Travel Expert Talks
Don't Send Any Money
I booked two birding tours and an extension of 4 days with Peru Birding Tours, owned and operated by Omar Diaz Villalobos of Puerto Maldonado, Peru. I made the mistake of sending him the money to his private bank account instead of a protected/insured bank account. I was the only one on the tours but was not asked to pay the single supplement at the time of the final payment (end of March 2013). He had previously refused to send back my deposit when requested, saying everything was OK and had been worked out. Less than two weeks before I left for Peru in May 2013, he demanded another $1400 for the single supplement, which I refused to pay. I asked a second time for a refund which he refused to give. Omar claimed that he had used all my money to pay for my tours, but I discovered repeatedly as we traveled around that he had not paid the bills and some places had not even made a reservation. Omar is an excellent birder and definitely knows the songs and calls of the Peruvian birds, but hire him as a guide only and DO NOT SEND HIM ANY MONEY. Make your own flight arrangements as I did, make reservations in hostals/hotels and pay for them yourself as you go. Repeat, do not send any money to Peru Birding Tours or Omar Diaz the owner/operator. If Omar wants to make hostal reservations for you, that would be fine, just do not send him any money. You can easily pay with cash or a credit card as you go. I also took Omar a digital recorder and rechargeable flashlight worth $400 which he did not pay me for as promised. Peru Birding Tours in my estimation is not a reputable company.
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