Turtle, Ecuador

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

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150 Reviews

  • Reviewed March 2016
    Sally Harkins

    No 1 holiday!

    Just the best week ever! It certainly isn't a restful week, but it was great to learn new skills. There was down time in the evenings and we could enjoy the sauna and hot tub. Definitely try rolling in the snow after the sauna

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The huskie sledging was fantastic, driving a team of 5 huskies, I felt like the snow queen in Narnia. The scenery and snow covered trees were breath taking Building our snow igloo was hard work but rewarding, especially the amazing sunset that evening. Trying to sleep in it was fun, pay attention to smoothing the floor, otherwise trying to sleep on chunks of ice isn't great

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Henri, our leader was great, knowledgeable and informative, the rest of the team were great, especially the chefs who cooked huge quantities of delicious food for our hungry bellies, second helpings were a regular occurrence People with dietary requirements were well catered for

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Thick socks aren't included, so take a few pairs. I found I needed my thicker skiing jacket rather than the one base camp provide, but then I feel the cold. Also I used a thicker hat As said in previous reviews, take base layers, everything else is provided Take a towel for the hot tub We over packed, could have got away with a pair of jeans and a few tops for the evening. There is nowhere to go out at base camp, it really is in the middle of nowhere

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Overall, a fantastic holiday and worth every penny. The snow was amazing, the silence at night took a bit of getting used too My only gripes would be the flight times, we arrived at 23.00 so had dinner at midnight and coming back we had to be up at 5 am, Also I think lunches should be included in the price except on free days, as there is nowhere else to eat
  • Reviewed February 2016
    Susan Morton

    Fabulous snowy adventure

    A great week of mixed activity - snow shoes, cross country skiing, and dog sledding. The tuition happened in the mornings and provided enough information for us to go out on our own in the afternoons. The kit and equipment provided was of a high quality. There is a sauna and hot tub, and lots of great optional additional activities you can opt in to.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We loved the optional shoe show trip up into a local National Park - incredible sights and views

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Martii was an amazing guide - experienced, funny, helpful, kind in fact generally wonderful!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The food is all homemade and is incredible - very delicious, in huge quantities and very healthy. The packed lunches are also excellent. I brought some of my own outdoor kit but ended up using the kit provided almost all of the time. The warm mittens provided were superb!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you do all the optional activities you will end up spending quite a bit of money, but we only did the additional ice climbing, and visiting of the National Park. We had a fabulous day snow shoeing around the 10 km Little Bear trail unguided in a small group - which cost nothing extra.
  • Reviewed February 2016
    Djamila Stachowski

    Outstanding!

    This is an amazing trip - I could not say what the best part of it was because every bit was just fabulous. Starting with the perfect winter scenery, the super cosy, warm and comfy base camp, the wonderful staff, outstanding food which introduced us to a number of delicious local dishes (including catering for all sorts of dietary requirements) and last, but not least the great activities. It is a perfect holiday to get away from the buzz and hectic of our lives, and to focus on your surroundings, nature and sports. For me this was a holiday of many firsts: first time snowshoeing, first time ice mountain climbing, first time to ride a huskie sleigh - and of course (how lucky were we!) the first time to see the Northern Lights! Magical!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I couldn't pin point it to one moment or one activity. The summary of all made the trip perfect. Of course, being lucky and seeing the Northern Lights was the icing on the cake, although I believe that it would not have reduced the impression of the trip if we hadn't had that experience.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Marti is very nice, gentle, knowledgeable. He always focused on giving us the best possible experience, checked in on us when we booked and returned from extra tours.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Listen to the trip notes! No need to bring any outer layers of clothing other than for the evening. The clothing provided is perfect. I did bring some extra fleeces and wore those, and not the provided gear.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Our group was quite large with 15 people. For the extra activities we could book most had number restrictions, which meant that not everyone in our group could book this activity. Unfortunately, we also did not get alternative dates. So for popular extra trips and/ or large groups it would be good if those activities could be offered on two separate dates to give everyone the chance to join.
  • Reviewed February 2016
    Jacqueline Kitchener

    Finish Wilderness Week

    The Finish Wilderness week offered a wonderful array of winter activities to try out with no previous experience needed. Myself and my 21 year old son had a wonderful time meeting both our needs and interpretations of what the holiday would offer us. We enjoyed each others company and the company of the rest of the group whilst enjoying each day to the full. The landscape was truly stunning and everyone was so friendly. Would definitely recommend it. Thank you Exodus.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Managing to climb the ice wall. Never give up and with the support of my son telling me I must get up there was wonderful. Although my arms ached for the rest of the holiday I'm glad I did it! The dog Sledging and Snow Mobil were great fun and a highlight too.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Henri was lovely and very informative of each day of the activities. He was helpful and you could ask him anything.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The holiday offered all the equipment you needed and you really do only need to bring your clothes for the evening. Do all the activities and more that are on offer as they are all great.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Make sure you get to go into the National Parks as the scenery is absolutely stunning. If you are not sure how to use your camera properly find out before as its well worth getting those fabulous photo shots of the snowy trees in the wilderness.
  • Reviewed February 2016
    Kat Hyde

    Best trip in a long time!

    I think this trip exceeded expectations for me. It was a very active week with a great selection of winter sports and the opportunity to try something different. I've now recommended it to a handful of people.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    For me, it was the dog sledding! The dogs were beautiful, friendly and very controlled and the mode of transport gave great views across the NP. A very close follow up for me, was the reindeer farm!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader was fab! In fact, all the staff were. Activities were explained thoroughly and all staff were patient and had a sense of humour.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take lots of layers! It was relatively mild the week we went (31st Jan) but I still felt a little chilly so, pack as your case will allow.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The food! I am not a fussy eater but was a bit apprehensive about the food! Especially the elk! HOWEVER, elk is now a firm favourite and all the meals were healthy and substantial with plenty of cake for pudding.
  • Reviewed February 2016
    Linda Mundy

    Finnish Wilderness Week

    This will be THE most amazing and fun week you will ever have! The setting is just beautiful - your snug and warm cabin looking out over the snow covered forest, a short walk away from the frozen lake. The BaseCamp staff will look after you, keeping you warm and extraordinarily well fed throughout the week, and exhausted (in a good way) from all the various fun activities.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The husky sledding was the definite highlight! -39C but sooooooooooo much fun dashing through the national park. Unforgettable

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Martii and Juka were just fabulous - they really understood the wilderness, the potential risks and how to avert any accidents. They taught us some great skills and kept us safe, warm, well fed throughout the week with a smile on their faces at all times. Thanks for a great week BaseCamp team
  • Reviewed February 2016
    Beverley Langley

    Winter Wonderland

    Fantastic Finland! Cross country skiing over frozen lakes and forests, happy huskies!, snowshoeing through magnificent scenery, climbing the ice wall, snowshoeing in the forest at night, making quinzees, absailing... A dream come true for me to be able to partake in so many activities...I just loved it! The staff at Oulanka basecamp were wonderful, they definitely made the week with their extremely detailed knowledge of the area, the equipment and the activities we did...so much fun and laughter but always with safety as a priority. The equipment used was well maintained and in good order. All outdoor clothing was provided together with base and mid layers, gloves, beanie hats and even socks if you wished! For anyone who hasn't done a winter holiday before, it saves a lot of expense and as previous clients have mentioned, there's no need to take much clothing with you.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    This has got to be the husky sledding. As part of the trip, a 2-3 hour husky sledding excursion is included, this was approximately 10km. There is an opportunity to do a 6-7 hour excursion of 30km as an optional extra. Don't hesitate! This was the most amazing day. This is the opportunity to see where the huskies live and chat to the husky guides who live there with the dogs. The dogs get so excited, they bark and howl at the tops of their voices, tails wagging and trying to keep the sled from moving before it was time to go was hard work and took all of my body weight! Mushing through the frozen forest was like going through the wardrobe into Narnia...so beautiful, so remote and so quiet...apart from when you stop and the dogs, who don't really want to stop, start howling and barking..ready to get on the move again!! You get full instruction as to how to operate the sled with safety again being a priority.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Amazing! Henri was so knowledgeable, a great leader, organizer and extremely motivating plus he had a great sense of humour!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The advice given by Henri is not to use skin care products with oil. I did some research before I left home and came up with Kiehl's products which are "torture tested" in Greenland. I'm happy to say my skin survived!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The staff are very particular about hygiene. I wore a beanie one day and without thinking went to put it back with the other clean beanies, Henri immediately asked me to put it in a separate basket for the laundry. When we had finished with all the layers and outdoor clothing at the end of the week, it was immediately apparent that everything was going straight to the laundry area and the new people for the week were issued with fresh, clean clothing. Just go and book up and see what an amazing place Finland is!
  • Reviewed February 2016
    Denise Craven

    Wilderness Week

    A very satisfying holiday that went beyond my expectations. The adventure was well planned and well organised throughout the week. Oulanka Base Camp staff are delightful people who are to be commended for their knowledge, skills and attitudes. They made the holiday the success it was. The food was consistently amazing too! The equipment for the various activities was in good order and worked well, the accommodation was simple yet suffice and contributed to the sense of calm and peace. The location is stunning!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Many inspiring moments (and people) although climbing to the top of the ice wall (with Henri's assistance) is a lasting memory. Most inspiring was that Base camp staff have an impressively respectful attitude towards maintaining and supporting the natural environment. Running a team of Husky dogs for 30k across the Arctic Tundra was also fairly awesome (I'll never complain about walking my dogs in rain showers again!).

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Henri was the group leader for the 'wild' people. He did a most excellent job for the duration of our stay. Activities were well organised and well paced with sufficient choice of activities and options for ’down time'. He was knowledgable about, and skilful in all the activities: cross country skiing, snowshoeing, climbing, trekking and more. He engendered a sense of safety such that we didn't even worry when a wild person accidentally walked into a snow drift almost as tall as her. He and his colleague calmly walked her out of it whilst her wild comrades were rendered incapable by laughter! He was diplomatic and generous with his time. He was eternally patient with the wild people and motivated them to succeed in their chosen activities. His character and personality were perfect accompaniments to his knowledge base and skill sets. Henri was an excellent leader and his 'support' colleagues (in particular Julie, Tessa, and the chefs) were equally impressive in their roles.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do it!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A message for the owners of Base Camp Oulanka: your choice of staff is excellent, well done! They're a credit. If they were my staff, I'd pay them a large retention fee!
  • Reviewed February 2016
    Robert Pearson

    Fantastic Frozen Finland

    Plentiful tasters of varied winter activities (snowshoing, xc skiing, dh skiing, ice climbing, abseiling etc). Cosy accomodation and hearty meals.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking across frozen lakes.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Henri was excellent. Good communicator. Good organisation of large group into smaller groups doing varied activities.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Good layers of kit provided. Light fleece base, medium fleece mid plus shell outer. Thermos flask for warm water etc. But would take own thermal (fully loop lined) socks.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Greatful thanks for all the staff at basecamp oulanka, working very hard for the large group. Special thanks to Henri - for doing a good job on the other end of the rope!
  • Reviewed February 2016
    Mandy Davis

    Finish wilderness week

    Wow, what an amazing adventure. I cannot rate this trip high enough. Snow sledding brought back great memories of my childhood.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Full day huskie sledding through the snow clad scenery, reminded me of Narnia. Starting the day with excited Huskies to the silence when sledding was serene.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Henri was a great leader, engaged the whole group with learning new skills from snowshoeing, cross country skiing to quinzee building. Nothing was too much trouble for him or the other staff within the complex.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You don't need much money as you can pay for extras and optional activities at the end of the week on credit/ debit card. You also only need little clothing, base layers and change of clothing for the evening. I found that even 11kg of luggage was too much and most clothes were taken home unworn. Once the taster activities had been done you are free to use the equipment as you like during your stay.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Would love to do this again.