Turtle, Ecuador

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

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2108 Reviews

  • Reviewed December 2019
    David and Lesley Knass

    A Great Experience

    This was a very varied trip and we took part in all the activities as did the rest of the party. The overall pace over the 14 days was very good and the only early start was at Periyar which is necessary to catch the wildlife and we were lucky to see an elephant whilst on the walk. We experienced some mist at the peak so that restricted our views but coming from England we're used to that at much lower levels!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It is difficult to pick out one thing but seeing the Western Ghats for the first time and the houseboat were up there. Also all our party really enjoyed the visit to the spice plantation and preparing a meal, Kerala style. And seeing some endemic birds species plus tahr, gaur, giant squirrel and elephant.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    First rate. The 10 of us and Santo James clicked right away. He ensured everything ran smoothly and was likeable, good fun and everything needed from a trip leader. He organised all the activities perfectly and anticipated all our needs.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The trek is the central part of the tour and don't underestimate it. If you are a regular walker at the distances covered it will be fine but otherwise do some preparation. November is the end of the rainy season so don't be surprised if you get the odd shower. Take wet overtrousers with you not just in case it rains but for walking through the Shola grasslands if it has been wet eg on walking down from the peak. One or two walking poles should be used even though we don't always use them ourselves when walking at home. Also leech socks were needed on our walk after it had rained overnight but these are provided and don't be put off by coming across these creatures!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We were lucky in that the rest of our party were a delight to be with and everyone was very positive and enjoyed all the activities. The trip met all our expectations.
  • Reviewed December 2019
    Nigel Chapman

    Awesome trek with a great leader

    Having seen the Trango Towers on a K2 bae camp trek many years ago I always had an ambition to see the Torres del Paine and the didn't disappoint. Firzroy is also stunning.We were lucky with the weather which helped and all local guides were excellent.As said in other reviews Tomas our leader is a legend through his enthusiasm, knowledge and caring attitude. Would recommend.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Leaving th Paine NP on the catamaran with cloudless skies across an azure blue lake with stunning mountain scenery all around- it doesn't get much better than that.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Where do I start.....Tomas was just brilliant.As someone who came land only to the group so joined later he made it easy to integrate.He was knowledgeable, kind, diplomatic and above all very very funny. He looked after everyone individually and his work rate was phenomenal. As others have said, a legend.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I'd reiterate a few of the previous comments: -there's a lot of bus travel (but necessary to see Fitzroy and Paine) -it's expensive to use ATMs in Argentina so take plenty of USD. -probably not as challenging as I was expecting (although all these ratings are subjective) -take a 30-40 litre pack as well as main bag for W trek in Paine NP. -don't forget earplugs (to aid sleep whilst in dorms on trek) and sink plug (most hosterias etc don't provide them) -enjoy.....
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Andrea James

    Annapurna sanctuary

    This was an amazing trip with Poon hill sunrise and Annapurna base camp sunrise , both of which we were spoilt on clear skies and lovely weather, The guides and porters were all amazing, trying to communicate with their broken english, our main guide Milan was fantastic , with his knowledge of mountains and other areas in nepal. I would highly recommend this trip, just be sure that you love steps and that you love mountains and breathtaking views!!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to Poon hill toview sunrise and Annapurna bbase camp sunrise! Mindblowingly beautiful, to the point of tears!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    MILAN was amazing his knowledge of the area was fabulous and then organising meals out in Pokoraha and Kathmandu also arranging our missed flights, done all with a smile!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just make sure your fit enough to deal with all the steps, and always look back from where ever your going or been as the views from all angles are just so beautiful
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Nigel Kerrigan

    Himalayan Highs

    1st time in the Himalayas and what an introduction. Expectations were high but easily exceeded, both by the scenery and the people (guides, porters and fellow travelers). The trek was challenging but hugely enjoyable, helped greatly by the brilliant weather that allowed us the best views of the stunning mountains and valleys. Our guide, "Milan" and his team of assistants and porters were phenomenal, making everything run smoothly for us pampered western travelers. It was humbling to see how they and the local people cope with what seem harsh conditions compared to those many of us take for granted at home. Overall, an excellent trip that I would not hesitate in recommending to others.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching Annapurna Base Camp and taking in the breathtaking panoramas.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Balkrishna Tamang ("Milan") was the best of all the guides we have experienced over a number of Exodus trips - and that is saying something as all the others have been excellent. For a 26 year old coping with a group of 15 over the trip he showed maturity and leadership skills that were most impressive. From dealing with illness amongst the group to ensuring that all were comfortable with the pace to negotiating the sometimes difficult transit through airports Milan always seemed to get things done. All the while he came across as a friendly, caring individual who is a credit to both Nepal and to Exodus. Big Respect!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get fit and be prepared for thousands of stone steps - both up and down! Also, pack carefully and efficiently as the 10kg limit for luggage for the trek is a bit challenging - but wholly understandable to ensure the porters are not overloaded.
  • Reviewed November 2019

    A fantastic guide

    I found hiking the trail a real challenge but our guide Holger Collantes, and his assistant Mel, were just amazing. Their support and encouragement got me through. They really were the best! Holger was also an absolute mine of information about Peru - there were no questions he couldn't answer. The Inca remains and, of course, Machu Picchu itself were magical. The people, the food ... all incredible.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Completing the trail.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Amazing. He always went above and beyond what was necessary to make sure we were all happy and well cared for.
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Paul Rasdale

    Great Fun

    Really fun trip with a very sociable bunch of fellow trekkers.Quite a lot of travel(as it says on the tin).Not a trip for anyone not used to fairly strenuous walking.Bunk beds in refugios so if allocated a top bunk you have to be quite agile.Be aware that weather notoriously fickle in Patagonia and seeing the mountains not guaranteed.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Trek up French Valley to Mirador Britanico.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Everything complimentary that has been said in the past about Pepe is true.His professionalism,efficiency and unfailing cheerful good humour contributed hugely to the enjoyment of the trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Try to avoid taking cash out of ATM's (very expensive) Chilean pesos not needed.Cards accepted in all refugios and nearly everywhere else.Dollars accepted most places(not taxis) and easy to change for Argentinian pesos. Charging and wifi available all refugios(not free)and hotels. Take a sleeping bag liner for Refugio Los Cuernos. Add extra day at beginning to explore Buenos Aires Wear insect repellant
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Sandra Strange

    Highly recommend this trek.

    This is my fifth trek in Nepal and definitely my favourite. Happy to have done this before the road is complete as this will change the remote nature of this trek. We had a fantastic group who supported each other, particularly on the day crossing the pass. This trek is more challenging than Annapurna Circuit and Gokyo/Everest. Our guide Keshar was simply the best, can’t say enough about him. Also great to have Zoe from Exodus London office as my roommate. I feel very fortunate to have been on this trek.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Hard to choose as each day was inspirational for different reasons.
  • Reviewed November 2019
    David Thorniley

    Tougher than Island Peak

    This was my second trip with Exodus to the Himalayas, having had a successful trip to Island Peak in 2010. There are some stunning views on the way in and the way back, and it was a lot less crowded than the route to EBC. Although a bit higher, I thought Mera was generally considered less technical, and therefore easier than Island Peak. Now I know better. Mera is a much tougher proposition than Island Peak on the summit days, and shouldn't be underestimated.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I was disappointed not to get beyond High Camp at 5,800m, and the weather was not great, but although the tops were in the clouds, the views across to Everest and Makalu were still awesome. As were the views at the top of the Zatrwa La.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Bikash was superb. Very dedicated, always concerned for our individual welfare, and knowledgeable and engaging not just about the mountains and the trip itself, but some of the wider cultural, religious and economic issues facing Nepal. Kaji, our fantastic mountain guide, and Ngima, were also wonderful. So helpful and encouraging. All really contributed enormously to a very enjoyable trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take more cash than you think you'll need. There is WIFI connectivity in about 2 out of 3 teahouses, but you have to pay 1,000 rupees for an access code at each teahouse with WIFI, so if you need to be connected it becomes quite costly. It gets really, really cold in the afternoons and evenings, even quite low down, so upgrade your warm gear, eg light down jackets, gloves, handwarmers, otherwise you'll end up buying additional gear in Kathmandu/Khare. I found a couple of battery chargers lasted me throughout the trip, but phones/cameras/batteries really do need to go in your sleeping bag overnight. A sleeping mat would have been unnecessary, but personally I found an inflatable pillow really valuable.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Great trip, well run, wonderful mountains.
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Alison Craggs

    Classic Patagonia Trek

    Excellent trek with lovely views of Torres del Paine in Chile and Cerro Torre in Argentina.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Watching the Torres del Paine emerge through the mist.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Pepe was an excellent leader. He arranged some lovely group meals in the evening and some little walks on our day off-a visit to a bird sanctuary in El Calafate and a walk to look for condors in El Chaltén.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Worth having a separate bag for summer clothes to leave in Buenos Aires You are given a very good travel towel and metallic water bottle in Torres del Paine to use on the trip. A sleeping bag liner was useful for the Los Cuernos refuge as they only have a sleeping bag and no sheets. Make sure your rucksack has a waterproof cover We had snow in El Chaltén so make sure you take layers When not on the trek it was quite nice to have different clothes for the evening Most places take Visa credit cards (MasterCard less so) though the internet is poor in El Chaltén so it doesn’t always work. You don’t need Chilean money at all. Even the San Telmo market stalls in Buenos Aires take dollars. Most of us were glad not to have booked an optional trip in El Calafate, we needed a rest!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The Iguazu falls extension was well worth doing if you have time.
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Martin KNIGHT

    A fantastic trip

    We have had an amazing time, our guide Pepe was extremely professional, helpful and made the group feel we were in safe hands. The scenery was beautiful and the treks were hard but well worth the effort.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the Torres del Paine once we reached uptake top of the trek, a lovely lake and fab mountains.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Pepe was an outstanding leader, he was extremely professional about his job, was patient and good fun. I felt confident we were in good hands. Pepe was also good fun and a team player.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Try to take only the minimum amount required on the 4 days trek as I found I took too much and my rucksack was very heavy!!