Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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3375 Reviews

  • 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
    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
    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
    Douglas Johnston

    Petra and so much more

    An excellent introduction to a welcoming and fascinating country. There are varied landscapes and fantastic historical sites.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    So many, Hadrian’s Arch at Jerash, St George’s Church in Madaba (don’t miss the chapel at the rear with the painting of the Madonna and Child with the ‘helping hand’), the Treasury, tombs and Monastery of Petra. I did love Wadi Rum however, it’s a special place.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was Muayad Mesmar. He has great pride in his country and the very few times he didn’t have an answer to our endless questions he quickly found out. He did everything to make our stay enjoyable and ensure that we experienced everyday Jordan as well as the sights.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You’ll need mosquito repellent at Aqaba and the Dead Sea, not too bad elsewhere. We didn’t find the walks at Petra to the Monastery and High Place of sacrifice difficult; but you do need to carry plenty water 1.5 – 2 litres, buy it before you go in.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We felt totally safe the whole time we were in Jordan; and the people are very friendly.
  • Reviewed November 2019

    An amazing visit to a special place.

    We had an long weekend in Ukraine visiting Pripyat and the Chernobyl nuclear facility. The excursion into the control room and wreckage of reactor #3 (#4 is the one that blew up) was very special and, frankly, I am amazed that we were allowed such extended access inside the plant. I'll post some pictures to give you a flavour of the trip. Wandering around the 'ghost town' of Pripyat was also something of an epic experience. As you spend the previous night nearby in Chernobyl, you're one of the first visitors to arrive and have a really atmospheric experience before the crowds arrive (And they do!). The huge radio antenna is also somewhat overwhelming.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Wandering around inside the turbine halls of a nuclear power station. I still can't quite believe we were allowed in there!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had three leaders, one was the Exodus leader who was with us all the time and conducted the 'cultural tours' in Kiev. We had another who guided us around Chernobyl and Pripyat and a third who took us into the power station itself. They were all very knowledgeable and got us through all the red tape and checkpoints with much hassle.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You need to take some kind of 'overnight' bag for the trip to Chernobyl, the minibus isn't very big and luggage space is limited. (The trip notes didn't mention this but we were on the first Exodus trip there so I guess they'll get sorted). Food in Kiev is excellent and cheap. So is beer. Food in Chernobyl is a bit basic but fine, veggies and gluten-free diners had no problems. We flew on UIA, check in at Gatwick and getting through passport control in Kiev were nightmares. On the return journey, check in and passport control in Kiev was easy and quick - when you get back from Chernobyl, get the reception staff at the hotel to check you in online and print your boarding pass. Then you can just go to the self check-in at the airport.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The trip also includes a 'cultural tour' of Kiev and a big monastery. That isn't really our 'thing' - we normally book walking/trekking/active holidays and we soon got bored. We excused ourselves and had a look around Kiev on our own - the WW2 remembrance park (Right next to the monastery, under the big statue) is quite something and well worth a visit. This isn't a criticism of the trip, I realise many people will book it expecting a day like this, it's just not for us.
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Emma du Haney

    Namibia trip

    Stunning country Trip was very sedentary. More hiking options would have been welcome

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Sand dunes and wildlife at the watering holes in Etosha

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Shane was fairly good, but I think Exodus should make more use of local specialists, rather than have the tour leader act as guide the whole time. He needs to give more details to the group about timings, any kit needed for the day, etc

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take audio books for the long bus journeys

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The back up guide who did the cooking was very good. His food was much better than that in some places we stopped at in the day. We were served Oryx as main course 3 nights in a row. Better planning needed with the various lodges
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Hari Pillay

    Patagonia is unpredictable

    The weather is unpredictable and Argentina is huge, so there's a lot of traveling and different temperatures to deal with, but it's unmistakably unlike anything we're used to in Europe. Winds like you wouldn't believe! From glaciers to jungle (if you do the Iguazu extension as I did) and a big city in-between ... It has it all.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Going on the optional boat trip to see glaciers, and Iguazu. They leave you speechless, awestruck and a little overwhelmed.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Tomas del Toro I think is an exceptional being. His energy and enthusiasm will make you smile and motivate you to keep going and ignore the wind and rain of Patagonia, when it happens. His attention to detail, general knowledge and expertise, humanity and humility will exceed your expectations of what you think the trip will offer.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do it!
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Gillian Hoile

    A week in Jordan

    An excellent itinerary which was varied and interesting. Plenty of history with good hotels and excellent food. The local people were friendly and helpful.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Entering Petra with the magnificence of the Treasury. Also the jeep safari in Wadi Rum.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mohammed Aziz had an excellent knowledge of the history of Jordan however he was rather disorganised regarding timings and there were far too many coach stops which were unnecessary and resulted in a delay to significant sights such as The Dead Sea.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    All forms of clothing are allowed in Jordan(shorts are fine). We did not even have to cover our heads when entering religious sights however I would recommend a headscarf for the jeep safari and warm clothes for the overnight stay in the desert.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Please be aware that there are only 2 toilets in the desert for women and these were not cleaned! You need to bring wipes to wash with or a towel for a shower although I would not recommend this as the floors in the toilet block are dusty and dirty. I would suggest that the toilets are cleaned from a hygiene point of view especially as there were around 13 women in our group!
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Phillip Pomeroy

    Egypt Ancient and Modern

    A fascinating, informative, and very enjoyable tour with the chance to dress up thrown in for good measure! As with all Exodus trips we had some early starts and long days with now wasted time in between. If you want to see a lot of Egypt and experience its history from ancient times through to the modern day then this is the trip to take.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the pyramids without crowds (not at Giza, for this head out to Saqqarah). Being inside the tomb of Ramses VI in the Valley of the Kings and admiring 3000 year old carvings and paintings everywhere you look, again without crowds (extra payment needed - not a lot and well worth it!). Wouldn't describe them as inspiring but certainly unforgettable and at times jaw dropping in their grandeur.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ahmed must rate as one of the best group leaders. He is knowledgeable on all aspects of his countries history and had the ability to tell a story and hold his audience throughout. His knack of bringing out members of the group to play the roles of the characters in the story (no acting ability needed) brought the tales to life. I was pleased to play the part of Pharaoh Thutmose III Egypt's most successful ruler. As well as being a font of information he looked after the needs of the group when they suffered from "Pharaoh's Curse" and ensured that we all knew where to be and when. If you read this and are fortunate enough to have him as a group leader you will not be disappointed.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take the usual health precautions, stick to bottled water and avoid salads except in hotels and restaurants recommended by your group leader. Have some small notes / coins for toilets. Cash is better than credit card as you avoid the 3% service charge. Changing money is easy but all traders and shops will take sterling, euros or dollars and give you a fair exchange rate. Optional tours will add up (£450 ish for two) but they are all worthwhile. We did everything on the trip note lists apart from the sound and light show. Abu Simbel is an expensive trip but is worth every penny. Go by road, have the excitement(?) of a pre-dawn start and see the sunrise over the Sahara desert on the way. As a bonus you will be able to admire genuine desert mirages on the trip back. You will miss so much if you fly (and pay a lot more). Go inside the pyramids for the experience. The Red Pyramid at Saqqara is far less crowded that the Great Pyramid at Giza.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Egypt is a poor country, though you wouldn't think it with some of the prices they ask for souvenirs!. The locals need you to spend money, but haggling is expected and can be very intense. Sellers will look broken hearted as you knock the price down but don't be fooled they want to make a sale and, as with everything, some you win and some you will lose. Be prepared to be spoken to as if you are a long lost friend but beware all acts of kindness (except directions) have a price. If some one offers to take a picture for you it costs, if they offer to carry your bags it costs. Be wary of the item offered for "one dollar", that is the price to look at it not buy! Expect a friendly welcome wherever you visit and have a great time. Thanks to everyone in our group for making this such a memorable tour.