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.

Simply use the selector below to search our trip reviews and start reading real feedback from real Exodus travellers who have ‘been there and done that’!

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  • Reviewed February 2018
    Steve & Dianne Fletcher

    Plenty of snow in remote Pyrenees valleys

    We had a great week snowshoeing in plentiful deep snow, staying in very comfortable and welcoming hotels, particularly Hotel Victor in Rialp. The family there made every effort to accommodate our varied and various needs always with a smile. The fresh deep snow made it difficult for the group to complete the planned walks every day, but this really was not necessary - the pleasure of being out in untouched snow with no-one in sight all day was the thing. Miguel our leader had built several cultural extras into the programme which added considerably to the interest .

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Sun shining on deep untouched snow on the day walking above Son.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Miguel had to cope with a combination of a group with diverse abilities and experiences in a week with more snow than usual which made logistics and completing the planned walks difficult. Given this he did a good job of trying to ensure that as many people as possible completed as much as possible of the advertised programme. He clearly loves his country (Catalonia!) and the mountains and went out of his way to share this enthusiasm with us.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Understand that the degree of challenge involved is very dependent on the snow and weather conditions. The depth of soft snow we had meant the effort involved was 50% to 100% more than in conditions of less or no snow. Also experience of walking in the hills in varied weather conditions is desirable. Be prepared for long days out in very cold conditions.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The group size was too big - we had to walk in single file making it impossible for Miguel to talk to the whole group at the same time, and also slowed us down. More advice could have been given to inexperienced snowshoers.
  • Reviewed February 2018
    Steve & Dianne Fletcher

    Plenty of snow in remote Pyrenees valleys

    We had a great week snowshoeing in plentiful deep snow, staying in very comfortable and welcoming hotels, particularly Hotel Victor in Rialp. The family there made every effort to accommodate our varied and various needs always with a smile. The fresh deep snow made it difficult for the group to complete the planned walks every day, but this really was not necessary - the pleasure of being out in untouched snow with no-one in sight all day was the thing. Miguel our leader had built several cultural extras into the programme which added considerably to the interest .

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Sun shining on deep untouched snow on the day walking above Son.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Miguel had to cope with a combination of a group with diverse abilities and experiences in a week with more snow than usual which made logistics and completing the planned walks difficult. Given this he did a good job of trying to ensure that as many people as possible completed as much as possible of the advertised programme. He clearly loves his country (Catalonia!) and the mountains and went out of his way to share this enthusiasm with us.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Understand that the degree of challenge involved is very dependent on the snow and weather conditions. The depth of soft snow we had meant the effort involved was 50% to 100% more than in conditions of less or no snow. Also experience of walking in the hills in varied weather conditions is desirable. Be prepared for long days out in very cold conditions.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The group size was too big - we had to walk in single file making it impossible for Miguel to talk to the whole group at the same time, and also slowed us down. More advice could have been given to inexperienced snowshoers.
  • Reviewed February 2018
    David Netherwood

    Fantastic trip

    Brilliant trip, great balance between cycling and cultural. Our leader "Is" was wonderful - she stops traffic with a wave of her hand and big smile! We were really well looked after. The hotels vary a bit with most being very comfortable, one or two in out of the way places are just OK. All were clean, en-suite and had air-con. We visited markets, got top try a range of "food" - I'm veggie, so skiped the meat bit (some it had 6 or even 8 legs). As a veggie, Is always made sure I had a suitable meal. The bikes were heavy mountain bikes, in excellent condition in Thailand, less so in Cambodia and Vietnam. The cycling is all flat, there are couple of long days, but we all managed. My advice, book it. Its a great trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    So many. I love the cycling, with 3 guides we were able to push teh pace a little while no leaving anyone behind. Siem Reap and the temples were great, but so was everywhere else. The killing fields was the most moving. While upsetting, it I do feel it was the right thing to include it in the trip. Weaving through traffic in Siem Reap, its utter chaos, but everyone gives way to each other and somehow it just works. I think the abiding memory will be the huge and warm welcome we got from the locals, the kids hi-fiving us as we rode past, lunch at one of the cycle guide's mum's house (best meal of the trip).

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Is, our leader, was tireless, hard working, great fun, and made sure we all had a great time. We owe her a massive thank you, she really made the trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I read a lot of other reviews and lot of them mentioned the bike seats. I dismissed them at the time,a mistake. I don't know why, they look OK, but oh my bum! Take Thai Bart, US dollars for Cambodia. In Vietnam there is a good exchange near the hotel that takes £ $ and I guess a lot more.
  • Reviewed February 2018
    Gail Madeley

    Classic Kenya 4WD Safari - Brilliant

    This was my 22nd trip with Exodus so I had no worries in embarking on tented accommodation, it makes a change from being pampered in a hotel. All the staff were very friendly and looked after us very well. It was a perfect time to experience the Masai Mara - by going in the low season you avoid the crowds the migration draws and you have a better view of the wildlife in the low grass.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing a cheetah with a kill, zebras fighting, giraffes necking and a leopard (never seen one before in the wild). The variety of wildlife was amazing including the young that had been born prior to the wet season.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both Peter and Davis were great. Very well organised, kept in constant touch (almost!), everything ran to time. Peter said each day would bring us something special and he was true to his word. I couldn't believe how each day gave us scenes that got better and better.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We travelled out to Nairobi ahead of the main group. This was due to the night flight followed by a long journey to the first hotel which we have experienced in the past. As there is so much to see en route it is a shame to miss it due to tiredness. Take a sink plug as there is no plug in the tented accommodation. Take plenty of insect repellent - although I had a variety, which was well used, I was still bitten over 100 times, but not by mosquitos. Be prepared to put on weight as you get little exercise apart from the rush of adrenaline and the massages provided by the seats of the landcruisers!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would thorough recommend this trip to all animal lovers, but be prepared to see some sights you might not like, for example you may witness a kill, but this is natural in the circle of life and the locals do not treat their donkeys with respect.
  • Reviewed February 2018
    Paula Gould

    Sunshine, strudel and lots of snow - perfect conditions for a skating novice

    This was my second 'Learn to Skate' holiday with Exodus. Having enjoyed the beginners' holiday so much in 2017, I decided to make the most of Eric's excellent tuition and build my skating confidence and competence before taking the next step to intermediate level. As last year, several other people in the group had skated once or twice before - others were completely new to skating (but not to XC or downhill skiing). But that wasn't a problem. Eric ran the holiday as described and thanks to his near-exhaustive (!) list of drills and exercises, combined with limitless patience and good humour, it was practically impossible NOT to improve your skating technique over the course - whatever level you had started at. Snow conditions were good all week and we enjoyed some excellent days out, as well as skiing from the door of the hotel and exploring the various loipe around Achenkirch. We also managed to visit numerous cafes whilst out and about (essential refuelling!) In summary - a perfect choice of holiday if you want to have a proper go at skating in beautiful surroundings, whilst also having fun and eating cake.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Skating around the loipe at Achenkirch on the last day and thinking - I'm doing this, I have really learned to skate!! Skating around Pertisau on squeaky snow in brilliant sunshine and admiring the mountain views (without falling over or looking like a complete tourist).

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Eric's patience, good humour and unerring ability to spot exactly how everyone's technique could be improved (whether it's a big change or a tiny tweak) makes him the perfect coach. He also managed to notice that I was struggling with cold hands on day 1 (though I was trying not to show it) and loaned me his own three-finger gloves for the remainder of the holiday.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't book this holiday if you don't actually want to spend 5 days on skating skis. Sounds obvious, but this holiday is more about tuition than daily mileage. Do come with a good appetite - the food is fantastic!
  • Reviewed February 2018
    Joti Dhami

    Finish Wilderness Week - Amazing adventure. Perfect.

    From start to finish this trip was a dream. If you are thinking about booking it - stop thinking and just do it. You will not regret it. The transfers, location, wilderness, activities, staff, comfort, rooms, food, activities, clothing - everything was perfect.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Learning new skills and surviving -30! Sleeping in a Quinzee Body rafting Husky sleding!!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The staff were wonderful. Really caring and informative.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You really do not need to take any clothes with you other than base layers and a jumper or two jumpers. Something warm to wear in the evenings - pair of jeans. I took the smallest bag and still used very little from it. Good warm sock. I would take a few good jumpers and sturdy shoes for the snow when walking from room to dinner. Saying that my boyfriend took trainors and we still survived. You don't really need much.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It was perfect!!
  • Reviewed February 2018
    Dennis Samuel

    Fantastic Trip

    This was one the most rewarding walking/hiking trips I have been on. Excellent on all levels and quite challenging as well.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were so many, its very difficult to choose one. The view of Santiaguito erupting while standing on the summit of Santa Maria was amazing, as were the views from the top of Zunil. I also found the trek through the Mayan villages and the camping quite rewarding. The evening spent with the women's weaving coop in San Juan and the visit to Iximche and the Almolonga market were great. Lastly, the Fuentes Georginas hot springs, particularly after a long difficult day of hiking, were unforgettable.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The guides, Rafael, Mario, and Miguel, were what really made this trip special. I have never had such rapport with leaders during my travels. Their humor and good natured personalities were very refreshing, but they also made me feel very comfortable and safe at all times. Their enjoyment in working with each other was very refreshing. Their pride in their country showed greatly. Juan Carlos was also a highlight of the trip, and the consistently great meals he provided, cooked in somewhat or entirely primitive settings, were amazing.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a difficult trip, primarily because of the steep ascents/descents, so be prepared. The evenings and mornings are cold in the Highlands, dress appropriately. Also, the camping is in villages or quite close to villages, and the dogs and roosters can make sleeping difficult. I would recommend bringing earplugs. Take advantage of everything, including the temazcals while in the villages. What an experience! Also, if you have any obsessive concerns regarding cleanliness, you must shed them. All of the trails are extremely dusty from the volcanic soil.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I have been on numerous hiking/trekking trips over the years, and I must say that I found this to be the best. The strenuous walking and sights, but especially the leaders, made this trip great. Make sure you are up for it, because it definitely deserves its "challenging" rating.
  • Reviewed February 2018
    GRAHAM CLARKE

    ETHIOPIA IN DEPTH

    Kipling wrote of Burma to the effect that it was like no other country you have seen. Had he visited Ethiopia, and there is no evidence that he did, he might well have come to a similar conclusion; I did. Overall we had a very comprehensive insight into the country; taking in the fabulous and varied scenery, the religious settlements, the wildlife, food, markets and the way people live.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There was a WOW factor to most days even the 12 hour drive between Mekele and Lalibela which was punctuated with stops for photos and a visit to a camel market. We passed through some fabulous scenery at 11,500 feet. The trip on Lake Tana to visit monasteries, the walk amongst baboons in the Simiens. The rock churches of Lalibela were just amazing particularly when you consider when they were done and how. The mule trek up to Ashatan Maryam. We were a happy group: everyone got on with everyone else.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Gabre was excellent. A font of knowledge. He was communicative, patient, very much a people's person. Not forgetting our bus driver. I don't remember his name, but in addition to his excellent and safe driving skills ( he took the bus to places I would think twice about in a 4x4 ) he was similarly cheerful and communicative.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get your visa either before you set off: the queues were long an slow. Do your homework. Read up as much as you can before you go on the various rock churches and other places of interest, you may find it difficult to absorb so much new information. I did and was glad I did. Take home some coffee.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It was a great and memorable trip.
  • Reviewed February 2018
    Martyn Roberts

    Amazing Experiience

    This is an excellent two week introduction to Bangladesh. It is a packed itinerary that requires stamina on occasions but the rewards are well worth the effort. Bangladesh is a fascinating destination for adventurous travellers. Go with an open and inquiring mind and you will experience a unique country.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The most inspirational moment of the trip was not actually one single occurrence or event. Rather it was the incredibly warm and friendly welcome we were given by local people everywhere we went. This was invariably accompanied by a request for a selfie as well as a query about your name and country.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our tour leader Suzy was excellent. Her enthusiasm and love for the country shone through all the time. Given the lack of tourist infrastructure and the other challenges faced in travelling around Bangladesh she had a number of issues as well as occasional grumbles to deal with throughout the trip. She dealt with these expertly and with great professionalism. Our trip was greatly enhanced by her presence. The local guide Khan was also a tremendous asset to the group. No problem was too great or small for him to deal with in a charming manner. Finally , a mention of our driver Dalal who kept us safe on many long journeys. The driving style in Bangladesh is crazy and even though we encountered many hairy moments he never once lost his composure. A great driver and a lovely guy.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for long bus journeys. By European standards distance are not that great but taking in to account the dreadful state of many roads, the amount of traffic and the reckless driving of locals, any trip is going to take a while. We were covering 25/30 km an hour at best on good runs. The bus we had was reasonably comfortable for our group of 13 plus guides/driver. Had we had the potential full 16 guests on board it would not have been so comfortable. The standard of hotels overall was good but variable. Often we were staying in the best places available in a limited market. Be prepared for this and you'll be OK. One thing to watch out for is that some rooms require you to flick a switch to turn on the hot water and then wait up to 20 minutes for it to heat up enough to take a shower. On the Sundarbans cruise the bedding was grubby and we had several visits from local insects. Make sure you take a sheet sleeping bag if these things bother you.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Bangladesh was much less Islamic and conservative than I expected. You can even get alcohol with a bit of effort ! I had expected to have a wonderful and fulfilling experience and was not disappointed. If you are thinking of visiting do it as soon as you can. The country is changing rapidly given the predominantly young population. Go with realistic expectations particularly in relation to transport and accommodation. If you do this you will have a wonderful experience.
  • Reviewed February 2018
    Suzanne Thorne

    Ethiopia in depth

    This was the most amazing holiday. Our guide Gabre was excellent. Scenery was beautiful. We had a very good driver who negotiated some terrible roads with great care. Hotels were good considering it is such a poor country,pot luck sometimes . People were so friendly, which made the holiday for us. It is cool in the evening, jacket needed.Good strong trainers or walking shoes for very uneven surfaces around churches. Ethiopian airways were excellent. Ethiopian food is an acquired taste. !! One of our most memorable holidays.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The camel market ,the churches, the galada baboons and many more.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you have all jabs. Protect yourself against food Bourne illnesses. Take good shoes a WALKING stick. Jacket for the evening.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was a memorable holiday in every way. Ethiopia has everything, I wish the country well in the future.
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