Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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18154 Reviews

  • Reviewed January 2008
    Anonymous

    KILLER WHALE AND NORTHERN LIGHTS WEEKEND

    A really enjoyable way to spend New Year.  The area was beautiful and Orcas much more abundant than I expected.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Being very politely informed that there were Northern Lights just after dinner and rushing to get ready to go out!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    There was no group leader - which had advantages and disadvantages.  As it was a long weekend it was nice not to have to spend the whole time making conversation.  But if there were any individual people it might have been difficult to get to know others in the group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you take lots of reading material for long dark winter afternoons!
  • Reviewed January 2008
    Anonymous

    KILLER WHALE AND NORTHERN LIGHTS WEEKEND

    A wonderful way to spend new year. The tourist centre is situated within the arctic circle so the scenery is stunning (as long as you have a thing for snow capped mountains and lakes)We were lucky to have beautiful (albeit cold!) weather, see whales both days, and even have the northern lights come out to play on new years eve.The lack of a tour leader means we didnt really connect with others on the trip - however as most people were already travelling as part of a group it didnt matter, and the tourist centre has everything arranged in terms of activities.The downside was the long travelling - but the upside was the awesome scenery, seeing the whales at such close range, and of course how could I not mention the nightly whale ceremony:) 
  • Reviewed January 2008
    Anonymous

    THE TURQUOISE COAST

    Very pleasant trip, good walks, appropriate for the grade, fascinating archeological sights.  Downside was the leader took us to the most expensive restaurants as we discovered when we went out on our own and found equally good food at half the price. Hotel was crap, freezing and unwelcoming.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Arycanda was brilliant, enjoyed all of the walks.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    See above. He led the walks well but promised things he didn't do (eg booking hammam for some people), and didn't tell us about fireworks or anything for new year.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Not specifically for this trip
  • Reviewed January 2008
    Anonymous

    They were all Highlights

    I greatly enjoyed the holiday.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The day I enjoyed most (because it was so varied) was out first one which we began in Sabratha with its wonderful Greco-Roman theatre; then we drove south through the semi-desert, with camels grazing here and there, to visit the fortified Berber granary at Qasr al-Haj' finally we zigzagged up to the Western Mountains to the Troglodyte lodge where we would spend night at Ruhaybat. The family were most hospitable and we enjoyed a delicious meal in the central courtyard under the stars. I am sure this helped us to bond as a group. I was also very impressed by the beautiful Byzantine mosaics at Qasr Libya and the fact that we were shown round Ptolemais vy Abdusalam who worked on the excavations there in the 1950s.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had two group leaders. Jamal, the more experienced one, was excellent, very knowledgeable, caring and well organised e.g. when we visited Leptis Magna he ensured that we kept ahead of the numerous groups from two cruise ships. Mahmood was not quite as good in his time management, but he was very concerned for us all and willingly answered our many questions as well as telling us about Ramadan which he, Jamal and our driver and our police escorts were observing.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Although it was interesting to be there in Ramadan, I would not recommend it to tohers. Many shops and restaurants were closed not just during the day but somethimes in the evening too, and it is somewhat embarrasing to eat and drink when those looking after the group cannot.Seize any opportunity to buy postcards and stamps which can be difficult to find. Do not expect to pay face value for stamps as handsome commemoratives tend to be sold by the sheet of six at 5 dinars. The best place for cards and a letterbox is Leptis Magna.Libyans generally are very welcoming are tourist are not hassled (notlike Egypt for instance). We were impressed by the quanity of the hotels at which we stayed. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Although we were advised to bring swimwear there were no oppertunity to swim.
  • Reviewed November 2007
    Anonymous

    Wouldn't change a thing.....

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    getting so close to the animals - it was simply incredible

    What did you think of your group leader?

    excellent.  Robert spotted a lioness eating a kill that the rest of us couldn't see until we were 12ft away from her - amazing and very knowledgable

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    the roads are really bad, so be warned if you suffer from any form of travel sickness - but it is worth it

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I only have 2 critisisms: 1. is that when we were actually doing the game drives a 4x4 jeep would have been even better as they can get places the vans we had couldn't.  However, that didn't stop us seeing everything we wanted too!2. it was chaos at Zanzibar airport and we ended up being re-routed back to Naroibi via Daresalam (sp!) if there had be an Exodus rep at the airport that would have been much much better.  It was quite stressful and it was a shame to end such a great holiday on a sour note!On the positive side of things, the accommodation was fantastic, the food was great, the people were fun, the animals were stunning and the Fumba Beach Resort was perfect.  All in all I really wouldn't want to change a thing (except the 2 minor points made above)
  • Reviewed November 2007
    Anonymous

    Very good logistics and perfect knowledge of local customs

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It was my first time in India. We had a very efficient and knowledgeable tour leader that explained to us:- the way ancient astronomers determined the position of various planets, by using instruments displayed in Jaypur's museum of astronomy. - the stories of the holy hindu book Bhagadavita, so we could better enter in the spirit of the local celebrations.- the history of the mogul empire and various entertaining anecdotes (like the origin and meaning of the name 'Sawai').The trip was very well organized.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    A well organized and efficient person that has extensive knowledge of local history and culture.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring a small cushion to make yourself confortable during the journey on the bus.Do not forget to bring stationery (pens, pencils, note books, erasers..) for the local kids.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    'Rajastani desert adventure' is a perfect way to experience the beauty of Indian heritage.
  • Reviewed November 2007
    Anonymous

    Good fun!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It was a very well balanced trek with a similar amount of effort expended on each day. The Kuari pass was shrouded in snow so we did not see the  spectacular views. The simplicity of life in the villages was inspiring especially the children in a local school.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Dibs Buck was an outstanding tour leader...knowledgeable and good fun too. I felt he was in complete control and could have handled any disaster that may have befallen the group whilst we were on trek. He gave everyone on the trek( some difficult and demanding characters) an equal amount of his time and attention and was MUCH more professional and proficient than other tour leaders I have had on similar Grade C treks with Explore, Exodus and KE Adventure Travel.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Eat vegetarian only and if you stick to busy local restaurants with a high turnover of food you won't get sick. Be prepared for long mornings of continuous steep up and  steep descents

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A table is needed in the mess tent and the tent should have been bigger for 18 people as it was very claustrophobic at meal times. The single tents had problems with flooding and the zips were broken These tents are iadequate and need to be replaced immediately. The hotel in Sringar was absolutely TERRIBLE and should not be used.....it was filthy, there was no hot water in any of the rooms on the return trip. I would have preferred to camp in the street.
  • Reviewed November 2007
    Anonymous

    Fantastic cultural trip to part of Indo-China

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Marble Mountains seemed to be an after thought on the trip notes, a kind of "we are passing, so why not." As a result I was not expecting much. Well for a big hill (quite steep) it had a lot going for it, Budhism in a nutshell was my main feeling. From a giant Budda to pogodas littering the site, the area was magnificent. The views and caves were not bad either!Another area, this time not even included on the notes, was the Champra Temples of My Son. An appetiser for Ankor, built in brick and only slightly less awe inspiring.The rest of the trip was as I expected, fantastic, but these two stood out as they were unexpected delights.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our Vietnamese leader was ok, if a little like a quiet school teacher. Our Cambodian one was a complete opposite with so much information, I know the name of each stone positioner at Ankor (well nearly). They both were proud of their country, and illustrated to us each one inside out.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Malaria was only prevelant in Cambodia as Veitnam was spent by the coast or in cities. I covered up with long sleave linen shirts / trousers and did not get bitten once. It did get hot, 37 degrees C in Cambodia (in October) and Vietnam hovered around 30.Halong bay was a bit dissappointing due to haze/smog.Goto Vietnam now, its being turned into a westernised hell hole in places with resorts springing up. At the moment it is in a nice balance of not changed too much but enough to cater to tourists needs.Go to the street vendors in the city, unbelievably cheap (beer was 7 pence!)

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The trip to the beach at Mui Ne was a bit of a waste of time, although sunset on the red sand dunes was good. A beach closer to Ho Chi Minh City would have been better or 2 days extra on other things, such as My Son and Ankor.
  • Reviewed November 2007
    Anonymous

    The Long Way Up !

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The view from Kopra Ridge was breathtaking. We watched the moon rise over Annapurna and the whole mountain range was bathed in soft moonglow. From there we came down and down and down. Eight hours over 2 days walking downhill !The people were very friendly and made an effort to spreak English which was very humbling.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very knowledgeable. Mixed well with all in the group and took interest in each of us as individuals. A wicked sense of humour which was well received. Strong leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take it easy! Don't rush. Be prepared to be inspired

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Don't use Gulf Air. They were the only weak link in the chain. They overbooked our transfer plane by 80 seats and we had to spend 24 hours in a 2nd rate hotel in Bahrain. This meant we lost a day in the bustling city of Kathmandu
  • Reviewed November 2007
    Anonymous

    Walking in Tuscany-An Amazing Experience!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The views, of course, were the star of the trip, but both Sarah Bull, our guide, and Braccicorti were unforgettable. We will definitely use Exodus in the future.  All involved were helpful, professional, and did everything they could to ensure the vacation went smoothly and we had the experience we wanted. Thank you again to all!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Since this were our first trip to Europe and our first trip with a leader, we didn't know what to expect.  We could not have been more fortunate to have Sarah as our group leader. She was both an inspiration and complete professional.  Her concern throughout the trip , not only for our safety, but also for our complete enjoyment of the experience were always evident. She is not only competent, but caring and kind as well.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Agritourism is a fantastic way to travel. Please bring trekking poles, you will need them.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just a thank you to all on behalf of myself and my husband for a wonderful time.