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.

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

    THE INCA TRAIL

    I was really nervous about doing this and thought about backing out so many times. I'm so glad I went through with it! It was truly amazing and the sense of achievement was immense! Don't get me wrong, I found it hard but it is an experience I will always cherish!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting up to 'Dead Womans Pass' is hard work but getting to the top and seeing the view of the valley, it was worth it. Obviously getting to the Sungate and seeing the clouds clear and reveal the icing on the cake brought a tear to my eye, not only was it beautiful but, I did it! The rainbows, ruins and snow capped mountains were also magical.   

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Disnarda, was a great guide. Her and Orlando made sure that as a group we were fine and despite feeling like the weakest link in the group they did not make me feel as though I was holding anyone back. Be warned, they may be vertically challenged but they move like the wind along that trail with endless energy and enthusiasm.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you have a good mechanism for keeping your kit dry, we weren't in the wet season but it rained and hard. Don't worry about taking too many snacks, you get given stuff daily. Toilet roll is always a good one. Take a good sleeping bag and pack some thermals, high altitude camping can get cold. Metal water bottles are good as they can act as hot water bottles when it is really cold but 'plats' are good whilst trekking. If you don't like things flying in your face get a face mosi net (I was so jealous of those that had the common sense to take them). Trip to the hot baths on the last day, I'd skip it if I were you, the 'hike' to get up there, in my opinion, is not worth it, better off sharing the cost of a hotel room and getting a good hot shower that way. Day pack rules for Machu Picchu seemed a bit 'changeable'. I had a 35 ltr pack but we told that the limit for day packs for the following 1 day entry would be 20ltrs. Luckily we were allowed in with our packs but I think it is one of those 'fickle' policies and walking poles are not allowed during your day at Machu Picchu.Final day, before train ride back to Cusco, get something to eat, you will be on the train for several hours, they serve drinks but that is about it.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    My natural habitat is the city. I like the outdoors but camping has never been my thing, despite being very organised and practical. Doing the Inca Trail is a very personal thing and you need a lot of determination. I did quite a bit of training for this but the altitude is something else, you just can't plan for (and I did not do the 'High Alt' trek). To that end, all I can say is, get as fit as you can and keep at it. You will not be left behind and you will not feel as if you are letting anyone down. I did it with a friend who was a god send. We were lucky we had a good group who wouldn't leave anyone behind but ultimately it is the guides who help you succeed. Be nice to them, they deserve it, especially when you see how some of the other guides (non Exodus) are treated along the way. Above all else take the time to take in what is around you, it is an experience I will cherish for the rest of my life!!! I did it and didn't break a nail, I'm sure you can!!!!
  • Reviewed January 2012
    Anonymous

    MARRAKECH & THE SAHARA

    It was all together enjoyable trip. I have met very interesting and nice people and it was fun to share my experiences with them. I have also realised how easily one off person can spoil such a trip for the whole group. Solo departures are a tricky business after all. I felt safe and taken care of. On the other hand I had enough time for my personal explorations or thoughts – a perfect mix.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Highlights were the Draa valley and the Atlas mountains but for me personally the most inspiring moment was the end of the road in Mhamid. I wish we could spend more time in the area and explore it a little more.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Yaya (or whatever it spells) was doing a great job. Nothing to complain about.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Nothing more than is written in Trip notes.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Since there is separate camel treck maybe it would be possible to skip camel trip on this one. I really felt pity looking at this poor animals and having ride on them have not improved my feelings.
  • Reviewed January 2012
    Anonymous

    JOURNEY TO PERSIA

    Iranis are such beautifully friendly people, so pleased to meet visitors to their country. Taking the time to sit and talk to them about their culture, their lives, their fears and their perception of the western world was fascinating. Their hospitality is second to none, their monuments are magnificent and their country is clean, prosperous (at the moment), well looked after and commercially unspoilt. Every second of my time spent there was interesting and enjoyable. 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    One of the most inspirational moments of my life, let alone my trip, was sitting in Esfahan's Naqsh-e Jahan Square one evening as the sun set. As the fountains sparkled and shimmered in front of the magnificently ornate 17th Century Imam Mosque, silhouetted against the crimson sky, the haunting sound of the call to prayer echoing from the minaret top made me shiver with the delight of being in such a beautiful place.A moment I will never ever forget. 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Farzaneh, our group leader, was a legend of a tour guide. Her knowledge of Iran's history, architecture, art and culture was incredible. But she went about her work in such a friendly and humorous way, providing us a good understanding of how the way of life in her country had affected her own life and successful struggle to pursue a career in a place where women's rights are severely restricted.By the end of the trip I considered her to be a friend as much as a tour guide.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Iran will never be a threat to the tourist trade of Benidorm. Don't go to Iran if you want swimming pools, drinking and dancing because they just don't exist. What you will find is a fascinating and welcoming country unlike any you have ever visited before. Please don't believe what you see and hear in the western media. Mingle with the people, immerse yourself in Iranian culture and judge for yourself.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Don’t be put off by the number of ancient monuments you will visit on this trip. They are all different and they all have their own story. And none of them are swamped by foreign tourists.Don’t be put off by the Islamic laws of Iran. They are strict, and I’m not suggesting that we introduce them in Britain, but they are effective and consequently there is very little crime. I felt safer walking around Tehran at ten o’clock on a Saturday night than I do in my own home town.Don’t worry about being hassled by shopkeepers and traders. They are a little persistent (after all, they do have a job to do) but they will take no for an answer. They will all welcome you into their shops and give you a drink whether you buy their wares or not, so please be polite to them.  Don’t try to cross the roads in the cities on your own. My tip is to find a family with young children and tag along behind. They won’t let their kids get run over so if you’re in the close vicinity you should be safe.Don’t be rude to anybody. The Iranian people are all very respectful and polite and they expect others to be the same.Don’t deviate from the dress code. They don’t like it. And it doesn’t appear to be as strict as in some other Islamic countries anyway. Although women must keep their heads covered at all times I didn’t see anybody wearing a burqa, many of the headscarves were brightly coloured and the younger people all wore modern clothes but within the religious guidelines for covering up certain parts of the body.  Don’t let anybody tell you that Iran is a bad place. It was far different to what I am used to but I absolutely fell in love with the place.
  • Reviewed January 2012
    Anonymous

    HIGHLIGHTS OF MOROCCO

    Whay a stunning and diverse country Morocco is. Deserts, mountains, valleys, gorges, seaside, bustling towns and cities. Friendly people

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Spending the night in the Sahara.Amazing.Never been in such a beautiful environment before.Never seen so many stars.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mustapha was a joy to be with.Extremely knowledgeable,very accomodating and fun.Nothing was too much trouble for him.A true gent.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    A little French would be helpful.Take plenty of money with you.So much to buy, but you must be prepared to haggle.Its good fun but towards the end of the trip can be a bit tiresome.Watch out for the child pickpocketers in the square in Marrakesh especially at nightime.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Loved every minute of this trip.Breathtaking
  • Reviewed January 2012
    Anonymous

    CYCLING THE CAPE & WINELANDS

    A wonderful way to see Cape Town, the surrounding wine growing regions and the dramatic coast. But be warned, although it is classed as a "moderate" trip there are LOTS and LOTS of hills and it is VERY windy!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Unexpectedly seeing a whale in Hermanus, the wild baboons just chilling by the side of the road, the huge open plains and seriously impressive mountains. Then wine wasn’t bad either!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Pete and his crew were great. Really friendly and happy to give some background on the places we saw. Cooking was excellent and just what I needed after a long day on the road.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don’t underestimate how tough the cycling can be as this is really an exhausting trip, not just because of the hills but also because of how difficult it can be cycling in such windy conditions. Take your own saddle, and padded cycling shorts as you’ll need them. Draught beer is cheap but pretty much everything else is the same price as in the UK.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Some of the places you’ll stay are in the middle of nowhere, so expect to make your own entertainment, which, to be fair wasn’t difficult with such a great group of people. I'm sure the samples we got from from the vineyards we visited helped too. Even in the height of summer it gets cold at night. So make sure you bring a fleece/warm jumper or 3!The days are long so don't expect much (if any) pool or beach time.South African electricity sockets are unlike any others in the world, so even if you think you have a "world adaptor" it won't work.
  • Reviewed January 2012
    Anonymous

    PETRA & WADI RUM BY BIKE

    This is a brilliant trip, a beautiful country seen an an exceptional way.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We climbed up the mountainside oposite Petra's "Treasury" and saw it from above.  Looking down on the famous site, with all the tourists looking like ants was amazing!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He was fantastic.  Very attentive, very knowlegable, and he gave us a lot of colorful information about the country, the history, the people, and the culture of Jordan.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you travel in the winter months be prepared for dramatic temperature swings, quite cold in the north and the mountains, quite warm at the Red Sea and Dead Sea.  Layers are a must!  Also, there is some trekking (well worth doing) so if you prefer to hike with poles, bring them along.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was a wonderful trip with a great group of fellow cyclists.  We were of varying ability, but it was easy to enjoy ourselves no matter what our level.  The food was spectacular!
  • Reviewed January 2012
    Anonymous

    THAI INDOCHINA EXPLORER

    This was an amazing trip - one of the best holidays we have ever been on.  The scenery, the people and the food were all outstanding.  The guides were very knowledgeable.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    In Vietnam it was the Homestay on the Mekong Delta.In Cambodia it was Siem Reap and the Angkor complex - an amazing place.  Also the boat trip on Ton Le Sap lake to the floating village was excellent.Bangkok was a pleasant surprise, surpassing our expectations prior to the trip.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    All of our group leaders were excellent (Thuy in Vietnam, Chianny in Cambodia and Da in Bangkok).Chianny's enthusiasm for his country and his people are worthy of special mention.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Travel light - the majority of the hotels have a very reasonable laundry service so be careful not to overpack.  Comfortable shoes are essential.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was a truly amazing holiday and we would recommend it to anyone who has not visited this area before.  The food across the whole region is amazing, although having rice for breakfast takes a bit of getting used to!!  There is vast contrast between the hustle and bustle of cities such as Saigon and the slower pace of life in smaller towns such as Siem Reap, but we are very glad we experienced it all.
  • Reviewed January 2012
    Anonymous

    CYCLING THROUGH RAJASTHAN

    Cycling through the countryside gives you a wonderful insight into rural life in India whilst visits to the cultural highlights of the region make this a very interesting and active itinerary.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Visiting the Taj Mahal which is amazing.  The Forts at Agra and Jaipur were also really impressive and I enjoyed cycling through the countryside too.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The two leaders, Sajay and Pramod were excellent leaders who not only guided the cycling but also kept us entertained. They worked hard in the background to ensure that the trip ran smoothly. The bike mechanic, bus driver and his assistant were also a good team.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for quite a few consecutive days cycling 40miles+ and consider taking your own saddle rather than a gel cover. If you take your own bike remember that supplies of spare parts such as chains and rear mechanism hangars are aimed at the local bike market and so you would be advised to take a few extra bike bits just in case.   The road surfaces can be rough in places and don't be surprised if the locals want to chat to you from their motorbikes whilst you negotiate pot holes, camels, cows etc in front of you.  This means that you should be confident of cycling in traffic and some experience of cycling on rough terrain would be advantageous.  It is best to cycle with at least one other person as, although almost everyone is friendly, sometimes the children like to jump out in front of you or throw stones. A supply of hand gel is also a good idea.  

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    An active, well organised trip which is almost two holidays in one combining the cycling and sight-seeing.  The bikes were great for the terrain and the mechanic was skilled at keeping them running.  Some of them would probably have benefited from some new cassettes and chains.
  • Reviewed January 2012
    Anonymous

    THE ZAMBEZI VALLEY

    This was a fantastic trip with just the right mix of activity(canoeing) and wildlife watching, the guide was excellent and couldn't have looked after us better, it was an experience I'll remember all my life.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Sitting in a canoe on the mighty Zambezi, silently, while a few metres away an elephant watched us from the bank, flapping its ears. Watching (at a safe distance) a pod of hippos floating in the river and snorting at us. Sitting in the quiet of the evening wth a glass of wine (yes!) discussing the animals and birds we had seen that day with our guide.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader couldn't have been better.  He was knowledgable about everything - animals, local customs, countryside - and a good cook too!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This was a relaxing trip well within the capabilities of anyone who is moderately fit and wants a close-up safari.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The trip had some exciting moments such as a hippo coming up from the depths beside us but the guide brought us safely through them!
  • Reviewed January 2012
    Anonymous

    TRAILS OF VIETNAM

    Vietnam is a fascinating place, and this trip really covers it, from north to south, taking in all the sights and all the places you would expect.  All very slick, very smooth, good locations, and a fascinating tour guide. The only downside – this was not the trip book, in the sense that the trip dossier detailed much more cycling and trekking than we actually did, so disappointing from that perspective, and either the brochure or the trip needs to change

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Brilliant, totally brilliant!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You don’t need malaria tablets – the trip dossier is wrong!
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