was also very proficient in packing 5 days worth of supplies in 4 kayaks - with room to spare.
From the time that Sofia picked us up at the Trelew airport to the time that Pablo dropped us off ..., we felt like we were in very good hands and that we were among friends. Pablo and Sofia truly made it a very special experience and a trip of a lifetime.
Argentina, Peninsula Valdes Sea Kayaking
The trip was outstanding! I honestly can't think of anything I would change! The guides and people we interacted with were outstanding!
Being able to see the Antarctic wildlife was also just stunning. Where else can you kayak and have schools of 30 penguins (or so) cruising and jumping out of the water next to you? Everything is just so beautiful!
One of the many highlights of our trip to Antarctica was the opportunity to go camping on the continent. Being able to have light 24 hours a day eliminated the need for flashlights and the scenery of being able to see the mountains named Snow White and the seven dwarfs was tough to beat anywhere. The double sleeping bags with a bivy cover along with pads kept you plenty warm. And besides where else in the world can you go camping and have penguins strutting up to you and checking you out. If the penguins could talk, what would they say?
Thanks for helping us set up the trip. It was definitely a trip of a lifetime!
12-day Antarctica on the Plancius
We loved Botswana, the National Parks, and our Safaris. Camp Linyanti was special because we were the only visitors. So, we had private safari’s for 3 days with Moses. He was a great guide and host. It was a little remote which is why tourists may not go there and it was more rustic (with the shower outside). There were no electric fences, so animals (elephants, hippos, wart hogs, and baboons) roamed our camp at night which was very authentic. The food was very good and the service is fantastic. On the last night, the 5 hosts entertained us with singing and dancing, but we quickly joined in the merriment. We only saw 1 other jeep each day. We saw elephants, hippos, crocodiles, wart hogs, giraffes, kudu, baboons, etc.
Camp Moremi and Camp Xugana were owned by the same company and are run very well. It is a more elegant experience than Camp Linyanti but not necessarily better. Just slicker with nicer accommodations. Again, we only saw one or two of the camp’s jeeps or boats each day. So, there are never crowded situations. Since we went on numerous jeep safaris, it was nice to do the boat and walking safaris at Camp Xugana. They had the best Boma.
In Moremi, we saw lions, wildebeest, and all of the others from camp linyanti. In Xugana, we saw elephants and hippos from the boat which is a better way to see water animals. Also, we tracked and saw wild dogs. We did not see Rhinos or Leopards since they are in dryer areas (maybe Kalahari desert).
The luggage we took was perfect for the small planes. We bought Duffel bags on wheels from LL Bean measuring 22”x12”x12”.
The entire trip was very smooth. The guides, the pilots, the hosts are very pleasant and the service is excellent.
11-day Botswana + Vic Falls
OH...MY...GOODNESS!!! WHAT a wonderful trip!!!!!! Glenn and I had an absolutely fantastic visit to Rwanda. Everything went perfectly smoothly. It couldn't have been better. You know, we went there to see gorillas, but the conversations and time spent with our guide Mussa were the most memorable. Mussa should be the next Minister of Tourism. He was so welcoming, fun, charming, had a great sense of humor, an easy smile, and was quick to tease and laugh. We absolutely loved him...
Of course, the gorillas were fantastic. Our group, the Agaysha group, decided to spend a lot of time on the move, so it took a couple hours to find them. That was just what we wanted, a true tracking experience where we (well, the trackers) had to work a little find them in the wild. We would definitely encourage you to promote the golden monkeys. We felt that they were just as enjoyable as the gorillas. We could get so close and they were so beautiful.
Rwanda, July 2012
Just back from a very successful trip to Rwanda. What a stunning country, beautiful people and of course the gorillas! We visited Hirwa group which included a 2 day old baby. I'd have to say this will be in the top 5 experiences of a lifetime.
Rwanda, February 2012
There was no way to be prepared for the wonders of Sri Lanka. The country is spectacular--easy to travel, good infrastructure, exceptional tourist facilities, though few Americans were there. The country is unspoiled by tourism--people are open, trusting, and the environment is safe.
Our guide, PadmaSiri was terrific. He was knowledgeable about wildlife (a great bird spotter), culture, history, archaeology, religion --Buddhism, in particular--and just about everything. He was truly encyclopedic in his knowledge and told good stories. He was sensitive to our needs, and rearranged some of the itinerary to improve what had been planned.
7-Day Custom Journey to Sri Lanka, March 2014
Mt. blanc - European alps
As to the tour - enough cannot be said. Your directions, logistical information and clear procedures/instructions made the touchdown in Chamonix painless. Our Chamonix hotel was great and we got off the next day without a problem. The hike with Stefan and his colleague was well-organized, professional and punctual. Stefan and Isabelle really hustled, maintained a pleasant demeanor and kept us moving - all good. The inns at the end of the day were wonderful if a bit far from their respective villages. No big deal as we had great dinners, then crashed out. Little touches like having our luggage in our rooms when we arrived, always there waiting for us with the shuttle and having local products for our lunches meant a lot. We liked the side tour of the cheese factory and the local information on numerous other things along the way from Stefan. The hikes were the right amount of strenuousness. We did not want a cakewalk. The days were the right amount of hiking, breaking and length of time. The weather was perfect which I am sure made a huge difference.
8-Day Tour de Mont Blanc, August-October 2014