Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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18261 Reviews

  • Reviewed June 2022

    A lot of driving and no photography in churches

    This trip is billing as 1 - Leisurely. However whilst there's not much walking there are a lot of long drives as you cover a lot of ground. Additionally all the hotels are a single night only, apart from 2 nights at Lake Ohrid, so there's little time to decompress and unpack. The trip also covers a lot of churches and monasteries so if that's not your thing, maybe pass on this trip. Frustratingly, despite the amazing and beautiful interiors of the churches, almost without exception you're not allowed to take photos in them.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Lake Ohrid was lovely. Being the only location where we had two nights it gave us a chance to relax, unpack, and decompress. Plus the lake and surrounding area is beautiful.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Kristina was a great tour leader. She was funny, insightful with the facts and background of the places we visited, and caring when someone on the tour needed extra help. She also caused me to gain several pounds with her love of ice cream and insistence of grabbing one everywhere we went (lol).

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    As mentioned, this can be tough with the long drives and mainly single nights in hotels not giving you much chance to relax. A few of the hotels also don't have lifts so you might need to drag your luggage upstairs yourself. Some of the places we visited also contained a large number of stairs too, so bear this in mind if you're not comfortable with that.
  • Reviewed June 2022

    Excellent walking holiday

    What a great holiday. The scenery is just amazing, and the walks each day show the best of what the area has to offer. The group leaders are very knowledgeable on local wildlife and I throughly enjoyed looking at the alpine flowers. Very well organised trip, hotel was comfortable and staff were so kind. Big thanks to Paul and Jenny for looking after us all, but thanks especially to them for looking after me!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The walking, the scenery and the wildflowers.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent, couldn’t fault Paul and Jenny.
  • Reviewed June 2022

    A wonderful trip

    We had wanted to do this trip for several years, but Covid intevened. The wait was worth it! Exodus have devised a varied, fast-moving trip that combines the magnificent sights of Uzbekistan and the wonderful scenery of Kyrgyzstan, all explained by knowledgeable and personable guides.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    No need to identify any particular moment; the whole 2 weeks was packed with amazing sights.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    There were two guides, Nazim and Valentina. Each was immensely knowledgeable, able to share their enthusiasm and personal stories in near-perfect English. Their connection with the drivers, local agents, hoteliers and restaurateurs was faultless.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Join the trip!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We are already looking at the Exodus brochures for another trip!
  • Reviewed June 2022

    Highlights of the Dolomites

    What a fantastic trip, loved every single minute of it. Fun was had in abundance and it was definitely the best group of people I've ever met and walked with. In fact I'm laughing to myself as I'm writing this I had that much fun! The Dolomites are stunning and Campitello is the ideal location from which to explore them. The Sporthotel Enrosadira was brilliant, a lovely family run establishment where they couldn't do enough for us. Dinner was great, all five courses of it! Would I recommend this trip to others..... absolutely!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were too many moments to list but just being able to admire the beauty of the Dolomites for a week was enough to inspire me to do more!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Paul and Jenny our two leaders for the week were absolutely brilliant. Their knowledge was exceptional, they were so helpful, very organised, friendly and great fun. Two genuinely very nice people. Mind you Paul's singing is a bit dodgy!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Quite simply book this trip and you will not be disappointed
  • Highly recommended

    After waiting 2 years it was good to eventually be able to go on this trip. The organisation was perfect, and although only 2* the stay was in a traditional family hotel with friendly staff, a clean and comfortable room, and a good shower to end the day with. The views from my room were spectacular, and the evening meals were superb. All the walks were of the standard I expected, and all in beautiful surroundings. It was interesting to take the local train to the start point of each walk on most days.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader was excellent. He was so enthusiastic, explained clearly what each day's walk would entail, and ensured the group walked at a pace suitable for all, with plenty of water stops (needed in the heat).

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    A bit of advance research may assist you in deciding what to do on the free day, whether to go to Ajaccio or Corte, or indeed do another walk. I would recommend taking most money in cash - the hotel only took cash for settling the drinks bill, cash was needed for tips (hotel and leader), and often restaurants and cafes seemed to prefer cash (even in Ajaccio) although the train and shops were OK with card. The problem is that the only ATMs are in Corte or Ajaccio if you run short! I think there should be better advice about the airport transfers. We changed flights at Nice on the outward and Marseilles on the return. Both airports were very difficult and confusing as to how to changes terminals (even though close together in both cases). Many of us found it tricky, so I don't think it was just me!
  • All Weathers Tour

    We had a fantastic start in the Tetons , great hikes and beautiful views. We managed to see black bears on one of our hikes. Some surprising dramatic weather whilst we went up the cable car. We were very disappointed to not be able to visit Yellowstone because it was flooded, but our guide Mark Harding more than made up for this with great walks in the Tetons and Glacier Park where we were able to stay another day. We saw grizzly bears and bisson on the reserve. We had a fantastic boat ride and dinner at Coeur D'Alene .All our accomodation was good. My favourite was staying in Glacier park, where Mike, our guide provided us with a fantastic breakfast everyday.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I cannot give just one. One was when we saw grizzly bears crossing the road when we were in Glacier park. We saw a mother bear and her two cub. Mike our guide mad e sure we drove past at least four times so we could great really great views and photos. The second one was when we had a good bye drink in front of the mountains to say goodbye , before we moved on to Couer D'Alene. third was when we saw bisson on the Flathead reserve. We got so close and could see their beautiful faces. The third was a hike arranged at the last minute by our guide Mike Harding where we walked down to the Pendoreille lake where we had the most beautiful, peaceful and serene views

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Mike Harding was fantastic. He kept our spirits high after the disappointing news that we would not be able to visit Yellowstone. He took us on some fantastic hikes, took us to great places to eat and shop and was always willing to give help and advice when asked. He provided us with fantastic breakfasts when we stayed in Glacier Park. He was so knowledgable and had a very clear and interesting way of explaining complex histories and cultures. He had an obvious passion for showing people the best of nature in the parks and was able to make great connections with everyone in the group. I really felt that he put in 100% effort at all times.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a range of clothing for different weathers as you never know how the weather can change. You will literally need sun cream and sun hat on some days and a woolly hat and gloves on another.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Exodus trips are very well planned and the accommodation is in keeping with the nature of the trip. Also as I learned on this trip, they and their guides are very good about, adapting and changing when circumstances require it. Our guide was able to think creatively when dire circumstances changed our plans and be flexible enough to work with the weather and other conditions. They are also very fair , providing extra activities when we lost out on Yellowstone plans and giving a discount to provide value for money based on the activities provided for us.
  • Reviewed June 2022

    Exciting and stretching!

    Very enjoyable. The number of steps on several of the walks was daunting and I had very stiff legs for days! I think it is more of a 3 rather than a 2/3.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking round the rim of Vesuvius crater with a volcanologist.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Good. He tended to get rather anxious, and didn't always track the stragglers.
  • Reviewed June 2022

    regaining confidence

    Having had two trips to the Lake District with appalling weather conditions where I struggled with hill climbing and broke my wrist on the first occasion, this Highlights trip has restored my confidence and I will be back for more. Our leader, Jeff, knew exactly how to reassure less confident climbers in the group and by the end of the first day I was relaxed about meeting any challenges in the week ahead. His expert knowledge of the flora and fauna in the area was obvious. The walks were varied, the wildflowers amazing and views of the Alps stunning. Clare and Liz were superb hosts at Chalet Chamonix. Food was excellent and Liz's home-made cake every afternoon was a particular treat. I had a fabulous holiday. Thank you Exodus!
  • Reviewed June 2022

    A fantastic cycling holiday

    This was a very enjoyable cycle tour with a wonderful combination of cycle routes, spectacular scenery, excellent food and beer/wine, history and mythology . The two guides Dimitri S and Dimitri G excelled at making sure everyone was looked after and nothing was too much trouble - from providing vehicle support to explaining Greek history and recommending local wines.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Being able to swim in the sea three times in different seas all in the same day. Stopping at the ancient Olympic site at Namea and running the 200m for which everyone received a Laurel garland.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both D1 and D2 were fantastic - knowledgeable, helpful and nothing was too much trouble.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    With the combination of cycling, scenery, local cuisine, history and mythology I would definitely recommend this tour. For anyone unsure about the distances or difficulty then hiring an E-bike makes this an achievable and rewarding trip.
  • Reviewed June 2022

    Good for early birds and insomniacs, not recommended for sun-seekers.

    This is certainly a trip for wildlife lovers, and on that score it certainly does not disappoint, though a good pair of binoculars is probably more important than a good camera. However, I think marketing this trip as something which can be enjoyed in the rainy season is misleading at best. It doesn't just rain for a bit then the sun comes out - when it rains it can rain for hours and hours. While we were lucky in that in rained mostly at night on our trip, on a few occasions we were caught in it, and our trip was at the beginning of the rainy season. The early starts were too early at times, and when you've just come on two long flights involving twenty four hours of airports, security checks, passports, flights . . . being told you need to get up for a 6.00am breakfast seems just cruel. Our tour leader argued that because of the early sunset around 5.30 - 6pm we needed to make the best of the day light, which is a fair point, but our afternoon trips invariable finished well before dinner, so a later breakfast at say 8am would not really have created a problem.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The best were the unplanned, like when the traffic stopped because a Boa Constrictor was crossing the road - really! and another time when a two toed sloth had to be rescued from the middle of the road. Another time I had just settled down to drink a Pina Colada at the hotel bar when a monkey casually walked by on the telephone wires above me, like it was just going to the shops. You spend ages trying to see these creatures in the trees, then suddenly there they are in front of you. Watching a flight of scarlet Macaws was also quite special.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jonny is very passionate about his country, his is very knowledgeable, and he has a remarkable ability to spot wildlife which was invisible to the rest of us until he points it out. But he talks too much, and especially when your tired, being stuffed full of information is not fun.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get good quality anti-mosquito ointment. I took Life Systems 'Expedition Plus insect repellent' and I didn't get bitten once.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The best time to go is apparently January- February. I went May into June, and I hardly saw the sun. The itinerary is quite full on, so if you want a relaxing holiday, this isn't it.