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 September 2017
    Daisy Teoh

    Experience of a Lifetime

    The Inca Trail tour was the perfect organized group. We had 6 people in our group and 1 guide. It was the perfect number. Not too many, not too few. I originally picked the trip because of the itinerary; I liked that you had 2 opportunities to see Machu Picchu. That's a definite advantage. The first afternoon, when we arrived, it was cloudy and became more and more cloudy. But the 2nd day when we went back, it was a perfect blue sky day. The weather is always changing. The Trip Notes are accurate that you just have to dress in layers and be prepared to constantly remove and add layers. The hike is not easy. If anything, I might rate it a little more difficult. It's also hard to prepare for, especially if you live at sea level. The hike is a challenge for someone who exercises regularly, but our guide was very accommodating and gave us breaks as much as we needed. Still, we were always on schedule with where we needed to be. The altitude and lack of oxygen was probably the most difficult part. But it was all so worth it. And it feels great to accomplish something that you know you worked hard for.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I can't pick just one moment. Every moment was special. Every moment you looked up (from focusing on the stones in the path), it was awe-inspiring.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The best par of the experience was our guide. Frank went above and beyond to not just take care of us show us a good time, but he really took interest in each of us individually. He genuinely enjoyed taking us on an adventure. It wasn't just a job for him. He took us into his life, his background, his culture of the Sacred Valley. He took us back to what it was like in the time of the Inca's. He didn't just lecture us on history, he relived their beliefs and ways of living, and he used the trail, the ruins, the flora, the fauna, the landscape to take us to another world. And then, he was just plain fun. He sang and danced, he was always full of energy. He simply knew how to have a good time, and his enthusiasm was infectious. He ensured we each had an experience of a lifetime.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be open to new experiences. Eat whatever is put in front of you. Bring lots of layers. Be prepared to take them off and on constantly. Drink lots of water. Sun screen and bug spray. Just keep applying, over and over.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Irene Smith

    Tatra mountains

    I have just returned from a fantastic trip to the Tatra Mountins.. Did not realise what a beautiful country Poland was and we were really lucky to have had great weather. Getting to the top by useing chains was great it was very busy but it was a beautiful day and like all exciting summits when the weather is predicted to be good everyone comes out to catch a good day.the huts were the best I have ever had on a trek and there was always loads of food so no one needed to go hungry. The showers were immaculate and some huts even had drying rooms luxury. Our guide Teresa was amazing full of enthusiasm and knowledge of her country. Yes we did leave one of the party behind at the airport but that was sorted out and she apologised many many times. She was very encouraging to everyone and I felt I could go to her anytime for anything. To anyone who is looking to do this trip I would say go for it you will have a wonderful adventure

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to the summit on such a beautiful day the views were spectacular and I think all our group were feeling very proud of themselves.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Teresa was amazing. She was so knowledgeable and proud of her country and wanted to share that with us. She was always smiley full of energy and great fun, and always always approachable for any problem anyone had. One of the better leaders I have had on a track.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a great trick if you like a bit of a challenge go for it you will not regret it.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Take some gloves for the chains as they can be hard on the hands.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Sue Rosser

    Kenya & Tanzania Safari Adventure Aug 17

    Although we had previously visited Kenya six years ago (on the Gorillas and Masai Mara trip) we had never seen the wildebeest crossing so I had really hoped to be lucky this time. Also our former trip had been an excellent experience so I had no hesitation in booking this trip with the added Tanzania experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We were really lucky and saw the great migration, watching the wildebeest crossing the River Mara. There was such a dramatic build up to it - first a small group went to cross and then rushed back when they reached the river and saw crocodiles. We thought we weren't going to see it. Then further along the riverbank, a larger group just suddenly started rushing. We sat and watched for about fifteen minutes as wildebeest were stampeding across the plains joined by groups of zebra and then waded across the river and up the other side.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Erellah was an excellent group leader and a real credit to Exodus. He split his time equally amongst all trip members and would turn his hand to whatever was required be it organising, putting up tents, cooking etc. He was always bright cheerful and full of energy and worked extremely hard.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There is a lot of packing and unpacking in the first 10 days, organise your bag for ease of access and bring a padlock for your locker. Pack walking boots and comfortable sandals. Warm clothes for the Ngorongoro Crater are essential (I took a light thermal layers including vest, leggings, fleece top, hat, scarf and gloves) … I was not going to get cold! Having said that pack light but take a washing line and pegs.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Although expensive I would recommend the Kenyan balloon trip. The pilot was excellent, the experience beautiful, peaceful and altogether rather surreal. The breakfast good and with a view that is breathtaking. In the 4 x 4 game drive which lasted a few hours we saw lion, leopard and cheetah!
  • Reviewed September 2017
    louise taylor

    Gran Paradiso, Italy Alps

    What a great adventure over a long weekend, travelling through three countries to finally stop in Italy, its a long hard slog of a climb, patience and experience helps, ropes, crampons and use of ice picks experience helps again dont come untrained, the last 500 meters of the summit is great fun, dont look down if you dont have a head for heights, recommend this trip for fit people only or you will struggle! Loved the guide and the friendly mountain hut staff, thanks Exodus

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Summit on the 2nd attempted as the the weather was unkind on our 1st attempt

    What did you think of your group leader?

    our group leader was very experienced and had a good sense of humor!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared and dont take risks, always listen to your group leader!
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Cheryl Friscia

    A magical experience

    This was my first time traveling alone to France and I couldn't have had a more wonderful experience. From the moment I met the group at the airport to my return to the U.S. The hike each day was more beautiful than the last. Our tour guide Isabelle was fantastic. She was from the region and shared all kinds of tips and history. She interacted with the whole group and made the experience special for everyone. As a woman traveling alone, I felt safe and made so,e wonderful friends alongside the way. I highly recommend this tour.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Hiking up some of the most beautiful mountains and seeing the surrounding areas from the top. Walking down the mountain on the road that the Romans built. I was awestruck. There were so many moments during the trip that I just couldn't believe I was hiking in such a beautiful country.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Isabelle was absolutely incredible. She made the entire trip. She was friendly, personable and told such wonderful stories about the region. I loved that she joined us for dinner a few of the nights and was always pulling goodies and bits of information out of her bag. She made sure that everyone was taken care of and did research for us on transportation, sites, etc in the evening after she went home.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you are making your own travel arrangements be sure to coordinate them with the group that is coming from the U.K. Otherwise you will have to take a cab, which is very expensive at about $150 euros or take a bus which can be a little confusing and inconvenient if you don't know the area. People in the local villages may speak a little French but not as much as if you were in Paris or another tourist area. As a single woman traveling alone, I felt very safe.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thank you for such a memorable experience.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Tony Wright

    Magic Markha Valley

    The Markha Valley Trek was a truly memorable experience. The landscape, wildlife and vegetation, the light, the culture and peaceful atmosphere of Ladakh are unforgettable and we were fortunate to experience it 'up close'. The trek was superbly organised, with expert and supportive leadership from Valerie Parkinson. The camping experience was great and the local team was full of joy and very competent. We were very well looked after! I enjoyed the excellent company of my fellow trekkers and appreciated the way in which some of the more challenging sections of the trek were paced and supported. As well as the trek, there were excellent visits to monasteries, and good accommodation in Leh and Delhi. 2 weeks felt like 2 months - it was an intense and very satisfying experience all round. Thanks for everything.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Many! Getting up to the top of the GandaLa Pass after struggling a bit with the altitude, and seeing the incredible view from the crest. Contrasts between summer crops and the utter barrenness of the mountains. Watching the sunset from the Old village at Markha. Visiting Thikse Monastery. All the opportunities to experience the culture and religion. Walking the final few kilometres down the valley to Shang Sudmdo in golden light surrounded by mountains of other-worldly colours.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Valerie is a truly superb group leader. She brings calm authority, care, respect, humour, a vast depth of expertise and local knowledge, and a calm that is both reassuring and authoritative. She has a great knowledge of group psychology too! I feel very fortunate to have been on a trek led by Valerie.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Carry boiled sweets or peppermints to suck on - helps to handle the dry air. If you want to take a lot of photos, take a power bank with plenty of capacity for recharging your camera, as well as a couple of extra batteries. I ran out on the last day of the trek despite having 3 batteries and a 6000 ma power bank!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    All aspects of Exodus planning and organisation were excellent. I will recommend the trip to friends and am looking at my next trip already. Exodus will be my go-to company.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Ian Lochhead

    Walking in Tuscany

    An absolutely fantastic week staying in a lovely Tuscan farmhouse with delicious home-cooked food. The walks were all very different but each was superb in it's own way with breathtaking scenery. The local family who run the accommodation were all extremely friendly and welcoming people. Our guide Sara Bull was exceptional(see below) and we were lucky to experience almost an entire week of lovely warm/hot sunshine. Our group bonded straight away and this contributed greatly to the enjoyment of the holiday. The dog Elvis who accompanies the group on every walk is the fittest, friendliest & most loveable dog I've met.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The entire trip was inspirational in view of the stunning scenery of the Garfagnana region however the highlight would probably be summiting one of the highest peaks in the region, Monte Sumbra, on a beautiful warm day with perfect visibility. The views from the top were simply breathtaking.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Where to begin when describing Sara Bull! I first did this trip 9 years ago and Sara was also the guide then and was outstanding-nothing has changed in that time. Sara is everything you would want in a guide-friendly, sociable, vastly experienced & knowledgeable, organised, attentive and basically great fun to be with. She contributed massively to my enjoyment of the holiday. Sara quite obviously loves her job and goes the extra few miles to make sure every person has the best possible week's holiday.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for all weather conditions. Although we were lucky to experience brilliant weather most of the week the weather can change very quickly in the region-rain jackets and sunscreen required! Also-make sure you're fitness is at a good level. The main advice would be if you are thinking about booking this holiday then definitely do it-you will not regret it!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was my 10th trip with Exodus and I can't recommend this company highly enough. It is great to head off on a holiday like this knowing that everything is being taken care of for you allowing you to relax and enjoy the trip. Our group consisted of 3 couples and 5 solo travellers(including myself) however everyone got on very well together right from the start and there were many laughs along the way.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Susan Bowman

    Highlights of Poland

    Having visiting Krakow a few years ago, we chose this trip to explore more of Poland. The itinerary is busy with some long travel days, but all run efficiently. We visited museums, Old Towns, Palaces, a Salt Mine and Auschwitz, learned about Poland's history, sampled local cuisine and mingled among Polish tourists in the resort town of Zakopane while enjoying the views of the Tatra Mountains. We enjoyed our free time in Krakow to explore the Old Town. The location of the hotels in Gdansk, Wroclaw and Krakow is far from each city's Old Town(20-35 min walk). As this was a new itinerary for 2017, hopefully, the Exodus Team will reevaluate the hotel locations and choose hotels closer to each city's Old Town. Although dinners were not included, our guide recommended restaurants each night, reserved table for group and joined us for dinner. Some chose to eat elsewhere but we enjoyed each of these restaurants, usually just having a starter for dinner as lunches were big. We had a chance to try a lot of different foods even just eating starters or soups. We appreciated having Jerzy joined us for dinners. Often on tours, guide doesn't join group for dinner if it isn't an 'included' dinner. Overall an efficient tour around Poland.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    After 5 busy days of exploration, history and culture, wandering through the busy pedestrian streets and outdoor market of Zakopane was delightful. The Polish resort town in the mountains was buzzing as many locals were still enjoying beautiful weekend weather. A funicular took us up a mountain for views across the valley to the Tatra Mountains where we tried the Highlander's tea and enjoyed the company of our friends who traveled with us and Jerzy.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jerzy was an excellent guide. He was well organized and kept us informed of activities and schedule each day. He shared his knowledge of Poland's history and culture throughout including personal stories. Each evening he had booked a table at a local restaurant for group(although dinners were not included) and joined us. We appreciated him joining for dinners as often guides don't if dinners aren't included in tour. He always recommended regional dishes to try at each restaurant. His extensive travel allowed him to relate well with guest from different countries(our group was from UK, USA and Australia).

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Arrive a day or two early to explore Warsaw and adjust to time zone so you can fully enjoy the group tour from the beginning as it is busy with long days.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Ana Redondo

    A holiday I will remember for years to come

    This was my first trip with Exodus and I have to admit my experience during the booking wasn’t the best to start with. It was rather slow and inefficient, but I have sent Exodus some comments on this and I am sure they will take them on board. Also I spoke to other members of the group that have done many trips with Exodus and they have not experienced any problems, so I am inclined to think this was just a one off. But that’s all the ‘bad over’ and truly the only niggling point. Other than that, I can honestly say it was one of the best holidays I have ever had. I’ll try and break my feedback down but I’ll start with the guide in case you get tired of reading: 1. The guide - before I went I was surprised and bit intrigued by how many people mentioned this lady called ‘Sara’ and how lovely she was. I don’t think any of us can make justice in writing to who she really is. She is a phenomenal professional, a bundle of enthusiasm and energy and a tremendous human being. One of the most inspiring people I have ever met. And her dog ‘Elvis’ is a legend you have to meet! With all my respect to Exodus and whatever they do in the office, 90% of your trip experience is the guide. They have the ability to make or break a trip and I can only say, this lady made for all of us a memorable trip that I am sure we will remember for years to come. 2. Experience required - being new to this, I wasn’t sure if the information was exaggerated in terms of fitness or not. Reading back, I think it was spot on, so read carefully the description. Yes there are some climbs that get you a bit out of breath, but all in all it is a manageable pace and Sara was awesome at managing the pace and breaks. Also pay attention to the equipment you need, it was also spot on. For example don’t think trainers and jeans will do, because they will not. 3. Accommodation - not flashy or luxurious in the traditional sense, but really warm, cosy, welcoming. In all honestly, I wouldn’t change a thing. To me this place “is” luxury, not fancy hotels with useless toiletries but that’s personal opinion. The family is lovely, the setting is incredible and I’d rather stay here than anywhere else. The food was great and plentiful. So, perfect really. 4. The area and walking – a hidden gem of incredible beauty. Some of the views really take your breath away. Still not very developed in terms of tourism which makes it truly special. On the day off most of us went to Lucca and it really is worth a visit. The trip in general has a really good balance between seeing small villages/cities and different walks. All in all, if you have any doubts about this trip, book it. Go and I seriously doubt you’ll regret it. Sorry for the lengthy of the review, but hopefully it will help.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I am sorry but there were so many I couldn't chose a single one.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Not enough words to describe Sara, read the summary.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Patricia G

    Stok Kangri and Hiking in Himalayas

    A physically demanding trip with a chance to appreciate the culture and landscapes of a remote part of India.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I really enjoyed the visit to the monastery at Thyxie- we were there at prayer time and got to experience the singing and music- drums, bugles and conch shells very close up. Close enough to see the monks chatting and messing at the back! I was lucky enough to get to the top of Stok Kangri so that was good too.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ngima is super fit, and a bit of a talker but he does have the necessary mountain experience to lead the trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It is high altitude desert and is incredibly dusty, particularly in Leh and in some of the higher camps. This is bad for the sinuses and most people in our group were suffering from sinus problems- three or four were doing steam inhalations in the mess tent at night, and using various nasal treatments bought in Leh. The locals all cover their mouth and nose with a mask or buff. You should do the same and bring any treatments that you use at home. Some of the days were harder than the trip notes would suggest- the notes allow you to calculate the starting and finishing altitude but there can be big height gains and losses in between. These add to the difficulty of the day and are not obvious from the trip notes and can only be estimated if you also have the map of the area with the contours. On an altitude trip people are always talking about certain medications but paracetamol, ibuprofen and something effective for sickness were more useful for our group. The route does allow for acclimatization, but I was still nauseated quite a few times and was eating less than usual. I liked that we were doing the Lake Louise scoring for AMS- I think travelers should be familiar with this before departure- it takes the mystery out of AMS

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A trip with a summit can be a pressurized, it's important to be fit in advance but not "over trained" so that you are not too tired or sick and have the energy to hike. We flew out early and stayed an extra day after the group and this allowed a bit more time to explore Delhi and have a day trip to Agra. I think this was a good idea so that the trip isn't all about summit day. If you do that you can sort of have three holidays Delhi/Agra, Buddhist Ladakh and Trekking. The Delhi metro is very crowded and busy so may not be the best way to travel with your luggage. There are variable rules about luggage on internal flights in India- there was a new rule that power packs had to be in hand luggage.
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