Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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18157 Reviews

  • Reviewed May 2022

    Excellent walking holiday

    A very enjoyable walking holiday, mixing walks with interesting visits to a cave, ruined castles, an abbey and an Armenian monastery. The walks themselves are varied - pine forests, mountains, beach, some tracks and just a little on the almost-deserted roads. An excellent trip to Famagusta was offered on the Day Off and this not only took us to interesting sites (St Barnabas monastery, roman Salamis, Varosha ghost town & the old walled city, but also gave us th chance to learn more about the history if the island. A bonus was the trip to Nicosia on our last day, whcih meant we didn't have to hang around the hotel waiting for the transfer to the airport. This also gave us the opportunity to walk across the border into South Cyprus.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Day 6 - Buffavento Castle and the Five Finger Mountains. Although it is over 600 steps up and the same down, the castle is situated right on the ridge of the Five Finger Mountains, so you can see both sides of the island (and the coast of Turkey on a clear day). Because of the steps, it is quiet with no/few other tourists, so we had the castle to ourselves! The lunch stop is further along the ridge, so more spectacular views across both sides of the island.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Geser is an excellent guide, very knowledgeable, patient and very helpful. His english is amazing and he has a good sense of humour. He spent a lot of his time with us and nothing was too much trouble for him. He really made the holiday very special and I hope that Exodus will continue to use Geser as a guide for future trips.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Our flight was delayed, so we arrived very late but Exodus/the hotel had unexpectedly arranged for a snack of soup and a filled roll, which was very well received. It is a long flight and transfer, so would recommend taking a packed lunch to have on the plane. Make sure you have high factor sun screen as the sun is strong, even on cloudy days.
  • Reviewed May 2022

    A fantastic holiday in a relatively undiscovered corner of Italy

    This was a trip that will live long in my memory. My first journey abroad since the start of the COVID pandemic, the holiday was everything I hoped it would be and more. Stunning scenery, fantastic food, awesome accommodation, great people and a wonderful leader all combined to ensure that Italy will be the destination I will visit in my next holiday - and I would love to return to the Garfagnana region.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There are too many moments to choose from. The walk to the summit of Mount Sumbra was challenging and certainly tested my head for heights, but the view from the top was out of this world - we could see the snow-covered peaks of mountains in nearby Emilia-Romagna as well as the broad sweep of the Italian coastline. I also really enjoyed the free day in Lucca - it is a stunning city with a lovely walk around the city walls and some interesting attractions, including the Torre Guinigi which gives you excellent views across the whole city. And then, of course, there was the 'village walk' led by one of the members of the family that own the agriturismo we stayed at - it provided a fascinating insight into the culture of a region that is still relatively unexplored.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sara was absolutely awesome and the best leader I have encountered in all of my trips. She had a genuine interest in each and every member of the group and nothing was too much trouble for her. She also had a real passion for the area and her close connection with the family that runs the agriturismo meant that she was (and is) a well-integrated part of the local community. I really could not have hoped for a better person to lead our trip - she was wonderful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for all weathers, particularly if travelling in April. The trip notes warned that snow was possible on the mountain slopes, but the snow cover we encountered was deep (apparently exceptionally so). It was easy to walk through and added to our overall experience, but I would definitely be prepared to take a thick waterproof coat, waterproof trousers and some decent hiking boots if travelling early in the season. Sara also loaned me some walking poles that were very useful when negotiating downhill sections covered in snow/rocky scree.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If the trip sounds appealing to you, don't hesitate to book. I have been on many Exodus trips and this was, for me, the stand-out one. I loved every aspect of this holiday and really wish that I could re-live the week again.
  • adventures in nepal Goyko lakes and Everest base camp

    Simply the best organised and lead overseas trip I’ve been on in the last 30 years.( Oz ) Jaite Tamang was our very humble Nepalese Expedition leader. His natural ability to connect local Nepalese people with our group gave us a fully immersive experience of Nepal. His understanding of the local environment and wildlife added an extra dimension to our adventure and his Encyclopaedic knowledge of almost everybody we met on the trip was amazing. I’ve never seen such a young man manage our porters ,assistant guides and us under some very challenging situations with good humour and high energy. OZ has an excellent understanding of British banter which always help in taxing situations. His ability to anticipate problems ahead of time and nip them in the bud allowed our adventure to flow very well. When I come to the pool again I will definitely be asking for oZ by name.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Meeting Kenton cool and a lot of the world-famous sherpas along the trail. Obviously getting to Everest base camp and goyko lakes was important . What was a bonus was the real inspirational moments in the little things like the wildlife and interaction with the local guides , Tea house owners and people along the way. also realising at almost 60 years old that there is some life in the old duffer yet

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jaite Tamang Oz was our group leader. OZ is a natural leader and demands respect amongst all his fellow guides and porters. He has a natural ability to bring people together and his good humour allows a relaxed harmonious movement across what is actually quite a difficult terrain and environment to be in. I can’t recommend him enough. I will definitely be requesting him by name on all my future trips in Nepal .

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I have loads of advice for potential travellers and will probably write a whole document on this.. A few things I will definitely suggest now , do not take ibuprofen at high altitude because it is a respiratory suppressant and you may not be able to sleep well. Read up about the Khumber cough and make sure you do not exert yourself at high altitude. Make sure you bring a breathable buff to cover your lips and mouth.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I have done many overseas trips possibly 30+ in the last 40 years and I realise how important the group leader is to the enjoyment of a trip. Every client comes with different expectations, energy levels and immune systems. These all present challenging situations for a group moving across such difficult terrain over a long time and a good leader I will make all the difference.
  • Reviewed April 2022

    Dorgali

    Rather disappointing. Walks were limited in scope - two were out and back the same way - and restricted to an area not far from the hotel. Odd, considering a private coach was available. Admittedly the weather was not the best. The day of sightseeing was interesting, but it meant that there were only four walking days. Perhaps the sightseeing could be arranged for the "day off" as there is very little to do on one's one on a day off in Dorgali. Accommodation was good, as was the fare, though surprisingly meat-heavy. I would not recommend this trip in its present form.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Good.
  • Reviewed April 2022

    Sicily Food Adventure

    We booked this trip to go in 2020 and finally made it in 2022. It was well worth the wait. It was everything we'd hoped for and more. Bustling local markets, stunning Greek/Roman temples, fascinating architecture (the baroque balconies), a chance to walk on Mount Etna and of course all the amazing food and wine. There were certainly plenty of opportunities to sample the delights of Sicilian food and wine with our superb guide, Rosario.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were so many great moments on the trip but for me it was all about the food: meeting the buffalo before sampling the mozzarella cheese; the cooking lesson where we ate what we had prepared; the olive oil tasting and seeing the olive trees which were still producing the olives even though they were hundreds of years old; the wine tasting at Mount Etna and the sumptuous lunch that went with it; sampling the Marsala wine; several buffet lunches where we had the chance to eat the local produce and trying the street food from the market in Palermo. It truly was an indulgent week.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rosario has a great sense of humour and obviously enjoys his job. He has clearly put in the time to research all the activities and would give guidance on what to see in our free time and recommendations of restaurants in the evening. We couldn't have asked for a better guide.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Try everything, even some of the strange street foods - you never know you might like it!
  • Reviewed April 2022

    Sicily: Surpassed Expectations

    This was my first overseas trip since the covid outbreak. After our first meeting over breakfast in Titania, we start on a well paced tour of Sicily. Travel days were short and broken up with interesting stops. Tiziano Tomasello, our tour leader, kept the tour on time, and moving at a good pace. Born and raised in Palermo, his knowledge of the island, its history, culture and especially its food is exceptional. He was very clear in our daily briefings and at meeting places when we had free time. Tiziano's restaurant, bar, coffee shop and ice cream recommendations were very, very good. He had a excellent knowledge of local food and drink specialties. Sicily may be a small island by many standards but there are regional specialties! His shopping recommendations in Palermo were excellent. He knows his coffee! Accommodation was good to excellent. I had no issues with any of the accommodation other that the habit of not turning the hot water on until 7am. There is a lot to see and do on this trip: from Geek and Roman ruins to cathedrals. I felt that I had adequate time at all our stops, including time to enjoy the amazing gelato, granita and espresso.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Wandering through Ortigia

    What did you think of your group leader?

    See review comments Tiziano Tomasello is an exceptionally good tour leader. I have done around 30 group trips and he is in the top 10%. Knowledgeable, approachable, interesting and fun to be around

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared to walk....and wander. It is the only way to enjoy and savor this old towns and cities.
  • Reviewed April 2022

    Walking in Northern Cyprus

    An excellent holiday with a variety of trips all designed for the walker, with a varied historical theme added in. The trip is classed as a Leisurely / Grade 2, I think some of the walks would have warranted a grade 3 indication, as they proved quite a challenge. However, the guide was very good and catered for all tastes and abilities.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Buffavento Castle and the walk through the forest of the Five finger range. Although quite hard a very rewarding day.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ghiaza was very good and catered for all tastes, he kept the group together and was empathetic to all individual needs.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for some hard walks, but otherwise enjoy the countryside. Use the pool its a good size and although unheated very good for swimming.
  • Reviewed April 2022

    Great trip!

    This was a very very good trip. Very busy we crammed in lots, saw loads of wildlife, and stayed in some very lovely eco lodges. The group was super, lots of extremely interesting people, all very helpful friendly and quick to share.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Going to the Sinharaja rainforest and Yala. It would have made more sense to extend the stay in Yala as 1 might wasn’t really enough, especially at there was a last minute change to the final destination. As wildlife holiday which was my prime interest I felt that too much time was lent to resort accommodation

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader Nalaka and his team were superb. Friendly, knowledgeable, helpful and quick to offer any and all assistance. Lovely bunch of guys

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Check the group size and age range. Review the accommodation before travel and ensure it meets your requirements.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    When making changes to the itinerary, I feel that exodus should ensure that there is an equivalent Robert for the new location. Whilst our last destination changed, the itinerary remained the same meaning that if we wished to take advantage it would mean a3 hour trip there and back which really doesn’t make sense with the fuel crisis and potential increased carbon emissions. Also when taking advantage of the extension option it would have been good to know what the options were with excursions tours etc which one could book at the extension location and also it would have been good to know what kind of accommodation it would be budget or otherwise
  • Reviewed April 2022

    Popping my Cycling Holiday Cherry

    Well, with such glowing reviews underneath I almost feel a bit miffed that Davide treats everybody with such genuine accord - I thought we were special ;-) Joking aside, Davide and Guiseppe are genuinely brilliant at their jobs. They made our trip such a special experience, well managed, super organised, tough on the uphill but what a joy on the down, stupendous vistas, fun and safe. They made us all feel cared for and no request was too big or small. I enjoyed the encouragement of "Brava Clara" when I got to the top of a particularly tough hill. My favourite day was the toughest hill-wise but the break for lunch a picnic Davide and Guiseppe had prepared, full of local ingredients, made with Sicilian panache was worth the aching muscles (bum). Syracuse for me was the icing on the cake. A seaside town full of the most beautiful architecture making it very hard not to slide into its romantic vibe. I've just got back and am feeling a bit blue I don't have to be up with the group for 8.45am to cycle off to some fabulous Sicilian town. Enjoy it people. You will love it.
  • Reviewed April 2022

    Costa Rica Exploration - Forests & Wildlife

    Had a fabulous time on this trip in March 2022. The itinerary means that you cover a wide area of Costa Rica from the comfort of your small coach with likeminded travellers. Johnny was a great guide - very experienced at knowing what to say when with a smile and good humour. Chico was our safe driver with a cheeky smile. The accommodation was good and varied but mainly lodges situated right where the forest and wildlife were. I would say that this would suit as an introduction to the varying eco systems in Costa Rica as the tour takes you from Caribbean to Pacific coasts and with rainforests, cloud forests, beaches, volcanoes and lagoons . Wildlife sightings included sloths, hummingbirds, toucans, scarlet macaws (and numerous other birds), caiman, iguanas, monkeys . tree frogs etc. Some were hidden in the greenery of the forest and others were visible and I got some good photos - it is not so easy to take photos than, say, African safari. Lodge employees were friendly and the food, when included, was delicious. There was some opportunities to eat in local restaurants as well. There are a lot of early starts but it was also dark early so the itinerary made the most of the daylight hours.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing a sloth moving (slowly of course) through the trees was a sight to behold. Also, red eyed tree frogs - both so iconic for Costa Rica.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Johnny was a great group leader - with 27 years experience of leading tours. He shared his knowledge and knew exactly when the group needed information - size of lodges we would be visiting, what we were doing the next day, when the next rest stop would be etc. etc.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for some early starts. Weather in March (although dry season) did include both hot and wet days - bring clothing for both. Take insect repellent - although not a malaria zone there were insects aplenty! Be ready with your camera to capture those fleeting glimpses of wildlife - practice bird shots so that you can get photos of those fast moving hummingbirds! The Pacific ocean was like a warm bath to swim in.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Costa Rica is a wonderful country and I am very glad that I visited it - with Exodus travels.