Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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18128 Reviews

  • 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!!
  • Ancient Egypt is great......modern Egypt is broken......

    We wanted to see the wonders of Egypt and got them mostly, although expect to pay extra to see them. I would say that having 8+ optional trips that you have to pay lots extra for means the basic trip is not as good as you think. For instance you WILL NOT see the Sphinx (and other pyramids) as part of the trip despite being in Cairo 4 days unless you EACH pay an extra £50. So do not fall for the false advertising pictures of the Sphinx as part of the trip. As for the modern Egypt, Greta Thunberg should start there. Rubbish everywhere, literally everywhere and you can watch them add to it as you travel. Cairo traffic is horrendous and the pollution dreadful, expect to be in a coach though this cannot be avoided to see the sites or get to hotels.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Karnak, Sphinx, Abu Simbel and Pyramids. Awesome. Inspiring and as they rightly are, a Wonder of the World. Almost too much to comprehend with the sheer amount of temples and tombs.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Tefa was good, though Exodus need to allow the guides more flexibility to change things. For instance a late flight and getting to bed at nearly 01:00 and getting up the next day at 06:30 is not great when the very next day you get a late start at 09:00, why not swap them? Or have the tour designer change it properly.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    When approached every 5 seconds as you approach the sites through carefully crafted 'run the gauntlet souvenir alleys' say 'No, Thank You' as they are generally polite and usually then stop, if they hassle you further then reduce to 'No' but still politely. This is NOT a relaxing trip, I run marathons and found it exhausting, apart from two of the days. Early starts are required to get around some of the sites, but all operators are doing the same so don't expect it to be to avoid crowds.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Expect to pay tips everywhere, have the individual £65 of group tips not explained and pay TOURIST prices at 10x local prices for everything. This trip is expensive, and hard to justify when to locals it is a lot cheaper. Exodus will claim this is to be a responsible tour operator but then take you to the below. Exodus need to get this responsibility back and actually do it properly rather than lip service, I have been on 9/10 trips with them and they are getting worse with each one. There is a trip to a supposed Nubian village/house, this is poor and in my view utterly unacceptable as we were told to drink and meet at a place keeping Alligators in tiny cages. UNACCEPTABLE. The Nubian village is just another souvenir selling trip other than that.

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank Christopher for his review, although we regret that he was disappointed with aspects of the trip. Our local team have assured us that the Sphinx is visible for all groups as they travel around the Giza complex without further payment, we’re working with our local team to ensure this is clearly explained to future groups. We have  amended the activity level for this trip based on feedback from Christopher and others, and hope that this will ensure clients on future departures are prepared for the busy itinerary, which includes so many of Egypt’s highlights. Many of the key attractions close relatively early in the day which does mean some early starts cannot be avoided, that said, we are looking into adjustments to the order of activities to potentially allow a slightly later start on Day 2. Our tour leaders keep records of all tipping kittys, should our customers ever wish to see them, although we are sorry that Christopher did not feel that this was transparent.

     

    Exodus is aware of the unfortunate practice regarding animal welfare in some parts of Egypt, and we endeavour to make it clear in the trip notes for this tour that it is something we do not support on any level, while stressing with our local guides that all group members should be briefed to avoid encouraging this. The Nubian village visit is currently being reviewed, as we wish to maintain ways of supporting their traditional culture, which is at risk of disappearing, while also ensuring that our responsible travel ethos is not compromised.

     

    We are sorry that Christopher’s experience was not as positive as we would have hoped, but we feel it is worth mentioning that we generally receive very positive feedback from customers who join this tour, as shown by the large number of five-star reviews submitted by other clients. I am, nonetheless, grateful to Christopher for taking the time to share his comments with us, and we are taking actions on a number of them.

     

    Thomas Manchester – Product Manager

  • Reviewed March 2022

    Amazing holiday

    This was our first Exodus trip and we couldn't have been more impressed with the way we were looked after, from arrival at the airport right through to our departure. Jordan is a wonderful country - we found the people very friendly and welcoming and the scenery and sightseeing are both spectacular.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Visiting the Wadi Rum, an incredible, other worldly landscape

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Eyad was very well informed and did his best to keep us on track for the tight schedules. He even tried to teach us a few Arabic words, 'yellah yellah' meaning 'let's go' was the one that sank in best!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Come prepared for cold weather if travelling in March - there is a huge range of temperatures between the mountains and the valleys.