Every year I go to Aruba and every year we have a great time. This year we decided to rent ATV's through ATV Extravaganza also known as WATAPANA TOURS. We rented them instead of doing the tour because we know the island and wanted to be on our own. Everything was fine until my machine started overheating. We were all the way by the California Lighthouse, we called for technical support and got no service so we decided to take the ATV back and get a new one since we were only 45 minutes into our 4 hour rental. My machine being the one that was overheating was not as fast now as the others. We were about 3 blocks from the place to return them and mine stalled 3 times at a red light. We finally got it going, I was behind someone, and my brother was behind me, and another quad behind him. We rode in the middle because incase we stalled again, they would be able to see us and assist us. All of sudden our ATV came to a complete stop. From 30 mph to 0 mph. The two quads in back tried to stop and couldn't ramming us like a domino effect. We all went flying off our quads in different direction. We all suffered SEVERE bruising, and my brother had to have emergency surgery because he ripped his arm muscle when he flew off his ATV and must of hit the back of mine where there was something sharp. Not only did we have to cut our vacation short because of this, but this company shows no remorse. We didnt even receive a simple courtesy phone call from the owner, and when we try to contact the owner she is never available. After talking to other people they also say this place is a scam. This place should be SHUT DOWN!! For your safety, I strongly advise you not to rent from this company.
Sorry to hear this horrible story,and hope you guys are OK now. In the future rentals, use A/E card, so you can get your money back, and these scammers will not get paid. We always use place called-George`s, reliable service(last year -my daughters ATV got a flat tire, by the Natural bridge area- and it took them 30 min.,to be there, and to fix a problem.
I hate to say this but it sounds as though you were driving unsafely. Overheating vehicles should not be driven..as you found out. If nothing else you could have siezed the engine, as far as the accident goes they were traveling too close to a (known) defective vehicle.
You ride an unsafe vehicle with people who were driving in an unsafe manner and now you want to blame the rental company. The drivers on the machines that rammed into you and each other should not have been driving so closely even if all of the machines were functioning properly. It's a shame that people were injured and vacations ruined but I can't see that it was the fault of the rental company. And I'm sure if you read the rental agreement (which you signed) closely you will see find that they are not liable because of the way you were operating the vehicles.
My husband and I also had a terrible experience with ATV Extravaganza 2 years ago. One entire family left the tour after about 20 minutes because our tour guide was drunk and driving like a maniac. He did not give us helmuts or any other safety equipment. He was going top speed and had no concern for any of us on the tour. At each stop, he would buy a beer. When we got to the national park we saw several other tours that all had on safety equipment and looked well organized. At one point when we were in Arikok park, a boy in his late teens overturned his ATV and went flying down the hill. Luckily, he only got a few scratches but it was a frightening experience. The drunk tour guide then proceeded to yell at this poor guy telling him "he had no balls". On the way back, my husband and I nearly got attacked by wild dogs that came charging at the ATVs.
This past year, hubby and I rented a jeep and went exploring through Arikok on our own. An ATV tour (I'm assuming ATV extravaganza as they were not wearing helmuts) were pulled over to the side. Two people were severely injured and waiting for an ambulance (we saw the ambulance coming on our way out). We still cannot figure out how they are staying in business. Your best bet is to set everything up through DePalm tours. They are reputable and cost around the same.
not sure if anybody is going to see this since I am replying to a message that is a year old, but here goes anyway.
To all future visitors to Aruba whether you arrive via a cruise ship or are taking a land based vacation. Please do not us Watapana Tours. Let me explain but a little background first: We were a group of 7 travelling from New York, split by 4 adults and 3 teenagers (14, 16 and 17). A planned cruise was cancelled due to Hurricane Dean so we booked an 8 day/7 night trip to Aruba during the week of August 21-28, 2007 at the Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort. For the first couple of days, we rented cars and saw most of the Aruba sites (caves, rock formations, natural bridge, and snorkeled at Arashi Beach and Baby Beach). We wanted to do something adventurous so we decided an ATV tour would be just the adventure. Since we had seen the sites, we requested a customized tour that would take us by ATV only to the Natural Pool and back, a two-hour tour from 10 am to 12 noon. The trip was confirmed the night before through our De Palm Tour Agent who set the trip up with Watapana Tours. The Two-Hour Tour Disaster: Our De Palm Tour agent assured us that our tour would not start until we started out on the ATVs. The tour bus picked up at our hotel and took us to the ATV yard. We paid the agreed upon amount for 3 double ATVs and one single ATV and were escorted to the ATV “graveyard” which had what appeared to consist of many non working ATVs strewn around the yard. Our ATVs were not ready when we arrived. As we waited, mechanics seemed to be working feverishly to get working ATVs readied for us. A compromise was made as they could only get 2 doubles and one single working. They “graciously” gave us a dune buggy instead of the third double. At 10:45am, we were on the road. Our guide (don’t remember his name since I do not think he ever gave it to us) got us to the natural pool. We swam and snorkeled. We could have used our guide’s help getting out of the rocky area that protected the natural pool, but he was busy getting the ATVs ready for departure. Upon arriving at the ATVs, our guide tells us he can’t get the single rider ATV to start. While he’s calling into the office to bring a new ATV, one of the other ATVs stalls out. He insists it’s not out of gas, and gets it to run again. Our group member who was supposed to ride the single ATV hitched a ride from another safari tour company and they kindly took him up the very steep hill in the back of a truck and not on an ATV that we paid for. Approximately 45 minutes later (approximately 1:30pm), we meet the guy (a mechanic) from the Watapana Tours office who brought another ATV. We head on out again. Approximately 20 minutes into the ride, the ATV that stalled earlier, stalls again, obviously out of gas. Our guide almost didn’t see us stuck on the roadside until he was a good 100 yards ahead of the group. Again, our guide calls his office to notify them of the situation. It’s approximately 2:30 pm. We’re hungry, tired, and in dire need of bathrooms. Our guide leaves us on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere for about 20 minutes while he goes and tries to find the mechanic who is bringing gas to us. He brings another ATV which he uses to siphon gas out of it using the water bottles which were meant for us to drink along the tour. We start out again. As we travelled, we see a storm developing ahead of us. As our guide takes us to sites we didn’t want to or agree to see, the storm is rapidly getting worse. So much so, we see a tornado directly in our path back to the tour company. Thankfully we got back to the tour company without further incident or rain. The time now is approximately 3:15pm. Over 3 hours later than we had scheduled for. This ruined the remainder of our day. We had other things to do in the afternoon. We attempted to address the situation while at the tour office but it was mobbed with angry people whose tour was cancelled due to the weather and no refunds were going to be given even for people that had just paid cash prior to the storm. Needless to say, we could not get to speak with anyone, so we were given a name of the manager to call. Ironically, the tour bus that was supposed to take us back to our hotel would not start and we had to move to another bus. It was raining now and the bus had no windows. The next day we spoke to our De Palm Tour operator and told her our story. She got a hold of someone at Watapana Tours who listened to our complaint. Supposedly a manager was going to call us back with a resolution. No one responded to us that entire day. Unfortunately, we had to leave the following day and never got any feed back. Our De Palm Tour operator was going to keep pursuing the situation and took our email address to contact us. We have not heard from anyone since. Nobody but nobody has tried to contact us even after I sent an e-mail to the president of the company, Mr. Edgar Croes. All we wanted was a partial refund of our tour price equal to the cost of one ATV tour rental. There are so many tour operators in Aruba why book with a company that does not care about the customer. We met a De Palm tour representative on the beach at the holiday Inn and trusted her so much we gave her all our business during our stay. The only issue we had with De Palm was that for our ATV tour, she contracted out to a third party and that was Watapana Tours. Note that, when the ATV’s were working, we did enjoy riding them and seeing the sights, but at what expense? I would be very happy to address any questions you have about our little adventure. Otherwise, Aruba is absolutely beautiful and would return in the future, I just would not use Watapana Tours Schotland Straat # 50, Oranjestad, Aruba D.W.I. Tel: (297) 583 5191
If you are adventurous and want to see the island in an unforgettable way, then go on a jeep tour - this is a great way to navigate the island in a single day without a map!We had a rather “exciting” weekend. I had dubbed it the Family Graduation Birthday Holiday Extravaganza sometime last week because of all the events and plans we had in place for the weekend. But as you’ll find from reading this post, things don’t always work out like you planned.
Hello, My husband and myself are going to Aruba the 11th-18th of Oct. We are thinking about going on an ATV Tour to the natural bridge especially. But, I am not sure this is such a good idea after reading some of the experiences of others. We were going to go through DePalm Tour company. We have done the all day snorkeling on their island and had a good experience. But, are leary of doing the ATV Tour. Any responses will be greatly appreciated.
Dh rode with our 12 yo and I rode single. Dh especially was nervous about riding the ATV, nevermind driving it. Kini Kini made us feel very comfortable and gave us a good run through before our butts even hit the seats. If the ATV's were not new, they were "like" new.
During our stop at the Natural Bridge, a rider on a rented ATV from another company admired our ATV's saying, "We [meaning us] got the good ones." Our guide Ray allowed us to drive at a speed comfortable to us. By the time we left the lighthouse we were of course off road and I know I personally was feeling very comfortable driving.
This was our third visit to the Natural Pool. The first two were via 4 x 4. Getting there on ATV, was BY FAR, the easiest and quickest way in which to get there. It was still a little "hairy" but by following our guide Ray, we knew exactly where on the path to follow. I might add I was grateful the brakes worked! Never once did I fear for my life though. Imo it is more dangerous swimming in the Natural Pool than getting there via ATV.
Downside? Now I know where they got the saying, "Eat my dust". Ugh, by June the island had not had any significant rain since February. The island did see significant rain June 24 and 25. In 17 visits I have never seen the island as dry as it was.
Clothing? Wear the junkies clothes and footwear you own. My t-shirt from that day just went into the trash, no amount of bleach was ever going to get out all of that dust.
Sorry if any of the info was duplicated from my previous posts. Just have to say this was by far, in addtion to the helicopter tour, the best tour we have taken in all of our visits to Aruba.