I have to start by saying that the tour guide named Augusto, who is just brilliant, talented, and has a great sense of humor, makes up for some of the unpleasant experiences I had right before leaving. Tours to Kuelep and Revfash with Augusto were high quality and very enjoyable. He speaks at least Spanish, English, French, German (I believe) and only he knows what more! His knowledge is extensive and if you get him as your guide, you are in good hands right down to lunch recommendations.
On the other hand, I inquired about a tour to Karajia for the day prior to my night bus. I made it very clear to Carlos that I had a bus that night, leaving promptly at 7:30 and he assured me, more than once, that I would be back by 5:30-NO later. The tour got off to a very late start (was supposed to start at 7:45 and did not leave town until 8:45/9:00), the driver was very nice but had never driven to the first stop, the guide clearly had little knowledge of what we needed to take care of or how to keep her group together and and moving along. We stopped at Quiocta Caves (not to be confused with Catarata de Gocta falls) we had to rent boots because of the mud inside and it was the worst tour ever. We did not have enough lighting, we had a 14 year old local boy cutting school as our guide b/c ours knew nothing of the cave, and people were falling down because they could not see & it was too slippery therefor getting very muddy with mud with bat droppings (it was all you could smell-yuck!) So, people were muddy for the rest of the very LONG day. AVOID the cave at all cost-it was stupid with NOTHING to see-literally, nothing of interest even when you had a light!!! I made it clear to the guide that I needed to be back by 6:30 earlier in the day and again several times and it was becoming more clear I may not make it. Lunch stop was so so at best until someone got sick on the food when at Karajia. The long and terrible road to Karajia was possibly not worth the trip and may have contributed to the woman getting ill. It was a least one km steep walk down to what was small statues peached up on a cliff. You see replicas of them around Chachapoyas-maybe that should be good enough and I love this type of stuff usually.
Anyway, after a REALLY long day and much stress, we rolled into town at 7:18 pm and the guide talked to rest of the tour into not getting off at their hotels first so that I stand a chance at making my bus. A nice gesture by the guide and tour members but all could have been avoided if Carlos had been honest with me from the beginning. Just say the day is too long and you could miss your bus instead of just wanting some more soles (55 to be exact) from me-that is what this came down to. I left with mud on my clothes and wearing shorts because i had no time to change for my overnight bus. I was so irritated with Carlos and could hardly keep in sight my other very positive experiences. I would suggest not paying until you return to make sure you get what you need-there were quite a few people on many tours that did not pay in advance. Do the same so you have some leverage!!!!!
The hotel was average and there are plenty of options in Chachapoyas.
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