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 August 2018
    Peter Sumpter

    So much potential - but sadly not delivered on this first running of the trip

    What should have been a great trip, was sadly something of a disappointment. The trip notes certainly enticed with numerous hikes, endless wildlife viewing, and much more. Yes, there was stunning scenery, simply vast. However, this was largely enjoyed as we drove rather than when we were walking, although admittedly we did stop on our drives in some lovely spots. The wildlife viewing was marginally above none. I’ll leave others to discover the “delights” of the gold rush town of Skagway! They are the three identified trip highlights. A closer look at the trip notes is the start of the problem for me. Somewhat confusing, conflicting and at times clearly in error, but very "selly". A level 3 for activity and adventure, while the pace was 3-4 miles per hour (really?), and with hikes including those graded as strenuous and difficult. Making sense of what was actually essential to pack was more than tricky. The Yukon territory is not within the Arctic Circle, a part of it is. I don’t believe they are termed “American Indians” in the 21st century, but either First Nations or Native Americans. It's possible that the situation with the trip notes is accounted for by the number of companies involved – Exodus marketing a trip offered by Grand American Adventures, whilst it was ultimately a trip established by a third company (I'll not name them). It was a new trip, despite my contact at Exodus appearing to be unaware of this. Therefore it seemed surprising to assign a group leader without any personal experience of the region. This was a mixed trip (e.g. hiking, wildlife, history), from what could be taken from the trip notes, and local knowledge would seem invaluable, particularly on a first running of a trip. Of the eight hikes on the itinerary, only three were actually walked. Some alternatives were offered and followed, although generally without any explanation as to why. My assessment would be that three or four of the hikes delivered what was imagined when booking the holiday. Yes, at times the scenery was indeed wonderful, although the time to dwell, to admire the wonderful alpine flowers, was lacking. Maybe we really were expected to walk 3-4 miles an hour up mountains. There was not going to be the endless wildlife viewing opportunities, for two or more reasons. One was that the group leader was keen to make a great deal of noise due to the threat of bears. An action the local guide we used for two hikes did not seem to feel was necessary. Wildlife viewing are generally about being in the right place, at the right time, and then being quiet & patient. We were not. Finding out more about the region, its history, wildlife, peoples, etc. is always a valuable part of a trip, particularly one such as this. Here our group leader was very sparse with the commentary. I learned more through staying in an AirBnB in Whitehorse for four nights and talking to local people. The camp food certainly did exceed expectations. That was put down to the staff both being French Canadian. But this wasn’t a culinary tour, appreciated as the food was.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The stunning scenery, simply vast. The (alpine) flowers. The gorgeous skies. They were all combined on some occasions.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    An experienced backcountry guide he was, for sure, and worked very hard throughout, as did the other member of staff. But he lacked the local knowledge (the hikes, the wildlife, etc) and did not provide the commentary expected to enhance the trip. Great cook(s).

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    For now, wait until the trip has been run more times, the itinerary appropriately revised and the trip notes updated to address the current issues within them. Then go for it. Such a great region. Yes, there are mosquitoes, and they were just about everywhere, although certainly not unbearable. Don't take the "essential" swimwear in June or July as the rivers are running with glacial melt.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    On this occasion, Exodus did not deliver a trip to the standard that they set for themselves and that I have experienced in the past.
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