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

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17893 Reviews

  • Reviewed March 2020

    Patagonian Highlights

    This trip covered Torres del Paine National Park, including a hike to the base of the Towers of Paine. Los Glaciares National Park, Fitzroy Massif hike and Cerro Torre. We then travelled down the Ushuaia - the world's most southern city and took an optional boat trip out to penguin island before travelling back to Buenos Aires.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Fitzroy & Torres Del Paine hike are difficult but the views when you get to the top are amazing!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Xavier was an excellent guide - one of the best I've had. He was very knowledgable about the history of Argentina in all the areas that we visited. He was always upbeat & calm - especially during the COVID-19 outbreak he ensured that we were well informed for our travel back home. The whole trip was very well organised with no disappointments!!!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The hikes are long and difficult, Be prepared for all weather; take good gear and be prepared to use it! There are some long travel days which can't be avoided if you want to experience the best of Patagonia so bring a book or download some movies / music / podcasts in advance for the coach journeys.
  • Reviewed March 2020

    A wonderful trip taking in a wide variety of locations and experiences.

    This taster of the tropical south of India offers the traveler a wide variety of locations and experiences, and while some may be more appealing than others there is always something to appreciate and enjoy every day. There are sharp contrasts between the manic street life of cities like Madurai and the peace and calm of the more rural locations such as Munnar, Periyar, and the backwaters of Kottayam. The pace of the trip varies and some days are more full-on than others, but there are opportunities to recover from the more strenuous periods and sufficient optional activities for those with the energy to keep going. The itinerary takes in plenty of interesting diversions, and more than a few extracurricular surprises. At the end you will be amazed by how much you have packed into the trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    So many unforgettable moments, it is very difficult to select just one. The trek through the tea plantations at Munnar was an early highlight, although the mists and low cloud obscured what should have been stunning views. The whole experience at Madurai was amazing: a constant wall of sound, with crazy drivers (and a rollercoaster of a tuk tuk ride at night), an unmissable early morning heritage walk (with such a diversity of activities unfolding), followed by a visit to the wonderful Meenakshi Temple, and dining out on street food in the evening. The stop off at the spice garden was informative and offered an opportunity to sample and buy the local products. The cookery demonstration at Thekkady got everyone involved and was highly entertaining (with some tasty food as the end result), while the homestay gave us some of the best food of the whole trip. The houseboat experience was possibly the most inspirational moment, so peaceful and relaxing and a splendid way to wind down towards the end of the itinerary.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We could not fault San in any way. He was an exceptional leader with excellent interpersonal skills, and he organised the whole trip in a professional and responsive way. His knowledge of all aspects of local Indian life, culture and society was amazing and he was always ready to offer just the right amount and level of information, whether explaining what we were experiencing or answering questions from the group. His sense of humour engaged with the group and helped to make us a unit. We were aware he was having to deal with a number of issues behind the scenes (the spread of coronavirus was a constant concern) but he managed them calmly and kept us informed about everything we needed to know. We were always confident that he was acting in our best interests and giving us the best possible experience.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You need to take a travel plug for the basins if you want to use them for washing or shaving, as few - if any - of the rooms have them. Make sure you take plenty of hand sanitizer and apply a rigorous hygiene regime at all times, to avoid any unwelcome bugs; if you are careful you should be fine. Take a travel toilet roll or tissues out with you as outside of the hotels few toilets have any toilet paper. There are plenty of opportunities for laundering clothes during the trip and they are very cheap. Using them could reduce the amount of clothes you need to pack.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Don’t expect much from the visit to Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary: it really is a matter of luck if you see any wildlife, let alone elephants (our guide tried valiantly but in vain to locate them), and you won’t see much from the boat cruise on the lake there unless you are seated right on the outside or the front. Day 6 in Madurai was very full-on and some in our group found it too tiring towards the end, after an early morning start for the heritage walk followed by visits to the temple and palace before a long evening out sampling the street food. All of these events offered wonderful experiences, however it might be better to have the street food walk on the previous evening (Day 5) to allow for a more leisurely end to Day 6.
  • Reviewed March 2020

    2 weeks in the desert and Etosha

    A 2 week tour to a beautiful country. Everywhere we went we saw spectacular scenery, met interesting and friendly people and stayed in lovely lodges. I won't forget the elephants, pronking springbok, dancing ostriches and roaring lion.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The main reason I went to Namibia was to see the Namib desert and the petrified trees in Dead Vlei and it did not disappoint. We had plenty of time to see and experience the desert environment. I did a 2 hour flight over the area we had driven through the previous day and it brought home to me how huge and empty this desert is. Seeing an elephant at the water hole in Etosha is a close second, followed by the roaring lion.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Shane was an excellent group leader. He has a good knowledge of the country, it's natural environment and he animals we saw in Etosha. His communication and organisational skills were very good and he made the whole trip run smoothly. He was also a good driver, making me feel save in the vehicle.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There are some long driving days, but the scenery is beautiful and there are frequent breaks.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would recommend this trip to anyone who is interested in different environments and nature. The game drives in Etosha were very good. We were lucky enough to have good sightings of animals and could spend time observing their behaviour.
  • Reviewed March 2020

    Cuba

    Have just come back from a Taste of Cuba trip. What an amazing time we had, Rayselis the guide was so passionate about her country and so knowledgeable. We visited local community run projects, got to eat in local restaurants and generally have a good time with the Cuban people. I would recommend this trip if you want to see Cuba rather than just sit on a beech. Cigar rolling, rum drinking, salsa dancing , pottery throwing, amazing.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing Cuba in the raw, old Havana is amazing, seeing local Cubans going about there everyday lives, happily singing and dancing.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rayselis is an amazing, passionate guide.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go with an open mind, and enjoy.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The food was not bland, there was plenty of variety, vegetarian meals were available, the Cuban Hosts were lovely, the Casa' s and Hotels were lovely and so clean.
  • Reviewed March 2020

    Cuba

    Have just come back from a Taste of Cuba trip. What an amazing time we had, Rayselis the guide was so passionate about her country and so knowledgeable. We visited local community run projects, got to eat in local restaurants and generally have a good time with the Cuban people. I would recommend this trip if you want to see Cuba rather than just sit on a beech. Cigar rolling, rum drinking, salsa dancing , pottery throwing, amazing.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing Cuba in the raw, old Havana is amazing, seeing local Cubans going about there everyday lives, happily singing and dancing.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rayselis is an amazing, passionate guide.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go with an open mind, and enjoy.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The food was not bland, there was plenty of variety, vegetarian meals were available, the Cuban Hosts were lovely, the Casa' s and Hotels were lovely and so clean.
  • Reviewed March 2020

    Maldives by boat

    A trip for keen divers or snorkellers - marine life is the main focus. We thought this trip was good value. The boat was a traditional craft which is not quite as convenient as the newer white cruisers, but very comfortable and much nicer looking, and about 12 guests is a nice number for getting to know people. The crew, itinerary and catering were all very good; we explored two or three atolls every day, each with its own wildlife speciality. We saw close up all the fish and mammals we had hoped for. The potential for shore time was limited due to the current virus risk, but this is definitely a ship based holiday.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Swimming alongside whale sharks, manta rays, turtles, reef sharks and much more.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    UB was enthusiastic and knowledgeable, and a thoroughly likeable leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Arrivals at Male can be slow, but not too chaotic. Departures seemed much more modern and efficient. Even without the current virus risk, there is only a little planned shore time or interaction with local people, but the fantastic wildlife more than makes up for this. We had only one scuba beginner, and the teaching was excellent; it may be a bit stretched if several new divers want to try scuba, so worth enquiring before booking. Take seriously the advice about wearing a rash vest and factor 50! Feet are not used to such long periods in flippers; several people found dive socks made the experience more comfortable and avoided any possible chafe. Finally, much of the coral is bleached due to global warming - the profusion of sea life more than makes up for this, but it's worth managing expectations.
  • Reviewed March 2020

    Fabulous Holiday

    Everything about this holiday was excellent from the arrangements and information prior to the holiday through to the sights visited, food, accommodation, tour leaders and the people of Vietnam & Cambodia. A truly memorable holiday!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Vietnamese people and their whole attitude to life.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both tour leaders were excellent. Their knowledge, friendliness, competence, efficiency & their personable nature couldn't be faulted.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't rely on being able to use your bank cards everywhere & make sure you have US dollars if you haven't bought your visa for Cambodia in advance.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is my 1st Exodus holiday & I will definitely be using the company again for other trips.
  • A great holiday

    This trip was pretty much exactly what it said on the label. A varied ride through contrasting states. Well organised and well run. No problems and a lot of fun. A good balance of riding and relaxation.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Nothing particularly stands out. There were many interesting things to see but for me there was no one inspirational moment. This is not a negative comment - it was all good with no real highs and no lows.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Shekar - Excellent. He was organised and always very considerate. He led well and although some minor incidents must have raised his stress levels he coped well. He loved to talk and would use two words when one would do but he was interested in improving his English (which was very good) so as to communicate more efficiently. Sometimes he made up the odd facts, particularly dates, but this was just an amusing characteristic and one would not treat his historical knowledge too seriously.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    In our group everyone had done at least one cycling trip with Exodus before. There are some quite long days so I am not sure I would recommend the ride for first timers unless you were already keen cyclists. India is a mad place to cycle but quite safe once you get to grips with the techniques of getting through the crowds as one exits or enters a town or city. It is hot - low 30's C - but this is fine.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Hotels are varied from decent tourist establishments in towns to home-stays in rural areas. The latter are perfectly comfortable and interesting places. Many do not serve alcohol which is a bit of a bore because many, like myself, appreciate a cold beer after a hard hot ride. This is partially overcome by the guide organizing a supply which we could sneak in to our rooms (known as health drinks). This is Ok but arranging to meet in someone's bedroom for an end of day drink is not the same as having a social time in a bar. Some places you cannot be seen to drink in public so that includes no alcohol with meals.
  • Reviewed March 2020

    Khopra Ridge / Annapurna

    Originally booked on the Annapurna Sanctuary trek, as the first trek of the new season this got changed due to danger of avalanches on the original route, so we were rescheduled to walk the Khopra Ridge. This proved an excellent alternative. Considering the time of year the weather was kind to us, all except the early morning trek up Poon Hill, not much to see in a snow storm, but that only added to the adventure. The walking was tough, the terrain unrelenting, the snow drifts in parts deep, but the views stunning. Reading the trip notes was invaluable to adjust our "western expectations" to local conditions. The accommodation although basic was just what was needed and very welcome at the end of a long days walk. It was a constant amazement considering where we were trekking, as to how well feed we were, the food was wholesome, well cooked and in large proportions. A real battle to burn it off the next day. As a small group, 5 clients and 5 staff we managed to crack on, to get the walks done easily within the expected times, this may not be so with a larger group. Being a smaller group we also had more room in the tea houses. The fact we all got on well and had a good group leader and support staff made this a very enjoyable trip. Really glad to have done this, and walked in the Himalayas at last. Would recommend.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Sat in tea house on Khopra Ridge, eating our evening meal, fire burning away, looking out above the cloud base as the sun set illuminating Annapurna South & Barah Shikhar, snow all around.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ramhari Phuyal, consummate professional, with an obvious love of his country and job. Ably supported by the rest of the team, nothing was too much trouble to sort, always cheerful. Early morning wake-ups with tea and a laugh. Our luggage was always there waiting for us on arrival at our new destination, whatever the trail conditions. I think we were lucky to have done this trip with them.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read the trip notes. Make sure you are fit. I found the money guidance was very conservative and had some left at end of stay, get it changed before you hit the airport if needs be. At the time of year (Feb - Mar) its cold on the tops, some places provide a duvet, we had a competition as to who could have the most layers of clothing on and still get into their 4 season sleeping bags. For 3 nights on the tops we couldn't have a shower, but Wifi was available if weak, except in one location where non was available. Pokhara is lovely, Kathmandu I found not so, noisy, polluted, do as the locals do when crossing the roads, but take care.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Can recommend Exodus, their itineraries are good, well organised and like the options to fly from local airports when available.
  • Reviewed March 2020

    An amazing boat trip in the Maldives

    An amazing tour during which we were lucky enough to snorkel with turtles, dozens of spinner dolphins, huge manta rays, a whale shark on two days, eagle and sting rays, moray eels, reef sharks and of course a wide variety of numerous reef fish large and small. We were all keen snorkelers and were able to snorkel at least twice a day. The boat was roomy and comfortable to spend time on during the day as were the cabins at night. The latter had both air conditioning and a fan to keep things cool. The crew were welcoming and helpful. The food was tasty and plentiful, the group were all keen snorkellers who got on well together.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Snorkelling with five manta rays which were feeding in the water beneath us, flying/swimming gracefully in formation, spiralling and going round in small circles near the sea bed. We were able to easily keep up with them for about half an hour. An enormous manta ray joined the loose group for a while before disappearing into the plankton haze. Visibility was surprisingly good, given the plankton, and we able to duck dive a few metres to get clearer photos. Swimming above and briefly alongside a whale shark with only our group present in the water on our second encounter with it, was also magical. We were lucky to see several whale sharks at night pass very close by at the surface by the stern illuminated by a powerful light used to attract small fish eaten by the whale sharks.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    UB (Ubai) was personable, had an easy and infectious laugh and who “got” the English sense of humour, looked after all members of the group very well, and quietly and efficiently ensured that everyone was happy and that everything ran smoothly and without drama.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Practise snorkelling and duck diving, go on a course if you can, it will pay dividends when it comes to getting closer to the wildlife underwater. Although snorkelling gear is available on the boat, take your own mask (and fins ) to ensure a comfortable fit. Take a camera suitable for underwater photography and practise with it before you go. A rash vest, preferably but not essentially a thermal one (see on Amazon), is really useful for up-to one hour plus snorkelling sessions. Take along some luck with you to help you find plenty of all the creatures you want to see.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Our first encounter with the whale shark felt rather uncomfortable at times, having to swim along with more than fifty other snorkellers , although the whale shark itself seemed unperturbed and continued to swim along on its way. On our encounter the next day we were the only ones in the water. There was, as expected, a lot of dead coral around, though there were also plenty of signs of recovery. I should thoroughly recommend this trip.