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 March 2011
    Anonymous
    Trip:

    CYCLING CUBA

    What a fantastic trip!  Cuba is a small country with a huge heart.  It has so much to offer in terms of history, music, dance, beautiful countryside and interesting cities.  Cycling off the beaten track enables you to immerse yourself in the "real" Cuba.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Meeting the locals.  They have few material possessions, which we take for granted in the UK, and yet they are incredibly generous.  We were invited into homes, and offered food and drink, which families could ill afford to give away.  It reminded me of what is truly important in life - family, friends and a sense of community.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Superb.  Knowledgeable, friendly, thoughtful and attentive.  Two members of the group celebrated birthdays while we were away and Laz arranged cakes, American cars and entry to salsa clubs!  The drivers, Tuna and Alberto, were also very friendly and did a brilliant job.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go to Cuba!
  • Reviewed March 2011
    Anonymous

    ATLAS PANORAMA

    The contrasts were amazing, the hustle and bustle and noise of Marakesh compared to the calm, peace and quiet in Tighza. 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Everyday the brilliant blue sky for us sun starved Brits!The food - tasty, varied and plentiful, the porridge kept us going in the mornings. The scenery in the mountains and learning a little of the hard life of the villagers, which has changed litle in 500 years. The people we met were unfailingly cheerful and friendly. 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Hassan was great. He was kind, patient and gentle. Very happy to answer our questions which he must have heard a million times before. He worked very hard and only seemed to be off duty when we were asleep. He was encouraging on the walks too. A real treasure!Mohammed gave us a very interesting tour of Marrakesh.The cook at the gite was great, we specially welcomed the hot tea and food on our picnics. 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Hot water bottle to get you off to sleepPillows and blankets provided, we were always warm at night sleeping in thermals. Couples had their own room which was a bonus.No shoes in the dining area so good idea to take thick socks. As others have said it really does get cold up in the mountains you do need thermals and fleeces, hats and gloves. The puddles were frozen when we were walking. Andrex wipes useful for a 'wash' in the morning, and slip on shoes to go to the shower - ones you can wear socks with. Blisteze seemed to be the best for preventing chapped lips. Also soluble vitamin C tablets to make the treated water more drinkable.  

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was such a great holiday. We always felt safe, everything was well organised too. Maybe we were lucky as our group of 16 got on very well. It is so interesting hearing other travellers tales.It is not a restful holiday, although they do say a change is as good as a rest. We were on the go most of the time and ready for bed by 9.30! The walks were quite challenging, especially the last 32km walk, which involved lots of walking on stones as well as the climbing. Some people in the group chose not to do it. The 3 walks were graded to build up our stamina, though I would say you have to be reasponably fit to enjoy them. We found walking poles invaluable.The scenery is stunning, amazing. Coming back to Marrakesh didn't feel a scary as it did on the first day and we enjoyed the souks and eating freshly cooked food at market stalls in the square.If you want to shop then I recommend getting 'Shopping in Marrakesh' by Susan Simon. it is a lovelybook in its own right , describing various shops, with photographs of each one. I got it from Amazon and it is very useful, explaining where you can buy different things , giving walking maps and recommending reliable traders. The ladies in the group loved it!  Last of all check the website for the latest ideas of what the villagers need most at the time you are going. I know it takes time, but they have so little...........................We came back feeling envigorated and refreshed, and would really like to visit Morocco again. 
  • Reviewed March 2011
    Anonymous

    DISCOVER THAILAND, LAOS & CAMBODIA

    a thoroughly enjoyable trip,perhaps a little tweaking here and there would make it perfect

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    visiting ankhor thom and pra thom at siem reap in cambodia. our guide knew the best way and times to visit sites and we managed to avoid crowds for some of the time. also talking to teenage monks around temples- most of them in all the countries are studying english and keen to practise- seek them out folks- makes you feel really helpful

    What did you think of your group leader?

    all 3 were excellent. the guide in laos was a little serious- but he had been a monk for many years! channy in cambodia was first rate- so jolly , knowledgeable and helpful.pui in thailand was also lovely and knowledgeable- highly amusing when she fell asleep on the river boat as we werent sure where to get off!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    do be wary of what you are eating- even at recommended restaurants,and never off the streets. beware of food in coconut milk-if not hot,dont eat. be aware of iced  fruit drinks too!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    we had a wonderful group,of all ages and nationalities, so we had no problems apart from sickness and diarrhoea. i think perhaps more time in the capital of laos- vientiane would be good, and less in phnom penh.the time in the mountains of laos was perhaps a little long too- it is purely a haven for english speaking back packers in "happy" b and bs watching friends, which is a shame as the countryside is beautiful. a good experience was enjoyed by all. a little bit more activity would enhance the trip too
  • Reviewed March 2011
    Anonymous

    SNOWSHOEING IN THE DOLOMITES

    Overall, maybe helped by good weather, an excellent holiday in a very good hotel with a compatible group that all seemed to get on well.  Villabassa is ideally located for winter holidays

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Probably the views on the walks and the great experience of walking through woodland in deep, powdery snow.  One has no sense of being in crowded places on these walks.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Carl was first class.  He organized the pace, provided all the information we needed and generally went the extra mile to be sure we all enjoyed the experience.  The minibus provided the ideal way to get to and from walks.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    As long as you are a reasonably fit walker, relax and enjoy.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Hotel Adler was excellent.  Food was delicious and the staff and ambience were always welcoming and positive.   The bar and the spa facilities were especially appreciated at the end of each day's walking.  The beer is delicious and not expensive.
  • Reviewed March 2011
    Anonymous

    MADAGASCAN DISCOVERER

    the content of the itinerary was very well planned with lots of opportunities to see lemurs, although I would have happily not bothered with the Lakes at Fianarantsoa.  There are some really long days on the road but the scenery is always captivating.  My biggest negative was the lack of service at the hotels particularly in the restaurants - having done a fair amount of travelling in africa and asia, this was the worse experience.  BUT it was a good trip with some fabulous photographic opportunities.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    All the opportunities to see Lemurs - whether in the rain forest or in private parks - one image which makes me smile when I recall it, is the lemur park at Vakuna Lodge (Nr Perinet national park), where the lemurs used us as places to jump on to and off and to sit on.  I have some lovely photos of people in the group with one or two lemurs sitting on their arms and shoulders.  Also the two walks in the Tsingy's were interesting; fascinating structures and great to be able to get out and walk - it was a bonus to see lemurs on both Tsingy walks. 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sol who was the leader of our group until we returned to Tana was one of the best I have travelled with.  Very well organised and made even the long road journeys interesting by telling us different things about Madagascar - he was righly proud of his country and delighted in introducing us to as many experiences as possible.  We also had some excellent local guides in different areas and some good drivers. 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I posted some general comments on the community arrivals board in answer to some questions from members of the group going out after our return but mainly I would advise that the long road journeys tend to be longer than advised on the itinerary so be prepared.  It was one of the ironies of the trip that the really nice places to stay you arrive late and leave early!  As a vegetarian I found it difficult to get sufficient food (this is obviously my personal observation) and I would probably have taken some museli with me to supplement breakfast - which were generally meagre.  We did have chances to stock up on food and fruit in supermarkets which was good.  The photographic opportunities are numerous - take lots of memory cards/film.  Re-charging cameras, I-pods, Kindles etc is no problem.  Some of the best photographic opportunities are in the early morning - whether walking on the beach in Morondova or around gardens in the various hotels.  Definitely visit the Lemur Park in Tana - it is a rescue centre in a lovely park setting with the lemurs running free (not in cages) and really friendly, informative staff.  You can never have enough opportunities to see lemurs.  Take a head torch for the walks in the Tsingy...you will need your hands.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Having just watched the David Attenborough series on Madagascar it reminded me of how little we actually saw of what is a huge island but what we saw was special.  One of the most difficult things for me to witness is the continuing de-forestation it was so noticable when we were doing the road journeys how much slash and burn agriculture is ongoing and is so devasting.  The effect was particularly apparent as Isalo where there are the smallest areas of forest left in a vast desert landscape. 
  • Reviewed March 2011
    Anonymous

    MT TOUBKAL WINTER CLIMB

    My second trip with Exodus. Once again a fantastic and memorable experience with some great people. I really can't fault Exodus for making adventure travel so easy. They provide a great service that is very good value for money.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Summiting Mount Toubkal in Winter. The views were stunning!.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader Mohammed was superb!. Friendly and entertaining, approachable and easily became one of the group. His english is very good, he is intelligent, and always wanted to learn more. Likewise he had a wealth of local knowledge to share.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    - You do not require ice axe and crampon skills before this trip. You are shown if required and it is pretty simple to pick up the basics. This trip really is, as advertised, a great introduction to winter walking.- This trip is very achievable but do not underestimate it. The walking would be relatively simple in the summer I would suggest. However, doing it in anything up to thigh deep snow is tough, whether going up or down hill.- The weather can be severe and changable as always in the mountains. The trip notes are comprehensive from Exodus but I would suggest you bring a set of ski style goggles as well as the recommended sun glasses. Sunglasses were not up to having ice and snow blasted into them by the wind. They froze up so you couldn't see, but you couldn't take them off or your eyes got blasted. You see the dilemma!. Those with goggles coped much better in some persistent harsh conditions. - Taking your IPOD and a good book is essential. Due to the weather there can be a lot of waiting around and be prepared for the itinerary to change accordingly too.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The Atlas Mountains in Winter. From the UK, a very accessible, and relatively unknown and unprioritised diamond!.
  • Reviewed March 2011
    Anonymous

    VIETNAM ADVENTURE

    Fantastic trip the organisation was brilliant from start to finish (including booking arrangements).  A very well thought out and well planned holiday.  It hit all the buttons!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Thought the Cu Chi tunnels was a fantastic experience.  So many highlights though also loved Halong Bay, and experiencing  the Mekong Delta

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Thang was incredible.  His organisational skills are second to none, his knowledge unbelievable, not only about the places visited on the trip but his cultural knowledge and lots of snippets on the way of life out there which were so interesting.  The meals we were taken for were fantastic and such good value.  What a lovely person to be with.  He definitely made the holiday for me and my husband.  Well done Thang! best guide for me.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just go and enjoy, you can get clothes washed on this trip at two locations so don't take too much we could have taken less.  Towels are provided throughout another saving on luggage.
  • Reviewed March 2011
    Anonymous

    CUBAN HIGHLIGHTS RIDE

    Just what it said in trip notes. Really helpful, efficient and enthusiastic guides. Despite warning excellent fresh food - fruit, salad and fish to die for.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    trip to sugar plantation

    What did you think of your group leader?

    brillant so enthusiastic

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    enjoy

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    nice mix cycling and tourism
  • Reviewed March 2011
    Anonymous

    DISCOVER CHILE

    This trip enables you to get an overview of Chile, covering off the key destinations and sites to see.  Each area provides you with its own WOW! experience and fabulous scenery.  There are alot of early starts and internal flights, however there is also some free time in each area for you to explore indepently or just relax. Throughly enjoyed the whole trip and think Chile is a great place to visit, and it has something for everyone.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Osorno Volcano in teh lake district it is everywhere.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very knowledgeable, lovely personality, and had a real interest in making sure thge group got the most out of their time in each area. Went out of her way to assist or get answers to questions posed. On arranging the internal flights she took the time, to prebook online, chosing the seats carefully, enabling the team to get great views of the Andes from the plane, given the number of intenal flight and time in air this was greatly appreciated by me, if not the rest of the group. The local guides were also very good, they provided specific local information varying from wildlife spotting, to local speciality restuarants/shops, this complemented the information available from the group leader and the guides books.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There are a lot of early starts, so be prepared for cake and tea for breakfast on a number of occassions.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The Don Juan hotel in Atacama was not great. The beds probably need to be replaced, as you woke yourself up turning over.Atacama - after visiting the geysers  the last afternoon seemed wasted, as already had plenty of free time in San Pedro.  It maybe there to enable other optional day trips, so depending on the popularity of the optionals, you may was to consider, travelling to Lake District instead, giving the trip more time here potentially enabling an optional trip to Chiloe island, which was the one thing missing of the exodus itinerary that I would have liked to have done.
  • 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.
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