Turtle, Ecuador

Your words, not ours

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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’!

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  • Reviewed September 2017
    Heather Pells

    China trip

    We visited Beijing, Xian, Yangshou and Hong Kong.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The visit to the Terracotta Warriors was amazing. We were lucky because for some reason it wasn't very busy so we could see everything without being pushed along. The detail in the warriors is amazing.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Dragon was excellent. he was easy to get on with and gave u lots of information without overloading us. Although the travel arrangements were complicated he made it all very relaxed and easy. Dragon was very keen to tell us about the Chinese people so that we got a real feel for the country of which, as he said, he is very proud.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Some parts of China are very basic. Be prepared to use chopsticks and don't expect Western food or drink.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Johnny Corn

    The highs of the High Tatras

    Had a wonderful week of walking and sightseeing here in Poland. A great leader in Teresa, a good group, wonderful walking and Krakow after to unwind after a challenging few days walking. Brilliant accommodation with great food.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Sadly due to weather it was not getting to the top of Mount Rysy but we nearly got there! Mind you Auschwitz was an experience I will never forget.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Teresa was brilliant. Years of experience in the mountains and her great sense of fun and humour made her one of the best guides I have been led by. She was well liked and respected in all the places we stayed and by othe guides and local people we met along the way. Whatever we wanted she saw we got it!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It is a challenging trip so read trip notes and seriously decide if it is for you or not as the last day is tough and several people in our group I think were secretly relieved that the weather was bad so they did not have to go to the top!!! The chains were not something that some people were expecting!!! Take ear plugs! Pack light- ask the guide what to take! I took two books and never read a page! Use walking poles! Do not bother with a second pair of shoes, maybe just flip flops for shower!
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Dorian Moss

    Two wonderful weeks of high cols

    My second Exodus trek in the Alps, and the Haute Route deserves the challenging grade, definitely tougher than TMB. Very well organised by Exodus, excellent leader and camp manager, and a great bunch of 12 trekkers.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the summit of the third col of the day between Mont Fort and Prafleuri mountain refuges, the Col de Prafleuri (almost 3000m). This day 5 of the walk stayed over 2500m all day, we were fortunate to have a fine day for it.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    John is a natural leader, highly skilled in mountain technique but also very sensitive to the different abilities and interests of group members. He quickly gauged the correct pace, and knows when to give extra support to people who need it, e.g. with tricky parts of a steep descent. He kept our spirits up on the days with poor weather, and on fine days allowed the fastest members of the group to go ahead (but then wait at junctions). He has an excellent knowledge of Alpine geography and trees, which he was ready to share. Having been led by John on TMB in 2014, I was delighted to meet him again on arrival at Geneva.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This trip is not for those who lack fitness and stamina. Several days wth 1000m or more ascent and descent, one after another: there is no rest day until after 6 days walking. Do this trip if ready for a challenge, otherwise consider the Tour du Mont Blanc TMB.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Our camp manager Egle deserves full credit alongside John. She managed to perform wonders on a basic cooking stove, very imaginative menus, and the large portions one needs on such an energetic trek. The whole Exodus camp set up is very well thought out, including the design of tents, mess tent and all the auxiliary equipment like facilities to charge phones etc. I would suggest that the tents used are absolutely fine for one person but I would advise anyone travelling without a partner or very good friend to pay the single supplement. The two mountain refuges were an interesting experience of living close together, unavoidable to complete the route. Most of the campsites very well equipped, Exodus do not hide the fact that two others have very basic facilities.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Diane Leaver

    Chilled week in beautiful Tuscany

    Just returned from a really enjoyable trip. Stunning scenery, picturesque hillside towns, delicious food and wine and a great group of travelling companions. Mark our group leader was a lovely guy, whose 'can do' approach, knowledge and personality added to the overall enjoyment.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The vista over Florence from the arrival point was stunning.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mark was a really efficient and knowledgeable leader with a great personality. I felt that he'd handle difficult situations well, although thankfully there weren't any!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The accommodation is in the hills and it can be a bit chilly up there in the mornings and evenings. Although the pace of the trip was chilled, we still packed a lot in, so you will probably welcome the free day.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Mark fitted in an extra wine tasting for us which was welcomed by the group. Perhaps this could be added as part of the itinerary.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Joanne Offer

    Fabulous wildlife

    I thoroughly enjoyed this trip. The amount of wildlife that we saw was simply unbelievable - from sloths and whales, to scarlet macaws, toucans and 4 types of monkeys. We even saw animals that I'd never even heard of before. (Agouti and coati.) Tortuguero is simply magical - waking up to the sounds of the rainforest and then seeing turtles on the beach at the other end of the day. I couldn't believe the number of beautifully colourful birds we saw in the cloud forest. By the end of it, we were saying, "Oh, it's just another hummingbird." And our time on the peninsula was just spectacular. Plodging through a stream in the rainforest and swimming near a mini-waterfall were great experiences. Never mind being able to spot humpback whales while standing on the beach having a picnic lunch!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Spending my birthday whale-watching: we had 4 different sightings in just that 1 day. The guides were as excited as we were when a baby humpback pretty much swam under the boat!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Andreas was extremely patient and highly knowledgeable about Costa Rica's wildlife. He spotted animals that we would have walked straight past, and always made sure we had all the information we needed.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring water shoes - something you can wear snorkelling or getting on/off a boat. My cheap ponchos bought from Poundland were the best bargain of the trip - they kept me and my rucksack (largely) dry. It really does chuck it down in the rainforest. Yes, the accommodation in Cahuita isn't up to the same standard as everywhere else, but it was clean and situated right on the beach. Did the job. And the cocktails in town more than made up for any shortcomings. When flying in hurricane season, it might be worth trying to fly direct to San Jose so you reduce the risk of flight disruption - our connecting flight via Houston was cancelled, although Exodus helped us to sort alternatives.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would have preferred to spend an extra night in Tortuguero and had one day less in Cahuita. (Simply because of the peace and remoteness of Tortuguero.)
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Dave Renvoize

    Hectic but very rewarding trip

    This trip fits a lot in to the two weeks but delivers some very special experiences with both the orangutans and the komodo dragons so it is well worth the hardship of some early starts and long travel days. The accommodation is generally good although the boat is rather basic, but this is a small price to pay for the excellent snorkelling and komodo dragon sightings that the boat makes possible. The food on the boat is both tasty and plentiful and the crew very obliging. Overall this is an excellent trip and a rare opportunity to see both orangutans and komodo dragons as well as experiencing life in three areas of Indonesia.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The first sighting of the orangutans was soon after we started our first jungle trek and was a special moment, especially as they seemed so comfortable with us being so close. This was just the beginning of our trek and was followed by many more sightings including some very playful infants and an impressive mature male. The komodo dragons were no less impressive and watching a female dragon who was guarding her nest full of eggs erupt in to action to chase off another dragon who was looking to eat the eggs is a moment that I will not forget.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Elly was an excellent leader. Good company, very professional and a capable problem solver as well as being around when ever she was needed, including some late nights when the group went on from the evening meal for some music and beers and Elly made sure we all got home safely!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Its generally hot and humid and we had nightly heavy rain when in the Sumatra jungle so a light weight waterproof jacket/poncho is useful. Pack light and get laundry done half way through the trip in Sanur, the Swastika bungalows did a good job with our laundry (24 hour turn around) for very small cost. Take a t shirt or rash vest for the snorkelling to avoid sun burnt shoulders and a torch or head lamp for the boat at night (generator off at night by group decision to enjoy the silence) and in case of power cuts in the other hotels.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Kevin Grewcock

    Canadian Rockies Wilderness Walks

    Generally a nice holiday, in spectacular scenery. The food was varied and very plentiful (although having 10 females in the party of 12, plus 2 male guides might have had a bearing on this). Assorted dietary restrictions were catered for. The sites were fine, with the exception of the "last" one near Waterton Park (Waterton Springs Campground) which, in all honesty, was unacceptable for a holiday costing in excess of £3,000 for 11 days camping. We had a 1km walk to get hot water for anything, the toilet facilities near our tents were basic and only just about acceptable (if you ignore the lack of hot water) and the sinks for washing up in were disgusting. They had a large number (40-50) of RVs on site, all situated next to the office and all facilities. We were put as far away from there as was possible on the site (presumably so that a "noisy" group wouldn't disturb their main source of income - the RVs). There may have been another 5-6 people in tents while we were there. We were unfortunate in that, due to fires, Waterton Park was closed the day after we arrived and then totally evacuated, so I cannot comment on the walks there. This was a shame as I had visited there for 2 days last year and really loved it - there is what looked to be a reasonable site in Waterton Park itself, beautifully situated next to the village, although I can't comment on its facilities as I was in a hotel. In fact, returning there was a major factor in me choosing to go on this holiday. On the plus side, we only stayed at the poor site for one night. The tour company arranged a new site, well away from the fires (a 500km drive in fact), in a much nicer site, at very short notice.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I didn't find anything "inspirational", but I am generally not one for strong emotions.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    On the whole, good. At times he did almost seem to be showing off how good a "walker" he was - fast and very agile - but not to the point of doing anything dangerous. It did seem to take us a long while to have breakfast and out on the walk at times. Due to a combination of circumstances, the group naturally split into a faster and a slower group. The two guides handled this well, I thought. Even suggesting some alternative, shorter, routes for the slower group (which included me) on some days so that we didn't feel that we were holding up the faster group all the time.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    To enjoy this holiday to the full, you don't just need a good level of fitness, a good level of experience of exercise (walking, running) in hilly terrain is almost a must. I run 3/4 times a week, up to an hour at a time, but there are not many hills near me. The first 2 days left me with very achy muscles from the amount of continuous, uphill walking - often steep and often more than an hour at a time. I sat out day 3 to recover. Although I could have done the walk, I may well have then had to rest for more than a day. If you do not travel light, you might want to pay to have a tent to yourself. Although there were 2 men in the group, the other one was with his wife, so I got a tent to myself. I found this a benefit, apart from putting up and taking down the tent. However that was pretty straightforward, even for one person. I took a 4 seasons sleeping bag, but was too hot every night. However, others were cold on some nights. The overnight temperature (Aug 28 to Sept 7) didn't drop below 10°C in my tent. Personally I think that a 3 seasons bag plus a light blanket would be a better recommendation than a 4 seasons bag.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The holiday was rated as 4/10 for fitness levels required. Not sure what a 10 would be (climbing Everest?). Personally, I think 5 would be more appropriate.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Tilly Jensen

    CAUTION: This is a '4' level of difficulty and NOT a '2'; difficulty level grossly misrepresented

    We booked this trip to have some cycling time with our son who is a novice cyclist but fit. My husband and I are strong cyclists and have done trips with Exodus that are rated as a '4' and '3'; no difficulties with cycling experienced on those trips. However, this Dordogne trip starts off the first cycling day with grades of 5% to 10% and as high as 16%. The second day of cycling has two optional rides with the same thing and even as high as 20% showing on our Garmin. Our son was not here to train for the Tour de France ... the goal was to have some relaxing cycling ... this is NOT relaxing cycling. I confirmed with an Exodus agent that a trip rated as a '2' should be relatively flat terrain. When you are continuously experiencing elevation grades greater than 6%, it's a seriously challenging ride. We ride in the Canadian Rockies ... some great but tough rides there ... this Dordogne trip is as tough as our mountain rides in Canada but not as many kilometres. The difficulty rating of this ride has been totally misrepresented by Exodus. Had we known, we would have booked an ebike. We were unable to get an ebike because we didn't realize it was necessary until we had done a couple of days of cycling ... now they are unable to get us one ... so we're stuck sitting around doing nothing. BEWARE!!!!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    When we realized that we will never book another trip with Exodus given the misrepresentation experienced on this trip ... and we've done more than 10 to date with them!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    No group leader; self-guided.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    BEWARE!!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I should have noticed that there were no reviews more recent than August of 2015. Exodus likely has been pulling all the bad reviews. They'll likely pull this one even though they say they post all reviews!!! We know this trip has been booked by others because the reps who greeted us on the first day told us that was the case.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Chris Shelley

    Good overview of Peru

    A lot of travelling by coach (3 full days, including a 5am start, in a coach) that gives you a good insight into three distinct areas of Peru. The desert, the trail and Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca. Inca Trail pace set by weakest, so be prepared for a slow pace!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Enjoying the mountain scenery on the Inca Trail.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He's very sweet and amiable.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Not a good tour for walkers - or that will depend on your group. There's only one leader and he will set the pace to the weakest walker, which is right as he has no support and can't leave someone struggling behind. We were walking at a glacial pace for 20 or 30 mins and then taking a 10 minute break. I found it excruciating and frustrating. They should really have some kind of release form for the leader for people who want to walk at a reasonable pace. The trail is very clear and impossible to get lost on and lots of people around, so I'm sure they could say go on if you wish but the tour leader can't be responsible for you. I did this and the leader wasn't happy but I'd paid to enjoy my holiday too I figured and so strode out.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Don't expect to come back rested. Some of the hotels are incredibly noisy (particularly Machu Picchu town and Puno). Exodus are absolutely upfront about the amount of travel by coach but 4 days on a coach a lot and so be really sure you want to see the Nazca Lines.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Amanda Jackson

    Walking in Andalucia

    A fantastic week of walking through various landscapes and looking out to some spectacular vistas. The cortijo is perfectly based; the staff just lovely and waking up each morning with the sun rising over the hills was really special. As a solo traveller I can easily recommend this trip, I was fortunate enough to enjoy the company of a great group of strangers that became friends through the week.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking the Caminito del Rey and getting over the bridge in one piece!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alexis is a brilliant guide, very knowledgeable, well organised, considerate and has a great sense of humour. He made the whole group feel welcome from the start

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you are vegetarian/vegan don’t worry about the food; the staff made some fabulous dishes for me throughout the week.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The cortijo is a great base, with two very friendly dogs; Chico and Churro. They really are very much part of the place and I sincerely hope they stay when the ownership of the place changes.
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