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 September 2018

    A great mixture of being active, sight seeing and relaxation

    All the reviews provide great advice and insights - I recommend reading them and I'll try not to duplicate their excellent advice. It is a Level 3 hike, so it's not a stroll in the park on flat surface. You'll enjoy the trip more if you've put some training before hand. Look at Exodus' training advice. As Kathryn mentioned, the Dalmatian Coast is limestone so lots of different size rocks, and lots of going up, and down. Take good hiking boots and poles are really helpful. For the going up, work on your cardio so you're not winded and you can enjoy the views. For going down, work into you daily routine going down stairs. Forward and backward lunges using a bosu is also good to help strength your knees/quads for the descents. All of the hotels had access to swimming, so bring a bathing suit. There's nothing better than going for a swim after a long hike. The beach in Bol is lovely and it was so nice to just relax. Seeing Dubrovnik, Bol, Split and Starigrad were a nice "taste" of Croatia. It was also great to have a couple of nights in each location so you didn't always feel like you arrived and then had to pack up and go.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    A lot of people have asked me this and I have a hard time picking one thing. The trip is a great blend of many, many elements from traditional sight seeing to the hiking. I love being active during the day and then going back to the hotel for a swim and a lovely meal at a local restaurant. The people on my tour and our conversations were also a highlight. We were a diverse group (Canada, UK, US and Germany) from mid 30s to 60s, with different backgrounds (artist, engineers, health professionals, IT, lawyer, marketing, publishing, teachers, etc). I know I've made some new friends on this trip.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ivan is awesome and it's easy to underestimate how good he is. Herding 16 adults is a challenge and he did it with skill and diplomacy. As I mentioned, we're a diverse group and we all had different ideas of what we wanted out of our holiday and he took into account. This was my first Exodus trip and I'm looking to do another trip in part based on Ivan.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    As noted above, put in time before hand to do some training so you can enjoy the trip. While going up is harder for cardio, most people have more challenges with going down. A couple of months before add going down stairs. It will help to build up your quads and strengthen your knees. I did this leading up to the trip and I didn't have any problems. I was given this advice before going to do the Inca Trail and I didn't listen to it. On the Inca trail I was stiff but in Croatia I didn't have any issues. (Exodus also rates their Inca Trail trip a Level 3.)

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It's a great trip. Highly recommend it.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    David Kirrane

    Cape Town and the Garden Route

    A highly enjoyable tour of the beautiful Garden Route in South Africa culminating in the cosmopolitan hub of Cape Town bestraddled by the breathtaking vistas of Table Mountain, Lions Head. A wonderful adventure where game animals such as lions, rhinos, elephants, buffalos, warthogs, girraffes, zebras etc as well as ostritches, whales and penguins can be seen up close and personal and where beautiful forests, gorges, mountains, waterfalls, deserts, caves can be seen in all their glory. I would highly recommend this tour to anyone who may be interested in visiting South Africa as this tour is so diverse and varied and gives the "adventurer" a stunning glimpse of this beautiful Rainbow nation.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the varied wildlife of the game reserves, ostriches, whales and penguins up close in their natural habitats. Also had the opportunity of mingling with local South Africans in non tourist areas as well as meeting inhabitants of the Langa township. The group leader also gave a stirring recount of the history, culture and traditions of South Africa which helped to put to bed my own misconceptions of the country.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader was amazing from his organisation skills in organising in advance the activities, meals and accommodation to his vast and deep knowledge of South Africa. The group leader also helped to make the group feel at ease through his easy going , patient and pleasant demeanour and was very obliging when small issues arose with his ability to resolve them quickly being remarkable. I would embark on his other tours that he leads in the future.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go on this adventure, you will not regret it. Listen to the group leader as he knows so much and is available to help when required.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Irene Neilson

    A great blend of culture and treking in a very peaceful, isolated area

    This trek is unusual for a Grade 5 trek in so far as it combines fair amount of cultural activity - all very enjoyable and interesting- with actual treking. The trek itself is valley based so despite being at high altitude for most of the time, the walking gradient is gradual and acclimatisation well facilitated. The Lasermo Pass though high is straightforward with a zig zag path leading over its top - it was fun using micro spikes again. There are lovely views back down the valley to the mountains beyond. The final camp also offers great views over the Stok Range including Stok Kangri. Its a different type of trek from the Markha Valley so even if you have done that one, this one is also very enjoyable.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    On the cultural side I found the old museum inside the Phyang Monastery really fascinating - wonderful artefacts of time gone by including the wizened hand of a Mongol warrior. The journey down from the Khardung La Pass to Hundar was breathtaking in the beauty of the surrounding mountain landscape. Worth doing the trip just to see that vista. Trek wise my highlight was arriving at base camp for the Lasermo La on a beautiful day (our weather to that point had been unseasonably cold and cloudy) with outstanding views up and down the valley and the opportunity to wash/paddle/swim in the river.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Valerie, as ever, was excellent. Lovely to have someone so knowledgeable about the area and its history as your leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be ready for all types of weather! Do take snacks - I hate eating between meals but at altitude, particularly if you have a stomach upset, it is really important. Lesson learnt!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    You cannot see the Karakorum from the top of the Lasermo La - my only disappointment.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Paul Dowell

    First time wild trecking

    This was our first wild trek and what a way to start. Stunning scenery and wildlife. Beautifully isolated - with the exception of a few local villagers and shepherds we only saw a handful of other hikers on the entire trek. The whole experience from the arriving in Leh to returning was filled with new treats. Leh itself is well worth a visit and the Kardung La is one to tick off the bucket list. Then on to Diskit Gompa (and others) for a relaxed acclimatization day at 3,200m. The trek was very well led/guided with friendly and enthusiastic support staff. Despite the isolation we felt very secure and well looked after. Its certainly wetted our appetite for more adventures.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Being so remote.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    100% and on the ball. We both had a few altitude problems and it was dealt with very quickly.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read the travel notes and pay particular attention to the kit list!!!!
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Richard Christie

    Get away from the trekking crowd

    Ladakh is one of my favourite areas of the world and I was therefore excited when this new trek appeared in the brochure. I am happy to report that the Nubra Valley Trek did not disappoint! The trip starts and ends with time in Leh which is a great place to wander about the shops, visit monasteries or just simply chill out over a coffee. You then have a picturesque drive over the highest drivable pass in the world into the Nubra Valley with superb views from the top (clouds permitting!). The ‘sightseeing’ part of the trip was rounded off with a visit to the impressive Diskit Monastery and its magnificent adjacent Buddha Statue. It was then time to leave other tourists behind and head off to where only shepherds roam. The walking was superb venturing up beautiful, peaceful valleys - often beside bubbling streams and sparkling rivers, passing mirror like turquoise lakes. On the whole trekking part of the trip we only met a handful of other trekkers – something you can’t say about Everest Base Camp trips. We were treated to more fantastic views as we climbed over the Lasermo La. At 5400m this is a steady climb but the trip is well designed to ensure you have plenty of time to acclimatise before this high point. This is a fantastic trip for anyone who likes the feel of being in more remote areas and getting away from the trekking crowd.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    An afternoon excursion when a few of us ventured up a side valley and found two hidden lakes reflecting the stunningly beautiful colours of the surrounding mountains and glacier.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Valerie was excellent making sure everyone was fit & well and had the chance to get the most they could out of the trip with her detailed descriptions and explanations of Ladakh and its culture. She was ably assisted by the local guide and camp crew.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Although the trip is well designed to give you the best chance of acclimatising you need to play your part by starting off gently. Slow and steady is the best way – if you start to get a headache then slow down and drink more water.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I hope exodus reconsider and keep this superb trip in the brochure so others can get a chance of experiencing what I believe is trekking at its best.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Pat Sani

    Amazing Country

    This was a most enjoyable trek, culminating walking over a glacial moraine, the Lasermo La at 5400m. The Nubra valley is remote and rocky, intersected by rivers and streams. Amazing views all round. Wildlife of marmots, picas and birds of prey giving us a show as they appeared and disappeared from our sight occasionally. Lots of flowers to be seen and shy birds. The walking was well planned with the mileage for the days appropriate, to take into account the increasing altitude. Prior to the beginning of the trek we visited monasteries in and around Leh and drove over the Khardung La, one of the highest roads in the world. Many pictures taken here to capture the experience. Diskit Monastery was an interesting place to visit as part of our acclimation. In contrast Phyang monastery which we visited at the end with its newly painted frescoes was quite beautiful.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Enjoying the high points but the whole trip was wonderful.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The leader was very very good, so to all the support staff and the ponies.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you are fit to begin the trek it will add to your enjoyment.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Kara Brown

    Sicily in a week !

    Overall an excellent trip. This covers the main sites round the island. As it is the largest island in the Mediterranean there is quite a lot of ground to cover so it is quite a busy tour. However it was worth it to see the contrasts of this lovely island which combined with the lovely food made a great holiday.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The wine tasting on the first day was really excellent and a good way at the start of the tour to get to know your fellow travellers. The sites of the island were stunning. Selinunte was not overcrowded with tourists so was particularly lovely to walk around, with its stunning setting overlooking the sea. The town of Erice also had stunning views and was lovely to wander the quite streets of the town.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Marco was excellent. He provided us all with a book at the start of the tour and with a map of each town as we visited them. I have done many Exodus trips and have never had a guide so organised with such maps, highlighting the points of interest. Phillipe was our trusty driver who was also excellent and we all felt safe with his driving.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I would say that the coastal walk was more challenging than the walk on Mt Etna. I wore good walking boots for both although could have got away with walking shoes for the Mt Etna walk.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Overall a great trip with excellent guide and good hotels. The only downside was the hotel in Palermo which was a bit “Faulty Towers”. Two sets of people in our group had to change room and my Mum (who was on the holiday with me) had to put out a spark from an electrical socket. i Suggest the Exodus seriously look at changing the hotel for the two nights in Palermo.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Dave Stroud

    A comprehensive and very enjoyable trip in this incredible country!

    A thoroughly enjoyable trip! This trip is pretty full on and many hours are spent on the bus, travelling from place to place. However, as the scenery is constantly changing this adds to the whole experience. Whilst not as wildlife rich as some other countries I've visited it still had it's wonderful moments. I didn't expect to see so many hyena's, an animal which I've never understood the reaction of many people; that being "they're so ugly". I've always found them to be beautiful! Lions eluded us but we did manage to see a leopard and African painted dogs, which felt very lucky indeed. Also spotted two young male giraffes squaring up to each other and practice fighting. That also felt like a rare privilege to see. If you want wide ranging experiences from a holiday this is definitely for you! I loved it!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Exploring the Drakensberg mountains, where we did a small walk. I could very easily spend a whole week (or longer) in this one area alone. I actually felt this way many times during the trip so pinning down a single inspirational moment is an impossible task for me. As South Africa is such a large country, this trip was always going to a taster for me. I will definitely return and hopefully spend more time in the areas I most liked.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Petro was a fantastic guide and was always there to help; full of information, particularly that of South Africa's history, ensures that you'll always find the longer journeys interesting. I must also mention Joel, who was not only the driver but did many other jobs such as preparing the meals, particularly the braais (South African barbeque). We never went hungry! Even people who didn't like certain foods were catered for! Both guides worked extremely hard and I often felt that especially after the long drives the group could easily have eaten out. This would have meant that the guides, after the long driving days, wouldn't have to cook for the group!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I travelled in August and underestimated how cold it was going to be, particularly in the coastal regions. I should have packed a couple more thicker jumpers and some thicker trousers too.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I highly recommend this trip if you want a fully rounded experience and something to give you a taste of this amazing country! This trip has certainly renewed my faith in Exodus as previously I'd had a couple of very disappointing trips, which I learnt were run by another company, based in Tanzania. Trips in the Southern African countries (at least the ones I've been on) have been run by Mask; these encompass all the best trips I've ever done. You'll not be disappointed!
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Brian Brasier

    Excellent trip..

    A very enjoyable trip thanks to a great guide (Lena), a very friendly group ,a very professional driver, a well planned itinerary &,good weather.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Palmse Manor and the Distillery accommodation . The Onion Villages on the shores of the Lake. Guild Hall in Tallinn

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lena was outstanding. She was knowledgeable about the three countries and was a very good communicator. We appreciated the way she shared some of the story of her own family in the changing situation of Lithuania. She selected good places for lunches and dinners. She took great care of the slower riders (us ) and ensured that we didn't take wrong turns and get lost.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do some training so that you can ride 50 km on fairly flat country without discomfort. Take the right sort of gear - lycra makes life much easier on the saddle.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We would have liked more time in Riga but understand that it's hard to cover everything. The accommodation was very satisfactory throughout.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Brian Brasier

    Excellent trip..

    We had a very enjoyable cycle through the Baltic States form Tallinn to Vilnius. We left on August 28 and finished on September 9th. Our guide Lena was excellent, the group were all friendly and our driver was highly professional. We were blessed with fine weather and we thought that the Grading of 2 was spot on.We would have liked more time in Riga.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The time spent at Palmse at the Manor house grounds. The Onion Villages on the side of the lake were also notable. The Guild Hall in Tallinn .

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lena was outstanding - could not have done more for us all. She was knowledgeable and was able to communicate the stories of the three countries very well.We appreciated the way she was prepared over the trip to share elements of her family story. Always thoughtful and took great care of the tail end riders - us ! She selected very good places for lunches and dinners.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared - do some training beforehand and have the appropriate gear - lycra pants make the ride more comfortable.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Highly recommend this trip to cyclists of a range of abilities.
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