Turtle, Ecuador

Your words, not ours

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

Here at Exodus we thrive on feedback from our customers. It's the only way we can ensure our trips continue to be the best they can be. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of the trip you're interested in, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

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  • Reviewed May 2012
    Anonymous

    THE AMALFI COAST

    A thoroughly enjoyable week in fantastic surroundings. Plenty of picture postcard views on the varied walks.The weather was great all week and even when one walk started with low cloud drifting through the trees it soon cleared to reveal the views.I went on my own and the group were a great bunch to spend the week with.Very nice family run hotel serving some top food. Overall a great mix of walks and sightseeing

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    For me it was visiting Pompeii & Herculaneum with walking round the rim of Versuvius a close second.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Albert did a great job of making sure everyone got the most out of the week. Even though a couple of the trips had to be swapped to different days it actually worked out really well. 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be ready for sore calves after all the steps down to Amalfi and Positano :)

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    In another 10 years i might well do this trip again.Recommended!!
  • Reviewed May 2012
    Anonymous

    EVEREST BASE CAMP

    A fantastic trek in a great part of the world. Exodus make it so easy as you are well looked after by the staff from start to finish.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The summit of Kala Phatar ( View over to Everest) and the 2 night stay at Base Camp Everest. Seeing the climber on the Khumbu icefall.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lapka was great, paassing on all his knowledge of the area all the way throughout the trek. A mention also for Dawa, Harri and Mingmar for their happy go lucky attitude and the wake up cup of T every morning.Thanks you guy's n hope to see you all again

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't think about doing it!!! Go and book it as you won't regret it. Best holiday Ive had

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Look forward to travelling with you again in the future. Thanks
  • Reviewed May 2012
    Anonymous

    What a week!

    This is a great trip where 8 days felt easily like two weeks, giving you total immersion in another way of life, forgetting all about whatever you've left behind to get there.  There's a bit of everything - plenty of fresh air and hot sun (plus a bit of snow if you're lucky); freshly squeezed orange on the trail and mint tea at every turn; the camaraderie of campsites and the celebration of reaching the summit; followed by the sheer craziness of Marrakech.   

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The summit of Toubkal definitely gives you a top of the world feeling (we were very lucky and had about an hour and a half there).  Once up there it's worth making some time for yourself to pause for a while, after all the excitement of the photo-taking and whiskey-sipping (see below), and just sitting quietly and taking it all in, watching the birds drifting around and feeling the majesty of the mountains. I was inspired by the hard work and dedication I saw around me from the people who made sure we had a great time.  Especially our chef (Lassan) who was always joking around and still managed to make us some fab food, popping his head in the tent for a quick "bon appetit" at every meal.  Just the sight of him had us all grinning and wondering what was going to happen next!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both guides Mohammed and Yehye looked after us very well throughout the trip, really bringing Morocco to life wih their stories and personal insights into Moroccan traditions (especially at the hammam in Aroumd - thanks Mohammed!).  I had some very honest and fascinating chats with both of them about the political and social realities of their country.  They were patient, kind and genuinely interested in everyone in the group, and keen for us to have the best time.They were also very generous with their nuts!! (and dates and figs - easily beating our Tracker and Go bars for some quality en route snacking)

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a hip flask for a welcome celebration at the summit (it's a "dry" week!).Take a camelback or similar for at least 2 litres - if you have to keep stopping to open water bottles you might not drink enough of the stuff.  You can buy bottled water everywhere so don't worry about taking purification tablets.  I also took another bottle so I could have 3 litres every day.You don't need a mattress for camping - these were provided and very comfy (a bit like those foam covered sun lounger ones).  Just bring your sleeping bag.   Remember a head torch for those late night comfort breaks.Walking poles are helpful on the descent but not essential if you've got strong knees.  I was fine with one.Stay an extra night in Marrakech at the end - it's all a bit of a culture shock when you get back there from the mountains but after a day you are ready to enjoy it!   

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I can honestly say I enjoyed every minute of this holiday: the many altitude-induced giggles with co-trekkers - especially my new friend and tent buddy; the beautiful scenery, with goats and mules trudging; not forgetting the unique experience that is Marrakech on a weekend in 44 degrees (!). JUST BOOK IT! 
  • Reviewed May 2012
    Anonymous

    MARRAKECH & THE SAHARA

    An excellent trip. Well organised with an experienced, friendly (and patient!) guide. We loved the variety, camels in the desert one day and a walk in the mountains the next. Accomodation was more than satisfactory and the food was plentiful and delicious!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking in the Atlas mountains. The visit to a local household in the village and the kids we passed who never failed to make us smile. Scenery was incredible.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    10 out of 10. He was knowledgeable, experienced and always worked hard to make sure everyone was okay and getting the most out of their trip. Helped members of the group out in countless ways. The minibus driver also needs to be commended, he drove confidently and as safely as he could on roads that were difficult and coped well with other road users.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read the Exodus equipment list and try to follow it as best as you can. Don't moan about lack of creature comforts. Appreciate where you are, who you are with, what you do have, and what you are doing.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We would have given this trip five out of five stars were it not for one major disappointment. This regards the school we were shown in the village of Tijhza which has been funded by Exodus charitable giving. The school appeared delapidated, ugly, abandoned and in a very poor condition. Judging it by standards of the other buidings in the village it is of a very poor quality. We were not able to walk around the school.Whilst I appreciate charity projects are often fraught with difficulties Exodus should recognise that this project is not a good example of their charitable aims and should certainly not be used as a showpiece for visiting tour groups. As a customer of Exodus I (and the other members of the group) felt shocked, embarassed and ashamed that this is our contribution to "Responsible Tourism". I hope you take these comments on board and take steps to review the projects in the village. Please consider whether they have truly acheived their aims within the local population.

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    It is very unfortunate to hear these comments regarding our Responsible Tourism project in Morocco, especially when I have worked with the village for many years. Please note first and foremost that although Exodus project work started at the school 10 years ago, our focus is now with the Tjihza Village Association and not the school.

    This misunderstanding started when the schoolteachers changed a few years ago - they did not turn up regularly for school to teach the children and were upset that Exodus were providing money for a water tower in the village (so all villagers could have running water) rather than buying laptops for the teachers. We have completed a lot of work at the school but it is not well maintained by the teachers so this would explain why it looks so out of place with the other buildings. Over the years, we have installed new windows, painted classrooms, paid for goalposts, built a sanitary block and provided a computer for the school amongst other things. However we always work alongside the villagers on all requested work so the doors and windows we have bought for the school are waiting to be installed, yet the teachers need to first complete their duties (clearing rubbish from outside, keeping classrooms clean etc).

    When Exodus get involved in Responsible Tourism, by no means do we consider ourselves a charity. We simply choose to give something back to the communities we visit. It is extremely regrettable that the teachers cannot support our efforts in the same way the rest of the village has and we are trying to resolve this relationship to help the children of Tijhza (rather than the teachers who are not from this village).

  • Reviewed May 2012
    Anonymous

    HIGHLIGHTS OF CHINA

    This was an absolutely incredible trip.  It was brilliantly organised so we were able to fit a huge amount into two weeks.  Lots of travel involved and all went very smoothly.  Visited some absolutely amazing sights.  I have returned refreshed and eager to go back to China!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Impossible to pick one moment, but for me the main highlights were the cookery lesson in idyllic Yangshuo, the cycle ride through exquisite scenery to Moon Hill, walking on the Great Wall first thing in the morning before the crowds arrived, coming face-to-face with the Terracotta Army, and T'ai Chi at the Temple of Heaven.  Finishing in stylish Shanghai (go for cocktails at the top of the Grand Hyatt!) was fabulous.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    William was a huge personality - loads of fun, full of ideas, boundless energy and very well organised.  He took us on at the last minute when our original guide caught a bad cold, and he did the job brilliantly.  His attempts to teach us Chinese had limited success, although we did all manage "cold beer" by the end of the holiday!  He was wonderful at mealtimes - ordered loads of dishes for us to share and so saved a lot of confusion and decision-making.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take your own toilet roll as you won't find it in public toilets!  I regretted not bringing cycle shorts for the bike ride.  Make sure you have a small overnight bag for the sleeper train (that's lots of fun and much more comfortable than I'd expected).  Other than that, just relax and soak up the Chinese culture - try everything and have fun.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I couldn't recommend Exodus, and this trip in particular, more highly.
  • Reviewed May 2012
    Anonymous

    TREASURES OF SICILY

    Enjoyable trip of the old towns and villages of Sicily with nice walks, especially around Etna.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Highlight I would say is Monreale Cathedral, simply awesome inside. We also enjoyed 2 walks around Etna, included in the trip, at different points of South Etna while it puffed away above us. In the old towns it was great to have enough free time to wander around and soak up the atmosphere whilst enjoying the views. The hilltop towns of Ragusa and Erica were particular favourites.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fabio, was a very personable and knowledgable local guide. If you like food he's the man to guide you on local treats and good eateries. Fabios timings can be a little out. Its best to ask specifically "What time will we arrive at....." rather than how long it takes.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I know it says it in the itinerary, but you do need closed shoes for the Etna walk due to the fine lava granuals, and snow whilst we were there. I wore trainers which were fine. If you walk up around one of the cones, a walking pole is useful, but it will be the only time you use it.In most of the towns you aren't guided, but have free time to explore, normally 2 hours, so may be worth reading up on the towns before you go. If not, they are easily navigable and Fabio provided maps for each one anyway.If you are not on the group flight transfer from Taormina there is a good bus service (ETNA Buses) costing 7.50 Euros and takes 90 minutes to Catania airport. The hotel is below Taormina so you'll either have to drag your cases and use cable car or catch a taxi to the bus station which costs 15 Euros. At Monreale the local guide will offer you a 6 euro, 10 minute tour, of the cloisters. We decided to go to the public loo instead (50 cents). However next to the loos is a grill with an open view of the cloisters. So you maybe happy with this option instead!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We had 15 people on the trip and used 2 minibuses. They were very comfortable and ideal for Sicilys winding roads. Fabio always made sure information was relayed to you if you weren't in his bus. Aircon was no problem either.The villas in San Lito Lo Capo are superb. Out of the way but in a beautiful location. Wished we could have had more time to relax here.We had the pleasure of having Sue Bishop, photographer, on our trip. If you are interested in photography and Sue is on another trip, then I'd recommend going on that date. The trip is still run by the local guide but Sue is always on hand to give advice and discuss anything you wanted to know about photography. She encouraged your questions and prompted great in bus discussions and sharing ideas. Perfect combination.
  • Reviewed May 2012
    Anonymous

    SIERRA NEVADA & GRANADA

    A superb trip which exceeded my expectations.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    For me, just being surrounded by the sublime landscape of the region.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jeremy Rabjohns is an excellent group leader who is considerate of all the needs of all individuals and the group alike.At no time did I feel like just another group member,Jeremy really took time to get to know each of us on a one to one level,which enabled us as individuals to get the most from our trip. Personally I was interested in photographing the landscape  and so at times needed to be apart from the group,either in front or behind,I was never inhibited or made to feel a burden.Jeremy has a very good knowledge of the local flora and fauna alike and thus is able to answer most questions in this regard.He is also very knowledgeable of the local history regarding the Moorish peoples who once inhabited these lands,he has even written a book on walks in the area and so is more than qualified to lead.He is also able to speak Spanish and is very helpful to those who wish to shop and order food etc.In general I found Jeremy to be an exceptional leader,and a decent, down to earth,good to honest bloke which these days seems to be the exception rather than the rule.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I personally did not feel that poles are necessary.Ankle length (short) walking boots were fine for me.I used a hydration pack as opposed to bottles which I think is better.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The hotel Berchules is good and clean with a well stocked bar,plenty of hot water,great food and the most brilliant staff.I did have my doubts about this trip and was the last to book,however, I had a brilliant time and I think you will too so just book it!! 
  • Reviewed May 2012
    Anonymous

    A WEEK IN JORDAN

    A fascinating trip, packed with plenty of history and culture, blended well with some beautiful scenery and a healthy dose of exercise and relaxation. Being able to see ancient settlements, Roman ruins and crusader forts alongside mountains, vast desert and coral reefs in such a short time ensures there's something for everyone and plenty of surprises.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the Treasury at Petra (even for the tenth time), rounding the corner to the Monastery at Petra after the hike up, and watching the sun set and stars emerge round the camp fire in the awe-inspiring Wadi Rum.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Khaled was fantastic - his knowledge of the history and cultures of Jordan seemed endless and his enthusiasm to share his country was infectious.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I was worried about how my relatively low fitness levels would impact my ability to enjoy Petra, but the more strenuous walks/hikes (hundreds of steps or steep uneven paths) aren't too bad and are either taken at the pace most suitable for the group or are optional with plenty of time to do them at your own pace (or not at all if you choose). Hotter temperatures could make the walks more challenging (it was mid-high 20's Celsius when I went), but many are sheltered by canyon walls in parts at least. In short, as long as you are reasonably active, there's no need to worry or go on a big fitness drive before going on this trip.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you are interested in this region or after a holiday experience that goes beyond your expectation, don't hesitate, you won't regret it.
  • Reviewed May 2012
    Anonymous

    CYCLING THE DALMATIAN COAST

    Gr3eat cycling, breathtaking scenery, extemely well organised, good company

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The cycling

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent. Highly organised- so no waiting around . Very safety conscious.  Extreemely caring

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I thought it was a very expensive trip for what it was and what it included. I chose single supplement which was £150 ish but when my fellow travellers asked for a single room they had to pay a £10 for the night.I took the decision to go with Exodus so knew the price for this trip was high- and I know there are bikes, a van and a tour guide. But hotels are reasonable priced so I don't know why it was quite so high.  I have been on several holidays with explore ( Cuba/ india/Spain- and Exodus, on this trip- for this time of year is very expensiveI did have a nice time though.
  • Reviewed May 2012
    Anonymous

    EVEREST BASE CAMP & GOKYO LAKES

    A strenuous but well-worth trek encompassing two spectacular and incredibly diverse valleys, encompassing two summits, a high pass and culminating in the trek to Everest Base Camp for close up views of the highest mountain in the world (when its not hidden behind the Lho La ridge).

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There are far too many to choose from, from the first proper sighting of everest through the tree-line heading up to Namche Bazaar, the crystal clear Gokyo lakes and the stunning cloud-strewn views from the top of Gokyo Ri, the sheer satisfaction in having reached the top of the demanding and icy Cho La Pass, the final trek towards the edge of the Khumbu icefall and discovering the vast tent city of Base Camp, the unrivalled views of the highest mountains on earth from the top of Kala Patthar....

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jangbu Sherpa displayed tremendous knowledge of the valleys as we ascended higher up, he spent most of the time looking after the slower ones of the group and making sure they made it to the next lodge but he was sometimes reluctant from mingling with our group, we dont bite honestly!Our assistant guide Nima was always chirpy and full of enthusiasm and often led the group during the day's trekking.  Singing and dancing his way up the mountain he also got us out of bed in the morning with cups of tea and was our 'waiter' of an evening in the teahouses. 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This trek is not to be underestimated, its a long haul and you have to be in good fitness and good health to really enjoy it or you will struggle with it.  Dont skimp on the decent gear, particularly warm clothes for the early starts and when the weather turns (as it usually does in the afternoon).  The many days spent at high altitude does have some effect on you, be it a loss of appetite or trouble sleeping and these are to be expected in even the fittest of you, altitude can affect anyone.  The Cho La pass in particular is a definate challenge involving alot of scrambling, fairly exposed sections and the glacial travel which is often uneven and slippery underfoot unless you have full crampons on your boots.  Care is to be taken on this section as its a long day and you can easily lose concentration.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    For those confident in their fitness, determination, those that relish a challenge and want to be surrounded by striking and dramatic scenary with every step, all the while following in the path of climbing parties the world over in their bid to conquer the great Mt Everest, there is little to compare this trip to.  The diversity of the Gokyo valley means it is a great alternative to the standard trek as it takes in a seperate route on the ascent to base camp to the descent.  This trek should be on every wannabe adventurer's bucket list and is truely one of the greatest treks in the world.  For those that go the extra mile the views from Kala Patthar will truely take your breath away - literally and figuratively!