Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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18336 Reviews

  • Reviewed August 2022

    New Discovery

    Originally booked for 2020, we were glad to finally get going after Covid interrupted our plans. Any fears we were not as fit as we might’ve been were quickly dispelled. The terrain was varied, largely flat and very manageable. The weather was brilliant and we could cycle at a good pace. The 3 countries are very different in their own way and we were lucky to have an excellent guide Andrius to explain those differences with his vast knowledge and experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were many but the unscheduled stop at the Hill of Crosses in Lithuania as recommended by our guide left a lasting impression. As did the visit to the Käsmu Maritime Museum where we had a simple but delicious fish soup lunch and heard about the way of life there past and present. Seeing the inscriptions honouring the victims of soviet occupation on the wall of the KGB Museum in Vilnius was also a chilling reminder of the current conflict in Ukraine.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Andrius was amazing. Leading the cycling on his own he succeeded in keeping the group together - quite a feat given the large group of varying abilities. Always on hand, he kept us entertained at all times with his explanations and anecdotes on the different cultures and histories of the 3 countries. He made excellent choices of restaurants for us to taste the local specialties and treated us with tastings of liqueurs such as the rum based Vanna Tallinn and Riga Black Balsum. He wanted us all to enjoy the experience and leave with happy memories and I’m sure we all did.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    A gel seat cover for the bike would be handy for the less experienced cyclist. Remember your swimming kit. There were several opportunities to get into the Baltic sea which is not as cold as you might expect!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Nothing more to add other than that we really enjoyed the holiday and appreciated the difference an excellent guide can make.
  • Reviewed August 2022

    A wonderful adventure

    Having never been to the Baltics, and having recently started looking after customers in the three countries for work, I was keen to discover more about Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. A friend from another trip recommended the trip. He was spot on! Andrius is a superb guide and looked after our group very well. We were treated to many hidden gems in each country, none more hidden than the Cold War Museum. We rode through pretty little fishing villages and lovely cities, such a rich tapestry of scenes. Riding was not too strenuous for those new to cycle tourism, yet plenty of scope for those of us used to clocking up the miles. Something for everyone. Make sure you add this trip to your list of trips to do.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Hill of Crosses in Lithuania was very moving and something that will stay with me for a long while

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Andrius is superb and a credit to Exodus

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Pack your swimming trucks! The swimming in the Baltic sea is lovely. Good idea to have insect repellent spray on the first few days riding and hayfever tablets as the terrain covers quite a lot of grassland with tick bites common. The views are worth it though.
  • Reviewed August 2022

    An Absolutely Fabulous adventure from start to finish

    An Absolutely Fabulous adventure seeing a lot of what Costa Rica has to offer. Seeing the interesting and varied wildlife, flora and fauna on the Caribbean, in the mountains and at the Pacific.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were so many moments it is hard to pick. We saw animals from the start - a sloth in a tree when we stopped for breakfast on the first day on our way to Tortuguero NP and that set the tone for the rest of the holiday. The boat trip the lodge in Tortuguero NP was great stopping whenever there was anything interesting to see, sloths, Caymans, crocodiles, different types of birds etc The second afternoon boat trip was particularly spectacular. The morning boat trip was undertaken in torrential rain so not much was seen but in the afternoon when the rain had stopped and it became beautiful sunny day we saw lots - sloths, monkeys, iguanas, birds etc plus when we turned into tributary the water turned black so the mangroves were see in spectacular reflections. Even our boat captain was taking photos. Listening to the rain and thunder storms whist staying at Evergreen lodge in the NP became part of the experience. The humming birds and seeing the Resplendant Quetzal in Savegre as well as the humpback whales, dolphins and turtles on Drakes Bay. I am going through hundreds of photos but also took the time just to immerse myself in the whole adventure. We were so luck - we saw everything!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader Carlos was fantastic. He had an encyclopaedic knowledge of Costa Rica's flora and fauna as well as answering all our questions about the country and the way of life. So we got the full experience. Nothing was too much trouble, he went above and beyond to make this an unforgettable trip - even going through my bird book marking all the birds we had seen on the trip. As Carlos also runs photographic tours he helped me with my photography and also shared some on his photos which my lenses just could not capture. Our driver was Randall - who got us to where we needed to go and couldn't have been more helpful. On our trip there were only 6 of us - so it made it easier for the guide to point things out and us all have a good chance to photograph - it made it a rather personal tour.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It is not called the rain forest for nothing!. Do not let the rain stop you or you will miss out - just go with it as activities will take place what ever the weather unless it is dangerous. We experienced a lot of torrential rain showers. Take a good rain poncho - it is good for covering your bags also, an umbrella, a good dry bag when travelling on water or walking in the rain forest, closed toed water shoes. We had to wade through knee deep waterways - which were footpaths. I used my canoe shoes. If you wear your trainers they will get soaked and as it is very humid things do not dry very quickly. Insect repellent is a must also as in sunscreen. If you are taking photographic equipment make sure that you have something to cover it with. I also took pouches of silica gel which I kept with my camera and lenses to absorb any moisture. We took Colons as well as US dollars since they could be used to pay in local shops or also when you stop for lunch. If you have any left they can form part of the tip. Mastercard was accepted at all the hotels we stayed in also. When in the mountains you will need a fleece or jumper since it gets a bit cold

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The lodges were all good. Some were better than others but I did not have any complaints. The food was always good especially at Drakes Bay wilderness lodge. But mainly you just need to go with it and enjoy all the experiences. I would definitely go back.
  • Reviewed August 2022

    Excellent, Challenging Trip in the French and Swiss Alps

    This is a tough trek but really worth it. Stunning views, Beautiful lakes, High passes, Stream crossings, Boulder fields, what's not to like about this trek. Although relatively short daily distances don't be fooled there is a lot of climbing my total elevation gain for the week was around 40500 ft or 11220 meters. Being in the outdoors for 14 day dose your mind and sole the world of good. Our guide and group was fantastic and I have met some good people on this trip from all walks of life, different ages and nationalities.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There are definitely a few Col Prafleuri is the highest Col on the route albeit the weather wasn't the best this day (heavy rain) it made the whole day better. First views of the Matterhorn. Staying in the mountain huts meeting some great people. Working as a team throughout the day, at meal times, washing up, breaking camp.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Egle is a fantastic group leader. Friendly, funny and knowledgeable. She looked after the whole group, informed us of all the different flora and fawner through out the hike and answered every ones questions. A very experienced outdoor person. Always happy to share a beer and have a laugh at the end of the day.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Definitely do some training before you go even if you are a seasoned hill walker as you basically climb Snowdon every day for 10 days. I would strongly suggest taking walking poles to take some of the pressure off your knees. The mountain huts can be quite noisy so definitely take ear plugs. Albeit the lunches are adequate I would suggest taking or buying snacks like nuts, chocolate, etc just to keep you topped up during the day. There is a day or two where you can not fill up with fresh water. You can either buy water from the huts or I took a filter and filled up with glacier water.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The Wild camp at Grimentz is about a 10 min walk from the old town and I suggest you make the effort to walk down to have a look at this picture postcard village. The huts are mixed dorm style so be prepared to get close with you fellow travellers. Very well put together from start to finish.
  • Reviewed August 2022

    Magical Namibia

    This was my first trip with Exodus and it has left me hungry for more! The whole experience from start to finish was excellent and professionally managed. I have come away with so many wonderful memories, from the vast landscape of the Namib Desert, the beautiful orange/red sand dunes to the skeleton coast and then Etosha National Park The ever changing scenery was just fantastic and then there is the wild life! There was eleven of us in total on this trip in July, guessing 35 - 70yrs, we gelled on day one and had a fantastic time. The lodges and food were excellent, and very friendly staff. The Tour truck was comfortable and well maintained. There were some long days and early starts, these are necessary and well managed with lots of breaks to stretch the legs.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The vastness and beauty of the Namib desert sand dunes, both seen from the ground and the air. I took a pleasure flight from Swakopmund over the desert and coast. At the lodge in Etosha I wandered down to the viewing area beside the waterhole to the sight of twenty elephants of all sizes and age that just called in for a drink, a couple of Giraffes in the background waiting their turn. You don’t experience that in front of the television.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Shane was our guide and host for the trip and he looked after us so well. Very knowledgeable and proud of his country, and knowledgeable of the wild life that he keenly shared with us. Nothing was too much trouble for him, professional and a joy to be with.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don’t be put off by joining a group of strangers, they are there for the same reason that you are, to explore, experience and enjoy, so will be like minded. Desert roads and passing vehicles kick up a lot of dust , With the windows and roof open it can get a bit dusty , take a snood or a scarf to pop over the face. Although there is not so much traffic so not a big deal. Most places took cards but a few didn’t so have a few $$ in cash Some early starts and long days, so go to bed early with a book and relax for the next days adventure. If you get a chance take the pleasure flight from Swakopmund, may be a bit expensive but worth it.
  • Beautiful Namibia

    Namibia is a beautiful country of amazing contrasts.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It's too difficult to name just one inspirational moment. Being so close to the wild game, sitting near a water hole in Etosha ; seeing the scorched tree skeletons ; climbing a huge sand dune;sitting next to a seal and pelicans on a boat trip. Hearing about the history and peoples of Namibia and meeting an inspirational Herero business woman.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We couldn't have asked for a better one. Shane has a lovely way of being with people and he has an extensive knowledge of his country - it's geography, animals, birds and plants . Shane worked tirelessly to ensure our safety & comfort and was always available to answer questions or help in any way. Not just helping us - once whilst driving we came across a car on fire; Shane's quick actions helped to quell the fire & save the people & horses before the fire service arrived.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The trip notes are accurate & the advice helpful. A face mask was useful on dusty roads

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thank you Shane, and the rest of the group, for making this trip so special.
  • Reviewed August 2022

    First Class

    This was my first trip with Exodus and it has left me hungry for more, I have returned with a lifetime of memories. (It has taken me a couple of weeks to back to reality :( ) We were a group of eleven, that gelled from the offset and that was the icing on the cake. Such a wonderful, magical country with fantastic scenery from the Namib desert to the skeleton coast to Etosha National Park. Lots to see, lots of wildlife , excellent accommodation, good food, and very friendly people. Some early starts and long drives in the tour truck, that was quite comfortable. There was lots of stops where you can get of and stretch the legs, that breaks up the journey. I truly enjoyed every minute!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Really enjoyed driving through the Namib desert, beautiful rich red sand dunes bathed with shadows that seemed to go on for ever. The scale of this was highlighted when I took a pleasure flight from Swakopmund, that covered both the desert and the Skelton coast, expensive but worth it! The wonderful Etosha natural park. Two nights at Okaukuejo Resort; to wander down to the waterhole and be greeted by a family of twenty elephants having a drink, couple of Giraffes in the background waiting their turn, a sight embedded in my memory. You cant experience that in front of your Television.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Shane , was our host and guide for the week and provided a first class service. Great knowledge of the country and wild life that he shared with us. Nothing was too much trouble for Shane, he also has a great sense of humour. Shane joined us at all meal times and continued shared his knowledge, he is great company. You could see he was always keeping an eye on his "family"

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go for it! Don't be put of by joining a group of strangers. They are there for the same reason as you, to enjoy and explore so will be like minded. Some long days early starts, so got to bed early, read and relax. I would recommend the pleasure flight over the desert

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Our trip was in July , as per the guide it gets a bit chilly at night, so layer up. You don't need heavy coats, just a an extra layer/ fleece. Most places took payment by card, but a few didn't so have a few $$ cash to hand. On the game drive with the roof open it can get a wee bit dusty, have a snood or similar so you can pull over mouth and nose if your a bit sensitive to dust. Most roads are gravel or sand so passing vehicles kicks up a lot dust.
  • Reviewed August 2022

    Best Nature holiday so far

    A truly great nature holiday. We saw all of the wildlife listed in other reviews. A great group and an excellent leader. Sometimes it is when things go wrong when you find out if the travel company has sufficient support. 5 days into the holiday I caught covid. The leader and the local team came up with a plan that made sense where myself and my wife separated from the group and met up for the flight home. I am very grateful for the local support and for the hotel for taking a covid positive person. In the near future I'm sure covid positive people will carry on with the other guests but this was not the case on this holiday where government rules meant I had to isolate. Thanks Exodus and team.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Watching a leather back turtle making its way back into the Caribbean Sea.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Johnny was excellent both in a personal way and in his extremely high level of knowledge of flora and fauna.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Deet insect rollon was good. Swimming towels are obtainable from the hotels. You can get fairly cheap washes half way around so you don't need to take too much stuff. Make sure you have good binoculars and lightweight ponchos.
  • Reviewed August 2022

    Amazing adventure!

    We have just returned from this trip and it was amazing! We travelled as a family of 3 (son aged 16) and there was one other family of five in our group (with three children aged 10-14). We all got on so well, including with our fabulous tour guide, Beverly! Borneo is a beautiful island! The stunning rainforest, Mount Kinabalu, the hornbills, proboscis monkeys, monitor lizards, turquoise waters, incredible sunsets, exotic flowers, sun bears... I could go on and on!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    You will see some incredible sights - stunning scenery (especially at Sabah Tea), insights into both city and rural life (the homestay was fantastic!), wildlife close-up (we saw an orang utan breastfeeding her baby) and get to experience a variety of accommodations (the longhouse is unlike anything else!). Every single person we met, from drivers, to hotel staff, to other guests were incredibly happy and friendly and this added to the wonderful feel to our holiday. It is impossible to choose just one moment!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Beverly was simply wonderful! She had excellent subject knowledge, kept the group at the right place at the right time and left us without a worry so that we could just enjoy the holiday! She went above and beyond throughout, could spot the smallest bird from a great distance, taught us about environmental issues, tried to teach us some Malay and was extremely knowledgeable and passionate about the Death Marches and the local customs. Everywhere we went, she knew someone and was welcomed with open arms! She is an absolute gem!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Shorts and t-shirts are the staple wear. You only really need long trousers for the night walk and if you want to protect your legs from evening bugs. Are there lots of bugs? There are some, but armed with the recommended Skin So Soft and Deet bug spray we only had a few minor bites between us. Is there wifi? Pretty much everywhere and mostly free! It costs 10RM (about £2) at the river lodge. I am vegetarian and whilst I always managed to find something to eat, the choice can be limited in places - especially at the jungle lodge, but you won't starve! Water shoes are good for swimming in the waterfall at Poring Springs as you have to walk across rocks to get in and it is rocky underfoot - you can also use these on the beach on Manukan Island. No need to worry about buying leech socks - you can rent them at the river lodge for just 5RM. Although it says a head torch in the trip notes, take a handheld one as the only time you really need it is for the night walk and you will be told not to wear it on your head as it can be bad for the sleeping birds (yes, birds just sat there on branches looking incredible!). If you are on the group flight, ask to pay to book seats together. We did not know about this and were seated separately. Once you have your booking reference, you can then pay a small amount to book your seats on all of the other flights if you want to sit together. The 15kg weight limit for luggage is very important! You will also be carrying your own bags a lot, so travel light! Of the optional trips, we went to the Sun Bear Conservation Centre, the War Memorial and the Rainforest Discovery Centre. All were excellent and I would recommend saying "yes" to them all!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you are considering this trip, just go for it! It is a fantastic adventure and for children, it will open their eyes to a completely different world!
  • Reviewed July 2022

    Massive Hailstones

    The Dolomites are special. Even when we were caught out by thunderstorms with massive hailstones on two days the enjoyment wasn't diminished. The choice of walks ensured that we enjoyed a variety of views of a unique area.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Going up Piz Boe with some of the other walkers who were nervous of the cables but thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Paul, who I've walked with was his usual extremely competent leader. He didn't hesitate to discuss options with us to cope with some weather difficulties. He provided some good information including telling folk tales including some singing!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure that you have really good waterproofs as the weather can change extremely quickly.