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

    PETRA & THE PYRAMIDS

    A jammed packed trip with major highlights.  All the better for being one of the first visitors after the revolution, nows the time to go if you want to access areas easily and avoid queues. I stood in front of King Tuts bruial mask for 5 minutes before anyone else came into the room, speaking to others who have queue to see it, this was a luxury. We didnt see any problems and felt like welcome visitors. I also felt it a privilage to be there as history is changing, the people are so enthusiatic and want you to go.  I expected to come away knowing lots about ancient history but I also know more about recent Eyptian history which was an eye opener to say the least.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The NILE! I have never appreciated what water can do...Petra, Karnak and the Valley of the Kings

    What did you think of your group leader?

    On other trips I have only ever had one leader and driver, on this trip there were 3 leaders. I found two excellent very knowledgable and friendly basically the level you would expect of a Exodus guide. The second guide was not proffesional, and upset a number of the group. However I have taken this up with the team directly.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you have flip flops or sandals to get into the dead sea, its quite sharp under foot until your in.  It can be windy (we went in March) and cold in Jordan so make sure you have enough layers. Also make sure you spend your Jordanian money, Egyptians dont want it! It also seems very hard to change larger notes in Egypt so get smaller denominations if changing money in the UK. Dont be over concerned about giving your passport up on the ferry from Jordan to Eygpt, it all seems to be chaos but it works. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Great taster and we would have like to stay at some stops longer - such as St Katherines and would also suggest if its cold the night camping may be changed to a hotel (it was flipping cold). The ferry crossing if possible should be replaced by a flight, its seems to be irractic and runs to the owners timeschedule which can be unessarily stressful for holiday makers and guides. We loved the hotel on the Nile it was a fab ending.  Please go and support these lovely friendly people.
  • Reviewed March 2011
    Anonymous

    TRAILS OF BORNEO

    holiday was more or less as it says, room for improvement, all said enjoyed it very much.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    wildlife spotting up the Kinabatangan river and ox bow.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Henry was an excellent group leader very professional,  the holiday would not have gone as smoothly without him.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Did not need woolley hat for mountain climb, never really needed a sleeping bag except for camp 5, as blankets were thin and poor, take an umbrella/ poncho. we were looking for a poncho for a while, this is waterproof light weight and covers you well. small rucksack with a camelback in with it would be perfect, enough to store a couple of changes of clothes plus 2 to 3 litres of water and bits and bobs, this can be taken on flight as personal luggage, while main luggage 15 to 20 kg is fine for cargo hold.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The Seplok Sanctuary was not as good as it was made out to be, in fact most people in our group were quitedissapointed, all hype and a bit of a let down, would not let you back in to try and take more pics away from the crowd, we saw just as many along the Kinabatangan River in the wild.But saying that worth the trip, very enjoyable and well done henry our team leader. 
  • Reviewed March 2011
    Anonymous

    HISTORIC ANDALUCIA

    This week certainly gives you the full flavour of historic Andalucia - Moorish architecture, olive groves, orange trees and plates of tasty tapas.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The most impressive building has to be the huge Plaza de Espana, in Seville.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very friendly, informative and calm.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There are two free afternoons at the start of the week so don't expect an action-packed schedule. The Weds is totally free too & we thought it was a shame that the trip didn't at least include transport to the local train station - since most people want to get out & about for the day. We caught the train to Ronda which was a very interesting place.The Cortijo is pretty much out in the sticks so there's quite a bit of mini-bus travel involved. On the other hand it is fairly central for the various places visited - so that's the price to be paid I suppose.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The Cortijo is a lovely place to stay with a truly authentic Spanish feel.If you're VEGETARIAN don't worry about going hungry because the food is absolutely delicious and you'll be very well-catered for.
  • Reviewed March 2011
    Anonymous

    ANNAPURNA TRAILS & CHITWAN

    A great intro to trekking in Nepal. The trip also had a good mix of the culture of the country, from the hussle and bussle of Kathmandu to the hill farms and villages in the mountains to the lowland and the wildlife in Chitwan.   

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Being away from it all up in the mountains and the friendliness off the local people in the villages.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nabin ran the trip like clockwork, knew what was happening all of the time. the leader and the guides provided loads of information about the country and the people.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take some earplugs, the tea houses and lodges are very basic as expected, very clean and tidy, but some have very thin wooden walls seperating the rooms so earlpugs help for a good nights kip.never needed the water purifier stuff, plenty of clean or boiled water avaialble.  
  • Reviewed March 2011
    Anonymous

    CYCLE INDOCHINA & ANGKOR

    This was my first cycling trip with Exodus and I had a fab time. Great mix of exercise, culture, people, food and socialising. I'm only just back but already about to book my next trip!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I really enjoyed the cycling on the quieter roads in Vietnam and Thailand. Plenty of time to chat to your companions, as well as shout a thousandth Hallo! or give a high five to the incredibly friendly and welcoming local people. It was also very moving to learn more about the atrocities of Cambodia and Vietnam's fairly recent past.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had a great leader who was chilled, funny and very well organised. Wasan and his team kept us safe, well fuelled with Beng Beng bars and always knew where the nearest Happy room (loo!) was to be found.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Think about trying your antimalarials in advance to find which one suits you - a few of our group had problems with side effects.I'm glad I took my Camelback to keep me drinking plenty.Don't be afraid to look round some of the cultural sites at your own pace - I found it more enjoyable to nosey round independently than sticking in a big group where we were all struggling to hear/understand the guide. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is a great way to see these countries - I think I'll be going back to do the rest of Vietnam by bike but Cycle Cuba first!!
  • Reviewed March 2011
    Anonymous

    DISCOVER COSTA RICA

    Costa Rica was always one of my dream destinations and I have to say it far exceeded my expectations - some truly wonderful memories and experiences to take away with me.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were so many highlights on this trip, my top would have to be listening to the howler monkeys in Tortuguero, being surrounded by a troop of white-nosed coatis on my walk down from Arenal volcano and the very spiritual feel of listening to the jungle all around you whilst relaxing or swimming at Esquinas Lodge - truly magical, you really feel in touch with nature.  The other impressive thing is that Costa Rica is so environmentally aware - I feel we could learn a lot from their practices.  We also had a wonderful group, being a single I wondered whether it would be a case of couples and singles - but there was no such issue - we all gelled together and got on really well - sharing a lot of laughs & experiences along the way.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    From reading previous feedback on this trip I had already heard of both Victor (our leader) and Luis (our driver) so when I found out we had both, even though they had never worked together before, it was like getting the dream team.  Victor is very knowledgeable and enthusiastic and took great care of us for the entire trip, nothing was too much trouble and he never got fed up of answering our many questions.  Both he and Luis were excellent wildlife spotters and we would have missed many things without them.  Having a good guide plays a big part in the success of the trip and we couldn't have got better than Victor.  He was an absolute star in my opinion.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't pack too much - travel light, the majority of the lodges you stay at have very reasonably priced laundry services - so it makes sense to make use of them.  I travelled in March and was perfectly comfortable in shorts for most of the trip - you do need a long pair of trousers and long-sleeved shirt for the walks in the jungle though - and a decent pair of socks to go with the borrowed welly boots, particularly as some of them don't fit so well. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was my first Exodus trip and I have to say I was a little tentative as this was so different to anything I had done before - if you're having a bit of a wobble about whether to book, please do go ahead, you'll not regret it for one moment.  I had the most amazing time and the memories will stay with me forever.  It will be hard to beat Costa Rica as it was so fantastic but it's now time for a reality check and to start saving for my next trip - Mmm where next I wonder!!!!
  • Reviewed March 2011
    Anonymous
    Trip:

    LA RUTA MAYA

    Exodus do describe this trip clearly, so maybe it’s our fault for not appreciating that it does try to cram too much into too short a time. As a result the abiding memories are that: (1) We had too many long stints on less-than-luxurious buses. (2) There were so many visits to so many Mayan ruin sites that they all seem to telescope together and become one jumbled memory, and (3) We always seemed to arrive at overnight stops too late, and leave too early to enjoy the quite nice hotels (although one was absolutely dire) and the seductive towns we stopped at.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    My wife says that if it hadn’t been pouring with rain, and if we hadn’t spent the previous night at a dreadful hotel, the visit to Palenque would have been “inspirational”. She also makes positive noises about Uxmal and Tikal.But, for me, although I enjoyed Campeche, Tulum and Caye Caulker, there really was nothing on this trip that I'd call “inspirational” – and I frequently found myself wondering why we’d forked out all that money. (We’ve done quite a bit of long-haul travel, and a great deal within Europe; and we have found most of these "inspirational". But this was our first ever guided group tour, and I’m still not sure whether it was the group structure, the guidance or the location that made it one of our least satisfactory trips.)

    What did you think of your group leader?

    José was knowledgeable, well-meaning and a nice guy. But he was clearly nervous and during the first few days his management and organisational skills were sadly lacking. His briefings were rambling, unclear and incomplete, and his many jokes ceased pretty quickly to be funny; he was also bad at keeping the group together, and came close to losing people. By the end of day 5, most of us had “taken him to one side for a chat”, and it was noticeable that his performance improved significantly thereafter.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Buy your local currency (with a “buy-back guarantee”) before departure. The exchange rates you’ll get “in country” can be pretty poor, and, the currency exchange process is hugely time-consuming and irritating. Despite what the Exodus trip notes tell you, the US$ is not king (although it works well in Belize); you will need local currency for most things in the countries you visit. We found that £30 per head per day covered everything (including many cocktails for Herself!).A lot of the places this trip calls at are at quite high altitude, and it’s worth reinforcing that, if you’re travelling outside high summer, you’ll definitely need something warm for the evenings, as well as some seriously good but light rain gear.Watch your luggage like a hawk at all times (one of our party only just managed to stop their luggage being accidentally loaded onto the wrong tour bus !)All the hotels we stopped at had free wi-fi, but phone coverage is very patchy (3G almost non-existent) and very expensive.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Here are some worthwhile improvements Exodus might consider:- Instead of making us spend ½ an hour on our first morning filling out forms (listing insurance policies, passport details, medication, next of kin, etc), supply the forms in advance, so that those who want to can fill them out before departure.- Each morning at breakfast hand out a brief typed “plan for the day” (where we’re going, where and when we’ll stop, where and when to meet, what kit we need – eg swimming gear, walking shoes, etc – the name and address of that night’s hotel, and so forth [we found it nigh impossible to extract this information from José in the early stages of the trip]).- Tell us in advance what sort of money to lay aside for tips (it transpires that you’re expected to tip the Group leader, three bus drivers, the bell boys at each hotel, a tour guide at each of the sites you visit, and sundry others - at many of the “comfort stops” you’ll have to pay to go to the loo!).- Use buses suitable for European-sized people to sit on for long stretches.

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    Thank you for reviewing your recent trip to Guatemala, Belize and Mexico. I was sorry to hear that you felt the trip didn't live up to your expectations. We describe the trip as “an in-depth exploration of the highlights of the Mayan world”, which, as you pointed out, is an accurate portrayal of what is involved. Given the many important historical sites to visit in this area we do need to cover a fair amount of distance in order to see them. We feel that this is balanced with time spent in the colourful colonial cities of Antigua, Campeche, Merida and San Cristobal de las Casas, as well as 2 night stays at both Lake Atitlan and Caye Caulker, where the trip emphasis shifts towards relaxation.

    The hotels that we use on this trip tend to be a real highlight for our clients. We have reviewed the use of the property that you mentioned you didn't enjoy and are due to change this for upcoming departures. In regard to transport, I have discussed your concerns about the bus with our in-country manager and he has assured me that we are using the best buses available within the countries visited. Unfortunately the road conditions are poor in places and this can increase the journey times. Local guides do receive regular training as part of their work with Exodus, but in our next session we will emphasize the importance of providing clear and accurate briefings – I am sorry for any confusion this caused you. I believe that our Trip Notes are very comprehensive and contain all of the essential information for this trip but I will be updating them shortly with the most recent information that I have obtained regarding currency, tipping, airport taxes and fees.

    Vicky Boughton - Product Manager

  • Reviewed March 2011
    Anonymous

    KILIMANJARO CLIMB - LEMOSHO ROUTE

    The hardest thing, both mentally and physically that I have ever done, but definitely the best trip ever! Organisation, food and accommodation (including the tent!) were perfect. 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing how hard the porters and guides worked and always with a smile on their faces - totally humbling. Getting to Uhuru Peak with the sun blazing down and looking around to see that our whole group had made it .. and seeing how genuinely pleased our 5 guides were that we had.A close second was getting to the top of Baranca Wall - I suffer with vertigo, but got to the top with the fantastic support of Val, David and Carrie and of course our wonderful guides.The tipping ceremony - seeing how humble the porters were when they received the spare equipment which had been donated. I noticed the porter who had my woolly hat didn't take it off even in the blistering heat - I felt humbled that we had so much and they had so little

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was Makeke - Not having been on a trekking holiday before, he filled me with confidence and made me feel safe. He watched over our group like a mother hen - he didn't miss anything. He made sure that everything ran like clockwork, tents set up, good hydrating and nutritious food promptly on the table, briefings on time, hot water by your tent door etc etc. He had a great sense of humour and a natural intuition for picking up when someone wasn't well, tired or struggling mentally - in a nutshell, he exceeded all my expectations - he was brilliant :-)

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Sun hat and factor 50 cream (especially on your hands and neck) is an absolute must in February - sun is so strong. Lots and lots of baby wipes girls - keep in your rucksack as well as your toilet bag - very dusty on parts of the trek.Drink, drink, drink ... from the moment you get up (try and drink 1 - 1 1/2 litres before you set off in the morning) to the moment you go to bed to keep away altitude sickness. Don't worry about constantly needing the loo - it's not a problem!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    So grateful for our own toilet tent having seen the state of the camp toilets on route. Ours was spotless and always up when we got to camp in the afternoon and the last tent to come down before we left in the morning!The service provided by the porters was fantastic - nothing was ever too much trouble. The porter who looked after our tent even came and met us on the way down the mountain on ascent day so that he could offer to carry some of the 5 layers of clothing which had rapidly come off.
  • Reviewed March 2011
    Anonymous

    ANNAPURNA SANCTUARY

    An amazing diversity of scenery and experiences. 8000 metre peaks, village life in the mountains, lovely people and a chance to chill in Pokhara and experience crazy Kathmandu as well.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing how the local people live and feeling humbled by their resilience.Being in the Sanctuary - truly the Land of the Gods - and looking up at 8000 metre peaks (and thinking 'thank goodness we're not going up there'!).Seeing how the local community had taken it upon themselves to manage the area, keeping it clean and free of litter - an excellent example of community led tourism.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ugs was a character and kept us very entertained; also caring, knowledgable and passionate about the area. The other guides and porters were also excellent.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be positive! Listen to your body. Don't eat yak curry.If you haven't been on a trip like this on your own before (I hadn't), don't worry - there will be others on their own and it is amazing how quickly you all become a 'team'.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It was a fantastic trip, helped by having a really good group. I would whole heartedly recommend it.
  • Reviewed March 2011
    Anonymous

    None Stop Action like a Die Hard movie

    A very nice tour that sometimes might seem too much for certain people. There is a lot crammed in so an extra two days would have been perfect. A few things here and there could be improved on but overall it was a fantastic holiday.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It would have to be the drive through the mountains on our way to Danang/Hue/Hoi An as well as Trekking in Hoa Binh. There are many others but those two stand out for me personally. I also loved cycling in Hoi An and then ending the day on the beach.. couldn't have asked for anything better.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He could improve his organisation skills a bit more but he is a very nice guy and we had a great time with him, he was sad when we left and so were we. Shared a few beers and laughs, very down to earth.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is not an easy tour, don't be selfish and think about it before going and slowing the whole group down. We had that happen with us and it makes everyone feel frustrated especially with cycling when it is so so so hot out there. You will be up as early as 6am every day so it is not a relaxing holiday, it's on the go every day.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would definitely ask Exodus to review this and maybe add 2 more days. I'd also recommend an easy last day because the cycling in Mekong Delta was painful and everyone was tired by the last evening. Maybe a beach day? That would be the perfect ending to a brilliant tour.
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