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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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470 Reviews

  • Reviewed February 2020

    Stunning trip

    I was well impressed with Sri Lanka - charming people, friendly and calm perhaps due to the widespread effect of Buddhism. Our well planned route took us inland, through the mountains and round the south coast with expert guide Nalaka, so we got a great overview of the island. Lovely hotels, most with pools, and superb food - buffets with the chance to try everything mixed with home cooking on banana leaves. We had the opportunity to travel in different ways - rafts, bikes, jeeps and trains; we saw wildlife close up, especially elephants of course, crocodiles, monkeys and a wide range of birds; and we explored some incredible historic sites. A very memorable and fun trip with a lovely group.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I was particularly inspired by the view from the top of Sigiriya rock in the early morning mist, the folk museum and the life of Martin Wickramasinghe and the cheek of the monkeys!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nalaka was an excellent tour guide - charming, well organised, informative and helpful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    No real need for adaptors - most hotels have sockets which take UK plugs. Walking boots are pretty useful - the Horton Plains track in particular is rough. And 'temple clothes' are needed - even just a sarong which can cover the legs or shoulders and old socks to wear on the hot rocks.
  • Reviewed February 2020
    Nick Mycroft

    Cycling and curry

    A wonderful holiday with wonderful people! Our exceptional hosts Ruwan and team lead us on an amazing journey, exploring the countryside, the wildlife and introducing us to their culture and way of life. I was very much looking forward to my first trip to Sri Lanka and I loved it. Cycling through the countryside, paddy fields teaming with bird life, being greeted with big smiles and high fives from the locals was a real pleasure. I really enjoyed the hilly days, some are challenging then the lion beer, curry and rice at the end of the day are perfect.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cycling down hill after cycling uphill

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ruwan was very knowledgeable and very proud of Sri Lanka, I felt privileged to have him as my guide.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Give it plenty in 2020.....go for it
  • Reviewed February 2020
    Nick Mycroft

    Cycling and curry

    A wonderful holiday with wonderful people! Our exceptional hosts Ruwan and team lead us on an amazing journey, exploring the countryside, the wildlife and introducing us to their culture and way of life. I was very much looking forward to my first trip to Sri Lanka and I loved it. Cycling through the countryside, paddy fields teaming with bird life, being greeted with big smiles and high fives from the locals was a real pleasure. I really enjoyed the hilly days, some are challenging then the lion beer, curry and rice at the end of the day are perfect.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cycling down hill after cycling uphill

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ruwan was very knowledgeable and very proud of Sri Lanka, I felt privileged to have him as my guide.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Give it plenty in 2020.....go for it
  • Reviewed January 2020
    Jane Traveller

    Great trip!

    A well organised trip with lots of variety to keep everyone interested.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Finally seeing a leopard!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent.... intuitive to everyone’s needs, can resolve any problem that arises, works tirelessly to make sure everyone’s happy, all with patience and a great sense of humour. Nothing is too much trouble. The support team were also excellent, going about their jobs efficiently & discretely.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Pack very little.... there are several laundry opportunities, I needed needed half of what I took. Train hard for the hills. Drink lots. Don’t expect to lose any weight.
  • Reviewed December 2019
    Eileen Luther

    Superb trip

    This trip was so much more than expected. Our guide, Suresh, and his team were superb, seamlessly organising every aspect of our trip - snacks, luggage into hotels, tyre changes and even a shelter to get changed under when the rain became too torrential to cycle in! His knowledge and love for his country and the extra events he organised (e.g. dinner ‘al fresco’) combined with his great sense of humour made this a trip we will never forget - definitely an amazing way to experience the scenery and local life of this beautiful country. Other than one hotel, where we had no running water (this could have been due to the torrential rain), a mattress on a concrete slab and insects galore, the majority of hotels were good and some were very good. The cycling for me (a regular but non club cyclist) was tough in places but generally manageable other than the long uphill ride to Nuwara Eliya where I managed to cycle to the lunch stop. My advice to anyone in the same situation would be to take the train - it would give you the advantage of having the afternoon in the hotel and time to see the surrounding area, rather than travelling in the support vehicle. All in all, an experience not to be missed!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Riding through the rural villages and seeing a leopard at Yala NP. Completing most of the tour on bikes rather than sitting in a car or bus. Eating ‘al fresco’ at two hotels.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Superb!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Pack light.
  • Reviewed December 2019
    John Burrows

    Brilliant introduction to Sri Lankan wildlife

    I’m writing this from my Sri Lankan poolside as just about to embark on a more cultural highlights tour but having completed the Wild Sri Lanka trip I’m even more excited about what’s in store, this is a wonderful country. If you arrive with realistic expectations of hotels, food and especially wildlife sightings, you will not be disappointed. All accommodation has been clean, tidy and comfortable. Kithala resort was idyllic and a real treat, whilst at the other extreme Talalla retreat was eclectic and not my cup of tea but an experience none the less. It was fun watching the monkeys in the trees while I showered in the open roofed area but I did wonder if they may come and grab my shower gel! The game drives were varied and generous, each being at least 3 hours giving as much opportunity as possible to view the animals on offer. Being “Wild”, nothing can be guaranteed, but our trip did see a Leopard, Sloth bear, multiple close encounters of Elephant, several wild boar, hares, mouse deer, ever present displaying peacock a Civet cat and, for the bird lovers, in excess of 140 different species. Food has been plentiful, of an acceptable standard. Not surprisingly, curry has been a staple, but be prepared for them to be spicier than their Indian counterpart. There are some long days of travel (as identified in some earlier reviews) but this is clearly stated in the itinerary and.........Sri Lanka is a big country and this trip sees a lot of it. For a real taste of wildlife from the Tropical rainforest to a coastal game reserve this trip offers it all.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Being in close proximity, as in 1 metre, to a male Tusker elephant who was completely at home in his natural environment and so much better than “Woburn”.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    An excellent leader, endlessly patient, organised and knowledgeable.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Arrive with realistic expectations, prepare to be hot (if used to UK conditions) and treat long journeys as an opportunity to relax and soak in the wonderful varied scenery.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    No
  • Reviewed October 2019
    Andrew Moncrief

    “The best tour so far”

    A really enjoyable trip with a charismatic tour leader, and superb scenery, wildlife and food. The support team were great, always trying their best to look after you, and the driver had nerves of steel negotiating the chaotic traffic. Sri Lanka has emerged from some dark times, and is once again a terrific place to visit, with great variety and vibrancy and a lovely, friendly vibe. Plenty of smiles and high-fives as you ride through the landscape, shouts of “Bye!” Following you down the road.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Fantastic, often unexpected, wildlife encounters! Seeing how elated my wife was after becoming Queen of the mountain at Nuwara Eliya ! (Good battery life!)

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Top man! Suresh was a great guide, knowledgeable and organised to a fault, forever considering the needs and preferences of the individuals in the group. For example, knowing I was keen to get in the waves, he arranged an early morning tuk-tuk so I could fit in a surf prior to a late departure-a real bonus! He has tweaked and finessed the itinerary over the years, and has established a wide network of contacts to create authentic and unique experiences for the clients. No spoilers here, just enjoy the value added!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don’t expect to lose any weight on this trip, despite the activity-the food is amazing! There are LOTS of dogs alongside and on the road, most of whom are docile, but some really don’t like cyclists. We were chased on a few occasions , and I would have felt happier if i’d had a rabies vaccination before the trip.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    E-bikes! Three of our group had these, transforming their experience of cycling and making the trip a holiday! In mixed ability groups, some riders will really benefit from electrical assistance on the hill days, especially with the humidity. Our three were delighted to have ridden the entire trip for the first time, rather than getting well acquainted with the driver on the more challenging hill days! Congratulations to Exodus for making them available, and hopefully this option will extend to other trips- there is a huge potential customer base out there!
  • Reviewed October 2019
    john haydock

    An excellent tour of North Sri Lanka and beyond - highly recommended!

    My partner and I thoroughly enjoyed this trip to North Sri Lanka and beyond (you also get to see the East Coast, Trincomalee, the Centre of the country, Kandy and Ella, and the beaches on the Southern Coast near Galle). This was a fantastic experience for us with so many highlights it is hard to mention them all, but I will go for a few. We saw a leopard with cubs in the first national park and in the optional jeep safari we were lucky enough to see a herd of about 130 elephants, which was absolutely magical as a storm broke over the plains. The temples were all brilliant for different reasons the Buddhist temples are serene and the Hindu temples are interesting with their variety of rituals. The accommodation was good throughout as was the food, with a very special mention to the pastries at the hotel at Jaffna... they were amazing! This trip really has it all, the beautiful beaches, the tea plantations, the temple experiences, the local interactions, the great safaris. What doesn't it have, all packed into a country about the size of ireland. I would thoroughly recommend this trip to anyone.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The most inspirational part of the trip for me was the optional jeep safari to see the elephants near Sigiriya. We were told we may see a lot of elephants but to come across a grazing herd of 130 elephants was absolutely amazing. So serene to hear them grazing and to see them in the wild and up close. A truly wonderful experience with nature.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sarjun was a wonderful group leader. He is highly knowledgeable about Sri Lanka and especially about Botany and wildlife. He was highly organised throughout the trip and kept everybody informed and on time.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Pack some immodium and some probiotics as the food is definitely spicey in Sri Lanka and may affect your stomach. DEFINITELY go on the optional safari!!!!!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Five stars from us!!!!!
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Leslie Polidoro

    Love Sri Lanka!

    Hotels, meals all very good. You can tell the country is still developing their tourism business, but they are doing a great job. Unfortunately the bombings will have put a stop on travel there, however I have fallen in love with this country and will be quick to recommend it. Excursions and tours were excellent, I felt like I had a good overall visit to Sri Lanka, yet not enough so I am keen to return.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Lion Rock Fortress

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He was very knowledgeable, however I found that he tended to poke "fun" at certain people a little more than was necessary. I felt a bit more history and explanations of sites could have been provided "on-site". Most tours were a bit rushed, fine for those in excellent physical condition, difficult for those who were not. I would have rather it was a bit more leisurely when out on site.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a battery pack/charger -- you will want to take alot of pictures and sometimes your camera/phone will not make it through the day. Tip well to all those that help with your journey.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Nancy West

    Wonderful wildlife

    This was a fantastic trip! From the whales and dolphins to the elephants and leopards (yes, we saw one!) every day had an unforgettable highlight. Sri Lanka is a beautiful country of lovely welcoming people and was very well represented by our two wonderful guides. The hotels were very varied in character but of a high standard as was the food. I would definitely recommend this trip to anyone looking for a relaxing trip in the beautiful nature of Sri Lanka.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    All of the wildlife encounters we had: I couldn’t pick just one. We saw whales and dolphins on our boat trip; leopards in Yala and I would never tire of just sitting and watching the elephants!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent! Our group leader Dilshan was unfailingly friendly, cheerful and helpful. He was a great source of information about his country and managed to strike the perfect balance between talking to us about a range of subjects related to Sri Lanka and giving the group quiet time to relax on the journey. He also managed to identify and address potential issues before they became an issue. Our wildlife guide Dineth was a fountain of knowledge when it came to the wildlife and I am still in awe of his ability to spot even the tiniest bird in the undergrowth from a moving vehicle! He also had a very impressive repertoire of bird calls! They made a great team!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go! A small umbrella can be useful for when it’s hot but also raining!