Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

Your Words - We tell it like it is! Holiday Reviews by previous Exodus travellers  

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17893 Reviews

  • Reviewed March 2020

    A Fantastic Trek

    A great place for a challenging trek. The scenery was amazing and all the people of Nepal, that i met, were friendly and hospitable. The Himalayas really are great cathedrals of nature and were a pleasure to see as the group travelled through the Annapurna Circuit. Our tour leader, Tenzi Sherpa, and lead guide Kaji Sherpa were fantastic and professional at all times during the tour, providing support, words of encouragement and lots of cups of tea. They enhanced the trek with professional service at all times.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The crossing of Thorong La pass was amazing and an unforgettable experience.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    A fantastic tour leader who was hard working and inspiring as we trekked around the Annapurna Circuit

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for amazing views of the mountains and friendly locals. Feb/March was cold in the evening and especially at night. A 4 season sleeping bag and liner is essential to a warm nights sleep. Although the menus in the tea houses is simple, the food was wholesome and great portions.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This trek exceeded my expectations because of the professionalism of the local team that supported us during the trek, the amazing scenery and the great camaraderie of the trekking group.
  • Reviewed March 2020

    Wonderful first experience of Northern India - highly recommended!

    This was an amazing "starter" trip for anyone wanting to begin to experience India. Packed with highlights, everything ran like clockwork (yes, even the train!) and there were no disappointments - friendly people, incredible sights, amazing experiences and incredible food. Highly recommended!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were several highlights but, for me, Varanasi was just amazing and a place I will never forget. It is hard to put into words, but it is amazingly moving, vibrant and life-affirming - truly a unique place that should be visited by everyone. Fatehpur Sikri, Jaipur, Agra and our amazing tiger sighting all ran Varanasi a very close second, though.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our tour leader really brought India to life. He could handle any questions we threw at him but, best of all in my opinion, was his interpretation of India’s many religions. Rather than a dry talk about each religious site – Hindu, Sikh, Muslim – he vividly described what each religion meant to him, bringing out the colour and vibrancy of each which more than matched the amazing temples and activities we saw. Even as an old student of RE, I learnt more from our tour leader on this trip then I did in3 yrs of studies and without ever feeling I was being lectured to. Really great, and a real enthusiasm and love for his country and culture on show - much appreciated!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get involved and try everything - whether it is dressing up or trying the local delicacies, just do it! The optional evening boat ride in Varanasi is very atmospheric and moving and really shouldn't be missed. If possible, sit on the left hand side of the bus so you have a better view of all the amazing street life - great for photos and it means you definitely will never be bored on the longish road journeys.
  • A great week, despite very little snow.

    I'm just back from this trip, and had a great time. The trip was full, with 16 people, and everyone was lovely. Villa Hermani is a great small hotel, and the food is excellent. Katharine and Herman are lovely hosts, and their Romanian cook is excellent. Our walk leader was Leo, their son, and he was good fun and a very capable guide. He had to make some difficult decisions because of the dodgy and changeable weather, and the varying abilities in the group,which he handled very well. It was great to have Rares (Alex) along as a second guide, and we really needed him at times. Magura - like most of Europe - has had a strange winter, so there was only a dusting of snow when we arrived. But, with that and a couple of further dumps of snow during the week, we managed 2 walks with snowshoes and 1 with yaktrax, as well as ordinary walking in hiking boots. I liked the mix of walking and cultural visits - bears, Saxon history, Bran Castle. And I stayed for 2 days in Bucharest at the end to see a bit more of Romania. It was so different it seemed like a totally different country!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Lunch at the Curmatura Cabin - it snowed heavily while we were inside, and the whole world had changed when we came out.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Leo was excellent. He was very capable in the outdoors, and very sensible in his approach to problems. He was very aware of our health and safety - helping us up and down difficult bits, cutting side branches off fallen trees etc.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Have at least a modicum of fitness. It's not terribly strenuous, but neither is it leisurely. Most people hadn't snowshoed before, and that was fine. And definitiely bring yaktrax or equivalent - you'd be lost without them if you have ice like we did. And this is not a holiday for people scared of dogs - farm dogs run free everywhere, and are completely unavoidable.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I probably spent a bit more than I expected, mainly on alcohol...
  • Reviewed March 2020

    High Atlas Morocco

    Fantastic trip to High Atlas.Interesting time in Marrakech,lively fascinating city.Walking in High Atlas varied with one long 18 mile hike but taken at steady pace,beautiful scenery.Guide Abdellah fantastic,lovely man with his assistant Fouad,great English,great sense of humour and brilliant leader.Lovely introduction to Morocco which makes me want to return

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Having Islam explained by a muslim who was a great representative of an ill understood religion

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Absolutely brilliant.Lovely man,so helpful,calm,informative,good sense of humour,couldn’t fault him.Typical of all 7 leaders on all my 7 Exodus trips

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The walking is great but to do the 18 mile last walk it would be best to be used to walking regularly at home to toughen the feet as it involved 8 hours on one’s feet

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you get fed up with the negative press about Muslim countries then visit Morocco which is one of more liberal muslim countries which is a model for others to copy
  • Reviewed March 2020

    Stunning scenery and exciting activities

    Finnish Lapland is exhilarating. So clean and spacious and quiet. We may not have seen the Northern Lights but the snowmobiles, huskies, reindeer and wilderness lodge all made up for it. An action packed weekend. Lovely food and hotel. Equipment provided was good. The guide Jenni was brilliant.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Sunset across the frozen lake at the wilderness cabin. Speeding across a lake on a snow mobile at midnight. The delight of seeing the excited huskies rolling in the snow and drinking it. Feeding the baby reindeer.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jenni, our group leader was amazing. She worked so hard, staying up very late to try to locate the Northern Lights. Her cooking at the cabin was fantastic. She looked after us all very well. She was very knowledgeable and an excellent host. We all loved her Finnish irony.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a non stop weekend, and be prepared for very late nights. Take flip flops for the wilderness sauna. Contact lenses are better for the activities if you have them as glasses steam up very quickly. It does get very cold, but as long as you follow the trip notes and layer up and use the centres equipment you will be fine. Hotel and cabin are lovely and warm.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Although this seems like a costly trip for only 3 nights it is well worth it as you get to travel to Europe's last wilderness and there are minimal costs once you are there: only alcohol and souvenirs. All food, including tea and coffee is included. Finnair were excellent too. Plenty of leg room, clean new planes, films on board and free drinks.
  • Reviewed March 2020

    Exceptional!

    This is my first Exodus Trip and 4th international cycling tour. This was one fantastic trip. Our Tour Leader, Long, was an absolute joy. The cycling is hard. I did have to sag a couple times, there was a 5 mi stretch that never got less than 13% (and got as staggeringly high as 26%!) and it was hot. But my god was it stunning - the vistas were absolutely incredible. The accommodations were good (with the exception of one which I believe has since been removed.) Having the extra night staying on a boat in Ha Long Bay was phenomenal as well. Really, if you like a challenging cycling trip, do this - don't wait.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Strangely seeing an old woman on a bicycle carrying a HUGE (5x or more her own body volume) load of who knows what up a mountain road - she smiled at us.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Long is a great guy! I believe he is the owner of the local company that Exodus books this tour for. He is unerringly positive, engaging and funny. He clearly also looks for staff that are similar. We got to learn that undulating hills means largely uphill :)

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do be sure that you're ready for this level trip - I thought I was and for the most part was, but some climbs were daunting - but I wouldn't take them off the route if I could.
  • Reviewed March 2020

    A highly informative trip that covers three states in south Inddiaa

    The trip covers a significant part of south India; our bus covered 2,800 km. At times, the trip seems rather rushed with only one night stays in some locations. This said, our leader Santo certainly got the best for us. Street food, a variety of hotels, different languages, beautiful green countyside, fresh fruits and vegetables, food not too spicy when requested, fantastic elements of the trip spent on boats etc. Exodus, as always, had all angles covered and we were able to enjoy ourselves, especially the walks and boat trips with interesting wildlife to see.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The houseboat trip was the highlight for me, sadly only one night on the boat, could have extended this!!!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Santo was excellent. I have never had a better tour leader. He is so well-informed and is great company. Without him, the trip could not have beeen so enjoyable.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do cover all angles as far as power connectors are concerned. The variety of sockets in hotels is nothing short of mind boggling.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thr trip could benefit from one less location so that single night hotel stays are limited/avoided. The chances of catching sight of tiger are very slim indeed! The option to travel on the Miniature Blue Mountain railway was not offered. But, we did travel on a 1 metre guage railway.
  • Reviewed March 2020

    Walking in a winter wonderland

    This trip is a great way to get to know a corner of the Dolomites in the winter. The walks take you through wonderful scenery, often with no other people around. Walking up peaks in the fresh snow is a great feeling, especially when you get to the top!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    -

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jenny was not only a great leader, but also great company. Her love for the mountains shines through all the time.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you are at a decent level of fitness. Some experience of walking up and down mountains (not necessarily in the snow) is essential.
  • Reviewed March 2020

    Patagonian highlights

    This is a fab holiday to see the best of Patagonia in as condensed a time as possible. It's tiring with some long travel days but the highlights make it worth it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Three top days. 1 - The Mount Fitzroy Massif. It's s gentle walk apart from the ascent up the morraine (about 400m in 1 km which is tough). We had great weather and the views at the top make it worthwhile. The guides are supportive and encouraging. Expect to see condors and be refreshed by topping up your water bottle from glacial streams. 2 - The Perito Merino glacier. We were mesmerised by watching the glacier and saw a couple of carvings which sounded like gunshots. This is a relaxing day as you can go as far or little on the balconies to observe the glacier. Again we had fab weather which helps but isn't essential on this day. 3 - The Torres del Paine. We would say this is challenging in terms of the length of the walk and the climb at the end but oh boy is it worth it! If you are in doubt about your fitness level I wouldn't worry so long as you have staying power. Again the guides are patient and will go at your pace. We were really lucky with the weather again and the scenery at the top is amazing.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Luciano was very enthusiastic and helped to make each day as rewarding as possible. He will make arrangements for those who don't want to walk and gives you alternative options. He was always there to help with any problems and advise on good restaurants. He's a meat man and loves his steak and will help you out with ordering if needed. He speaks a little quickly so you might have to ask him to repeat himself sometimes.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We went out a couple of days earlier than the rest of the group and had 2 days in Buenos Aires. We're glad we did this so that we could adjust to the time difference, get over the travelling and see something of BA before we flew down to El Calafate. Be prepared for WIND+++. Patagonia is like no other place I've ever been for experiencing wind. Although we had good weather you should expect rain, hail, snow and sunshine all in one day so make sure you have appropriate gear. There's not a lot of down time on the holiday but if you're prepared for that it's not a problem. We didn't get the option of walking on the glacier but had a lovely boat trip instead to see 2 waterfalls fed by glaciers. If you do this trip you don't need to do the optional afternoon boat trip on the day that you visit the Perito Moreno glacier. We found that most places in Argentina and Chile take credit cards and US dollars although you should be aware of the exchange rate to ensure you're getting a good deal. We changed our US dollars to Argentinian pesos at the airport on arrival for a reasonable exchange rate. You don't need many Chilean pesos and again you can get these when you cross the border into Chile. Chile tends to be more expensive than Argentina. It's usually better value to buy 1 bottle of wine between 2 of you in Argentina than 2 large glasses! If you're eating a steak ask for a tenderloin (our fillet). It can be divided between 2 of you if one steak is too big. The only reason we've given the holiday 4 starts instead of five is because we thought the food would be of a higher standard and one of the hostels had very dirty linen. However, this was changed immediately when we complained. If it was just based on scenery we would have given five stars. Although we saw lots of guanacos, horses, sheep and cows, it's not a holiday where you're going to spot a lot of wildlife.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Do it! It's probably best to do some hill walking before you go so that the 2 big walking days aren't a struggle. We had a really nice bunch of people on the trip which obviously increased the enjoyment but you can keep yourselves to yourselves if you wish.
  • Reviewed March 2020

    Totally fabulous

    We had a full tour with 16 people but our amazing guide Petro Pretorius ensured that everyone had a great experience. I won't repeat everything written in the other reviews - it's all true! You haven't lived till you experience a roadblock of a dazzle of zebra (yes, that's the collective term for them) or meet one of the big five lumbering around a corner in front of your vehicle, eat a 5-star braai meal (bbq but much more) cooked by your hosts in De Rust, gape at the astonishing stalactites in the Kango Caves, gaze from the top of Table Mountain or listen to an ex-prisoner describing life on Robben Island. In a relatively short tour you experience so many different types of scenery, flora and fauna and culture but in manageable chunks. Petro shares her passion for South Africa with you and gives you a full and honest account of the challenges faced by this wonderful but struggling country.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Listening to an ex-prisoner on Robben Island. He worked in the kitchens but also studied for a degree while in prison and later became a diplomat. Now retired, he guides trips around the prison. 'This work helps me to heal'. We could ask him any questions we wanted and he answered them all.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Petro was truly outstanding. Can't say more.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Stay on for a few days afterwards if you can - there is SO much to do and see in Cape Town.