Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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’!

Lots of our clients also like to post handy tips and advice about their travels. It’s great to know what to expect on an Exodus adventure before you go, so make the most of their experience and you’ll make the most of yours!

Haven't posted your review yet? Here's how to do it...

After you have returned from your Exodus adventure holiday you will be emailed a link to the review page. Any feedback collected is posted straight onto our website - totally unedited.

If you have recently returned from an Exodus adventure and want to help other travellers with your feedback then click here to start the process to post your holiday review.

  • Reviewed August 2019
    Margaret Goodge

    Amazing Adventure!

    A wonderful trip which was superbly organised.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Arriving at the Sun Gate at the end of our trek and glimpsing Machu Picchu below was an emotional moment. Arriving at the summit of Dead Woman’s Pass on day 2 was also special. Both of these moments were enhanced by sharing the experience with a lovely group of fellow travellers.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Julio was a wonderful leader. Organised, knowledgable, friendly and empathetic, his skill in leading our group was superb from beginning to end. As a group, we knew we were in safe hands. He was very ably assisted by Anthony, whose easy going, friendly personality really added to the group dynamic.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This trek is graded as ‘moderate’ but day 2 of the trek to Dead Woman’s Pass is quite a challenge, especially in the hot weather in which we were ascending. Combine that with the effects of altitude, and putting in some training, in advance of the trip, is definitely useful. Give yourself an extra day in Cuzco prior to the beginning of the trip if possible. It definitely helped me adjust to the altitude. On the trek itself, walking poles are invaluable. Even members of our group who normally don’t use them, found them very useful in the descents. Although some snacks are provided on the trek, I would recommend taking more. The food prepared by the chefs is excellent (especially given the facilities they have at their disposal) but you’ll burn a lot of calories and I found I needed extra snacks. Finally, if you are travelling as I did in July, the night time temperatures really do drop. I used all my extra layers to keep warm.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I’ve wanted to trek the Inca Trail for a very long time and it lived up to all my expectations. The Inca Trail in Comfort trip was a fantastic trip and I would thoroughly recommend it to others.
  • Reviewed August 2019
    Michelle Carter

    Moonstone Trek

    I chose to do the Moonstone Trek - a remote and quiet Inca trail reaching the dizzying heights of just under 4700 m. I was the only person doing the trek and had my own guide, chef and 2 horsemen. I thoroughly enjoyed the trek, beautiful scenery, remote small communities and Inca sites en route. My guide was very knowledgable and i learnt about about the history of the area en route. I was looked after extremely well: fantastic food and hot tea and water in the morning. I highly recommend this trek and Exodus, it is a once in a lifetime experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Climbing Accoccasa and reaching the top to experience the view - it was breathtaking (aside from the effects of altitude i mean!) and i felt a real sense of achievement. Having a few minutes at the top gave me time to reflect and offered me a refreshed perspective. Sorry a bit deep!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Smithy was very amenable and knowledgable. He was on hand to sort out every little issue and make sure we were aware of the options for activities (outside the trek) and then organise it for us. Having someone local made a real difference to our experience as we were able to eat at amazing restaurants and experience the best of what Peru can offer.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It says in the trip notes that poles are optional - my view is that they should be deemed essential. I do not normally use poles when hiking in the UK but i took them with me and i am so glad i did. There can be difficult terrain to navigate and i experienced snow on the 3rd day which made the trail very slippery. They really helped going up hill when you are struggling to breath and your legs are like lead weights! The temperature ranges from zero to mid 20's. So bring lots of layers. Yes you need a sunhat & sunblock AND a winter coat and thermals!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Whilst Smithy took the rest of the group on the Inca Trail, my guide for the Moonstone Trek was Vannya. She was incredibly knowledgable and i learnt a lot from her and was an excellent guide - she made sure i was OK at all times, advising me along the way. So i felt well prepared and reassured at all times. Valentin was a fantastic chef and cooked some amazing food - the best of Peruvian cuisine and all on a small kerosene burner. The horsemen, Carlos and Enrique did a great job of getting my things to the next camp and setting up the lunch tent and the evening camp. The hot tea in the morning and hot water to wash in was very welcome. I am truly humbled to have been taken care off so amazingly well by such kind hearted, talented people.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Sarah and Richard Swan

    Inca Trail incomfort and Amazon extension

    Amazing and challenging adventure! We did the Inca Trail in comfort with the Amazon extension.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking through the Sun Gate together as a group after 4 tough days of trekking and seeing Machu Picchu come into view. Our amazing, strong and cheerful porters. Respect! Our leaders Julio, Anthony and Roldan. Jungle wildlife.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Julio and Anthony on the Inca Trail were outstanding. Friendly, approachable, kind and supportive. Julio also very good back in Cusco etc. Lots of recommendations and advice. All clearly explained. He even came with us to the airport when we left for the Amazon. Could not fault them! Roldan for the Amazon extension. From the moment he met us at the airport he really looked after us. His knowledge and care he has for the jungle are second to none. We were so fortunate to have him as our guide.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Embrace the adventure! Look for Exodus sign outside the airport. Do not be taken in by random people who approach you in the airport with offers of help. If you can give yourself an extra day in Cusco to get over the flights. Do the Inkan Milky Way walking tour. Ask for a room at the rear or side of the hotel if you are not used to traffic noise! Stick to kit list. We didn't take rain ponchos but had it rained in the Amazon it would have been useful. Take lots of snacks for the treks (some is provided but you may want more!). Bring inflatable pillow for the Inca camping. Altitude: we took diamox, bought local product recommended to inhale and avoided alcohol to start with and were fine!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It's tough and challenging but the most amazing adventure with wonderful people and supported by excellent local guides, porters and chefs.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Amanda Hayes

    Spectacular scenery and costumes

    A very well planned and varied itinerary that takes you up to the high altitude gradually. A lot of travelling but the spectacular scenery takes your mind off the long journeys. Good attention to health and safety throughout. The Inti Raymi festival events are a modern interpretation of the traditional Inca rituals but nonetheless wonderful to witness. The costumes and the infectious energy of the local people enjoying the festival in Cusco the day before was a great experience. It was a wonderful 'trip of a lifetime' experience and I am pleased to recommend it to other travellers.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Many moments were deeply memorable: the first sight of Machu Picchu is as breathtaking as the pictures. Our guides were delighted that the sun shone but a bit of misty cloud would have been my ideal atmospheric visual experience. The site is pristine thanks to llamas that graze and keep the grass neat and it was not over-crowded with visitors. Out homestay was a delight in so many ways: local food and traditions and a really warm and honest welcome to the family home. The Inti Raymi festivities as already mentioned. The sites that presented the Inca agricultural innovations - some of these were optional as part of the Sacred Valley tour: salt pans and agricultural laboratory terracing and I strongly recommend this additional trip. On the last morning we went to the Larco Museum. It is not included in the trip, but I think that all of the group got taxis there. It is an excellent museum with fascinating objects, well displayed and described in Spanish and English. It also has a good restaurant.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader was very well organised and took great care with health and safety. Unlike some other Exodus trips that I have been on there were a lot of additional guides. It may be a Government tourism policy to employ local people but their skills and knowledge was variable from excellent at the Santa Catolina convent, to charming but poor at Machu Picchu. The number of additional people who were part of the planned programme (not the optional ones) also added to the cost of tips etc. which was well above the Exodus suggested kitty so maybe Exodus should review their estimate.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The Trip Notes are for all the Exodus Peru trips so read with care and do your own research about what to take e.g. we did not have porters but I gave the children's clothes I had brought with me to the family on Amantani island, which was fine. There are a number of extra, optional activities to suit different interests. We were pleased with the choices we made but some people who did other things reported that they were disappointed because the description of what they were going to see did not match the reality. I recommend reading up in advance or with a non-listed option ensure that you get details so as to minimise the chance of disappointment. The tipping kitty only went to the male porters and not to the female chambermaids.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Steve Deutsch

    A fantastic journey around Southern Peru

    An amazing trip full of insight and excitement. 3 weeks seeing the Coast, the Desert, the mountains and the jungle. Lots of early starts but worth it to cram in as much as possible. So many highlights including the Ballestas Islands, the Nazca lines, Arequipa, Colca Canyon and its condors, Cusco, Ollantaytambo, local festivals, the Moonstone Trek, Machu Picchu, the jungle...

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Following the Moonstone Trek, high in the mountains, for 4 days and 3 nights, camping in the wilderness and waking up to snow one morning, meeting virtually no-one, supported by a great team. Visiting Machu Picchu which really is as amazing as the pictures suggest. Going to the Amazon jungle, which was fantastic, such a change from the rest of the trip, with lots of wildlife to see.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Bruce was fantastic. Friendly, committed, cheerful, and informative he kept us to time and schedule and was great company too, even giving up part of his day off to take us to another site.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just be aware that although the trip is rated leisurely / moderate there are lots of early starts and lots of travel on the coach, with limited downtime, particularly until Cusco. But its a great trip and there's so much to see.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Go, its such an interesting country.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Linda S.

    Amazing Amazon!

    I was a little undecided about booking this extension, I'm so glad I did. The trip was very well organised, and the excitement starts with the very first boat journey to your Lodge. Lots of new experiences and a sensory sensation!!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Travelling on the river in the dark, watching dawn break and hearing the jungle come alive. Night walk through the forest. The sheer enormity of the different sights, sounds, humidity and smell of the jungle.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Moises was an excellent and very knowledgeable local guide. He saw and heard things way before we did, and made sure we kept safe whilst photographing some potentially dangerous animals and plants.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just do it. Completely different to other parts of the world, and changing rapidly. You may not get the chance again, and the memories will stay with you forever.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Remember the Deet!!
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Linda Stephenson

    Amazing Peru!!

    From start to finish this trip ticked all the boxes. Yes it's full on, Peru is a huge country and this holiday maximises your time to visit all the most interesting places and areas. The scenery whilst travelling around is amazing. Didn't even open the book I'd taken to read on the coach!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were many - the reed islands on Lake Titicaca, standing at the Sun Gate at Machu Picchu at dawn - watching the transformation from atmospheric cloud and mist to bright sunshine, seeing the Andes in all their glory and experiencing the Amazon rainforest and it's amazing flora and fauna.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Daniel was fabulous. His friendly personality, pride in his country, knowledge of Peru's history and cultures, enthusiasm and organisational skills and excellent English made us feel very well looked after. Felt like we were travelling with a friend who was also a guide and leader!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just do it! You can sleep when you get home!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We would definitely recommend the Amazon rainforest extension. Completely new experience and different to any other adventure we've been on.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Chris Hull

    Enjoyable Peruvian trekking

    This is a great trip to visit Cusco, The Andes and Machu Picchu, including physical, culinary and cultural delights. As with all activity at altitude, a good fitness level is no guarantee that altitude symptoms will not occur, however it will certainly make the trekking more manageable and help assure that the group remains together. The Moonstone Trek provides the opportunity for high Andean trekking away from the crowds that can be experienced on the "Inca Trail". However, from discussions with other travelers, the Inca Trail offers greater variety of flora whilst trekking in the cloud forest. The landscape on the trek is stunning, but generally involves fairly barren and rugged mountain-scapes, as might be expected at such altitudes. Visiting in July, the days were warm to hot and the nights often sub-zero, requiring a range of clothing.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It’s difficult to identify a single highlight, but Machu Picchu is set in a stunning landscape and a marvel to behold, whilst Cusco offers a more Spanish colonial feel and waking-up on a mountainside always stimulates the senses.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fabrizzio, our main tour leader, was enthusiastic, knowledgeable and clearly passionate about his country.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    No amount of training can counter the impact of altitude, but a good fitness level should help assure enjoyment whilst trekking and even walking around Cusco. A good sleeping bag and warm layers will help with avoiding the evening/night cold and getting a sound sleep.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Gary Cox

    A fantastic iconic adventure.

    Did i enjoy this trip,you bet.From the start to the end this trip was a revelation,everyday was an highlight.Back home after 3 days,and iam still buzzing.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Peru is so much more than Machu Picchu,which of course is fantastic.For me,the homestay on Lake Titicaca,the local market next to San Pedro market in Cusco were truly memorable.I could go on,and on,everyday was inspirational.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    This was probably my adventure of a lifetime,and Daniel,our group leader,made this happen.His organisation skills,his patience,his passion for Peru were exceptional.Through his leadership we experienced a magical Peruvian adventure, many, many thanks Daniel.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take lots of spending money(you will need it)and enjoy Peru.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Don't just read these reviews,go,go,go to Peru!!!
  • Reviewed July 2019
    IZABELA RUPRIK

    ABSOLUTELY STUNNING

    I booked the jungle extension which we started from then continued onto the cycling part. Our group was small (only 4 people) but well integrated. I would highly recommend the extension but you may want to put it at the end as starting from it means an extremely long travel with 3 back to back flights. The wildlife and the views we saw were breathtaking. Many boat rides, including a canoe-like one which I dreaded (dislike of small boats) but what we saw more than made up for the stress. Be ready for not as much strenuous as stressful at times cycling due to quite technically challenging very steep descents on gravel/stones which require good mountain bike handling skills. Culturally it is a fantastic trip. I loved the flora & fauna of Costa Rica and have great memories from Colombia but Peru is simply an explosion of colour and the food is ridiculously good. The hiking part was challenging but the views breathtaking. The number of Inka ruin sites we visited BEFORE Machu Picchu was also a positive surprise.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The best part of the jungle extension was the 4:30am start on a boat when we travelled to see the macaws and a beautiful sunrise on the way. Also the boat ride on the lake watching the birds, caymans and catching a piranha which then fell into our boat :) I also shed a tear when we stopped the boat in the middle of the night on the river to take in the most starry sky I have ever seen in my life (cue crying) On the main cycling part I was extremely taken with the Maras ruins, salt pans and of course the Machu Picchu itself. When we laid our eyes on the Uros (floating islands) we were all gobsmacked, too. But you cannot underestimate the assault of colours that is the way the strong Peruvian ladies wear! Realising this is not just a tourist thing in Cuzco but what they actually wear on a daily basis, came as a shock. And when the host lady at the home stay brought out all kinds of clothes and hats and we all dressed up in the full attire, hats and all, for a lovely group photo, was a fantastic experience as well.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    First we had Joel in the jungle who is a real Peruvian Wildlife Jedi and can spot a baby cayman in total darkness across the full width of the river. I swear I thought he had placed them there himself ahead of our night trip... Also his tarantula tracking skills are second to none. And when Jeff tripped and lost his sunglasses about 40min away from our base, unbeknown to us Joel traced back our route to retrieve them and arrived at dinner proudly holding them up (drenched in sweat and flustered). Great guy! We then have Carlos on the cycling trip. He is a mountain biker and struggled understanding my fear of steep descents but he took good care of us on and off the bike. When it was one of the girls' birthday he booked a lovely restaurant with a folk show and organised a cake, too. The driver Elvis should be renames as Evil Kenevil after driving that minibus on the most scary road I have ever witnessed! And Leonardo, the Chef, was the sweetest guy with some serious cooking skills.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I must say THANK YOU to Peter Gomes, whose review I read properly on the day of departure and which made me repack! TEMPERATURE: we went in July which is their winter/dry season. from around 10am to about 4pm it's about 30 degrees Celsius. Nights are very cold and at the Alpaca ranch it was -3 in the morning with ice on the streams. Take many layers, winter gloves and thermals for the descents from 4,300m, warm hats and something to cover your face. We only got rained on once (out of the cloud forest) but badly so waterproofs are a must. The bikes are mountain bikes and have no mudguards and you will go through some streams that run across the road so you will get wet even without rain. In the jungle it's hot and humid but you want to sleep in PJs covering your limbs to prevent insect bites. Some hotels are really nice and warm and have extra heaters but the ranch and home stay despite being lovely get freezing at night so we were wearing hats and ponchos in bed. ALTITUDE: I would recommend getting the Diamox. I had gone to the GP but she refused to give it to me and as a result I suffered badly. First day in Cusco I felt like I was not going to be able to take part. I struggled breathing and was seeing spots. But hecto-litres of coca tea helped somewhat (note: it makes you pee like mad). However, any incline (which thankfully there are not too many of) was a herculean effort. The guys who were on Diamox were absolutely fine. FOOD: amazeballs. In hotels, restaurants and the stuff prepared by the chef. We actually all agreed that there was way too much food for the cycling efforts expected of us. The snack bags were very much appreciated but the massive lunches meant we missed a few dinners. SHOES: the hike the day before Machu Picchu is a serious one and good sturdy shoes and walking sticks (which you can hire through the guide) are a must. I don't do much hiking and after that I struggled to walk up and down the steps for a couple of days... Only bring your pedals and MTB cleats if you are a confident MTB rider otherwise I cycled all the time in the hiking boots. LAUNDRY: there are 2 nights in Cusco in the middle where you can use the hotel service. Other than that you can do handwash but take into consideration that if your room have no additional heaters, the chances of your washing actually drying plummets. And at alpaca farm and home stay it is impossible as no heating is available. You will get lucky if you get a hot shower :) but it's so worth it! FINAL SURPRISE: which I did not appreciate was that when the minibus arrived to our hotel in Puno to take us to Juliaca airport, it contained a guide we did not expect. He talked throughout the ride and we had one stop over right outside the town to see the panorama. We should have been told though. We just wanted to get to the airport on time worrying about the luggage being over the limit (yeah, loads of shopping opportunities :) )

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I think Exodus should equip the riders with reflective strips/waistcoats or at least the bikes with some form of reflective items for the descent in the rain forest. It was a great ride but 60km with really bad visibility at times where we were plunged into dense fog completely invisible to the oncoming cars or at times each other. All other bikes we passed had this issue sorted out. It was only for that one day but even the bike pedals had no reflective parts and it must be sorted out.
Call us on 020 8772 3936