Monday, September 26, 2011

The worst tour guides are from Colonial Tours

Tourists complain against Colonial Tours from Arequipa

by the Colca Specialist

I was reading Trip Advisor just few minutes ago and I saw this comments which I consider very useful so I decided to republish them here.

What is happening with travel agencies in Arequipa? It seems that they just care about filling their vans and buses with lots of tourists! What about the service? What about the clients?

It seems to me that these guys from Colonial Tours they just care about making money and not about the tourists.

Tourists are clients. Without them Colonial Tours is nothing.

Tourist are human beings not walking US DOLLARS notes.They are not walking credit cards my friends so it would be better if you recognize that your service is not good.

If you want to continue in this businness better think it twice because if you continue working the same way you will end on the street.

If you have problems with the tour guides is because you are cheap and stingy. Colonial Tours don´t have good tour guides because they are exploited and not well paid. That´s the main problem in Arequipa. Travel agencies don´t work with professional tour guides but with youngsters who need to work.Exploitation is everywhere in Southamerica. Peru in not the exception. Corruption is another disease that affects tourism in Arequipa too.

How good can be a 23 year old tour guide who has NO EXPERIENCE?

How good can be a 23 year old tour guide who is thinking about making a 10 soles commission per passenger?

How good can be a tour guide who is NOT FROM THE AREA who just know local discoteques and touristic restaurants?

To be a tourist doesn´t mean to be stupid!

As tourists we need to be sustainable too. We should NOT travel with companies that are just exploiting their workers!

Besides the voice of tourists should be heard too. Clients in the past they complained and their voices were never heard but thanks to internet the voice of the clients can be heard very loud all around the world. The compalints are a good oportunity to see what is wrong with our service in order to improve it. The decision is in your hands.

I recommend all foreign visitors to read this blog and if you like you can download the information about the Colca Valley and the Colca Canyon which is very useful for those tourists who are seeking for the local culture. Thank you very much for your attention and don´t forget that this virtual magazine is dedicated to all my tourists around the world.

The Colca Specialist

Complaint against Colonial Tours (taken from Trip Advisor)

We booked our 2-day trip to Colca Canyon Through our hotel and the company They Used WAS Colonial Tours. The canyon itself is well worth seeing but I am sure the experience could have been a lot better with a more professional company.

The canyon is well worth seeing Itself But I am sure the experience Could Have Been a Lot Better With A more professional company.

Right from the start it was clear that our guide wasn't going to speak much English, although the tour was supposed to be both in Spanish and English.
Luckily we understood some Spanish but I have to say that even then his commentaries and instructions weren't that clear.

All the way through the trip, he failed to tell us at each stop where we were; how long we were stopping for; what was worth seeing in the place; etc. 

Basically there was a complete lack of communication.During the 2 days, we learned hardly anything about the area.  He only bothered to say something if someone asked a question and even then the question wasn't repeated and the answer very vague.We approached the guide and told him that we felt completely ignored and weren't very happy about the tour.

This made no difference. Colca Canyon was an amazing place and I would definitely return to the area. However, I will never use Colonial Tours again! Esta crítica es la opinión subjetiva de un miembro de TripAdvisor, no de TripAdvisor LLC.

Another complaint taken from Trip Advisor

“Colca Canyon with Colonial Tours - Not recommended”
1 de 5 estrellas
Our hostal in Arequipa (Colonial House Inn) set up a Colca Canyon tour with Colonial Tours. We had a very negative experience with Colonial Tours and I would not recommend them to anyone. We feel that we wasted our S/65 plus the S/35 required to enter the Chivay area. (Total = S/100 per person.)

Leo, our guide, made us feel like he could not be bothered speaking English since we were two of the few English speakers on the tour. The tour we were sold was supposed to include a 2 hour trek in Coporaque on the first day, which our guide felt was too much effort. (Instead, we stopped no less than 6 times on the way out to Chivay including a 45+ minute stop for snacks and tea at a restaurant. Granted a couple of the stops were decent, such as when we stopped to see Vicunas, but many of them were unnecessary.) Leo seemed much more interested in trying to get us to eat at overpriced (S/25) buffet restaurants for both lunch and dinner and I wouldn't be surprised if he was getting a cut of the profits. We did at least go to the hot springs in the afternoon (which cost another S/10 per person).

Rather than getting our group going at 6am so we could have as much time at the canyon as possible, he moved our start time to 7am. (His rationale was that it was New Year's Eve and some people wanted to stay up till midnight. It was obvious his bias was a later start time and he only seemed willing to listen to the people who agreed with him rather than sticking with the tour schedule that was sold to us.) The later start time made us late arriving at at Cruz del Condor and cut our time there in half. We then returned for another overpriced lunch (S/25) in Chivay.

Of the 4 hours we were most interested in (2 hours trekking and 2 hours at Cruz del Condor), the tour only delivered 1 hour at Colca Canyon itself. We felt ripped off at having to pay a S/35 fee at the entrance to Chivay when 90% of our tour was shelling out money to overpriced restaurants in Chivay itself.

If I were to redo things, I'd head straight for Cabanaconde (dodging the S/35 fee at Chivay) and set up a hiking excursion there. Note that the Colca Canyon at Cruz del Condor is only 1200 meters. Compare that to the 1800 meter depth of the Grand Canyon and you might be a bit disappointed. The deepest part of the Colca Canyon (4160 meters) is near Cabaconde, so I suspect the views from there are more impressive.

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