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 November 2011
    Anonymous

    DISCOVER SRI LANKA

    Having not done a holiday like this before I didn't know what to expect but it surpassed all my expectations, every day brought the most amazing experiences or stunning landscape - it was truly spectacular!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There are way too many to name just one inspirational moment - standing on top of Sigiriya Rock, watching and feeding the elephants at the elephant orphanage, The World's End at Horton Planes, the train ride to Banadarawela, the stunning tea plantation landscape and the wonders of Yala National Park name just a few of the amazing moments we experienced on this fantastic holiday.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Roshan was excellent, organised, easy going, knowledgeable and friendly - the perfect tour leader and a leader that got no end of compliments from the seasoned group travellers from within the group!  An excellent tour leader who helped make the holiday what it was.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take good walking shoes, plenty of shorts for the walking portions of the holidays (though for the temples you need to cover your shoulders and your knees).  Ladies you may want to take a dress and chaps may want to pop a jacket into the mix for one of the evening meals (I'm not sure that the accommodation is the same all of the time but you may just need it). Take plenty of deet bug spray and lots of memory cards for your cameras.  Beware of local animals - especially at the hotel on the South Coast - don't leave items un attended on sun beds or put put items of clothing out to dry on the ground floor terraces as you may find the animals take a liking to them and you won't see them again (I lost my walking shoes!).

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was an absolutely stunningly, amazingly, spectacular trip and has totally given me the travel bug.  I can't wait to head off again and see more of the world.  The island of Sri Lanka is beautiful in every way, the group I travelled with and the tour leader made every moment special, the food and the accommodation were great.  Once you arrive you'll not want to leave.
  • Reviewed November 2011
    Anonymous

    THE SILK ROAD

    Exciting trip, enjoyed the rail and bus travel, with the local people, through spectacular scenery, the desert cities, especially Kashgar, where there is a terrific buzz. Would have liked more time in Kashgar, actually.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The optional trip, which I suggested, along the Karakoram Highway, to Lake Karakul. To see the lake and the snow-covered mountains was like a dream come true. Of the planned trip, the Crescent Lake in Dunhuang was wonderful, as were the sand-dunes. The animal market in Kashgar..... the wall at Jaiyuguan, with the snow-covered mountains in the distance....making contact with local people, especially in Xinjiang...saying "Salaam aleikum"....

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both leaders were very knowledgeable, and really wanted us to have a great trip in their country. However,  it was a difficult group to lead, as there were tensions between some group members, which was obviously hard for the leaders to deal with.The leader we met, for the final evening, when we arrived back in Beijing, should have been given a lot more information about us and our flights, times, transfers, terminals etc. He knew absolutely nothing, and this led to some real anxieties and more tension! It was really quite shambolic! Although all ended well.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    GO FOR IT! Bring your own mug, teabags, coffee for train journeys.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would do the whole thing again tomorrow! But with a harmonious group! Some people, however, were disappointed that they could not visit Tienanmen Square, as it was closed for a bike-race. The leader should have  known this , and made alternative arrangements for this visit. Some of the optional tours we found too expensive. For example, a visit to the Beijing Opera for the two of us, almost £60, was excessive, as was the visit to a village, with lunch, which set us back £50. We felt that the optional day-time trips were very good, but  should have been included in the itinerary. And why were all the toilets at the yurt camp at Heavenly Lake, locked??
  • Reviewed November 2011
    Anonymous

    THE INCA TRAIL

    First time travelling with Exodus....certainly will not be the last!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Being woken up at 4.45am one morning in the cold with a cup of tea from the porters.  We were above the clouds and got up to watch the sunrise over snow capped mountains with a blanket of cloud below us.  Dont see that every day!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Could not have asked for a better guide.  Juan Manuel Diaz was lively, funny and chock full of information both local and about Inca civilization. There was nothing we asked he did not have an answer for.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This was the first time I have been camping.  Personally did not get on with a 'mummy' sleeping bag, friends insist on them but I found it claustrophobic and cramped.  Other than that had a whale of a time.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thoroughly enjoyed the trek, had a great group with 9 other trekkers, 2 of them were friends that travelled with me but by the end of it we were all friends anyway.  The sight of Maccu Picchu when we walked through the sungate was astounding, after a 4 day trek we had made it!!  Also we were very lucky with the weather, I think we had only about 2 hours of rain in total.
  • Reviewed November 2011
    Anonymous

    THE INCA TRAIL

    Sometimes it's not the destination, but the journey.  So many views, so many memories. Take lots of pictures, because when you look back on them, you'll smile.  It makes me want to try out the other Treks now!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the Sun Gate and seeing Machu Picchu.  It's a lot bigger than the photos suggest and you realise the enormity of effort that was required to build the place.The Cloud Forest... the Inca Tunnel... Dead Woman's Pass... Waking up at 3.6km high and (as we were the only campers) having Phuyapatamarca to ourselves!  The list goes on...

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fabrizzio was friendly, informative and sooo laid back that he put everyone at their ease.  Ricardo was really helpful and had an infectious enthusiasm for the flora and fauna that seemed to rub off on the group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring playing cards or a book, as there's nothing to do after dinner!  We ended up going to bed at 9pm, as there's not a lot to do on the mountain in the dark.Bring plenty of waterproof bags to seal in dirty laundry when you pack them in the duffle bag.Walking poles are optional, but I brought some for the first time and I think they helped me immensely.  I'd certainly be a lot more tired had I not used them.Take spare camera batteries (I took 3),  You'll regret it when it comes to the moment when you want to take pictures... and you can't! You won't get a chance to recharge batteries until the 4th night of the Trek.If you're thinking of buying a sleeping bag for the trip and are not sure when you'd next use it, I'd recommend hiring one from Exodus (currently £25, including liner).  I never felt cold in them and didn't have to worry about packing them for the rest of the trip.Don't go mad and buy souvenirs on the first day.  You'll probably find them cheaper elsewhere, or wait until you come back to Cusco and buy them on the last day.Take a swimming costume if you want to go to the 'hot springs' in Aguas Calientes on the last night.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The food on the Trail was fantastic, given the circumstances.  Top marks to the cook for his inventiveness!The porters on the trip are like supermen.  How they do it is mind-boggling.  They earn every penny of their pay (and tips)!Once you get to the Sun Gate, you sadly realise that the trek is nearly over.  Once you're actually in Machu Picchu, you realise you're mixing with tourists who took the train/coach to the place and the special moment feels lost and very commercial!  Top marks to Exodus for scheduling the dawn approach.The train journey from Aguas Calientes back to Cusco has to be taken to be believed.  It was such fun.  Try sipping your drink without spilling it!We also did the Lake Titicaca and Amazon Rainforest trip:I found the Lake Titicaca experience a bit of a disappointment, as you're only on the lake for one morning of the entire trip and of the 2 floating islands we visited that morning, the 2nd was just a market (and nothing else).  The whole 'floating island' experience felt very commercial and somewhat fake.The Amazon Rainforest trip though is thoroughly recommended!  The Night excursions were brilliant and the trek into the forest a great experience.
  • Reviewed November 2011
    Anonymous

    THE POLISH HIGH TATRAS

    Overall I thought this was an excellent holiday with good walking and views, excellent huts and food, a good group and a first-class leader.   

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The highlight for me was Day 5 in the heart of the Tatras: varied and challenging walking as well as great views.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The leader did an excellent job.  Theresa is very knowledgeable about the area and she engaged well with all members of the party and was good fun to be with.    

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be ruthless about the amount and weight you are carrying.  You can leave stuff at Zakopane and really because you are walking from hut to hut you do not need much.  

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The arrangements in the hotel in Krakow were not brilliant though I enjoyed the city itself greatly.
  • Reviewed November 2011
    Anonymous

    EVEREST BASE CAMP & GOKYO LAKES

    Truely the hardest but the most amazing trip I've ever done...the wonderful memories will stay with me forever.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were many but to list a few....the amazing flight from Kathmandu to Lukla and seeing the Himalayas above the clouds at sunrise; my first view of amazing Everest; trekking past the beautiful Gokyo lakes during snowfall; reaching the summit of Gokyo Ri with amazing Himalayan views (so tough but so worth it); meeting successful Everest summitters, a real honour; the wonderful snapshots of Himalayan life along the way.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    10/10! Lhakpa was attentive, informative, caring and supportive, a fantastic team leader. Him and our other guides, Kaji, Kami and Nima, were all wonderful and all brought different strengths to the group.They worked together as a fantastic team to allow us all to achieve our dreams and goals, always friendly, kind and optimistic along the way.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    First of all, if you are reading these reviews wondering if you should book this trip then...yes! Do it! Now! And, definitely, if you can, book the Gokyo lakes trip as opposed to basic base camp as the lakes are stunning and you get to see more of this wonderful region. If you are comparing Exodus to other companies then all I can say is I could not fault them, would heartily recommend them to friends and definitely book with them again. I was pleased I stayed in teahouses as opposed to camping and it was good that we were able to choose our meals as opposed to getting set meals cooked for us. The sleeping bag I hired through Exodus was fab and I wasn't at all cold at night (and I really feel the cold)...I had the sleeping bag, a silk liner and also a metal water bottle which I could get filled with boiling water every night and put in a sock to act as a brilliant hot water bottle. It is really worth taking a camelbak/platypus for easy hydration on the go.  I would recommend Icebreaker (or other merino wool) thermal baselayers to keep you toasty warm and to take multiple base layers as well as a good fleece and down jacket as the temperatures vary a lot. Take a good thin pair of liner gloves so you don't need to have bare hands and don't have to take your gloves off every time to do something. Take lots of hand gel and over-use it, we all did and none of us got tummy bugs. People who had UK mobiles found they worked better than those who had Nepalese sims and we got reception some of the time when trekking so we could call and text home, even at base camp! Be aware of the weight restrictions for the Lukla flight - 12kg for hold luggage and 3kg for hand luggage so weigh and prioritise before you go (and you can leave some changes of clothes and other bits safely at the hotel in Kathmandu). Read as much about Everest and the region before you go to fully appreciate the wonder of the region.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just ask questions, take photos and soak in every moment (and start a kitty for the next trip as, as soon as you get home, you'll want to go straight back to the mountains again!)
  • Reviewed November 2011
    Anonymous

    CLASSIC RAJASTHAN

    My first trip to northern India, and it was a great introduction to the sights, sounds and smells of Rajasthan. Nice group, really good hotels, and ticked off all the major boxes while including a few surprises.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Hard to say as there were so many, but either riding with the locals on the little rural train from Deogarh or watching the Diwali fireworks from a rooftop restaurant in Udaipur then running the gauntlet of the firecrackers in the winding streets afterwards! I also found the trip to the bear sanctuary was very inspirational - it's good to know there are people out there who devote themselves to helping these amazing animals.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Khaled was well organised and knew how to deal with a mixed group of people well. His local knowledge was very good, and he was always making sure we were enjoying the trip. The only downside was he sometimes tried to dissuade restaurant staff from making our food too spicy, even when we wanted a bit of a kick to our curries!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't ask the tour leader how long it's going to take to get from one place to the other - it's practically impossible to say how long it takes to cover a set distance in India unless you're on foot!Although you'll mainly be eating in good quality restaurants, take some rehydration salts and immodium just in case.Be prepared for some unique hotels - we stayed in some incredible fortresses and palaces - but remember that this kind of hotel may not be as clean and have all the same facilities or standards of service as your average identikit 5-star hotel. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you want to experience India with an added bit of luxury, then this is the trip for you. Ideal as a first-time trip, especially if you're slightly worried about diving headfirst into the hustle and bustle.
  • Reviewed November 2011
    Anonymous

    MOUNTAINS & VILLAGES OF EVIA

    Aa unexpectedly warm,relaxing, informative, friendly, November walking break

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    View of the sea, port,harbour from the bedroom window/balcony.Picking nuts and oranges from trees along the roadside.Discovering Evia.I've never experienced such tasty and varied Greek food before.All home grown and home made to family recipes.Swimming in the (cold) sea in November (it had to be done).

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Thanos was attentive to every individual need,learnt our names fast, was enthusiastic and informative.He worked hard on our behalf.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Walks mainy downhill,with lots of stones,so take a stick.As advertised, the walking is not strenuous so enjoy the chance to take in the scenery, and relax.Take a snack on walks without picnics.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    So nice to have everything arranged, especially when high winds resulted in the ferries being cancelled, no problem, Thanos sorted it out.
  • Reviewed November 2011
    Anonymous

    EVEREST BASE CAMP

    Had a wonderful time. The scenery was even more inspiring than i had imagined and the size of the mountains and valleys were awesome. 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Watching the sun come up over Everest and Nuptse from Kala Patther (5550m) and knowing i had achieved everything i had set out to do.Also looking at Everest Base Camp and thinking of all the dreams that had been achieved and the heartache it had caused.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Due to adverse weather in Lukla we were delayed 6 days. We had Sherpa Nima who took us sight seeing in Kathmandu and was there to answer any questions / queries we had (as well as showing us some excellent local restaurants). He was also excellent in the mountains and answered all the questions we had. Nothing was too much for him and he was also a very funny guy.He certainly made our trip even more enjoyable with his sense of humour and knowledge. A great wee guy & a credit to the exodus team.We also had lead guide Asay who like Nima was a very funny guy who couldn’t do enough for you. He would wake us every morning with a cup of black tea and a huge smile. Like Nima very knowledgeable guy who spoke good English.Again another credit to exodus.Also have to mention our Yak driver Fhurer (spl). He didn’t speak much English but we had some good laughs with him especially our last night in Lukla in the waves bar. Another great guy who liked a game of pool and a dance -lol 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do not buy expensive trekking gear in the UK. Take boots & socks only, all other trekking gear can be bought in the Tammal area at very reasonable prices (Decent gear at a fraction of uk prices and you’ll enjoy the banter with the locals over prices).Same goes for toiletries. Travel with bare essentials from uk and you can stock up at he local supermarket across the road from the Royal Singii hotel at a fraction of uk prices.This way you save money and your kit bag is a lot lighter on the way out.At the end of our trip we donated a lot of gear to the Exodus porter scheme which will allow the porters to get the use of trekking gear that you will not be using regularly back home.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The driving in Kathmandu is a must see and you’ll not believe how bonkers it is. Jump in a taxi and ask the driver to take you the monkey temple via Tammal (have your video camera handy). Sit in the front if you can and enjoy the ride - you’ll love it.Due to fog / mist in lukla & Kathmandu we were delayed by 1 week from starting our original trip. In this time we were offered several alternatives which would allow us to meet our timescales for flights back home. As we were doing the trip for charity we opted out of these alternative trips and Exodus were very helpful. They paid for all our additional accommodation in Kathmandu and arranged our new flights back home and no extra cost to us. They were very helpful in dealing with any queries we had and i would thoroughly recommend them to anyone.    Weather permitting you'll get approx 1.5 days in Kathmandu. Check out Tammal area, Monkey Temple & Durba Square - all worth seeing. These can be easily reached either by walking or a short taxi trip. You can even hire the taxi driver for the day for 1000NRPs (approx £9).
  • Reviewed November 2011
    Anonymous

    ANNAPURNA SANCTUARY

    Excellent trip. Delivered beyond my expectations. The scenery was amazing and the staff all very helpful and made trip really enjoyable. Definitely recommend this trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Amazing views of Annapurna from Poon Hill in the evening as well as sunrise. Plus sunrise at Annapurna base camp definitely leave you in awe.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Dawa was a great group leader. He ensured everyone was having a good time. When travel plans needed to change due to bad weather he organised alternative transport straight away so all went smoothly and we didn't miss a thing.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Only take what you need. Ideally the porters should carry no more than 12kg for each traveller. I did not know this before I went.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Brilliant trip. Also check out the apple crumble at Ghorepani brilliant.
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