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Pioneer Expeditions
Average rating:  
 61 reviews
Costa Rica Ultimate Adventure

In a word, our holiday was incredible!

You really hit our brief with this tailormade 2 weeks in Costa Rica, with wildlife and scenery being at the centre. Costa Rica has really embraced tourism as a way to save their environment, we felt so welcome.
From the moment we stepped off the plane in San Jose, where we had a private transfer to meet us, to dropping off our hire car at the end, everything was so well organised, punctual and thorough. Each national park/stop was incredible and could see why you included it in the trip. The excursions were great, esp. the private ones and we really appreciated the semi structured style of this holiday so give us some flexibility too as we like to fill every moment! Having a hire car was a great idea, driving in Costa Rica was very easy. The location of all the various places we stayed were fantastic, especially our final stop in Boca Topada, this place was magical.
We do not think we could pick a favourite stop during our trip as each was amazing and offered something different and instead, we had a highlight at each stop. We have to say the tour guides at Brauillo were incredible! SO enthusiastic and knowledgeable. They deserve special praise.
We would have no hesitation in recommending you to other people to use and looking to use you again in the future. We had a wonderful stress free time. Apart from all the mosquito bites.

Guatemala and Belize

We've just got back from a fantastic trip organised by Pioneer Travel. We are a family of 5, with teenage children and were looking for an active, adventurous holiday (possibly one of the lasty as a family our eldest is 19). Pioneer put together a great itinerary with many highlights and a good balance between activity and time to relax. Our guides were very knowledgeable and we ended up having many interesting conversations about life and current affairs in Guatemala, as well cultural interpretations of Mayan ruins. Highlights include ATM cave in Belize, staying in Uaxactun village, Tikal and glamping at Lake Atitlan. Every day was fun and engaging. Thanks to the team for organising such a great holiday for us.

Madagascar Ultimate Adventure

The organisation by Pioneer was excellent, and our guide and driver, Hari and Pica, took great care of us every step of the way to ensure that we were safe, and seeing as much as possible. As other reviewers have said, the transport infrastructure is truly awful, and there are long periods of time in the car bouncing very slowly towards your destination. Our most memorable moment will definitely be the train derailment (very slow and not at all scary). The train crew manoeuvred the carriage about 2m back onto the rails over the course of the next 6 hours and off we went again. However, the people are wonderful! Almost everyone you pass smiles and greets you. Children are delighted if you take a photo of them and show them - and you will quickly gather a crowd around you if you are prepared to show them photos of other things that you have seen. I wish I had taken some pens, as many of the children asked if I had a pen that I could give them for school. The determination, positive attitude and resourcefulness of people who have next to nothing is incredible. For mile after mile every usable inch of land is cultivated, back-breakingly by hand, or occasionally by ox (zebu). The clay is dug out to form paddy fields, and turned into bricks, dried in enormous piles by the roadside. We saw people sawing wood into planks by hand, and met children as young as 6 or 7 walking 30km to market. The highlight was, of course, the lemurs: a night walk to see the mouse lemur; ring tailed lemurs sunworshipping on a rock; but also cycling through crowded streets dodging rickshaws, ox carts, potholes and pedestrians; the visit to the zebu market; the wood carvers (who created their own saws out of steel recovered from car tyres, bashed flat and then teeth hand cut into it); the people sand casting cooking pots out of recycled aluminium. Some tolerance is required when things don't go to plan, and you do need a good level of fitness for this particular tour…It's definitely off the beaten track, and there aren't many other tourists around which is great, but the time between activities (on those roads) can be very long.
I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Pioneer, who were very supportive both before and during the trip. Madagascar itself is a unique destination, and an amazing experience.

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