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 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.
  • Reviewed October 2011
    Anonymous

    WALKING IN SARDINIA

    A chance to do some lovely walking and meet some like minded people. 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Loved the last 3 walks in particular, each offering a chance to experience different aspects of the area.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The leader did a fantastic job making sure that all group members had a good time/had their needs considered.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Dorgali is only a small town so be prepared to make plans to either explore further afield or take books etc. entertain yourself on the rest day.
  • Reviewed October 2011
    Anonymous

    LYCIAN ACTIVITY WEEK

    Wasn't sure what to expect from a Solo Travellers Holiday, but after being recommended Exodus by a good friend I was happily surprised by my experience. The flights/airport sections were well managed (luggage tags were a good idea to get some early doors snooping done) and the hotel was nice enough...perfect for a place to rest your head after a long active day, close to town, well staffed and well maintained.The activities were well organised and great fun...but the real highlight was the group of people I was with...really made it the best experience...everywhere we went we all stuck together (for the most part) and enjoyed it together... 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Definitely the Canyoning...abseiling down a 55m waterfall was EPIC...advice to people doing that trip late on in the season...it can get v. cold when you're in a big group and waiting for people to move forward...a hot flask of tea wouldn't go amiss ;-)

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Maho was a good guy, very organised and knowledgeable, always felt safe with him wherever we went. However, he did repeat everything 2 or 3 times, which got a little tedious after a while...also he started the week briefing us about the next day's activities in the evenings asking us all to meet for an hour to go through things...I felt this was unneccesary as we were all together on the bus returning from activities, that would've been the perfect time to talk about the next day and then our free time in the evening becomes more flexible.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The advice on the Exodus site is spot on...they do forget to mention the Mosque loudspeakers...you get used to them after a couple of days, but it you're not a fan of 4.30am wake-up calls...you should definitely take earplugs!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Where are we going next?
  • Reviewed October 2011
    Anonymous

    TRAILS OF VIETNAM

    Well organised. Our guide was fantastic through out. The trip never flagged even though we had some long bus trips. The diversity of scenery and weather made every day interesting. Would go back.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Halong Bay was a place apart. Would happily have spent another day or so there. Loved the faded granduer oh Hoi An and ofcourse it is a shoppers paradise. Also thought Hanoi and HCM City were buzzing.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Best guide I have had in 30 odd years of travelling. Never met a guy so hell bent on making sure every one was happy. As I am over 60, the trek up the mountain(hill to younger mortals)was hard and exacerbated by the heat and humidity but I did it and that night as I happily lay on my mattress in the long house, Phong came over and gave me a resuscitating back massage! How is that for looking after your brood ?

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Drink more water than you think has satisfied you and don't overpack your suit case when you leave London other wise you will be ditching stuff to accomodate what you cannot resist buying in Vietnam.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I hope every one who undertakes this trip enjoys it as much as my daughter and I did.
  • Reviewed October 2011
    Anonymous

    HIGHLIGHTS OF BOTSWANA

    This was a superb holiday in every sense of the word.  Stunning scenery, amazing wildlife, some great campsite locations and the usual well-organised and friendly local team catering to our every need.  If you are thinking of doing this holiday then stop thinking and start doing.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Impossible to pick just one.  A few specific moments stand outWalking with lions on the activity day in ZambiaStanding in front of the Victoria Falls on the Zimbabwe sideElephants at sunset on the Chobe river cruiseSeeing a leopard on a fresh killWild camping in Moremi (with hippos in the pool behind the tents!) and in the salt pans (truly the most surreal camping location I have ever been to)  

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sam is an excellent Group Leader.  Nothing was too much trouble and he also took the time to take a group of us over into Zimbabwe on his day off, which I highly recommend doing at low water time as you see the falls much better than from the Zambia side.  He is also an excellent cook, even complying with our requests for weird food like eggy bread.!Jame was our wildlife guide and driver and made a huge difference to the experience on this holiday with the quality and quantity of wildlife spotting. Even on the day when he'd driven all day with no break due to a problem with one of the vehicles he still insisted on taking us for a sunset drive so we didn't miss the hippo pools.Bruce and James made up the team and both worked tirelessly and cheerfully in the background to ensure that we got the full relaxing experience of "full service camping" which is after all why many people pick this trip!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Stick with the Exodus kit list and you can't go far wrong.  We were there during the hot dry season but even so I was glad of a three sesaon sleeping bag on the salt pans.  The zip-off style of trousers and the lightweight safari shirts are great and you have chances to rinse out clothes on most days so don't overpack!  Take plenty of wet wipes and insect repellant.  You do get the chance to shower most days and in some places (Audi camp for example) the facilities are excellent. I took walking boots and wished I hadn't as they weren't really necessary, trainers would have been fine.  Sandals are a must.  You may get the chance to swim while in the Delta so at the very least take shorts and a t-shirt that you can swim in when you pack your "smaller bag" for the Delta.You get the chance to buy souvenirs on the last day at a shop which is literally right outside the airport so no need to do it early and lug stuff around with you unless you see something really unusual. Take plenty of US Dollars for Zambia.  No-one uses any other currency and if you have enough to pay for your trips in cash then you don't get the 5% credit card surcharge.  ATMs out on the road in Botswana are a bit hit and miss so do take advantage of the ones in Maun before you leave! If you have a DSLR take a decent zoom lens if you can.  Mine was 55-250 and I think 300 would have been better though I was quite pleased with some of the photos.  Charging is no problem as the vehicle has an inverter and an adaptor box with half a dozen outlets.  If you still have the two pin mains lead with the narrow plug shape that comes with most cameras these days then take it as it will fit directly into the adaptor box.  Otherwise you need a round pin South African adaptor.Travelling in the vehicle in the early morning is cold - make sure you have a fleece top and long trousers.  Some of the travelling from place to place was hot and dusty so buy sweets and drinks before you set out.  Jelly babies don't survive several days of 40 degree heat though!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The only even slightly negative point on the trip was the age and condition of some of the equipment used, namely the camp beds (which need chucking out!) and the matresses (which would be better if they were replaced with slightly thicker ones and used on their own without the beds).  We did also suffer three punctures and two vehicle breakdowns.  However despite this the local team worked very hard to make sure that the slight delays suffered did not adversely affect our enjoyment and it's all credit to them that it did not.There were 11 of us in our group and I thought this was a good number.  I'm not sure if it's just something about anyone who'd be mad enough to pick a camping safari in Africa but we all got on well and the overall group dynamic greatly added to the enjoyment of the holiday for me. I'm not sure it would have had the same atmosphere with a small group.Overall an excellent holiday.  My third with Exodus and it certainly won't be my last!
  • Reviewed October 2011
    Anonymous

    HIGHLIGHTS OF MOROCCO

    A holiday with everything, sun,sea,Sahara, markets, bartering & Shopping!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    How our great group pulled together in Auberge Sahara when everyone was falling ill. Everyone Selena acting as mum, Husein our guide sorting out the hospital, the Auberge Sahara staff accommodating us every way possible. The group members who gave up a morning visit for others & helped their fellow travellers in everyday possible. It was the spirit of this group.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Hussein organised so well but we took advantage plenty of times. I think he just gave in especially at the Berber clinic. It was meant to take 15 mins but took 45 & gave some us some of his mint tea! Taking our crew in to a shop you could double the time needed. When a lot of us fell sick he did everything he could. Always in great humour. We were sad not for him not to see us off at the airport!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Carry diarolyte & baby wipes plus a spare camera. Travel light if you love shopping. Be prepared for a truly exhausting trip because you will see so much & experience wonderful things like a lunch we had in Fez which resembled a private home but was a restaurant from Ali Baba, truly magic.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Casablanca has the mosque, Fez the shopping, Auberge Sahara fantastic staff, rooms to die for, pool & the Sahara in the backyard. The Atlas mountains with incredible views, Todra gorge with its towering walls, Essouira at dawn for it's harbour photos & evening sunset plus the wonderful Riad where we had the best meal of the trip. Casablanca & it's tee total hotel with fantastic rooms & swimming pool plus the great chicken sandwiches plus Place de f'na enjoyed particularly at dusk from an upstairs bar.The folks you share your trip with, if you are lucky enough to have mixed bunch like ours, it will be trip you will never forget. You get through the stomach bugs when you have people like we had. The sunsets & sunrises on this trip are truly special. Having your dinner by candlelight in the desert, sleeping under the stars & enjoying "English tea" in a Muslim country.
  • Reviewed October 2011
    Anonymous

    THE TROPICAL SOUTH

    Good balance between visits, free time, etc. Well organsided - liked the short stops on route like the brickmaking etc. Hotels and transport were higher standrd than expected.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Difficlut to pick - there were sevaral between sceenry/geography, food, people.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Could miss the night at the Coir village - would have liked to have done a train trip.
  • Reviewed October 2011
    Anonymous

    INCA TRAIL, TITICACA & NAZCA

    We did the inca trail, titicaca and nazca trip but with the moonstone trek instead of the inca trail. It was an amazing trip and i can't recommend the moonstone trek highly enough if you are a walker/camper. The whole trip was jam packed and if anything i would have liked to slow down a bit - but that's not possible when you've only got 16 days to see a country as amazing as Peru.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Best bit of the trip without doubt was the moonstone trek, and the night on the high plateau after the highest pass on the trip. That campsite was very special... but then so was the following night on the inca terracing over the sacred valley...

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Juan our group leader for the whole trip was fantastic, absolutely great guy, full of energy and enthusiasm and just so easy to spend time with.Jesus our trek leader was also a really great guide.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Peru doesn't seem to have weather as we know it - it has so many microclimates you can be boiling hot and freezing in the same hour nevermind day so particularly if you do the moonstone trek you'll need to pack for everything from shorts/tshirts/sandals to snow!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Great to meet so many local people on this trip and so many community run tourism enterprises. I really felt like our money was well spent in the country directly with local people in the highlands.
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