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Your Words - We tell it like it is! Holiday Reviews by previous Exodus travellers  

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  • Reviewed July 2019
    Chris Blacker

    Chris's comments

    In general - whole trip excellent. But, tents on Inca Trail trek did not have a complete fly-sheet. As temperatures dropped to 0*C [or very close to], the tents did not retain sufficient warmth inside. A full fly-sheet would have significantly improved the internal temperature of tents. Also, the camping grounds are such that tent pegs are difficult to 'drive' in - this meant insufficient pegs were used to keep tent inner from coming into contact with fly-sheet, resulting in the internal fabric of inner-tent becoming damp, and this often transferred to sleeping bags and equipment. Avianca - Delays and down-grading - a disappointing performance by the airline. Other members of the Inca Trail Trek experienced similar issues with airline.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    A close call between 'summiting' Dead Woman's Pass, and the first view of Machu Picchu from the Sun Gate.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Holger [Olly] on Inca Trail - first rate. Knowledgable and informative. Moises on Rainforest Extension - first rate. Again knew the subject.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    All is covered in Trip Notes for both sections. But, make sure you carry sufficient Currency [Soles or US$] for Rainforest Extension [drinks, minor kit items] - prices a bit higher than general for Peru.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Enjoyed the whole experience, and completely recommend it.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Katrina Borowski

    Fantastic adventure - don’t think about it, just do it!

    The Classic Inca Trail had been on my bucket list for some time, so it was brilliant to finally tackle it, combined with an excursion into the Amazon rainforest and a trip to Lake Titicaca. It was an action-packed, superbly organised 2 weeks and all 3 experiences were very different but equally enjoyable. Our group of 9 (ages ranged from 51 to 70) all completed the Trail, although it’s fair to say that fitness levels varied quite a bit. However, as our group leader said, it’s all about positivity and believing you can!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Very difficult to single out one, but probably getting to the top of Dead Woman’s Pass, followed very closely by arriving as a group at the Sun Gate. Also, in the rainforest, we were incredibly fortunate to see a young male jaguar for 15-20 minutes as we travelled by boat early one morning.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Adolfo (AD) was brilliant: very personable and extremely knowledgeable and experienced. He was also exceptionally well-organised without us feeling pressured in any way. He instilled us with confidence in our capabilities and it was reassuring to learn that he was going to be with us for the whole 2 weeks. This meant that transfers, hotel check-ins, internal flights etc were seamless as AD did all the legwork and made it extremely easy for us. In addition, in his capacity as our guide on the Trail, he supervised us in a way that enabled us to walk at our own pace in small groups within our group. He also had a great knowledge of and a passion for wild flowers, particularly orchids, so our Trail experience was punctuated with much-welcomed breaks to take photos. In addition, when in Lima, Cusco and Puno, he knew exactly which restaurants to take us to for the very best and authentic experiences and never seemed to struggle to get us in, even at the last minute. AD even managed to get hold of a bottle of wine on our last night of the Trail - goodness knows from where, as we were camping at just under 4000 metres!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read all the reviews of the Trail and you will get a pretty good idea of what it’s like. Yes, it is tough, especially the second day, but it was what we expected - certainly not worse. Do spend time working on your fitness levels, especially walking uphill, as this will help you enjoy the experience more. We were fortunate to be part of a fantastic group of people who worked well together and supported each other: don’t underestimate how important it is to want to complete the Trail as a Team, as this certainly spurs you on. Travel light! Most of us just took one change of clothes on the Trail and changed into them at night to sleep in, not the least to be better prepared for the early start next day. Don’t forget spare batteries for cameras and use wet wipes for washing. The rainforest was very hot so make sure you have light clothing but you do need to cover arms and legs to protect yourself from insect bites. We were all loaned duffle bags (different from the Exodus kit bag that you’re sent for the Trail), and this was for packing stuff for the rainforest. You are not limited by weight and there’s plenty of space for the gear you need for this part of the trip. On arrival in Cusco, we all used the laundry service organised by AD as our stuff was damp and smelly! This was very speedy and very cheap! We took some Peruvian Sol but also UD dollars. We had no problem finding ATMs or changing money. Do be prepared to spend more than you planned for, as we probably all spent twice the amount on tips compared to the Exodus guidelines in the Trip Notes.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This trip was made by the Exodus staff as well as the excellent group of like-minded people with whom I had the good fortune to share this fantastic adventure. I cannot stress enough how exceptional AD was as our group leader and, for sure, he motivated us all to achieve our ambition of successfully completing the Inca Trail. He also ensured that we enjoyed the most amazing experience of his beautiful country. Much credit also to the lovely Christian, AD’s deputy on the Trail, who selflessly and tirelessly encouraged and supported our group throughout. In addition, Christian, together with Uri, one of our porters, very kindly gave up their time to lead 3 of us up an extra peak at the end of our walk on Day 3. Talking of porters, they were truly amazing - how do they do it?! No only did they carry all the luggage and camping gear for the whole group, including food, catering equipment, tables, chairs, portable toilet etc, but they still managed to overtake us and were able to welcome us in at lunchtime/the end of the day! A special mention also goes to the very talented chefs, Roberto and his assistant, Vassilli?, who prepared the most fantastic and beautifully-presented food in very difficult conditions. In the rainforest, our guides, Frank and Joss were inspirational and so knowledgeable and passionate about wildlife and conservation. On Lake Titicaca, some of us were fortunate to experience the wonderful hospitality of Mama Flora who welcomed us into her home - what a lovely lady!
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Craig Jenner

    A wonderful experience with wonderful people

    A full on ride with no lull in the proceedings, full value for money without a doubt; and it did everything it says on the tin. If you want adventure, history, and wonderous scenery then this is the trip for you. From amazing sights, sounds and smells in the jungle to the vast open expanse of the moonstone trek; which by the way has to be the most beautiful unspoilt piece of the world I've ever seen. I was disappointed not to be on the actual Inca trail at first, but all that soon left me when I saw where we were. The Moonstone trek should not be an add on if the Inca trail permits are full, it should be the first option in my eyes. All this along side friendly people who are genially proud to be Peruvian and some crazy taxi drivers make this a must on everyone's bucket list

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The first night walk in the jungle, it had everything I'd hoped for. The sounds, smell and aura of the place was incredible. the walk started 81 paces from the front door of my lodge I could not believe I was so close to nature at its peak. The whole place was alive and everything had its own place in the order of things, the human world could learn a great deal from this rather than cutting the place down. To look one way and there was a goliath bird eating spider staring at me, and looking the other way and a wandering spider being right there was a sight to see. Howler monkeys in the tress and solder ants all working together moving leaves; wow what a place!! Catching piranha's come a close second never thought I'd do that.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had 4 leaders all of which played there part amicably. Edwind was the main guide; going out of his way to please us despite being unwell, answering a multitude of questions and caring for me when I had heat exhaustion, cheers for that. Moises was the jungle guide and he knew everything; even Tarzan couldn't catch this guy out. Jose was the guide on the Moonstone Trek; which is both amazing and a killer at the same time. He put up with me cursing and shouting during the big climbs so thankyou for that. Juan did Puno and did what he could to make the short stay good.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The altitude is Cuzco was not an issue for me at all, but other people on the trip suffered in some form, so I cant comment on the taking of altitude sickness pills, as everyone I spoke to didn't take them at all. Bu the choice is yours. Be ready for some early starts, one was at 03.00!!, but this is necessary due to the distance needed to travel, and I hope you enjoy unpacking and repacking; by the end of the trip I could do this blindfolded. Unless you are a regular hiker with the love of uphill climbs you need to train to do the trek itself, I did for 5 moths prior to the start and it still pushed me to the limit and I would have failed without preparation. Take plenty of layers clothes wise, as the temperatures vary massively from day to night (28c to -2C) in one day, and ensure your walking boots are well worn in; you do not want feet problems at 4700m trust me. Take industrial strength repellent, and don't bother with this environmentally friendly stuff on the market, it may be good for saving the planet but the bugs don't care, I got eaten alive in the jungle using this stuff. Remember "save your skin, you can save the planet when you get home"

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Enjoy and embrace this jewel of a country, you say Peru and people go "Ahh Macchu Pichu", NO there is so much more to see and experience here. Macchu Pichu is good, not awe inspiring in my view, but worth seeing. Have an open minded view on things and go with the flow; you will have the time of your life, the food is great, the sea food is particularly good. Also drink water and then drink water, its vital to your well being here, you must drink before you get thirsty they say and they are correct. I'd like to have spent more time in Cuzco rather then gone to Puno, its ok but I'd have swapped Puno for another day in Cuzco and this was the general feeling in the group, and the flight to Lima to get back to Cuzco from the jungle seemed a waste of time. And lastly Pisco Sours are great but not if you have type 2 diabetes stay well away. but enough from me just book it and go!!
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Thom McKee

    Beware of the Altitude

    Only rated as good because my wife and I were only able to complete the rain forest part. The trip notes mention consulting your GP about the altitude sickness pills. Ours advised against. As a result of the jump from rain forest to Cusco on a 1 hour flight, my wife ended up in hospital for 6 days due to altitude sickness and a pulmonary edema. We really enjoyed the rain forest and have previously enjoyed many holidays with Exodus. It's a pity the trip notes do not stress how it is really essential to take the altitude sickness pills - this is what all the doctors in Peru also confirmed. The situation also wasn't helped by the hotel in Cusco with cold rooms and showers that took for ever to get warm. The night before ending up in hospital my wife had endured a freezing cold shower and then went to bed shivering until she fell asleep. It turns out this also did not help her condition and was very likely a significant factor in the edema developing. Thankfully Smithy, our guide, was quick to spot the symptoms so medical attention was brought in fairly early.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Travelling along the river in the mist.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Smithy was good company, knowledgeable and did his best to accommodate us. There were only 4 in the group so he was able to suggest and arrange alternative activities.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Unless there is a medical reason not to, take the altitude pills. Otherwise, find another route to start the Inca Trail. Machu Pichu itself should be fine at about 2,400m, it's just getting there without the sudden increase to over 3,000m that Cusco entails is the problem

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank Thom for his review, although we remain very sorry that his wife was unwell during the tour.  We hope they both felt well looked after by our local team during the team’s daily visits to the hospital.  We recognise the risks of travelling to altitude and on our tours which reach high altitudes we do try to be clear about these risks in our trip notes, and as we are not medical professionals we, as is the case for most tour operators, direct clients towards medical health professionals when it comes to medical travel advice.  We are very sorry, however, that Thom received advice which he and his wife do not feel was correct as we recognise that this must have been incredibly disappointing. 

     

    Lucy Crabb - Exodus' Customer Services Manager

  • Reviewed January 2019
    james holbrook

    Great to see machu pechu but exodus are a rip off

    We went to peru to see machu pechu and it was brilliant, well recommended to go if you get the chance but do not book it with exodus as the rip you off

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing machu pechu and the trek to get there, also going to the amazon and the wild life

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank James for his feedback. We were pleased to read that he found Machu Picchu to be brilliant, although we are sorry that he has concerns about the cost of the trip. Following previous correspondence, we have responded to these concerns on an individual basis. Taking into account all of the reviews we have received, we remain confident that the price of our Inca Trail & the Amazon Rainforest tour offers excellent value for money and we feel that we are very clear in our trip notes about the expected tipping amounts.   Sarah Ahern – Product Manager

  • Reviewed October 2018
    Alicia Pennings

    Great trip

    A really full on trip to Peru... jungles, Machu Pichu, Cusco and Lake Titicaca...what more could you ask for! Thoroughly recommend.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Visiting the jungle.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Brilliant. Knowledgeable and easy to get on with.Thank you!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thank you!
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Pia Darker

    Inca Trail, Amazon Forest and Lake Titicaca (20 Jul-4 Aug)

    Overall, a very well-organized trip by Exodus and I cannot commend enough our Tour Leader (Smithy) and also the local guides in the Amazon Forest (Joel and Moises) and Inca Trail (Johnny). Smithy, as a Tour Leader, has demonstrated excellent leadership skills in the midst of adversity esp after the Inca Trail wherein our train back to Cusco has been delayed due to unforeseen incident that is beyond of anyone's control. Smithy has been very transparent of the situation and as a group I do feel we pull together and watch out each other. I think Exodus has been excellent in ensuring we will still continue our holiday despite of these setbacks. This is our first exodus experience and will definitely be using them again.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Inca hike and Amazon forest stay.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He embodies the ideal Group Leader. Good leadership, local knowledge, helpful and very much accomodating. He knows the word empathy and connects well with people.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Enjoy and just take the experience one step at a time and just take in the moment as it comes. Join the your with open mind.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    As I mentioned, all local tour guides were great except Junior in Lake Titicaca. Compared to all other guide, he is good but there are room for improvement. Firstly, I didn't like the way he approach some member's of our group who have Osprey Backpacks and try to buy it. This approach happened from the beginning of the tour before we even board the boat and I just find this very unprofessional. Other than that, he sees to it that everyone is having a good time. Also, as much as Lake Titicaca is beautiful and the homestead stay was interesting. Myself and most of the people in our group feels that additional day in Cusco will be far more interesting than going to Lake Titicaca, probably something to consider in the future.
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Pia Darker

    Inca Trail, Amazon Forest and Lake Titicaca (20 Jul-4 Aug)

    Overall, a very well-organized trip by Exodus and I cannot commend enough our Tour Leader (Smithy) and also the local guides in the Amazon Forest (Joel and Moises) and Inca Trail (Johnny). Smithy, as a Tour Leader, has demonstrated excellent leadership skills in the midst of adversity esp after the Inca Trail wherein our train back to Cusco has been delayed due to unforeseen incident that is beyond of anyone's control. Smithy has been very transparent of the situation and as a group I do feel we pull together and watch out each other. I think Exodus has been excellent in ensuring we will still continue our holiday despite of these setbacks. This is our first exodus experience and will definitely be using them again.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Inca hike and Amazon forest stay.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He embodies the ideal Group Leader. Good leadership, local knowledge, helpful and very much accomodating. He knows the word empathy and connects well with people.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Enjoy and just take the experience one step at a time and just take in the moment as it comes. Join the your with open mind.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    As I mentioned, all local tour guides were great except Junior in Lake Titicaca. Compared to all other guide, he is good but there are room for improvement. Firstly, I didn't like the way he approach some member's of our group who have Osprey Backpacks and try to buy it. This approach happened from the beginning of the tour before we even board the boat and I just find this very unprofessional. Other than that, he sees to it that everyone is having a good time. Also, as much as Lake Titicaca is beautiful and the homestead stay was interesting. Myself and most of the people in our group feels that additional day in Cusco will be far more interesting than going to Lake Titicaca, probably something to consider in the future.
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Sarah Lambert

    An amazing adventure!

    Wow - we packed so much in - three holidays in one; the Amazon, Inca Trail and Lake Titicaca including incredible wildlife, landscapes, culture and history. The itinerary was full on but we were expertly guided by Smithy who looked after our group so well. The icing on the cake was the group we were with - what a wonderful bunch of people we shared this amazing adventure with! The kit list is a good guide and a battery for charging your electronics is a must.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It is hard to pick one - for me reaching the top of Dead Woman's Pass - it was quite a climb and of course getting to the Sun Gate and our first glimpse of Machu Picchu. Another 'moment' would be stopping in a lay-by en route to Puno and being invited to dance with the locals as they celebrated opening up a new roadside market - a breathless encounter at 4335m! So many beautiful sunrises and sunsets in beautiful landscapes.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Smithy, was outstanding and he is one of the reasons our trip was so amazing. He was attentive, knowledgeable, caring and nothing was too much trouble, all with a wonderful sense of humour. He instilled confidence in us all and we all felt reassured that 'Smithy would sort it' when things did not go to plan!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read the trip notes and then be prepared to enjoy the adventure.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Be prepared for a non-stop itinerary.
  • Reviewed June 2018
    Carolyn Trounce

    Wonderful trip!

    This trip provides the opportunity to experience some very diverse, but all incredible, landscapes of Peru. It includes a bit of everything: adventure, trekking, wildlife, culture, history and great food - especially whilst camping on the Inca Trail! Our experiences were always enhanced by the seemingly inexhaustible knowledge of our various local guides. The trip was very well organised and communication with us, members of the group, was excellent throughout. It involves lots of packing and unpacking of bags for the different parts of the trip, so we needed to be organised too (!!), and Peruvian journeys by air, bus, train and boat! Day 2 of The Inca Trail is very challenging because of the altitude and the length of climb, but once you’ve got through that, Days 3 and 4 were fantastic walking, culminating in our first thrilling sight of Machu Picchu.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Watching the sunrise over the snowy mountain tops on Day 4 of the trek.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fabricio was a very good leader and we felt in very capable hands. He gave us very clear information prior to all our journeys and activities. He was patient, encouraging and very knowledgeable about all sorts of things.
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