Turtle, Ecuador

Your words, not ours

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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 November 2017
    Jenny Sinnott

    Amazing country, but Exodus were a shambles

    Cuba is amazing, fantastic country and people. But Exodus were poor from start to finish. Before we left - most staff were great. One asked us for same info 3 times! On arrival, we had booked an extension in Varadero. We weren't told that Exodus can't guarantee your hotel for this part of trip. We found out at airport we couldn't stay at hotel we booked. Disappointing, but the substitute hotel was lovely too. Havana - hotel so far out of town hotel we couldn't do sightseeing as planned. Took an hour to check in! Room was dirty and badly maintained. On a road so noisy the windows shook as big trucks drove past constantly. I asked to move and was given a quieter room, but with no hot water! Vinales - beautiful place, but more issues with room. It was cramped, grim and noisy. Could have coped with that, but also had swarms of mosquitoes in my room. I killed dozens. Told tour leader, who chided me for not telling her immediately, although I had no way to contact her! My phone wouldn't allow me to make outgoing calls in Cuba. Owners sprayed my room, but I still killed another couple of dozen mosquitoes later that evening. This room is available for $20/night on airbnb. Massive mark up charged by Exodus. Cienfuegos- decent, quiet room, although windowless. Air con broken and leaked all over bed. No one to report this to. Told tour leader in morning and she looked at me blankly and said nothing! Breakfast was bread and jam. Pot of coffee to share that allowed only half a small cup each. If we wanted more coffee we had to pay! In this hotel, my iPad was stolen. It was charging and never left my room. In morning, I checked the room was clear. As soon as i sat on bus (at 7.45am), I realised I hadn't packed ipad. Told tour leader immediately, hoping she would call hotel. She didn't call them until we reached Trinidad and she told me my iPad wasn't in the room. Only explanation, it was stolen by hotel staff, either before or after I left. I told Exodus hoping they could use influence to pressure maid into returning stolen item. Exodus did nothing for THREE DAYS! After a lot of hassling, they called me, but still did nothing to try to get the iPad back. I believe they still use this hotel, so beware! Trinidad - decent room, but didn't get any breakfast one day. We think they mistook the time we requested food, due to language barrier. Girl was barely listening to us when we booked breakfast. Tour leader arranged breakfast for us elsewhere. Havana - finally a decent hotel! And trip home was fine.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Vinales - beautiful place, fantastic way of life for the locals, in my opinion.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I took a while to warm to her. I had a lot of problems on this trip and she made me feel uncomfortable when I told her about them. I only complained when I really felt it necessary. For example, I didn't tell her I got food poisoning from 2 of the restaurants she took us to. She talked too much for my liking. She was interesting and very knowledgeable. But on a 7 hour bus journey, she probably talked for 6.5 hours. I couldn't talk to my friend on the bus or I got a glare from her! Couldn't talk to her privately for most of the trip, she was always talking to the group and didn't like being interrupted, unless it was a question relevant to her lecture. On the plus side, she was fun, very interesting and knowledgeable. Happy and able to give advice on anything I wanted to do or know.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I wouldn't recommend travelling to Cuba with Exodus, sorry! The accommodation was below par. I expected basic, but it was worse than any back packing hostel I've ever stayed in and massively overpriced. You need to get up horribly early every day in order to beat the other crowds of tourists. You're very much on the tourist trail. I would not have chosen to go to the tobacco and rum factory where crowds of tourists stare at the workers, it was weird and an uncomfortable experience. Could have done without the mojito lesson and I found the one on one salsa too intense and awkward. Two Cuban lads baa'd at us and I agreed with them. I felt like a herded sheep! Best times were free time. So much to see, but not enough free time to see it all. Exodus are useful for getting you around the country, but if you can do this another way, I would advise it.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Be careful of your belongings. If anything goes missing I doubt you'll get it back and Exodus won't help.
  • Reviewed November 2017
    Emma Riddle

    Fantastic experience!

    This is a great trip with varied scenery: forest, mountains, rivers and peaks. We had great weather and enjoyed all the different aspects of the trek.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were a number of great experiences but my favourite was relaxing by myself at lunch on the walk up towards Nanda Devi, enjoying the incredible view. Also sunrise at Nanda Devi base camp and the beautiful lunchtime view on the last day's walk back.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    This was my fifth trip with Valerie as the leader and you could not ask for a more incredible leader, in any circumstance. Rajeev provided able assistance.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do make sure you are equipped for hot and cold temperatures, it is quite varied. Don't worry about the there and back nature of the walk: we found we couldn't remember much of the way up on the way back as we were too busy focusing on the path! It is a great trip and very enjoyable.
  • Reviewed November 2017
    John Clark

    A variety of delights from start to finish

    This was a varied trip on good trails with highlights the camps at the Milam Glacier and the Nanda Devi Camp. The weather was unexpectedly good throughout with starry nights viewed from valley bottom campsites an especial treat. The variety included steep passes, a waterfall straight on to the trail, deserted villages, the constant company of the river fed by glacial melt and a stopover at a hill station town. The catering was exceptional with a range of vegetarian curries for lunches & suppers and cakes at teatime. Although the trekking was challenging at times the pace and the breaks were organized well to make even the longest days manageable. The trek is adventurous and rewarding.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Dawn as the sun lit up Nanda Devi

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Set a friendly and inclusive tone from the start of the trip, able to tell good stories about the mountains and their exploration as we trekked, marshaled the large support team to get the best for the group, hard to fault really

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take off your boots at lunch breaks as drying socks and feet might avert blisters...

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The villages have been abandoned since the 60's closure of the trade trail into Tibet so the locals are few and far between
  • Reviewed November 2017
    nigel bradshaw

    Beautiful country

    The trip was well planned and executed by Exodus, the cycling was varied and contained just the right amount of challenge to make it interesting. Late September was a good time to visit as the days were sunny without being too hot and the evenings mild, places (with the exception of Dubrovnik) were not too busy either. Do take advantage of the free day to visit Mijet island - its well worth a visit and dont forget your swimming gear!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Visiting the old City of Dubrovnik at twilight on our penultimate day. If you havent been it is a truly beautiful place. Do visit the hilltop overlooking Dubrovnik too - either by walking up or the cable car, there is an interesting Bosnian War museum there and a surprisingly good cliff top cafe (not for vertigo sufferers!) with stunning views.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mario was fairly new to the job but proved himself to be enthusiastic, hard working, good humoured and nothing was too much trouble for him. Very good leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Avoid the Hotel Sumratin in Dubrovnik if at all possible. At the time of our staying there it was ranked by Trip Advisor as 62 out of 68 hotels in Dubrovnik.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was my sixth Exodus trip and was well up to their normal good standard, unfortunately a great trip ended on a slightly sour note when we were accomodated in the Hotel Sumratin in Dubrovnik on out last two nights, however, Exodus have assured me that they will discontinue using it in future.
  • Reviewed November 2017
    Lisa Macdonald-Smith

    An Amazing Tour of Sri Lankan Highlights

    If you want the see some of the main essential sites of Sri Lanka in a week this is the tour for you. It is not too full on compared with some other Exodus trips and you do have time to take in the beauty of some of the wonderful places you see and stay.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The mornings cycle ride was great fun as was the lunch we had with a local family, the Sri Lankan’s are such friendly people. The elephant safari was just amazing, highlighted by seeing a week old baby elephant. Also a personal achievement and highlight for me was getting to the top of the Sigiria Rock, I don’t do heights and the stairs around the side were quite an experience - but I made it! The views were breathtaking.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Dileepa our tour leader was just brilliant. He was funny, very informative and obviously loved his country. Dileepa always made sure everyone had everything they needed and went out of his way to achieve this. We could not of asked for a better tour leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just go, having travelled to India last year and Cambodia/Vietnam the year before this would of been a good place to start as not so much of a cultural shock. The Sri Lankan’s are such friendly people and it is a beautiful county.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We stayed on 5 nights near Galle after the tour to fully unwind and do a little of our own touring.
  • Reviewed November 2017
    Richard Christie

    Bhutan - a cycle to savour

    Great cycling through the beautiful Bhutanese countryside on quiet roads - both wide and narrow. Some ups, some undulations and some superb descents. Despite the advent of technological ‘innovation’ such as mobile phones and Wi-Fi, Bhutan still retains the quiet serenity I remember from my first visit 14 years ago. Interspersed with the cycling there are opportunities to experience some fantastic Dzongs (temples), wonder at superb views and marvel at the colourful festival dancing.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were many moments which will stay with me for a while: reaching the top of the Chele la (pass); walking round the immense Buddha statue on the hill overlooking Thimpu; the visit to the very impressive Punakha Dzong; the cycle out from the Gangtey Valley - site of the most memorable hotel on the trip; visiting the festival dancing at Chhumey; the cycle back from Chhumey to Bumthang. Not forgetting the walk up to the Tigers Nest!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our Bhutanese guide Sangay Dorji was excellent, demonstrating his immense knowledge of Bhutanese culture & history and ensuring we got the most of the trip. Being the first running of this trip he was assisted by additional staff from India, including Tapesh Choubisa as our cycling guide and Rajesh Razdan as head bike mechanic who were also very good.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do read the Trip Notes! As they indicate you cycle over some high passes and you need to be a bit flexible regarding where the cycling starts and ends each day to take account of the ongoing road improvements across the country and weather conditions. For example one of our days was cut short whilst we waited for a landslide to be cleared.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is not a cheap trip thanks to the cost of spending any time in Bhutan however the benefit is quiet roads, fantastic views and meeting wonderful friendly people along the way. Don’t delay going too long. On the plus side the local beer in Bhutan is half the price of beer in Kathmandu!
  • Reviewed November 2017
    GRAHAM CLARKE

    Imperial China and Yangtze River Cruise.

    An excellent introduction to China covering a number of the very diverse facets of the country. I am inspired to return to China to explore other aspects of the country. In particular the Great Wall trek. I would recommend travelling with a group, such as Exodus. It is not the easiest country to get about in. There is very little English spoken and most of the signs are in Chinese only. Our tour leader took care of interpretations.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Great Wall was great, the Three Gorges cruise on the Yangtze, the cycling in the country amongst the limestone karsts, amazing landscape. There were a number of other WOW factors not least of which was the food.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Leon was excellent: very knowledgeable about all the areas that we visited, he was helpful on a personal level as well as to the group particularly when it came to ordering food where the menus were only in Chinese. He was well up to the standard of tour leaders that I had come to expect of Exodus. His English was excellent also.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Travelling in China could be a bit of a challenge particularly as there is little English spoken and much of the signs even at airports and railway stations are in Chinese. Having a competent Chinese speaker with you, such as we had, made life much easier. The trip was billed as 1 leisurely. I think a 2 grading would be more exact; the steps up to the great wall and later on up to the Moon Rock were something of a challenge for some.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Keep your eyes open and look for quaint English translations of signs.
  • Reviewed November 2017
    GRAHAM CLARKE

    Imperial China and Yangtze River Cruise

    An excellent introduction to China covering a number of the very diverse facets of the country. I am inspired to return to China to explore other aspects of the country. In particular the Great Wall trek. I would recommend travelling with a group, such as Exodus. It is not the easiest country to get about in. There is very little English spoken and most of the signs are in Chinese only. Our tour leader took care of interpretations.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Great Wall was great, the Three Gorges cruise on the Yangtze, the cycling in the country amongst the limestone karsts, amazing landscape. There were a number of other WOW factors not least of which was the food.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Leon was excellent: very knowledgeable about all the areas that we visited, he was helpful on a personal level as well as to the group particularly when it came to ordering food where the menus were only in Chinese. He was well up to the standard of tour leaders that I had come to expect of Exodus. His English was excellent also.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Travelling in China could be a bit of a challenge particularly as there is little English spoken and much of the signs even at airports and railway stations are in Chinese. Having a competent Chinese speaker with you, such as we had, made life much easier. The trip was billed as 1 leisurely. I think a 2 grading would be more exact; the steps up to the great wall and later on up to the Moon Rock were something of a challenge for some.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Keep your eyes open and look for quaint English translations of signs.
  • Reviewed November 2017
    Richard Christie

    Nanda Devi - a sunrise to stun.

    One of the most stunning treks I have been on, the whole trip exceeded my expectations. I had wondered about the length of road journey to and from the trek and the fact that some of the trekking route retraced itself. In the event the road journey was wonderful with beautiful new views round each of the many corners. Where possible the trek route uses different paths and where you do walk on the same paths this is at different times of the day giving a different perspective to the superb views. Thankfully we were blessed with great weather throughout which of course helps!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The sunrise on Nanda Devi East and Nanda Devi on our second morning at the base camp was simply stunning and will live with me for a long time. That said watching the wisps of cloud wend their way around the peaks the morning before was almost as good!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    As usual Valerie was excellent in her role as leader making sure everyone was fit & healthy and got the most from the trip. She was ably supported by out hard working guide Rajeev and his crew including Jonny our excellent cook and Rashid who made sure things ran smoothly around camp.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Enjoyment of the trip was aided by being with a great group of fellow travellers who all coped with the at times challenging paths without issue. You do however need to take heed of the Trip Notes and the grade of the trip; there are steep ups and downs with some exposure. As long as you make sure you prepare beforehand you will have a fantastic time.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is superb ‘off the beaten track’ trekking route with only the jangling bells of a few mule trains (supplying the small Indian Army base at Milam) and some local shepherds to keep you company as you walk past abandoned but beautifully character-full villages. If you fancy getting away from the crowds to enjoy peaceful beauty this trip is for you.
  • Reviewed November 2017
    Ray Morris-Hill

    Spectacular Italian Coastal Scenery

    Beautiful coastal walking with so much to see and enjoy. The weather in September was just perfect -mid 20's Celsius every day. Check out my short holiday video here https://youtu.be/YMSI8ye1kQc to get a taste of the area.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the magnificent coast from Tre Calli on the first day.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Satva was enthusiastic, knowledgeable and fun. She was keen to get us walking as a group so everyone felt part of the experience.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get some training in before the trip - there are a lot of steps and the downhill can really stretch your calf muscles! Bring sticks as they will help a lot. Good walking boots are a must.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Pompeii is extraordinary but when we were there it was overrun by lots of tour groups. Amalfi was also very busy. Most of the walking routes are quiet.
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