Turtle, Ecuador

Your words, not ours

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Your Word - 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.

Simply use the selector below to search our trip reviews and start reading real feedback from real Exodus travellers who have ‘been there and done that’!

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  • Reviewed January 2012
    Anonymous
    we see everything we expected to see,

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    wild life and birds

    What did you think of your group leader?

    very experienced one - marco polo

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    weather is colder than we think, beware theft in hotel, they can unlock your door and get in your room to steal things

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    the dosser notes needed to amend - hotel in ne costa rica - that lodge is H+ or comfortable hotel but the one in gofito is really very very basic.
  • Reviewed January 2012
    Anonymous
    This photographic trip surpassed everything I had hoped it would be, simply superb. Opportunities to get up close to a variety of wildlife, in stunning light, occurred every day, not just once, but many times.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Several dawn incidents are memorable, such as a male lion being chased off by a pack of howling Hyenas, an unforgettable sound and spectacle. Or the frequent chasing around the plains following the three 'cheetah boys' as they hunted. Or the almost daily tracking of leopards.  One all-day outing was simply the most exhilerating , full-on experience of wildlife I have ever had, 14 hours of non-stop activity

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Paul Goldstein has immense experience of these trips, and it shows. He is dedicated to ensuring everyone gets memorable pictures, constantly aware of where wildlife will be, racing across the Mara at high speed to catch the action, then postioning the vehicles for the best angles and light. He takes the time to patiently explain photographic technique for the less skilled  - but expects his advice to be remembered! Anyone failing to do this the next day, resulting in out of focus/underexposed/missed shots can expect a stream of invective in their corrective interview.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You will learn how to get excellent wildlife images, and be given many, many opportunities to take them. You will need plenty of card storage. A second camera is particularly useful as back up and for wide angle shots, leaving the main camera and long lens ever ready to not miss any action 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    One lady in our group had been on this trip 16 times.....that  tells you just how good this trip is. An unforgettable experience, and thus unreservedly recommended
  • Reviewed January 2012
    Anonymous
    We consider ourselves to be able people and have done many touring holidays but found the start of this holiday too much, starting at Heathrow 30/12/11 followed by a quick lunch in Delhi then a challenging train journey and arriving at the hotel at midnight to have dinner and then finally to bed at 1.30am 1/1/12 not a great start ! Then to be told we were to be up at 5.30 for our first game drive. The hotels need heating at this time of year as we spent most of the holiday being cold. The food and hotel in Khana was of a poor standard very disappointing.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the Taj Mahal was an amasing experience and of course the sighting of tigers, the main reason for our trip to India.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He had a good knowledge of wildlife but lacked a little in people skills. It would have been good to have had a written note of how much the extra game drives and tips were during the holiday rather than a brief list at the end of it.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If travelling in January take plenty of warm clothes, we had 5 layers on plus blankets and a hot water bottle when on game drives. Because the eating/communal areas in the lodges have no windows/doors we had our meal dressed in coats etc; and then went to bed as it was so cold.If you intent to do the extra game drives you will need approx. £500 - £600 which includes all tips.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was definately a holiday we will remember especially the train journeys (not for the feint hearted) and the sights but think the standards do need to be better in general
  • Reviewed January 2012
    Anonymous
    Having dreamt of visiting Antarctica since i was a child, a recent life-changing event inspired me to take the plunge. I wish i had taken that plunge years ago, it was stunning.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    For me, the most awe-inspiring moment was when the captain of the ship announced land ahoy, my first sight of Antarctica made my heart race. I've been fortunate to visit many parts of the world in my flying career but the seventh continent feels like a trip to another planet.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was Doctor Lynn Woodworth, she is an authority on polar marine life and conservation, possesses a warm and welcoming nature, has a positive outlook on life and has the rare skill of making people feel special. Her team adore her and I strongly recommend her as your group leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    My only suggestion would be to pack lightly, our ship, the Vavilov, was extremely comfortable and warm with an excellent crew and delicious, copious food. My expectation was of living in a harsh environment so i took far too many layers of clothing. We were issued a technical jacket with zipped-in fleece which was ideal protection against the elements for our shore landings, the boots that were loaned to us were so comfortable and warm that i have now bought my own.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There was a special atmosphere onboard the Vavilov, partly down to the adventure that we were embarking on and partly because it was a first 'cruise' for many onboard; in my opinion the atmosphere was created mainly by the team of marine biologists, geologists, historians, ornithologists and other scientists. It was an education in all things Antarctic; the knowledge, enthusiasm and welcoming spirit of this group of professionals made the experience unique.I heartily recommend that you wait no longer to discover the greatest wilderness.
  • Reviewed January 2012
    Anonymous
    As an ex trolley dolly I would consider myself a seasoned traveller used to travelling independently.  Taking my 11 year old daughter on this trip of a lifetime gave me back my sense of adventure and has inspired her to globe trot.  I met an American on a rickety boat in Thailand 20 years ago - he told me to visit Costa Rica as it was beautiful - well he was wrong, it is the most beautiful and magical country I have ever visited!!!!!!!!!!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Zip lining across the rainforest canopy ............ just as a thunderstorm was starting.  I have a rubbish head for heights but its just so exhilarating and fortunately kind Fiona distracted me by relaying her favourite recipes whilst my teeth were chattering waiting on the platform to take off.  My daughter of course found it a doddle.  I have to say that I also found the kids on the trip inspirational - they bonded and had a great time and when we visited a local school everyone joined in and had fun.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fab - knowledgeable, funny, helpful and so enthusiatic.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Expect to be dinner, lunch and breakfast for the mosquitoes!  Long sleeves, long trousers, deadly sprays, natural remedies - nothing stands in the way of the mosquitoes in Tortugera but then the sight of the butterflies makes it all worthwhile..................
  • Reviewed January 2012
    Anonymous
    A great trip, & a great group! There was a great sense of achievement, having reached the Pico Turquino heights. Not for the faint hearted! Once the mountain was climbed, I was ready for home. It was very difficult to justify hanging around for another couple of days, as everything we did subsequent to climbing the mountain, paled compared to the massive 'high' of reaching the Turquino peak.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    One of the ladies broke her leg on the ascent to Pico Turquino. Her husband & our leader carried her down the mountain, through very rough, undulating terrain. It took about 6 hours. It was a mammoth task. My own sense of self doubt, as to whether I would make the top of the mountain, was firmly turned on it's head, after gleaming wonderful inspiration from 'The 3 Muskateers'!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Great guy. Even though he was not from Cuba, he demonstrated a measured, intelligent passion for Cuba. This he could marry with insightful views on Cuban life, wildlife, music & history.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take 'wet wipes' with you, especially as you get into the mountainous areas!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    One of the 'off the cuff 'more memorable days, was when we were in Santiago de Cuba. Manual, took us on a boat trip & for lunch to an island off this coastline. It was truly magnificent. The weather was too hot to remain wandering around Santiago. So he gave us a choice, made a decision which everyone concurred with. This type of leadership is welcome and commendable, as he read the mood of the group so well. For me, the end result on this holiday was climbing Pico Turquino. Once I had this done, I was ready for home. I wanted to take this experience home with me. But, i found that the 'high' I felt after climbing the mountain, gradually became diluted, as i waited those extra days to get home. It was a long journey back to havana. Could we fly back from santagio? Just a suggestion. This trip may be too long. Also, do all the sight seeing before climbing the mountain. Then, we can travel home directly with this achievement burning in our minds.
  • Reviewed January 2012
    Anonymous
    This is one of the best trips ever - and I've done plenty! Excellent guides, excellent route and came straight back and booked another cycling trip!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cycling around Angkor Wat and surrounding temple complexes was a way to see the sights that made you feel a part of it in a way that being on a bus would not have come close to.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Superb.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do it! 
  • Reviewed January 2012
    Anonymous
    A great week with a good variety of things to see and do.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Exploring Petra, particularly getting up into the hills to get the full sense of the scale of the site.  Sleeping under the stars in the Wadi Rum and riding a camel as the sun came up.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Full of stories and interesting bits of information to keep us entertained.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    An incredible trip to an amazing country with a brilliant group of people!
  • Reviewed January 2012
    Anonymous
    This was a fantastic way to see and experience real rainforest - trees, plants and animals - in the company of interesting people and free from the anxiety of travel in a strange country. Costa Rica exceeded all my expectations.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Just being in the forest and seeing all those exotic plants, mammals, birds and reptiles in their natural environments would have been utterly wonderful. But the tapestry of night and morning sounds (frogs, monkeys, birds) was a revelation, each place having its own soundscape. I have recordings which evoke the humidity, temperature and atmosphere of each place we stayed even more than the photos.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We could not have asked for a better leader. He (Jeff Munoz) was knowlegable, enthusiastic, and determined both to show us as much as he could of the country and its natural history and to impart his knowledge. Both the leader and the driver (Mario Jiminez Ortiz) were conscientious and accommodating. They arranged optional group visits to restaurants, which would not otherwise have happened, and always offered interesting trips during the free time when they should, presumably, have been off duty.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do read up about each place you are visiting and where there is time for optional excursions ask your group leader about alternatives. In Monteverde we enjoyed the activities we did (bridges walk, zipline experience, hummingbird viewing, forest walk) but personally wish I'd spent more time exploring the primary forest rather than ziplining or visiting secondary forest (Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve - short walk). Definitely do the boat trip on the Tarcoles River if you get the chance. Don't obsess about seeing a quetzal - there are so many other exciting creatures to see!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was a great trip. The only slight disappointments were the quality of the hotel accommodation at Monteverde (Montana Monteverde) and the forest walk - after such a long bumpy journey up to Monteverde I was expecting to see primary forest not secondary. Otherwise the transport, accommodation and meals were good or better than good. We don't generally use travel companies but organise our own trips; however I would not hesitate to use Exodus again.
  • Reviewed January 2012
    Anonymous
    A really nice introduction to the charms of Southern India with a good group of people in the experienced hands of a skillful tour leader.  Coconuts, curries, cruising along the backwaters, tea, temples, sunrises, sunsets and smiles.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The friendliness of the local people and their ability to just enjoy the moment; the beautiful scenery, fabulous food, several spectacular sunsets (and sunrises); the variety of temples and the tranquility of the Keralan backwaters.  

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Suresh was the perfect host:  enthusiastic, friendly, knowlegable, organised, calm under pressure and with a good sense of humour. Essential when a regular 4 hour journey turns into a 12 hour detour thanks to a spot of border politics and road blocks! 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Indian drivers are crazy. Fact. The roads are chaotic and it seems to work, except when it doesn't so just look to the side at all times!The shopping opportunities are fantastic so leave enough room (or bring an extra bag!) if you love fabrics, scarves, jewelleryDrink more water than you think you need as the humidity can be dehydrating

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I was aware this trip had more of a cultural focus but I would have loved the opportunity to do some optional adventure activities like I've done on previous Exodus trips. There was not a lot of spare time but on the couple of occasions we had a little free time it would have been the cherry on top if there'd been some more options like cycling, walking, or where available, things like horseriding, white water rafting etc.  
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