Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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18336 Reviews

  • Reviewed July 2022

    Immerse yourself in Portugal

    Portugal Walking and Wine is an excellent trip. Our guide, Lina, was exemplary with her knowledge, passion for her country and friendship & warmth towards all of us. To experience the beautiful countryside, walking through remote villages and being received so warmly by the locals as we pass through and the superb food and wine makes the trip simply wonderful!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The passion of its people. From the farmer we met as we passed through a remote village, wheeling his bounty of potatoes and directing us through his back gate to have easier access to be able to pick oranges from his trees ... to the winery's we visited ... such pride in their produce and ALL of it so delicious!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I cannot commend Lina highly enough - she was simply a delight to spend the week with. ALWAYS making sure everyone knew what the day's walks entailed, a fountain of knowledge on the landscape we passed through ... sharing the details with such passion. Warmly greeted us every morning, she made sure that everyone was feeling good, happy and ready to go. The little star touches of demonstrating cracking open almonds with a stone, when picked directly from the tree, to sharing her knowledge of the natural world as we passed through. Lina provided the best introduction of Portugal I could have ever wishes for, and I certainly hope to join another of her trips ... there's just SO much more of Portugal to explore and I couldn't think of anyone better I'd like to have leading it!!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for ANY weather. We were there in mid-June and the temperatures were exceptionally low (c. 16-18C) and threatening drizzle on several of the days. Walking shoes/boots a must. Full length trousers too for the woodland walks.
  • A Great Adventure

    This was a great trip travelling through 5 US states including spectacular scenery, a variety of walking trails and the opportunity to see wildlife. Despite Yellowstone being completely closed for the first time in 34 years when we visited we still had a great time in a very beautiful part of the world.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    A few things. Firstly, seeing moose on the path in front of us and grizzly bears very close to our van. Being caught at the top of a mountain in an unexpected snow storm provided a very good bonding opportunity for the group on the first proper day of our trip. Despite the disappointment of missing Yellowstone, Mike, our group leader, somehow kept us all happy and still produced a very enjoyable holiday for us all.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mike was an absolute star, he could not have done more to make this a great holiday for us all. Despite losing 4 days of the itinerary for Yellowstone he somehow found excellent trails, places to visit and lovely restaurants to fill that time. The group also all got on very well together and we had lots of fun.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take the full range of clothing from thermals, gloves, hat etc through to sun wear even in June. You will use it all! Give yourself a full day in Salt Lake City before the trip as it’s worth a visit. In addition we booked 2 extra nights in Seattle and that was definitely worthwhile. There was lots to see, it was easy to get around and it’s a fun place to visit.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A great trip. Do it.
  • Reviewed July 2022

    The Silk Road

    Great trip. All countries very different. Certainly non stop.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Stunning architechture + eagle hunter + Uygur meal

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both were excellent.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for very hot weather, and a tiring trip.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It would have been nice to have a bit more free time. The bazaars were all the same, so maybe only one. Long first day in Tashkent after night flight and only 5 hours sleep. Maybe a more gentle start.
  • Reviewed July 2022

    Bosnia & Beyond

    An amazing trip dipping into the complex history, cultural background and natural wonders of the region.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    My absolute highlight was the day we travelled up, through magnificent scenery, to the village of Lukomir. The views were out of this world and we were made very welcome in the village and treated to a delicious lunch. It was a privilege to be in such a beautiful, sparsely populated place. A truly wonderful memory.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Evelin Balta, couldn’t have been better. He was kind, courteous to everyone and, above all, passionate about the area and keen to share his knowledge with us. He always made us feel that what he did was not a job - that he was enjoying the trip as much as we were! His enthusiasm was infectious and no one could fail to be fascinated by the history and culture of the region or to fall un love with the beautiful countryside.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This trip has everything - amazing towns and cities, fascinating history and stunning scenery. Walks are optional but not over-taxing. The many trips in the minibus are kept to manageable lengths with frequent stops but be prepared for a lot of travelling - worth it to see some amazing sights.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    As well as an inspirational group leader, our driver, Semir, was amazing - extremely capable and never losing his cool on some tricky roads and situations!
  • Reviewed July 2022

    Good

    A fascinating introduction to the varied landscape of Iceland's interior with a good range of trekking experiences. Walking through snow clad mountains, black volcanic sand, ice clad glaciers and magnificent waterfalls.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The honour of walking through imposing rock formations, steam vents and glacier valleys. The creative force of nature unfolding beneath our feet.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent! Petur was confident, engaging and witty. A strong character, who dealt with the complex organisation issues well. Although initially setting a strong walking pace, he adjusted to accommodate those at the back with more breaks. A second guide could have kept an eye on the back of the group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    1. Use a good eye mask to shut out the light at night, to enable better sleep. 2. Ensure you have a decent, fully charged power pack, as charging phones etc is not possible in the hills. 3. Bring plenty of Krona for the time in Reykjavik.! Buying meals/drinks is expensive.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Having praised our guide (Petur), several of us felt he should have received more 'hands on' support. With thirteen clients in the group, and tent and cooking arrangements, there was too much for one person to manage. Also the support vehicle should have been travelling with our transport. A potentially dangerous situation on the first night was alleviated by quick actions from the guide, as we waited in developing wet conditions till after10.00pm for the tents, food/cooking equipment and our kit bags to arrive. Having said this we all appreciated the gesture of placing us in a bunk hut the following evening, instead of our tents.
  • Reviewed July 2022

    Fantastic variety of parks with great company

    First time using Exodus which we found to be a great experience from start to finish, with the online presentations during covid giving us confidence in the company and were also extremely inspirational. Our meetup for the briefing at the start of the trip gave us the opportunity to get to know our fellow travelers and cement the bonding of the group.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Whilst hiking up Lembert Dome in Yosemite we were on the verge of deciding it was too much for us when our guide, who had had to escort other members of the party back to a easier route, suddenly appeared to advise us on the correct line of assent and also the technique to enable us to get to the top. This was not the only time that Jay appeared out of nowhere as he was also assisting the various levels in our group to achieve the maximum of their capabilities. Each park is fantastic in different ways, whether it be the enormity of Yosemite, the fun of the narrows in Zion, the hoodoo's of Bryce, the throwback to the westerns in Monument Valley, the grandeur of Grand Canyon and not forgetting the ridiculous heat of death valley.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jay was an excellent group leader with his primary priority being the safety of the group. Jay also astounded us with his depth of knowledge on so many different aspects, whether it be geology, astrology or general useful information. Not forgetting his two other main interests (loves?) of music and beer (not necessarily in that order). Many different versions and styles of Route 66 as a example! He was such great fun and so easy to get along with. The fact that he must have driven about two thousand miles whilst keeping us entertained is a testament to his love of the job and stamina. He was also required to accommodate the different expectations and abilities of the group, which he proved he was up to.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Although classified as cultural in the brochure, travelers do require a certain amount of fitness over uneven terrain to ensure they can make the most of the fantastic scenery and enormity of the parks. Also be aware that wifi is sketchy and insecure in places i.e. not password protected, so be careful if required to make financial transactions.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We were so fortunate that we found ourselves in a fantastic group of like minded people but we also recognize that the group leader also played a significant part in facilitating this.
  • Kili Rongai & Zanzibar

    The trip was much tougher than any of our Group had expected. It was colder than the seasonal norm but the trip to base camp was really attritional; by the time we got there we (and it was a fit Group) were exhausted. The journey did not only impact on the guests: of the 4 guides, 2 retired sick and neither of the summit porters reached the summit (one through sickness; one through helping a guest back down the mountain). My reflection was that the accumulative challenge was not reflected in the meeting notes. The hotel in Zanzibar (Zumba Beach) was in an idyllic location and the GM was a strong leader and led her staff well. Again the trip notes should perhaps have been clearer that expectations needed to be calibrated a little lower than in the developed world. Our room was burgled while we were sleeping and items stolen from within 1 foot of our heads. The thieves cut their way in and so were carrying knives; a sobering experience. I don't think crime there is uncommon and maybe prospective guests should be alerted to it?

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the peak on the Summit but feeling of relief more than inspiration!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    It was her first trip leading and her Summit staff were virtually eradicated before reaching the top. The weather was poor and I fear she was traumatised.....but very full marks for getting most of us to the top and all down safely.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The climb was really difficult. It was less the final climb from base camp but the deconditioning that occurred before....and the weather is unpredictable. There is crime in Zanzibar and important to be forewarned.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Exodus is a good company and provides fun trips. I think it is important however that customers are properly advised of the full scope of challenge upfront.

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    Thank you for taking the time to leave a review, James, although we were sorry to read that you were disappointed with some aspects of your tour. As I am sure you appreciate, activity levels are inherently subjective, but we do endeavour to describe each trip as accurately as possible, and we are always open to suggestions to amend our guidance should we be made aware of clients feeling a particular trip’s activity level should be changed. This is one of our longest running trips and we therefore receive a large volume of feedback regarding our clients' views on the tour. Whilst this trip generally scores highly for trip note accuracy, we are aware that your group experienced unusually cold temperatures, which may have increased the difficulty of some of the treks and caused more cases of sickness than expected. Whilst our product manager, John Penge, and tour leaders remain of the view that the current grading for our Kilimanjaro Climb Rongai Route trip is accurate, I would like to assure you that they will take your comments into account when discussing potential changes to the activity level of this tour. Addressing your second point, we take the health and safety of our clients extremely seriously and we were, therefore, very concerned to receive your comments about a theft at Fumba Beach Lodge. This property has been operating for twenty years and, whilst we are aware of petty crimes in the past, incidents of this nature are not common in this area, mainly due to the heavy police presence on the beach. Nevertheless, we would not wish to downplay your experience, which sounds particularly worrying, and we would like to assure you that the security presence at the lodge has been increased and the mosquito netting has been reinforced to hopefully prevent any repeat of this situation. We recognise that this cannot change your experience, for which we are incredibly regretful, but we do hope it demonstrates that we have acted on it.

  • Reviewed July 2022

    Beautiful Picos

    A great trip - fantastic scenery and a great little village with an even better hotel. Wonderful guide and ten fantastic walking partners made this trip quite memorable. Several days of rain tampered the mood but that's what walking is all about.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The last day was perfect. Weather was amazing following three days of rain. Climbed two peaks - Mancandiu and San Carlos - with breathtaking views. Just great walking with a fabulous group and leader.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nacho (Ignacio) was wonderful. Great sense of humor and very organized. A pleasure to walk with and I always felt like he had things in control.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I did the level 5 departure, and having done several of these, I felt this one to be less strenuous. I felt like these were level 3 walks with some extra mileage added. Although the scenery was fabulous, only on the last day did it feel like it was challenging due to some exposure and scrambling. If you're going for the scenery and to see the Picos, by all means do it. If you're specifically looking for some challenging walking, other level 5 trips may be more appropriate.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The hotel's owners Jim and Pilar, and their staff really made this trip memorable. Obviously well accustomed to lodging walkers, they are very knowledgable regarding everything in the area. The food was top notch and I probably haven't eaten better on any trip I've done. Our guide Nacho was top notch. The village of Arena de Cabrales is also very enchanting and not too tourist laden. I spent the free day touring the village and some cheese caves and never felt for lack of things to do.
  • The Journey is the destination!

    The 4 days hiking through the ever changing landscape from cactus lined trails over windswept mountain passes and through the damp cloud forest made the arrival at the sun gate extra special.  It is physically challenging,  but the viws, the history and especially the team on the ground making this holiday happen were just amazing!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The 2nd day, climbing and descending from dead women pass. Wilmer our guide was great in giving support and encouragement! Also, the reed islands on Lake Titicaca,  its a very special place and I am thankful for the people sharing a glimpses of their past & present lives. (I had a little VIP tour)

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Wilmer, is simply the best! I could not have asked for a better group leader. He stood out for his knowledge, enthusiasm and genuinely caring nature.  He ensured we were all ok throughout and was always there for an encouraging word, sharing information or simply answering questions. On a practical note, he was well organised and his timings were impeccable - I was very impressed!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The journey is the destination!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The Lake Titicaca Extension was well worth it. The coach journey from Cuzco to Puno took in some other important Inca sites like Raqchi - not to be missed. Puno and the Lake are stunning and have a very different vibe to Cuzco.
  • Reviewed July 2022

    Nice part of Italy

    We had a small group so it was really easy to travel and organise. The places we visited in Puglia were all very different and had its own charm and I really enjoyed my week. However there were parts of the trip which just did not make sense eg two walks (each between 1-2 hours) were scheduled at the hottest time of the day which caused concern for a number of us in the group. To avoid the uncomfortable heat (and quite frankly one of the walks just didn’t even serve a purpose to heighten our enjoyment of the trip) transport was arranged at an additional expense to each traveller to arrive at the final destination that day. Apart from that, the trip was brilliant and covered alot of the region. A truly relaxed trip for those who want a slower pace for a week.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Staying in Matera and seeing one of the oldest towns in Italy, olive oil tour, discovering Lecce and the rich history of this city.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Gabriella was very capable and entertaining and went beyond to help everyone on the trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    On the free day it would be best to go either to the cave or Monopoli but not both. The churches/cathedrals are closed between 12 and 4pm and there is little else to do in the walled city during that time. Or just spend your time at the beach at Monopoli with no expectation of exploring the walled city.