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HANNAH L.
Westerner 2

More incredible than I ever imagined!

Reviewed September 2018

So you’re gonna read a lot of reviews about how apprehensive people were to book and how glad they were that they did. I read a lot of similar reviews before I booked and was probably as skeptical as you are reading mine but it’s impossible to put into words how utterly incredible this trip is you just have to give it a go and see for yourself! I had the most amazing 2 weeks everywhere we stopped I was convinced it couldn’t get more beautiful and nothing else could surprise me but every time it did! From trekking the Grand Canyon to sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge at sunset I couldnt quite believe I was really there. Our trek leader Steven was so helpful and just felt like one of the group. I made great friends and loved getting to know everyone.

I’ll leave you with a quote I learnt along the way “freedom awaits you on the breeze in the sky, you ask what if I fall but oh my darling what if you fly?” And so if these reviews are to be believed surely that’s worth taking a chance and booking cause I guarantee you’ll be flying the whole time!

Chels_Ackroyd
Southern Sun from New York

Incredible experience, amazing locations and people but disappointing trek leader.

Reviewed September 2018

Booking the trip was so easy and I loved the pre-departure tips and checklist as well as being able to speak to people on my trip beforehand! Although the trip was really expensive, it allowed me to travel hassle-free after camp and pick a trek that suits me. The trek itself was incredible! I visited 15 states in 21 days and was lucky enough to have a great group of people. I chose a camping trek which suited me and thought the idea of the food kitty was perfect. The campsites were all lovely (bar one, which we only stayed in for one night) with showers, wifi, laundry and sometimes pools. We had a lot of free days to choose what we wanted to do, which was great since we didn't have to follow the group. My biggest let down was the tour leader. He focused a lot on drinking, making sure we always bought alcohol and sometimes left activities earlier than the group wanted so we could go back to the hostel/campsite and drink. The food kitty was not used how it was described to us- we were not given a choice whether to use food kitty or eat out or even a choice on where to eat out. Meals became very expensive since he chose very nice, but very expensive restaurants and we only made 5 dinners for the whole 21 day trek. There were many other complaints including unacceptable relationships with trekkers, staying up late drinking then driving us early in the morning, leaving drunk people on the floor to look after themselves, texting while driving and giving us very little information on things to do locally on our free days, particularly free things to do. The trek leader on the other group also regularly got lost (despite using google maps), got stuck in the sand (so the trekkers had to push the van out and lost an hour and a half of their day) and spoke badly about the other group. This review is not to put people off the trip, which was INCREDIBLE. I line danced in nashville, hiked the grand canyon, went on a party bus down the vegas strip and spent many evenings playing cards and drinking by the fire. This review is to make people aware of the negatives of my experience so they can consider it before booking. When reading reviews I found that people only included positives, whereas I wanted to have an inclusive review to consider before booking. Also, I hope that this review, and my complaint email will make trekamerica train/hire staff with more care.

 

Response from TrekAmerica:

Thank you for reviewing this tour. I am pleased to hear that you enjoyed the itinerary and were able to make the most of your time in the amazing locations visited on the Southern Sun. It is disappointing to hear that your tour leader did not provide the level service we expect at TrekAmerica.

Our expectation is that our tour leaders will help enhance the tour with the knowledge of the places visited, as well as suggestions for optional activities on offer in each location. It is good to hear that your tour leader chose to include themselves in activities in their free time but it sounds like, at times, they took this too far.

Please note we take any allegations of driving under the influence or driving dangerously very seriously.

The food kitty is managed by the tour leader and offers value by splitting the cost of communal meals across the tour. I am sorry to hear you felt this was not managed correctly and you had to eat out on a number of days.

It is good to hear that, despite the performance of the tour leader, you were still able to take wonderful memories way from the Southern Sun tour.

harris_87
Western BLT from San Francisco

The time of my life!

Reviewed September 2018

This is a great trip which offers a lot of variety. From walking up trails in beautiful Yosemite and Grand Canyon, to being on a party bus, seeing shows and drinking in Las Vegas. That's why I choose it and it delivered!

If you're after a relaxing week this isn't the Trek for you. It involves a lot of early mornings and long days, but packs in some amazing things in to a week.

The people I toured with were brilliant and I made some great friends along the way. If anyone is concerned about travelling alone don't be, people are in the same boat as you and you make friends through your experiences together.

I had the time of my life on this trip and I'm gutted to be home and back to reality. Would definitely use Trek America again in the future!

Amelia
Mountain Trail

The most incredible trip.

Reviewed September 2018

This was my second trek america trip, but doing this trek is the best thing I've ever ever done. Every single part of the trip was incredible, from Yellowstone to Arches National Park. It really is a nature lovers dream. Our tour leader Nicole was amazing and she worked so hard to make the trip life altering for all of us. Our group was amazing and most of were solo travellers. If I could do it all again I would.

Georgie
Westerner 2

BEST 14 DAYS EVER!!

Reviewed September 2018

Where to begin.. I was apprehensive of booking this trip, partly because it would be my first solo flight, partly because of being in an unknown territory! But oh my, I am soooo very pleased I did it! Honestly, from the minute I booked it right away through to the end of the tour to now, I have loved it! Meeting the very best friends ever and being able to share the most magical experiences and adventures with them was just incredible! Being taught and shown around places I would never have even known about by the very best tour leader, just helped to make the adventure magical! I've seen the best sunsets and sunrises, slept under the stars, found the most quaint spots in the most idyllic spots. Conquered fears, achieved things I never thought I would ever do! Hiked longer than I thought I could! And learnt so many things about myself and the world! I know its a cliché, but you really do change when you go travelling and see the world! "Fill your life with adventures, not things. Have stories to tell not things to show." I would 100000000000...% recommend booking a trek America tour- especially a westerner 2 tour! Although its only 14 days, you see soooo much!!!!!!

HAYLEY R.
Western Wonder from Los Angeles

Best week ever!

Reviewed September 2018

This trek was amazing! We had Jordan as a trek leader and she was fantastic! She knew everything about everywhere and more importantly she put up with us lot for a whole week! I joined the Trek as a solo traveller and despite only being with some of the girl for only 7 days, it felt like I had known them 7 years! My original thought was that it was quite expensive, but I was proved wrong. We did SO much during the week and getting to all these places alone would probably be impossible without a car. The food they got was amazing and it was just such a fantastic experience. My highlights were definitely the party bus in Las Vegas (that was amazing) and camping in the Grand Canyon during a storm! I have met friends for life and have amazing stories to tell thanks to Trek America!

jessabrahams7_146596
Mexican BLT

Mexican BLT - great experience, breakfast is NOT included

Reviewed September 2018

The Mexican BLT tour was very well organised and extremely efficient. We were able to easily get around as our tour leader, Dalai, was not only leading us and providing information about Mexico in a larger context, and also the areas we were visiting, but he was also driving the 10 person van which was used to transport us from place to place.
I'm extremely glad I did this tour as I wanted to cover the vast area of Mexico that we did in such a small amount of time, and I really don't see how I would have been able to do so otherwise.
Covering so much in such a small amount of time did, however, mean that we were unable to fully explore certain places such as Merida, Bacalar and Tulum. Normally I am quite independent and like to walk around to get my bearings whilst in a new place. However, in the earlier mentioned places, I was unable to do so due to schedule. I completely understand that in order to maximise the amount of places covered in 9 days, we have to move on very swiftly. I will just have to go back and visit these places again!
One main disappointment was Tulum, as I have heard such great things and had many recommendations of restaurants and bars from friends who have been there. However, our time in Tulum was used purely to visit the archaeological site and so we didn't even venture into the town - having lunch at the site's main square and leaving directly afterwards for Playa del Carmen. I feel like we could have spent more time in Tulum having a look around as quite a few of us were interested, but Dalai said it was 'too touristy' and so didn't take us there.
The standard of accommodation on the trip was a lot higher than I was expecting, as I had previously been travelling in Panama and staying in hostels. Many of the hotels we stayed in even had pools! The only downside was that the tour's itinerary states that breakfast will be included, with lunch and dinner bought locally. However this definitely is not the case. We were all very confused and disappointed that at only 1 out of the 6 accommodations we were offered breakfast included in our stay. Trek America should not have advertised the tour as having breakfast included as I and many others in my group budgeted with the impression that we wouldn't have to be paying for it. I then had to spend a minimum of the equivalent of £3 per day on breakfast, which really adds up when you're wanting to spend your money on cool adventures and activities and have a long travelling trip planned outside of the booked tour. I can see now that Trek America have changed the wording that all meals will be paid locally, which I am glad for future travelers to avoid this confusion we had. However, I am still very disappointed as we were misinformed.
The best part about this tour is that there is so much included. All entries to the archaeological sites are included in the tour which was great and we only had to pay separately for guides, which were optional. I would definitely recommend paying for the guides at Chichen Itza, Palenque and Uxmal as they were very informative and you're able to learn so much more about the sites and the Maya people rather than just looking at big structures for an hour in the hot sun.
There were, of course, some additional activities available, such as swimming in cenotes, snorkelling and scuba diving, which were all paid locally. One especially great experience we had was the Tamezcal in Palenque - definitely a unique experience and well worth it. I was disappointed that when we got to Palenque and enquired after the nocturnal jungle tour, Dalai said that the animals you're shown are kept in cages, and so none of us went to this as it wasn't what we were expecting - with members of the group and friends from travelling having done proper nighttime tours of the wildlife in areas such as Guatemala.
All in all, the tour was a great way to experience Mayan mexico in a short space of time.

JAMES H.
Atlantic Dream

Amazing experience loved it

Reviewed September 2018

Our tour guide instantly made us feel at home and was amazingly helpful and knowledgeable, my group was very friendly and we became good friends quickly, the trek itself was amazing we saw so much packed into 14 days with so many good times and memories and I didn’t want to leave, I recommend this to anyone and everyone.

ELEY
Glaciers and Grizzlies Plus

Incredible tour of the rockies packed into 11 days

Reviewed September 2018

Glaciers & Grizzlies has been my fourth solo travel tour (second with Trek America) and I can’t recommend them enough. We only had 24 people sign up to the trip so they split us into two groups of 12 and we were in a mini bus rather than a full sized coach. I didn’t mind this at all as it’s nice to be in a slightly smaller group and helps with getting to know everyone as well as possible in a short space of time.

Michelle was a fabulous tour leader and had exceptional knowledge of the wildlife and areas we visited during the tour, never a question unanswered!

This was one of the most picturesque tours I’ve done and the beautiful lakes and mountains did not disappoint. We were very lucky and got to see a black bear and a moose! Depending on the time of year you visit, I would say to lower your expectations on seeing wildlife so if you do spot any it’s always a bonus and much more exciting!

The only downfall of the tour was not keeping in sync with the other group despite doing the same activities day to day. This meant we couldn’t get to know them as well and when we did end up in places at the same time there was a slight divide between the two groups. I did my best to socialise with everyone where possible so the trip is entirely what you make it :)

I would 100% recommend the zip lining optional extra in Whistler, it was amazing!

I’ll be back very soon Canada!

DAVID M.B
Glaciers and Grizzlies Plus

Fantastic tour guide, although sometimes poorly organised

Reviewed September 2018

This was my first trek, and, overall it was an incredible experience and I have some lasting memories and have made some lifelong friends.

Strong points:
- Incredibly fun
- Great value for money
- New experiences
- Interesting knowledge that you would never have found out if you self drove/ explored.

What could have been better:
- The trip consisted of 2 separate tour buses, 12 members each. Unfortunately, me and my girlfriend were separated into different vans. Thankfully we managed to swap so we were in the same van, however it is not clear on the website what the arrangements would be on the van.
- Despite being told that the two vans would be together and basically undergoing the exact same tour, the other van's tour guide was in his first year, and thus had numerous issues which caused them to completely derail from the daily planned activities. This was nobodies fault but his, and meant that we did not bond with half of the tour members

As mentioned above, there were a few hiccoughs which I guess is to be expected. My tour guide (Michelle) made our tour absolutely incredible, and I am so grateful for all the good times we had because of her willingness to make our tour great, her knowledge of Canada and her unwavering passion.

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