Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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  • 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!
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Condon Corbett

    Amazing Sri Lanka!

    From the private pick up at the airport in Colombo to drop off at the airport things could not have gone more smoothly. The pace of the tour was excellent given its short duration. Accommodations were very good-clean, comfortable and well located. Sri Lanka is a stunning country with friendly people, beautiful scenery and an abundance of wildlife.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Climbing to the top of Lion Rock (Sigiriya) to view the remnants of the ruined palace and the spectacular views of the surrounding countryside from 200 metres above. Magical!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Suresh was excellent. Very well organised, knowledgeable of his home country, it's history and different cultures which he imparted to us in an interesting and fun manner. I appreciated his somewhat sarcastic sense of humor as well. Schedules were well kept and adjusted as necessary based on the group consensus.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take part in all of the included sightseeing and activities, especially the bike tour through the villages where you will be warmly greeted by the local children as you cycle by.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was a trip of a lifetime!
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Penelope Hansen

    Sri Lanka fam

    The trip was great. Short, but a good introduction to the country. I look forward to going back and seeing more.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I enjoyed the day we spent cycling through local villages and meeting locals.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Suresh was great. He was diligent in assisting passengers whatever hour of the day/night and adjusted our itinerary to adapt to changing circumstances like weather and traffic. Taking hundreds of photos and sharing them with the group (even if some were shockingly unflattering) was a nice touch.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Peter Woodward

    Would I go again? Yes I would.

    From tropical beaches, through steaming jungles to Scottish moorlands Sri Lanka has it all. Where else can you grow where they grow pineapples, coconuts and cashew nuts a few miles down the road from tea, potatoes and leeks? Fantastic scenery, great food and wonderful people.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing a 5ft water lizard at our first road side stop after leaving the airport. Just a taste of what was to come.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader had a great sense of humour and loved his country. Standard answer to any question was usually "90 minutes" and he wasn't far wrong.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go with the flow. Sri Lankans don't like to hurry and preparing fresh food takes time.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Not quite paradise but not far from it. If you have been you will know what I mean, if not then what are you waiting for?
  • Reviewed May 2019
    ANITA MICHALCZEWSKI

    SRI LANKA - A SMALL COUNTRY THAT HAS SO MUCH TO OFFER.

    GREAT HOTELS, SIGHTSEEING, FOOD, PEOPLE. SRI LANKA HAS ALL OF THIS. OUR TRIP WITH EXODUS TRAVELS WAS GREAT. WE HAVE SEEN SO MANY GREAT TEMPLES, CLIMBED THAT AMAZING SIGURIYA ROCK, OBSERVED MONKEYS AND ELEPHANTS IN THEIR NATURAL ENVIRONMENTS, TASTED SO MANY YUMMY DISHES. OUR BUS DRIVER DARMAN WAS A VERY SKILLED DRIVER (THAT YOU NEED SO MUCH IN SRI LANKA). HIS HELPER SAMAN WAS ALWAYS READY TO GREAT US WITH A SMILE AND ALWAYS MADE SURE THAT WE WERE WELL HYDRATED, AS HE SUPPLIED US WITH WATER THRUOUT OUR JOURNEY. THE HOTELS WERE ALL OF A VERY GOOD STANDARD AND SOME OF THEM DID OFFER A BREATHTAKING VISTAS. MY FAV. WAS THE HOTEL GIRITALE IN GIRITALE AND ALSO THE HOTEL TILANKA IN KANDY, AS THEY HAVE OFFERED MOST AMAZING VIEWS.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    VISITIG A BUDDHIST TEMPLE ON THE BUDDHIST NEW YEAR AND GETTING A SPECIAL BLESSING FROM A MONK WITH A THREAD TIED ONTO MY WRIST. AND ALSO STANDING ON TOP OF THE MIGHTY SIGURIYA ROCK AND FEELING PROUD THAT I WAS ABLE TO GET THERE, AS NOT EVERYONE WAS ABLE TO CLIMB IT.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    SURESH WAS OUR AMAZING WISH MASTER! NOTHING WAS IMPOSSIBLE FOR HIM TO DO FOR US. I WISH EVERYONE TO ENCOUNTER SUCH A GREAT TOUR GUIDE. HE WAS VERY PASSIONATE AND PROUD OF HIS COUNTRY. HE MADE OUR JOURNEY A VERY PLEASANT ONE. HE ALSO SHOWED US HOW ONE SHOULD STAY IN SHAPE, AS HE WOULD TAKE US FOR MORNING WALKS AND WE COULD SEE HIM EXERCISING EVERY MORNING. HE ALSO HAS GIVEN US A HONEST ADVICE WHEN IT CAME TO SOME GREAT SHOPPING PLACES. I HOPE TO STAY FRIENDS WITH SURESH IN THE FUTURE AND ALSO HOPE THAT HE CAN VISIT US IN CANADA, NEXT YEAR, AS HE LOVES TO TRAVEL.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I WOULD SAY: LIVE YOU LIFE AND DO NOT GET SCARED OF SOME POTENTIAL TROUBLE IN ONE COUNTRY, OR THE OTHER. UNFORTUNATELY BAD PEOPLE ARE EVERYWHERE AND I REFUSE TO STOP TRAVELING, BECAUSE OF THEM. SRI LANK IS STILL A RELATIVELY SAFE DESTINATION AND IF YOU FEEL NERVOUS - JUST STICK TO THE SMALLER PLACES AND AWAY FROM THE BIG CITIES - AND YOU WILL BE OK. THERE ARE PLENTY OF THEM IN SRI LANKA.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    THANKS EXODUS TRAVELS FOR ORGANISING SUCH AN UNFORGETABLE TRIP!
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Fran Storey

    Sri Lanka cycling

    Excellent holiday in a wonderful country - fun cycling with a lovely group of people, great food, amazing scenery and wildlife, and lots of local life to observe and enjoy.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Everyday was full of mini adventures - making it to the top of Sirigiya, elephants on the way to Polunnaruwa, the Spice Gardens massage(!), cycling through the towns, making it up the hill Nuwara, whale watching, tea with the locals, greetings from the local children, cooking demonstrations, monkeys ....to mention a few.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Suresh, Suranga and the crew are excellent. We were all extremely well looked after but in a very relaxed manner.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The cycling is generally along the quiet back roads but their are a few sections which are along busier roads and towns.....keep your wits about you and go for it! Stating the obvious...Sri Lanka is hot and humid! Drink lots of water (followed by Lion beer!). There's opportunities to do laundry etc, so no need to bring lots of cycling kit. Enjoy - Sri Lanka is fab.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Kathryn Walker

    Fantastic way to get a taste!

    This 8 Day journey gives you a very quick taste of Sri Lanka. There is so much more you will want to explore. Definitely an experience to remember. There is a reason that Sri Lanka is called ' The Pearl of the Indian Ocean' Full of Biodiversity! Breathtaking truly! The people are amazing, kind & full of pride for their country! I can not wait to go back and explore what else this hidden gem has to offer.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Visiting the Dambulla Cave Temples... Really any temple in general. But the Cave temples were so beautiful and the detail was amazing.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Suresh was great! He had the information everyone needed and he took care of us. he always made sure everyone was happy.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The only thing that wasn't up to the standards of the trip was the Cultural Evening in Kandy. I found it difficult to see some of the performances and we weren't sure which one was what based off the brochure we received. not sure If there is an alternative to the location we were at but it was very hot and uncomfortable. other then that! it was fantastic
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Rhonda Struthers

    Sri Lankan Highlights April 2019

    Exodus does an excellent job in showcasing this jewel off the tip of India. This tour gives you the highlights of Sri Lanka in a short amount of time. The itinerary is varied with sightseeing, hiking, biking with a little down time thrown in. You do need a basic level of fitness even though this trip is rated 1. Accomodations are mostly 3.5*. Super clean, friendly and unique accomodations. The food at the hotels were plentiful and very good. Focus is on Curry and Rice dishes with many vegetarian options. Our guide Suresh directed. The Elephant Safari, Lion Rock and biking were some of my favourite activities. Sri Lanka is suited for all including families.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I am not sure there was a moment. But the people of Sri Lanka are beautiful people. They are a kind and gentle people. It was lovely seeing the families including several babies at the temple. Families enjoying the beach together. The children running out to say hello to us when biking.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader Suresh was A-One! He was well organized but laid back. He imparted much information. A lovely man who is approachable, kind and funny. He truly made our trip wonderful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a great stepping stone before visiting India. You will have some of the influences without the craziness. Some level of fitness is required if you would like to bike, hike etc.. January and February are peak seasons. The off season of April was a wonderful time to travel. Not as many people and weather still pleasant. Sri Lanka has it all: Beaches, Temples, Elephants, Monkeys, Lion Rock, beautiful Scenery.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Go to Sri Lanka!. Please do not take this destination off your list because of recent events.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    tom jestico

    We scratched the surface

    We were a mixed bunch of travellers from mainly the UK, aged from 24 to 76, single and partnered. Roshan was our tour guide - he'd been doing it for over 10 years, so there was a certain repetition in his recommendations. Sometimes we were simply let loose to explore without guidance. We enjoyed his descriptions about social life in Sri Lanka and his take on politics but he was reticent about the current situation and we learned little about his private life. He was very helpful at all times. Some days were full of activity and others were more relaxed. Sigirya was my favourite hotel. We were there over the New Year's holiday so some activities such as the Tea factory visit, were not as illuminating as they would otherwise be. The buffet food was excellent and the hotels left little to complain about. Unfortunately our trip ended on Easter Sunday, when over 250 people were killed in Colombo. Exodus were very good at organising transport to the airport despite the curfew.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Visit to the Tsunami house.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    As above. Roshan is, I felt, naturally reserved. Apart from learning our names, he seemed disinterested in who we were and where we had come from. He delivered his messages as required but I felt he was sometimes bored. He rarely asked us how we were and did not fully engage with us. (I went on an Exodus Rajasthan trip last year and had an excellent guide, Ayjay, so I had high expectations). Occasionally, towards the end of the trip, he spent more time with us at our evening meal. I foolishly left my camera behind at the Tea factory and he was very good at recovering it. I wish him well for the future.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Relax. Sri Lanka is not Europe. Go with the flow. Service can sometimes be slow and unresponsive. This was my third trip to Sri Lanka. The people you will meet are kind and helpful. Health and safety warnings can be excessive. I had no insect bites and was never exposed to danger. Lions Rock, Adams Peak and the walk to Worlds End can be hot and challenging.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    No
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