I found Pajonal Tours on TA and began communication without hesitation after reading all the positive reviews. Maria has great English, was very quick to respond to emails and provided options/ feedback for airport transport and tours of Quito and the surrounding area. We ended up booking 2 airport transports and the Historic Quito Tour, as we only had one day and were concerned about altitude and available time. We never met Maria personally. Tours/transport seem to be subbed out, and full payment is requested by Paypal in advance of arrival.
Our provided guide, Angel, was fairly timely in picking us up from the airport upon arrival to Quito. We wandered about for 15 minutes after clearing customs/baggage pickup and finally connected. The drive from the new airport to the hotel is a good hour+, but Angel described the area and changes to roads and traffic that everybody was adjusting to. It was late, 2100, but Angel knew the area well, found our hotel in Old Town quickly and introduced us to hotel staff upon entry (Nice).
Angel picked us up again from our hotel in old town (Hotel Plaza Sucre) at 0800 to begin our agreed upon day tour. We visited the Virgin del Panecillo early to get clear views and beat the crowds. Then we headed out of town to Pululahua Volcano, the Middle of the World Monument, and back into town for multiple churches and plazas. As we were staying in Old Town, it was nice parking nearby, walking around the area with an informed citizen and ending close to our hotel (Nice).
It was clear our guide had great pride and knowledge of the area. Our tour of the Middle of the World included an in-depth overview of the area's peoples through history on all floors of the museum. Later he stopped to show us some big Qui cooking and many churches and plazas in historical Old Town. So many beautiful sites, just amazing! We had requested a stop for lunch, however our guide seemed to want to end the day at 2 pm. We said we would treat him, but he never stopped. We were hungry, especially walking past many shops and bakeries! But we ultimately called it a day and decided to just get an early dinner. We tipped our guide and mutually stated we would meet again one week later for hotel pickup/transport back to the Quito airport (Mostly Nice).
(I had decided in advance to book alternate transportation for our amazon itinerary.)
One week later, after returning from the Amazon late the night before, we waited at the Marriot for agreed 0315 pickup/transport to the airport. Maria stated a 0315 pickup was necessary for our 0700 flight to Lima due to mandatory 3 hours for international departures. We ultimately had to catch a private cab, which was slightly more than the Pajonal fee and made it to the airport with minimal time to spare. We had tried calling Maria for a rescue, but of course, did not get an answer at 0330 in the morning! (Not so nice).
The next day, we got several emails from Maria and Angel apologizing for a missed alarm. It's Ok. Things happen. I'm just happy the Marriot was able to quickly accommodate us in our need for a ride to the airport. Maria quickly refunded us her transportation charge. We would recommend Pajonal Tours and use them again if in Ecuador. They seem to offer a wide variety of interesting tours. Maybe tip at the very end - "to insure promptness".
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