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.

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  • Reviewed March 2019
    Nigel Cripps

    Hidden Treasures of Jordon

    The trip was as described in the trip notes - no surprises. One hotel was poor but understand it was a last minute replacement for the planned hotel. Thee were 16 in the party but the mini bus was not big enough for the passengers and their luggage. We had a vote and kept the vehicle but uses another van for the luggage. We were a bit rushed on occasions because winter hours are shorter at the sites, on two days we could easily have started earlier.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The visit to Gadaremes and understanding more about the miracle when Jesus transferred Demons into pigs.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ibtahim was good. He had enthusiasm for is country. He was helpful. The bus driver was a steady and mature driver. Pleased that he was with the vehicle we used.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Travel light, read the trip notes before departure.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The first and last hotel we used in Amman was not so good. During the first visit we had a problem with the shower collapsing and we had a clean but generally well used room. On the second visit we had a refurbished room which was altogether better. The breakfast was well bellow standard. My main criticism is that the staff seemed fed up and did not appear to have any enthusiasm for their jobs. The second hotel at Jarash was not too good either but it was fine because the staff did their best to make us comfortable and the Breakfast was up to standard. A problem with the bus was that it was a converted van with the engine in the passenger compartment. In future it would be worth considering a small purpose built bus with the engine under the floor.
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Nigel Cripps

    Hidden Treasures of Jordon

    The trip notes explained the trip so there were no surprises. We were a little rushed at time because of the shorter opening hours during winter. The first and last hotel is Amman was poor. The breakfast were below standard and the room we had on the first visit had problems (the shower collapsed). The room we used on the last night had been refurbished. My principal criticism and the staff appeared to be going through the motions. In contrast the second hotel was not brilliant but the staff worked hard to make us welcome. There were 16 in the group and the bus was too small for all of us and luggage. An additional was hired form day 3 to transport the luggage whixh partly resolved th eproblem. The vehicle we had was a converted van so the engine was under a cover in th epassenger compartment with the inevitable noise when it worked hard. It would be more comfortable to use a 16 seater with the engine under the floor.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Visiting the Roman town of
  • Reviewed February 2019
    Andrew Longden

    Jordan's time machine - from the Stone Age to Lawrence of Arabia in 12 days...

    If you want to see an in depth showcase of Jordan's historical and archeological treasures in 12 days, then this holiday is exceptional value for money. Winter is an excellent time to visit because of the cooler weather, although the shorter daylight hours meant that some site visits - particularly Jerash - were just a little rushed. Expect to put up with long days of coach travel - it's worth it for the world class archaeology.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Hard to say, but one of the main reasons we chose this trip was because of the two days allocated to Petra, and this proved to have been absolutely right. Petra is vast, and tiring to explore - even in winter - so to get the most out of it, 2 days is essential. It is, of course quite superb. Ibrahim's pace in Petra allowed the group to see the highlights of Petra comfortably. We also enjoyed the unique experience of floating in the Dead Sea whilst staying in the very comfortable Holiday Inn resort. It was also interesting to see at first hand the geographical relationship with Israel and to explore important Biblical sites. I also particularly enjoyed seeing Jerash, a major Roman City. Finally, I'd make a strong recommendation for the Jordanian Museum, which we saw on the last day. It houses some Dead Sea scrolls and the oldest figurines every found. It is particularly well laid out and in our view was a fitting end to an excellent trip.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ibrahim was an excellent ambassador for both Jordan and Exodus. We particularly liked his affable temperament and helpfulness. His organisational skills were good, and we enjoyed his restaurant recommendations. His historical knowledge was good without being overpowering - to get the most out of this trip it is highly desirable to have a good guide book to supplement the leader's knowledge, as he should not be regarded as an expert in the various civilisations that Jordan has hosted. We found Jordanian people to be exceptionally pleasant, and you should not expect to be harassed in any way.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Keep hydrated and watch personal hygiene as it is easy to pick up a traveller tummy upset. Do some homework before you travel as the history of Jordan is complex and you will see many very different sites. In winter, take warm clothing - there can be a significant windchill. It snowed in Petra while we were in Jordan. To get the most out of Petra you should be comfortable hiking for several miles, and the optional view points involve climbing hundreds of steps. If you drink alcohol, it is better to take some duty free as it can be hard to find while travelling (also very expensive).

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We'd like to point out a small number of lowlights: We have commented to Exodus that we had a dangerous transfer from the airport to the hotel in Amman, where the driver reversed half a mile along a busy motorway at night time, and also used his mobile phone while driving. Our (substituted) Amman hotel was of poor quality, with dirty rooms, poor service and an unappetising breakfast. Finally, we felt that a 16 seater minibus (with no space for day bags) is not really satisfactory for 16 adult passengers travelling long distances. These are noteworthy but did not materially spoil our overall enjoyment, which was of course enhanced by our very genial group, who also deserve our thanks.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Trish Graham

    A terrific trip!

    This trip is great! The varied itinerary explores all the major attractions of Jordan, its fascinating history and culture as well as the lovely landscape and, if course, its delicious food.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Discovering the delights of Petra - the High Places, Monastery and Treasury are just the tip of the iceberg. There's something special round every bend! The ancient Roman city of Jerash was also a revelation. Then there was the whole magical Wadi Rum experience, floating and mud bathing at the Dead Sea and snorkelling at the Red Sea.....

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Zuhair knew the history of his country inside out and in particular his guiding in Jerash and Petra particular was exceptional. He was able to use his contacts to gain access for the group to areas not generally open to the public and also pointed out and explained features we would most likely have missed for ourselves. On a more personal level though he didn't make much effort to socialise or to get to know the group as individuals.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The pace is generally quite relaxed / moderate - until you get to Petra! You'll need good walking shoes (boots are not needed) and plenty of stamina as well as sun hat, sun cream and sunglasses. There's very little shade to be found. The Petra by Night optional visit was atmospheric but poor value for money and underwhelming as you walk for over an hour for a 30 minute show at the end of what was already a physically demanding day. The snorkelling equipment for hire at Aqaba was really good, certainly better than I've found anywhere else in my (limited) experience. You may want to pack some Immodium and rehydration sachets as some in our group had "issues"!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There's not much free time for independent exploration and at times the itinerary seems a bit rushed, eg at Jerash and the Citadel in Amman. Overall though this was a great trip with a great bunch of people and I'd highly recommend it.
  • Reviewed June 2018
    GEORGE TARBUCK

    An excellent adventure

    A great holiday with memorable sights.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Petra was amazing and two days well spent.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Eddie was great.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take toilet paper and imodium. You will need both. If you drink then take duty free with you. Drinking in Jordan is expensive and hard to find. Almost impossible during Ramadan. Good walking shoes for Petra. Hat is essential.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The people of Jordan are friendly and pleasant. There is minimal retail hassle as compared with somewhere like Egypt.
  • Reviewed June 2018
    Linda Nicol Smith

    An amazing experience in Jordan

    A great trip with a full itinerary, a fascinating insight into Jordan.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Being able to spend two days in Petra and explore the site.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Eddie was helpful charming and very kind. He ensured we had an enjoyable experience and was knowledgeable about his country. He was concerned to meet the needs of individuals as well as the group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for a beautiful but extremely arid country. The itinerary is pretty full-on, theer is not a lot of downtime on this trip and most mornings are early starts, because there is so much to see and do.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The day after the night in the desert is very long - some of our group would have preferred a hotel upgrade to beach front hotel rather than a transfer to a beach resort (although the resort was lovely and quiet) with hotel check in after dinner that night. One of the best trips I have made, thank you Exodus.
  • Reviewed June 2018
    Marian Beaver

    A fantastic trip

    A great tour. It covers so many places and sites; we felt we’d seen as much of the country as we possibly could in the time.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    1. The desert trip to Wadi Rum was simply wonderful. Loved travelling in the jeeps. 2. walking down the Siq to the Treasury at Petra. 3. Having lunch overlooking the Golan Heights and the Sea of Galilee. 4. snorkelling at Aqaba. 5. the Mosaic at Madaba!!!! Is that too many? There are more! 😊

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Eddy is SIMPLY THE BEST. He is so knowledgeable about everywhere we went. He gave us so much information. He doesn’t overburden you though. He has a great sense of humour. You feel also that he is vigilant of every person’s needs at different times and is taking care of you.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don’t take too much luggage! Don’t forget your torch for the desert (I used my phone) Be prepared for primitive sleeping conditions in the desert (though you do have a bed!) Don’t complain or moan; no one on our trip moaned about anything - it would be awful to have a moaner on board! (If you drink alcohol Take a couple of bottles of Gin with you - especially if it’s Ramadan - you can get the Tonic ; but alcohol was in very short supply throughout ! )

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I read on another review that a group of 16 felt cramped on a small bus. I can understand that, as there is quite a lot of travelling . BUT we had a good sized bus that enabled us to spread out and have a whole seat to ourselves. We faced too much food! It may have been because it was Ramadan that there were large buffets each night preceded by a range of mezze, that were sufficient in themselves. Also we had a lovely young armed policeman with us on the bus throughout. It surprised us and I’m not sure how necessary it was. But he thanked us for coming!
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Ian Baker

    A safe country with a lot of history and a great guide

    Well organised by Exodus and our local guide "Eddie". Full and active days with no wasted time; be prepared for early starts to get to sites before other groups. We had decent hotels with hot water in all locations, except of course the desert camp. We covered the whole of the western side of Jordan and the desert loop around Amman. The east is mainly just sand. We travelled to the Golan Heights then via the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba visiting a sequence of forts on the way. Lunch and Dinner venues were a mix of quick snacks and full meals, including My Mom's Recipe Restaurant in Petra.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The obvious "most inspirational moment" would have to be Petra and the way our guide first revealed it to us, but there was also a recurring issue throughout the trip of how long the history of this whole region is and how different civilizations have come through and built on or developed the cities of their predecessors. We spent 3 nights and 2 full days in Petra - any less would have meant missing key parts. Our hotel was only a very short walk from the Petra Visitors' Centre. Jordan clearly forms a peaceful oasis in the middle of a very troubled region; we never felt at risk or in danger.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Probably the best tour guide I have had. Knowledgeable with the practice of knowing how much information to impart before we suffered information overload. Eddie had a good sense of humour and his running funny stories about Asus added a balance to the historical facts. Eddie also made himself available at all times should anyone need him and although there was no doubt that he kept a close eye on the group to make sure he had not 'lost' anyone we did not feel we were being controlled or herded as a school group might be. I must emphasise how good his English was, it made the trip so much more relaxed than it would have been otherwise.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't bother doing Petra by Night. It is a good concept and may have had good nights in the past but the night we were there it was a clear case of over selling of tickets and people being pushed into the front, with nothing to sit on, blocking those of us who were seated in what should have been the front. Beer is expensive - 500ml costs £9 in a bar and £3 in a Liquor Store. Best to go to the store and buy a few cans to take back to a room, don't forget your duty free on the way out. The night before the desert camp, and before the beach at Aqaba, make sure that you have packed a separate small bag with the essentials as it makes life a lot easier.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We were a group of 16, all experienced travellers, and no one was ever late for the bus, but I would not want to see a group any larger than that. My only negative for this trip was that the bus was uncomfortably full with no spare seats and insufficient space for luggage. Four seats were badly compromised by the wheel arches. Using a bigger bus may have presented difficulties in traffic and parking so I think the number on this trip should be restricted to no more than 14, ideally 12. Rather than distribute/sell small plastic bottles of water Exodus used two 20 litre bottles of filtered water to top up our personal bottles, this worked well, no one had problems with drinking the water - take a decent refillable water bottle. Exodus booked a day extra at each end of the tour for me, which also included airport transfers. This worked well because the normal tour sees an arrival at or after midnight, a transfer to the hotel, a few hours sleep, breakfast and away. My extra day before I used to take a leisurely walk in Amman, following the Lonely Planet walk, seeing some of the sites that are only covered fairly quickly on the last day of the tour and some that are not covered such as the Souks. The day after the tour I just had a relaxing day instead of having to have an evening dinner then off to the airport at 04:00 AM.
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Neil Baker

    Jordan - Thoroughly Recommended!

    A great experience, you get to see so much, from crusader castles to the Dead Sea and the delights of Wadi Rum.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Well this comes down to two: - Petra, just amazing, nobody told me it was such a massive site. You will need a couple of days at least to fully explore. - Wadi Rum and staying over in the Bedouin camp, once again an unmissable experience. Just don't bother with the camel ride, that's just slow and boring.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Eddie was just great, plenty of personality and did a good job of sheparding the group around. He did spout forth a lot history and I know sometimes his facts weren't 100% accurate but hey I wouldn't have it any other way.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Yep the hardest part is the lack of alcohol, it's not illegal they just do not serve it in the eateries. So beware and brace yourself for an almost dry trip.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Another great quality of Jordan is the people they are genuinely warm and friendly, which always helps.
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Judith Simpson

    Jordan Adventure

    This trip provided us with a wide range of activities and cultural visits across the Kingdom of Jordan. An ever-changing landscape is studded with Castles and world famous sights. From Neolithic artefacts to T.E.Lawrence, we felt we had uncovered some of the long history of the people of Jordan. We received a very warm welcome wherever we went; the children and teenagers were keen to try out their English lessons with us. Food was excellent (and plentiful) on each occasion, with a range of choices for vegetarians, and our hotels were very good.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Attempting to float in the Dead Sea; mud bath to go with it! Reaching the top of the mountain near El Deir / The Monastery, at Petra. Sunset in Wadi Rum. Snorkelling over the coral in the Red Sea......

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Eyad / Eddie Banna was an excellent group leader; friendly and efficient, with good use of English. He was very well-informed about the historical / cultural /religious significance of each city / site of interest, and he prepared us in advance for what we were about to see and do. Eyad also retained his sense of humour when we became ensnarled in traffic, and kept us entertained with anecdotes en route.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Remember to wear your sun hat, sun glasses and sun block! As a female traveller I went with a bag of modest wear (long sleeved shirts, scarves etc) but found the dress code did not appear as strict as I had expected. Walking trousers, knee-length skirts / dresses and shirts with short sleeves are fine.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We left Jordan fully satisfied that we had "Seen it All" What an amazing experience!
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