Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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4708 Reviews

  • Reviewed December 2019
    Pagan Dave

    Fantastic Trip

    My first trip to Nepal and what a great experience. Beautiful countryside and views, had a fantastic time and now want to go back to do some of the trekking mountains. Watch out its addictive!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Being surrounded by famous mountains, crossing the tall suspension bridges with yak trains carrying supplies up the passes, amazing!!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Experienced nice guy, took good care of us, firm when he needed to be but shared our enthusiasm for the experience.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Yep, silk sleeping bag liner very useful, fingerless gloves for the cold evenings in the tea houses, tracksters worked great during the day and for the evenings too, merino wool thermals were absolutely brilliant, wool jumper better than synthetic fabrics for keeping smell free, cards for the evening, good (compact) camera for the scenery not my digital SLR! I used Diamox and was glad I did, no altitude sickness problems. In November it took clothes a few days to dry so pack enough. keep your bags within the weight limits, our porters had to carry our bags so please be considerate. Trek wasn't as physically demanding as I expected, get fit before you go and you will enjoy it more.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Watch out, if you go once you'll want to go back again! I was the only person on the trek for whom this was a first visit.
  • Reviewed December 2019
    Mary Dunn

    Excellent guide, fascinating trip

    Loved the daily walks that we did as we covered some fascinating history and saw a unique part of Turkey that's off the beaten track of the standard beach holidays that people do when they think of Turkey. The guide Ikut was one of the best guides I've seen, and I've done lots of this kind of trip. He was kind, attentive, diplomatic and very cheerful. The walking was pretty relaxed and we went at a slow pace and it was all quite easy. The main point of our walks was to see the beautiful landscapes and hidden, painted rock churches. The food was plentiful and delicious and we were well looked after. The only bad points are the hotel Ciner, which wasn't great (days without hot water, no bar to hang out in at night, and repetitive food at breakfast) but it was close to the town centre and adequate for our needs. Also the communication from Exodus prior to the trip wasn't good. But the locals in Goreme, including our guide, worked hard to look after us and it's a really beautiful part of Turkey to experience. The walking routes were dry, dusty and exposed so hats, sunglasses and water are recommended.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Just being able to walk at a leisurely pace so that we could fully take in the magnificent landscape and awesome rock formations.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent in every way! He dealt with a tricky situation diplomatically when we had a challenging member of the group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Proper walking boots are a must for the rocky, dusty paths.
  • Reviewed December 2019
    Sharon Green

    Fantastic Trip!

    This was our first trek and we we struck gold - the scenery and people of Nepal are beautiful. They have left a lasting impression and a return trip is a must. The porters and guides looked after us - lugging our gear and organising food and accommodation, pointing out wildlife and keeping us safe - always smiling, they created a real family feel to the group. I miss the early morning wake up call of a cheerful Namaste with a cup of tea and a stunning sunrise.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Two stand out (& emotional) moments-Looking down on a pair of Golden Eagles gliding on the thermals only 15 feet away & Reaching Annapurna Basecamp - achieving the goal and surrounded by jaw dropping scenery

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Balkrishna Tamang (Milan) was a great leader. I have no experience of others but the bar is now set very high! He was tireless in ensuring everything went to plan and everyone was happy.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Keep your bags as light as you can- not an easy task but watching the porters lug 2 kit bags and their own gear is a humbling experience
  • Reviewed December 2019
    Michelle Burton

    Fantastic trip - great scenery, well paced, brilliant leader

    We had the most wonderful trip on the Mini Annapurna Circuit in Nov 19 with a great group of 6, and a brilliant leader Jangbu. The scenery was amazing throughout and so varied - starting off warm with jungle and rice terraces, going through to the barren and snow covered pass. The group was made up of 3 couples (40's/50's/60's) who all met on this trip but worked really well together and was a nice number. The itinerary was very well thought out, from walking times between breakfast, tea stop, lunch, and afternoon. A slow enough pace that no-one was pushed, out of breath or sweaty. No-one got altitude sickness as the increase in altitude every day was so well managed. The food was much better and more varied that expected (fried rice, fried noodles, soup, curry, chips, pizza, and occasionally even items like lasagna, burritos etc. And of course desserts like apply pie, and mars bar rolls !

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The peace and tranquillity on the trail. Going end-Nov meant it was very quiet, and we even had a lot of the tea houses all to ourselves. Every day the views were amazing and fascinating to see it change the higher you went.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader Jangbu was superb. Nothing was too much trouble, he was always on hand to answer any question, order our breakfast, tea, lunch, dinner, sort out wifi, charging, showers, safe drinking water etc. He made sure we all knew the next days plans, what to wear, what to carry etc etc. We felt completely confident and comfortable with his leadership and advice, considering he has been doing this for years, and has even summited Everest 6+ times ! He made sure we only ate in safe places, advised us on what to eat, what to drink, where not to eat, and even made sure the hygiene in each place was up to standard - including going into the kitchen to assist ! No-one from the group got ill, and he was always on hand for any questions, had no downtime for himself, and even on the final day was around at breakfast and to ensure we all got our transfers to the airport and to say goodbyes.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The trip notes do cover everything you need to know - just keep re-reading them as whatever you need to know is in there ! The trail is very dusty - not just the jeep tracks, but also the walking trails, so expect very dusty boots and trousers, and a buff is essential every day. A few essential items to bring: Buff (needed every day of trek) Steripen and wide-mouth Nalgene bottle Body wipes (unreliable hot showers, and sometime too cold to want one) Hydration pack - drink on the go Hand gel - multiple bottles Diamox (start on day 3) - can buy in Kathmandu/before the trek Lots of toilet roll (3 each) Pillow case V. warm clothes - it was -8c on the morning we went over the Thorong La pass. Decent 4-season sleeping bag (we used this every single night), and sleeping bag liner to keep it clean The tea houses vary in quality - some quite smart and new, others more basic and old. We had more rooms with ensuites than shared bathrooms, and the higher you go, they all have a hot stove you can gather round in the dining room to warm up. None had heating in the bedrooms so you are only in there to unpack/pack and sleep. We normally slept in some of our clothes, and needed the 4-season sleeping bags and sometimes provided blankets as well. We only ended up having a few showers as either the hot water ran out, or the rooms were too cold to want to undress/come out wet, so body wipes were much needed ! You are advised not to drink alcohol over 3000m so this meant from day 4 onwards until you are in Jomsom on the final trekking day - 8 days without !

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We were a bit daunted by this trip, and potential for either getting altitude sickness, or getting ill from general hygiene on the trail. But we didnt need to worry. The itinerary is planned so you acclimatise well and the leader really looks out for you. We all religiously used hand gel at all opportunities - even cleaning the cutlery, and as a result, no-one got sick. I would 100% recommend Exodus and going guided as it takes away all hassle and concerns, from planning, pace setting, and even to knowing the safe places to eat/drink. We met a lot of people travelling in 2's/3's without guide or porters, and every evening they had to find somewhere to stay, were pouring over maps planning route, worrying about weather forecasts etc. Whereas we were all calm and had 100% faith in our leader Jangbu. Even down to what to wear, when the sun will hit the path etc. Invaluable. You also have the knowledge that you have someone there to help if you get ill, they carry any medication you may need, and even have an oxygen cylinder the entire time. None of group got sick from food or altitude which cannot be underestimated.
  • Reviewed December 2019
    David Southall

    The most amazing trip I have ever taken with memories never forgotten.

    If you wish to challenge yourself and witness some of the most amazing views on the face of this planet then this is the trek for you. Yes, you need to train, Yes you need to have a positive mind set, Yes, you will get cold, Yes you will NOT be staying in 5star hotels along your trek. YES, you will find things out about yourself, YES you will do things that you never though possible. YES YES YES you will have the greatest time. Go ahead. Book it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching Everest Base Camp as a compete team and seeing the Nepalese culture of how little they have and yet they smile every day are grateful for everything.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ha Ha Tenzing Sherpa was the most positive and inspirational leader anyone could ask for. His knowledge and character and laughter was simply infectious. I would request him again to guide any trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Dont overpack Take enough underwear and socks Limit to a 2/3. base layers/ Mid layers and let the down jacket do the rest. Drink enough water even if you feel you are not thirsty. Avoid meat on the trek.
  • Reviewed December 2019
    David and Lesley Knass

    A Great Experience

    This was a very varied trip and we took part in all the activities as did the rest of the party. The overall pace over the 14 days was very good and the only early start was at Periyar which is necessary to catch the wildlife and we were lucky to see an elephant whilst on the walk. We experienced some mist at the peak so that restricted our views but coming from England we're used to that at much lower levels!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It is difficult to pick out one thing but seeing the Western Ghats for the first time and the houseboat were up there. Also all our party really enjoyed the visit to the spice plantation and preparing a meal, Kerala style. And seeing some endemic birds species plus tahr, gaur, giant squirrel and elephant.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    First rate. The 10 of us and Santo James clicked right away. He ensured everything ran smoothly and was likeable, good fun and everything needed from a trip leader. He organised all the activities perfectly and anticipated all our needs.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The trek is the central part of the tour and don't underestimate it. If you are a regular walker at the distances covered it will be fine but otherwise do some preparation. November is the end of the rainy season so don't be surprised if you get the odd shower. Take wet overtrousers with you not just in case it rains but for walking through the Shola grasslands if it has been wet eg on walking down from the peak. One or two walking poles should be used even though we don't always use them ourselves when walking at home. Also leech socks were needed on our walk after it had rained overnight but these are provided and don't be put off by coming across these creatures!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We were lucky in that the rest of our party were a delight to be with and everyone was very positive and enjoyed all the activities. The trip met all our expectations.
  • Reviewed December 2019
    Dougie Gray

    Stunning views

    What more can we say,,, fabulous walks, great hotel with great staff. Our guide Vania is fantastic making everyone feel welcome right from the beginning! Her bright breezy funny chat was great and very informative. She always had an answer for all our dumb questions!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The views along the coast from the higher view points on our walks!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Vania couldn't have been better! Very knowledgeable, welcoming, great English,, I could go on and on!
  • Reviewed December 2019
    Nigel Chapman

    Awesome trek with a great leader

    Having seen the Trango Towers on a K2 bae camp trek many years ago I always had an ambition to see the Torres del Paine and the didn't disappoint. Firzroy is also stunning.We were lucky with the weather which helped and all local guides were excellent.As said in other reviews Tomas our leader is a legend through his enthusiasm, knowledge and caring attitude. Would recommend.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Leaving th Paine NP on the catamaran with cloudless skies across an azure blue lake with stunning mountain scenery all around- it doesn't get much better than that.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Where do I start.....Tomas was just brilliant.As someone who came land only to the group so joined later he made it easy to integrate.He was knowledgeable, kind, diplomatic and above all very very funny. He looked after everyone individually and his work rate was phenomenal. As others have said, a legend.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I'd reiterate a few of the previous comments: -there's a lot of bus travel (but necessary to see Fitzroy and Paine) -it's expensive to use ATMs in Argentina so take plenty of USD. -probably not as challenging as I was expecting (although all these ratings are subjective) -take a 30-40 litre pack as well as main bag for W trek in Paine NP. -don't forget earplugs (to aid sleep whilst in dorms on trek) and sink plug (most hosterias etc don't provide them) -enjoy.....
  • Reviewed December 2019
    Pamela Peers

    Great walking in a beautiful island

    This is a great week's walking with a lot of variety in the walks covered. The hotels are generally of a good standard and the food was good and varied, with plenty of fresh fish and salads.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the summit of Pico Ruivo, and looking down through the clouds through which we had walked to reach the summit.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Andre was brilliant! A great guide and excellent company. He's clearly a very experienced guide and was diligent in ensuring that all members of our large group were comfortable with the walking pace, and provided supported when anyone needed it. He always found excellent places for us to eat and we were particularly grateful for his guidance on things to do in Funchal on our free day

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a great trip ... book it!
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Andrea James

    Annapurna sanctuary

    This was an amazing trip with Poon hill sunrise and Annapurna base camp sunrise , both of which we were spoilt on clear skies and lovely weather, The guides and porters were all amazing, trying to communicate with their broken english, our main guide Milan was fantastic , with his knowledge of mountains and other areas in nepal. I would highly recommend this trip, just be sure that you love steps and that you love mountains and breathtaking views!!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to Poon hill toview sunrise and Annapurna bbase camp sunrise! Mindblowingly beautiful, to the point of tears!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    MILAN was amazing his knowledge of the area was fabulous and then organising meals out in Pokoraha and Kathmandu also arranging our missed flights, done all with a smile!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just make sure your fit enough to deal with all the steps, and always look back from where ever your going or been as the views from all angles are just so beautiful