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 October 2011
    Anonymous

    LEBANON LONG WEEKEND

    A good mix of the new and the old  - and of well organised visits and free time.  We did a lot in three days (and one evening) without it getting tiring.  Excellent tour leader.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Baalbek was stunning but I also enjoyed the late afternoon stroll round Anjar - less to see but just right after the overwhelming experience at Baalbek.I'd been to Beirut before but enjoyed it much more second time around, helped by the informative city walk with Reem, our tour leader. 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Reem was an excellent local leader with a very nice manner.  She grew up in Beirut and knows a lot but doesn't impose her views.  She is serious about her work but also good at ensuring we also enjoy ourselves.  It was great at the historical sites to have a leader who knew so much but could also judge how much to tell you and how much to leave for our questions.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Before I went that I noticed an earlier review that criticises the tour heavily for a lack of tour leadership.  I think it is good to have it pointed out that there is a fair bit of free time but for me this wasn't a tour where we needed the tour leader to organise the evenings.   Mind you, everyone in Beirut tells you everywhere is a short walk away.  Fortunately I enjoyed the sometimes long walks that then ensued!My only disappointment was that I wanted to see the National Museum of Beirut (especially after visiting Byblos where some of the exhibits come from) but this is impossible as the free daytime in Beirut is on a Monday, when the museums are closed.We were lucky to get what was probably the last of the year's really hot days - you do need to take sun protection seriously.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Worth considering whether to stay on in Beirut for a day or two after the tour if you have the time.
  • Reviewed October 2011
    Anonymous

    DELHI TO KATHMANDU

    I had a fabulous time during this trip, we did and saw so much! India is a crazy but very touching country and Nepal is quieter and it was a peaceful week. It's worth every pound.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I was really touched by the evening prayers in the bank of the Ganges, a spiritual and unforgetable moment.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader was a really great guy, considerate and friendly. I will never forget him.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do not forget your sanitizer gel : )
  • Reviewed October 2011
    Anonymous

    ATLAS PANORAMA

    This was the first time I had tried a holiday of this type, and I would certainly book similar in the future. The balance of city and rural life, guided tours and independant time are ideal. The gite on this trip was not as basic as our group had envisaged - and the food was a delight. If fact so good we told Hasan he should provide a recipe book.  

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Hmmm.....Loved watching the traffic in Marrakech and eating dinner in the square at night.The village in the mountains, where life is slow, but people are self sufficient; they don't appear to have much, but on my return to life in Marrakech I know which life I would chose. The call to prayer in the mountains.Meeting Mohammed and the donkey on the first day for a picnic lunch.The 20 mile walk on the last day. The group of people we were with.  

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Hasan was perfect. He spoke very good English, had a great sense of humour and was very informative about local and Morrocan culture. He explained the itinery well. He joined in with our group and is a whiz at Uno! 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Ensure you have waterproofs. When it rains its cold rain! and you can lose body heat very quickly.Purchase Dirhams at the airport, or at a cash machine. I took Euros as per the information on the website, but Dirhams are more widely used.Take a pack of cards/games and a book for the evenings. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There were ten people in our group, with an age range from 17 - 59, I was worried before booking about who would be on the trip. But now I wouldn't hesitate booking again. Irrelevant of people travelling as individuals or couples, of their age or occupation - they book a trip like this as they enjoy the same experiences as you so.... If you are sitting with your hand over the "Book Now" button - go for it!
  • Reviewed October 2011
    Anonymous

    CYCLE THE CAMINO DE SANTIAGO

    This was a really great trip- the history of the Camino, interesting towns, the Galician countryside, some reasonably challenging climbs and a good group of people who got on well.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Arriving in Santiago, but also the days we climbed up to O Cebreiro and cycling through the Galician country lanes.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nacho and Jaime were both excellent and looked after the group really well, and with a great sense of humour.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you like historic cities, consider staying an extra day in Santiago at the end. For those of us who cycled on the last afternoon, we only had an evening there which isn't time to have a good look round.
  • Reviewed October 2011
    Anonymous

    LYCIAN ACTIVITY WEEK

    A fantastic and varied week in an incredibly beautiful part of Turkey. Great group, great guides and really well organised activities, despite some weather problems at the start of our trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Either kayaking over the sunken city in beautiful surroundings, or surviving the canyoning trip!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ozghur was knowledgable about the history of the area, always ready to help with anything we wanted and brilliant at persuading us to get out in the evenings even when our aching limbs suggested that we'd rather go to bed!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take absolutely all the kit you think you might need, including gloves, padded shorts, waterproofs and earplugs for the mosque. Also be prepared to grab some sleep when and where you can - after long days the bars and restaurants of Kas are still too tempting!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We had a terrible flight out to Turkey in a storm, and were delayed for several hours so didn't reach our hotel until nearly midnight on the first night. Despite this, our guides and the hotel staff were friendly, welcoming and attended to all our needs despite probably having had to wait around most of the day for us. Although not a good start, this made us feel like we were in good hands. Our first activity of the holiday (the walk up the gorge) was also a non-starter due to flooding (one of our group was nearly washed away!), and it was a shame that there was no alternative and that we therefore missed out on this, but the weather was extreme so there was little that could be done about this. All in all though, this was my first activity holiday and it couldn't have been better - would definitely go again!
  • Reviewed October 2011
    Anonymous

    MOUNTAINS & VILLAGES OF EVIA

    well up to Exodus' usual high standards. Lovely island, warm welcome. good walking with plenty of interest. exexcellent robust rustic food with plenty of choice

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Probably climbing up to the ancient Imperial Roman marble querries - a fantastic location and fascinating historical tale.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Thanos was an excellent leader - nothing too much trouble and he took very good care of us.  his love and enthusiasm for Evia was evident in all his stories and tales about its history.
  • Reviewed October 2011
    Anonymous

    Highlights of Turkey

    Turkey is an amazing country and this tour gives a comprehensive taste of much of what there us to experience - friendly people, great food (despite one or two exceptions), amazing archaeological sites and architecture, art, landscapes and weather (again, in the main!). Really great trip for those who expect a lot from their travels. You will probably feel that you didn't have enough time there, i certainly did.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Difficult to pin-point; as a lover of landscapes, i really loved walking bare foot on Pamukkale the naturally occurring terraces of carbonates deposited by hot springs (even though it was damp and over-cast, in fact for me that made it special); there were some really beautiful sunsets by the coast; and the eroded tufa landscape of Cappadocia is mind boggling (as are the homes past and present built in them). And some of the ruins are breath-taking, in particular the theater at Aspendos, the theater at Termessos shrouded in mountain cloud, the dizzy height of Pergamon, and the very intact stadium at Aphrodisias, i couldn't believe it. Then there are the beautiful mosques, the Byzantine mosaics, the impressive museums. And finally modern day treats of shopping in the baza and relazxing in a hamman. All fantastic.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I thought she was really nice, and very impressed with her knowledge both local and historical considering we went to so many places and Anatolia was peopled and governed by so many different cultures over the Millenia. She very rarely said 'I'm sorry I don't know' despite our many questions. Also this was my third trip with Exodus and this was the first time a group leader gave me a language lesson (an a4 sheet of numbers, useful phrases etc) and how to the pronounce them, it went a long way. She proposed very good restaurants for our meals, all the sub standard meals (3) that i had, i sourced myself!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Yes - pack a light waterproof mac, hat/ scarf / gloves and at least one warm jumper as there are sometimes thunderstorms and it gets cold. Food and especially drink were quite a bit more expensive then i'd anticipated. Buy a string for your sun glasses to hand round your neck you're always putting them on and taking them off! If you get travel sick make sure you bring tablets as some long days driving (fine though plenty of great landscape to see out of the window). Make sure you bring enough camera memory, on the last day i was having to edit to make room for new photos! Also unlike other trips there was no reading material on the bus, so make sure you have something.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I fed back to Exodus that my only disappointment was that there wasn't an option to hike in Cappadocia, even for an hour or two, which I would have loved. Perhaps they'll address this if enough people request it! Despite that I would still rate this trip as 5/5.
  • Reviewed October 2011
    Anonymous

    CYCLE NICARAGUA, COSTA RICA AND PANAMA

    I had absolutely the best time!!!  I'm still buzzing from this holiday and smile everytime I think of it.  I don't really class myself a cyclist (everyone I met at the airport massively played down their expert cycling ability!), but I am generally fit and cycle from time to time so was fine.  Despite being near the back on most of the hilly journeys, this was no issue and our leader encouraged us not to rush or race, and to enjoy the holiday and the scenery and I certainly didn't feel I had to hurry up and catch the others, despite the fact they were mainly ahead of me.  To spend two weeks wheeling around the central american countryside is a wonderful way to spend a holiday, it was beautiful, warm, warm even when it rained, the people were really lovely, I laughed non stop, we all bonded quickly, which isn't difficult when you have a group goal, the hotels were better than I expected (except 1 or 2), food was great/ok, and we were thoroughly looked after by the leader and the guides, in every aspect.Agree with Rita that some people might like more background/contextual information about the countries, although personally this didn't bother me, I just like the cycling, but some might prefer this, but to be fair to Rob, on every other aspect he was 110%, in terms of making sure we were comfortable, happy, healthy and had everything we needed. Please go on this trip if you want a challenging but feasible outdoor adventure.  If you're struggling, just have a bus day and talk in Spanglish to Luis!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I can't really decide, but there was a long up and down section in Costa Rica somewhere, I was miles away from everybody else (but a guide always behind, so you are always safe I hasten to add), had my ipod on (which we shouldn't really advocate as I guess that's a bit dangerous), and I was so happy I was almost dancing on my bicycle. I reached the others, saw the bus in the distance, and just collapsed with exhaustion and exhileration when I got to them.  I was a pathetic heap lying in the road, but very happy.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rob is organised, efficient, personable, social, and completely trustworthy.  He knows what people need (laundry, the right food, beer, sufficient breaks etc).  We didn't have to do a thing when it came to border crossings, hotels, or anything administrative. I think i lost a few brain cells on this trip as I didn't have to use them

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Thanks to my (experienced) room mate the following were indispensable:a pegless washing line, travel wash and a travel plug, a travel kettle, two mugs, and tea bags/coffee sachetsbring your own cereal if you struggle without a decent breakfast (sometimes iffy)Take cash, its just easier.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you're an 'up for it' person (like moi), and you don't mind the odd crappy breakfast, and you can laugh in the odd rainstorm, you will have a blast.  Don't be afraid of travelling solo, nearly everyone was, it made it even better.
  • Reviewed October 2011
    Anonymous

    PETRA & WADI RUM TREK

    Someone had said to me before I went to Jordan that I would fall in love with Jordan and I have to say after my trip there I have. 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking and camping in the desert for four nights. The tranquility, scenery, group, food and nights round the campfire will stay with me forever as will Zain with his hubbly bubbly! Mastering the art of putting up a tent!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Hasan was a wonderful guide and did everything to make sure all of us in the group enjoyed our trip.Hasan has so much knowledge and passion about his country. His stories round the campfire kept us all amused.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Wet wipes! Ankle support walking boots are also a must due to one of our group getting injured due to boots with no ankle support.  If you're a clean freak that can't cope without a shower for four days then this trip isn't for you.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I miss the desert so much and want to go back, I could easily spend a week there. Loved the camel ride (a must). Food was fantastic thanks to Zain's cooking skills. Miss the cake every morning for breakfast.
  • Reviewed October 2011
    Anonymous

    BHUTAN: CHOMOLHARI TREK

    A well designed trip, only compromised (but then enhanced) by a route change forced by heavy monsoon rains which had taken out four bridges on the normal descent route earlier in the year.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Visiting the Thimphu Tshechu, a wonderful fest of colours, national pride and ancient Buddhist tradition.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent, he was a credit to his country. Attentive, eager to share his knowledge on Bhutan, and caring.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Ear plugs for camp sites. Barking dogs and grazing animals disturbed a few nights.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    An enchanting country, one where TV was only introduced in 1999, where there are no traffic lights anywhere, a nation which measures its own success in terms of 'Gross National Happiness', and where the national dress is proudly worn almost everywhere. It has a very different landscape to other parts of the Himalaya, with verdant sub-alpine hills rising to snow-capped peaks on the Tibetan and Sikkim borders, and fortress like dzongs and monasteries punctuating the slopes everywhere. The warmth of welcome to foreigners, who've only been allowed to travel in the country since 1974, is genuine, and their gentle nature stems from the Buddhist way of life that most adhere to. It's a mystical place too. Tantric Buddhism overlaid on animist beliefs gives rise to some startling iconography in monasteries, and houses are painted with protective deities to ward off evil spirits, including giant phalluses. Prayer flags adorn the hillsides, and on trek you know that, somewhere up above you, there's a snow leopard watching you pass. Like many other Asian countries one can sense that modernisation will ultimately change the society here, but unlike their peers this is a nation with a clear plan, an inspired philosophy of actively encouraging natural and cultural conservation, of maintaining long held traditions, whilst driving development in a sympathetic and orderly way. I like Bhutan a lot. Do make the effort to get there if you can. Don't be dissuaded by the minimum $250 per day (from 2012) that has to be committed ($65 of this goes to the government to help fund development programmes, and the rest covers all expenses such as guide services, transport, accommodation and food), or the fact that you have to travel with a guide. It's a unique culture and a fine example of what an enlightened leadership can do for a nation. Check out http://www.colinstump.com/#/bhutan-2011/4556678854 for more.
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