"We have just completed a 2 month individual designed itinerary for South America which was brilliant. Our tour surpassed all our expectations and our tour guides were amazing especially the guys we had in the Salt Lakes. We had a hiccup in San Pedro with accommodation but Heidi from Tucan soon sorted it out for us she was brilliant many thanks Heidi. Had no complaints about transport all vehicles were the latest models and very clean. Our drivers were all very cautious and caring. We feel Tucan give value for money. We would highly recommend Tucan for anyone travelling to South America thats wants a memorable holiday. We sincerely thank Tucan for creating such a diverse trip which has given us everlasting memories."
"This is my second Tailor Made Tour I booked with Tucan Travel and the second time I was travelling solo. I had such a fantastic 10 days trip to Mexico. The tour was great value and very well organized. Local guides were very helpful, friendly and knowledgeable. Definitely I recommend Tucan and will use it again in the future."
"Our South American Experiences.
My husband & I have recently returned from our 3rd amazing trip to South America. Each time our fantastic trips have been organised on a tailor-made basis by Tucan Travel. Our wonderful first trip in 2015, was as a group of 6, & more recently 2016 & 2018 just us, as a couple. There has been so much variety in all our travels
2015- our tours were to Easter Island, Galapagos Islands, Sacha Lodge In the Ecuadorian Jungle, Cusco, Machu Picchu & we had city tours whenever we had time in cities. Our travel companions loved every minute of their experiences.
2016 - we visited Brazil, i.e.Rio de Janiero, Manaus & a cruise on the River Negro, Jaguar Houseboat, Iguassu Falls & then over into Argentina to view the falls from the other side, then to Buenos Aires, Arequipa in Peru, Colca Canyon, Puno & Lake Titicaca. then to Cusco, quad bike riding to the Sacred Valley etc.
2018 - Ecuador TrenCrucero, Bellavista Cloud Forest & returned to Cusco, Peru where we chose to visit Machu Picchu, for the winter solstice, our 2nd visit there. From Cusco we went to Paracas Beach from where we flew over the Nazcar lines, visited the Desert Reserve, also went to the Ballestas Islands & then dune buggying! Our Peru adventure also included a visit to the Peruvian Jungle, Inkaterra Hacienda Concepcion, Inti Raymi at Sacsayhuaman & more.
We cannot speak highly enough of the attention to detail for each of our South American experiences. We saw & enjoyed wondrous sights & learned so much about the countries, wildlife, history & geography. Our itineraries were informative & put together with a personal touch. All of the requests of places we wanted to visit were met & suggestions of other places made & included. These itineraries can only have been made by consultants who know the countries & their attractions very well. Everywhere we went we were met by transfers or guides to help us understand the places we were visiting & to assist us in any way needed. The guides were English speaking & had amazing knowledge & love of the area they were showing us. We were always very comfortably accommodated. Our travels always went ahead without hitches. I always recommend Tucan Travel to friends & family & will continue to do so as the Tucan team is professional, knowledgable & caring. With special thanks to the 'Tailor-made' team."
"For our Honeymoon we did a custom tour of South America (from Peru, Bolivia, Argentina to Brazil) with Tucan Travel. We ended our Honeymoon with the Tucan Rio Carnival Beach Experience. I cannot recommend Tucan Travel enough!
It was our first time travelling overseas for a significant amount of time and in countries that don’t speak English, and I was a little anxious about what to expect. But I didn’t need to worry about a single thing!
Our entire holiday, travelling from city to city and across countries was seamless, allowing us to sit back and enjoy ourselves and take in the spectacular culture and scenery. One example, instead of us having to lug around our suitcases, Tucan Travel arranged for us to leave our big suitcases at our hotel in Cusco (Andean Wings Boutique Hotel) so that we could travel to Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu) with only an overnight bag. When we arrived back to Cusco, our suitcases were waiting for us safe and sound. This was all done so smoothly and professionally, I was very impressed. The local guides helped us with the border crossings (where to line up, and looking after our bags). I felt safe the whole trip with Tucan Travel– coming from someone that worries easily, this is saying something!
For the local tours, we had wonderful informative tour guides who would collect us from our hotel (and return us) for fantastic and awe-inspiring experiences. The itinerary was perflectly planned to include everything we wanted, and give a few rest days around travelling - what a once in a lifetime experience to go to the Amazon and Macchu Pichu!! The hotel staff and local guides gave the best restaurant recommendations and the included breakfasts where we were staying made getting up early to make the most of our day easy. The hotels were all in the perfect position, right in the best parts of the cities so we could walk to local restaurants and attractions in our spare time and really make the most of every minute we were spending in these amazing countries. In Rio, our hotel was right on the beach front at Copacabana, central to the beach parties and may blocos! Most of the hotels gave us little surprises for our honeymoon (complimentary pisco sour, rose petals, chocolates, desserts). We were astounded at this special touch and it really made our Honeymoon unforgettable!
I highly recommend the Tucan Travel Rio Beach Carnival Package – I think it is the best and only way to experience Carnival. At our hotel we were staying with a great group of fellow Tucan travellers with whom we could enjoy the blocos, Sambadrome and beach parties. Our Tucan travel guide Scott showed us how to use the Rio metro and gave us lots of tips, especially for avoiding pick pockets. The Carnival package was a definite highlight - it was a wonderful week full of both relaxing on the beach, and drinking at night with some great people. I will definitely be travelling with Tucan again!"
"We just finished the Costa Rica Encompassed and it was terrible. The guide was poor, the hotels we didn't think were even 3 stars. Many issues and when I filled out the questionnaire and sent a further email, it was totally dismissed. I will never sell or travel with Tucan again!"
"South America Express
Excuse the length - hope it is of value to someone.
An introduction - we are a couple in our sixties with quite a bit of recent travel experience. We went on the South America Express tour (adventure tour) of 26 days from Rio to Lima departing Rio on November 8, 2016. Went on an African adventure tour a couple of years ago (different company) so had something similar to compare this tour with.
First point - we did not find Tucan very forthcoming with any additional information. What is in the brochure/website is about all you will get. They told us we would receive all the information we would require for the tour 30 days before the tour began, but it arrived about two weeks before, and turned out to be just a rehash of the brochure! They told us they couldn't tell us in advance who our tour leader would be or any of the accommodation during the tour. Having read some of the reviews relating to tour leaders, this was a concern. Also, we found out during the tour, that Tucan basically uses the same accommodation in all the places we stayed (or no more than two different venues), so we could have been given the accommodation information in advance, with the qualification that things can change at the last minute. This was a complaint from other members of the tour as well. This information can help travellers plan activities on the tour (regardless of the help that tour leaders may/may not provide) as you can find the accommodation's proximity to points of interest and what specific facilities it provides.
Second point - we asked Tucan to organise a taylor-made add-on into the jungle at the completion of the adventure tour. This was done extremely well, with all transfers and information really well organised and presented. Just a shame that the same attention to detail is not given to the main tour.
Third point - coming from Australia, it was important to organise visas in advance, particularly for Brazil. This added a significant cost to the trip. Also, another additional cost can be the injections and medications (malaria tablets and altitude sickness tablets). More of the hidden costs of travelling!
Fourth point - if you are considering this tour, and wondering which direction to travel, we found that the more physically demanding section (Bolivia and Peru) came at the end of our tour. However, whichever direction you choose, we would recommend extra days at the beginning and end - both Rio and Lima are worth it!
Fifth point - consider carefully what clothing you take. Although our tour was at the end of Spring/beginning of Summer, it got very cold at times. On the Altiplano it got down to below freezing, and some of the days were very cold as well. There were laundries close to our accommodation in many of the places we stayed, but didn't always fit in with our schedule. In La Paz we got back from an activity after the laundry had closed and we had to leave the following morning before it opened. Would recommend good quality, lightweight, quick-dry travel clothing.
Sixth point - luggage. Tucan makes a big deal of what luggage you should have on the tour. As a result, we bought two-wheeled with handle, soft woven-nylon bags which included a backpack harness. We didn't once use the backpack capabilities - wheels were able to cope easily with all terrain we encountered. It is certainly easier towing 20kg than carrying it on your back! All up on our total trip we had 15 take-off and landings and only finished with a small cut on one of the bags. More solid bags may have saved a couple of our more delicate purchases, however, and would not have been an issue on the tour. We also had a travel backpack each.
Seventh point - safety. Having read the travel warnings about many of the places we were visiting, we must say that not once did we fell threatened or concerned about our safety or our possessions. One member of our group had a camera bag stolen in a restaurant in Rio, but this was before the tour actually started.
Eighth point - altitude sickness. We would recommend taking tablets and making sure that you adhere to the recommendations when at altitude. Members of our group were affected in different ways and at different times - regardless of age and fitness levels. Persevere - don't let it spoil your trip.
Ninth point - additional activities. Certainly consider what additional activities you would like to do on the tour. We would certainly recommend - Iguazu Falls boat trip (forget about trying to stay dry; try to organise a water-proof camera); white-water rafting in Mendoza (an absolute blast); tour to Valparaiso and Vina Del Mar when in Santiago (long day but worth it, plus it gets you out of Santiago's smog); Death Road in La Paz with Gravity (Wow!!); chocolate making in Cusco (how sweet it is!); Magic Water Circuit in Lima (was a great way to finish our tour).
The tour itself - having read quite a number of Tucan reviews, so much of the success of a tour of this type, depends on the tour leader. We could not have been happier with our leader, Manny. Although the youngest person in our tour group, he had you feeling very confident about his commitment and ability from the outset. He had outstanding language and communication skills, as well as excellent knowledge of all the places we visited. On arrival at a new destination, we had a very informative orientation walk (with our maps) so felt relatively confident proceeding on our own. He was always available for help or advice, and even when we had free days, he usually accompanied all or some of the members of the group to different points of interest or on additional activities. He is definitely a "foodie" and recommended different restaurants/cafes in all the places we stayed. As a result our group normally ate together, with Manny, at one of his recommendations - although this probably added quite a bit to the budget. However, with one exception, all the restaurants were excellent. He was invaluable in organising taxis, and could provide a very good idea as to how much a particular trip should cost - we are sure this saved us quite a bit on the trip. Discovered Manny's work ethic early in the tour when, going to the front desk of our accommodation at Iguazu Falls after midnight to pick up a DVD of our days boat trip under the falls that I had forgotten to collect, found Manny at the desk organising our itinerary for the following days.
We began our tour with 12, plus Manny - which was a good sized group. Three left the tour in Santiago with another two joining there. We had a very friendly, easy-going group which did lots of activities together.
Overall, the accommodation was as expected for an adventure tour, and as was explained by Tucan. Once again, any particular problems were sorted out by Manny immediately. There was no tea/coffee making in any rooms; no room west of Mendoza had a fridge; hot water was not always available all the time; lifts not in all hotels (it's hard work carrying bags upstairs at altitude!). Although it's not clear in the information, breakfast is included each day. However, sometimes we had quite early starts and even Manny wasn't able to organise anything before we left - but generally we were able to get something fairly soon afterwards.
You can't get to see all the things in South America in the time we did without a lot of flights. However, Manny was generally able to get us through check-in together quite quickly, usually jumping the queue (which sometimes contained other tour groups). Don't be surprised to not be sitting next to your partner for the flight!
The tour itself was very spectacular - seeing so many iconic sights and discovering lots of unexpected gems. Yes, some days required a lot of sitting in some form of transport, but there was always plenty to see, or possibly catch up on a little sleep. The bus trip over the Andes from Mendoza to Santiago was brilliant - some amazing scenery and roads - and they even feed you all the way! 4WD's in Bolivia were all part of the adventure, as was the accommodation there and dealing with the altitude - photos from this section are wonderful (especially when viewed from sea level).
There are things that Tucan can do better but, overall, I would certainly recommend this tour. We would have loved to have done Patagonia as well but the length of the tour was a factor.
If we can help any potential fellow travels with information regarding this tour, we would be happy to oblige. Remember, it is an adventure tour - go with the flow and enjoy the experience!"
Thank you for leaving such a detailed review! You've covered everything in such fantastic detail. We are so pleased that you enjoyed your tour. Hopefully you will return to another part of the world to enjoy another with us soon.
"I am now back from an 8-day adventure trip to Peru ('PAI') and what an experience it has been!!!
Everything. Absolutely everything Tucan Travel arranged went according to plan.
Not only that, but the quality of every aspect of the trip could not have been better.
But let me start from the beginning...
I don't speak a word of Spanish yet wanted to experience Peru in the safety of a group while enjoying the raw, unfiltered sights that come with hiking in the Peruvian Amazon Jungle, climbing and venturing to locations in higher elevations of the Andes, as well as staying in prime locations in enchanted and picturesque towns like Ollantaytambo, and Cusco.
I checked and compared the itineraries of different 7-8 tour companies and found time and again that Tucan Travel topped them all in all aspects of what interested me: Exciting sites + efficient logistics time-wise.
In just 8 days the itinerary got us to Lima, Cusco, Porto Maldonado (the Amazon), Ollantaytambo, Aguas Calientes, and on to the most famous of them all - Machu Picchu, Pisco, and more ancient and memorable sites.
It would not be such an exciting adventure without the excellent people of Tucan Travel on the ground.
I could not imagine better Guides than we had. From Paul who was with us throughout the 8 days from Lima where the group first met, to Victor a local Amazon Jungle resident of several decades who lures Fire Ants out of a tree and a Tarantula out of its borrow, spotted Caymans in the river in the dark or enticed them to come out from a swamp, to Rafael who guided us for the best part of 2 days in Pisco, Ollantaytambo and the Sacred Valley, to Pedro at Machu Picchu and other sites. All of them well spoken in English, knew everything about the visited sites, and were also very passionate, personable, attentive and ready to answer a question or provide an advice whether regarding packing for the following day, the best restaurants to eat at when relevant, or where to go shopping etc.
Under their guidance, the group quickly developed into a very orderly bunch of guys and gals who showed up on time in the mornings, and on time to be ready for the next leg of a journey.
Logistically, there was not even one hitch - tickets for the 3 domestic flights, transfers to airports, bookings at hotels, the included meals where applicable, canoe trips down and up the Madre De Dias river to the Amazonian Lodge and more - everything worked liked a clockwork.
It's even more commendable that it all worked so smoothly considering the fact that the group of 16 (max # for these trips) had people dropping and joining it throughout the week as some move on to do the 3-day Inca Trail while others join for parts of the 8-day trip.
Food safety, food quantity and quality again, were far beyond what I had expected - Breakfasts (all included) were rich and plentiful which is critical for 'Adventure' travel because you spend so much in calories due to the hiking and higher elevations. Lunches and Dinners which are also included in the Amazonia Lodge were likewise excellent.
Finally, I should mention where it all started for me - the Website and the open, detailed and prompt communication that Tucan Travel agents provide you with. In my case, I wanted to climb Wayna Picchu (the mountain overlooking M-P) which is not on the itinerary, however Tucan Travel came through for me big time and arranged tickets for an earlier train to get me there in time.
I could not be happier with my choice to go with Tucan Travel and I think more people need to know about this great Travel company.
All that means I know which company I will travel with next. The only question now is where to :)
A Video of my trip will be posted on YouTube by the end of Sep-2016 in case you want more info + a Video of my climb to Wayna Picchu."
"My partner and i recently did a 50 day overland tour (hotels rather than camping) around Africa (Kigali to Cape Town). I submitted my feedback, however not being confident it would be read, let alone considered or shared, i decided to write a more public review. I apologize for the length.
Firstly i would like to point out the parts of the tour i generally disliked. I paid so much money to sit in a bus almost all day, every day. The towns & countries blurred past in an indistinguishable manner. I could barely remember which country i was in two days ago. The tour is designed to see animals & landscape (from the bus window), however i felt i had zero experience of Africa for what it truly is. Baring the tourist trap 'cultural tours' (i dont fancy having a cultural tour whereby African children sing an english song "welcome to our school, we hope you like it" or some such rubbish. Nor do i like being asked for more money at the end), i felt i have no idea about the African culture. Now i realise i chose to join a tour, that's what the itinerary said & that's what you get. However, it's a shame to spend so much money to travel so far, for so long & experience so little. Almost every morning (except about 5 free days) was an early morning, seeing us awake before dawn. The average travel day was about 8hrs (longest being 16hrs), & this was basically every day.
We did some game drives in the Kruger & Etosha NP's on the Tucan truck, which is a terrible safari vehicle - it's big, hot, crowded, difficult to move around, very difficult to see out & take photos through the tiny open windows, especially when the bus is at full capacity of 34ppl. I am aware the group maximum is 34, but this is far too big. Hotels became a problem (as we discovered), pit stops, lunch breaks, supermarket stops, hotel check-ins & simply getting everyone on/off the bus, all take so much longer. Not to mention having every seat on the bus, full, is downright stuffy & uncomfortable. There was insufficient room for baggage (crates & bags had to go into the drivers cabin).
A huge disappointment with the tour, was our Tour Leader. She was a happy, enthusiastic, nice person & our leader herself, was certainly not the problem. However, ours was her first tour in Africa. Tucan had cut short her training because they had a tour booked & needed a Tour Leader pronto. She had been inadequately trained & im sorry to say no idea about anything. She tried her hardest to help us & answer our questions, but a complete lack of experience & knowledge meant she couldnt. She didnt even know the daily routes. I have no doubt after a few tours she'll make a great Tour Leader, but for us she was almost useless. Tucan will say she had an experienced leader of the camping tour following us & helping her along the way (which we saw her do occasionally), but this other leader left Tucan halfway through our tour, meaning we were on our own. I place no blame on our Tour Leader, & put 100% on to Tucan. We paid far too much money to be put in this situation. If you didnt have a leader, Tucan should not have sold a tour.
Another massive disappointment lay with our accomodation issues. All was fine until our group of 21 jumped to a whopping 34. The instant our group jumped to 34 in Livingstone, there were accomodation problems. We were told the hotels double-booked some of our rooms. 4 couples had to stay in another hotel 2km away (which was apparently quite inferior). This hotel situation happened 4 times, for a total of 7 nights, & the same 3 couples were downgraded each time. My partner & i were downgraded 3 of the 4 times, over 5 nights. In Swakopmund, we were downgraded to stay in the same backpackers as the camping group. It was quite uncomfortable & for 2 nights we were all sleeping underneath the campers dorm rooms, meaning we heard talking & stomping late at night. We also had a pipe in our bathroom, so every time a toilet upstairs flushed, we'd hear a flood of water rushing down the pipe. I understand sometimes things go wrong & that's ok, but what's not ok, is when the same ppl suffer every time. It should have been shared around the group. One of the ppl who was downgraded each time, had broken her arm in the beginning of the tour & was uncomfortable enough. Having to tackle sleepless nights, difficult shower cubicles & uncomfortable beds during the downgrades, did not help. And, yes. She told our Tour Leader. Nothing changed.
The Tour Leader should accept that not everyone has the same budget, & should bear this in mind when booking group dinners (one was USD40). For starters, it'd be nice if she could have told us the average cost of a meal, before demanding we decide whether we want to go. It'd also be nice if she could present 2 restaurant options on different budgets & have the group vote.
Often our hotels were outside a town, meaning we had to eat dinner in the hotel restaurant (which was usually expensive) or catch a taxi into town. Prior warning would have been appreciated, so we could have bought dinner at a supermarket, etc.
I left with the impression Tucan is only interested in money rather than the service offered. I would not recommend Tucan to anybody. This tour was very expensive & i booked with an expectation of having a great experience in africa. Instead we were met with mistakes, disappointments & downgrades one after another. I was actually looking forward to finishing the tour.
After giving all that negative feedback, i will point out an excellent part of the tour. For the game drives in the Masai Mara, Serengetti & Ngorongoro Crater, Tucan contracted companies to take us on these. Their cars were fantastic! They seated around 6-8 ppl & the roof popped up so we could all stand up, take photos easily & have an amazing 360 degree view out the car! The parks were incredible."
I'm so sorry to read that your tour didn't meet your expectations. We try to provide as much information as possible on our website to prepare all of our clients for what a long tour around Africa would involve. This includes early starts, long travel days, visits to school and safaris using our overlanding vehicle (which allows you to see more than those in cars due to the truck's height) We do use quite basic hotels and campsites in Africa, the accommodation varies greatly and we can't always guarantee hot water or en-suite bathrooms.
Our tour leaders are all trained to an incredibly high standard and we offer extensive training programs. However, due to the length of some of our tours, it is impossible for them to have visited everywhere but they all have notes, tips from previous tour leaders and the daily assistance of office staff.
Once again, I can only apologise that you did not enjoy your tour.
"Should have written right after our wonderful trip to Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand, the end of last year. We were a small group of 4 women Three of them in their early forties and myself far in the 70th!! There are no words to describe each of the countries, how lovely, how friendly they were, specially Vietnam and Cambodia. We ate their food, drank their drinks, many times on a sidewalk on a rickety stool and wobbly table! The food was always delicious, oh how we talked about the meals we had! Our guides took good care of us, pointed out interes-
ting things, they were always in time and so friendly! My main interest was Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Angkor Tom was so beautiful and it all exceeded my expectations. When I go over the hundreds of pictures taken, I sometimes get tears in my eyes.
Hanoi was lively and exciting, good feeling in the air! Halong Bay so lovely and serene, would love to repeat. Hoi An such a jewel!
Our hotels were superb, first class, the breakfasts fabulous! When I think of the passion fruit halves that we had......
In all, Tucan Travel, it could not be better and I thank you for the wonderful experience
"Rajasthan is wonderful, but Tucantravel is not. Do not book with Tucantravel.
Tucantravel explicitly states on their website what is and isn't included on this tour. One thing included is breakfast every day. However, when we arrived in India, we were told that some breakfasts weren't included and some trips weren't included, so we had to pay for them ourselves. I had a printed out dossier from the company clearly stating that all breakfasts were included and that certain excursions were included, but our tour guide said that the dossier was wrong and "that's how it's always been." I understand that tours can change slightly, however, you can't simply make people pay for something and then tell them they're not going to receive it without refunding them. That's dishonest and false advertising.
When I got home, I emailed the company to tell them that some of the included things were actually not included. A month later, I got this response: http://imgur.com/a/2wgxS. Basically, they said I was lying and refused to acknowledge that we hadn't received everything the tour said we would.
The line from this letter that is particularly worrying is the following: "The Amber Fort in Jaipur was not visited as it was closed due to a security issue. The guide purposely did not explain this fully to the group because he did not wish to worry his clients." ?!?!?!?! Tucantravel thinks it's ok to simply not tell the group when there is a security issue?
And guess what... this was also not true. The Amber Fort was definitely open, and we visited it ourselves (transportation set up by our guide, paid for by us, and entry fee paid for by us. Proof: http://imgur.com/a/TcYDz
So basically, Tucantravel is lying about the Fort being closed, because I clearly went there. And, they think it's ok, because "there was a security issue we didn't want to tell you about" How on earth is that proper safety etiquette for a tour company?!? I want to stress that Rajasthan is a wonderful place to visit. Go there, but there are plenty of more honest companies you can use who actually fulfill what they promise on their dossiers."
Thank you for taking the time to leave feedback and we are so pleased you enjoyed Rajasthan. Your tour leader was informed that the Amber Fort was closed on the day you were scheduled to visit the site due to a bomb threat in the area. He chose not to tell the group of the reason for the site’s closure to not upset or scare you and instead, he arranged a guided tour of the City Palace and entry to Jaigarh Fort to compensate you for not being able to visit the Amber Fort that day. The combined cost of these alternative sites ended up being more than the cost of entry to the Amber Fort. We believe that the following day, the Amber Fort was open to the public again, deemed safe by security in the area.
We have been in communication with your tour leader who has assured us that you received all meals that were included in your itinerary. We are sorry if there was any confusion over these.
Thank you again for leaving feedback and we wish you all the best in your future adventures
"We travelled throughout South America in January 2016 visiting Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina & Brazil finishing the Rio carnival for a total of 30 days. We travelled with Tucan Travel on their South American Express group tour & have the following comments on our experience.
We knew we had 7 flights within South America but had not realised in addition the amount of coach journeys (most 8hrs long) to get around the country. Instead of taking the bus journey of 10 hrs( turned out to be 16 hrs for the group due to border crossing ) from Santiago to Mendoza we booked a flight which took 55mins leaving us a full day in Mendoza. mornings leaving at 5.20am & often missing breakfast due to the early starts so would highly recommend taking snacks with you all the time as it is hard to plan timing of food stops or whether you will like the food.
• Tour leader inexperienced affecting quality & trip experience – Danea did not instil confidence in any of our group that she knew her job as a tour leader. She was often hesitant in manner & came across as lacking confidence in dealing with issues that arose or making decisions. We as a group were also concerned about information been omitted due to inexperience of our tour leader which became obvious when we saw the level of interaction & detailed information been provided by Heidi, who has 12 years tour leader experience, exclusively to her own group. Heidi spent all her time looking after her own group exclusively & her group kept to themselves & even though we observed her & her group in hotels, our groups were very separate. It was obvious by their actions that each tour leader took responsibility for their group only. Danae admitted this was her 1st time out of Peru, that she was only a short time a tour guide. Our expectation was that Tucan should have ensured a fully qualified, professional guide for our tour which would have taken away the worry we experienced about the logistics & details on the trip.
• 4x4 land cruiser conditions for 3 days– 1) Fitting 5 to 6 people in each cruiser, the two back seats are v small & cramped, suitable for small children only definitely not fit for adults whose legs were cramped. Health issue in cramped conditions, possible clots in legs due to long drives in cramped position. 2) Seats behind the driver were only 2 seats but 3 people were expected to sit with the 3rd person sitting in the middle on a crack which is part of another seat, not suitable or comfortable for long days traveling. 3) Some seat belts were not working. 4) The handholds above the doors were only available at 3 doors so people in seats with no handholds were thrown around when off road which was quite a lot of the time.
• 4x4 Basic share accommodation same gender rooms not provided. One of the nights at the basic accommodation we were sharing a room which had 6 people (4 male, 2 females). Your own information states "Travellers will share rooms with other group members of the same gender" http://www.tucantravel.com/travel-styles/dossier/adventure-tours
• Altitude sickness tablets should have been strongly recommended. For everyone to start taking a few days before the trip as this trip is 12 days at high altitude (up to 5000m) from Cusco to Santiago. Many individuals on our trip were very unwell which hampered their experience of the trip.
• Two separate Tucan groups competing for available resources. Our trip had Two Tucan groups of 16 people each in the same location at the same time for 80% of our trip. Staying at the same accommodation, requiring transportation (whether coaches or planes) in these countries means trying to find decent facilities & transport for 32 people. As our group of 16 was nearly always 2nd leaving everywhere to the point we were told we were not meant to be the “2nd class (inferior) Tucan group as Heidi’s group from our assessment got to the accommodations before us so hot water was used up before our group arrived. Heidi’s group rooms in Igazu hotels were in the refurbished part of the hotel with our group in the old grim part of the hotel ( ants in shower..). In the Don Raul San Pedro del Atacama hotel when we arrived after a hard day driving over the mountains the only Tucan booking at the hotel was for Heidi & her group, our groups accommodation did not exist. Luckily for us as we arrived for once at a hotel before Heidi’s group & as her rooms were Tucan rooms we took them, Heidi’s group had to be accommodated elsewhere in town.
Transportation vehicles that Heidi’s group had available were better quality than ours which we could see with our own eyes. The above information is the reason for the ‘2nd class comment to us from our tour guide to try to say to us that our group were not an afterthought when this tour was been put together by Tucan trying to manage two groups of 16 people at the same places. We should have had equal treatment & quality on our trip to Heidi’s group which all of our group felt was not the case.
All of our group felt the same way, the majority of our group members having experience of travelling with other group tour companies to other destinations in the past. All of us will not be traveling with Tucan again & would not recommend them as a company."
Thank you for taking the time to leave feedback. You raise many issues and I will try and comment on as many of them as possible, however I know that our Customer Relations Manager is currently investigating your case.
The tour you took through South America was designed with as many flights in as possible in order to limit the number of long travel days and make as much use of your time as possible, giving you more time in the exciting destinations the continent has to offer. Despite this, your tour still covered vast distances in a relatively short period of time and it is impossible to travel from A to B without long bus journeys and early starts sometimes. The early morning departures in particular are chosen to allow you to enjoy your destination as much as possible and the long bus journey between Santiago and Mendoza is meant to be one of the most beautiful in South America. When the road is open, we always take this route rather than flying as the views are exceptional and not to be missed. The 4WD’s we use on the Uyuni Salt Flats sit 8 people comfortably. This is the best way of driving over the salt pans and covering the huge distances required.
The accommodation we use varies throughout the trip but we always try and use hotels with the equivalent comfort of a three star hotel. Your tour included one night in basic, multi-share accommodation on the Uyuni Salt Flats. This accommodation was clearly described in your itinerary and we choose these style of hotel due to the lack of affordable options in the region. We have never had any complaints about this accommodation before as it is clearly described online and part of the authentic travel experience we advertise. If you had any other issues with your accommodation, we always recommend raising it with your tour leader at the time so that they can work with the hotel to make changes. We block book hotel rooms and services up to 12 months in advance and the hotels we use are used to accommodating up to 36 of our clients at any time on some popular tours. There was one incident where half of the booking was lost but the hotel admitted responsibility and found somewhere of a similar standard for the rest of the group to stay very quickly. We are unable to control which rooms the hotels use and a lot depends on other guests
Your Tour Leader
Throughout your tour, your tour leader Denea was assisted by a much more experienced tour leader, Heidi who was running the tour alongside yours. Denea also had the support of our office in Peru who she was in contact with on a daily basis. Denae had plenty of experience that qualified her as a tour leader. She has been working for Tucan Travel for several months now and before that, ran tours for a volunteer company for over a year.
As a tour operator, we are unable to provide medical advice. We always recommend that you visit a doctor before travelling, particularly if you are worried about altitude sickness. Altitude sickness can affect everybody in different ways so it is important that you understand the illness and take whatever precautions you are comfortable with depending on your doctor’s advice. I am sorry that you feel that you would not travel with us again and we wish you all the best in your future travels.
"Our tour guide was inexperienced and her knowledge was poor. As we found out this was her first time at being a tour leader outside of Peru!
Throughout our tour we were never given all the information or the correct information for that matter for any additional activities. We were only ever given the information the tour leader wanted to give us eg. Being given only the expensive option that tucan travel provide!
We were mislead with information for activities in San Pedro therefore not being able to bring the appropriate equipment with us eg. Being told we were going on a trip to the caves to watch the sunset bring drinks and dinner, when in fact it included a 1x 35min hike up a sand dune with sand storms piercing our bodies as we were not dressed appropriately due to nil information, 1x 20min hike along another sand dune and a 45min climb through caves. By this time majority of our group were now sitting on the bus due to illness (asthma attack), heat stroke from hiking in 40°C weather or were exhausted and in pain!
On several occasions we were given information regarding currency and roughly how much money we would need. You could almost guarantee that every time we would get money out of ATM's and it was either $500 too much or $500 too less in that specific currency. I get that it's an approximate but again why does the tour leader not know this information!
I understand that there was very basic accommodation during the 4wd days but not once has it ever been mentioned from Tucan Travel that there would be unisex rooms! Myself and friend were forced to share a 3bdm room with another male we'd known for a week! This is inappropriate and unacceptable! When the issue was raised to the tour leader we were pretty much told to deal with it.
As per your information provided it clearly states "same gender rooms" http://www.tucantravel.com/travel-styles/dossier/adventure-tours
On 2 occasions we had issues at our accommodation. We had items stolen by cleaning staff and were accused of deliberately bending an electronic key. We were not only shocked but discusted to hear our tour leader question us in regards to actually seeing the maids steal our items before accusing them of it!!
In regards to the electronic key, we were not supported by our tour leader at any point, instead we were told by her that she didnt know whether we were lying or the key was in fact bent on arrival! We were then directed by our tour leader to sort this out ourselves with staff that ONLY spoke Spanish!.
I would like you to Never allow an inexperienced and unprofessional leader take control of a group when they have no idea what they are doing!
I paid for a tour as I didn't want to have to worry about the details and organisation that goes into making a tour what it is.
Instead I would of been better off saving thousands of dollars and choosing independent travel as this is pretty much what our group have been provided with this whole trip!
We will never travel with your company again, nor will I ever recommend your company to anyone! I sincerely hope no one has to endure this poorly ran and organised trip that we have encounted on."
"Enjoyed the trip. Have travelled with Intrepid and they supply very specific trip notes .Tucan's trip notes are very generic. This trip had long days on the bus and also required a degree of fitness.Would have appreciated an extra day in the Fitzroy National Park as had to choose between walking and spending time on a glacier. The accommodation was better than I expected and the guide Kym did a good job as did Richie the driver."
"The activities were very interesting and appealing for a wide array of ages. However some of the restaurants we visited were sort of pricy.
Our guide was very understanding, helpful, patient, and fun."
"Keith and I were delighted with our Tucan trip to Peru. We were introduced to other group members, escorted to flights and hotels and on tours. We had ample spare time and were also given the opportunity to have group meals and or to spend time apart from the group if we required. All activities were well planned in advance and ran to time .
Thank you for a great holiday and and oppportunity to learn about the wonderful history and geography of Peru"
When a review is marked
it means Reviews.io has the additional trust signal necessary to ensure that the review is genuine. Customers reading the reviews can then use this information to help them decide which reviews are more relevant and steer them in their purchasing decisions.
If a review does not have the
label next to it, we do not have the additional information from the customer/company to verify that the review was written from the privileged user position.
Even though some reviews do not carry the
badge, it does not mean that the reviewer has no experience with the company - it just means that we could not confirm a specific purchase.
badge offers one more way to help gauge the quality and relevance of a company review.
How can I make my review "Verified"?
If we are unable to automatically verify you as a
you can email supporting documents to
so we can investigate and mark your review as
We prefer an invoice, delivery note or receipt.
When a review is marked
it means Reviews.io has NOT had the trust signals necessary to ensure that the review is genuine. Customers reading the reviews can then use this information to help them decide which reviews are more relevant and steer them in their purchasing decisions.
How can I make my review "Verified"?
If we are unable to automatically verify you as a
you can enter your email address below and we'll be in touch to verify your review.