My experience with Surtrek was…

Here you will find comments and reviews by Surtrek clients on their trips to Galapagos, Mainland Ecuador, and South America.

24 thoughts on “My experience with Surtrek was…

  1. Bernd Bassalleck, Albuquerque, NM, USA on said:

    My wife and I just completed a 5-day tour around the Cotopaxi volcano and the stunning Quilotoa loop – overall an excellent trip and wonderful experience. Sofia Oña from Surtrek was extremely helpful, competent, and very responsive throughout the planning phase and beyond. Our guide, Marcial Vasquez, is an outstanding mountain guide, who was always willing to adjust to our wishes, condition, altitude acclimatization (very important!), and he had daily options available, which we highly appreciated.

    Stunning & diverse scenery, spectacular flora with incredible variety of blooming plants/flowers, of course fantastic hiking opportunities, nice accommodations, interesting and colorful experiences at several local markets, etc. Only fly in the ointment, not to be blamed on Surtrek nor on Marcial: too many clouds, unfortunately, i.e. never really experienced the full vista of those volcanoes. The Quilotoa crater lake is truly spectacular and the local community-based Quilotoa Shalala lodge, wonderfully located just below the crater rim, very much deserves business. Hacienda La Cienega is also a marvelous, very different, experience. Staying two nights at Tambopaxi within the Cotopaxi National Park proved to be just right for us as well.

    Overall we can only highly recommend Surtrek without any reservations, and we plan to use them again for future South American adventures.

  2. A. Arima, California on said:

    We booked our Galapagos/Peru trip through Surtrek and are very glad that we did. They were very responsive through many emails setting up the trip and patiently gave good answers to all our questions. All the complicated arrangements came through exactly as planned. We were met at every airport by the local guide and driver. Because Surtrek’s tours are private, we could adjust timing and what we saw during our guided tours to our preferences. Their local agents are very helpful and implemented changes on the fly for us. The local guides were all excellent — knowledgeable, good English and wonderful people to spend time with. Not only did we get everything that was promised, Surtrek threw in some extras that made the trip even better, such as a quick local city tour to fill in several hours we had between flights. If you are thinking of a trip to South America, I would highly recommend that you use Surtrek to make the arrangements for you.

  3. nakyoung park on said:

    My parent wanted to go to Peru and see Machu Picchu, Titicaca lake and Nazca Lines. Surtrek made a perfect customized plan for them. Travel agent who handle this was always kind, polite and supportive. My parent also wanted to go to Cuba and Mexico after Peru, but they couldn’t buy the flight ticket in US. Surtrek helped to buy the flight ticket to go to Cuba and go to Mexico from Cuba. During the Peru trip, my parent were very pleased with guides, who were very nice and took care of them well. I really thank Surtrek for giving my parent a wonderful trip and I will definitely use Surtrek for my trip to South America. (Surtrek asked us to pay the whole amount of money before the trip. It is for them to book hotels and flights and prepare other stuff for the trip. I was concerned but it turned out ok. No worries!)

  4. Leon Chen on said:

    It was woderful trip (Nov. 11 – 26, 2013), every details of the arrangement made by Surtrek is considerate, professional and with great care. The whole group of 15 members of Operation Earth expedtion team in cooperation with Chinese National Geography (CNG), were greatly touched and we had been taken great care of by Surtrek and your staff! Your professional services and your staff’s professional quality and manner have done credit for your beautiful country, Ecuador! Operation Earth hopes to cooperate with you on a long term basis and your continued support will be highly appreciated!

    Thanks so much again! Surtrek, a realiable travel partner and service provider of Operation Earth for our Galapagos Expedition program!

    Leon Chen
    CEO, Operation Earth

  5. Serena Tyra, USA on said:

    When planning our trip to the Galapagos, I researched a variety of travel companies for our holiday. I sent some emails to various companies and was extremely pleased with the responses from Surtrek. I worked with Margarita at Surtrek on creating a 16 day trip for 7 of us to Quito, the Amazon, the Galapagos and Otavalo. Margarita answered all of my questions, provided a variety of trip options and prices, and created the perfect holiday for us. Everything went so smoothly. We were met at the airport in Quito and were given an amazing tour of the city. Each time we went to the airport our transfer were very easy and everyone was extremely efficient and helpful. The guides Margarita arranged were extremely knowledgable and provided us with insights about Ecuador, the Galapagos, and all of the nature we saw. When in the Galapagos we met with the local Surtrek representative, Nora, and she went over the program with us and made any changes we wanted. She was wonderful too.Our guide in the Galapagos was with us for 8 days and he was fabulous. Ask for Che Che and you will have the best guide you can find!
    Everything about Surtrek was amazing. The hotels, the food, the tours. Everything exceeded our expectations. I cannot recommend Surtrek highly enough!

    Serena Tyra, USA

    Visited March 2013

    • Leon Chen on said:

      Operation Earth experienced the same, Surtrek is amazing! I fully agree with all your comments, especially the last sentence: It could not recomment Surtrek highly enough!

  6. Irene Alcock on said:

    I knew Surtrek was the company to arrange our trip to Ecuador when their representative Ligia responded so quickly to my initial inquiries and followed up on my every request promptly. I had contacted three other tour companies but none of them were as responsive as Surtrek and Ligia. So after four months of back and forth emails, requests, changes, suggestions, and planning, Ligia emailed our trip itinerary, we sent our deposit and we were off on our dream trip to Ecuador! And we were thrilled with the results! Everything was perfect….the tours, our wonderful guide Marcello, the fabulous accommodations, being met on time at the airports, all transports to hotels and more! We loved every moment of our trip and could not have done it without Ligia and Surtrek. I highly recommend them! They are simply THE BEST!!!

  7. sarah darwin on said:

    Marion was excellent. very helpful and friendly. She went to great effort to accomodate our needs. Everything went off without a hitch. Accomodation was just what we wanted. Clean, great location and within our budget. We also did a diving course through Sope diving which Marion booked for us. The dive master was great. Good fun, spoke excellent English and very professional.
    Thank you very very much! We could not have organised this trip ourselves as well as you did it for us…. No doubt about it!
    Sarah and James

  8. Alex on said:

    I had a great trip with the liveabord at Agressor II, everything was just perfect, the boat, the trip, the team and the dives. I would like to thank for all the support from Surtrek team, specially to Marion that helped me a lot to make my trip come true.

    thank you very much,
    all the best,
    Alex (Brazil)

  9. John Wirth on said:


    I called to see you and Carlos today. Unfortunately you were not there but I´m sure Carlos would have told you of my visit.

    I just felt I wanted to tell you blokes how grateful I was in taking up your offer of the trip on the Sagitta. Pablo it was great in every way possible. I could not complain about any aspect of the cruise. The guide, crew, yacht, room , food. Just everything was terrific.

    I leave early tomorrow morning for Santiago in Chile, so won´t get another opportunity of calling in to see you.

    Thanks once again and Pablo I´m so glad you revised your Pathetic offer. Ahahaaaaaaaaaaa

    Best wishes

    John Wirth

  10. Linda Bernstein on said:

    Thank you for arranging an amazing trip. Everything was wonderful but the highlight by far was the 5 days trekking in the Angamarca region with Marcial. The scenery and culture was astonishing, and Marcial was the perfect guide – he was encouraging, insightful, and had a great sense of humor. We hiked, we camped ( it was freezing !!) we stayed at some wonderful farms and hostels, we ate well, and we experienced a wonderful immersion into Kichewa culture. We are already planning our return !

  11. Surtrek on said:

    Dear Pablo,
    Thank you everything went perfectly well. Andres took good care of us. We loved the time at the lodge in Cuyabeno. It was so genuine and natural there and the crew was so knowledgable and helpful. Thank you so much for the recommendation of the real Amazonia-experience ;) and thank you in general for your constant support and advice. I really loved Ecuador and I’m going to tell people about it as well as I’m going to recommend your travel agency and you personally. I guess you already experienced that:)

    All the best to you and in case you’re coming back to Germany for travels you should definitely tell us…we know the Alps more then well;)

    Yours Elena

  12. Herlena and Richard Orellana on said:

    Dear Jenny,
    I know it’s been a long time since our vacation in Ecuador back in mid-July, but my husband, daughter and I want to thank you again for making our trip to the Galapagos extremely awesome! If you can recall, our trip to the Galapagos was not part of our itinerary, so we were hoping to find a company or someone trustworthy enough to arrange a last minute trip (3 days prior!). I have to say our prayers were answered! You were professional and very patient every step of the way and we are grateful that you spent the entire day arranging our land-based tours and giving us honest advice and opinion to help us decide what best suited our family trip. My husband and I also appreciated that your time and effort did not stop after we booked our trip. Being that it was our first time in Ecuador, we had plenty of questions to ask and it gave us comfort that you returned all our phone calls (even leaving us messages when our cell phones lost connection). Each tour was a one-of-a-kind experience. The Plazas was beautiful and snorkeling was fun (couple of harmless sharks and sea lions swimming by us) and Jacinto our guide was funny and pleasant. The Highlands tour which included Los Gemelos, lava tunnels and the giant tortoises farm was a short day, but Frederico, our guide, made it enjoyable. He was passionate about island preservation and animal protection. Seymour, by the way, did not disappoint—frigate birds and blue footed boobies nesting their chicks were everywhere in July! Going to Isabella, the water was choppy and boat was so fast, it made half of our group sick in their stomach, so thankfully, the island more than made up for it as it is gorgeous! All of the guides in our tours were professional, informative and sincerely kind. Never once did we feel that they were nice and friendly for the sole purpose of soliciting more business or tips, which is a feeling we often get when visiting other “touristy” places. We had a good mix of people in our group (North American, European and South American), the boats were clean and had ample space. The food served for lunch were delicious (either fish or chicken with rice and vegetables) and drinks were available for purchase separately if you didn’t bring any (sometimes fresh fruit juice was included with the meal). Also, snorkeling gear was available for rent in the boat, but you can bring your own, too! All in all, Galapagos vacation was one that will be hard to beat and we hope to return again. We are highly recommending Surtrek to our family and friends and anyone who wish to visit Ecuador. Thank you very much, Jenny, for making our vacation, as well as our daughter’s 15th birthday, incredibly memorable!

    Herlena Orellana
    New York City

    • Herlena and Richard Orellana on said:

      Of note to other website readers: Since we spent an entire day with Jenny arranging our trip, we learned that she speaks German, Spanish and English. She booked our trip from the Surtrek office in Quito. You may pay in cash, which we did. Paying in cash was not our first choice, but an extra percentage is charged if using a credit card and we wanted to save some money. Thankfully, we did not have any problem with our tours at all which proved we could trust and recommend them. I normally wouldn’t find time to write comments of our family trips, but thought Jenny truly deserves recognition.

  13. Surtrek on said:

    Dear Carlos,

    We (my sister and I) are now back in Europe from our wonderful Ecuadorian holidays. A large part of our vacations (two trips: one to Galapagos and the other to Cuyabeno Lodge) were arranged through Surtrek. We enjoyed both of them and it is impossible to say which trip was better. Since you were the one who arranged our trip to the jungle, we would like to thank you for arranging this short jungle getaway (in what I have to say was rather a short time).

    Everything was great, and even small delays couldn’t spoil anything. After all, we were in the jungle. ;-) It was a wonderful experience, made even better with the help of the enthusiastic and incredible staff at the lodge.

    Thank you again for making our holidays in Ecuador unforgettable. Both of us will definitely recommend Surtrek as well as Cuyabeno Lodge.

    Kind regards,
    Dijana Mitic

  14. Surtrek on said:

    Dear Sofia, I’m still in Ecuador, coming back to Italy on 17th August. Samba cruise was great and the guide (Juan Salcedo) was very friendly and informative. The only problem was that the sea was very rough, I had sea sickness patches but they did not work a lot. The cruise anyway was great, good boat, good food, amazing guide and friendly staff. Thanks and kind regards, Federica Novellini

    Sent from Libero Mobile

  15. Surtrek on said:

    The trip was excellent from beginning to end. The Isabella II was a fine ship and the crew and guides were all of the highest quality. I would recommend them to others. For us, the ship was the perfect size – not too small and not too large – and we were lucky with the number of passengers. The food was very good and the meals well-planned and well-timed.
    As a matter of further interest, the Oro Verde was an excellent hotel, particularly our service and accommodations on the Club Floor at the beginning and the end of our trip. Again, the staff was most welcoming and helpful, fully extending themselves at every opportunity. The location is also excellent for spending some time in the center of the city.
    Finally, your restaurant recommendations were superb! We ate at both restaurants and had wonderful meals each time. And, as you also suggested, we visited the Malecón and the Las Peñas neighborhood and also the diorama exhibit with the history of Guayaquil, under the IMAX Theater – all time well spent!
    So, in summary, we have the highest of praise for your assistance and the arrangements you made for us and for your help in all aspects of the planning of our trip. We will recommend you and your company to others and expect that they will have as wonderful a trip as we did.
    Again, our thanks!
    Walter Squire

  16. Surtrek on said:

    The trip to the Galapagos was really fantastic! Although it was quite short, the trip itinerary made time for us to do quite a lot of things. Everything went very smoothly, too. The guides were all really great and knowledgeable. And the hotel was really nice and in a great location. I can’t think of anything that could have improved the trip – it was amazing! Thanks for planning such a great trip, it made for a wonderful experience in the Galapagos!

    Maggie Clark

  17. Surtrek on said:

    I enjoyed the scenery and the exotic wildlife on the islands very much. The airport transfers in both directions went smoothly and the service on board was very good.

    Nikola Dimitrov

  18. Surtrek on said:

    The Galapagos experience was absolutely amazing. Not just the abundant sea life and incredible spots, but also your professionalism and passion for your work turned my trip into an unforgettable holiday.

    Jan Bartos
    Czech Republic

  19. Surtrek on said:

    We had a great time in the jungle. Our experience was amazing. Can’t wait to tell you more about it. Will send photos soon.

    Michael McLane

  20. Surtrek on said:

    I want to thank you for arranging a perfect tour for me. I know you did not have control over who the other people would be, but it all, on all fronts, was perfect. The itinerary was sensational and the boat fabulous.
    Your co-workers who were on the tour were so lovely.
    Again, thank you,
    Risa Steinberg

  21. Surtrek on said:

    I was very happy in every way with your booking and Cuyabeno Lodge. It surpassed my expectations in every way. No hitches with flights and transportation. The lodge was beautiful. The staff was professional and friendly. Our guide, Gilver, was amazing and made sure as a non-Spanish speaker that I understood and saw everything he pointed out. I was truly impressed with the way he spotted everything from insects to monkeys to macaws. We even had the unexpected pleasure of seeing a river dolphin. I will be booking this trip again around the beginning of March. I wish to try out more of the fishing in the area.

    Thank you very much,

    Tim Matheson
    Manitoba Canada

  22. Surtrek on said:

    Tanks Dominic, we hope you visit