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Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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232 Reviews

  • Reviewed March 2020

    Stunning scenery and exciting activities

    Finnish Lapland is exhilarating. So clean and spacious and quiet. We may not have seen the Northern Lights but the snowmobiles, huskies, reindeer and wilderness lodge all made up for it. An action packed weekend. Lovely food and hotel. Equipment provided was good. The guide Jenni was brilliant.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Sunset across the frozen lake at the wilderness cabin. Speeding across a lake on a snow mobile at midnight. The delight of seeing the excited huskies rolling in the snow and drinking it. Feeding the baby reindeer.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jenni, our group leader was amazing. She worked so hard, staying up very late to try to locate the Northern Lights. Her cooking at the cabin was fantastic. She looked after us all very well. She was very knowledgeable and an excellent host. We all loved her Finnish irony.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a non stop weekend, and be prepared for very late nights. Take flip flops for the wilderness sauna. Contact lenses are better for the activities if you have them as glasses steam up very quickly. It does get very cold, but as long as you follow the trip notes and layer up and use the centres equipment you will be fine. Hotel and cabin are lovely and warm.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Although this seems like a costly trip for only 3 nights it is well worth it as you get to travel to Europe's last wilderness and there are minimal costs once you are there: only alcohol and souvenirs. All food, including tea and coffee is included. Finnair were excellent too. Plenty of leg room, clean new planes, films on board and free drinks.
  • Reviewed January 2020
    Ruth Toller

    Great place to spend New Year

    Real getaway for New Year with a great group of people and excellent guides and support. Energetic enough to justify all the food we were presented with but plenty of time to relax.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Lying on the frozen river watching the stars (unfortunately no Northern Lights that particular night). Optional snowshoe on the Little Bear Trail was really good and contained the hardest section of the whole week due to the previous days' weatehr conditions

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent. Good communicator, very knowledgeable and willing to give us some indepedence. went out of way to be helpful

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for changes of plan if the weather conditions make the original impossible, but alternatives will be equally good. Take slip-on shoes to Russian End (outside toilet) to avoid having to put on boots every time

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Very well fed and various dietary needs were well met but catering facilities mean there can only be one main dish for a meal. Mealtimes were "flexible" as the guides/leaders also did the cooking. Celebrating New Year in a cabin with no electricity or running water (but plenty of heat and candlelight and a sauna) was special.
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Alice Nimmo

    What a week!

    Highly recommended and couldn't stress how much effort the guides put in on making you feel welcome to this amazing country and how supportive they were in making the trip perfect for each individual. Head guide Elina is a fantastic overall lovely person. The food was to die for (all traditional Finnish), don't be expecting burgers unless it's an Elk one! The drink was expensive, but I had budgeted for this prior to the trip as I knew this would be the case. It's good idea to purchase alcohol at a UK airport or lack some in your case before hand. All of the activities were perfect to gain a taster of each, and once equipped with your gear, you were free to use them as you please in your free time. I took a hike up a local hill on our free day, using the snowshoes provided, Elina showed me a map in which I took with me, and an easy to follow, well marked trail. What a fabulous day to get a view of the Russian border from the top. The owners of the Huskies were so caring and knew a of the dogs inside out, what a lovely life they lead and the dogs really enjoy their work, this is obvious when you meet them, due to the excitement and noise they make when they know they're going on a trip. The reindeer are well looked after, and the herdsmen explained that they are trained to pull the sleighs in the winter when they are brought back to the farm, but released again to roam during the summer months. I can't tell you enough how much I love this country, the lovely people and how close they are to nature. If your after a really laid back holiday and an escaped from the rush of day to day life, this is for you!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The way of life the Finnish lead is to die for, they really are the most lovely people with an amazing connection to nature and their wildlife

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader Elina couldn't have been any better, she couldn't have tried to please everyone anymore if she tried

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't expect restaurant quality food, expect a more rustic and traditional Finnish cuisine such as reindeer, elk and fish

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Worth every penny
  • Reviewed September 2019
    Sandra Davies
    Trip:

    Do it!

    This was my first solo trip ..... ever! I needn’t have worried, despite a very tight connection flight, 1 passenger and some luggage (including mine) didn’t make it, everything else was spot on. I understand that this was due to the usual airport being temporarily closed, not a lot Exodus could do about that. Finland is beautiful, the activities on offer were varied, Basecamp comfortable, the food was good and everyone we met was very friendly.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the bears, we were so lucky with the amount of activity. Mums with cubs, cubs up trees, big bears, little bears .... so many bears. It’s a close run thing between that and the day on the river Kitka.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Elina was an absolute delight, she wasted no time reuniting myself and a fellow passenger with our luggage. She also located our missing passenger. I was in a small group of 5, Elina joined in with our silly conversations, got our British ‘humour’, took us out on some amazing walks and felt more like one of the group, than the ‘formal guide’.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don’t be afraid to do the optional whitewater experience. I had never done any rafting before and absolutely loved it. We were well looked after and the hike up to the viewpoint half way along the river was well worth the puff. I took far too much with me, all you need is some decent walking shoes, the usual walking trousers and tops etc. Dinner is very informal, don’t waste luggage space on smarter stuff for the evening, instead of packing the ‘just in case skirt’ put some Deet in instead, you will need it.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Go along and throw yourself into everything, bears, dogs and rafting, what could possibly go wrong!!
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Samantha Cook
    Trip:

    Wilderness Escape

    If you want to be immersed in the beautiful Finnish wilderness and escape the frenetic pace of modern life, this is the trip for you. 5 days filled with easy hiking, rafting, husky walks and bear watching. There is also plenty of down time just to soak up the tranquility, take a sauna or take a dip in the lake. Basecamp Oulanka is the prefect place to recharge your batteries.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Bear watching was undoubtedly the highlight for me. I visited the bear hide on 3 evenings (including the optional visit on the last night) and each time the beat activity/behaviour was different. The hide is very comfortable and the photographic opportunities are amazing.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Elina was an absolute delight - just a genuinely lovely person & so full of energy and enthusiasm. She worked hard to make sure the group was happy throughout.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring some light, quick drying trousers to go under the ‘fisherman trousers’ provided for the rafting trip. Book the wild rafting option - it’s not as wild as it sounds, grade 3 max although one section is officially classed as grade 4. Mosquito repellent and a hat are a must!
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Beth Neill
    Trip:

    Great mix of outdoor activities

    Although the bear hide was the lure for us on this trip, the other activities of walking with huskies, rideing the river and walking the forests all made this a brilliant short break. Long days meant we had good evenings watching the bears and time to do things during the day as well. Oulanka base camp was a great venue.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the mother bear with 4 cubs emerge from the woods.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Elina was a wonderful leader - she always made sure we were all happy and knew what was going on each day, spending time telling us about local culture.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take plenty of mosquito repellant!
  • Reviewed July 2019

    Fantastic Finland

    For me its was a amazing trip. Although my staying arrangements was not that good as expected but other things made my trip awesome. I enjoyed range of outdoor activities such as snowshoeing,downhill skiing and dog sledding.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Riisitunturi National Park
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Isabel Draper

    Nothing like it

    Such a privilege, travelling on a nuclear-powered Russian icebreaker which spends most of the year keeping the northern Russian seaways clear for cargo ships: a brilliant job was due to convert it temporarily for tourists. The dour Heroes of the Motherland were retained to crew the vessel which made it all the more atmospheric, but they couldn’t compete for character with the polar bears, especially the one who was so co-operative for photos despite us having distracted him from his kill. The only downside was that we weren’t warned how hot the boat is: future travellers need to take some light clothing for indoors.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The crunching and shuddering as the boat tackled the ice.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Brilliant, and obviously well-regarded by the rest of the team.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    See above re light clothing.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Neither the Russians nor the Finns can make tea.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Pamela Marshall

    Finnish Wilderness Week

    Hi - as a single female traveller over 60 years of age I really enjoyed this holiday. Accommodation was quite basic, but this was too be expected and food showed much creativity but the company was enjoyable and activities varied and very interesting.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    My favourite activity was the husky sledge rides and seeing all the dogs in their natural surrounding.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was great - she couldn't do enough for us.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just be wary of your own capabilities. On my free day off I chose to do a 6KM hike with a younger and fitter member of the group ; I think I would have been okay had we not cover the distance up to the highest point of the resort in 2 hours - however I've since suffered a repetitive calf injury and am still suffering 5 weeks later. Great views though and wouldn't have missed the trip!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If booking this holiday think about the weather - winter months means cold weather, shorter days and a better chance of seeing the Northern Lights. April is early spring, the snows are melting, lighter, longer days but probably no Northern lights.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Jo Grant

    Fantastic Fun in Finland

    We had the most amazing week at the logging lodge with Elina. What a huge variety of activities to try out. Our 16 and 18 year old daughters loved it too, particularly the dog sledding day and the downhill skiing in Ruka. Cooking pancakes and sausages over a fire was also a highlight. Elina was knowledgable, friendly and inclusive. Would really recommend to families with a sense of adventure.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Dig sledding

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fantastic!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Try everything. Take your sense of adventure. All equipment provided was more than adequate.,