- Very poor experience and a loss of a lot of money23 May, 2013
Our Lares Trek was confirmed by our agent at STA Travel as an alternative to the Inca Trail that we had initially requested. Our agent informed us that the Lares Trek was very similar to the Inca Trail, just quieter and more beautiful. G Adventures also sent us a confirmation email, which included a link to the wrong 'trip details' for the Inca Trail. When questioned our STA agent said, "literally all details in those trip notes are the same for you, the only difference is that you are doing the Lares Trek instead of the Inca Trail day 3 and onwards." The email from G-Adventures also noted that our "final documentation will be sent by email 2 weeks before our departure." The fact that we were sent no such documentation did not bode well for the foreseeable trek.
On the 13th May we turned up at the stipulated meeting point, for our briefing. At this meeting the administrative incompitancies of STA Travel and G-Adventures continued to be highlighted. With little information, we found ourselves embarrassed and humiliated as everyone who was at the meeting had booklets of information. We were told important information about the Lares Trek for the first time, such as details of the itinerary, the packing list and the obligatory extra costs that the Lares Trek entailed. Having payed a considerable amount in advance for this trip, the last thing we were expecting was to have to take from our limited travel budget. We left unprepared and stressed, which started our "trip of a lifetime" on a bad note.
We would like to highlight the following as a significantly financial and emotional burden. On the 17th May we woke up in our campsite to very distressing news; a mule had died over night and another was in a critical state, both of which had been carrying our belongings and equipment for the previous 2 days. The clear sadness and panic of the horsemen impacted severely on our group; being witnesses to this emotional situation put us in a very difficult position, feeling collectively accountable for these terrible events. Our guide stressed the importance of these animals on their owners livelihoods and the disproportionately high price to buy another. Feeling responsible and guilt ridden, a fund was put together by all the group members of around $250. We would dread to think how we would feel if it was a horseman and not his mule who had died.
We are shocked by the lack of insurance that these contracted horsemen suffered, which we did not expect when booking through a globally established company like G-Adventures. If insurance had been correctly in place we would not have witnessed such an event or felt the brunt of its consequence.
We were obliged to carry our bags and were then taken past a field where the dead mule was exposed. As you could imagine this was a very upsetting scene. To avoid another uncomfortable situation we decided that it was only humane to cancel lunch to allow the horsemen to resolve the situation, again leading to further expenditure.
Throughout this emotionally straining day our guide was clearly very upset, unfriendly and distant. We were left mostly by ourselves to deal with the situation.
As a final point and "the cherry on the cake", we would like to make a disappointing note about the amount of trekking done, which was significantly less than stated. The reality is that we walked a total of 10 and a half hours, which is not remotely close to the 17 hours quoted on the G-Adventures site. To be honest we feel cheated out of a lot of money and lied to by our STA agent; we have been left saddened and disappointed with our experience.
Response from G Adventures:
Thank you for your well thought out review of your Lares Trek experience with us. We do take this feedback very seriously and we are sorry that this tour did not live up to your expectations. We are looking into your concerns regarding the documentation and will be in contact with you again soon about this. I also want to apologize for the unfortunate situation with the mules on this trek and I understand that this must have been distressing for all concerned. We have been in contact with our local operations office and have opened an investigation into this incident. I can assure you that all staff and guides are covered by insurance but we do need to investigate further to determine the cause of the incident and to see what better action could have been taken to minimize the impact to our clients and staff. Once again we will be in contact with you directly to discuss these issues.
Sincerely, G Adventures
- Impressive7 May, 2013
The tour was impressive. Each of our guides were friendly, helpful, and their knowledge was far beyond anything I was expecting. Machu Piccu was phenomenal and it was my favorite part of the tour. Pre-booking this was nerve racking, as there are limited permits for hiking the Inca Trail, and I didn’t want to miss out and have to take an alternative route. G Adventures had a good reservations team who helped out with my many questions and phone calls about the permit!
51 days is a long time to be on tour, and I would probably suggest to others to consider splitting it up by doing two separate tours, and take a week for some downtime (maybe in Buenos Aires), then doing the other half. I appreciated the amount of sights and activities packed into the tour, but the early mornings and long days can ware you out after a while. I recommend G Adventures to any of my friends or family of any age with an adventurous spirit (over 18 of course).
- Perfect for someone who loves the outdoors21 March, 2013
Costa Rica is beautiful, and if you love the outdoors you should go! I was very impressed with G, they ran a great trip. This is a 9 day trip, but it is really only 7 days of actual travel and sightseeing since the first day you simply check-in, and the last day the trip ends in the morning. I originally thought we wouldn't see much because we had so little time, but G packed in so much stuff, I was truly satisfied that I had a well-rounded experience in Costa Rica in only one week. We were always outdoors doing interesting and adventurous activities (I don't recommend if you aren't fit or adventurous), and everyone we met was so friendly and helpful. The accommodation was nice but simple, and our CEO was probably one of the best tour guides I have ever encountered. I would recommend this trip to any one with little time, but who likes the outdoors and is looking for a trip that packs in lots of activities.
- Beijing to Hong Kong Express7 November, 2012
This was an excellent 'whistle stop' tour of China. I suppose the clue was in the name but from the moment we arrived to the time we said goodbye this was high speed express tour which took in so many key tourist attractions from the Great Wall and Terracotta Army to the river cruises in Yangshou and skyscrapers of Hong Kong. We had a fantastic group of fellow travellers and we were led by a superb leader (Howard) who couldn't have been more helpful - he was consciencious, informative, knowledgeable, funny, hugely enthusiastic and rightly proud to show us around his native country. His clear objective was to ensure we all got a good insight into Chinese history and culture, that we were always safe and most importantly we all enjoyed the holiday. I recommend this trip to anyone who is happy to move at a quick pace in order to see as much as possible in a short period of time. Most of us bolted on a few relaxing days in Hong Kong or Macau at the end of the trip just to relax and reflect on the brilliant experience we'd all had before flying back home.
- A bit disappointed5 November, 2012
My wife and I regretted booking back to back G Adventures tours in India and Nepal and then Thailand. Many of our accommodations were grim, ranking at the bottom of Trip Advisor's lists. We joked in one particularly stained and wrecked Thai hotel that we shouldn't disturb anything because it looked like someone had been murdered in the room and the police might return for evidence. In one town our B side accommodations were ranked 71 of 82 hotels in the area on Trip Advisor (and deservedly so). We walked next door to a beautiful resort with fountains and pools and discovered the price was only $6USD more per night! Why did we pay G Adventures to book our accommodations when they do such a shoddy job of it? Beforehand we assumed G had local knowledge that helped them arrange the best lodging at a reasonable price, but in our experience anyone with an internet connection and a drop of common sense can fare better. The planned activities were good but not great. We assumed that G Adventures would have really good local guides for our destinations but they were wholly mediocre. If you asked a question that was off script, they stared blankly (Q: was there conflict between the Muslim rulers of the Mughal empire and the Hindus they ruled? A: oh no sir, they got along fine by paying taxes). We booked an"active adventure" in Thailand ranked as a 3 out of 5 on G's activity-meter with hiking, biking, and kayaking, but found that the activity level was exaggerated. Most people on the trip weren't particularly fit or active which meant that our athletic sojourns moved at a pace more reminiscent of middle school PE class than adult sport. We won't recommend G Adventures to our family or friends and feel regret that we sunk so much of our personal savings into these trips. I don't think G Adventures used our money well in arranging lodging, tours, and transportation. Asia is wonderful and my wife and I had an amazing trip, but we won't be booking with G in the future.
Response from G Adventures:
Thank you for your feedback regarding our Delhi to Kathmandu, and Thailand Hike, Bike & Kayak tours. We take this feedback very seriously, and apologize for your disappointment. We assure you that G Adventures strives to provide positive and rewarding experiences for our passengers at all times, and we will contact you directly to discuss the complaints described above.
- Golden Triangle India tour1 October, 2012
My wife and I traveled on this 8 day g adventures tour to India 9/2012. We enjoyed the tour tremendously. The small group concept (9 on our tour) and flexibility is ideal. This allows flexibility for the group to spend more time at places of interest and you don't feel herded. Can't say enough about our CEO (Chief Experience Officer-IE tour guide) Jai. He is very flexible, enthusiastic, outgoing, cares about people and our experience in India. On his own time he arranged a trip to a small village which was a highlight of our tour. He also went on a 2 hour power walk with some group members and taught a short yoga class on the roof of one hotel we stayed at. We are looking forward to our next g adventures tour.
- FIRST TRIP ABROAD28 September, 2012
My husband & I happened upon G Adventures by accident and are very happy that we did. Our Kenyan experience will forever be etched in our memories because of the well-planned and executed tour through western Kenya. Our guide, Daniel, was professional, knowledgeable and looked after us in every situation. It is basic as far as accomo, but that is what made the tour an experience to remember. Our drivers could not have been more helpful and fun! The group consisted of 8 of us from around the globe and we have created close bonds with all. The people of Kenya are wonderful and I would encourage everyone to visit this part of Africa. We never once felt threatened by either 2 or 4 legged critters. The wildlife is like a fairy tale...we saw all of the BIG 5 thanks to our CEO and drivers. Be sure to use some Swahili while there as it goes a long way with the local folks if you try. As far as money, don't bother with traveller's cks as we couldn't cash them...but VISA and Db worked great. And you will want some KES to have when you land. Also, get your VISA into Kenya before you go, as the lineup was huge & you may miss your connection to the hotel. Be sure to keep any essentials, like your malaria pills in your carry on in case your luggage doesn't make it.(one of our group had that happen..paid $180 to get it to our location). All in all, we would travel with G Adventures again. Very happy with our first trip abroad.
- Did Not Even Make It18 June, 2012
Earlier this year my wife and I booked a 5 day stay at the G Lodge in Peru. This was supposed to be an amazing trip and all of the existing reviews we read were great. The reservation process was quick and easy, and they took our deposits. About 4 weeks after we booked they called to inform us they were canceling our reservation because they wanted to book a larger group in our reserved spots. As we did not have an option they told us they would refund our deposit. Instead of a refund they actually billed us our deposit value a second time. We did eventually get our full amount of money refunded, and were are now booked for the same sort of an adventure with a totally different organization. When we Investigated what happened to us a little further we were informed that 'Cancelling small groups to accommodate larger size tours is a standard practice for G Adventures' as per a G Adventures representative.
Response from G Adventures:
We apologize for being unable to accommodate you in our G Lodge. I can assure you we do not have a policy of accepting bigger groups at the expense of smaller ones. We do sometimes need to move reservations due to maintenance of the Lodge, however. If you would like to contact us to discuss, we would welcome that. I wish you safe and enjoyable travels to a wonderful part of the planet.
- Fantastic21 May, 2012
There's a lot of differing opinions out there.. Let me add mine. My wife and I just finished a G Adventures (formerly Gap Adventures) 9-day tour from Johannesburg, South Africa to Victoria Falls, Zambia. We couldn't have had a better time! A few thoughts: - So much depends on the tour guide. Our guide, Vladia Bajerovska, was fantastic. She was both a great organizer and a great cheerleader, making sure everybody was included and knew what was going on. She had a lot of knowledge, both natural (describing animals) and practical (navigating border crossings). She answered all of our questions, no matter how many times we asked. I can't say enough good things about her. Our driver, Stefan, was also fantastic. - A lot also depends on your group. We had 20 people, mixed group from US/UK/Canada/Australia, aged from mid-20s to mid-40s. By the end of the trip we were all great friends. Our tour involved a lot of "participatory camping", meaning everybody had to pitch in to load/unload the truck, chop veggies for dinner, etc. Everybody pitched in without even having to ask, which was great. Obviously this is one of those things where one bad apple can spoil the bunch. There was a little bit of drinking at the campsites (some had bars, others were BYOB), but everybody was pretty much in bed by 10. - We had the "basic" accommodation level, and believe me, it was BASIC. We spent nearly every night in tents, though there was an option to upgrade to a cabin at some sites. If you enjoy camping for multiple days, you'll be fine. But if you're the type to whine because there's no hot water in the shower, or there's a bug in your tent, or your sleeping bag smells funny after a week, you won't have fun. - There was a lot of driving, sometimes 4-5 hours per day. The overland truck was pretty sweet, though spartan. Personally, I didn't mind the long drives; I had a well-stocked Kindle, great scenery to look at, and a truck-full of people to get to know. But this might get tiresome for some people. Read the itinerary carefully. - A lot of the activities billed as "optional" were pretty much required, if you wanted to have fun. The focus of our tour was African game drives, and except for one, they were all "optional", and cost between US$30-50 dollars each. My wife and I had decided ahead of time to do all of the optionals (spent approximately $250 total for each of us) and I'm glad we did, but if you're a penny-pincher, I could see it getting annoying. Again, read the itinerary carefully. All in all, I feel that by taking G Adventures, we were able to see a lot more of southern Africa than if we had just gone on our own. I suppose it depends on your comfort level in the third world, but there were some situations (choosing safe markets to shop at, bribing corrupt SA police (really!), and navigating the crazy Botswana-Zambia border crossing) that I know I wouldn't have been able to do by myself, and least not without great stress. The lodging and travel is definitely not luxury, but I think it was more fun that way. All we had to do was spend a few nights roughing it and helping around the campsite, and we had the trip of a lifetime. -Evan
- Essential India20 March, 2012
This has proved to be the best holiday that my wife and I have ever undertaken. The itineray was spot on and did all that it said. The CEO Abhishek Chhetri was absolutely outstanding. From start to finish he was there to look after us all. He was on time, very knowledgeable and made sure we were safe at all times. He interacted with all the group and gave us a keen sense of his pride and love for his country.His contribution made the whole experience so very enjoyable.
- Very well organised, but not for me13 February, 2012
I usually always travel independaently, BUT I always travel with at least one friend, and this time no one was available to travel to Vietnam with me, which is why I decided to book a tour. I did my research as any smart traveler should do before leaving, and I chose G Adventures based on their level of professionalism. Their website is easy to navigate, user friendly, and offers detailed information about their tours. Also, when I called to talk to a representative, they were very helpful and informative. In regards to the actual tour, I think I was too used to doing my own thing to be on a tour . The tour was very well organized, and probably ideal for people who don't like to worry. But, I am not one of those people. I think I was way too free spirited for a 'tour'. I recommend traveling with G Adventures if you are new to traveling abroad, and want some guidance along the way. All in all, not a bad experience, but I would have preferred to do it on my own with a fellow seasoned backpacker. I wanted to give this review 3.5 stars, but that wasn't an option which is why I upped it to 4.
- Great time and7 January, 2012
We've been almost everywhere both on our own and with at least 5 different companies. This "G" tour was really great; we ranged in age from 19 to 72, from six different countries, and had a CEO who couldn't have been better - she was Terrific. Price wise, it couldn't be beat; we saw and experienced the countries and the people. The weather was perfect, hotels more than adequate, and food in the countries - a vegetarians' delight. All in all, the only thing that could be improved upon --- should have been longer..
- Hotels were disappointing16 August, 2011
I chose this trip over many other Gap tours to Peru because it was a 'comfort' trip which meant that the accommodation was of a higher standard that many of their other trips. BUT the places we stayed were very disappointing. I know it is Peru, and the comfort of hotels there is typically different, but it was the lack of cleanliness and the amount of features that were promised that did not actually work i.e air conditioning, the phone and the hot water at times. I paid a premium for a comfort tour, and felt that I got nothing for it. I would hate to see their 'standard' accommodations, because if they are worse than the comfort level I wouldn't even consider it. The actual tour aside from the accommodation was good however. I would travel with Gap again provided they could provide me accommodation details before hand so that I could do some research before I made my decision to take the tour.
- Amazing Trip!27 May, 2011
This is the second tour I have done with Gap, but it is the first time I have travelled on a Yolo tour. It is awesome that Gap now has tours that are only for people under the age of 40. The people on my tour were young, and loved to party:-) But the tour itself regardless of the partying was fantastic. I loved every place we visited, and of course Iguassu Falls is spectacular and a must see. The tour included our entrance to both sides of the falls, which made things very convenient. You can start this tour in Rio or in Buenos Aires. I finished in Rio which I recommend, because it is a great place to chill for a few days after the tour ends. I would recommend this tour to anyone who wants to see some amazing scenery in South America, and at the same time travel with young people that are likely to become your close friends.
- A Once in a Lifetime Experience25 March, 2011
This trip is hard to review as it is the most amazing experience I've ever had. Words can't describe the beauty of the sun setting upon iceburgs, the feeling you get when a penguin comes up to 'play' with you, how surreal it feels when you see seals lazing upon iceburgs while your cruising along in the zodiac. I was admittedly concerned about the large group of people (not really large for Antarctic standards though), however the area's in which you have to explore are large enough for you to go off on your own and feel like your the only person there. The guides were knowledgable and fun, and the food was awesome. Gap also have triple share rooms to bring that price down for you, so do yourself a massive favour and book it :)
- Great way to learn about Thai history2 March, 2011
I traveled to Thailand by myself on my way home from spending a year living and working in London. I had originally planned to just lie on the beach for two weeks, but I booked a tour with Gap on a recommendation of a friend and I am SOOO glad I decided to go. Thailand is an amazing place, and this itinerary was perfect for me. If I had known how much I would have enjoyed it, I would have chosen a longer trip, but the itinerary was well planned for being only one week. It doesnt spend any time at a beach, but almost everyone on my tour was headed to the beach at the end of the tour to chill out. I think that is the best way to do it, because I would have been a clueless tourist lying on the beach for two weeks with not much appreciation or understanding of the Thai culture had I not done this tour first.
The only negative thing I would say is it was more expensive than other tours I had compared it to, but I decided on Gap because of my friends recommendation. I have not been on any other tours in Asia, so I am not sure if you get the same quality.
- Perfect trip31 January, 2011
I was really impressed traveling with Gap through China. I pretty much take a tour everytime I travel alone overseas, so I have done a lot of tours. This trip was really well organised, and a perfect itinerary for someone traveling to China for the first time. I loved this trip so much, I would seriously do it again.
- Gap is the best!!21 January, 2011
This trip was so well organised, the tour leader and the local guides were so informative, patient and friendly. Hiking the Inca Trail is something I have always wanted to do, and this is a trip you cannot do without a tour group. There are plenty of companies to choose from that will hike the Inca Trail, but I decided to go with Gap because of their reputation. I made a good choice! They were so well-organised, and well-worth the value for money. It was not an easy trek, but our guides made it comfortable, and the added parts of Peru that we saw were well worth it also. I highly recommend this trip, and most importantly, I recommend Gap. They live up to their reputation!
- Fantastic!18 August, 2010
Fantastic! The trip was incredibly organized, informative, and fun! With the limited vacation time that I get from work there is no way I could have visited as much of China as i did had I went on my own. Being with a local tour guide made it easy to become immersed into the culture, try new things and go places I may not have gone on my own. This trip surpassed my expectations!
- I will travel Gap again!!!18 August, 2010
The tour leader Gladys will forever hold a dear place in my heart. A true sweetheart willing to give you the shirt on her back if you need it. The tour itself had zero low points, even waking up at 4 in the morning was great with our group. The mix in the group made for a fantastic time. we are all life long friends and are planning to get together for a reunion soon. I will recommde both Percy and Galdys to all my friends on their way to Peru. I am not used to touring the world with a group, but GAP certainly opended my eyes to the sheer fun and feeling of family that quickly forms when you are all going through the same awesome experience. I will travel GAP again!!!