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Reviews of our family adventures

William Hargreaves
18th Sep 2012
I rate this trip
4
Elephant Paradise - Family Holiday

The wildlife in general, birdlife in particular

[Least enjoyed] I really thought the overnight camping was totally pointless. I am a keen camper but regarded this as an unnecessary event. Camping on a beach, an island or a cliff by the sea would have been great; but camping on a gravel ledge in a tea plantation was no fun. And that decision was made before my daughter had her favourite book ruined by rain pouring in through the leaky tent and soaking our belongings.  I also found the two days at the beach rather frustrating and the trip notes misleading. They said we would be staying at Tangalla which, acccording to my Lonely Planet guidebook, has places to eat and idyllic safe beaches a short distance to one side (I think it was to the west) of the village. When we arrived at the hotel, I discovered that we were many kilometres from Tangalla or any town or village or safe beach. The hotel was great, and on the beach side, but the location meant that it was always too dangerous to go into the sea. Furthermore, there was only the hotel restaurant to eat for three days and, although it was good, it was a bit repetitive. My daughter is a keen swimmer and even brought her snorkel set; she was frustrated at not being allowed in the sea and I was quite stressed at having to watch her constantly (as we walked on the beach) to make sure she stayed out of the water.See above regarding the negative aspects.  Most of the trip was thoroughly enjoyable. We loved the nature reserve, seeing elephants and other animals in the wild. The actual elephant ride was ok but I did not like seeing elephants in chains and would rather have given up the chance to ride an elephant and have them released into the nature reserve instead.

Hotels varied remarkably. I guess this was down to location. e.g. the first (and last) night's hotel (Tamarind Tree) was perhaps the most expensive in terms of meals, but the setting (bungalows under palm trees) and location (ten minutes from the airport) more than made up for this. The Kandy hotel and food were pretty grim but quite close to the city so I suppose there was a lot of demand. The hotel near Tangalle was luxurious and not at all expensive, but as mentioned earlier, the location frustrated me. I can go to a luxurious hotel in the Mediterranean and lounge by the pool.

He (Pathiraja) was just superb. We quickly learnt to trust him and he quickly realised that if we said "we don't want to visit a silk factory" or "can you arrange a bullock cart ride" (great for birdwatching, by the way) he would comply with our requests.  I don't need to go on other than to say he was extremely helpful at all times.

Mr H - Travelled in August 2012

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Charles Lateusmith
11th Sep 2012
I rate this trip
5
Tropical Island Paradise

Many but summarised below: The day on the lake in the jungle (Khao Sok), The social element with the other families and the guide, Snorkelling from boat at Ko Taen and visit/lunch on Ko Mudsum- a personal trip arranged by ourselves after we split from the tour (we stayed 9 extra nights on Koh Samui)but would thoroughly recommend it, The whole atmosphere of Thailand - the people, the markets, the landscape etc.

[Least enjoyed] Arriving very tired at Bangkok at 09:30 in the morning after a 14 hour flight from London and the rooms not being available until the afternoon when all we wanted was some sleep.

Whilst I enjoyed the trip to the Ang thong Marine National Park (additional excursion) it should have been a highlight of the trip but felt it was just too touristy.  Perhaps this trip should have been part of the arranged itinerary and this would have allowed The Adventure Company to have chartered a boat just for the group and not having to share a boat with 20 other people.

I was dispapointed that we did not stay in a beach bungalow on Koh Samui as described in the itinerary.  The hotel provided (Buddy Samui) was separated from the beach by a busy road and therefore was not ideal - the location of the other accomodation was great. 

The guide (Raht)was excellent and my children still miss her

Mr L -  Travelled in August 2012

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Catherine Halls
11th Sep 2012
I rate this trip
5
Teens on the Trail

Inca trail,rainforest stay

 

[least enjoyed] iberia flights-3 hour delay from heathrow so missed flight to lima-managed appallingly by iberia and missed day in lima at start of holiday. Reports from other travellers were that iberia were always unreliable. Despite knowing when we were at heathrow that we would need overnight accomodation in madrid it took 4 horus to get a bed-it was 4am before anyone got a room. I would not want to travel with iberia again

 

No complaint but itinery states that night in chincero is with local family but in fact was in hotel-no contact with locals.

 

Hotel midori in cusco-excellent and rainforest lodge-stunning

 

 

 

David quillahuoman mescco our guide was excellent- I cannot fault him. One of the best we have had via the adventure company. Please pass on our comments to "base camp-peru"

Mrs H - Travelled in August 2012

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Catherine Halls
11th Sep 2012
I rate this trip
5
Teens on the Trail

Inca trail,rainforest stay

 

[least enjoyed] iberia flights-3 hour delay from heathrow so missed flight to lima-managed appallingly by iberia and missed day in lima at start of holiday. Reports from other travellers were that iberia were always unreliable. Despite knowing when we were at heathrow that we would need overnight accomodation in madrid it took 4 horus to get a bed-it was 4am before anyone got a room. I would not want to travel with iberia again

 

No complaint but itinery states that night in chincero is with local family but in fact was in hotel-no contact with locals.

 

Hotel midori in cusco-excellent and rainforest lodge-stunning

 

 

 

David quillahuoman mescco our guide was excellent- I cannot fault him. One of the best we have had via the adventure company. Please pass on our comments to "base camp-peru"

Mrs H - Travelled in August 2012

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Katherine Douglass
11th Sep 2012
I rate this trip
5
Viva Cuba! Young Photographer

Working with Julio on both the photography (of which he was very knowledgeable and an excellent teacher) and the 'Cowboy Day' when his knowledge of horses became very apparent. My daughter loved riding her horse (despite a minor incident of her first horse bolting, Julio sorted her out with a different calmer horse for the rest of the ride). The end of the day was finished off perfectly by a staged photography session, in which we experimented with speed and ISO settings to capture water spray as a horse galloped round a car in the river. Julio offered useful guidance throughout this session.

[Least enjoyed] Some of the hotels were very basic, although I had expected this to an extent as being part of the charm of Cuba, I didn't expect to have a hotel with no cold water - Vinales - (my daughter was scalded in the shower), another hotel with no hot water - Varadero - and very unhelpful staff and in the same hotel, beds with bedbugs and biting ants. Having said that some of the hotels were delightful, particularly Santa Clara and Trinidad.

There was a good mix of culture and relaxation, although there were some very long walking days at the beginning while our guide got used to the capabilities of the children. Once he understood the importance of time in the pool at the end of the day, the structure became much better.  Our first photography teacher, Harold, was a lovely person. Unfortunately he wasn't a very good teacher. It may be because he naturally speaks very quietly, or that his grasp of English wasn't as good as it needed to be. He gave a brilliant presentation of everyones photographs at the end of our stay at Vinales, but I couldn't say what I learnt from him. This was in contrast to Julio who had a clear structure, clear lessons which were well explained.

Most of the hotels were very good. The children were delighted by the various animals that lived in the hotels.  However some of the hotels were not very good (as I have stated previously). Vinales had no cold water, and an air con system that didn't work. Varadero had bedbugs, biting ants and no hot water (a quite disappointing end to and otherwise amazing holiday)

 

Ari was initially surprised by the number of children in the group (he did say that he had not worked with so many before) and it took him a while to understand that the children needed shorter days, with more time in the pool at the end. But once he had realised this he was a very good trip leader.

 

Miss D - Travelled in August 2012

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Stephen Batchelor
11th Sep 2012
I rate this trip
5
Viva Cuba! - Family holiday

Overall variety - really enjoyed every day

[Least enjoyed] A coupel of the hotels were very basic (one swimming pool was like pea soup)

 

Our guide, Las (Cuba, 6 - 17 August 2012) was exceptional.  He really made the holiday.He was truly excellent and a great credit to The Adventure Company & Cuba

 

Mr B - Travelled in August 2012

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Josianne Heddle
11th Sep 2012
I rate this trip
4

To stay in Varadero for 1 day at the end was a real treat. I really enjoyed the cultural/ historical aspects of this holiday ie museums/ cigar factory/ trip with old car in Havana.

[Least enjoyed] In Vinales we went into a cave as part of the programme and I did not think it was anything special at all!

otherwise, I felt the trip was well balanced between cultural/historical and relaxation. It enabled us to get a good overview of Cuban society within a short space of time.

Some places we stayed at exceeded my expectations, while others were ok but could have been made much better with the absence of sewage smell or cockerel singing at 4 O'clock in the morning and noisy air conditioning preventing a good night rest.

Mrs H - Travelled in August 2012

 


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Carol Baines
11th Sep 2012
I rate this trip
5
Natural Magic - Family holiday

Watching the turtle laying eggs.  Canyoning, zipwire & rafting (optional activity).  Manuel Antonio NP and the beach.  Hotel at Monetverde.  Animals!!  The crocodile park - optional but should have bben a standard thing: we nearly didn't do it which would have been a shame.  Gustavo was great guide.

[Least enjoyed] The brochure described Arenal as active and described walking up the volcano and seeing lava. Technically it is active, but there has been no life for two years and it is not possible to go near the crater. This was very misleading and upset several people who were especially looking forward to that.  The last day was a bit of a waste, a filler. We left Manual Antonio on Friday AM to go to San Jose for flight on Saturday PM. Either we could have left on Saturday to go straight to the airport, with another day on the beach, or had an organised activity in San Jose. The hotel did not have a pool so kids could not just play that AM.

The packing list was misleading. It should mention shoes for activities: walking sandals (Teva etc) would be ideal, but flip-flops & crocs were not suitable for rafting or zipwires. It also said to bring warm clothes & walking boots but those weren't needed, but light long clothes were needed for hot buggy evenings.

The hotel in San Jose didn't have a pool. Not a problem for short stay (eg arrival night) but irritating for kids when we had most of Saturday to kill on departure.  The hotel in Monteverde was lovely: a definite step up and much appreciated.  Generally accomodation was good.

 

Gustavo was excellent: everything a guide should be.  Helpful, efficient and knwoledgeable.  Freddy the driver was also great.

Mrs B  Travelled in August 2012


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Imogen Forbes
6th Sep 2012
I rate this trip
5
Active Turkey - Family Holiday

2 day gulet boat trip seeing a turtle swimming next to the boat. sleeping on deck and looking for shooting stars

everything was perfect

breakfast was not as good as I had expected(coffee from a vending machine)

the guide was exceptional he was very good with the teenage children and interesting and informative for the adults. He went out of his way to accomodate everyone's particular interests. He also had a great sense of humour. The week was exceptional partly because of his input.

 

Mrs F - Travelled in August 2012


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Imogen Forbes
6th Sep 2012
I rate this trip
5
Active Turkey - Family Holiday

2 day gulet boat trip seeing a turtle swimming next to the boat. sleeping on deck and looking for shooting stars

everything was perfect

breakfast was not as good as I had expected(coffee from a vending machine)

the guide was exceptional he was very good with the teenage children and interesting and informative for the adults. He went out of his way to accomodate everyone's particular interests. He also had a great sense of humour. The week was exceptional partly because of his input.

 

Mrs F - Travelled in August 2012


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