Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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18130 Reviews

  • Reviewed March 2022

    Friendly people, Roman ruins and Petra!

    This trip was an excellent opportunity to see the best of the historical ancient sites of Jordan - it has many! The food was wonderful, the people we met were friendly and welcoming, and the sights were always better than expected.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The best moment of the trip was walking along the Siq at Petra and seeing the Treasury for the first time. However, there was so much more to see and explore in Petra and we loved it all. Petra by Night (optional) was also a highlight. The night in Wadi Rum was special and Jerash was stunning.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nidal Al Ateeq was kind, attentive, very knowledgeable and managed our group very well given difficult circumstances. He had a sense of humour which was well received.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take layers! It was much colder than expected for the time of year (March) - there was a strange cold snap and it snowed! The night in the desert was pretty chilly. We wore fleeces and down jackets for the whole trip so be prepared for all weathers. The flight arrives very late at night and we did not arrive at the hotel until after 2am. We had to get up at 6am to start the first tour. It might be better to come a day early and have time to get some sleep.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Jordan is a very welcoming place and we always felt incredibly safe even when out and about on our own. There was a lovely enthusiasm to help tourists and make sure that they saw and experienced the best of Jordan.
  • Reviewed March 2022

    atlas descent - 12 march 2022

    An unforgettable experience not for the faint hearted. Exhilarating continuously due to the beauty of the environment, the challenge of the conditions and the terrain but terriftying at one or 2 points due to the rock falls. The beuty is that each trip will evolve along with the changing environment, additional tarmac routes, rock falls .....If I ent back in October, it would probably be a very differnet experience and that is good. It is not a descent, it is more down than up but there is a fair amount of on roand and off raod steep climbing. Some of the descents were challenging to most memebers of the group which ranged from highly experienced and competent Mtb's / road cyclists to people who were fit and resilient but did not cycle greatly. I have only moutain biked for a year and not on such extreme terrain, I should have spent more time adjusting my bike /tyre pressures as we almost immediately had a very challenging descent over a partial rock fall. I also asked for the brakes to be changed so the back brake was on the left and front on the right. I do not feel the overview gives sufficient weight to preparation in terms of clothing, decdnt fitness and some mountain bike experience. The bikes we used were Cannondale 2 x chani wheels, not as reported. I have undertaken many cycling trips and this is as memorable as any and given the proviso's above, would have no hesitation in recommending it or going again in the future.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Inspiration The variety of terrain and weather, the companiionship and resilience of the group, Hicham, Addul and the team, it sure was a challenge but NO ONE spent any time in the bus, we supported each other through it. Part of 1 days cycling had to be cancelled due to blizzards, Hicham managed to arrange an afternoon at the Berber museum with lovely food, music, tour by the resident, stories and total joy. To see all the mechanics singing and playing instruments in total happines sharing their culture with us after the difficulities of th day was very touching. A Hamamm was also an expeirence I wont forget and would recommend.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Hicham I could not fault Hicham. He responded professionally and with charm to the many unforeseen circumstances that are part and parcel of such a trip in the mountains, the vagaries of climate change and the altituude and isolation meaning we had snow blizzards, high winds ....and covid to add. There was a mix up with my transfer from the airport and after discussing the next day with him, he ensured I would be recompensed and ensured this did not reoccur. His knowledge and insight into the many cultures of Morocco and of his beloved Beber tradition gave a depth to the holiday, the cycling was great but was augmented by his rich, genuine insight. His knowledge of food and restaurants similarly so. He was a leader to his team and worked effortlessly with them to provide us with bikes each day even given the toughest of workouts. He was instrumental in ensuring the fitting of tubeless tryres to all bikes, this is vital to such tough / hard terrain / the rock fall..... without theses, we would havfe had numerous punctures and the trip may have been badly affected. Such a trip requires adaptability by all and snow blizzards but it also needs an experienced leader

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This trip will vary greatly depending on the tiime of year..... however the altitude and nature of the mountains will always provide a challenge. I was inexperienced in mountain biking and struggled at 1st given rock falls, tyre pressures and saddle a little high and set off too quickly, i had falls. However by the end of the holiday, I was loving it, at 1 with my bike, tyre pressures and saddle raised. I would advise taking a little time to get used to the bike, fork, tyres....saddle height etc and to check each day whetehr they need changing. You need to be quite fit to enjoy the many climbs and descents and the pounding the body does take, the extremes of temperature and terrain on our trip meant we had snow blizzards and high winds, changeable rain / but a lovely last 2 days of low 70 degree cycing. You truly need to come prepared for ANY weather.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I'm glad that such trips exit still. We spend too much time examining health and safety / controlling everything we can..... This trip was barmy at times but all the better for it. I shook my head a few times but always ended with a huge smile on my face. You need to be prepared for anything and adaptable I like a nice and easy cycle and luvly food with the best of them, this is not that, it is much, much more GO for it.
  • Reviewed March 2022

    Amazing Amalfi

    This was my first trip abroad since covid and loved it! The walks were amazing, Vania our group leader brilliant, Bomerano and the family hotel a great base and camaraderie of our group was lovely. We luckily had perfect weather for this holiday and as it was early in the season not many other tourists about so almost felt we had it to ourselves. Some of the walks are pretty challenging but so worth it!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Path of the gods was the best day, great views and variety plus paddle in the sea at the end.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Vania was brilliant….. friendly, caring, knowledgeable,organised and fun

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do a bit of prep as the knees can take a bit of a pounding and take walking poles or borrow from the hotel.
  • Reviewed March 2022

    Magical and busy

    The trip was varied, and stimulated all the senses. It introduced us to many sides of Egyptian life, modern and ancient. The variety of transport allowed us to experience a variety of views from the bustling markets in the side streets and traffic jams of cities, to the beautiful coastal front of Alexandria and its nearby crystal blue sea, the green farmland near the Nile, the epic pyramids and temples, whether it be by bumpy ride on a camel, a rickety ride on the overnight train or a slowly-bobbing felucca.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    In Luxor, watching about 20 hot air balloons rise slowly at down from our cabin on the Nile cruise. Driving through the curving sandy landscape towards the Valley of the Kings. Waking up on an overnight train from Cairo to gaze at palm trees, having left the urban bustle behind. Arriving after 4 hours of sunrise driving, at the epic Abu Simbel. Finally, the atmospheric Metropole hotel in Alexandria with breakfast pastries and omelettes that were immaculately presented, delicious and homemade.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Tifa, was very knowledgable, kind and protective. He managed our expectations before we arrived at each site and had good tips as to which highlights were worth paying extra to see. He made sure the group moved as one but allowed us time for photographs and free time in the markets. It was reassuring having an Egyptian guide who knew the customs and language. On occasion, we wanted more time in a location but the schedule was very busy. He was always available and discreet if someone had lost something or felt unwell.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for early morning starts, but not on all days. Bring tipping money in Egyptian pounds - ATMs are easily found everywhere. Get used to tipping, as it is expected, even for loo visits! Be aware of paying for extra excursions, pyramid entrance fees or tomb visits - these have been mentioned in a general way in the paperwork before the trip. They are well worth doing, though! For the overnight train trip, wrap up warm as it gets chilly in the night, and perhaps bring a silk sleeping bag liner. Alexandria and Cairo were colder than expected in our mid-March trip. Bring jumpers, socks and perhaps a light jacket. It was much warmer in the southern locations of Luxor and Aswan.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Hats, sunglasses, comfortable walking shoes were key. Pack lightly as suitcases are constantly being unpacked and packed. If you are taking a large camera, small fees to enter a site or museum are often expected but it is worth it for good photos. Earplugs might help if you find car hooting and train wheel motion sounds a bit distracting at night! Though, for a light sleeper, I mainly nodded off fine. The last hotel in Luxor (Iberotel) had noisy rooms street-side - so do request that this hotel is changed. It had a beautiful swimming pool on the Nile, though. The first hotel in Cairo, has changed from the Pyramid Park Hotel to the Sonesta and this was very comfortable and welcoming, as were all other hotels on the trip, bar the Iberotel!
  • Reviewed March 2022

    Magical and busy

    The trip was varied, and stimulated all the senses. It introduced us to many sides of Egyptian life, modern and ancient. The variety of transport allowed us to experience a variety of views from the bustling markets in the side streets and traffic jams of cities, to the beautiful costal front of Alexandria and its nearby crystal blue sea, the green farmland near the Nile, the epic pyramids and temples, whether it be by bumpy ride on a camel, a rickety ride on the overnight train or a slowly-bobbing felucca.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    In Luxor, watching about 20 hot air balloons rise slowly at down from our cabin on the Nile cruise. Driving through the curving sandy landscape towards the Valley of the Kings. Waking up on an overnight train from Cairo to gaze at palm trees, having left the urban bustle behind. Arriving after 4 hours of sunrise driving, at the epic Abu Simbel. Finally, the atmospheric hotel in Metropole with breakfast pastries and omelettes that were immaculately presented, delicious and homemade.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Tifa, was very knowledgable, kind and protective. He managed our expectations before we arrived at each site and had good tips as to which highlights were worth paying extra to see. He made sure the group moved as one but allowed us time for photographs and free time in the markets. It was reassuring having an Egyptian guide who knew the customs and language. On occasion, we wanted more time in a location but the schedule was very busy. He was always available and discreet if someone had lost something or felt unwell.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for early morning starts, but not on all days. Bring tipping money in Egyptian pounds - ATMs are easily found everywhere. Get used to tipping, as it is expected, even for loo visits! Be aware of paying for extra excursions, pyramid entrance fees or tomb visits - these have been mentioned in a general way in the paperwork before the trip. They are well worth doing, though! For the overnight train trip, wrap up warm as it gets chilly in the night, and perhaps bring a silk sleeping bag liner. Alexandria and Cairo were colder than expected in our mid-March trip. Bring jumpers, socks and perhaps a light jacket. It was much warmer in the southern locations of Luxor and Aswan.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Hats, sunglasses, comfortable walking shoes were key. Pack lightly as suitcases are constantly being unpacked and packed. If you are taking a large camera, small fees to enter a site or museum are often expected but it is worth it for good photos. Earplugs might help if you find car hooting and train wheel motion sounds a bit distracting at night! Though, for a light sleeper, I mainly nodded off fine. The last hotel in Luxor (Iberotel) had noisy rooms street-side - so do request that this hotel is changed. It had a beautiful swimming pool on the Nile, though. The first hotel in Cairo, has changed from the Pyramid Park Hotel to the Sonesta and this was very comfortable and welcoming, as were all other hotels on the trip, bar the Iberotel!
  • Good fun and a bit tiring

    Thoroughly enjoyed this trip. We had a great variety from ancient Egypt to modern (such as the library at Alexandria). Our guide was terrific, always attentive and prepared. The Nile cruise was a highlight. There were more early starts than I might have liked, but that was dictated by distances we needed to cover. The hotels were rather bland (except for the wonderful one in Alexandria), but no doubt chosen for their cleanliness and safety. The overnight train was a real adventure, although most of our group found it hard to get any sleep. We had an armed guard with us for most of the trip, which was both reassuring and a bit alarming!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Going down into King Tut's tomb. What fun!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent. Cared deeply about the group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be aware of the many early starts.
  • La Palma

    The leader was excellent and general the trip was excellent, two things that were not excellent were: 1) The trip notes were not accurate 2) The accommodation at one of the hotels Le Galleon was not fairly allocated, I shred as a twin with a friend, we were allocated a double and when I asked to change this we were given a small twin where the beds were very close together. We later discovered that the single people in the group had been allocated apartments with two king size bedrooms!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    No

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    No
  • Didn’t want the trip to end!

    This is our 11th trip with Exodus and this is the first time there were no significant criticism. We felt all fellow travellers gel very well as a group with lots of laughs. We made new friends which is always a bonus. The itinerary is jammed packed with a few early starts but we went with the flow. Perhaps an extra day would help. We saw lots, exceeding our expectations. From the ancient pyramids, temples, monasteries, Nubian culture & hospitality, bazaars, crazy Cairo traffic, visit to war cemetery, sailing on the Nile, hint of a glamorous era in Alexandria, funeral treasures in the Cairo museum, lunch on a felucca experience, camel rides to Egyptian cuisine - we enjoyed it all.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    On day 11 after the Valley of the kings, Tefa recommended we stop at Masaman restaurant for lunch and this place is wonderful. It allowed us to have a glimpse of rural Egyptian life. There were farm animals, horses to look at. The restaurant also operates as a hotel. It has basic but charming Egyptian decor. Would love spend a night there. We also enjoyed the typical Egyptian lunch. There was also a shop there which sold Egyptian cotton scarves, wraps and ornaments of good quality at a reasonable price. The awesomeness of the temples & tombs were also an inspirational highlight.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mohammed aka Tefa looked after us really well and always mindful of the group’s needs. He was knowledgeable on Egyptian ancient and not so ancient history. He was impartial and unbiased in tackling any political issues.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for early starts. Go with an open mind. We went in March so the weather especially in Cairo can be chilly. The overnight sleeper train was quite cold, so just be prepared to have a few layers on.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The Iberotel in Luxor was not good. We had to change our rooms twice. The first room the air conditioner was too warm, there was only 1 set of towels, the shower was erratic in temperature and water pressure was weak. They showed us a downgraded(smaller) room but this room was worse with the taps loose and toilet seat hanging off the hinges and hair dryer missing. Eventually another room was found (upgraded- same grade as first room). Generally the rooms were very tired . Our room faced the street and it was noisy. Ear plugs helped though. On the plus side, the pool was great, breakfast was good and there was a nice garden.
  • If a toucan can so can you

    This is a full-on roller coaster of a trip - early starts, fabulous wildlife, intense heat, torrential downpours, great food, expert guides, friendly people and the best pineapple you'll find anywhere in the world - all in the very safe hands of Roberto and his fantastic team. And there toucans!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It's a tour made up of lots of moments - a two toed sloth with her baby; a three toed sloth; tiny scarlet poison dart frogs and multi coloured crabs; watching two crocs mate (blimey that was quick); cocktails overlooking the Caribbean; the first decent photo of a toucan - and of course the first two cans of Imperial at the end of every day.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We've done many of these tours and I can honestly say that Roberto is one of the best tour leaders that we've ever had. Nothing is too much trouble - knowledgeable, friendly, willing to flex the trip to accommodate the group and doing everything he can to give the best experience of Costa Rica. Along with Paul (guide, fixer of punctures and hoover-upper up of the back markers) and Luis (excellent driver and gatherer of best pineapple, papaya, mangos and melons for snacks) this is a dream team!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you can spare an extra day or two, get out a bit early and get over your jet lag before the tour starts. And with no rest days, packing cubes are a godsend. Other than that, do whatever Roberto asks, grab every experience on offer and sleep it all off on your overnight flight home!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Costa Rica relies heavily on tourism and suffered badly from the pandemic - so go as soon as you can (two can?)
  • Reviewed March 2022

    Fabulous mountain biking experience

    We have done several cycle trips with Exodus but this was our first mountain biking trip. It was fantastic in so many ways. Hicham and Abderrahin were perfect guides and really made the trip wonderful. We had challenging weather for a couple of days and Hicham arranged for us to visit a traditional Berber House which was fascinating and I hope this will be included in future trips. The biking was challenging and technical in places but that is the nature of mountain biking! The views were spectacular and we thoroughly enjoyed every minute!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were too many to isolate just one! The Blue Rocks in the desert were really unusual, the visit the the Berber House was fascinating and every day we had different but equally spectacular views and exhilarating biking …. all days were inspirational in their own way.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Hicham was wonderful. He was calm, knowledgeable, friendly and always made you feel well looked after. He and Abderrahin went out of their way to make sure we had a great holiday. I unfortunately had a tumble that required a visit to hospital for a few stitches and he handled the incident in such a way that made me feel totally at ease and I could totally trust him. Thankfully all was dealt with efficiently and I was back in the saddle the next day.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a fantastic trip but you definitely require some experience of rough mountain terrain and a reasonable level of fitness. The country is beautiful, the accommodation was great, especially the Riad in Tiznit and the food was mostly delicious - in particular the lunches and snacks provided by the support crew.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Come prepared for all weather! We had 4 seasons in a week! One day it was baking hot in the desert and the next day we had to cancel biking due to blizzard conditions!!