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 December 2011
    Anonymous
    This was a well planned trip giving a taste of Thailand more of Laos and Cambodia.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It is hard to choose one thing, meandering along the Mekong was pretty stunning and visitng the villages a reall insight.Cambodia and its recent history was upsetting but I am glad I have visit this area, the people are so friendly and willing to talk, it was really noticible the no family came through that time untouched... the killing fields took my breath away. The delights of Ankor Wat was stunning. 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    One of the down sides of visitng 3 countries we changed guides frequently. Pan in Laos deservise a special mention as he had excellent knowlwdge and great sense of fun and was very attentive to his guests needs.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take small denomination bills!Be prepared to buy from the villages. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Very enjoyable trip
  • Reviewed December 2011
    Anonymous
    A wonderful holiday which really explores the east side of South Africa. Wonderful walks, great game viewing! Could not ask for more.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Being 3000m high in the Drakensberg with wonderful views and a sense of achievement getting up the ladder!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader - Bongani - was great. Very organised and a good cook! Quite quiet though so did not learn that much specifically about S Africa as a country.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure your plug adaptor covers S Africa as a lot in our group didn't and note that there are two guides on the trip with you all the time so when it coming to tipping them - that is twice as much.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Camping is the best way of feeling right in there with the animals! Great great fun. travelled on my own and felt perfectly safe and well looked after.  
  • Reviewed December 2011
    Anonymous
    An excellent trek but very tough, especially on day2 ( Dead Womans Pass). Be prepared  for bad weather!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Arriving at the Sun Gate - Intipunko and looking down at Machu Picchu

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent. Very helpful and inspirational with first rate knowledge of all matters IncaHowever no provisions for emergencies. With only two guides available when one had to return to base because of someone falling ill there was very little provision for a back marker, and for long periods because of my slow pace i was on my own! More porters need to be trained to take over as guide no2 in the event of this happening. 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Grading not as advertised in trip notes. This is an extremely tough and challenging trek and should be rated severe - NOT moderate! and should not be undertaken lightly. Requires a high level of personal fitness and stamina. That said it is an extremely rewarding trek.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Would like to see Exodus bring trip notes up to date ref:Airport transfers £20 NOT £10Lima City tours £60 NOT £30

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    Many thanks for taking the time to review your recent holiday. I'm glad you enjoyed the trek and felt justifiably rewarded when you made it to the Sun Gate for that first view of Machu Picchu - it certainly is a high point after 3.5 days of walking!

    We provide two guides if there are more than 8 people in the trekking party, and if one guide has to accompany an unwell client back to a medical post the porters are instructed to ensure that one of them is always following the last person in the group so that safety is not compromised. We also encourage our tour leaders to keep the group together as much as possible in this situation, although this can be difficult if the group members have vastly different walking speeds. Unfortunately, Peruvian guide licensing restrictions are such that guides must complete university in order to be legally registered - the expense of this arrangement, combined with the fact that many porters have not completed formal schooling makes this impractical.

    I'm sorry you felt the trek was tough and should be rated higher - our ratings are based on several factors, including the amount of ascent and descent during the day, the number of hours you spend walking each day, the distance, and the number of days spent trekking. I feel that based on all these factors our "moderate" grading is fair, and it is certainly in line with similar treks which we offer, although I understand that the effects of altitude may make it more difficult. Although I would not recommend the Inca Trail to anyone with no previous experience of walking, I believe that is within the capabilities of anyone of reasonable fitness and does not require special training prior to starting the trek.

    With regard to the additional costs, the price of transfers in the trip notes refers to the cost these services in Cuzco, where the trip starts. Since you flew from a regional airport, it was necessary for you to spend a night in Lima, where higher transfer prices apply. As stated in the notes, the cost of the city tour is approximate, and will vary depending on how many people take the excursion - if just one person is taking the tour, as in your case, the costs will unfortunately be higher, whereas if more people take the tour the price will fall.

    I'm sorry that you felt these aspects of the trip didn't live up to your expectations, or if you felt that the trip notes were misleading, but hope this hasn't put you off travelling with Exodus in the future. Thanks again for your feedback on the trip.

    Tim - Product Manager for Peru

  • Reviewed December 2011
    Anonymous
    A whirlwind of diverse activities/accommodations/experiences that in 2 short weeks encapsulated a true and deep Moroccan experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Living in a High Atlas mountain gite in a Berber village and touching all-too-briefly on the simple, hospitable, authentic and friendly Berber lifestyle -- simply unforgettable. A close second was briefly experiencing the nomadic Berber lifestyle with camel riding and a night in the desert.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Outstanding. Mustapha is an authentic Berber man and the perfect guide to the real Morocco. He was funny, social, knowledgeable, warm and caring, with endless energy in dealing with a diverse group of travelers and their needs. He took the time to help people individually when needed, and was clearly loved and respected by the many Moroccans who crossed our path. Kudos to Exodus for providing a leader who was the "real deal" for this quintessential Moroccan odyssey.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't show too much interest in merchandise in the Fes medina, unless you're clear in your own mind on buying, especially in the leather area. Though the Fes medina is obviously a must-see, these merchants can be somewhat ruthless in their sales approach. I needed help from Mustapha to extricate myself from a leather jacket deal that most merchants would have realized I had no intention of completing. Don't expect too much from the much-vaunted Jemma-el-fna square in Marrakech. Though tourists/travelers pay most of the freight in Marrakech's economy, this square is completely aimed at Moroccans. My anticipation of hearing some authentic Moroccan stories that I could understand was misplaced and, though I take personal blame for this, it nonetheless was disappointing that this important aspect of Moroccan life was inaccessible here. On the plus side, pay no attention to the hype about hawkers here being rapacious. And do purchase some dirt-cheap ginger tea (ask for a little eucalyptus to be added too) here; makes a nice change from the excellent Berber whiskey (aka mint tea).

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you have 2 weeks to devote to Morocco, this is the tour for you. Though I tend to shy away from tours generally, I came to realize that to accomplish the same on my own would have taken twice as long and involved significantly more hassle, and likely cost too. And I was pleasantly surprised at the depth of travel experience, much of it pretty rough-and-ready, among the tour participants. I will certainly consult Exodus before taking my next 3rd world trip.
  • Reviewed December 2011
    Anonymous
    It was a tough trip but worth it for the spectacular views, the extraordinary variety in the landscape and constant sense of adventure. I thoroughly enjoyed the hiking every day and the guides looked after us well, making sure we all completed the circuit and were allowed to go at whatever pace suited us. 18 days of point-to-point trekking is hard, especially in November when the nights and mornings are freezing and it's hard to get out of the sleeping bag and pack up the kit bag yet again. We had lovely sunny days though and it was always worth it when we got going.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The views from the tops of the passes and from Gokyo Ri. Reaching Everest Base Camp was a great moment too. To come back to Namche on the way down and look back at the epic journey we'd completed was very satisfying indeed.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jangbu was lovely, supportive and inspiring. He was helpful and informative and made every effort to ensure that we all enjoyed the trek and were safe at all times. He and our other guide, Benpa, looked after us as a group and individually. I couldn't have asked for more.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It can get boring having the same food every day (the teahouse menus are all pretty much the same) so you might want to take some snacks. Take a really warm sleeping bag. If you don't have a good one, hire an Exodus sleeping bag as it can be freezing at night. Ditto for down jacket. The lighting in the teahouse dining rooms is usually quite low so take a good head torch and spare batteries if you want to read in the evenings. A good supply of wet wipes and hand gel will keep you as clean as you're going to get.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I can't wait to go back there.
  • Reviewed December 2011
    Anonymous
    A superbly organised, breathtaking experience

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing hundreds of humming birds.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Despite having done this trip some 120 times before, his enthusiasm and passion for his country, it's history and it's flora and fauna were truly inspirational.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take some Imodium - most travellers got upset stomachs at some point on the trip!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If this trip is not on your to-do list it should be!!!
  • Reviewed December 2011
    Anonymous
    This trip gets to the real heart of the Galapagos and is awesome if you enjoy wildlife (mammals reptiles and birds), diverse environment, snorkelling and trekking.  

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Snorkelling off kicker rock, swimming with sealions and turtles, seeing all the tortoises, penguins, rays, iguanas close up and hammerhead sharks were superb but I think the frigate birds males dispalying on their nests took the prime position.  The trek was totally different and felt very pioneering, especially sleeping next to a live volcano!  

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader Pablo was superb from all aspects.  He was knowledgeable and passionate about his country, able to communicate effectively but not overload us.  Pablo ensured we got the most out of our trip and really cared about us.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This trip is not for the fainthearted.  It is great value for money as there are many early starts, you need to be flexible and accept that if you are in the only hotel on a small island it will not be 5* accommodation but 5* experience and views.  The food was very healthy withh locally sourced seafood, steak and chicken along with loads of fruit.  There are long and fast speedboat trips between islands, up to 3hrs but you get used to them as there is no other option because there are no airports on some islands. If you go before December you really need a full wetsuit and they are pretty cheap from Osprey as hiring did not seem to be simple.  Keep some space for Inca type gifts from the markets.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The only downside was the Iberia Airlines which were not too bad on the way out with a direct flight from Madrid although the headphones did not work on a lot of peoples sets and the system kept breaking down. On the way back the flight was changed to an indirect flight via Guayaquil which is the opposite direction, we then had to get off the aircraft for an hour, the plane was then delayed for an hour. On the final leg from Madrid to Heathrow there was no seating plan (even though our tickets said we had seats) and we had to get on early to get our seats (although we only found that out as we boarded), the only food and drink available one had to pay for.  Do not fly Iberia they have been taken over by BA.
  • Reviewed December 2011
    Anonymous
    So much seen and done without feeling rushed.  Great balance of activities.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing a shooting star, making a wish and ...  watch this space!!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Zahier was very knowledgable and his English exceptional.  He quickly got to know the group and assisted us in any way he could.I knew my food choices would be limited being vegetarian and not eating bread, but once he understood this, he went out of his way to make sure I was catered for.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Ask to see the Citadel if you have spare time on the last day back in Amman - I did it on my own as I flew out early, but well worth the visit...  Check weather at time of travel - don't assume because it's in the desert it's hot all the time in the day!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The trip notes (which I know are being updated) doesn't do the trip justice.  The longest cycle day has the most amazing roads I have ever cycled on.
  • Reviewed December 2011
    Anonymous
    A great adventure - but everyone on this trip was ill - some seriously. The teahouses / lodges don't care for you like the the cooks do on a camping trip. Some to the lodges didn't even meet third world standards for hygiegne - Gokyo being the worst example.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    To get up close and personnal with Mount Everest. I guess the view from Gokyo Ri was the highlight.The guys and girls on the trip were also worth the fare. Some people really suffered on this trip - but everyone rallied round and supported everyone else.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Pasang was a top man - no one could have done more for us.Somehow we caught the last plane out of Kathmandu and the first plane back. Pasang's persuasion and the Exodus buying power saved us from days of delays that other trekkers suffered.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't stay in teahouses or lodges - find a trek that still offers camping as an option. This was my fifth trek in Nepal - the previous four being camping trips - and I never had any stomach problems. The Cook and his helpers won't poison you - for frear of losing the tip. That might sound a glib comment but it is the truth - whereas some of the owners of teahouses couldn't care less - because by the next morning you'll be on the trail with the shits.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It may well be financial considerations that have made camping treks redundant - but if the teahouses offer unsanitary conditions and an almost guarantee for illness why bother to subject yourself to this - after all this is supposed to be a vacation.I have never ever complained before about either Exodus or KE Adventure trips I have been on - you don't trek unless you are prepared to accept something less than 5 star - but the sanitary conditions in some of the teahouses we endured were beyond a joke - and the high level of illness endured by the group confirmed this.

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We are really sorry that Peter was unwell during his trek, although we would like to assure future clients that it is extremely rare for a whole group to become ill; generally the food hygiene in the teahouses in the Everest region is good. Our base manager, Valerie Parkinson, has visited all the teahouses we work with in the past couple of years and she is confident that they adhere to good standards of cleanliness, but we regularly sent staff on quality control trips to ensure that these standards are being maintained.

  • Reviewed December 2011
    Anonymous
    The holiday was everything I'd hoped for and more!  We explored the natural world alongside the archaeological, historical and religious splendours, all ably explained by our local guide Nguyen.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I particularly loved our overnight stay in a wooden boat touring Halong Bay, soon after our arrival in Hanoi - and also enjoyed the leisurely 3 nights in Hoi An: a historical centre and a shoppers' paradise!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nguyen was a gem - very enthusiastic and knowledgeable and full of energy!  He was a mine of information about all things historical and did his best to enable us to have an excellent holiday.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Watch your personal possessions!  Leave valuables and passport in the hotel safe. Muggers are about in the major cities!  Also take care to check your change - mistakes (sometimes intentional!) are made.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I'd recommend this trip, but it's 'full on' so you need to be fit enough to cope with getting on and off buses, boats, trains, bicycles, planes and walking on wobbly pavements!  Packing and unpacking is necessary on almost a daily basis!  However, that said the pace of the trip enables a truly memorable travelling experience.
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