Tucan Travel Reviews and Feedback
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A selection of reviews from previous travellers
India to Nepal - 2013
I loved, loved India and Nepal in different ways. India is full on chaos that somehow seems to work and nothing can prepare you for the experience. I loved it, could not get enough. Nepal is a good country to visit after India, more laid back with breathtaking scenery.
Tucan Travel is great. Best itinerary with best value by far. Our tour guides were fantastic! Depin Rai for India and Prajwal Amatya for Nepal. The group could not have been more fun. 12-16 people from Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, England, & just me from Canada. Most people in our group have traveled 1-4 times already with Tucan! That says a lot for the company.
Our accommodations were clean and well located, from basic to pretty good. Hot showers not always available, for me this was ok. Some guest houses had fantastic views of palaces and temples. Our tents in the desert were very basic. Some guest houses welcomed us with bindis, necklaces, bracelets and a miniature painting on the fingernail.
Transportation became the major player of the trip...where to start? Favorite mode was definitely tuk tuk. Barely missing an elephant in Jaipur, tail almost hit me. Not to mention cows, camels, buses,etc.. We took the mirror right off a motorcycle in Jodhpur with no reaction from either driver.
The elephant trek in Chitwan Park was wonderful. Our elephant and owner were very gentle. The trek lasted 2 hours through the jungle and we got to see a rhino and her baby. There were 4 people in an open box on the elephants back and the trainer/owner. This was an extra $ but not expensive for entire day of jungle trek, canoe ride,elephant ride, etc.
Highlights of the trip are hard to say but standouts are the people of India, all of the architecture, and of course the local transportation. I loved Jaiselmer for its narrow streets and sandcastle architecture. I loved Jodhpur for it's fort, crazy narrow streets with crazy traffic, and fun had by the girls all buying Diwali saris and bangles in the market for !00 rupees each!! I loved Udaipur for, well whats not to love, it's beautiful. I loved Orchha for all of the Diwali fun we had wearing our saris,bangles and bindis around town.
We paid someone to dress us. The temple there is one of my favorites and the heritage walk was magical. We also attended a Hindu ceremony at the local temple. I loved Varanasi for the Ganges and the ghats. The evening boat ride, aarti ceremony, and cremation sites were very powerful and moving. I loved Kathmandu, one of my all-time favorite cities. It is so exotic and interesting and unexpected. The streets are like narrow mazes with tiny little shops and then suddenly you see a European bakery with the best cinnamon buns you ever had! Unreal!!
FOOD WAS GREAT!
I honestly didn't have any lows.
Great time. Would travel with Tucan Travel again.
Mexico City to Antigua - 2013
I was a great trip and I was able to see and do most everything I hoped to do. The group with Toucan was a fun one and we had a great time. A bunch of them are traveling on to Costa Rica and then to Panama with the same tour leader, Becky. She is a great gal, originally from New Zealand but more of an Aussie now, but has just purchased a home in Antigua, so she's making Guatemala her home, with two adopted deaf Guatemalan children from the orphanage at Rio Dulce, Guatemala, where she worked as a volunteered some years ago.
My days in Mexico City at the start of the trip went well. Of course, once could spend months there, exploring the city and its environs. But I saw a great deal and my hotel the Majestic Zocalo was right on the Zocalo for the end of the Independence Day celebration and the arrival of the President of Mexico for the National Earthquake Preparedness Day on Oct. 19, the anniversary of the devastating Mexico City earthquake from 20 years ago. My hotel window had the best view of the Zocalo all the time. Visiting Teotihuacan twice was fine, as I was able to see different parts of the site each time, and climb the Pyramid of the Sun twice with two different groups.
The accommodations with Tucan along the way were adequate--and a few fairly good. Fortunately we had A/C in most tropical locations in the rooms at night. The chicken buses in Belize were an experience but worth it. While at Merida, I did the optional trip to Uxmal--definitely worth it but had to skip the cenotes trip. However while in Playa del Carmen, I was able to visit Tulum in the morning and found a place nearby with cenotes that I did on my own in the afternoon. The most challenging thing for me was probably the caving near San Ignacio, Belize, but I managed just fine. One unplanned event that we all go to experience was in San Cristobal, where the bar owner of a place that Becky knows invited our group to his daughter's quinceanera--a huge event that kept the tequilla flowing all night! We had a great time.
My few days in Antigua should have been longer. Hikes up to the Pacaya Volcano have been limited to the first ridge right now so it is a shorter trip. The trip to Chichicastenego is very touristic and a bit over-rated, as the Mayan villages near San Cristobal are more interesting and authentic. Besides the Mayan folk art marketed in Chichicastenego is overpriced for tourists and the same items can be purchased in the better shops in Antigua. I should have had time to visit Lake Atitán--but perhaps on another visit.
I will probably kick myself for not continuing on with my group to San Jose, Costa Rica.
I was healthy for the entire trip--fortunately. I was the oldest person of the group, except for two ladies from Australia who are in their 50s but did not do some of the most active things that some of us chose to do.
Cancun to San Jose - 2013
My name is Crystal, a senior travel consultant from the number #1 Flight Centre store in Adelaide, Austalia. I'm currently travelling on a Tucan Tour in Central America, 32 days from Cancun to San Jose.
I'd love to give some feedback on my whole experience. I'm in my late 20's and wanted a small group tour with a mixed age group. Our rep for Adelaide Pete Lombardi took the time to explain the tour in detail to me, I was then in contact with Louisa Gentles from reservations who took care of all the booking details. The agent discount I was offered was outstanding and an opportunity I could not pass up. The booking process was made easy from start to finish.
I've been an agent now for 7 years and have done several tours with different companies and recommend organised group tours to a lot off my clients. It's a common opinion in our industry that a tour guide can make or break a tour, this is an opinion I strongly agree with. Our clients put trust in us and we want to know when recommending and selling a company, that our clients are going to be looked after and enjoy their holiday.
With my tour coming to an end I wanted to give some feedback on my tour guide Neil Williams. He has been a completely outstanding, professional, caring guide and has a genuine interest in his travellers and an obvious love and outstanding knowledge for the countries we visit. On this tour alone we have a wide age group and people with completely different interests. Not only does he make sure to cater to everyones needs and budgets but he manages to create a great group atmosphere. With diverse age groups and language barriers that's a great skill to have.
He's approachable and nothing seems to be to much trouble. I believe he is an extremely valuable asset to Tucan. If this is the kind of experience and level of standard I can expect my clients to have when travelling with Tucan, I will have no hesitation in recommending them in the future.
Thank you to all involved for making it a wonderful and truly memorable experience.
Pacific to Atlantic - 2013
We recently finished a Pacific to Atlantic budget tour with Tucan (23 May - 1 August). Our tour leader was Bethany Bonneville, our driver Laurence Littlejohn and half way through we were joined by trainee driver Mike Rubin. We had an incredible trip with these three people.
Firstly, we have to just say that Lawrence was not only a fantastic driver who we felt completely safe with at all times, but he was incredibly informative no matter where we were. We were very impressed with his knowledge of the countries we visited, and nothing was ever too much trouble for him. It was a pleasure to be a part of his last tour!
Secondly, Bethany was absolutely lovely. She was always there for us when we needed her, be it to show us the best places around or just to have a chat. This was her first solo tour and so we were so impressed with how she dealt with it. She genuinely does have a heart gold and tried her absolute best to please everyone!
Thirdly, Mike was a positive addition to the group. He was always professional, enthusiastic and extremely friendly. We believe he will make a great Tucan driver and is the perfect candidate for a tour of this genre!
For us it was the trip of a lifetime, and made all the better by the afore mentioned three.
We would like to thank Bethany, Lawrence and Mike as well as Tucan as a whole for an amazing experience and one that we'll never forget!
Megan Grant and Molly Thornton
Cape to Gorillas - 2013
Having completed tours previously, Nikki is possibly the best tour leader I have encountered. She displays a clear enthusiasm for the places we visit and experiences we have, plenty of knowledge about each place. Nikki has also been good at taking us to companies that aid communities with their proceeds. Nikki is an excellent cook, every meal was superb and the meals varied. The food was one of the highlights! Again, clearly enjoys cooking which translates well.
Cancun to San Jose - 2012
To whom it may concern,
I would like to let you know about a trip I did June-July 2012. It was such a great trip that I feel you should be made aware of it. Please advise me if I need to email anybody in particular.
The positive experience I had on my recent tour is totally due to my wonderful Tour Leader, Mr Neil Williams!! I could not have asked for a better Tour Leader and tour. He honestly made the tour what is was and it was the best one ever! The whole tour depends on the tour leader, his interaction with each individual traveller, his knowledge of the countries and places we visit, his awareness of his surroundings, his social skills and his ability to make the whole experience unique and wonderful for every traveller. Neil is this person!!!!
Firstly, I would like to say how safe I felt when travelling through all of the countries we visited. Neil was always aware of his surroundings as we travelled independently through all six countries some of which are very dangerous. He talked us through each travel day and what we were doing and what we were to expect. This was greatly appreciated.
As a single female traveller I always felt very comfortable knowing that Neil was there and totally aware of everything around him.
He went out of his way to see that we all made it home safely from dinners and nights out, having to do multiple trips himself in the process. Even after more than a half a day on local transportation on some occasions, he never tired or lacked enthusiasm or alertness.This really helped me relax and enjoy my trip, trusting that Neil would get us to each destination safely.
It is to be said that Neil has such an amazing personality. He is kind, friendly, compassionate, knowledgeable, thoughtful, sincere and lots of fun. He has an energy and charisma that most people envy.
Neil interacted brilliantly with everyone of the 16 passengers that joined our tour, from the 19 year old, first-time overseas traveller to the newlyweds and everyone in between. I was fortunate to witness many a moment, having travelled for 6 weeks on the tour, when he was enjoying conversations and getting to know each one of us. He truly enjoyed meeting everyone and you can see this by the level of what he gave back in return.
Neil went over and above what I was expecting a Tour Leader would offer. Apart from organising the travel plans, transport and locations, he made daily plans to include every passenger for meals out, cultural activities and entertainment. I can honestly say that we all had the best time in every location and I never tired of the fun activities that Neil suggested. He had numerous suggestions for each location which accommodated for everyone tastes. He would arrange each activity with ease. Neil has a wealth of knowledge about each country from its people, politics, cultural events, food delicacies, animals and fauna.
He also has the ability to encourage people to try new things and pushed me (in a good way) out of my comfort zone so I tried new and exciting things! I will be forever grateful to him for this as it enhanced my entire experience. He also made note of the birthdays and made special dinner plans with a gift, decorations and cake to celebrate the day. This was so lovely and thoughtful as I was the first one to celebrate my birthday on the tour. It was so unexpected but so appreciated as it can be a very lonely day away from friends and family. I would have to say it is one of the best Birthdays I have ever had. I felt so special thanks to Neil's kindness and thoughtfulness.
It was great to travel with so many wonderful people and to have a Tour Leader who helped us all to interact and bond. I have come away with so many new friends and this is due to Neil's ability to make everyone around him immediately feel happy and at ease. I am an outgoing person and don' t find it difficult to socialise but there were some passengers that were shy and I saw that they got so much more out of the trip as well because Neil encouraged them to join in the activities and interact with others. He did this in such a subtle way that they were not even aware he had. It was really nice to see how he cared for each of the passengers and truly wanted each person to have the trip of a lifetime!
Neil also provided support for some travellers who were more nervous with the surroundings they were in and the countries with which we travelled. He was patient and showed true support, compassion and understanding, always giving the passenger what they needed and knowing what it was that they needed. He is a true people person and a great leader.
He was a wonderful support to me after I had a big fall down some stairs. He offered me first aid and dressed my wounds and once we knew that the injuries were at most severe bruising, offered me the most comfortable seat when travelling for the next few days so I could rest and the discomfort I felt was at a minimum. He, yet again showed compassion and concern. He also comforted me by offering his shoulder so I could have a bug cry as I was in a lot of pain initially. This was so appreciated and unbelievably nice.
I honestly can say that any traveller who has Neil as their guide is so fortunate as in my mind he is the best you can get. I would definitely do future tours if I was promised that he would be the Tour Leader
Magical Mexico (ZMA) - 2012
I recently completed the central american mexico city to cancun tour (zma) and I just wanted to send an e-mail to express my gratitude for such an incredible tour and holiday. From the beginning of booking, everything could not have gone smoother. Whenever asked a question, the guys at head office in London would reply swiftly and even check each others e-mails to reply when the person I had contacted was on annual leave. This should have assured me right from the start, but to be honest I was still a bit anxious about my upcoming travels. I may add that I did the trip from cancun to San Jose with a competitor company of Tucan , 5 years ago, but unfortunately this tour did not leave me with the best experience of Central America.
On arrival to Mexico City I was greeted with a full pack of information and tour details of trips, buses,maps etc. for me to go through. This made me feel very welcome and was very informative. following this and meeting our very vibrant and heartwarming tour leader,any nervous butterflies were soon abolished.
Despite very different ages, nationalities and personalities, Bec's was very professional (more than I certainly would have been at times) and always came across as heartfelt and encouraging. Her attitude clearly demonstrates a passion for what she does and Central America, which is very addictive. Not only did Bec always have an 'open door policy' ensuring she was always around to ask any questions, but she was continually checking up to see that individuals were ok and touching base, trying to make sure we were all getting as much out of our trip as we wanted. Her help even stretched as far as assisting me after the tour with knowledge of how to get to my next destination on my own and checking up to see that I got there safely. This is beyond anything someone could ask from a tour leader and I really want to extend my thanks to her for all her help.
The use of local guides at each attraction was priceless as this meant we had masters of the area in knowledge and not just a jack of all trades with a bit of knowledge. It also meant that I was able to learn as much about the attraction and culture as humanely possible. It was amazing to see how passionate and knowledgeable each person was.
The hotels were very (and in most cases more than) reasonable. Having a nice,clean and safe place to go back to each night was great. They were also very well situated.
Without going into much further detail, I can just add that this is certainly a trip I would recommend above all others to my friends. I would not second guess or haver to do a tour with tucan and especially with Bec's again. Thanks for a fantastic experience. Wishing you the best of luck for all future trips.
Scenic Cancun to San Jose (MCJ) - 2012
I was on Scenic Cancun to San Jose (departing 30 Jan 13) and had such a good time I stayed on longer through Costa Rica, could not imagine leaving.
Our tour leader was Bec Nicholls, who was just an amazing burst of positive energy. She was helpful & so good at dealing with any problems anyone had (and it was a large group of 19, with ages ranging from 23 to 75) even when the issues were so trivial and people were infuriating (my opinion) she never visibly lost her cool, her local knowledge was excellent, appeared to be on good terms with all locals and spoke fluent Spanish so she was able to connect well with locals and her group.
Bec had great skills at arranging transport & getting everyone motivated to be on time we never missed any transport, even going out of her way to book additional excursions for people which were not part of the tour such as a submarine in Roatan. Bec was friendly, vibrant and kind hearted and I truly hope Tucan realise what a treasure they have in her. We had 4 birthdays on tour and Bec went out of her way with cake, candy and piñata’s to ensure it was a special day for the birthday person.
The hotels used were better than I had expected, even a few unexpected deluxe surprises, but all were in good locations, had ensuite facilities, with air conditioning, an occasional bonus fridge and most importantly clean bedding & towels. The locations visited on the tour were best of the best and never felt I was not getting my monies worth, I more felt the tour was under sold!
I would recommend this tour to any age group looking for an adventure of a lifetime to tick off bucket list items, maybe some you didn’t know you had. It's best to arrive a few days before the tour starts and ends to relax, get used to the time zone change and suss out the arrival/departure locations.
There were a few tears on my departure, I have made a life long friend out of Bec and other members of the tour. I would not think twice about another Tucan experience or jumping on any other tours leaded by the one and only Bec Nicholls!
Many thanks for the great tour Tucan!
Magical Mexico & Honduras to Panama City - 2012
My tour guide was Amaya Solas. I cannot speak highly enough of Amaya. She is one dynamite tour guide.
Amaya, was extremely professional, informative about every aspect of the tour (Mexico City through to Panama). She was always willing to involved herself in every part of the tour, even when she should be having some downtime. I sound like a broken record, but Amaya MADE the trip. All passengers on the tour would say the same as I.
Being from Spain, obviously her Spanish was second to none, but she always ensured we knew what was going on, and even taught us some words to help us get by. And the dancing! In Nicaragua, she taught us how to Salsa (mind you, I was still terrible at it!), and then took us out to local places to practise with them.
Initially, I was only booked on the Mexico City to Cancun trip. I wanted to experience a few tour companies so I could report back to the office about the pros/cons of each. In Cancun I picked up another tour operators tour which was to take me all the way to Costa Rica. Well I lasted not even a week, before I was in contact with the office and asking them to get me off the trip. I was still in contact with Amaya and another Tucan tour guide named Bec Nicholls (who I met in Belize, whilst on my other trip). They were fantastic. Such easy going girls, who obviously love their job and are very good at it. So I left my other tour, and rejoined the Tucan tour in Honduras!!! My decision to rejoin the Tucan trip, was in no small way due to Amaya and her natural ability as a tour guide.
I know I can't say enough, but I thought you should know that you have 2 wonderful tour guides. I have told the office that Tucan Travel are the best tour company to sell in Central America. And no doubt, South America and beyond.
Thank you so much for allowing me the opportunity rejoin the trip. I loved every minute in Central America and hope one day I will make it back there.
Adios Amiga!! And I hope you back a winner tomorrow in the Cup.
Coast to Coast (SCW) - October 2012
We were very happy with our Tucan experience on the Coast to Coast from Rio to Lima (July to August) – in large part due to Rich Anchante’s exceptional organisational skills and also to his exemplary attitude to ‘customer service’. Rich took care of the group as if we were family. Rich is a great asset to Tucan and, I believe, would be great in marketing the South American experience to Australians.
Attached photos include one of two friendly Tucans (Brazil) and one of the master Tucan (Bolivia)!
Bryan and Robyn Cummins
Cuzco Tailor Made tour - August 2012
Thank you for organizing our ‘rescue’ on Friday August 3rd when arrangements for our day tour to the Sacred Valley went wrong.
We have nothing but praise for the Cusco tourism organizations who went out of their way to help us and make sure we were not left stranded by the side of an unknown road. In particular the representative of Americana was amazing in her helpfulness, as was the taxi driver she arranged for us and then the Spanish tour bus who allowed us to join them in order to get safely to Pisac where the bar owners were also welcoming and understanding of our predicament.
We were expecting to eventually find our tour bus in Pisac so it was a welcome surprise when Zac informed us that a guide was on his way and within 1 minute Edwin arrived at the bar to take over and sort out our confusion. The rest of the day spent with Edwin and Paul the driver was FANTASTIC. Their care of us and the information imparted was excellent. Our day ended in a perfect manner with our confidence restored.
Thank you for looking after us so well and sorting through our problem. We appreciated our delicious lunch and especially Edwin’s care for our well being, his excellent knowledge and his great English and Paul’s safe driving.
It was an unexpected surprise to also be provided with a private guide today for our trip to Machu Picchu. This was a very smooth day with our pick up from the hotel on time as promised. Our guide at MP Mrs Gloria was also a special person who like Edwin had excellent knowledge, impeccable care for us and great English. We have really appreciated the extra things you have done to make sure our experience has been memorable – in a good way!
We have only praise for Tucan arrangements in general and the guides and drivers we have met so far. Enrique and Pedro in Lima have been welcoming and supportive and our first day tour in Cusco with Emilia who was also caring and knowledgeable was an excellent introduction.
We will have no hesitation in recommending Tucan as a travel company who really do look after their customers.
Jackie and Kevin Nelson
Ballestas - August 2012
I recently had the most wonderful pleasure & adventure travelling Peru to La Paz on one of your tours.
Whilst the sights and experiences were remarkable I feel compelled to acknowledge two of your employees who really made it so special. Our guide Mari ( Marika ) Stone and driver Jono Fisher and from the pre-departure briefing it was obvious that both knew what was needed to make the trip so special. Their confidence, competence and genuine concern for our well-being was inspiring and I thanked them at the time.
Too often we are quick to criticize and complain and slow or negligent to praise when it is due hence this email.
If Mari and Jono are representative of the quality of your employees I will certainly be taking another Tucan tour probably next year and possibly to Central America.
Gorillas to Falls (FGV) July 2012
I have been associated with the travel industry here in Australia over the past 30 years.my partner and I recently did a Tour with Tucan and had the best time. Started in Nairobi on 02 July 2012. We had a fantastic trip, we saw Gorillas in Rwanda, elephants, baby Rhino's Giraffes, Lions, hyenas,wilderbeast and lots of other animals. Out of all the vehicles we saw doing the same type of trip, we felt as though we had the best vehicle for the this long trip. We had a great tour guide Tanya Bertoncini with the driver Josh. We also had Sarah Field & Timon who were both training, they will go a long way with their tours. All the staff were excellent and full of knowledge.
February 2012 – Vietnam and Cambodia (SEDA)
January 2012 – Vietnam and Cambodia (SEDA)
It is with great pleasure that I write regarding my recent trip with Tucan and Pedro. Our group of 9 travelers spent 22 days with Pedro and all came away with broad smiles, full camera cards and excellent memories. From the start Pedro's concern about our safety was evident. He wanted to ensure that we all had fun and adventure and yet be certain we remained aware of our surroundings.
As we moved from location to location we were especially grateful that Pedro (and not us) were making all the travel arrangements. The time we had to explore and play was well used and well appreciated. His recommendations for optional tours were excellent and it became quite evident how valuable these recommendations were when some of us ventured on our own without Pedro's recommendation and returned less than satisfied. Pedro even took care of our mistakes by arranging for a refund.
What I admired the most about Pedro was his ability to work so well with such a diverse group of people. Our ages ranged from 24 to 60 and our interests were equally diverse. Yet Pedro ensured each of us got the maximum from our vacation. He was flexible and arranged for a private bus when we expressed our desire to have additional stops en route and I would encourage him to continue this practice. He ensured our dietary needs were met and was flexible to food sensitivities and requests. He happily shared his local knowledge and again we encouraged him to continue this as it makes it much for interesting for us.
This cannot be an easy job, but Pedro excelled. Given that this was an "adventure" tour and that we wanted to experience Cambodia and Vietnam as close to the locals as possible Pedro met the mandate.
Thank you for the great trip.
Maureen A. Whelan