Turtle, Ecuador

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

Here at Exodus we thrive on feedback from our customers. It's the only way we can ensure our trips continue to be the best they can be. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of the trip you're interested in, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

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  • Reviewed November 2018
    Anne Farrell

    A hard and challenging trek no mistake!!

    A challenging trek . Beautiful views when you see them. Don’t be surprised if you don’t see Machu Picchu as it’s in the cloud forest. Fantastic views of beautiful valleys

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    How wonderful the mules are. Well cared for and unbelievable what they managed to climb with so much baggage. Narrow ledges and steep drop offs at times!!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our guide Fabrizzio was great. Very attentive throughout the trip. From day 1 to departure. Extremely knowledgeable. Joshua the second in command was also excellent and thoroughly capable of being a team leader in his own right. Having the two was of great benefit as the group was of a vast abilities stretching out over a couple of miles.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do not attempt this trek if you have any concerns with regard to fitness. This is not an easy trek. The days start at 4-4.30 a with a cup of tea then it’s full on. It’s like walking up Snowdon or Ben Nevis for 7/8 days but at high altitude. Read the notes. Most people like myself who have summited Kilimanjaro found this trek harder. It’s a grade 6 and Kilimanjaro and Everest Base camp are a 5. Take lots of mosquito repellent. The little midges are fierce. Sleeping mats are excellent. Tents adequately roomy. Food great but take plenty of snacks. You may be waiting a while on a few days, for your lunch till the ones at the rear arrive.
  • Reviewed November 2018
    John Heathcote

    The Inka Kingdom

    You'll see a lot of Inka remains, evidence of some very large-scale civil engineering, and impressive masonry. Apparently we don't know how they did the masonry, especially since they had no metal tools nor writing system. You'll also experience extreme topography, the botanical diversity of cloud forest, and some very tasty food.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The scale of the exposed remains at Machu Picchu - it takes around 4 hours to walk along the signed route through the site. There's less of Choquequirao visible, but its remoteness and lack of crowds makes it special. The verticality of the landscape on the first half of the trek is impressive, and I found the variety of the cloud forest plants, and the differences in flora along the trek, fascinating.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fabrizzio kept it all together, so the trek ran smoothly without issues visible to us. He will provide plenty of background on the Inkas. Beware Peruvian time though - it might pass quite slowly. He managed the different abilities of the group on the trek very well.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We had rain most days for the late October departure, and even in between it was so humid that nothing dried - forget the idea of washing clothes on the trek. And do take adequate waterproofs. The biting flies on the first few days of the trek are for real and leave you itching for a week - insect repellent is essential. We experienced a wide range of temperatures - from steamy hot to sleet. A flexible sleeping bag system is useful. The trek earns its 6 grading - although distances are not long, there's a lot of uphill so steep that it needs steps. Some slopes are more than 45 degrees!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There's lots of variety in Peruvian food and it's very tasty, without being scorchingly spicy.
  • Reviewed November 2017
    John Cambridge

    The Lost City of Choquequirao

    It is a seriously insane trek across big country traversing a number of valleys, each of which takes a day to cross. There are no rocky ridge routes to relieve the arduous nature of the walking and the fine views are hard won. Having said that I did enjoy it as we had the paths almost entirely to ourselves and over the course of the trek were able to gain a real appreciation of the Inca heartland and the work they put into cultivating the landscape.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The setting of Machu Picchu amongst the towering pinnacles.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The criticism from my fellow traveller is unwarranted. Tomas was very enthusiastic and in addition to leading the walks, did all the guided tours of the sites. I did not feel there was any lack of connection with the group, quite the contrary. He also managed to keep everything to schedule, not easy with a group of 14.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a close look at the route before deciding if it is the one for you. This is only one of several alternatives to the very popular Inca trail.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I wore lightweight long sleeve clothing and used spray on deet on exposed skin and as result of these simple precautions was untroubled by mosquitoes and sand flies. Unfortunately the camp crew under catered for the size of the group. The food was nice, it was just that I could have eaten more of it. Hopefully this problem will be addressed on future treks.
  • Reviewed November 2017
    Rob McWilliam

    The Lost City of Chocquequiaro

    This is a challenging hike. The altitude makes the steep ascents and descents very demanding. But the scenery and the access to Inca sites that aren't crawling in tourists makes it worth it. After having Choquequiaro to ourselves for a full day the hordes of tourists at Machu Pichu were definitely frustrating.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The full day that we got to spend at Choquequiro exploring the site.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Tomas has lots of experience, and a great sense of humour. Our sense was that he might be bored with the guide routine, and the constant questions of clients. Didn't get the sense of personal connection that we have had with other guides on previous trips. Assistant guide Jhonny still has lots of work to do on his knowledge, but was very enthusiastic and I think the group felt a closer connection with him.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Really do need to respect the altitude! Slowly, Slowly is the way to approach the hiking or you will crash and burn. Also learn to love cocoa tea! The sand flies were a huge problem (don't know if this is seasonal or constant). Take LOTS of bug repellant and protective clothing.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Crew (Guides, cooks, wranglers) looked after us really well. In fact, some days it seemed too well. It is hard to do a step climb right after a very heavy breakfast or lunch. There was always a several course meal prepared and waiting.. even on the summit of a major pass.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Eileen Cooper

    The Lost City of Choquequirao

    This trip challenges you physically, mentally and emotionally. It provides breathtaking scenery, camping in cloud forests, visiting Inca sites in beautiful and inaccessible places and the chance to observe how humbly people live in the harsh landscape. It fulfilled all of my expectations and more, spectacular scenery, challenging walking and indulging in the Indiana Jones experience. There was great camaraderie and our guides, Michael and Vladimir were just the best. They had infinite cheerfulness and patience and were determined that we would understand as much as possible about Andean culture, past and present. My only regret is that this trek may be 'it', the best one!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    One every day! Camping on Inca terrraces, learning about how the Incas viewed the Mayu, the Milky Way, standing on the usnu, the ceremonial platform at Choquequirao surrounded by mountains, ravines and sparkling rivers whilst clouds swirled around, the cardio workout exploring the Llama terraces, walking down to Yanoma amongst wild lavender with horses passing, sitting on a rock edge at San Abra pass at 4200m, surreal bathing in hot springs at Santa Teresa with bats flitting overhead.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michael ensured we had the best time. He made everything as easy as possible for us. He was so patient taking photos of us at iconic spots and being an archaeologist, we were in the hands of an expert. He has a great approach to life and was always conscientious. A very genuine man who worked extremely hard on many levels to make sure our holiday was perfect, which it was.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    For those who are not super fit, do some training, legs, core and walking of course. Take extra clothes, it is hot and sticky and not easy to wash or dry clothes or towels.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you have any doubts, do some training and go.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    PETER WATKINS

    Peru adventure

    A challenging trek in Peru that managed to combine quiet trekking, magnificent scenery, the remote city of Choquequirao and the spectacle of Machu Picchu. Walking in remote areas of Peru, at times surrounded by snow-capped mountaings, or maybe cloud forest, or then again coffee plantations. Very varied and interesting at all times. The guides and support staff added to the atmosphere, providing a friendly and informative company. Helpful at all times, providing surprisingly good food in very basic conditions and unexpected "extras" - like the very welcome visit to the hot springs! All-in-all and excellent trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Having a wild condor effortlessly flying past us at a distance of only 20m!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent! Knowledgable about the Inca history, although sometimes a little to mystical. Always in control and adaptable to changing situations. Always felt safe with him, and the other support team around.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Walking poles essential. The bugs bite a lot so bug spray essential, recommend always wearing long sleeves and long trousers.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Try the passion fruit smoothies!
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Rosemary Dan

    Excellent trip

    This is one of the best trips I have done. This was my first visit to South America - Peru is a beautiful country with fascinating history. The trekking is hard but well worth the effort.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were several, including Choquequirao where it was so quiet (only our group plus 3 other people) and Machu Picchu, which although crowded is spectacular. However, the most inspirational moment for me was the San Juan pass; the conditions were perfect, the 360 degree views breath taking and several Condors flying around when we arrived.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Frank was very passionate and knowledgeable about Peru and the Inca culture. Jonnie was a great and enthusiastic co-leader on the trek. The support team worked very hard to make sure we were comfortable on trek.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Prepare for the trek - it is hard with long ascents and descents but very rewarding. Take plenty of insect repellent - mosquitos are prolific particularly on the trek. I was worried about arriving in Cusco and coping with the altitude, however, the time spent in Cusco at the start of the trip was ideal to acclimatise.
  • Reviewed June 2017
    Gina Lawrence

    Lost City of Choquequirao Trek

    An incredible trek, away from the crowds and through the cloud forests and passes of the Andes.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I loved being at Choquequirao - but it's only when you get to Machu Picchu do you realise what a privilege it is to see Choquequirao with so few people there. When we visited our group shared the entire site with only a dozen other people - incredible. The comparison with the business of Machu Picchu is startling! For the trek itself, the San Juan pass was my favourite spot - a perfect 360 viewpoint over the Vilcabamba mountains. We went in May and were blessed with glorious sunshine and the valley filled with wild lupins.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rolando and Jonny were top notch, very funny and lovely to be around. Special mention must go to our amazing team of cooks and horsemen who were incredible and worked so, so hard to give us an amazing experience. We couldn't have done it without them!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a fantastic trek which gives you an unusual insight to Peru, away from the popular spots. It's so special to have somewhere like Choquequirao to yourself. Go now before everyone else does!
  • Reviewed May 2017
    Simonetta Taylor

    Lost City of Choqueqeirou - Adventure in the Andes

    This trip was an adventure of a lifetime for me. In places it was hard and very hard. The support from the trek staff team was superb making the effort worthwhile. Choquequeiro itself is like something from an Indiana Jones film in it's setting and to get there is hard.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    This was the hardest physical achievement of my life and couldn't have happened without the trek team.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rolando (leader) and Jonny (assistant) worked hard to make the trip amazing. If you go you will learn so much about the people, plants and animals of the Andes

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Prepare in advance with physical training. If possible, spend an extra day in Cuzco at the start to help get over altitude sickness if you are flying straight to Cuzco from Uk

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is an amazing trip - the sights are outstanding.
  • Reviewed November 2016
    Kevin Wallace

    Choquequirao to Macau Picchu

    Top notch trip visiting two stunning Inca sites. One well publicised with 2500 visitors per day, while the other might only see 25! But you need to do some hard walking to reach that one........

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Two really. Looking down from the 'bowling green smooth' viewpoint over Choq, in all its solitude. On this my second visit to MP, finally getting the classic view overlooking the city in all its glory.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Frank was very good at his job. Informative about all aspects of the Inca culture. Showed a love both for Peru and for the mountain people of the Andes. Crucially he also had a good sense of humour!!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for testing walking conditions. My walk was in November but we experienced very hot sunshine. This made the steep zig zagging ascents and descents very hard. Walking poles extremely useful.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Peru is one of my top destinations. Widely different parts to the country with so many Inca (and older) sites in good preservation.
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