Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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’!

Lots of our clients also like to post handy tips and advice about their travels. It’s great to know what to expect on an Exodus adventure before you go, so make the most of their experience and you’ll make the most of yours!

Haven't posted your review yet? Here's how to do it...

After you have returned from your Exodus adventure holiday you will be emailed a link to the review page. Any feedback collected is posted straight onto our website - totally unedited.

If you have recently returned from an Exodus adventure and want to help other travellers with your feedback then click here to start the process to post your holiday review.

17893 Reviews

  • Reviewed February 2020

    Stunning country, great wildlife and brilliant people

    A brilliant trip, with a great group, amazing scenery, getting close up to wildlife in its natural habitat, and really friendly Ticos. The group gelled quickly, helped by our amazing guide Memo. The riding was mostly easy, but beware of any ‘notable’ hills (ahem, Memo!). Roads were mostly in good condition. Some early starts, but most days got to hotels with time to relax. Different vibe between Pacific Coast, Caribbean Coast and Mountains, but fascinating. Loved it. Highly recommended.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Too many to list; a moment of peace and beauty in the Cloud Forest, first sight of sloths, humming birds, kingfishers, crocodiles, or the night tour when we saw the red eyed tree frog. So many beautiful moments riding quiet country roads, surrounded by volcanoes, amazing wildlife and friendly locals, just feeling speechless with the beauty.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Memo was brilliant. A wicked sense of humour, relaxed style, always smiling, helpful and professional throughout. He had deep knowledge of the wildlife, the countryside, the flora, and shared insights into the culture, people, society and place. His ‘PowerPoint’ presentations were fun and informative, if unexpected. The end of the tour felt a little sad, as everyone went in different directions. Memo was at the heart of this group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring a travel plug (for sinks) if you plan on washing cycling gear; lycra shorts are ok - there are plenty of Tico cyclists in lycra; bring plenty of deet; re-apply sunscreen, even if it says it only needs one application; the Cloud Forest is worth a visit.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The National Theatre tour is worthwhile if you have time. Uber is easy to use around San Jose. If you have the chance, I’d recommend a bit of luxury before or after the trip, there are plenty of hotels nearby. Note the the start hotel is in a suburb of Alajuela, which is separate from but near San Jose.
  • A memorable journey

    This was our first adventure with Exodus, but we are not new to cycle touring having used several other tour companies in the past. This was also our first time in South America and it was memorable for many reasons - the stunning scenery, the excellent guides and the surprising amount of rough surfaces we had to ride on.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Waking up in the mornings and looking out at exceptional views in so many locations. The scenery in this part of the world is part Alps, part Dolomites, part Rocky Mountains, part South Island New Zealand. Then add perfect volcanoes and you've got the Lake District of Chile and Argentina! Riding the valley between Peulla and the border pass was my most breathtaking memory, partly because we saw our first condor, and partly because it was such joy not to be in yesterday's pouring rain! Conguillio National Park is the icing on the cake - so stunning it's hard to describe, and so different from the rest of the experience. On day one, because of the rain, our guides arranged a tour of Teatro del Lago. This should be part of the tour, it was an outstanding experience.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was Alejandro and he was exceptional. His side-kicks Yal and Diego were too. The three made such a great team. We've never been disappointed with tour leaders, and these three were top-notch, and so much fun to be around.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Yes, plenty. There was so much good about this tour from the leaders to the scenery to the hotels to the food, but if you are a road cyclist then you might be in for a surprise. I know the trip notes say there's 26% of unpaved tracks but that doesn't even begin to describe how rough some of the cycling is. It's more like 30% anyway, and given the time it takes to navigate we reckon we may have spent 50% of our riding time on unpaved surfaces. You need to be prepared for this. There are only two days out of the nine riding days that are entirely spent on paved roads - and they are both heavenly rides, listed as day 7 and day 9 in the trip notes. There are also two days that are entirely unpaved from start to finish, that's day 4 and day 12. Strange there's no mention of this in the trip notes regarding individual days! These days were difficult, and yet they were also the must stunningly beautiful. The advice from our leader to lower your saddle when negotiating steep unpaved downhills with rocks and boulders was extremely helpful and made us feel safer. Quite a bit of walking was happening too. Everyone was in the same boat, but those with off-road experience obviously fared better. There's considerable elevation gain on this tour too. Funny that's not mentioned in the trip notes either. Cycling trip notes with daily distances but without daily elevation gains seems incomplete to us. We made enquiries and eventually got the daily elevations sent to us. Suggest you do the same. They are anywhere from 230 m to 984 m. It is hilly, every day!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Don't be put off by the trip notes for day 4 about the challenging 700 m climb. You can choose to ride up in the hotel pick-up truck that brings along the lunch. You can also choose to walk it, without your bike which will be taken in the truck. We were also give the choice of attempting to ride it and abandoning the bike if necessary and walking - the truck would rescue the bike. So there are options, and people in our group took all of them. The 3 km rocky descent on the other side of the border however has no options as the truck can't cross the border. The bikes we had were Giant, almost new, well maintained, front shocks, disc brakes, very suitable for the terrain. Another piece of advice is to bring a gel seat, and some kind of small handlebar bag for your camera, phone and sunscreen. It's not terrifically hot, but the sun is strong. Don't bother with power bars as the daily snacks are excellent; bananas, chocolate covered peanuts and raisins and more, coffee, tea, always at around 20 km. We also took our toe cages and they were happy to put them on our pedals for us, we were very glad to have them because did I mention that it's hilly?! We are now looking to buy the velcro-strap handlebar mirrors that some people had - these would have been very useful on the main roads; a flashing red rear light would be a good idea too, especially if you have some dark, rainy days; and you might! It was chilly at times, most people wore a Buff in the mornings and long-fingered gloves too. The van will take things as you remove them, no need to cycle with a day pack. Go with your eyes open to these conditions and you will love your Lake District tour.
  • Reviewed February 2020

    Fantastic experience

    Week long tour of western Cuba stopping off at loads of interesting and enjoyable locations: just some were Cienfuegos, Trinidad, pottery studio and 'have a go', Vinales Valley and tobacco/coffee plantation with fascinating demonstrations and of course not forgetting the wonderful Havana. Lovely places to stay and very very good food.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Can't narrow it down to 1! but including visiting the traditional house of a couple who lived via their coffee and plant production, overwhelming hospitality of the places we stayed in, Cuban friendliness and seeing how they manage their lives so well despite some hardships.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fabulous. The most informative, entertaining and helpful person we could have wished for in that role. The coach driver who took us everywhere was wonderful too, and made sure we never ran out of fuel!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared to live out of a suitcase, it's not nearly as difficult as we thought!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We would wholeheartedly recommend this tour. It gave us a great holiday, wonderful experiences and plenty of great memories!
  • Reviewed February 2020

    A Brilliant Trip

    We have been on a couple of cycling trips before and this one was probably the best. Tri our guide was outstanding and all our fellow cyclists were a great bunch of people. We got a real flavour of life in Vietnam. Lots of interesting food.The meals were good and plentiful. Thought we would lose weight but didn't! Good Hotels. Many highlights but a couple or so to point out,Whale Island and Hoi An, the 30km exhilarating downhill ride and cycling in city centre traffic...... great fun but leaves your heart racing. It is quite full on which leaves you wanting to spend more time in some of the places visited. The usual pattern is arrive at 5 - 6 pm, leave at 7.15 next morning. However we did find time to swim in the hotel pools. Overnight train was great fun ....all part of the adventure. To cover the length of the country there are some longish times in the bus but the bus was comfortable but great chance to talk with your fellow travellers. This also gives you time to see more of the country and people watch. Staggered us how much could be piled on a scooter! The bikes were ideal for the road conditions as well as being clean and very well maintained. At the frequent refreshment/rest stops there was lots of juice, water, fruit, nuts and biscuits. The driver and bike mechanic were very friendly and very competent. Great organization, things happened when Tri said they would.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The local people were very friendly and were very welcoming. They seemed to have put the past behind them and were striving to build a modern country with no rancour about the past. We had four Americans and a Frenchman on our trip and they experienced no animosity. I accept this is the view of a short stay holiday maker looking at things through rose tinted spectacles but the people smiled a lot and the little children shouted greetings and wanted to high five you.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Tri our group leader was outstanding. He was highly organised and efficient. He instilled confidence and was always cool, calm and collected. Tri ensured we were always well briefed. He and his team ensured our safety was paramount at all times. Tri had a lovely sense of humour and made things enjoyable. He was a great ambassador for his country.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read the trip notes carefully.Get your self into reasonable shape but if you have any doubts about your fitness hire an electric bike........you will have a much better experience. Go with the flow. Learn some basic Vietnamese, it goes a long way if you can say good morning/evening and thank you.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A great trip made by having a superb group leader and a bunch of fellow travellers who all gelled together.
  • Reviewed February 2020

    Amazing experience

    From start to finish, I cannot fault this trip. The temples and Ancient Egyptian remains speak for themselves and are stunning. I had no idea that they were so well preserved. But the trip was made especially enjoyable by our super efficient and friendly guide, Sayed. His commentary covered both ancient and modern Egypt, and I have been reading books about Egypt ever since!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The sun going down, while sailing down the Nile is quite magical. In the valley of the kings, being able to explore with very few other tourists, brought home the splendour of the tombs.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sayed managed all the logistics to perfection, and at the same time shared his passion for Egyptology. He struck exactly the right balance between serious, informative guide and being friendly and approachable.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The cost of the optional trips does mount up - but most are really great experiences - so I would advise factoring them into the overall cost of the holiday before you go.
  • Reviewed February 2020

    Excellent trip and guide

    Booked very late and was lucky enough to have single room option still available. The trip is superb. More than Petra. So much in one week and very well organised. We had every season going including snow on our week, and still had a dip in Dead Sea at the end of our holiday. Pack layers for jan feb trips, and a warm jacket! Our guide, Ibrahim was superb. Great knowledge, good fun, and helpful with useful advice. Pick your choice of walks in Petra as it is massive. My highlight was the walk to high sacrifice in Petra, stunning ,even with my dislike of open heights on one spot. I would recommend Jordan for it’s friendliness, people, culture and it’s a short haul flight to a completely different landscape/culture. Brilliant trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Petra high sacrifice walk. Jerash? So unexpected.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ibrahim is a real credit to exodus. His passion for his country and history is authentic. He loves his job. Something to be envious of. He is really knowledgeable about all the sites we saw. He knew how to bring the best out in the group. One of the best guides I’ve had.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Plan for four seasons in winter. I thought I was ridiculous taking a padded jacket to Jordan. Nope. I needed it for three days . Feb tour 2020. Lightweight walking shoes are a must.
  • Reviewed February 2020

    Fresh air, sunshine, mountains - a heavenly February escape!

    Fantastic trip - wonderful walking and scenery - almond trees in blossom, spectacular geology, great company and camaraderie among the group, a very knowledgeable and attentive guide (Jose) who clearly loves his home region and wants to share it with others as well as being a competent and experienced mountain guide, a comfortable family-run hotel with a personal touch in a tranquil location, copious amounts of very good food... We were lucky in having perfect weather in February and it was a tonic to get away from stormy Britain.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The two ridge walks were my favourites, with the 360-degree panoramas across the mountain ranges.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jose is an excellent leader, very personable and kept us laughing and on our toes. He tended to every member of the group and was very aware of people's different needs. I found all he had to tell us about the local politics, history, culture etc. very interesting. He is very well organised and conscientious - I don't underestimate how much hard work his job is but he performs it all with charm. Finally, he clearly places safety and wellbeing front and centre.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you have only done 'moderate' rated holidays before, don't be put off by the 'moderate to challenging' rating of this holiday. Yes, it is challenging at times, but if you are of reasonable fitness and hill-walking experience (read the trip notes on this!) then go for it - it's just a question of pushing yourself a little harder and it pays off in terms of the views and sense of accomplishment. Being a pessimist I couldn't quite believe that it would truly be warm in February and at the last minute ditched several t-shirts and my sunhat from my packing - if you go at this time of year, pack for all temperatures! We had 19 degree sunshine but it does get chilly in the evenings (I appreciated the evening fire in the restaurant). Most people on the free day chose to relax close to the hotel. I went to Altea and Villajoyosa on the coast and had an enjoyable day - transport between the two by tram/train is easy and we even swam in the sea. It was a good way to break up the week and see another side to the region.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Only that I would thoroughly recommend this trip. I didn't think that the Picos de Europa week could be beaten within Spain but I enjoyed this one equally - the peacefulness and remoteness of the location is really surprising given its easy proximity to Alicante and the rest of the coast. I would be interested in similar trips elsewhere in Spain - Cabo de Gata looks good, Exodus!
  • Reviewed February 2020

    Busy itinerary packed with highlights

    This is a busy itinerary that covers all the major sights in the 'Golden Triangle' of Northern India, plus two tiger safaris and Varanasi, in only 7 days off work. Most itineraries on offer for this part of the world won't give you so much in such a short time period. This makes it a great option for travellers with little time to spare and who want to see as much as possible of this part of the world. There is little 'down time' and it can feel a bit rushed at times, but for me this was far outweighed by the opportunity to see so much and visit places I simply couldn't have fitted in at all any other way. The trip was very well organised and run and I enjoyed everything we visited.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Taj Mahal was so impressive - it really is worth seeing it in real life. Pictures and TV can't do it justice. The whole trip was worth it just for that. Seeing a tiger in Rathambhore was thrilling especially as many groups aren't that lucky (but the safaris are worthwhile and enjoyable in their own right even if no tigers appear). Varanasi was fascinating and an unexpected highlight for me. Also visiting the Sikh Gurdwara and its communal kitchens in Delhi was a really interesting trip and gave an insight into an aspect of a religion I knew little about.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was very well organised and efficient. He did a fantastic job keeping a large group together and getting us through an incredibly busy and tightly timed itinerary in sometimes difficult circumstances. He made the trip run smoothly which must have been a mammoth undertaking.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It really does get very cold in February, particularly on the game drives and sunrise starts. You can't wear enough on the early morning safari to keep warm. So pack accordingly! Layers are best as later in the day when the sun's out you won't need your jackets. Most days you have access to a bus so can leave things like coats. European plug adaptors are the most useful to take and can be used in the majority of the hotels. The train does have power points by the bunks. You can purchase a chain and padlock to secure your bags on the train very cheaply at the station - so if you don't already have one, don't splash out in your home country on one. As with all Exodus trips, a softer, smaller bag will serve you better than a big hard suitcase, particularly when trying to fit it under the train bunk beds. There are a number of optional excursions and these aren't always listed in the trip notes. The cost was generally around 1000-1500 rupees per person for a group of 16. It would be higher for smaller groups. The excursions offered were a cooking demonstration on the first evening, a hot air balloon ride on the second morning (this would be more expensive than the cost above), watching a Bollywood film at a local cinema on the second night (this was about 700 rupees and was well worth it, really enjoyable), a sunrise cruise on the river in Varanasi to see the burning ghats (highly highly recommended), a trip to Sarnath on the second day in Varanasi (miss-able, but does pass the time if you don't want to wait around at the hotel), and a sightseeing trip in Delhi on the last day. You won't necessarily see the standard sights on the Delhi trip but the places we went were well worth visiting, especially the Gurdwara. If you do all the trips and eat with the group, you need at least £200 spending money. The shopping trips can't really be avoided despite what the trip notes say as they are done 'en route' to other things, although you can opt to stay on the bus if you prefer. Take a kindle or phone or something else to amuse yourself if that's the case. The items you see are all high-price and outside the budget of some travellers, so if you're going to have to watch your money and find temptation hard to resist, you might also want to sit these out. If you're a keen photographer or historian, planning ahead for your visits is a good idea as you'll get very little time at some of the sights - in particular, those in Jaipur, and Fatephur Sikri. Reading up in advance will help you make the most of the time you get and ensure you don't miss anything you particularly wanted to see/photograph.
  • Reviewed February 2020

    Snowshoeing in the Catalan Pyrenees

    A pleasant weeks snow shoe walking in the Catalan Pyrenees, although it was unseasonably warm so we had to go quite high to get decent snow. It's a beautifiul range of mountains with lots of traditional villages which are much nicer than the overdeveloped skiing centres in the Alps. The hotel in Rialp was fine, with a comfortable bed and powerful shower. Overall the food in the hotel was very good, although my bathroom could have done with a bit of TLC and the rooms are short of sitting space for couples, although there is always the bar area. Our tour leader was Miguel Ibanez, who's company deliver the tour as a package for Exodus. He has a deep love of Catalan and delighted in showing us the mountains and the local produce from the region.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The final days walk above Espot, where we carried on abve the refuge into a bowl with a frozen lake and mountains all around. I also enjoyed the visit to the little museum in Sort on our rest day where we were told about the WWII refugees and Allied pilots who escaped via the Pyrenees.
  • The most beautiful views I have ever seen...

    ... and I've been to Canada, so that says a lot. Our group was extremely lucky with the weather. You basically walk up and down mountains every day, nothing interesting about that. It is the weather that controls what the views look like. I regret nothing.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    When I look back at my pictures, there are two moments that stand out. At the end of our visit to Brasov, we stopped at a viewpoint on our way to the restaurant. That view was epic. It was nightfall, the lights in the city were on and behind it, you could see the mountain, it was breathtaking. The walk to Bran was the most beautiful. I can not put it into words. I enjoyed every second of that walk.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Thomas, the group leader was perfect. He knows the area really well and has a lot of experience guiding groups.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read the trip notes. For some bizarre reason, I hadn't done that and I didn't have the right gear. Luckily I was able to borrow it, but still. I felt uncomfortable doing that, knowing I could break or lose something.