Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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12239 Reviews

  • Reviewed November 2019
    Edward Preneta

    Genuine Morrocan Community and Hospitality

    This is a very good introduction to Morocco, Marrakech, remote village living and the high Atlas Mountains. You learn that Morocco is a Berber nation in the Arab world. It is also a very good example of Exodus's responsible tourism. Excellent local leader and drivers.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Hamed took 16 of us to his family's village house for tea and a variety of cookies/biscuits, which were prepared and served by his sister and other family members. We had a tour of his house and resident live stock. There was no pretentiousness. It wasn't staged. It was a moment of genuine Moroccan Berber community and hospitality.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Hamed was and is an outstanding leader. He is engaging, attentive, extremely knowledgeable and eager to learn from those he leads. He is very bright. He knows the trails, Morocco and Exodus.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Believe the trip notes. Marrakech is colorful and busy late into the night 7 days a week. Take the advice from the leader about what to eat, where and how much it should cost for meals, cabs and goods. Always bargain with merchants in the souk. The village is remote and picturesque. The riad is basic and simple. Prepare for the cold in winter months. The trails are rocky and stoney. Don't be shy. Try a hammam.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    As an American, it was wonderful to experience true Muslim community and hospitality and Islamic culture and religion. It was a positive contrast to our current negative policy toward Islam.
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Vivienne Hodgins

    A wonderful week in Jordan

    We really enjoyed our week in this really interesting country. There was so much to see and do. We enjoyed the Roman city at Jerash, Amman sites including the Jordan museum, Mount Nebo, Karak castle, Petra for two days which is the right amount of time. Also Little Petra and the Neolithic village, the Rift Valley, the Bedouin camp was experience at Wadi Rum which was great, swimming and snorkelling in the Red Sea at Aqaba and finally the Dead Sea experience. Only one long day in the bus but we made a few stops so it wasn’t boring. Hotels were good, food was excellent. Not much alcohol but lemon and mint drinks were good. Hiking in Petra was fun...we all did the treks. Jordan is a very friendly country....we felt safe at all times.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Hiking at Petra, the Bedouin camp and the camel ride at sunset, swimming in the Red Sea and covering ourselves in mud at the Dead Sea.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ibrahim was fantastic ,a five star leader. He was so knowledgeable, experienced, friendly, alert to the needs of each group member, always smiling. We were very lucky to have had him as our tour guide. He took us to great places to eat. He made the holiday.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go!!!!Jordan is a really interesting and varied country. We took some dinars ...ATMs are available everywhere. Take reusable drinking bottles....there is water in the bus. We weren’t cold in the Bedouin tent.....most people slept out under the stars. A sleeping bag liner would be good...there is a bottom sheet and blankets but no top sheet. Good to go a day early if you can to go to the museum....very informative. Good walking trainers are necessary for Petra...the walks are a real highlight. Take an old swimming costume for the Dead Sea mud...mine was stained by the mud.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Although it is only one week it feels like a real break as it is very different. There are early morning starts but not too many. I am really glad I went to that part of the world....the scenery is spectacular at times.
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Vivienne Hodgins

    A wonderful week in Jordan

    We really enjoyed our week in this really interesting country. There was so much to see and do. We enjoyed the Roman city at Jerash, Amman sites including the Jordan museum, Mount Nebo, Karak castle, Petra for two days which is the right amount of time. Also Little Petra and the Neolithic village, the Rift Valley, the Bedouin camp was experience at Wadi Rum which was great, swimming and snorkelling in the Red Sea at Aqaba and finally the Dead Sea experience. Only one long day in the bus but we made a few stops so it wasn’t boring. Hotels were good, food was excellent. Not much alcohol but lemon and mint drinks were good. Hiking in Petra was fun...we all did the treks. Jordan is a very friendly country....we felt safe at all times.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Hiking at Petra, the Bedouin camp and the camel ride at sunset, swimming in the Red Sea and covering ourselves in mud at the Dead Sea.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ibrahim was fantastic ,a five star leader. He was so knowledgeable, experienced, friendly, alert to the needs of each group member, always smiling. We were very lucky to have had him as our tour guide. He took us to great places to eat. He made the holiday.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go!!!!Jordan is a really interesting and varied country. We took some dinars ...ATMs are available everywhere. Take reusable drinking bottles....there is water in the bus. We weren’t cold in the Bedouin tent.....most people slept out under the stars. A sleeping bag liner would be good...there is a bottom sheet and blankets but no top sheet. Good to go a day early if you can to go to the museum....very informative. Good walking trainers are necessary for Petra...the walks are a real highlight. Take an old swimming costume for the Dead Sea mud...mine was stained by the mud.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Although it is only one week it feels like a real break as it is very different. There are early morning starts but not too many. I am really glad I went to that part of the world....the scenery is spectacular at times.
  • Reviewed November 2019
    John Halstead

    Amazing Adventure

    The trip was physically tough and I lost 16lb in weight, but the scenery was just stunning and the sense of achievement palpable. The Everest Base Camp day felt like a rest day after the previous passes and peaks. The guide, Phurba Sherpa, despite hos young age, was very competent and professional. A very impressive young man.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The stunning views of Everest with the enormous glacier in the foreground.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Outstanding. Competent and professional.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you have done some training, ideally long walks in the hills such as the Lake District, Brecon Beacons, or similar. If you are not fit you won't enjoy it so much. I always use a water filter instead of chemical treatments for drinking water. I have had far fewer stomach problems since using a filter. Mine is a Platypus gravity model, but other brands are available.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would thoroughly recommend this trip. It is the ultimate challenge in the Everest region below 6000m in altitude.
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Elaine Richards

    Breathtaking Adventure

    This trip exceeded our expectations. It was a great mix of cultural visits with active elements. There was tremendous variety packed into an 8 day holiday.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were 2. The moment when you first see the Treasury at the end of the Siq in Petra and climbing up to the high point and seeing the Treasury from above

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mohammad was a brilliant guide who obviously loved his country and wanted to show it to us in all its glory. He went the extra mile inorder to do this, for example getting us into the roman amphitheatre just as it was closing and more importantly supporting his group in a situation that made it very difficult for himself at great personal risk. The group we were part of was a good one but Mohammad made it into a family.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for the desert experience with appropriate clothes, bedding and towel.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was am amazing holiday and I would recommend it everyone!
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Alice Nimmo

    What a week!

    Highly recommended and couldn't stress how much effort the guides put in on making you feel welcome to this amazing country and how supportive they were in making the trip perfect for each individual. Head guide Elina is a fantastic overall lovely person. The food was to die for (all traditional Finnish), don't be expecting burgers unless it's an Elk one! The drink was expensive, but I had budgeted for this prior to the trip as I knew this would be the case. It's good idea to purchase alcohol at a UK airport or lack some in your case before hand. All of the activities were perfect to gain a taster of each, and once equipped with your gear, you were free to use them as you please in your free time. I took a hike up a local hill on our free day, using the snowshoes provided, Elina showed me a map in which I took with me, and an easy to follow, well marked trail. What a fabulous day to get a view of the Russian border from the top. The owners of the Huskies were so caring and knew a of the dogs inside out, what a lovely life they lead and the dogs really enjoy their work, this is obvious when you meet them, due to the excitement and noise they make when they know they're going on a trip. The reindeer are well looked after, and the herdsmen explained that they are trained to pull the sleighs in the winter when they are brought back to the farm, but released again to roam during the summer months. I can't tell you enough how much I love this country, the lovely people and how close they are to nature. If your after a really laid back holiday and an escaped from the rush of day to day life, this is for you!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The way of life the Finnish lead is to die for, they really are the most lovely people with an amazing connection to nature and their wildlife

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader Elina couldn't have been any better, she couldn't have tried to please everyone anymore if she tried

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't expect restaurant quality food, expect a more rustic and traditional Finnish cuisine such as reindeer, elk and fish

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Worth every penny
  • Reviewed November 2019
    David Griffiths

    Don't go for the Snow Monkeys!

    There are two reasons to go on this trip: in Spring for the Cherry Blossom, or later in the year to see the Snow Monkeys. We did the latter, and in fact the last departure of the year, the next being in April. We did not see any monkeys, and the people we spoke to, including the staff at the monkey centre, said that it was too early to see them. They come to a hot spring when it's really cold. When we were there, it was not cold (avg 17 deg in the day), and in any case, the hot spring had suffered damage from Typhoon Hagibis and was not filling up. We spent a morning hiking to what was essentially a muddy pool for no reason. This was a real waste of time. Apart from this, the trip was enjoyable, but there are a number of free days which really should be filled up with - for example every person on our trip wanted to see Mount Fuji but we had to do that ourselves on a free day - I feel that this should have been part of the itinerary; the tour finishes in Tokyo with a free day on the Friday, and then another free day on the Saturday before being collected for the airport at 6.30pm. There's lots to do in Tokyo, but we lost our guide before the tour finished. I don't want to be only negative - we really enjoyed the vast majority of this tour, but it could have been so much better.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Hiroshima - but we didn't have enough time there.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Hard working and well organised but didn't go above and beyond. He was great in explaining all the customs and etiquette.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take plenty of cash - UK debit cards don't work in most machines and credit cards are not as widely accepted as in the UK.
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Lance Berryman

    Wild Namibia

    Dear Exodus: I have had the most wonderful expedition. I’d like to say a few words about the people that made it happen. Firstly I want to thank the support crew. Simson, Umbarra, Fritz, Matthias and Asa. These gentlemen turned camping into an art form. I’ve stayed at the best hotels and resorts around the world; this crew is second to none. Their attention to detail and service oriented guest first attitude is superb. They brought such an infectious positivity to the camp that it was impossible not to enjoy yourself. Did I mention the food? Asa catered to our every want and surpassed expectations every single night. This man is a genius on a camp fire. Absolutely remarkable. Hands down the best crew an expedition could want. I could go on and on about these guys. I don’t know how much you pay them but they are worth their weight in gold. Thank you to the crew, their efforts ensured this trip was a raucous success. Next I’d like to thank Tracks and Trails. I wouldn’t dare go into the wildly remote areas we ventured into without a solid plan B. Tracks and Trails seemed to have not only a plan B but a plan C and D for every possible scenario. The vehicles were the best and when the inevitable setbacks that will happen in this rugged environment occurred, they had our back every time. I was very impressed with how quickly they reacted and problem solved. I felt confident knowing I had a team working in the background that could solve any issue at the snap of a finger regardless of the distance, environment and terrain. I felt like nothing could stop us. Very well done Tracks and Trails. PJ. What can I say? The man is as legendary as Tarzan. His positive attitude combined with his no nonsense polite but stern business approach had all of us paying attention to the details that kept us safe. He was the pack leader. I have a great deal of respect for this man. PJ’s tracking skills were a marvel to behold; When he was tracking the desert lions I felt as if I was in a movie. He found us every animal we dreamed of seeing, then got us a better angle. Pj’s knowledge base is ridiculously extensive, I’d gamble he knows more about Africa than the Encyclopedia Británica; history, botany, geology, astronomy, flora and fauna, tribal ancestry.. the only thing he didn’t talk about was religion and politics. The only question he couldn’t answer was, “PJ, is their anything you don’t know?”. PJ catered to the group and the individual, birds for the birders, terra formations and geological history for the rock hounds, biology for the plant lovers, history for the scholars and everything you could want to know about mammals, reptiles, birds and insects. He even ran around overturning rocks to find us a scorpion when an interest was expressed. PJ is a gem, his leadership and people skills are enviable. When I come back to Africa I will find out what tour he is guiding and do that. I cannot say enough about his skills. Lastly, I’d like to thank Exodus. You’ve done an amazing job of pairing us with the very best local guides, support staff and logistics professionals. I’ve never travelled with Exodus before, I’ll never tour with anyone but Exodus from now on. Very well done. Superb. Thank you once again to everyone involved, I’m looking forward to my next adventure. Sincerely, Lance Berryman.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Black Rhinos.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The best... see my other comments

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Dear Exodus: I have had the most wonderful expedition. I’d like to say a few words about the people that made it happen. Firstly I want to thank the support crew. Simson, Umbarra, Fritz, Matthias and Asa. These gentlemen turned camping into an art form. I’ve stayed at the best hotels and resorts around the world; this crew is second to none. Their attention to detail and service oriented guest first attitude is superb. They brought such an infectious positivity to the camp that it was impossible not to enjoy yourself. Did I mention the food? Asa catered to our every want and surpassed expectations every single night. This man is a genius on a camp fire. Absolutely remarkable. Hands down the best crew an expedition could want. I could go on and on about these guys. I don’t know how much you pay them but they are worth their weight in gold. Thank you to the crew, their efforts ensured this trip was a raucous success. Next I’d like to thank Tracks and Trails. I wouldn’t dare go into the wildly remote areas we ventured into without a solid plan B. Tracks and Trails seemed to have not only a plan B but a plan C and D for every possible scenario. The vehicles were the best and when the inevitable setbacks that will happen in this rugged environment occurred, they had our back every time. I was very impressed with how quickly they reacted and problem solved. I felt confident knowing I had a team working in the background that could solve any issue at the snap of a finger regardless of the distance, environment and terrain. I felt like nothing could stop us. Very well done Tracks and Trails. PJ. What can I say? The man is as legendary as Tarzan. His positive attitude combined with his no nonsense polite but stern business approach had all of us paying attention to the details that kept us safe. He was the pack leader. I have a great deal of respect for this man. PJ’s tracking skills were a marvel to behold; When he was tracking the desert lions I felt as if I was in a movie. He found us every animal we dreamed of seeing, then got us a better angle. Pj’s knowledge base is ridiculously extensive, I’d gamble he knows more about Africa than the Encyclopedia Británica; history, botany, geology, astronomy, flora and fauna, tribal ancestry.. the only thing he didn’t talk about was religion and politics. The only question he couldn’t answer was, “PJ, is their anything you don’t know?”. PJ catered to the group and the individual, birds for the birders, terra formations and geological history for the rock hounds, biology for the plant lovers, history for the scholars and everything you could want to know about mammals, reptiles, birds and insects. He even ran around overturning rocks to find us a scorpion when an interest was expressed. PJ is a gem, his leadership and people skills are enviable. When I come back to Africa I will find out what tour he is guiding and do that. I cannot say enough about his skills. Lastly, I’d like to thank Exodus. You’ve done an amazing job of pairing us with the very best local guides, support staff and logistics professionals. I’ve never travelled with Exodus before, I’ll never tour with anyone but Exodus from now on. Very well done. Superb. Thank you once again to everyone involved, I’m looking forward to my next adventure. Sincerely, Lance Berryman.
  • Reviewed November 2019

    EBC is a sensational but tough trek

    In common with other reviewers' comments, it should be noted that the landscape between Lukla and Dingboche is like an alpine paradise, unexpectedly beautiful valleys and rivers, criss-crossed with suspension bridges and dotted with Buddha stupas. While mostly undulating, the trail is especially difficult on days where the ascent can be two hours straight up. But the leaders are cogniscent of this and allow many water stops in between scheduled breaks. Our leader, Bikash Tamang (TNT191102), was an especially experienced and supportive leader and provided confidence to those who needed it as well as providing cultural and geographical narrative from start to finish. The only reason I am giving 4 stars instead of 5 is because of the sanitary condition of many of the lodges high up in the Khumbu region and the abysmally cold bedrooms which are not insulated or well built. Do not underestimate how cold it gets at night.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    A visit to a hospital in Phakding

    What did you think of your group leader?

    See comments above; Bikash Tamang (TNT191102), was an especially experienced and supportive leader and provided confidence to those who needed it as well as providing cultural and geographical narrative from start to finish.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Consider grouping together and buying a helicopter flight from Ramechaap to Kathmandu on the return leg, to avoid a 6 hour horror bus journey and instead enjoy an incredible 25 minute flight over the hilltops. Amazing. Do not pay more than USD 1600 (5 people)
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Phill English

    Excellent

    A great trip with amazing landscapes and a great guide.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Tsitsikama national park and

    What did you think of your group leader?

    She was brilliant