Turtle, Ecuador

Your words, not ours

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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.

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  • Reviewed June 2019
    paul bester

    breath-taking, in both senses

    having done a few mountains before, I was just hoping to get a view of Everest, but was amazed at just how unexpectedly-beautiful the route was. the initial lush green valleys were replaced with breath-taking views of majestic mountains. every turn produced another stunning vista. i found it really difficult to relay just how big those mountains are to anyone who hasn't been there.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    the sheer size of the Himalayas gives a humbling sense of ones place on earth. I simply could not go through life without seeing the "big one" up close- (relatively speaking).

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Bikash was a true gem. he is an experienced and confident leader, beyond his years. besides his general information, I learned so much about Nepalese culture from the one to one chats, while ambling at the back of the group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    it's a challenging trip, but certainly not limited to the super-fit.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Karen Todd

    Don’t understand this question ?

    Really good trip, great walking, pretty scenery and a good balance of things to do eg. The Prosecco tasting and meals out were a nice balance to just walking. The villa was a little dated but the outdoor area was superb with a beautiful pool. Vania the trip leader was amazing. Her English is faultless, she couldn’t have been more helpful and gave lots of information. She was such a lovely person too and very diplomatic in trying to deal with any concerns. She was a lot of fun and loved by all. she’s a real credit to Exodus.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    On the last day we walked through beautiful woods to a high beauty spot where there was amazing views. Vania had carried up 2 bottles of Prosecco so we could have a drink at the beauty spot. That must have beer really heavy in that heat! That was very thoughtful and we all appreciated it.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Brilliant. (As above).

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you have space in your luggage for the a Prosecco you are likely to buy. If you fancy a more gentle day, the short walk along the river to Pieve di Soligo is very pretty and easy.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Gill & Don Yuile

    Our first Exodus trip

    This trip met all our expectations and requirements and was a really good holiday for us. The daily organisation and all the experiences were excellent, we cannot praise Liz enough for her competence at making the week so good. The walks were amazing, just at the right level for us and we felt spot on with the leisurely/moderate rating. The hotel was beautifully situated, traditionally furnished, clean and homely, the staff were very nice, helpful and pleasant. Just a few quibbles that have prevented us awarding the top rating: the hotel breakfast was good, although a bit more variety would have been nice, but the evening meals taken in the hotel were fairly basic. The meals taken outside in local restaurants were fantastic. Our pre trip information supplied from Exodus gave us the wrong departure terminal at Heathrow, which we realised just two days before departure, however, this was dealt with efficiently and we appreciated how well it was handled. All in all an excellent week, we enjoyed it immensely and are looking at our next adventure!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Probably the best thing about this trip was the ratio of walking, city visits and wine tasting. A perfect amount of each meant that it was all most enjoyable.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Liz was a fantastic guide in all ways: leader experience, local knowledge, language skills, driving, organisation, and making sure every member of the group was comfortable and any special requirements taken care of. She was nice with it!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We recomend taking walking boots rather than trainers for the walk days as many of the tracks have loose stones and rocks. Flat shoes recomended for the rest of the time, especially in towns and cities.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Corrie Huntley

    Excellent

    Despite poor weather conditions we did fabulous walks, with the leader taking the weather conditions into consideration, so we therefore had the best experiences.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching a viewing point where I saw the summit of the next mountain, and then achieving that summit without realising that was our destination. I had actually said I didn't think I could get there to some of others whilst standing looking at it, and I'd just presumed that wasn't where we were going.... I found I was capable of more than I realised with the support I got from our leader Sara.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fantastic. Very caring and supportive to all the group members. Aware of their individual needs and concerns. Answering all the questions with her extensive local knowledge plus promoting the Exodus company wholeheartedly during conversations.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just go with an open mind, relax and enjoy. Do not hesitate to share your concerns and worries with your leader.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Carmel Elwell

    A fantastic walking holiday in remote and beautiful mountains

    We had five strenuous but not exhausting days walking through really beautiful gorges, meadows and mountains and came back to a welcoming and comfortable simple hotel each evening. Our guide was exemplary in her local knowledge of flora and fauna so there was much to learn as well as to enjoy. Highly recommended if you want to be out all day amidst a fascinating landscape.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Sitting and gazing across the valleys and gorges from 6,000 feet up.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    A fantastic leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring binoculars.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Diane Ingrey

    It was Amazing

    Peru My Peru holiday with Exodus was just amazingly fantastic. I have seen beautiful mountains before in the Alps but had not previously experienced the amazing sunsets you get on the Inca Trail or the stunning night sky. You could see the stars and milky way with absolute clarity. Nor have I descended down through Amazon cloud forest with its amazing flora and fauna. To do all that whilst walking such historic trails was mind-blowing. You feel really close to mother earth and nature. The descent through the Sun Gate to view Machu Picchu cannot be overstated as a beautiful moving experience. It is the best view of the site but what is undersold is that on this trip we arrived at the Sun Gate as Machu Picchu was closing and we had the site to ourselves. You descend through the site. I climbed the wooden steps to view the Gatekeepers Hut and it was occupied by just 3 Llamas! The next day on the formal visit there were swathes of visitors. The porters on the trek were amazing, I have a new definition of fitness now after watching porters run past me with a 25kg backpack almost a big as themselves. After their trek they erect your tent put your stuff in it and have a bowl of hot water waiting for you and prepare your meal. Meals were all freshly made, healthy and very tasty. They really do carry fresh vegetables up the trail. The joy of a shower and a flushing toilet after the trek is still with me! Cusco is an amazing place to explore and just to sit and watch. Its pace can be manic, it felt like being in a Rio carnival at times. Traffic is crazy and controlled by women police officers who are fearsome and fearless. They need to be, horns toot endlessly and everybody just shoves as far as they can. Its noisy and very vibrant. The Cathedral is beautiful and the huge picture of the Last Supper where they enjoy guinea pig is interesting. I did eat guinea pig and Llama, the Llama is good, cross between steak and lamb but not keen on guinea pig. We visited Inca sites in Cusco and if you are a history buff you would be overjoyed as their is so many sites. This holiday has completely changed my view of holidays, no more standard European Alps walking holidays. I crave history and culture experiences. I am still in a state of wonder a week after getting back. Only downside of the holiday is the free roaming dogs, some of which have homes but are not allowed in, but some are just hungry and scavenging out of rubbish heaps. Not so much in Cusco centre but just outside. 3rd world regarding animals.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing Machu Picchu from the Sun Gate

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Group leaders were outstanding, so helpful and so patient. They helped a member of the group who was very ill prepared for the trek to complete it (despite no appreciation from the member).

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't take the altitude sickness medicine, it made those who took it ill. They were better when they stopped taking it. Make sure you are fit enough, not a lot of oxygen for muscles up there so you need strong legs. Its not an easy trek, I am a regular high fell walker and my legs were very, very tired. You need to be fit to enjoy it not "reasonably fit" as stated. If you are not fit and suffer at altitude it will be hard as one of our group found...but she still made it!! Porters and walk leaders are angels.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thank you for the best most wonderful holiday of my life.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Chris Naughton

    Perfect holiday

    Hopefully you are lucky enough to stay at chalet chocolat with Ben and Zohi, nothing was too difficult and the food was exceptional. Our guide Sean was helpful and catered to everyone’s need and ability, allowing me to run ahead and made sure I knew where I was going. Everything was perfect and can’t rate this trip high enough.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The views and the hikes are amazing

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sean was fantastic and very knowledgeable. Was always up for a chat
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Stuart Dickinson

    Croatia: Islands and Mountains

    A fine mix of culture- Dubrovnik and Split, with daily walks. Brac was a sample of Dalmatia's islands and Bol was both a quiet characterful resort, and ferry port. The long linking distances were made in a comfortable mini bus and the travel linked first rate scenic highlights. The northern Krka National Park with its superb waterfalls; and the sharp, bare fluted limestones mixed with rich pine and beech forests of the Paklenica National Park made a memorable finale. Our guide was excellent and the choice of restaurants for the evening meal together was generally much appreciated.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The orchids that bloomed in dark pine forest- birds nest orchid and sword leaved white helleborine; and pyramidal orchid and bee orchid that grew on open limestone pasture.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very warm and professional.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for hot walking. When you are away from shady woodland it can be exposed take water and sunscreen and a hat.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Slightly disappointed to have to provide our own picnic. In previous trips the leader usually shops and the picnic is shared out and carried by the party members. Not here.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Katrina Borowski

    Fantastic adventure - don’t think about it, just do it!

    The Classic Inca Trail had been on my bucket list for some time, so it was brilliant to finally tackle it, combined with an excursion into the Amazon rainforest and a trip to Lake Titicaca. It was an action-packed, superbly organised 2 weeks and all 3 experiences were very different but equally enjoyable. Our group of 9 (ages ranged from 51 to 70) all completed the Trail, although it’s fair to say that fitness levels varied quite a bit. However, as our group leader said, it’s all about positivity and believing you can!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Very difficult to single out one, but probably getting to the top of Dead Woman’s Pass, followed very closely by arriving as a group at the Sun Gate. Also, in the rainforest, we were incredibly fortunate to see a young male jaguar for 15-20 minutes as we travelled by boat early one morning.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Adolfo (AD) was brilliant: very personable and extremely knowledgeable and experienced. He was also exceptionally well-organised without us feeling pressured in any way. He instilled us with confidence in our capabilities and it was reassuring to learn that he was going to be with us for the whole 2 weeks. This meant that transfers, hotel check-ins, internal flights etc were seamless as AD did all the legwork and made it extremely easy for us. In addition, in his capacity as our guide on the Trail, he supervised us in a way that enabled us to walk at our own pace in small groups within our group. He also had a great knowledge of and a passion for wild flowers, particularly orchids, so our Trail experience was punctuated with much-welcomed breaks to take photos. In addition, when in Lima, Cusco and Puno, he knew exactly which restaurants to take us to for the very best and authentic experiences and never seemed to struggle to get us in, even at the last minute. AD even managed to get hold of a bottle of wine on our last night of the Trail - goodness knows from where, as we were camping at just under 4000 metres!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read all the reviews of the Trail and you will get a pretty good idea of what it’s like. Yes, it is tough, especially the second day, but it was what we expected - certainly not worse. Do spend time working on your fitness levels, especially walking uphill, as this will help you enjoy the experience more. We were fortunate to be part of a fantastic group of people who worked well together and supported each other: don’t underestimate how important it is to want to complete the Trail as a Team, as this certainly spurs you on. Travel light! Most of us just took one change of clothes on the Trail and changed into them at night to sleep in, not the least to be better prepared for the early start next day. Don’t forget spare batteries for cameras and use wet wipes for washing. The rainforest was very hot so make sure you have light clothing but you do need to cover arms and legs to protect yourself from insect bites. We were all loaned duffle bags (different from the Exodus kit bag that you’re sent for the Trail), and this was for packing stuff for the rainforest. You are not limited by weight and there’s plenty of space for the gear you need for this part of the trip. On arrival in Cusco, we all used the laundry service organised by AD as our stuff was damp and smelly! This was very speedy and very cheap! We took some Peruvian Sol but also UD dollars. We had no problem finding ATMs or changing money. Do be prepared to spend more than you planned for, as we probably all spent twice the amount on tips compared to the Exodus guidelines in the Trip Notes.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This trip was made by the Exodus staff as well as the excellent group of like-minded people with whom I had the good fortune to share this fantastic adventure. I cannot stress enough how exceptional AD was as our group leader and, for sure, he motivated us all to achieve our ambition of successfully completing the Inca Trail. He also ensured that we enjoyed the most amazing experience of his beautiful country. Much credit also to the lovely Christian, AD’s deputy on the Trail, who selflessly and tirelessly encouraged and supported our group throughout. In addition, Christian, together with Uri, one of our porters, very kindly gave up their time to lead 3 of us up an extra peak at the end of our walk on Day 3. Talking of porters, they were truly amazing - how do they do it?! No only did they carry all the luggage and camping gear for the whole group, including food, catering equipment, tables, chairs, portable toilet etc, but they still managed to overtake us and were able to welcome us in at lunchtime/the end of the day! A special mention also goes to the very talented chefs, Roberto and his assistant, Vassilli?, who prepared the most fantastic and beautifully-presented food in very difficult conditions. In the rainforest, our guides, Frank and Joss were inspirational and so knowledgeable and passionate about wildlife and conservation. On Lake Titicaca, some of us were fortunate to experience the wonderful hospitality of Mama Flora who welcomed us into her home - what a lovely lady!
  • Reviewed June 2019

    The Inca Trail in Comfort 30 May departure & Lake Titicaca Extension

    This was a brilliant trip. The Inca Trail in Comfort was well organised & a good mix of trekking and sightseeing. Our guide, Mike, was great & the camping porter team were inspiring. The camp chef provided excellent meals. The hotels were comfortable & the camping was as good as camping gets. The group gelled well together. The Lake Titicaca Extension is also well worth doing and good value. We were very happy with all aspects of the trip & would recommend it to anyone with a reasonable level of fitness.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I loved the whole trek: highlights included the first view of Machu Picchu from the Sun Gate, the spectacled bear we saw from the trail, reaching the top of dead Woman's Pass, the view from our camp site on the last morning, rowing a reed boat on Lake Titicaca ...

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mike was a brilliant leader. He is extremely knowledgeable and was keen to share with us. He is friendly to all and certainly helped the group to gel. He is considerate of the needs of the group and provided help when appropriate to those who needed it. He organised the trek well and kept the group together. He organised a variety of restaurants for lunch & dinner, all good, and even booked us a restaurant in Puno (Titicaca extension) which was an excellent recommendation. He is considerate of health and safety, the environment and the local community. Mike was great and we were very lucky to have him as our group leader. Davis and the camp team were also very good.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a brilliant trip - book it as long as you have a reasonable level of fitness and enjoy walking, (and don't have bad knees - there are a lot of steps). Bring good walking boots, well worn in. Use poles (you can hire locally, or buy in UK for similar price - must be telescopic / adjustable with rubber ends.) If leave is not a concern, consider arriving a day early in Cuzco to acclimatise. Bring a good head torch. We didn't go to the hot springs so no need to carry swimming costume / large towel / flip flops on trek. Hotel Casa Andina (Aguas Calientes) provided shampoo so no need to carry on trek. We could have left some stuff in Hotel Pakaripampu (Ollantaytamo) before the trek, to collect after Machu Picchu on way back to Cuzco. Minimise the weight in your ruck sack. If leave is not a concern - the Lake Titicaca extension is excellent value. Don't be put off by the drive - it's in a comfortable coach & includes 4 stops & lunch. Don't under estimate the amount you need for tipping. Although the exchange rate is better in Cuzco it's convenient to arrive with a little local money. The exchange rate was approximately the same changing pounds into dollars in UK then changing the dollars into sols in Cuzco as it was to change pounds directly into sols in Cuzco. However all the exchange outlets would exchange dollars (including very near hotel San Agustin Plaza) but they didn't all exchange pounds. Western Union in Main Square exchanges pounds. We spent approx 1450 sols per person for 11 nights (incl 1 night in Cuzco pre tour & Titicaca extension). If you do the Titicaca extension, include the reed boat ride, and book the Balcons de Puna restaurant for dinner & floorshow.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The trip was great. Thanks to Mike for excellent organisation & guiding. Thanks also for organising extra night in Aguas Calientes due to train strike.
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