Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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18129 Reviews

  • An excellent week in Portugal

    A very well organised trip, superb scenery, stunning views on all of the walks. The two guides were very knowledgeable and lead the group in a pleasant and professional manner. They found great venues for meals in each location.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Brilliant scenery every day.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    There were two. Well organised, attention to detail, really made the whole trip work well.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Enjoy the walks!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Have been to Portugal many times but never seen this area before. A real gem!
  • Reviewed May 2022

    5 years and 4 rebooking’s later finally completed the trek and it was so worth the wait!

    It is hard to summarize such a great trek, with outstanding leadership (Bikash/Kushman) and trail buddies, but I’ll try. Having trekked in the Everest Region twice with Exodus (2015/2017), I didn’t know if the Manaslu Circuit trek could match those experiences – it did and even surpassed them in some areas. The trip notes are pretty spot on with regards to the trek and while the road continues to push further, our guides did a great job of avoiding it in parts and minimizing the road sections. As a result, it doesn’t really dimmish the trek (yet), which is still remote and goes through multiple climate and cultural zones as you ascend to, and descend from, Larke La. It is very hot at the lower altitudes and it is cold at the around the pass – so you have to pack accordingly. The daily schedule works very well and we had no acclimatization issues within the group, which was of varied ages and experience. The scenery is dramatic and ever-changing, the views of Manaslu are excellent - showing its different faces over multiple days. Take advantage of the acclimatization opportunities and in Samagaun and Samdo do make an effort to get into the heart of the villages as the culture and architecture is authentic and you can see daily life play out. Make sure you visit Birendra Tal outside Samaguan. The lodges were good but mostly more basic than the Khumbu. Dharamsala is no longer just tents but is still very basic. So happy to have completed this trek with Exodus – 192miles / 32,000ft of ascent over 14 days, with a high point of 16,945ft/5165m.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Three things for me personally – 1) crossing the Larke La and being over 5000m again, 2) the rest day in Bhimtang was so welcome with great weather, views, and a quiet teahouse, and 3) the last night's celebration in Bhundanda, which fell on Nepali New Year, so much drinking and dancing – never to be forgotten!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Bikash was an outstanding leader. Always present, always well organized, always supportive and encouraging. Above all reassuring and confident. I’d trek with him and Kushman, our guide, again anytime. Our porters were great people also.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do it – this is an outstanding trek for so many reasons. Be patient in the first couple of days as it is very hot and the road plays its part, but that’s all quickly forgotten as you push on.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Do the trek soon as the road is going further and will be increasingly difficult to avoid. It will inventively make the area more accessible, which is really good for the local communities but will lessen the trekking experience.
  • Reviewed May 2022

    Incredible

    What a superb and wonderful 2 weeks. So much to see and be amazed by, something new every day and so many wonderful birds and animals to try and photograph. Good accommodation and we were never hungry. Costa Rica is a very forward thinking and developed country and they are rightly very caring of their wildlife and forests. We had a wonderful guide (Carlos) and driver (Mau) and they helped us see everything that we would have completely missed without their help. It was all so wonderful that it is hard to pick out highlights but loved the day out looking for dolphins, the boat trips at Tortuguero (and Tortuguero itself) and the zip lines.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Not possible to pick out a moment - the first two days were so brilliant that we would have been happy if that had been our entire holiday

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Carlos was incredibly knowledgeable, helpful, organised, thoughtful.......just made our trip brilliant

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    take a mini umbrella, buy a telephoto lens, do your washing in a service laundrette in La Fortuna, be quiet on walks so you can hear everything, do everything offered - do the zip line, ride the horses, swim in the waterfalls.. . Prepare to really appreciate what is happening to the rainforests and the animals that rely on them

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Book and go - don't think about it.
  • A Fabulous Week!

    A few days since our wonderful week walking Portugal’s coast and beaches and missing it already. Luis and Alex were the perfect guides, with exceptional local knowledge and a phenomenal work ethic! Breath taking scenery and unspoilt beaches, and great way to get fit! Nesting storks and peregrine falcons were such a bonus! Fine hotels throughout, topped off with a touch of luxury in Sagres, restaurants and food excellent all shared with a great group of like-minded travellers.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The freshness of the Atlantic and its wonderful blue colour. The unspoilt, near deserted, beaches.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Top guys! Nothing was too much trouble for Luis and Alex.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There’s considerable walking over sand dunes which might be challenging so good hiking shoes essential.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thoroughly recommend this trip!
  • Reviewed May 2022

    AXW: A Week in Jordan

    This trip exceeded my expectations! I have always wanted to go to Petra, but all the other stops proved just as wonderful. It was a fast-paced busy trip but well worth it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    This is the kind of trip that will stay with me for a while. From the Roman ruins at Jerash, to the first glimpse of the Treasury at Petra, to the night sky with a thousand stars at Wadi Rum, to the final night at the Dead Sea with the warm sea air, it was truly an inspirational and unforgettable journey.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Muayad was amazing, and one of the best, if not the best, tour leader I have had. His love of his country shines through in everything he says and does. He has so much knowledge and was so willing to share it all with us. But, besides that, it was all the little things he did to make our trip so special. He took us to the out of the way places for lunches, snacks, etc. We had the true local flavor. We were always being surprised with little treats and special foods to try. He arranged for us to have a beautiful picnic, which ended up being a highlight for most of us on the trip. In addition, he developed relationships and jokes with everyone. He took the time to get to know each of us personally, as well as join in with us a group. He took control when needed to, and joked with us at other times. I feel very fortunate to have had him as a guide and I know that he made an already incredible trip even better.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I do have a few suggestions: 1. The Arena Space hotel in Amman is awful. This was my first Exodus trip, and that hotel was my initial impression. I was concerned for the rest of the trip, but the other hotels were really very nice. The Arena Space is dirty, and members of our group had mouse droppings and toenail clippings in their room. Besides being dirty, the breakfast was awful with stale bread and no coffee. I really suggest to look at other accommodations. 2. I think it would be nice during the initial meeting for everyone to go around the room and introduce ourselves. We all did meet later but an ice-breaker and initial introduction would have made things go smoothly. 3. In Wadi Rum, we were separated by those who went on a camel ride and those who didn't. Those who didn't took a very slow and leisurely ride back to town, where we were dropped off at a roadside coffee shop for about 30 minutes waiting for the rest of the group. I think it would be much better if we could have stayed at camp and enjoyed the scenery there. Even one extra hour in Wadi Rum is special!
  • Reviewed May 2022

    An amazing trip in a wonderful country!

    Jordan, spectacular Jordan. What a beautiful and fascinating country: ancient and modern history galore, archeology, glorious landscapes, delicious food and wonderful people. And camels. Oh, how I love 🐪. The trip with Exodus was absolutely first-class. Brilliantly organised and with the most superb tour leader (see below). If only the trip had been longer!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Where to start? There were so many. Was it entering Jerash (Gerasa) through Hadrian's gate, arriving at the forum and walking down the seriously impressive colonnaded cardo maximus? No, but this was still right up there in terms of sights and moments! As was the view across the Jordan Valley and the West Bank from Mount Nebo where, according to the Bible, Moses saw the Promised Land. Was it walking through the Siq, the narrow gorge that is the entrance to Petra, and, glimpsing the magnificent Treasury, lit up in the morning sun? Utterly beautiful and mesmerising - and almost the most inspirational! The most stirring and sublime of moments (in a trip full of such moments), however, was the desert splendour of Wadi Rum. The extraordinarily beautiful rock formations, sand dunes and canyons; the ancient inscriptions and petroglyphs carved on boulders and cliffs; the glorious sunset; running down sand dunes; camel riding; camping in the desert; the silence of the desert night and the vast star-filled sky.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Muayad Mesmar was absolutely wonderful. So kind, so knowledgeable, such fun. His knowledge of Jordanian and regional history was so impressive - akin to that of a history professor! At every point in the trip, at every bend in road, Muayad had fascinating stories and information to share.. be it on the Hejaz railway during the Arab Revolt, olive pressing at Crusader castles, the health properties of the Dead Sea....as well as on chickpea plants and Jordan's horned hyenas! In addition to being absolutely brilliant in his knowledge of Jordan's history, archeology, flora and fauna, landscapes and peoples, and sharing stories in such an engaging way, Muayad was also the most generous, kind and thoughtful of tour leaders. From buying us cardamon-infused coffees and Jordanian sweets on our first morning and falafels one lunchtime, to organising a picnic with a view over the Jordan Valley, replete with walnut-stuffed baby aubergines (never has there been, nor will there ever be, a more yummy picnic ingredient!), Muayad definitely went way above and beyond a tour leader's call of duty. And when I realised half-way down the King's Highway, that I'd idiotically left my passport, some cash and my Kindle back in my hotel-room safe in Amman, Muayad worked wonders, made some phone calls and, less than 24-hours later, they were delivered safely, at no cost, to the hotel at our next stop, Petra. So, not only is Muayad the best tour leader, he's also a magician.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Yes, and it's simple! Do this trip!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thank you for a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful trip.
  • Reviewed May 2022

    You're the Top

    Excellent trip - had a really great time. The walking was varied and enjoyable with a mix of woods and mountain tops, rocks and even the odd patch of snow. I can't praise our guide Sarah enough. We were able to spread out and enjoy the walking at a different pace if we wanted but to come together easily for stops and directions. The landscape is stunning with magnificent views. She went out of her way to make the holiday special and to include everyone. Starting in the agristurismo made the holiday much more special. The sense that you are joining a family, the food is produced on site and cooked and prepare in a traditional style. The bedrooms are simple but functional and the site itself is a lovely place to stay with chickens wandering around and a golf course on site. The day we spent with the local guide was also really enjoyable - walking at a lower level and learning all about the area through different environments. We also had a lovely day in Lucca - we all decided to do the same day off, travelled together and although we split up to explore Lucca met up and travelled back and shared a meal out. The people on the trip are what make it and I couldn't have had a nicer group. I enjoyed every minute of this holiday.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I always find it inspirational to exert myself to climb a mountain and then take the time to take in the vast landscape below and to put any outside worries into perspective. There were many opportunities to do this on this trip but I think the day we climbed Monte Ferato was my favourite because the view was so panoramic. I took a moment to absorb it before others came up the mountain. I also hired a bike and rode it through the streets of Lucca out of the walled area and found myself at a level crossing and by the time the train arrived a group of Italian women all shopping on bikes had gathered one by one and struck up conversations with each other and me. An impromptu social gathering in response to an unwelcome delay..

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sarah was extraordinary - going out of her way for everyone to make the holiday work. Providing those with sore knees tape to provide support and teaching us about the area, the farm, the family history and the providing little snacks. Her fitness and lifestyle is inspirational. When we climbed the highest mountain I left my fleece on the very top. It was one that they don't make anymore and was a favourite. The next day was Sarah's day off and she climbed back up the mountain and got it back for me which was really above and beyond and I was very grateful. On the last night we all performed a few verses of a song I wrote to say thank you to her - which was great fun but probably quite painful to listen to.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't be fooled into thinking that Tuscany in April will be warm. At the top of the mountain I needed all my layers and I really bought clothing for strolling through rolling hills not climbing. As a result I had too many t shirts and not enough warm layers. You do however need both that work together. I think a down jacket would have been helpful and don't forget waterproof trousers. I didn't wear walking boots just walking shoes and its not as craggy walking as Iceland where I felt I did need my boots for ankle stability. I was happy to rely on the food from the farm which is fine for the packed lunch but others took snacks with them.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This trip went very smoothly and I didn't. have any issues.
  • Super holiday

    My first holiday with Exodus and everything went very smoothly. The programme organised by Exodus was just right for this lovely part of Italy and our group leader was excellent. The hotel was good and all members of the group were good company.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The way Severio, the group leader, provided interesting information on the places visited and the history and life of the region.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    As noted above, Severio was excellent. Nothing was too much trouble for him and his organisation was faultless.
  • Reviewed May 2022

    Good walking but poor accommodation

    This is a pleasant walking trip. Interesting Flora and fauna and as always a good guide provided by Exodus. The down side is a poor selection of Hotels and cost cutting by the company on transport. This is the first Exodus trip I have been on where there is no company transit or bus. The group used public transport which led to delays and pressure to get certain buses and led to a rigid timetable. ( so after a long walk we had about 10 mins to buy and finish a drink because of the pressure to catch a certain bus) The Hotel in Santana was tired . It provided a poor selection of food and because there were other big groups staying there service was slow and the food not that good. As the majority of guests were walkers I was surprised that the hotel had no wet room or any facilities to dry clothes and boots. On both walking days the weather was cold and wet and no heating was available in the bedrooms. The Hotel in Funcal was small and cramped, although well located. We had 3 single beds crammed into our room and with the bags there was not much room to manoeuvre. Breakfast was poor with very little choice and the staff overworked. we ate out during our stay there

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The walking in the mountains and following Lavadas is definitely the highlight of the trip. Wonderful flowers and back drops

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader was very good. Funny and passionate about his island he made a real effort to engage with the group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The trip is not cheap and you will have to consider extra costs of eating out in restaurants that can be pricey. In Funcal try the whale watching/ Dolphin trip and go to the botanical Gardens.
  • Reviewed May 2022

    So much in a week!

    Wow what a trip. I initially booked this trip to see Petra but there is so much more of Jordan to see. Our guide Muayad went beyond expectations, from providing a picnic overlooking the “Grand Canyon” of Jordan, to where to get the best falafels in town. The night in the desert is something else. It’s a busy trip, with lots of 7.30 am starts, but would I have missed anything we did for a lay-in - definitely not. Wonderful fellow travellers as well.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    So many but the desert is up there along with that first sight of The Treasury at Petra. Also looking over at the lights of Jerusalem and Jericho from the terrace of our Dead Sea hotel.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Muayad was fantastic - went the extra mile to show us Jordan and why he loves his country so much. So many little things like giving us Turkish delight, arranging a picnic with amazing foods such as eggplants stuffed with walnuts. Took us to local stalls to buy our lunch so, instead of spending several dinars on a wrap we were paying half a dinar in places. Thank you Muayad - and I still don’t want a camel my dear!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just go and immerse yourself in what this lovely country has. There is a lot to cover and you may well be shattered at the end of the day but I wouldn’t have missed a thing!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Trip was made better by great fellow travellers, the mix was brilliant.