Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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17907 Reviews

  • Reviewed March 2020

    Exceptional!

    This is my first Exodus Trip and 4th international cycling tour. This was one fantastic trip. Our Tour Leader, Long, was an absolute joy. The cycling is hard. I did have to sag a couple times, there was a 5 mi stretch that never got less than 13% (and got as staggeringly high as 26%!) and it was hot. But my god was it stunning - the vistas were absolutely incredible. The accommodations were good (with the exception of one which I believe has since been removed.) Having the extra night staying on a boat in Ha Long Bay was phenomenal as well. Really, if you like a challenging cycling trip, do this - don't wait.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Strangely seeing an old woman on a bicycle carrying a HUGE (5x or more her own body volume) load of who knows what up a mountain road - she smiled at us.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Long is a great guy! I believe he is the owner of the local company that Exodus books this tour for. He is unerringly positive, engaging and funny. He clearly also looks for staff that are similar. We got to learn that undulating hills means largely uphill :)

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do be sure that you're ready for this level trip - I thought I was and for the most part was, but some climbs were daunting - but I wouldn't take them off the route if I could.
  • Reviewed March 2020

    A highly informative trip that covers three states in south Inddiaa

    The trip covers a significant part of south India; our bus covered 2,800 km. At times, the trip seems rather rushed with only one night stays in some locations. This said, our leader Santo certainly got the best for us. Street food, a variety of hotels, different languages, beautiful green countyside, fresh fruits and vegetables, food not too spicy when requested, fantastic elements of the trip spent on boats etc. Exodus, as always, had all angles covered and we were able to enjoy ourselves, especially the walks and boat trips with interesting wildlife to see.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The houseboat trip was the highlight for me, sadly only one night on the boat, could have extended this!!!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Santo was excellent. I have never had a better tour leader. He is so well-informed and is great company. Without him, the trip could not have beeen so enjoyable.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do cover all angles as far as power connectors are concerned. The variety of sockets in hotels is nothing short of mind boggling.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thr trip could benefit from one less location so that single night hotel stays are limited/avoided. The chances of catching sight of tiger are very slim indeed! The option to travel on the Miniature Blue Mountain railway was not offered. But, we did travel on a 1 metre guage railway.
  • Reviewed March 2020

    Walking in a winter wonderland

    This trip is a great way to get to know a corner of the Dolomites in the winter. The walks take you through wonderful scenery, often with no other people around. Walking up peaks in the fresh snow is a great feeling, especially when you get to the top!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    -

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jenny was not only a great leader, but also great company. Her love for the mountains shines through all the time.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you are at a decent level of fitness. Some experience of walking up and down mountains (not necessarily in the snow) is essential.
  • Reviewed March 2020

    Patagonian highlights

    This is a fab holiday to see the best of Patagonia in as condensed a time as possible. It's tiring with some long travel days but the highlights make it worth it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Three top days. 1 - The Mount Fitzroy Massif. It's s gentle walk apart from the ascent up the morraine (about 400m in 1 km which is tough). We had great weather and the views at the top make it worthwhile. The guides are supportive and encouraging. Expect to see condors and be refreshed by topping up your water bottle from glacial streams. 2 - The Perito Merino glacier. We were mesmerised by watching the glacier and saw a couple of carvings which sounded like gunshots. This is a relaxing day as you can go as far or little on the balconies to observe the glacier. Again we had fab weather which helps but isn't essential on this day. 3 - The Torres del Paine. We would say this is challenging in terms of the length of the walk and the climb at the end but oh boy is it worth it! If you are in doubt about your fitness level I wouldn't worry so long as you have staying power. Again the guides are patient and will go at your pace. We were really lucky with the weather again and the scenery at the top is amazing.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Luciano was very enthusiastic and helped to make each day as rewarding as possible. He will make arrangements for those who don't want to walk and gives you alternative options. He was always there to help with any problems and advise on good restaurants. He's a meat man and loves his steak and will help you out with ordering if needed. He speaks a little quickly so you might have to ask him to repeat himself sometimes.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We went out a couple of days earlier than the rest of the group and had 2 days in Buenos Aires. We're glad we did this so that we could adjust to the time difference, get over the travelling and see something of BA before we flew down to El Calafate. Be prepared for WIND+++. Patagonia is like no other place I've ever been for experiencing wind. Although we had good weather you should expect rain, hail, snow and sunshine all in one day so make sure you have appropriate gear. There's not a lot of down time on the holiday but if you're prepared for that it's not a problem. We didn't get the option of walking on the glacier but had a lovely boat trip instead to see 2 waterfalls fed by glaciers. If you do this trip you don't need to do the optional afternoon boat trip on the day that you visit the Perito Moreno glacier. We found that most places in Argentina and Chile take credit cards and US dollars although you should be aware of the exchange rate to ensure you're getting a good deal. We changed our US dollars to Argentinian pesos at the airport on arrival for a reasonable exchange rate. You don't need many Chilean pesos and again you can get these when you cross the border into Chile. Chile tends to be more expensive than Argentina. It's usually better value to buy 1 bottle of wine between 2 of you in Argentina than 2 large glasses! If you're eating a steak ask for a tenderloin (our fillet). It can be divided between 2 of you if one steak is too big. The only reason we've given the holiday 4 starts instead of five is because we thought the food would be of a higher standard and one of the hostels had very dirty linen. However, this was changed immediately when we complained. If it was just based on scenery we would have given five stars. Although we saw lots of guanacos, horses, sheep and cows, it's not a holiday where you're going to spot a lot of wildlife.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Do it! It's probably best to do some hill walking before you go so that the 2 big walking days aren't a struggle. We had a really nice bunch of people on the trip which obviously increased the enjoyment but you can keep yourselves to yourselves if you wish.
  • Reviewed March 2020

    Totally fabulous

    We had a full tour with 16 people but our amazing guide Petro Pretorius ensured that everyone had a great experience. I won't repeat everything written in the other reviews - it's all true! You haven't lived till you experience a roadblock of a dazzle of zebra (yes, that's the collective term for them) or meet one of the big five lumbering around a corner in front of your vehicle, eat a 5-star braai meal (bbq but much more) cooked by your hosts in De Rust, gape at the astonishing stalactites in the Kango Caves, gaze from the top of Table Mountain or listen to an ex-prisoner describing life on Robben Island. In a relatively short tour you experience so many different types of scenery, flora and fauna and culture but in manageable chunks. Petro shares her passion for South Africa with you and gives you a full and honest account of the challenges faced by this wonderful but struggling country.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Listening to an ex-prisoner on Robben Island. He worked in the kitchens but also studied for a degree while in prison and later became a diplomat. Now retired, he guides trips around the prison. 'This work helps me to heal'. We could ask him any questions we wanted and he answered them all.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Petro was truly outstanding. Can't say more.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Stay on for a few days afterwards if you can - there is SO much to do and see in Cape Town.
  • Reviewed March 2020

    Wonderful Trip

    If you're looking for an interesting and informative trip, where every day is different, then this one's for you. The choice of accommodation was very good and definitely enhanced the group's overall experience. Living out of a suitcase isn't everyone's idea of fun but is necessary in order to visit the wide variety of sites across a large area. I'd recommend this trip to anyone wanting a moderately priced holiday in a culturally diverse country which is relatively close to the UK. Thank you, Exodus.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Nothing stood out as being particularly inspirational but everything was enjoyable. The camel trips were fun.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both group leader Hamid and driver Reduan were excellent at their respective jobs, and very good company.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just look forward to the enjoyment of having everything organised for you.
  • Reviewed March 2020

    Amazing Morocco

    A great trip with a combination of the madness of Marrakech and the quiet of the High Atlas. This was my first visit to North Africa and I loved the clear blue sky, the winter sunshine and the fresh air in the mountains. It was a real contrast with the vibrant city of Marrakech- both the old part of the city and the Ville Nouveau. The trip was nicely paced with a combination of group activities and time to explore the city. The walking in the mountains was really enjoyable- with two easier days and then a challenging long day.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Completing the long trek on the last day in the mountains. It was a challenging walk, but in stunning scenery and with the reward of a hot lunch at 2,750m. Hearing the call to prayer echoing through the valley before getting out of bed. Having a laugh with the village women in the mosque ( may have been slightly nervous laughter on our part, but they were certainly having fun!!)

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mohammed was very knowledgable, respectful and good humoured. He looked after us really well, responding to our various requests for eggs, bananas etc and keeping us safe on the walks. All the local staff were polite and helpful too.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We needed all types of clothes in February- the weather was lovely and warm in Marrakech, and when the sun was out in the mountains. However, it was cold at night and in the wind in the mountains. Walking poles were really useful over the rough ground. Bring snacks for the walks- no shop in the village and limited snacks available to buy in the riad. Bottled water is available but try not to use it as disposing of rubbish is a big issue in the mountain village.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The trip notes are very accurate in relation to the walks, so the long day is a long day with an 850m height gain over stony ground, and it needs to be done at a decent pace to be completed in daylight. It's not for everyone. The members of our group who decided not to go explored the valley, but perhaps better guidance for those who don't go would be better.
  • Reviewed March 2020

    Great Experiences in Cambodia!

    This holiday was extremely enjoyable. It was varied and interesting throughout. The cycling was along flat roads and I was grateful for this as the maximum temperature in February was 30 degrees plus. We started cycling early in the morning so as to finish before it was too uncomfortable. Most of the hotels had swimming pools which I enjoyed immersing myself in at the end of the day. The activities were such as visiting the homes/ workshops of Cambodians making items was fascinating. I enjoyed the food, especially the fresh fruit. All all of our evening meals were varied and delicious. The snacks provided by our support team at regular intervals during the cycling were outstanding, they even provided a table cloth and cold wet towels!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    At the end of On day 6 we walked up a small hill to see the impressive sunset from Phnom Yat.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Channy is a superb leader. He is very genial and attentive. His knowledge and passion about Cambodia is infectious and his communication and organisational skills are excellent.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for some challenging cycling. The leader gave us regular breaks and the pace was manageable, however one day it was very hot and the road was straight and long. In addition works were being done on the road. In some places where the road was sandy I had to dismount and walk a few times.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Cambodia is a good very good holiday destination. It was my first visit and I want to return. I was made to feel very welcome and many people speak English. The climate in February is dry and hot and it was great to escape the British winter.
  • Reviewed March 2020

    Cycling Cambodia

    The trip was well organised but be prepared for the heat. Some of the days did involve some hard cycling on dusty roads, I think the bikes have been well used and have seen some hard riding, the bike mechanics did their best to keep them going. I think the trip maybe better rated at 3.5 not 3 this is purely down to the heat and and the long dusty roads. There are no hills on this trip it is all flat a few descents would have been good. The snacks as always with Exodus are good especially the little cans of chilled coffee.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Siem Reap was great and especially Angkor Wat and getting there for the sunrise on the last day of the tour, was a great experience.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our tour leader was good although I would say not an early person. Special mention would go to Bo who was learning to be a guide his enthusiasm for cycling was second to none. Hopefully he will be given his own tours.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for the heat I only had a 500ml bike water bottle a larger one maybe better as you need to take on more fluids than you think. The tour does not offer a sunrise trip to Angkor Wat, four of us organised one ourselves which was worth the early start. We left the hotel at 04:30 by Tuk tuk and we were just about the first at the gate, Angkor Wat does not open until 5am, and it does get crowded.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would like to have seen an earlier start time on the group trip to Angkor Wat, and possibly some better quality bikes.
  • Reviewed March 2020

    Can't Say Enough

    Complementing an already beautiful country with humble people was our guide Su, who created the best possible experience we could have. From the daily written itinerary with a full schedule accompanied by optional activities and restaurant options to the smooth efficiency to which she commandeered our group. This made it so easy for us all to get along and become friends. She was constantly working in the background to ensure the best possible experience for the us removing any possible travel stresses. We saw most of the major sites and traveled with many different exciting modes of transportation. So much was learned on this trip that we now have a thorough deep understanding and love of the country. Myanmar, still in its' tourist infancy, should not to be missed....especially via Exodus with great value and maximum benefit.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The most inspirational moment of the trip was seeing the morning rounds of the monks seeking food donations and witnessing the local people who have limited amounts themselves still donate generously. Or seeing the temple donation boxes with much bounty everywhere we went. The humbleness of the people, while in their own daily struggles, have boundless compassion for others.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    As mentioned above, I have been on many tours the world over and Su ranks #1 in all categories

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    While the communication system is still in its' infancy, I had no problems with my TEP travel wifi which grabbed a strong signal everywhere, even in the remote villages. If you have gluten free allergies, it is very difficult to communicate this to the restaurants, even with a Burmese translation as they do not comprehend the scope themselves. She was caught off guard several times. She did bring gluten free soy sauce, Kari Out brand individual packets, which really helped a lot.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was our first Exodus tour and we were the only Americans in the group of British and we had the most wonderful time