Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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18337 Reviews

  • Highly recommended

    After waiting 2 years it was good to eventually be able to go on this trip. The organisation was perfect, and although only 2* the stay was in a traditional family hotel with friendly staff, a clean and comfortable room, and a good shower to end the day with. The views from my room were spectacular, and the evening meals were superb. All the walks were of the standard I expected, and all in beautiful surroundings. It was interesting to take the local train to the start point of each walk on most days.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader was excellent. He was so enthusiastic, explained clearly what each day's walk would entail, and ensured the group walked at a pace suitable for all, with plenty of water stops (needed in the heat).

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    A bit of advance research may assist you in deciding what to do on the free day, whether to go to Ajaccio or Corte, or indeed do another walk. I would recommend taking most money in cash - the hotel only took cash for settling the drinks bill, cash was needed for tips (hotel and leader), and often restaurants and cafes seemed to prefer cash (even in Ajaccio) although the train and shops were OK with card. The problem is that the only ATMs are in Corte or Ajaccio if you run short! I think there should be better advice about the airport transfers. We changed flights at Nice on the outward and Marseilles on the return. Both airports were very difficult and confusing as to how to changes terminals (even though close together in both cases). Many of us found it tricky, so I don't think it was just me!
  • All Weathers Tour

    We had a fantastic start in the Tetons , great hikes and beautiful views. We managed to see black bears on one of our hikes. Some surprising dramatic weather whilst we went up the cable car. We were very disappointed to not be able to visit Yellowstone because it was flooded, but our guide Mark Harding more than made up for this with great walks in the Tetons and Glacier Park where we were able to stay another day. We saw grizzly bears and bisson on the reserve. We had a fantastic boat ride and dinner at Coeur D'Alene .All our accomodation was good. My favourite was staying in Glacier park, where Mike, our guide provided us with a fantastic breakfast everyday.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I cannot give just one. One was when we saw grizzly bears crossing the road when we were in Glacier park. We saw a mother bear and her two cub. Mike our guide mad e sure we drove past at least four times so we could great really great views and photos. The second one was when we had a good bye drink in front of the mountains to say goodbye , before we moved on to Couer D'Alene. third was when we saw bisson on the Flathead reserve. We got so close and could see their beautiful faces. The third was a hike arranged at the last minute by our guide Mike Harding where we walked down to the Pendoreille lake where we had the most beautiful, peaceful and serene views

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Mike Harding was fantastic. He kept our spirits high after the disappointing news that we would not be able to visit Yellowstone. He took us on some fantastic hikes, took us to great places to eat and shop and was always willing to give help and advice when asked. He provided us with fantastic breakfasts when we stayed in Glacier Park. He was so knowledgable and had a very clear and interesting way of explaining complex histories and cultures. He had an obvious passion for showing people the best of nature in the parks and was able to make great connections with everyone in the group. I really felt that he put in 100% effort at all times.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a range of clothing for different weathers as you never know how the weather can change. You will literally need sun cream and sun hat on some days and a woolly hat and gloves on another.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Exodus trips are very well planned and the accommodation is in keeping with the nature of the trip. Also as I learned on this trip, they and their guides are very good about, adapting and changing when circumstances require it. Our guide was able to think creatively when dire circumstances changed our plans and be flexible enough to work with the weather and other conditions. They are also very fair , providing extra activities when we lost out on Yellowstone plans and giving a discount to provide value for money based on the activities provided for us.
  • Reviewed June 2022

    Exciting and stretching!

    Very enjoyable. The number of steps on several of the walks was daunting and I had very stiff legs for days! I think it is more of a 3 rather than a 2/3.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking round the rim of Vesuvius crater with a volcanologist.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Good. He tended to get rather anxious, and didn't always track the stragglers.
  • Reviewed June 2022

    regaining confidence

    Having had two trips to the Lake District with appalling weather conditions where I struggled with hill climbing and broke my wrist on the first occasion, this Highlights trip has restored my confidence and I will be back for more. Our leader, Jeff, knew exactly how to reassure less confident climbers in the group and by the end of the first day I was relaxed about meeting any challenges in the week ahead. His expert knowledge of the flora and fauna in the area was obvious. The walks were varied, the wildflowers amazing and views of the Alps stunning. Clare and Liz were superb hosts at Chalet Chamonix. Food was excellent and Liz's home-made cake every afternoon was a particular treat. I had a fabulous holiday. Thank you Exodus!
  • Reviewed June 2022

    A fantastic cycling holiday

    This was a very enjoyable cycle tour with a wonderful combination of cycle routes, spectacular scenery, excellent food and beer/wine, history and mythology . The two guides Dimitri S and Dimitri G excelled at making sure everyone was looked after and nothing was too much trouble - from providing vehicle support to explaining Greek history and recommending local wines.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Being able to swim in the sea three times in different seas all in the same day. Stopping at the ancient Olympic site at Namea and running the 200m for which everyone received a Laurel garland.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both D1 and D2 were fantastic - knowledgeable, helpful and nothing was too much trouble.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    With the combination of cycling, scenery, local cuisine, history and mythology I would definitely recommend this tour. For anyone unsure about the distances or difficulty then hiring an E-bike makes this an achievable and rewarding trip.
  • Reviewed June 2022

    Good for early birds and insomniacs, not recommended for sun-seekers.

    This is certainly a trip for wildlife lovers, and on that score it certainly does not disappoint, though a good pair of binoculars is probably more important than a good camera. However, I think marketing this trip as something which can be enjoyed in the rainy season is misleading at best. It doesn't just rain for a bit then the sun comes out - when it rains it can rain for hours and hours. While we were lucky in that in rained mostly at night on our trip, on a few occasions we were caught in it, and our trip was at the beginning of the rainy season. The early starts were too early at times, and when you've just come on two long flights involving twenty four hours of airports, security checks, passports, flights . . . being told you need to get up for a 6.00am breakfast seems just cruel. Our tour leader argued that because of the early sunset around 5.30 - 6pm we needed to make the best of the day light, which is a fair point, but our afternoon trips invariable finished well before dinner, so a later breakfast at say 8am would not really have created a problem.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The best were the unplanned, like when the traffic stopped because a Boa Constrictor was crossing the road - really! and another time when a two toed sloth had to be rescued from the middle of the road. Another time I had just settled down to drink a Pina Colada at the hotel bar when a monkey casually walked by on the telephone wires above me, like it was just going to the shops. You spend ages trying to see these creatures in the trees, then suddenly there they are in front of you. Watching a flight of scarlet Macaws was also quite special.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jonny is very passionate about his country, his is very knowledgeable, and he has a remarkable ability to spot wildlife which was invisible to the rest of us until he points it out. But he talks too much, and especially when your tired, being stuffed full of information is not fun.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get good quality anti-mosquito ointment. I took Life Systems 'Expedition Plus insect repellent' and I didn't get bitten once.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The best time to go is apparently January- February. I went May into June, and I hardly saw the sun. The itinerary is quite full on, so if you want a relaxing holiday, this isn't it.
  • Reviewed June 2022

    Very enjoyable

    This trip did not disappoint! I had wanted to visit Albania for some time and seeing it on two wheels was the obvious way to enjoy the scenery and surroundings. The people were friendly, the scenery varied and stunning from the mountains to the coast and the added visits to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Butrint and the National Parks added to the enjoyment. The accommodation was lovely and better than we had had on previous Exodus trips and ranged from hotels on the sea front to rustic homestays. Our guide Arjan was helpful and informative and picked some great places where we could eat luch and dinner with confidence. We found the cycling quite challenging in parts, especially day 2 when we were just warming up and then day 7 which was a killer but to be honest there wasn't really an easy day. However, the ups mean that you also get the downs which were hugely enjoyable and worth the climb! We were all encouraged to both the big climbs on the last day. The first one was great once you managed to get out of the town, which was demanding, but then transformed into steep undulations and pretty villages with great views and an excellent long downhill. But the second climb between coffee and lunch up the switchback was quite frankly brutal, especially after the first climb of the day! It was very hot, offered no shade and little in the way of things to see on the way, although the view towards the coast was stunning. I confess to riding some of the way in the bus on that climb and I still got to enjoy the views!! The challenge was rewarding! However, whatever your cycling ability, it is very doable as a few opted for E-bikes which seemed very sensible on reflection, the better cyclists enjoyed the challenge of completing all the climbs and there is always back up from the bus if you feel tired.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cycling along the quiet roads and watching the nomadic farmers lead their flocks of sheep, goats and cows across the terrain whilst enjoying the snow capped mountains on each side. Also enjoyed the visit in Gjirokastra to the 18th century Ottoman house followed by dinner in the restaurant at the top of the city with the self closing roof and stunning views!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Arjan was very helpful and kept us all safe by talking us through each step of the journey ahead of the ride and by leading us safely together along the busier roads as we approached our hotels. He organised everything and told us about the history of the country.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Know your own ability, opt for e-bikes if you are unsure, don't be afraid to get a ride in the bus if needed and try to get in some practice rides ahead of the trip. Go before it changes too much as it still feels rustic.
  • Reviewed June 2022

    TEI 220618, Wonderful trip, amazing scenery. Paul McDermott & Jenny Smith, our guides, outstanding job !.

    Superb trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Piz Boe summit, 3152metres,top notch :-) simple superb.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Paul McDermott, superb leader, depth of knowledge & experience counts. Top man.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go for it :-)

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    N/A
  • Reviewed June 2022

    Fabulous weeks hiking .....

    A wonderfull weeks hiking amongst the most beautiful scenery, Egle (Agi) was a brilliant tour guide and managed the difficulty of varying walking speeds of the group really well. She was also very knowledgable, patient and all round delightful ...every day was met with a smile. The host's at Chalet Chamonix Claire and Liz were also top notch, very helpful, nothing was too much effort, food was great, and even arranged a cake and candles for my wife's birthday....... and they didnt seem to mind too much when teased about women's driving!!!! :-) ....only slight downside was the chalet, a little tired/old and in much need of some tlc (that is no reflection on Claire or Liz), on a plus it was well situated to walk into the town centre! We were lucky with the varied international group as well, 2 Canadian, 2 Americans, 2 Aussies, 2 Koreans and 3 English; a lot of laughs were had - some great and interesting characters. Chamonix itself is beautiful, many bars and restaurants to choose from and some great cable rides 'Aguille du Midi' and 'Brevent' in particular. We chose to book paragliding, if your ever going to do it .....there is nowhere better. This was our third Exodus trip, and can never fault them; we have already booked Tuscany for next year ....bring it on!
  • Cycling past the cypress trees

    Very enjoyable trip, a great part of the world to go cycling.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing view of Florence at the end.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Martino organised everything very well and tried his best to help someone whose luggage did not arrive at all. Excellent knowledge of gelato stops!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Handlebar bags are provided so plenty of space to store items on the road. Quite a few climbs (all the villages and towns are on hills) so bring some energy bars.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Check out L'Eroica website.