Turtle, Ecuador

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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.

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 March 2019
    Pauline Smith

    Excellent holiday

    This was my first snowshoeing holiday and it was excellent and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The guide Yves was excellent and tailored the daily walks to the weather conditions and where the best snow and walks would be. He was very helpful with guidance on how to use the snow shoes, particularly on steeper descents, and we all completed all the walks. He offered extensions to some of the walks which were voluntary and all of our group chose to walk that bit further and the wonderful views were well worth it. We were lucky in having mostly sunny weather but this meant that the snow conditions were at times more difficult but Yves found the best walks for the snow conditions. I thought the walks were well suited to my abilities, and those of the group, but you do need to be reasonably fit so if you can complete a day of hill walking, with an ascent of up to 500m, over 7 hours in the UK then you can manage this holiday and enjoy the exercise. The guide ensured that we walked slowly up steep sections by setting the slow pace and that was very helpful. The scenery was beautiful and varied and I was surprised at how high into the mountains we climbed and the views were wonderful.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I think being in the heart of the mountains on the second to last day, where we walked beneath a huge exposed rock to arrive at a settlement set in the high snowy valley, only accessible by snowshoes was inspirational. Also walking through pristine snow and at times sinking into the snow was fun.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Yves was excellent and a great leader. He was very encouraging and helpful throughout the week with tips on snowshoeing, and he chose some wonderful walks suitable for the changing snow conditions. He was patient, kind and thoughtful and an interesting man to talk to. He made the holiday very enjoyable for all the group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you are fit enough. This was not a problem for anyone on the group I was with but you do need to be able to ascend up to 500m, on the last day of the holiday, and be confident that you can do that.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Saint Veran is a lovely historical village in a beautiful sunny position and it was interesting walking around the village. The area is attractive and Yves told us about the history of the area and this added to the trip. On our day off we walked to the mountain refuge which is an interesting walk with the reward of reaching the mountain refuge for lunch. It was very windy on our return so it felt like an achievement to complete the walk.
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Pierre Vinsot

    Best way to discover a beautiful island

    Very well organised trip in a magnificent natural place.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Hiking up in the cliffs of the northern coast.
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Marianne Hong

    Chile

    This trip covered a lot of ground in a short time frame. I (and the rest of my group) agreed that the one area of improvement would be to include a visit to the wineries and have lunch in Valparaiso.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the stars in the Atacama Desert and the landscapes of Patagonia

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ignacio was wonderful. He was organized, attentive and had a good sense of humor.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring layers! It was unexpectedly cold when we visited the geysers.
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Suzanna Dell

    Loved Every Minute

    This holiday met my expectations and more, It really does live up to its title of ‘Discover Sri Lanka’. The itinerary is comprehensive and varied. In two weeks it looks at the culture and history of this truly beautiful island as well as there being many opportunities to observe its bird and wild life, The hotels on this trip are comfortable and it was good to have a number of stays lasting more than one day. Although I was unable to take part in some of the activities, thiose who did thoroughly enjoyed them. The tour leader was excellent.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Visiting Polonnaruwa, the Martin Wickramasinghe Museum and the Game Drives. But it’s hard to close as I enjoyed the whole trip.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Neelaker, our group leader, was excellent. He is warm, caring, considerate and very knowledgeable.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be aware that the walk on Day 10 on Horton Plain is approximately 9km.
  • Reviewed March 2019
    John Wynsma

    Fantastic Cycling Trip

    This was a fantastic cycling holiday and excellent way to see a good part of Vietnam and experience its culture from the bustling cities of Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi, to historical cities such as Hoi An and Hue, as well as local villages and varying countryside. The trip is well balanced between biking (8 of 14 days), other activities (i.e. exploring the Cu Chi tunnels, caving, snorkeling, touring historic sites, shopping, etc.) and rest days at some idyllic locations (Whale Island, Ha Long Bay). The biking is rated as moderate and geared for biking enthusiasts or generally fit people as its mostly flat, some undulating sections, some "upulating" sections as our guide liked to characterize the predominantly uphill sections, a few tough climbs and a couple of super fun descents! The first few days on cycling is outside Ho Chi Minh, a bit busy and not too interesting (although the destinations were great). Thereafter the cycling becomes much more interesting and really fun! The trip is extremely well organized - I can't say enough good things about our guide Son and the rest of the team. Our group of 17 was diverse but bonded quickly, were very supportive of one another (even to those who spread the Canadian cold around...) and enjoyed a lot of laughs and Tiger beer together, and even some singalongs with "Kennaoke" and his ukulele! The food and accommodation exceeded our expectations, and the Vietnamese people are extremely friendly and hospitable. Fantastic trip, don't hesitate to do this one!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Biking, its a toss up between the joy of the 5000 foot descent from Dalat and the 2000 foot climb of the Hai Van Pass (wasn't smiling nearing as much but great sense of accomplishment). Culturally, riding through the countryside with its lush rice paddies, water buffalo, hard working locals and many friendly children saying "hello" as you passed.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Son, was awesome. Well organized, very informative on Vietnamese history, culture and the environment (kudos here), communication skills were excellent (more understandable than most Brits...yikes, going to be in trouble for that comment!), very safety conscious, enthusiastic and encouraging, and able to keep the group focused and on schedule. Son and his family hosted dinner on the final evening of the trip, everyone from our group attended, and it was a magical evening, amazing food, lots of shared memories, laughs and hugs! The entire team supporting Son was also excellent.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    1. Do some training beforehand, you'll enjoy the rides more and you'll want to experience the satisfaction of climbing the Hai Van pass. 2. Try all the food, its mostly great, just beware of the little red chilies! 3. Be prepared to barter in the markets and recognize you are getting fake products (make good gifts!) 4. Don't drink the water, stick to beer! Tiger is "go to" beer but the rest are good too, and inexpensive! 5. Buy some tailor made clothing in Hoi An at Yaly's or another reputable place. Its great quality, good value. I bought a number of Egyptian cotton dress shirts (and promptly threw out my older off the shelf ones when I got home) and my wife bought a few jumpsuits that she is eagerly waiting to display once the snow melts!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    First trip with Exodus, very impressed, highly highly recommended!
  • Reviewed March 2019
    John Grant

    Cycling Vietnam

    A great trip really well organised from start to finish, fantastic to see so many places in one holiday.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Without a doubt the people of Vietnam, fantastic people

    What did you think of your group leader?

    An excellent group leader who kept everything together and on time. Great knowledge of Vietnam and its history a really interesting man with a good sense of humour.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get some practice in and take Cycling padded pants. Get your drinks before you get on the overnight train as they ran out of beer very quickly.
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Margaret Shaw

    An amazing adventure with awesome wildlife

    This was a full-on trip, early morning starts with full days of activity - but SO worth it! Each of the 4 islands visited were very different in both their landscape and wildlife. Tourism in all but the last island (Santa Cruz) was very low key and I felt privileged to be there and see all that I did.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were quite a few inspirational moments, snorkelling with rays, sharks, turtles and sea lions, dolphins swimming at the side of the boat, but for me seeing a huge manta ray jump completely out of the water right in front of our boat was the moment I shall never forget.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Pablo was a great guide, he was very keen to share his huge knowledge with us all, had a passion for all the wildlife and was extremely proud of his country. He even managed to smile through our incessant barrage of stupid questions, ie ‘will there be a toilet?’ ‘Do we get changed now?’ ‘Do we need fins?’ ‘Do we need to take everything with us?’

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be very aware of the sun whilst snorkelling, a few in our group did get sun burnt. When there are such fantastic things to see it is so easy to forget that you are sometimes in the water for an hour or more and even the best sun creams struggle in these salt water conditions. My advice would be at the very least to take a rash vest or rash suit. One or two in our group after being burnt even snorkelled in their pyjamas! They worked perfectly. Others in our group hired wetsuits, our guide, Pablo always wore one. I took my own very lightweight 1mm wetsuit and was so glad I did, not only did I not have to worry at all about the sun, it also protected me from the biting flies when we were above water listening to our guide. For the hiking, I managed mostly in shorts but long trousers were a good call when we descended into the volcano to view the fumaroles, the path was very overgrown with thorny bushes.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you are reading this review then you are obviously considering doing the trip yourself ~ stop dithering, just do it, it’s amazing and you won’t regret it.
  • Reviewed March 2019

    Totally enjoyable trip packed with variety

    Two weeks packed with variety of scenery, wildlife, culture on this beautiful island. The itinerary is well balanced to enable you to experience so many highlights yet still have relaxation time. The hotels, apart from the Orient, were a very high standard and in great locations. I travelled on my own yet always had an enormous double/twin room and felt safe. Our guide Nala and the driving crew were superb, everything was well organised yet flexible enough to allow us to enjoy "local experiences" which added to our fun. You will return from this trip with so many happy memories.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Difficult to choose from so many highlights - on wildlife has to be seeing a leopard so close up in Yala national park as well as elephants passing so near to the jeep. On scenery, the far-reaching views from Lions Rock and watching the sunrise from Adams Peak (after 2.5 hours of effort climbing up steps with hundreds of others). Patiently queuing to view the casket in the Temple of the Tooth was a humbling experience. The trip was full of other enjoyable experiences - biking, rafting, canoeing - where we were so warmly welcomed by the locals. Their smiles were simply heart-warming!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nala was a key factor in the success of this trip. He was an excellent guide, working very hard behind the scenes to offer us "local experiences" such as lunch in a traditional village, a spontaneous game of cricket or a stop at a roadside fruit stall. He was keen to impart knowledge about Sri Lankan life to us, was extremely well organised (giving us verbal then written details about the day's plans!), unfailingly calm and pleasant. An absolute delight to know! Nala worked well with our driver Dinesh and assistant Clement - they were a very competent team giving us excellent service (those cold flannels on returning to the minibus to escape the heat were bliss!).

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Dinners were mostly eaten in the hotels for convenience but if you don't want the buffet, you can choose a la carte, just order well in advance! Lunchtime was when we tended to experience locally prepared food. When you visit the national parks they do bag checks so make sure you don't take any plastics in. Have a pair of socks handy for temple visits, saves burning feet on hot stones!
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Lesley Wilkinson

    Misrepresented

    An extremely disappointing trip. Several places we should have visited were closed on the days we were there because of change to itinerary (why was this not checked out?) Distances travelled on some days were much longer than stated in trip notes. Not sure whether it was due to drivers getting lost or road, we weren't told. Drove for hours without being given any information on areas we were travelling through. Did not see anything of Mandi as we did not arrive there until after 6 pm. Hotel there was filthy. Some of the other hotels were not much better; SIlverine in Shimla was unheated and extremely cold, even public areas and restaurant. Sat in jackets etc for breakfast and dinner.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Evening visit to the Golden Temple. Visit to Dalai Lama's temple.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Asif was pleasant enough but lacked both enthusiasm and knowledge of places visited.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Book a different tour.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We have been on previous trips with both Exodus and other companies, which were excellent. Some of these have been to remote areas of developing countries, so we were not expecting 5 star treatment. Considering the cost of the trip this has to be the worst experience with any company we have travelled with.
  • Reviewed March 2019

    Pura Vida!

    I have been wanting to visit Costa Rica for a number of years and it didn’t disappoint. What an amazing and diverse country, so many different landscapes and microclimates in such a small country. If you are interested in wildlif and birds then this is the trip for you - I tried to make a note of everything we saw and I still only captured about half of it! You stay in every place for 2 nights which is great as you have time to relax and explore each place. All the lodges and hotels are in great locations and of good quality. Some of the best wildlife spotting was in the beautiful grounds of the lodges - you could just sit outside your room and wait for it to come to you! Driving distances are not too great and there are plenty of opportunities to stop and enjoy your surroundings- some of the roads are very uneven so you do get a good massage but our fantastic driver, Carlos did his best to keep this to minimum. I shared the experience with a great group which made the trip even better, you had plenty of time to do things together or take time out and do your own thing if you wanted.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It’s very difficult to pick out one moment - seeing my first sloth in Tortuguero, seeing the sunrise on a deserted Caribbean beach, zip lining through stunning cloud forest in Monteverde, being woken by howler monkeys doing what they do best, swimming in the Pacific Ocean, enjoying the amazing surroundings of Esquinas Lodge, becoming blasé about hummingbirds after seeing so many, listening to coyotes howling in Savegre or enjoying happy hour!! Make the most of every moment as it’s over far too quickly and you’re back to reality.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I chose this trip in March as it was being led by Jonny Villalobos, tour leader of the year 2017, as I’d read so much fantastic feedback about him and I can honestly say it’s all true. His knowledge of and passion for his country and it’s wildlife just shines out of him and it’s utterly infectious. He was so attentive to our groups needs, we had a number of vegetarians, vegans, gluten free and dairy intolerant in our group and he made sure there was always something for them to eat. He added extra walks and wildlife spotting opportunities if you wanted them or he gave you time to just unwind in your beautiful surroundings. March is probably the peak time to go but Jonny was brilliant at getting us away from the crowds which were really only evident in Manual Antonio national park, which you don’t want to miss as the beaches are stunning here. Jonny is a brilliant ambassador for Costa Rica and for Exodus

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for all weather conditions - ensure you have a good poncho or waterproof as the only thing I can guarantee is you will need it at least once!! Dry bags are also very useful to keep your camera and other essentials dry. Avoid this trip if you don’t like early mornings - I stayed on UK time so was up early most days to enjoy the sights and sounds of Costa Rica which were at the best in the early mornings.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Go for it- Costa Rica is a very diverse country with so much to offer - no 2 days are the same. Pura Vida!
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