There are a lot of tour providers in Kota Kinabalu and it’s really hard to choose among them. For our Mt. Kinabalu trip, I tried my very best to find the cheapest option out there. Aside from the price, I read reviews from different blogs and from Trip Advisor. I end up getting hooked with Downbelow Marine and Wildlife Adventures.
Actually, we’ve already booked a Mt. Kinabalu package with Amazing Borneo but we cancelled it because Downbelow is far way cheaper than them. Another advantage of booking with Downbelow is that they offer free airport pickup upon arrival and they also have their very own lodge located in KK Times Square. So yeah, we’ve booked our Mt. Kinabalu hike with them, our accommodation while in Kota Kinabalu, as well as our other side trips like the Kota Kinabalu City Tour, Mahua Waterfall, and the snorkelling in Gaya Island. In short, we’ve got everything from Downbelow.
The itinerary for our Kota Kinabalu trip is a customized one because we have specific places where we wanted to go. Even so, Ms. Jane of Downbelow Adventures made it possible for us. She created an itinerary based on our preference. What we loved the most about our trip is that they arranged a "private tour" for us - no waiting time for other guests, we follow our own pacing, and not crowded.
Downbelow is very on-time with their pick-up based on what's written on the itinerary. Their shuttle service is spacious and clean. We had a private tour so we have the service all by ourselves! We can even lie down and sleep during the travel. For the snorkelling trip, the boat transfers of Downbelow is very fast compared to other boats there. Two thumbs up!!
The people in Downbelow are all great and can speak English really well. From the email conversation, their consultant was very responsive in answering all my queries. And upon arriving at the airport, their guide happily welcomed us wearing a big smile on his face. The drivers are also friendly and very eager to communicate with us. The receptionists at their lodge are very accommodating and we were surprised because they are Filipinos too (Hi Cora and Chris). Their dive instructors who are also staying at the Downbelow Adventure Lodge are very nice. Even though they are already tired from their work for the whole day, they still have the energy to play with our baby Wyatt Maktrav.
We had a lot of fun during our 8 days stay in Kota Kinabalu. Downbelow Marine and Wildlife Adventures exceeded our expectation. We’ve got a free upgrade of accommodation in Kinabalu Park from Rock Hostel dormitory to a private room in Hill Lodge. Our son is very happy with the staffs of Downbelow and he became friends with them easily. Great experience, awesome people, and the competitive price is just a cherry on top. We will definitely get our tour with them in the future when we get back to Kota Kinabalu and we highly recommend them!
Thank you so much Downbelow Adventures for arranging this trip for us!