We booked a day tour with Juan Carlos (JC) at the very last minute after another tour operator cancelled on us. We made the request at 9am and by 9:40 JC had picked us up in his van and we were on our way. Twenty minutes later we asked if he was available for the next three days – it was immediately obvious how much knowledge and passion he has for the history, people and wildlife of Ecuador and we were already having fun. Over the next three days JC developed a customized itinerary to suit our interests. JC isn’t the type of guide to just point out a landmark, let you snap a few pictures and then move on. He will know the full history of the site, the names of all the plants and animals, and usually has an interesting story or two that you would never find in a guidebook. He also takes pictures of you (we rarely get pics together when travelling!) and makes sure you are satisfied before pointing out the next interesting landmark, plant or animal. He is also a foodie and the stops we made on our food tour were delicious, and included the BEST meal we had during our 3 week trip (pork 3 ways from Cosa Finas de La Florida with cooked plantains, potatoes, hominy and a sour salsa). During all our food sampling (street vendors to restaurants) he made sure the food was prepared in a way so we wouldn’t get sick (no contact with tap water) which let us worry less and enjoy more. We would strongly recommend booking JC for your next tour in Ecuador – you will enjoy your travels so much more with him as your guide!
Meghan & Tom