Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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17984 Reviews

  • Reviewed January 2022

    Outstanding guide

    This was my first ever 'group' walking holiday. The whole trip was well planned and organized, and the group leader and guide (Gizer) was simply excellent. I found the group travel refreshingly sociable after the lockdowns and social distancing we have all been through.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The view out to the peninsula from the top of Kantara Castle.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Apart from knowing the ancient and modern history of the places we visited very well, Gizer catered for all tastes; whatever your diet or allergies; whenever you fancied a meal without the group. Not only was he most courteous, but he also has an excellent sense of humour.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The service in The Pia Bella was good. The rooms were spacious and clean. Breakfast, the bar, and the local food in particular were good. The pre-arranged Christmas dinner was the least interesting. But most evenings we ate out as a group anyway. It’s worth knowing that the only coffee worth drinking should be ordered at the bar, and you should ask the breakfast cook to make you your choice of eggs because the prepared scrambled eggs are not worth it. A decent cappuccino is very cheap at 20 Lire. This is the least expensive county where I have eaten out for longer than I care to look back. Angora Kavaklidere red wine is very cheap and reasonably drinkable. Cankaya (pronounced ‘Chankaya’) Kavaklidere at 13.5% is a strong white wine and tastes even better quality for the same low price. Make sure you leave the food you can’t eat, or you will make yourself sick. Its good, but there is far too much of it.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    More experienced Exodus travel users noted we had a well-balanced group. I will book with Exodus again if this trip is any measure of their competency.
  • Reviewed January 2022

    Christmas Cracker

    This trip exceeded my expectations and is one of the best Christmases I have ever had. On Christmas Day, we walked the Path of the Gods under a cloudless blue sky and enjoyed spectacular views of the Amalfi coastline. During five full days walking, we ascended and descended the hillsides, winding our way along pretty pathways and villages, passing through woodland and jumping narrow streams. All the while, we were aware of the impossibly dramatic and beautiful view spread out below us and the coastline fringed with the turquoise sea. We were able to visit Ravello with its picturesque Villa Cimbrone gardens; Amalfi with its stunning cathedral and chic shops and Positano with its wide shoreline (although it was Christmas Day and nothing was open). On one day, we walked around the rim of Vesuvius and even ventured into the crater (quite hot) and followed that with a guided tour of Pompeii. On the last day, some of us took a taxi to Naples to visit the Archeological Museum and sample a perfect pizza from the town of its invention.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Driving back to the hotel along the winding coast road and witnessing the most spectacular sunset I have ever seen.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our tour leader, Veriano Verde, was excellent and went out of his way to make everything enjoyable for us. He has a good knowledge of the area so was able to tell us lots of interesting things about Agerola. Throughout the trip, he was unfailingly pleasant and helpful. He even gave up his day off to take a group of people up the mountain for a walk that we had had to forego because of the heavy fog.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take your walking poles and plenty of thin layers as the weather can be cool in the mountains and then hot on the coast.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Go on this holiday - you won't regret it.
  • Walking the Slate Trail — landscape & industry

    Thoroughly enjoyable guided walking trip in an unexpected landscape. Fascinating to learn some of the history of the slate industry, and to see how nature is already reclaiming some of the quarry sites.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Greg was excellent — knowledgeable, clearly genuinely enthusiastic about the local community.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Good walking footwear; layers; waterproof jacket! Some of the days were quite long, with no “escape points”. Some of the paths were very boggy, but there was always a way around. Don’t rely on the published Slate Trail guide book — neither the maps nor the instructions have enoug detail. Don’t go in the underground quarries!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We did this trip in September 2021, with some COVID restrictions in place. Not much trouble when we were out walking, but evening catering options were restricted (but still very good) — Betws-y-Coed and Beddgelert would normally have a much wider choice of restaurants.
  • Reviewed January 2022

    Stunning views and a great hotel

    This trip had great progression from an easy first couple of days which was good for total beginners to get a feel for snowshoeing, building up to some longer but very rewarding days climbing some 2000+m peaks. Much to my delight, these last few days were much more like winter mountaineering but in snowshoes, rather than a tramp in the snow (as the first couple of days was). The hotel was also a great place to relax with wonderful sauna, pool and gym, and the most amazing food ever.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Stunning views from the summits!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jenny was an exceptional leader - calm and methodical, with a great ability to "herd cats" and manage the quite disparate range of fitness and abilities in our group, as well as to come up with alternative plans as required. She imparted useful tips constantly, and broke the days up well with frequent short breaks. She was also super friendly and sociable, and worked extremely hard making sure everyone was OK and everything went to plan. Nothing was too much trouble for her to organise.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Pocket Rocket will get you up any hill and will become your drug of choice! (Stock up in any local supermarket.). You will really benefit from good hill fitness on this trip. Take a ziplock bag to dinner (the amount of food is massive, but it's so good - I often took my leftovers for my packed lunch the next day.) You may prefer to take your own walking poles if you have them, especially if they fold down, so you can pack them away when not needed. Also, take good winter mountain boots if you have them rather than lightweight ones (I wished I'd taken my B2 boots).

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I went cross country skiing on the free day and would highly recommend it. There's a crosscountry ski school at Villabassa station - just behind the hotel - and trails run directly from there. We had an hour's lesson and then spent the rest of the day on our own.
  • Reviewed January 2022

    Wonderful Week of Walking

    This Trip is fabulous. The Hotel was charming, the rooms had wonderful views and the food was really nice. The walking was very varied and the scenery was breathtaking - we were lucky to have a week of sunshine. The walking is challenging but if you are fit and love a full day of trekking its not hard. Poles are useful and a little head for heights on certain days. I loved the Tour Leader Jose as he was a great trek leader and also gave us lots of info on the area and really loved his job. Its a great week away with really lovely scenery and I don't know how I have never heard of this area before - I chose the trip as it was potentially good weather in early Jan and has great reviews but It really outdid my expectations as I loved it. Spain is easy to get to in these uncertain times and it all went very smoothly from Exodus office helping me to get flights sorted to the Canaries after and the wonderful Jose looking after as so well - I suggest going to see this area - Its rather wonderful

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    All of it ! I loved the trekking and they were all wonderful hikes - We had a wonderful first day where we were above the clouds and so the view was incredible - The day off was wonderful as we visited two very pretty villages Altea was so charming and I also had 2 swims in the Sea in January and I loved every minute of this trip

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He was truly one of the best, He had lots of stories and ensured all the clients were looked after and he also provided the best sandwiches I have ever eaten He was always upbeat and full of energy and I really felt he enjoys his job and the area and that really showed Excellent Leader and he showed us several beautiful villages as well as the amazing hikes

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You will need Poles and for winter departures warmer clothes as the wind was chilly I would take bed socks or slippers for cold floors in the bedroom but the heating in the rooms was great just cold underfoot as stone floors No need for fancy clothes for dinner - its all very laid back If you are a snacker then take snacks as not many shops around as you are up in the mountains

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I loved this trip and I would highly recommend it to anyone wanting to get out walking in the mountains - It was truly wonderful
  • Reviewed January 2022

    Far Exceeded expectation

    This was my first Exodus trip and I was delighted with the experience. The beautiful, cosy, alpine Hotel Adler was fabulous. The food was outstanding and plentiful, 5 course suppers, a great, varied selection for breakfast and a well considered wine list. Each of the 5 walking days started with an 8.30 am pick up by minibus to various destinations. The walks were stunning. Apparently the moderate level it was graded was at times the very upper end of moderate. A big shout out to the very experienced, patient and caring Jenny, our guide. She went above and beyond to consider the different needs of our group of 9. Having never trekked before I was delighted with my achievement, which I certainly would not have managed without the invaluable tips and gentle encouragement from Jenny. I felt the standard of the hotel, the excellent food/service and the great itinerary of treks made this an amazing good value trip. Oh and very importantly for me , the comfy beds and a lovely deep bath with plenty of hot water really sold it to me after a tiring day
  • Reviewed January 2022

    Galapagos Wildlife Cruise

    I completed my 16 day cruise on the 22nd December and although I had to self isolate over Christmas, missing out on the family gathering, I still had the smile on my face. I had never snorkelled before but am now hooked and have bought my own gear. December was a good month to visit as it is the breading season with lots of cute chicks and sealion pups about. Having playful sealion pups swimming around you and nibbling at your fins has to be experienced to truly know the fun of it. Also got to swim with White Tipped Reef sharks, but the icing on the cake was swimming with Hammerhead sharks in Darwin Bay, Genovesa. The land scape changes from island to island and there is always something different to see either on the islands or while navigating to them. Our ship the Cachalote Explorer could accommodate 16 and although the cabins were not particularly spacious they met our needs. Only 2 of us stayed on for the entire cruise of west and east islands and I think those who only did one week missed out in many ways. The food was served as a buffet and was generally very good and you certainly weren't going to starve. Definitely worth the money.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were quite a few like watching a pair of Albatrosses doing their goodbye for a year parting ceremony, filming a Frigate male puffing up its red chest to show off to the females flying over, swimming with cheeky sealion pups or through shoals of brightly coloured fish. And did I mention the Hammerhead sharks? Still smiling. Nature as it should be with the majority of animals and birds showing no fear of humans. By visiting most of the islands I was able to get a better understanding of the various stages in their evolution and only a week or so from getting back Wolf volcano on Isabella Island erupted again.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Dani was generally a good leader and very knowledgeable. His briefings were pretty clear on what to expect the following day and he dealt with any problems brought to his attention in a speedy manor. I hope he has many more opportunities to lead and add to his experience.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    TAKE EAR PLUGS. The boat engines are quite noisy and when sailing at night earplugs are a must for a good nights sleep. Swim gear is also a must if you intend to snorkel as wetsuits have to remain on deck where you change into them. Make sure you have plenty of spare capacity on your smart phone/camera and I suggest you take both and use frequently. One of our group lost their smart phone when they got back to Ecuador and lost all their pictures.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Still smiling!!
  • Reviewed January 2022

    Brilliant, hidden Gem of a trip!

    Absolutely fantastic week in what is a hidden gem of a hiking trip! Stunning scenery, great way to start 2022 with some winter sun.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Every day the scenery didn't fail to amaze. So close to modern life, yet also so far away. Beekepers, farmers on ancient tractors, stone houses and terraces built by the Moors. Fantastic place!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I have had the pleasure of meeting many brilliant guides and Jose is right up there with the best. Very passionate about his surroundings, very likeable and extremely experienced. Made the trip! Also deserves a special mention for the best home made sandwiches on any hiking trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Book this - it's very good. Take layers (as well as sunscreen) as higher up it can get cold.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thanks to Raquel for her cooking - great to come home to three hearty courses after a day hiking. She worked tirelessly and provided tasty options for different dietary requirements.