Small and sexy: the Kontiki Wayra is Kontiki Expeditions’ first motor yacht. The yacht’s interior is modern and cozy at the same time: honey-colored wood, striking blue accents and maritime decoration in the public areas create a yacht feeling everywhere.
Welcome to the inner circle! There are no more than 18 guests on board because all of the nine suites only allow double occupancy. The interior of the suites matches that the public spaces. Warm woods, cognac-colored and beige elements and, in the case if my Verdana Luxury Stateroom, a touch of pale green here and there. Very tasteful, I feel at home right away!
All meals on board as well as soft drinks house wine and beer are included. Same for the delicious little snacks that are waiting for us every time we return from an excursion. We are not talking about Michelin-star food but about the most divine ceviche you ever had. With peanuts! About heavenly chocolate cake. About a huge selection of fresh flavorful fruit that puts every grocery store melon to shame.
Ultra-professional, unbelievably attentive and at the same time cheerful, authentic and full of warm hospitality – this crew is beyond amazing. Hotel manager Tatiana takes care of eve the smallest request while barkeeper. Andres spreads happy vibes with every single drink that he serves. Cabin Steward Edison is like a good-natured little spirit, sneaking into my suite and cleaning it up during my shortest absences.
My favorite crew members are our fantastic guides Roberto and Raul, who is called Ruly by everyone. They are incredibly passionate about sharing their extensive knowledge and just super nice and fin in general. The only bad thing about this crew is that I can’t pack them up and take them home with me after the trip.
We need to celebrate the fact that there’s finally a supplier who not only understands the concept of neo-luxury but also knows how to create the appropriate experiences. Each one of the excursions offered by Kontiki Expeditions is nothing short of sensational.
Our first stop is Isla de la Plata. Countless numbers of birds are circling the mountainous island as we arrive. In the afternoon we go snorkeling on the coast of Isla de la Plata. It’s really busy under water: we spot a huge variety of tropical fish corals, manta rays, sardine shoals, and sea turtles. So if you are looking Nemo’s cousins-yep, they’re all right here
Next up is a spontaneous whale-watching tour that turns out to be a bird watching tour as well: where there’s also a huge number of sardines.
We’re off to Agua Blanca in Machalilla National Park. This eco-tourism community is like fascinating window into the past. In a clearing in the woods there’s a native shaman priest waiting for us wearing raffia skirts. Their skin is decorated with authentic face and body paintings. The shaman performs a spiritual ritual with us: a blessing and a thank you to Mother nature-just how natives still do it in their traditional religious ceremonies. Goose bumps lever: high!
On the next day we visit cocoa farmer Servio Pachard. Everything about this encounter is fascinating, but above all it’s Servio’s hospitality. And I will never forget the cocoa bean tasting he did with us. Sucking the slimy white meat off the beans opens an entire new universe of complex flavors. And before we know it, we are making our own deliciously smelling chocolate in a traditional open air kitchen.
Eating all this sweet chocolate makes us hungry… Off to amazing lunch experience in Iche, a combination of cooking school, food lab and gourmet restaurant that elevates local specialties and traditional ingredients to a Michelin-start level. The aim of these food experiments is to preserve the culinary legacy of the Manabí province.
Even the bus ride to Iche suddenly turns into an experience. Of course, if does- the Kontiki team members always have something up their sleeves. The official itinerary is only half of what’s going to happen so your clients can expect plenty of nice little surprises.