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 March 2011
    Anonymous

    CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING: TRINS & THE THREE VALLEYS

    This was my first time to do a full week of cross country skiing and it was brilliant for a beginner, with loads of different tracks to try. And the multi grade meant my much more experienced friend could go with the Grade 2s and we could get back together at the end of the day, which worked really well.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Making it to the same restaurant for lunch as the Grade 2s on the last day, and then getting back to base not that long after them on the way back. And all without falling over.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our overall group leader was Bob, who was brilliant and obviously has fantastic local knowledge. And special mention to Gareth who got the short straw on our week and had to lead the beginners, which he did with endless patience and encouragement.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The Tirol is really lovely, and I really could not believe how few other skiers there were. This totally outweighed any concerns I might have had about having to get on a bus to get anywhere. Places that are a bit harder to get to are always worth it I guess. And the hotel was really lovely, so it didn't matter at all that there aren't other options in the evening in Trins.
  • Reviewed March 2011
    Anonymous

    RAJASTHAN DESERT ADVENTURE

    India was amazing; we experienced the contrasts of big cities & small rural villages.  Very colourful

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    the sight of the tiger so close to the jeep as we travelled through the game park

    What did you think of your group leader?

    helpful with local information & identification of wild life

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    we chose to go vegetarian for the whole trip, & enjoyed an impressive variety of food, & no upsets

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    wear comfortable leggings for the camel ride!
  • Reviewed March 2011
    Anonymous

    IN SEARCH OF THE SNOW LEOPARD

    My overall rating would have been a 5 'starrer', if we had seen a snow leopard. However, despite recent signs (pug marks, scrape areas and scats) all round our camp, we did not see one of these secretive cats. Anyway I had a great time. 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I enjoy seeing wild life and going to the diminishing pool of wild places. There were two of us on this tour who felt the same way about wild life. We both understood that the best chance of spotting a snow leopard or ounce was to be as unobtrusive as possible. On one day, we climbed to one of the recommended viewing peaks and sat in almost complete silence for nearly two hours. It was a joy to listen to the snow cocks, the yellow-billed choughs and the Chukkar partridges calling to one another. We saw golden eagles and lammergiers wheeling and circling in the bright blue sky. We heard the blue sheep whistling to each other as they came down to drink at a nearby stream. We were surrounded by snow peaked mountains and it was very beautiful. No ounces but a magical experience for both of us.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader Sohan was very good. He was friendly, knowledgeable and efficient. I favour using local guides because it helps the local economy and I feel that they get the best out of the local people. It also puts more attention in the conservation of local wild life. However, if there is 'the one' on the tour who demands more attention than the rest of the group, the poor old local guide has to put more effort into satisfying them rather than with the rest of the group. Sohan and all the other guides we had, were excellent but we did have 'that one'.  

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This tour is a very interesting one. However, it was very cold. Certainly our night temperatures were possibly nudging -20. You must have the right equipment. Good warm, waterproof boots, a good 5 season sleeping bag with mattress, warm clothing, thermal underwear, gloves, hats and a stick. I normally think walking sticks are a bind because I like to have my hands free for binoculars etc. However, on this tour a stick was essential. Gaiters are useful but I never used my yak-trax. Crossing icy rivers was hazardous and we did fall but putting on and then taking off the yak-trax took up too much effort. Remember the altitudes are high - up to 4200 meters. All exercise was exacting. Remember to take slipper socks for the monastery visits. Those floors and the floors of the hotel in Leh are freezing cold.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There is a lot to see on this trip. It is exacting with the altitude and extreme cold. I would like to mention that one of the factors I think that we did not see an ounce, was human chatter, laughter and unbelievably, at one point, shouting. One of the cats we were following left the track, possibly because of a local man traveling down the track on his mule from his village. Now these cats are used to that but they are not used to excited, noisy human chatter. There should be more emphasis on silence. I was rather dreading our stay in Delhi having been before. However, we decided to use the metro to get about. The Delhi metro is clean, cheap and very efficient. However, it is very crowded particularly at rush hour. If you use it, make sure that you are not boxed in at your exit station. Move up to the doors well in advance. Do not be afraid to push your way through. Everyone does. Ladies use the 'Ladies Only' carriage at the front of the train to avoid being 'groped'! Take a good map and travel to your site by 'tuk tuk' from the metro station. Good luck.
  • Reviewed March 2011
    Anonymous

    ANTARCTIC CIRCLE QUEST

    An amazing once in a lifetime trip- a spiritual place.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were so many the spectacular beauty of the scenery was breathtaking- sensory overload.I could have watched the penguins for hours, the seals were entertaining and the whales majestic. 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Woody was informative, witty and charming!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Seize the day!Save your pennies and go. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The trip was well organised and you are at the mercy of the weather and the wildlife.Take anti sea sickness medication with you and take it before you get sick in the Drake.Go to everything, do everything and sleep later! 
  • Reviewed March 2011
    Anonymous

    A WEEK IN JORDAN

    Great trip, good week.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking though the Siq at Petra and Petra itself. 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mo was superb.  Knowledgable, friendly, excellent English

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    May be difficult to use ATMs.  Take dollars or Jordanian Dinars (get them ordered on line before you go and collect at Heathrow)
  • Reviewed March 2011
    Anonymous

    ATLAS PANORAMA

    A week of contrasts - the hustle and bustle of Marrakesh with the peace and simplicity of the gite and walks in the mountains. 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    In Marrakesh -supper on the Jemaa El fna, and the sound of the call to prayer from the mosques. In the mountains - the almond blossom, playing football with a few local village children,the group supper in the gite tasting great after the walks, arriving at the lake for delicious lunch, and the achievement of comleting the 32km mountain walk.   

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Quiet at times, but he seemed much more at home in the mountains where his sense of humour came out and he seemed more relaxed. Knowledgeable when you asked questions about Morocco. Felt safe with his leadership in the mountains.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We decided that there's no need to buy water sterilising tabs, as they're expensive to buy and it would've been cheaper to just buy the water from the gite!Be ready to "rough" it ! Basic accommodation, but all you need. Just take plenty of warm layers to wear in the evenings. A few snacks for the walks come in handy, and the local children appreciate gifts of pens/ balloons.Be prepared for rocky paths and steep gradients at times. Decent walking boots are a must. Lightweight clothes that cover arms/legs for women seems more appropriate in Marrakesh. Arranging our own flights independently worked out cheaper and Exodus kindly provided free transfer from the airport to the hotel. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A great week!  Book it and enjoy !!

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    Exodus recommends taking water sterilising tablets because there is a serious problem with recycling in Morocco and most of the plastic bottles left in the village are burnt.

  • Reviewed March 2011
    Anonymous

    HIGHLIGHTS OF NORTHERN INDIA

    A fantastic holiday with many memorable moments. The Taj Mahal did not disappoint. Varanasi was brilliant. Seeing everyday India local school and a village were the icing in the cake. Great trip, great people, a great guide and a great country.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Too many to single one out. Loved it all. Tha magic of Varanasi was special. The Taj magnificent. Hunting for tigers good but would have been excellent if we'd seen one.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Group leader was ecellent. He added to the trip by taking us round a village and local school. He organised everything superbly. We didn't stop for a moment. He must have been exhausted but kept smiling throughout.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take plenty of hand gel.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Wish we could have had longer and wish we'd seen a tiger.
  • Reviewed March 2011
    Anonymous

    CYCLE INDOCHINA & ANGKOR

    A great way to see three countries in South-East Asia at ground level! A nice sized group, not too many hills and terrific local support meant you could sit back and enjoy the ride and the scenery.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    While all the Angkor temples were impressive, it has to be the day we went to Angkor Wat and finished off with the late afternoon / evening trip to the Tonle Sap lake and its floating villages and shops. Awe-inspiring ancient monuments plus river people, wildlife and a marine diversion as a pleasant change from pedalling.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader 'Joe' was not only very friendly but impressively well-organised, telling us in advance about the day's itinerary, when the stops involved and the details of restaurants and laundry facilities, for example. He was always mindful of the differing fitness and abilities of our diverse group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    1 - consider investing in a gel saddle and/or padded shorts, particularly if you're not a regular cyclist.2 - make sure you take on board enough fluids and snacks at the rest stops. And reapply sunscreen.3 - get the support team to help you adjust your saddle height and other details bike before starting out.4 - take it at your own pace - the group will naturally spread out and there are plenty of stops.5 - make sure you have a capacious memory card (or plenty of film), there are numerous photo opps.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    For most people this is a once-in-a lifetime trip, so enjoy it! Having said that, it can be a little demanding on occasion (depending on the time of year), so try to do some training in preparation to better do so. And take care on Vietnam's slightly more interesting road surfaces....
  • Reviewed March 2011
    Anonymous

    COLOURS OF RAJASTHAN

    Coulours, friendly charming local people. Perfect arrangements by the Exodus tour leader and good local guides.  Not a dull moment and beautiful drives on local roads.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    To see the economical development is a bonus on top of seeing all the fantastical historc sites.   

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The best we could have wished for. 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go to incredible India and spend your money there directly, benefitting to locals rather than giving it to aid organisations who loose so much money before it reaches the locals.   

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Do not miss India and Rajastan during your life time.
  • Reviewed March 2011
    Anonymous
    Trip:

    CYCLING CUBA

    If you're thinking about this holiday, don't hesitate, just do it! Far exceeded my expectations. Cuba itself is mind-blowing, and the trip packs in a bit of everything.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Making it all the way to the top of the hills on the day in the mountains without getting off to walk, finally arriving at that amazing hotel in the middle of nowhere, and then swimming under the waterfalls at sunset.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Laz was, quite simply, the best Exodus leader I've met. You could tell instantly that he's passionate about his country, his job and cycling (and, like any Cuban, baseball!). He was very well organised, his local and historical knowledge were first class, he never tired of answering questions about Cuba, the trip itself, and his personal life, and he was sociable and friendly without being overbearing. He also understood very well the different personalities in the group and was always ready to listen and help when issues arose.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take plenty of Imodium (most of our group needed it at some stage) and keep some loo roll with you at all times. Try to keep hold of small change for toilets and tips - you may also find it difficult to get rid of large bank notes in some places. Take an MP3 player if you want a bit of inspiration to get you up the big hills or for some of the long stretches when you find yourself on your own, and also for some of the longer bus transfers. Take enough money in UK sterling to see you through the trip (and a bit extra in case) - it's much easier and cheaper to change bank notes than to use a debit or credit card to get money, though it's possible in the larger places. If you're not a fan of plain food, take a bottle of hot sauce with you to liven up some of the dishes, especially if you're vegetarian. Take plenty of high factor suncream and SPF lipbalm - several of us managed to lose our lipbalms along the way and ended up with very sunburnt lips! We never found a shop that sold lipbalm although you can get suncream in the bigger hotels. I found it useful to have a thin long-sleeved top to cycle in one day when I had sunburnt arms. Above all, go on this trip with a very open mind - be prepared for the unexpected (random power cuts, lack of hot water or indeed any water, last minute changes to plan). There'll be a few pleasant surprises along the way as well. Brush up on your salsa skills as there'll be plenty of opportunity to try them out - knowing just a few steps will really help!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The local guides (and their families) will be very grateful for any donations of cycling kit (water bottles, helmets, cycle shorts, gloves), other clothing, toiletries etc at the end of the trip, whatever condition it's in (even if filthy after your cycling) - so when packing, you might want to consider if there's anything you want to use on the trip and then give away at the end. Also I'd recommend older clothing for cycling in rather than your shiny new stuff - if it rains you'll probably never get the mud and gunk out afterwards! Also I wish I had packed a couple of nice outfits for the evenings when we went dancing and so on, I just had shorts and a boring skirt, and my trekking sandals, and felt a bit frumpy compared to all the locals! Be prepared for a fair bit of time spent on the bus as there are quite a lot of transfers - miore cycling and fewer transfers would have been nice but they are more or less unavoidable. Also be prepared to cycle in a lot of headwind (although it's never cold) - you do get used to it pretty quickly and if you're lucky you may get a couple of days of tailwind too!
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