My wife and I took the Mutianyu Great Wall tour on March 2017. I was very satisfied with the tour and the provider. Nancy our tour guide was extremely friendly, knowledgeable, and warm. In our case, we felt a little in disadvantage due the fact that we don't speak Chinese. However, Nancy had everything under control.
The tour bus picked us up at our hotel door, and we drove around downtown picking up other tourist. Later that morning, we did a stop and some people changed buses, to go to their specific tours. Make sure you remember the name of the places where you are going; you might end it up in a different portion of the wall.
The weather was cold and a little snowing when we arrived to the wall, once we arrived to Mutianyu, we had around 2-3hrs to do the walk. The time goes quickly, so you have to walk fast if you want to get to the last tower.
Keep in mind, there are lots, LOTS of steps, my knees where really hurting at the end of the walk, but it was totally worth it. So if you don’t exercise often, just go ready, maybe some ankles or knees protection.
Once we ended the walk, we returned to the base, where we had dinner, local food which was included in the fair we paid, and sharing the dinner with people from different countries, made the cultural experience ever better.
It is a long trip from Beijing to Mutianyu , we slept in the bus back to the hotel and they dropped us at our hotel door. It was our first time in Beijing and I really enjoyed it, and we felt save. I recommend the tour for families, children, seniors, or a group of friends. Definitely was worth it and the price was right. China could be complicated to move around, I suggest you pay for the tour, instead of taking buses or cabs. It will save you time, energy, and this will allow you to enjoy of your trip.